The façade is the window to the soul of architecture: Venice Architecture Biennale, 2018

carusostjohn-heckhausen_freespace_la-biennale-07.jpg – Drawing Matter

© Philip Heckhausen

carusostjohn-heckhausen_freespace_la-biennale 11.jpg – Drawing Matter

© Philip Heckhausen

In response to the Biennale’s theme of Freespace, Caruso St John Architects put together an exhibition that celebrates the historical richness and social generosity of the façade. Whether a building is public or private, whatever its intended use, its façades have the responsibility to make a positive contribution to the public realm and should have the capacity to emotionally affect people who may only have a fleeting relationship to the building. Good buildings, like Georgian townhouses and Victorian warehouses, can accommodate new uses over time, and while programme can be fleeting, it is the physical presence and the image of these buildings that underpin the formation of great cities. The façade has been missing from the architectural discourse for too long.

Caruso StJohn Architects, Mixed-use tower, Hardturm, Zurich, 2016-2023 © Caruso StJohn Architects – Drawing Matter

Caruso St John Architects, Mixed-use tower, Hardturm, Zurich, 2016-2023 © Caruso St John Architects

Caruso StJohn Architects, Residential Tower D, Aarau, 2017-2023 © Caruso StJohn Architects – Drawing Matter

Caruso St John Architects, Residential Tower D, Aarau, 2017-2023 © Caruso St John Architects

Lions sports arena, Zurich, Caruso StJohn Architects, 2012-2022 ©Caruso StJohn Architects – Drawing Matter

Caruso St John Architects, ZSC Lions sports arena, Zurich, 2012-2022 © Caruso St John Architects

Caruso StJohn Architects, V&A Museum of Childhood, London, 2002-2007 © Caruso StJohn Architects – Drawing Matter

Caruso St John Architects, V&A Museum of Childhood, London, 2002-2007 © Caruso St John Architects

Caruso StJohn Architects, St Jakob Stiftung Mixed-use building, Zurich, 2013-2018 © Caruso StJohn Architects – Drawing Matter

Caruso St John Architects, St Jakob Stiftung Mixed-use building, Zurich, 2013-2018 © Caruso St John Architects

Caruso StJohn Architects, Schoolhouse, Neuhausen, 2017-2020 © Caruso StJohn Architects – Drawing Matter

Caruso St John Architects, Schoolhouse, Neuhausen, 2017-2020 © Caruso St John Architects

Caruso StJohn Architects, Residential Tower A, Aarau, 2017-2023 © Caruso StJohn Architects – Drawing Matter

Caruso St John Architects, Residential Tower A, Aarau, 2017-2023 © Caruso St John Architects

Caruso StJohn Architects, Office Building, Rudolfplatz, Cologne, 2015-2020 © Caruso StJohn Architects – Drawing Matter

Caruso St John Architects, Office Building, Rudolfplatz, Cologne, 2015-2020 © Caruso St John Architects

Caruso StJohn Architects, Office Building, Grosser Burstah, Hamburg, 2014-2020 © Caruso StJohn Architects – Drawing Matter

Caruso St John Architects, Office Building, Grosser Burstah, Hamburg, 2014-2020 © Caruso St John Architects

Caruso StJohn Architects, Office Building, Escher Wyss, Zurich,  2017-2020 © Caruso StJohn Architects – Drawing Matter

Caruso St John Architects, Office Building, Escher Wyss, Zurich, 2017-2020 © Caruso St John Architects

Caruso StJohn Architects, Newport Street Gallery, London, 2005-2015 © Caruso StJohn Architects – Drawing Matter

Caruso St John Architects, Newport Street Gallery, London, 2005-2015 © Caruso St John Architects

Caruso StJohn Architects, Mixed-use building, Antwerp, 2014-2019 © Caruso StJohn Architects – Drawing Matter

Caruso St John Architects, Mixed-use building, Antwerp, 2014-2019 © Caruso St John Architects

Caruso StJohn Architects, Mixed use building, Europaallee, Zurich, 2008-2013 © Caruso StJohn Architects – Drawing Matter

Caruso St John Architects, Mixed use building, Europaallee, Zurich, 2008-2013 © Caruso St John Architects

Caruso StJohn Architects, House in the Mountains, Tschiertschen, 2016-2018 © Caruso StJohn Architects – Drawing Matter

Caruso St John Architects, House in the Mountains, Tschiertschen, 2016-2018 © Caruso St John Architects

Caruso StJohn Architects, Department of Biomedicine, Basel University, 2015-2018 © Caruso StJohn Architects – Drawing Matter

Caruso St John Architects, Department of Biomedicine, Basel University, 2015-2018 © Caruso St John Architects

Caruso StJohn Architects, City Hall, Pully, 2017 © Caruso StJohn Architects – Drawing Matter

Caruso St John Architects, City Hall, Pully, 2017 © Caruso St John Architects

Caruso StJohn Architects, Bremer Landesbank Headquarters, Bremen, 2011-2016 © Caruso StJohn Architects – Drawing Matter

Caruso St John Architects, Bremer Landesbank Headquarters, Bremen, 2011-2016 © Caruso St John Architects

Caruso StJohn Architects, Apartment building, Welfenstrasse, Munich, 2014-2020 © Caruso StJohn Architects – Drawing Matter

Caruso St John Architects, Apartment building, Welfenstrasse, Munich, 2014-2020 © Caruso St John Architects

Caruso StJohn Architects, Apartment building, Falkenstrasse, Munich, 2014-2020 © Caruso StJohn Architects – Drawing Matter

Caruso St John Architects, Apartment building, Falkenstrasse, Munich, 2014-2020 © Caruso St John Architects

Caruso StJohn Architects, Apartment Building, Biel-Benken, 2014-2020 © Caruso StJohn Architects – Drawing Matter

Caruso St John Architects, Apartment Building, Biel-Benken, 2014-2020 © Caruso St John Architects

The exhibition presents elevation drawings of a number of the practice’s own projects, some built and some in development, where the façade and its relationship to the city is a central theme. These façade portraits are complemented by a series of photographs by the architect Philip Heckhausen, which show the completed buildings in their urban surroundings, alongside images of other urban situations that have influenced the practice’s approach. Together, they make a collection of urban situations, in between which the Caruso St John buildings emerge at a second glance. In the centre of the room is a large bench, whose patterned seat is a reference to the elaborated surface of urban piazze.

– Adam Caruso and Helen Thomas

Philip Heckhausen, photograph of Franziskanerplatz, Vienna, 2018 © Philip Heckhausen – Drawing Matter

Philip Heckhausen, photograph of Franziskanerplatz, Vienna, 2018 © Philip Heckhausen

Philip Heckhausen, photograph of Deichtorplatz, Hamburg, 2018 © Philip Heckhausen – Drawing Matter

Philip Heckhausen, photograph of Deichtorplatz, Hamburg, 2018 © Philip Heckhausen

Philip Heckhausen, Piazza Guglielmo Oberdan, Milan, 2018 © Philip Heckhausen – Drawing Matter

Philip Heckhausen, Piazza Guglielmo Oberdan, Milan, 2018 © Philip Heckhausen

Philip Heckhausen, photograph of Neumark, Dresden, 2014 © Philip Heckhausen – Drawing Matter

Philip Heckhausen, photograph of Neumarkt, Dresden, 2014 © Philip Heckhausen

PhilipHeckhausen, photograph of Seestrasse, Zurich, 2018 © PhilipHeckhausen – Drawing Matter

Philip Heckhausen, photograph of Seestrasse, Zurich, 2018 © PhilipHeckhausen

Philip Heckhausen, photograph of rue Jeanne d'Arc Rouen, 2013 © Philip Heckhausen – Drawing Matter

Philip Heckhausen, photograph of rue Jeanne d'Arc, Rouen, 2013 © Philip Heckhausen

Philip Heckhausen, photograph of Gammel Kongevej, Copenhagen, 2018 © Philip Heckhausen – Drawing Matter

Philip Heckhausen, photograph of Gammel Kongevej, Copenhagen, 2018 © Philip Heckhausen

Philip Heckhausen, photograph of Riemeisterstrasse, Berlin, 2016 © Philip Heckhausen – Drawing Matter

Philip Heckhausen, photograph of Riemeisterstrasse, Berlin, 2016 © Philip Heckhausen

Philip Heckhausen, photograph of Newport Street, London, 2018 © Philip Heckhausen – Drawing Matter

Philip Heckhausen, photograph of Newport Street, London, 2018 © Philip Heckhausen

Philip Heckhausen, photograph of Domshof, Bremen, 2016 © Philip Heckhausen – Drawing Matter

Philip Heckhausen, photograph of Domshof, Bremen, 2016 © Philip Heckhausen

We suggest

On other installations in the Venice Architecture Biennale; on Caruso St John Architects; and for a sampling of facades in the collection.

Island, by Caruso St John and Marcus Taylor and published by The Store X The Spaces, can be ordered here.