Architects' Journal presents 'forwrd thinking' Office of Subversive Atchitecture osa/MERZEN/ with a Special Award...




Image ¬©Johannes Marburg (osa/MERZEN/ installation at CUBE above)

It was announced on Wednesday 8th February 2012 at the awards ceremony at the Building Centre in London, that OSA (office for subversive architecture) was awarded a prize for small project of the year by Architects' Journal. 

A Special Award was given to the Office of Subversive Architecture's homage to Kurt Schwitters Merz collage technique at CUBE Gallery in Manchester.  The merzen installation, which netted the practice ¬£750 prize, was hailed for its 'forward-thinking re-use of materials'.

The 2012 judging panel included: Moira Gemmill of the V&A; Keith Bradley of Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios: Rider Levett Bucknall's Mark Weaver; Paul Reed of Marley Eternit; and AJ editor Christine Murray. 

osa/MERZEN/, commissioned by Jane Anderson, Creative Director of CUBE made 'use' of both a architecturally designed space (Stephen Hodder associates) and found materials sourced, squirreled and borrowed from Manchester (greater).  These materials were categorised in the gallery, inspired by a famous collage by the legendary artist Kurt Schwitters.  As with Schwitters collage techniques the OSA made a new form of collage with found materials - with a three dimensional gallery to play with - each used/recycled material was carefully considered by the cutting edge architectural practice.  The outcome - an outstanding project that reflected the dynamics of an artist who was famed as a womble by some...

Over the period of three months, with CUBE open to the public the OSA reflected and deliberated every found material collected, using the architecture of the gallery as one would a A4 piece of paper. The architects placed and found new ways to extend the use of everyday objects to create a unique collage. At the heart of the installation lay the inspiration to the work 'Ambleside Flag' one of the collages created by Schwitters while in residence in the UK.

CUBE is delighted by this award which further shows how unusual ways of thinking about our surroundings can be influential to the future thinking in architectural design and sustainability.


Visitors to the exhibition in 2011 commented:

Stimulating exhibition, something for everyone and its interesting how mundane objects can create detailed collages. 

Excellent, very brave, thought provoking, Kurt Schwitters would be very proud and would have joined in [he is here in spirit].  Thank-you.



osa/MERZEN/ Exhibition at CUBE 2011


Article added: 09 February 2012

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