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Sunday, 26 February 2017

Sacred Geometries and Circling the Square

St Stephen Walbrook features in two exhibitions during March. Sacred Geometries at Anise Gallery features the first time screening of Paul Raftery and Dan Lowe's latest film of St Stephen Walbrook, while, for Circling the Square, we have loaned our architectural model of St Stephen Walbrook to a RIBA exhibition exploring Mies van der Rohe's unrealised Mansion House Square project, alongside its built successor James Stirling Michael Wilford & Associates' No. 1 Poultry.

Inspired by trends in contemporary photography and the diverse writings of Plato, author Robert Lawlor and architectural historian Peg Rawes, Anise Gallery is marking its fifth birthday with an exhibition of photography based on themes found in the sacred geometries.

Geometry in aesthetics are unavoidable when traversing through the city, whether this is in grand scale such as skyscraper architecture, to the tiny backs of ladybirds. Intricate design can be located in both complex, constructed design patterns and in the minute details in nature. Aesthetics and mathematics come together in geometry, and have done since ancient Egypt, where geometrics were viewed as a visual manifestation of law and order. Later in ancient Greece, they had sacred and scientific properties in helping to solve earthly mysteries.

Through the curation of an exhibition of film from Paul Raftery and Dan Lowe, and photography by Dennis Gilbert, Doublespace, Fernando Guerra, Hélène Binet, Hufton and Crow and Jim Stephenson, Anise Gallery hope to inspire and instigate a conversation surrounding Sacred Geometries (9 March - 15 April). In collaboration with Miniclick an evening of short talks and discussion will take place on 6 April 2017.

Mies Van Der Rohe and James Stirling: Circling the Square is at The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) from March 8 – June 25 2017. The exhibition is open Monday - Sunday 10am to 5pm and Tuesdays 10am to 8pm.

The exhibition sees the projects presented together for the first time, offering a unique opportunity to trace the continuity in purpose and approach that unites two seemingly dissimilar architectural creations.

Commissioned by architectural patron and developer Lord Peter Palumbo, Mies van der Rohe designed his proposal for Mansion House Square at the very end of his career, between 1962 and his death in 1969. After a protracted planning process, the scheme was finally rejected in 1985. Lord Palumbo then approached James Stirling, to conceive an alternative vision for the site. James Stirling, Michael Wilford & Associates' No. 1 Poultry was completed in 1997, two years after Stirling’s untimely death. It is often cited as a masterpiece of the post-international style and has recently been awarded Grade II* listed status; while it still divides opinion, the building was designed with an acute understanding of both its historic surroundings and Mies's earlier design.

The exhibition features newly restored models and materials about the Mies' scheme on loan to the RIBA by Lord Palumbo, along with significant items from the No. 1 Poultry archive.


Pierce Pettis - Gravity & Grace.

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