MVRDV: the balancing barn
Alain de Botton is the creative director of Living Architecture, and identifies the architects they commission to build interesting houses around Britain. de Botton wrote a book a few years ago called The Architecture of Happiness, the secret art of furnishing your life. On his website description of the book he takes the usual swipe at architects: 'Whereas many architects are wary of openly discussing the word beauty, the book has at its centre the large and [faux] naïve question: 'What is a beautiful building?' and then proceeds to 'change the way we think about our homes, streets and ourselves'.
Thank you for that.
MVRDV, Rotterdam is Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries, who had worked either with OMA or Mecanoo before forming MVRDV, a firm quite known for its starry and international architecture.
Living Architecture started by de Botton, commissions interesting world-class [his words] architects to build houses around the United Kingdom which are then rented out as holiday lets by Living Architecture, a 'not-for-profit organisation set up to revolutionise both architecture and UK holiday rentals'.
Well, this is the background to the photograph of The Balancing Barn by MVRDV. Edmund Sumner has taken an admittedly dramatic chrome-plated building and made it even more dramatic and soaring by the lens he has used. Was it not charged enough as it is? Why do philosophers and photographers insist that architecture needs jazzing up. I don't think they get it, but they do get an audience.