Small Bites of Architecture, For Your Living Room
May 1, 2012
Historian Peter Blake referred to the furniture projects of modern architects–the “master builders” as well as their noble subjects–as excellent “guinea pigs” on which to test the same functional, aesthetic, and technical concepts that would inform the design of a building (a chair-to-skyscraper in Blake’s example), only “without going to any great [fiscal] expense.” Blake’s keen pragmatism outlines a heuristic practice of architecture, in which inchoate spatial thinking and sensitivity are honed through all manner of engagement or experimentation with the material world and from which can be extrapolated the concentrated “interaction” of these diverse, but very real factors. Where the modernists’ bent steel chairs and modular tables would prove analogical models to their innovative architectural systems, Atelier Takagi’s Range Life series reverses this relationship, literally condensing architecture into functional pieces of furniture.
The first in the series of “architecture-bites” features an extensive palette of materials, from Corian surfaces and blackened steel trusses to an American ash “floor” balanced on miniature I-beams. A small concrete column holds up the glass tabletop, while simultaneously forming the flow of the “interior” space, in which books, knickknacks, and other objects can be stored. According to Atelier Takagi, the miniature structures are “monumental when viewed from a child’s vantage point and fond memories of playing under coffee tables.”