‘Supermodels: An exhibition of super architectural models by Piercy&Company’ celebrates the art of architectural model-making. In late 2022 at Kings Cross, the carefully curated exhibition instals eight softly-lit, moving and animated models, offering a behind the scenes look into the architectural design process.

Piercy&Company describe the exhibition as representing the distillation of 20 years of the studio’s design thinking around the importance of the haptic, sensory and experiential in architecture. The mechanical automata, projection, sound, light and scent employed in Supermodels are not the everyday techniques and products of an architectural project. Rather, they are a creative body of work and an experiment in how far the model can be pushed as a tool for communicating architectural ideas. Each super model is based on a building by Piercy&Company – some built, some unbuilt – and abstracted to capture the kernel of the idea behind the building. The ‘coming alive’ of the models through film, sound and movement plays into the mysterious allure of objects with a miniature life of their own.

The exhibition’s specialist lighting design was composed by architectural lighting studio 18 Degrees, with lighting equipment courtesy of Reggiani. The lighting is immaculately staged with extreme precision, and a deliberately minimalist and industrial aesthetic, to further draw visitors into Piercy&Company’s temporary space of architectural thinking and making. 18 Degrees’ lighting design strategy and selective use of narrow beam spotlights, reflect the dramatic exhibition space and the language of construction works — a key concept of Piercy&Company’s exhibition concept and a continued celebration of the utilitarian economy of the building site.

One of the key challenges was to illuminate the models without detracting from the internal lighting within the models themselves. Consistent with the overall concept for the exhibition, this was achieved through lots of trial and error, aiming, focusing and shaping the beam and tweaking until it was just…. perfect.

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