Few contemporary buildings demonstrate the purpose of their existence as effectively as Hawkins\Brown's newest scheme. Built to bring together lecturers, researchers and students previously based in separate buildings across Oxford's campus, its glass and steel exterior literally reveals the cutting-edge work being done in its interior -challenging the notion that laboratory walls should be opaque and secretive. The building includes an ambitious art project, Salt Bridges, which combines chemistry and design to illustrate the chaos and coincidence that so often shape scientific discovery. This volume features a fascinating critical introduction to the project, photographs of plans and models, contributions from the builder on the construction process, and conversations between architects, artists and scientists at the heart of the building's conception. The story of collaboration between seemingly disparate disciplines makes this monograph particularly appealing to those interested in the relationship between art, architecture and science.
Alex Coles is a London-based art critic and editor. He is the author of DesignArt (2005) and also numerous catalogue essays for Artangel, K21 and VITRA. He is the editor of Design and Art (2007). Edwin Heathcote is an architect, designer and writer living and working in London. He is the architecture and design critic for the Financial Times and the author of a dozen books on architecture and design. He co-founded the architectural hardware manufacturer ize in 2001 and is a contributing editor for Icon magazine. Professor Jane Rendell is Director of Architectural Research at the Bartlett, University College, London. An architectural designer and historian, art critic and writer, she is the author of Site-Writing: The Architecture of Art Criticism (forthcoming 2010) and Art and Architecture (2006).