Archaeology of the Air,
Navado Press Trieste,
2004

 

Archaeology of the Air, Kester Rattenbury

O’Donnell + Tuomey’s buildings operate as individuals – as the sorts of individuals one knows and engages with personally. Individuals with surprising capacities, unexpected charms, powerful affections, and strenghts of personality which are not immediately apparent. The whole body of the work, though, adds up to form something else: a broader culture, which is not confined to architecture. I’m not surprised that they find Heaney and Auden as relevant to their work as Stirling or Rossi. In a way – and without having to cross disciplines or produce anything but architecture – their work ignores the fabricated boundaries of what architecture is thought to be, engaging in a wider world – of the vernacular and the high canon, of weather, and views, and people, and work and ideas, and materials, and old buildings, and new developments, of tourism and journeys and reading by lamp-light, of places that people recognise and imagine and use.