03 Nov Fairy Tale Architecture to Open at the Center for Architecture in New York
The Center for Architecture is excited to present Fairy Tale Architecture, opening on Friday, November 11, 2022, at 6:00 pm. The exhibition, curated by Andrew Bernheimer, FAIA, Principal, Bernheimer Architecture, and author Kate Bernheimer (a brother and sister team), presents speculative designs inspired by the imaginative realms of literary fantasy.
Melding art, architecture, and literary critique, Fairy Tale Architecture invites viewers to explore fantasy spaces inspired by fictional works. The exhibition presents designs by 12 design and architecture firms, each commissioned to spatially interpret their favorite stories—from Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen” to Jorge Luis Borges’s “The Library of Babel”—relying on techniques including model-making, photography, diagrams, mapping, and digital modeling to make the stories inhabit architectural space. Images are supplemented with interviews between Kate Bernheimer and the designers, providing further insight into their influences and approaches.
“For architects, the creative process involves a lot of imagination and sometimes even some fantasy,” says Benjamin Prosky, Assoc. AIA, Executive Director, AIA New York | Center for Architecture, “as they create spaces that are guided by the ambitions, aspirations, and dreams of their clients.
As Kate Bernheimer writes, “My brother and I dreamed up this project many years ago. We began to work together on fairy-tale spaces. I wrote stories and he designed them. From there, for fairy tales are a communal art form, it felt only natural to invite transnational architects to take their favorite tales and explore them through visual representations. Through this project we explore how the architectural language of plan, section, detail, or perspective adds to the literary language of setting, scene, image, and point of view. We consider the mechanics of transformation. We delight in this dual language of architecture and fairy tales—psychic, figurative, prosaic, and new.”
The exhibition, designed by Once–Future Office, is based on an ongoing series Bernheimer & Bernheimer embarked upon in 2008, inspired by their own collaborations in fiction and architecture. Expanded essays and designs for the works on view, along with additional stories and designs, can be found in the series “Fairy Tale Architecture,” commissioned by Places magazine, and in the book Fairy Tale Architecture (ORO Editions, 2020).
“For architects, the creative process involves a lot of imagination and sometimes even some fantasy,” says Benjamin Prosky, Assoc. AIA, Executive Director, AIA New York | Center for Architecture, “as they create spaces that are guided by the ambitions, aspirations, and dreams of their clients. This is why Fairy Tale Architecture is such a wonderful show for the Center for Architecture to host. The featured designers were asked to lend their own interpretations to well-known tales, resulting in the marvelous pieces in the show. For visitors who may be familiar with the work of the Brothers Grimm, but less familiar with the work of architects, I hope that this exhibitions offers another way to connect with the craft of design and recognize the many talents of the architectural community.
Fairy Tale Architecture will be on view November 11, 2022 – February 25, 2023.