Archive: Frieze Academy Art & Architecture Conference presents Ellen Van Loon, Shigeru Ban

Since early days, Cork Street Galleries has enjoyed a partnership with Frieze Academy’s Art & Architecture Conference. In 2018, the summit’s third iteration took place at Mayfair’s The Royal Institution, a short walk from the street that introduced major art movements to the UK.

Hosted by award-winning critic and author Alice Rawsthorn, leading art and architecture protagonists met a rousing set of questions: to what extent are cultural buildings public spaces? And what function do museums and galleries have beyond exhibiting art?

Ellen Van Loon, in conversation with Alice Rawsthorn

Ellen Van Loon suggests that architecture is not fixed, it can be manipulated. The OMA partner’s design for the Casa da Música in Porto is celebrated as iconic, and she is leading The Factory, a 13,500 sq ft world class cultural space set to be permanent home of the Manchester Infernational Festival. OMA is recognised for its idea exploration, as seen through a long-running association with Prada. “When it comes to what we do in architec-ture, collaging uses, collaging functions, making directions, I don’t know any architect who does that, really,” she considers. “I think that is something that is really our own.”

Shigeru Ban

Shigeru Ban wants to build monuments loved by people. “I wanted to open the museum to the public as much as possible,” he explains. “Because if a museum is totally open physi-cally, people who are not intending to come can come very easily.” His firm’s cultural pro-jects include Fujinomiya’s Mt Fuji World Heritage Centre and La Seine Musicale, a music and arts centre on an island just outside of Paris, both of which opened in 2017. The Pritzker-prize winning architect recently completed the Tainan Museum of Fine Arts in Taiwan’s oldest city. It spans a 1930s police station and a new structure.