Somewhere Other is a rich reflection on the ideas and design philosophy embedded within the practice of John Wardle Architects (JWA), one of Australia’s foremost contemporary architectural practices.
The book has been released to coincide with the opening of John Wardle Architects’ Australian Pavilion at the 2018 Biennale Architettura, Venice. In a centre piece essay, John Wardle reflects on the layers of inspiration, motivation and processes that produced the pavilion, expertly pulling together ideas from geometry, Venetian glass-making to Australian modernist painting.
Far more than an exhibition catalogue, this publication is especially illuminating on the role of portals, thresholds and framed views as they apply to a number of JWA’s recent works. These motifs and others are explored in essays by Max Delany, Artistic Director and CEO of Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, and Rory Hyde, Curator of Contemporary Architecture and Urbanism at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
The book’s accompanying photo essays take the reader on a rare tour behind the scenes of the construction of the pavilion. These show the work of contractors, Jacaranda Industries, Tensys and Derek John and inside the studio of Murano glass masters as they coax shape into a intensely red orb.
Other photo essays explore the works of optical artist Natasha Johns-Messenger and film-makers Coco and Maximilian, whose works feature in the Australian Pavilion. Installation photographs of a Johns-Messenger’s exhibition confuse any viewer who is not paying attention, while the clever spilt images of Coco and Maximilian dynamically capture JWA’s buildings.