Andrew Clancy, Colm Moore
Only six drawings of Kay Fisker’s Hornbækhus survive: a plan, bursting at the margins of the page; two meticulously drawn elevations; and three sheets composed of window and door details at various scales. These sheets chronicle the making of a city as a conversation between strategy and detail. Their economy and precision describing the minimum required to enable inhabitation. The Hornbækhus makes a generous architecture of minimal means. It is an architecture of infrastructure. The extended line of its facade marks a territory within which a community has been graciously drawn together. Its success resides in the calibration of its architecture – the careful articulation of various elements.
For us, this attitude lies most potently in the treatment of the building’s facades. Although massive, its external facades are gentle with the windows that face the city expressed forward, accompanied by generous bands of plaster. These catch the light and dematerialise the large brick walls. In doing so this facade becomes a drawn curtain joined at each of its sharp corners by stone seams. It is hung from a cornice emphasising its character as a taut fabric addressing the city. In contrast its internal face is defined by windows that are gently recessed. A stronger face is made to the more intimate enclosure. The internal corners of this communal room are chamfered to make its embrace more complete.
Our proposal remakes this architecture of relief in three fragments representing the essence of the Hornbækhus. The form of these pieces describes the different corner conditions of the block. Whilst their surface articulation, both inside and outside, is drawn from the building’s different facades.
The viewer is invited to use these fragments as chairs to sit and read a book we have prepared on Fisker with our students. These three chairs represent the minimum means required to make a community.
Clancy Moore Architects