Columns are structural, in tension and compression; loaded, light, thick and thin; they’re symbolic and abstract – meaning something and nothing; they’re decorative and banal; they’re the orders, ordering and orderly but also disruptive; they’re political – reinforcing cultural ideas or tools to break free; they’re base + shaft + capital but not always all at the same time; they’re scary and sublime; cast, carved and paper thin; field, fragment, edge and centre; they’re heavy, hollow, hewn and hung; they’re a contradiction; an endless joke.

So columns are anything and everything; they’re all these things and more. Our ambition was to decode the principles in past works where the column takes primacy as the fundamental critical and conceptual component. Through these 100 drawings – some almost comically abstract, others full of detail – we interrogated their possibilities. We were in search of universal ideas, looking to exploit these references as concepts rather than as image or formal inspiration. This small publication, produced with the master students of Kingston School of Art, was an archive and our guide. It was our point of departure in developing an architecture where the column is the fundamental building component.

100 columns

Research project at Kingston School of Arts
In collaboration with Matthew Philips
Graphic design by Bernardo Berga Rodrigues
2018 - 2019

Feigen Gallery, Hans Hollein, New York, USA, 1969

Alte Sudridhof, Hans Dollgast, Munich, Germany, 1955

Van Nelle Factory, Brinkman & Van der Vlugt, Rotterdam, Netherlands, 1925-31

Central Pillar, Diwan-i-khas, Unknown, Fatehpur Sikri, India, 1635

MDF Lined Acrow Prop, de Vylder Vinck Tallieu, Antwerp, Belgium, 2012

Maarschalk Gerardstraat, Eagles of Architecture, Antwerp, Belgium, 2014

Santa Maria della Pace cloister, Donato Bramante, Rome, Italy, 1504

‘Parcours’ In Situ Installation at Z33, Oliver Goethals, Hasselt, Belgium, 2017

Eden Pavilion, Herzog & de Meuron, Rheinfelden, Switzerland, 1987

Juma Mosque, Unkown, Khiva, Uzbekistan, 18th Century

Lagerhaus Giesshübel, Robert Maillart, Zürich, Switzerland, 1913

Palm tree columns at the Royal Pavilion, John Nash, Brighton, UK, 1815

Baldacchino St Peter’s Basalica, Gianlorenzo Bernini, Rome, Italy, 1633

Kunsthal, Petra Blaisse, Rotterdam, Netherlands, 1999

Addition to the Allen Memorial Museum, Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown, Oberlin, USA, 1977

Erechtheion, Mnesicles, Athens, Greece, 406BC

Two Columns, Robert Morris, New York, USA, 1961

Villa Mairea, Alvar Aalto, Noormarkku, Finland, 1939

St George’s Bloomsbury, Nicholas Hawksmoor, London, UK, 1730

SQN 206 - Blocos de A a K, Marcilio Mendes Ferreira, Brasilia, Brazil, 1974

Memling Dawn, Louise Bourgeois, New York, USA, 1992

Khonsu Temple, Unknown, Luxor, Egypt, 12th Century BC

St Giles Catholic Church, Augustus Pugin, Cheadle, UK, 1841

Le Havre housing, Auguste Perret, Le Havre, France, 1945-1964

Havana Ka Khai, Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India, 7th-10th Century

Terminal Borders, Constantin Brancusi, Paris, France, 1945

Totem Odalisca, Ettore Sottsass, Milan, Italy, 1988

Drill bit columns, Jacques Herzog, Basel, Switzerland, 1983