When Architecture Meets Art

by | 21. Jul 2016


Some say Architecture is the mother of all arts while others say that it is just the slowest. But what happens when Art and Architecture collide? In this summer article we bring you some of the most interesting collaborations between artists and architects to see what happens when the explosive responsiveness of art combines with the reserved permanence of architecture.

A House For Essex

A House for Essex is designed by UK artist, Grayson Perry, and FAT Architecture. It is both an artwork in itself and the setting for a number of works by Grayson Perry exploring the special character and unique qualities of Essex. The building has been designed to evoke a tradition of wayside and pilgrimage chapels. It belongs to a history of follies, whilst also being deeply of its own time.

Serpentine Pavilion 2012

The 2012 Serpentine Pavilion was a collaborative effort between Swiss architects, Herzog and de Meuron, and Chinese artist, Ai Weiwei. The Serpentine Pavilion is usually reserved as a design opportunity for architects that have never built within the UK. Herzog and de Meuron, who are responsible for London’s highly lauded, Tate Modern, were able work around this rule through their collaboration with Ai Weiwei. Their design took visitors beneath the surface of the Serpentine’s lawn to explore the history of the previous pavilions in this archeological inspired pavilion.


Inspired by the ethereal northern lights and the dramatic Icelandic scenery, the Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre, or Harpa, was the result of a close collaboration between Danish firm, Henning Larsen Architects, and Danish-Icelandic artist, Olafur Eliasson.

Light and transparency are key elements in this building and the geometric facade, which are comprised of twelve-sided space-filled modules, captures and reflects light which causes the building to dematerialise into the surrounding scenery.

Brisbane Airport Carpark

This 5000 sq.m kinetic facade is a collaboration between North American artist, Ned Kahn, and Australian firm, HASSELL covering a parking structure at Brisbane Airport. The facade is composed of 250,000 hinged aluminium panels that sway in the breeze and create a never static surface that is constantly distorted by nature.

Watch the video to see this amazing structure in action.



Steilneset Memorial, Vardø

The Steilneset Memorial in Norway was designed to honor the 135 victims that were burned during the witch hunts during the 16th and 17th centuries. This monument was designed by Swiss architect, Peter Zumthor, and French artist, Louise Bourgeois. A slender scaffolding structure supports a 125m suspended silk cocoon.


Teshima Art Museum

Often described by architects as the most beautiful space in the world, the Teshima Art Museum by Ryue Nishizawa (one half of SANAA), and artist Rei Naito, is an undulating concrete shell that draws the line of absolute minimalism. This organic architecture which is composed of only free curves creates a harmony with the surrounding hillside as it appears to be an extension of the surrounding landscape.

Related posts