Art or Architecture | A WAY OF MAKING is an exhibition of architectural models by noero architects, a practice based in Cape Town and active in our province as well other parts of the country. As part of First Thursday Cape Town, Jo Noero and his skilful team is exhibiting a set of models of projects from the last 10 to 15 years of practice.

Before opening the doors. Photo credits: Uno Pereira/Noero Architects

The name of the show underlines one of the issues that sprang the show itself. "Architecture has been marginalised as an art form, especially in South Africa for many years. You have artists that do artistic things, and you have architects that do other things, as if they are distinct activities. We believe that what we do is art, except that it has a social dimension attached to it, because we build it for other people and it is meant to be useful", says Jo Noero, founder of Noero Architects.

At the official launch, on the 1st March. Photo credits: Uno Pereira/Noero Architects

 

The focus of the exhibition is to challenge the viewer to look at these models not for their architectural ideas but for their beauty, similar to sculptures, art in their own right. 

"We believe that what we do is art, except that it has a social dimension attached to it, because we build it for other people and it is meant to be useful" says Jo Noero.  Photo credits: Uno Pereira/Noero Architects

Unlike other studios, noero architects build the models after the design, and sometimes the project, are completed. Moreover, these model represent portions of the project; since details cannot be incorporated in wooden models, the architects are forced to reduce the complexities of the design to its essence. The models take out the purpose and represent the form, getting viewers closer to the original idea than the technical sketch would.

In a way, we want to change the dictum, God is not in the details, God is in the architecture, and the architecture is what we should be aiming at
— Jo Noero, Noero Architects

We believe noero architects shed a different light on the architect' s world, with the models telling a story of charming shapes, solutions, views, injecting new life in what the structure used to be. The UWC Extensions model is a mesmerizing model, instantaneously recalling the shape of a musical instrument.

The viewer is compelled to admire the same model more than once, to absorb all the details and the beauty,

UWC Extensions. Picture credit: Evandro Schwalbach

The catalogue is on sale for R200, with 40% of the profit going towards the Tafle Huis, the project designed by noero architects for the Urban Xchanger in collaboration with BAU Architects and local Change Maker Hands of Honour.

Cobute and Geoplast are proud to be two of the sponsors of this exhibition, alongside de Villiers & Hulme Structural Engineers, Lighting Innovation Africa and Propertuity.

The visitors were enthused by the models. Photo credits: Uno Pereira/Noero Architects

Is it art or architecture?

Don't miss this exceptional exhibition, at The Architect, the pop-up gallery at Cape Institute for Architecture, until the 13th April. 

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