‘The soft’ning wax, that felt a nearer sun, dissolv’d apace, and soon began to run.’
As part of the Group of 41's inaugural outing, CAN was asked to respond to one of 24 lines of Ovid's Daedulus and Icarus.
Throughout the day, wax Icarus' were slowly thrust towards a deep red heat lamp, where they met their fate and collected on the mirrored table below.
Mat Barnes | Nina-Shen Poblete
The design imbeds itself in its context, reflecting the eclectic history of the square back on its self. It plays on the square’s ecclesiastical past by using the church's technique of celebrating people and events through the use of Stained Glass.
Each of the three windows is dedicated to one of the square’s most influential people; John Newton, the clergyman who wrote ‘Amazing Grace’, Peter Durand, a merchant who invented the process of tinning and preserving food and lastly, Eddie Piller, the founder of the square’s first nightclub, The Blue Note, which signalled the tide of the creative industries to the area.
Mat Barnes | Eddie Blake | Photos + Film by Tamás Olajos
After a lifetime of flogging sterile white boxes, the failed modernist can finally rest amongst the ruins of their suppressed desires.
The Modernist’s Mausoleum allows them, in death, as in life, to maintain their austere modernist facade. The bleak and unadorned mausoleum that greets friends and family, is merely the wafer thin rear of a grand triumphal arch. Behind the nondescript door lays a heady mix of distorted and trippy columns. These all surround the grand Corinthian Casket.
To ensure the modernist’s eternal peace, two doric-faced cherubs, holding neon candles, keep guard.
Shortlisted entry for Monumental Masonry
Mat Barnes | Anna Lomax
The internal re-modelling of a 1960's semi to utilise its square plan and abundance of natural light.
The scheme hinges on the installation of a single I-beam opening the kitchen up to the rest of the ground floor. The kitchen takes it's ornamental cue from local train stations and the uniform brick of the surrounding garden estate.
The garden is concealed behind a full wall of baby pink latex.
A rooflight was added to bring light into the new bathroom with cupboards and niches set into a false wall.
The QR Island hides information in plain sight. It looks at the encroachment of technology and advertising on both the planet and our daily lives.
By creating a fictional man-made landform as a digital link to CAN's website it proposes the largest scale of advertising yet, one which can be read from a plane or google earth.
Exhibited at Dezeen Platform
Mat Barnes | Eddie Blake
CAN has been commissioned to design a single person dwelling for an artist on an extremely tight site in the Brookmill Conservation Area, Deptford.
The scheme is currently in planning.
A new artist studio for a sculptor and a printmaker nestled along a a small industrial mews in New Cross, London. An 18th century wash-house once sat on the site, long since demolished.
The two volumes represent the opposing scales of the artist's work, the industrial and the domestic. The tiled volume houses the smaller working areas as well as the kitchen and bathroom. The larger volume contains the large working area. Externally this presents itself as two separate studios. Internally, the two volumes are unified with the same material palette.
To maximise space with a limited budget the studio uses a combination of 'off the shelf' materials and materials the clients had accumulated from their practice. CAN looked to use these materials in such a way that elevated them from the ordinary to the ornamental, a common theme in CAN’s recent work.
The gabled forms take their cue from the generic industrial shed and the 18th century wash-house once located on the site. The tiled gables are ornamented with a double crow step. The volumes are off-set to create an external working area at the rear which also brings southern light into the kitchen through a set of double doors. Rooflights are arranged on the north facing pitches to bring diffused light into the studio.
Photography by Andy Stagg
A shock red tablecloth draped over an invisible podium formed CAN’s response to the RIBA's PewPerches competition.
The bench, only 13mm thick, seemingly hovers above the ground. The bench was installed in London Pleasure Gardens for the beginning of the London Festival of Architecture 2012 and is now a permanent addition.
Mat Barnes | Eddie Blake
With Thanks to Concrete Canvas
CAN have been commissioned to add a roof extension to a house in North London, with a brief to restrict views into the room from a neighbouring block of flats. The proposal includes a large arched window to the stairwell with a large roof-light directing the view from the room upwards. The view in is interrupted by vertical fins with detailing giving a nod to the gothic.
The ground and first floor extensions were completed by CAN's director whilst working for Paul Archer Design. The scheme is clad in black zinc.
Our shortlisted proposal tackles many of the problems with today's rental market by proposing a new housing typology, which sits within a new community.
Streets have houses fronting onto them with common civic fronts, creating a sense of place for the development. At the same time, because of the small changes in colour and design, each unit is different, and lets tenants feel ownership of their home. At the rear, a higgledy piggledy elevation, with room for customisation by tenants, overlooks a common garden that residents can use for playspaces and growing vegetables. The approach of using a civic front facade, with a changeable plan behind, maintains a suburban character to the terraced streets, yet allows flexible and “size-blind” units behind.
Within the development everything can be rented off the landlord of the estate, from work-space or street cars, to furniture packages and additional rooms. As part of the tenancy agreement, certain aspects of managing the development, such as street sweeping, are done by residents. Based on the number of hours a resident spends on development management, as well as how long they have rented their property for, they receive a rent reduction.
By arranging the units into blocks of 60 units, roughly 150 residents will use the communal garden, corresponding with Dunbar’s Number for the ideal number of individuals in a community. These communities will have their own social network to distribute unwanted furniture, excess vegetables and arrange events.
Mat Barnes | Eddie Blake | Office S&M
CAN, in collaboration with Nina Shen-Poblete, were asked to design a window installation for the RIBA's ‘Regent Street Windows project’.
Our window re-imagines the glazed street frontage of 76 Portland Place in a ghosted silhouette of the by-gone Georgian terrace. The ornate openings celebrate a lost street view but their un-ceremonious ‘blocking up’ reminds us of the impermanence of our city fabric and their layered stories. On closer inspection, the blocks reveal exquisitely ornamented surfaces that have been machine cut, using a process normally reserved for precious stone and marble. The humble breezeblock, once a ubiquitous building material has thus been framed, displayed and elevated as a high-end product.
The installation continues inside by framing the waiting area with a sofa made from squidgy foam breeze blocks, made in-house.
“If you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention.”
The KK Outlet invited CAN for a week long residency as part of its “What’s Next?” series. CAN called in five of their favourite collaborators to tackle the problem of representing and interpreting the global financial crisis of 2008 and its continuing effects.
The largest piece produced was a collaborative wallpaper mural, and the week ended with a public panel discussion debating the repercussions of the crisis for the youth of today.
Mat Barnes | Eddie Blake | Rebecca Gregory | Emma Mcdowell | Hugh Mcewen | Molly Lansman | Nina Shen-Poblete