Nikolai Aarre


The column, a banal shape. Its materials, mass-produced and cheap. This is how we often judge what is valuable in architecture. We look for elaborateness of form and rarity of raw ingredients. The result is buildings that proudly announce their uniqueness to the world, even if they are quietly removed twenty years later when fashion has changed. This project proposes an alternative view, one in which all materials are beautiful if treated with respect and attention to the detail.

Six columns, seemingly the same. Medical glass tubes and acrylic on polystyrene cubes. Look closer though. The pedestals have been cut with precision, so the acrylic bases slot in elegantly. The industrial plugs vary in shape and colour, like toys. This is not random. They make me smile, but the colours are also industrial code for their material qualities. The plugs have been placed by hand in the tubes, because each varies minutely in shape. The differing width of the tubes determines their luminescence. They can be gently moved, making the columns both strong and fragile at the same time. The transparency makes the construction readable, the joints visible.

Nothing is hidden, nothing is pretended, because nothing needs to be. Wouldn’t you like to see buildings like that?

Materials: glass, acrylic, rubber, silicone, nylon, aluminium, polystyrene