The word vessel is suggestive of embodiment, enshrinement and containment. It carries associations with craft and circulation. Airship, boat, blood vessel, utensil.
Vessel is a site-specific response to the theme of Common Ground, a plank-stacked structure in conversation with the layered brick construction of the Corderie. Vessel is a contemplative space hollowed out of solid matter, a light funnel, a lantern chamber, and a passage leading towards our common ground.
Literary and artistic affinities constitute our common ground. Architecture’s deeper resonance is related to its wider culture. The work of other architects, artists, poets, and performers sustains us. They provide inspiration for us to make our own work. Such affinities are part of our cultural context. We have invoked precedent and invited practitioners to contribute to our installation. We have remembered inspirational works and reflected on projects that run parallel to our own pursuits.
Bricks are cast from a mould, each special brick has to be hand-thrown from its own wooden casing. Clods of clay are dug out from the forest floor and the wood for the mould is cut from the trees. Brick and timber, the raw materials of archaic construction, have not changed much since the ship-builders built their vessels between the brick columns of the Corderie.
As in the Arsenal of the Venetians
Boils in winter the tenacious pitch
To smear their unsound vessels o’er again,
For sail they cannot; and instead thereof
One makes his vessel new, and one recaulks
The ribs of that which many a voyage has made;
One hammers at the prow, one at the stern,
This one makes oars and that one cordage twists
Another mends the mainsail and the mizzen…
from Dante’s Inferno, Canto XXI
Contributors to Common Ground
Joseph Walsh Studio
Williams and Tsien
With the additional support of:
Coford – National Council for Forest Research and Development
Wood Marketing Federation
London School of Economics
Office of Public Works