Reflections from Exposure. – A beautiful exhibition of beautiful places.

Coffey Architects Exposure book

My wife and I had the pleasure of attending the launch of Phil Coffey’s ‘exposure’ exhibition at the RIBA. A collection of photographs and models capturing ten years his architecture and the 60 countries he had visited. It was a beautiful exhibition full of beautiful places. Rarely have I seen work that is so beautifully composed. I have reflected much on beauty since.

Life is beautiful, creation is beautiful, occasionally man made things are beautiful but here is my thought. A beautiful life is rarely made by beautiful things. That is the great dichotomy for architecture and architects. We must strive to discover the order of life in our creating. Architecture, at its best, is not the order of art. We must find how to express and contain the beauty of life.

A beautiful house is filled with the beauty of creation and not primarily beautiful things. For us, light and views are our primary objects of desire. Filled with light and creation, architecture might hope to contribute in some small way to the creation of a beautiful life. We must be careful not to assume that the creation of beautiful architecture is like the creation of beautiful things. It is after all the container for life and we must allow real life, in all it’s complexity, to enter in.

There was much that was beautiful at the Exposure exhibition but the most beautiful of all came home with me!