Maniera 14


Columbus Circles

The city of Columbus, Indiana, boasts a staggering number of architectural masterpieces: in a town of just 46,000 people, one can find more than fifty projects by renowned architects such as Eliel and Eero Saarinen, Robert Venturi, Harry Weese, Kevin Roche, I.M. Pei, Myron Goldsmith (SOM), Eliot Noyes, Roberts Stern, Alexander Ghirard, Edward Larrabee Barnes, Gunnar Birkerts and many more…. Exhibit Columbus celebrates this richness with several exhibitions.
MANIERA participates as one of five leading international design galleries in the Washington Street Installations: installations in public space for which each gallery has selected an innovative designer. MANIERA invited Mexican architecture firm PRODUCTORA, which inserts a series of circular elements attached to building facades along Washington Street, allowing pedestrians an unexpected place of rest along the street.
The installation is ispired by an urban intervention by Italian artist Mauro Staccioli, realized in the small town Martina Franca on occasion of the “Incontri” (Meetings) promoted by Lidia Carrieri and Enrico Crispolti in the fall of 1979. Although the artist originally envisioned a triangle of reinforced concrete, the structure was finally realized in steel with a brick infill and plastered with cement. The upturned triangle was wedged between two walls of a local pedestrian street, hindering the habitual passage of habitual passers-by. The sculpture by Staccioli embodies many of the concerns at PRODUCTORA: the firm’s buildings are often based on very basic geometric compositions and realized in honest local materials. The practice is interested in how specific architectural interventions can re-define, re-organize and give new meaning to the surrounding context. Our geometric, straight edged and brusque architectural proposals, are always steered by contextual concerns. There are there in order to re-shape the world around it.
Each of the ‘Columbus Circles’ interacts in a different way with the surrounding context, highlighting different stories, narratives and agents involved in the socio-historic composition of the streetscape. The formal alteration of the circular elements are a sort of contextual imprint, an abstract registration of an urban history.