Peter Salter; Fenella Collingridge
Peter Salter’s and Fenella Collingridge’s exquisitely detailed and beautiful drawings describe a world and a sensibility which is often feared to be lost. This is a world where construction, craftsmanship, scholarship, sublime skill and invention are all inextricably linked. The sensual attention to the tiny detail, the hollowed profile of the chair for comfort, the bullnose edging to the table, the splices, flitches, welds, bolts, skateboard wheels, copper shoes, and felt blinkers, all come together to make what they describes as a space of intimacy for gossip and chat.
The piece presented in Venice is influenced by the traditional kissing-gate which allows people, but not livestock, to pass through, but it brings to mind works by Jean Prouvé and by Pierre Chareau, and the inventions, machines and drawings of Leonardo da Vinci. This exhibit is playful, the moving parts to be enjoyed, all designed to encourage social interaction. The tiny scale of the piece still manages to encapsulate the breadth and scope of architecture.
When we visited Salter + Collingridge’s recently completed Walmer Yard building in London we felt it to be a built testament to their position, a work of radical resistance to the contemporary pressure to obliterate craft. The building feels like a kind of contemporary medieval construct built with love and dedication, by uniquely creative and original architects.