Gateways

 

Four 4*4 metre ceramic gateways in Granary Square, King's Cross, as the entrance feature for Design Junction, London Design Festival 2017. A collaboration with Turkish Ceramics.

 

"Gateways was intended to promote Turkish ceramics, but it far exceeded its brief, becoming the visual focus for the whole festival."

Will Wiles, Port Magazine, September 29th 2017

All photography by Gareth Gardner unless otherwise stated

^Photo by Hufton & Crow

From the Ishtar Gate of Babylon, the Safavid facades of Isfahan's Naqsh-e Jahan Square, and Sinan's divine Ottoman mosques, to the maiolica cloisters of Santa Chiara in Naples, the gothic terracotta of the soaring Woolworth building in New York, and the famous red glazed ceramic Underground Stations of London, ceramics have always been, and continue to be, both the most historic, resonant and traditional, as well as the most fresh, perpetually surprising, delightful and exciting of architectural materials. There is no other architectural treatment that has remained as fresh, relevant and cool as ceramics has from a thousand years BC, right through into the twenty-first century.

^Photo by Ruth Ward

^Photo by Hufton & Crow

^Photo by Hufton & Crow

^Photo by Hufton & Crow

^Photo by Andrew Matthews

^Photo by Andrew Matthews

^Photo by Ruth Ward

^Photo by Ruth Ward

^Photo by Ruth Ward

^Photo by Hufton & Crow

I adore tiles, and ceramics generally as a material give me great pleasure. I very much appreciate those tiles that are often easily ignored, but actually suffuse so many of our interiors, from those used in swimming pools, those used as splash-backs, and bathroom cladding, to flooring tiles that brilliantly emulate other materials, but with the sharp, mineral gleam that I so dearly love in porcelain and glazed stoneware. Tiles are normally kept to those kinds of uses these days, but in the past they have covered the facades of whole edifices, and been used as the primary decorative elements in great public buildings of state and civic architectures, from Sinan's mosques, to St George's Hall in Liverpool, London's Underground Stations, and the domes of Isfahan. In a minutely monumental way, Gateways brings together these traditions, of the monumental and the quotidien, celebrating the every day tile, and how delightful it can be when we look at it again, in a new environment, framed differently, with fresh eyes. Each gate does this, with a decorative scheme that relates to monumental ceramic architectures of different periods, from Classical Turkish, to 1970s subway station, to Edwardian town hall...

^Photo by Andrew Matthews

^Photo by Andrew Matthews

^Photo by Andrew Matthews

^Photo by Ruth Ward

^Photo by Andrew Matthews

Gateways was the headline item of the BBC evening news' coverage of the London Design Festival, as well as being featured prominently in the Guardian, Telegraph, Times, and numerous other media outlets. It was also shared to a very great degree on Social Media. Above is also coverage of Gateways on London Live.

Photo by Mark Cocksedge

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