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A MATERIAL APPROACH: Studio Seilern 'Light as a Building Element'

May 11, 2017 6:30 PM - 9:00 PMWerkstatt London
A MATERIAL APPROACH: Studio Seilern ‘Light as a Building Element’

'Light as a Building Element' presented by Christina Seilern, Principal at Studio Seilern Architects (SSA) was the second lecture in our ongoing series 'A Material Approach' focusing on architects’ use of materials. Christina Seilern, drew on examples from previous projects to illustrate the studio’s interest in the theme of structural lightness.


“Light is to architecture like pulse is to music, the witness of time, the metaphor of life. The artistic life of the building is expressed through the way it produces and modulates its light.”
—Christina Seilern

The illusion of hovering structures, which may lightly and delicately create shelter, has been explored at Studio Seilern in such projects as Wellington College, Gota Dam House and Lekki House. Allowing light to create form, or using light as building form, is a subject that has been developed over the years and explored through a variety of media, materials and craftsmanship.

This lecture offered a unique insight into the studio’s interest in structural lightness, spanning scale and function, tracing the concept from SSA’s ‘Wellington Bench’ (2016)—an item of gallery furniture showcased as part of the ‘Living with Art’ exhibition at the Albion Barn in conjunction with Frieze Art 2016 London—to Wellington College, where glass walls unveil the interiors of this Performance Art Centre, giving the timber cladding above a deceptive expression of weightlessness.

A Material Approach is series at Sto Werkstatt which spotlights the relationships between architects and materials. Each edition offers a fascinating insight into the mind of an architect and their creative process – how decisions are made around the specification of materials and how architecture informs and is informed by particular qualities of materials. Sto Werkstatt is an architects’ testing ground for a wide variety of building products and surfaces and the Sto team offer technical and creative support for architectural projects all around the world.

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