The Centre of Attention homepage

the centre of attention

Charles F Pigott




The post hoc or logical error requires arguing that the space of Sutton Scarsdale Hall can fall in line with time to offer the possibility of a space for curation, is as much to accept that since it has fallen into the state of a ruin, has not also the condition of art fallen towards a similar fate. The desire for this level of repair is more a repatriation with both the architecture and the community, reinstating a place for the enquiry towards the initial breaking of its ground, that would now set this structure as a pavilion in the landscape occupying a focussed future framed by its reconsidered past.



Sutton Scarsdale Hall Derbyshire


The instilled thoughts that condition art are very much the same vocabulary that can influence architecture and it is to this aim that the proposal centres. The work supports the echo that reverberates within the space of Sutton Scarsdale Hall and with such interprets the necessary parameters that can carry a pavilion of postcontemporary curating. Freedom is implicit to be in place in the understanding of the mind of the end user and this is what must be taken away, allowing the space to draw it sense of reason for both the work it displays for the visitor and what it presents as a void to the artist. To this end the work attempts to provide an environment of endless possibilities that become the field for curation and a further glimpse into the mind that architecture orchestrates for the curator.


Charles Pigott proposal



The plan consists of an open environment with canted and straight columns rising to a 3 metre grid. The exterior wall of the hall is enclosed with glass internally and locates the necessary fire stairs, goods lift and formal circulation to the raised pavilion. The intention is to imagine a free space punctuated by the vibrant columns to allow all desired functions to be removed of enclosure, with the existing structure of the hall to be the backdrop for the prospective curated activities and be developed as a part of using the Hall. Direct light is present from all aspects within this ground environment and thus includes shadow to which the upper pavilion will be in denial of such parameters. Function dictates a paradigm within the mind of the curator with what is given.



Ground floor plan



The pavilion itself is lit purely by north light from its saw tooth roof, especially desired by artists. The exterior wall allows diffused light to pass through the applied text to the walls removing natural shadow. The pavilion is split into two, allowing a formal foyer space to co-exist with the square gallery that allows an open space to be interpreted for the curatorial function around a 6 metre grid of cruciform columns. The gallery, much like an open plan office locates the necessary services of fire stairs and goods lift and would make fit for an environment where the very act of using the space with walls and enclosures would be free enough to co-exist with the curatorial procedure that the building will envisage and embody the ethics of centre of attention.



Upper Floor plans



East View
The shell of the building is preserved allowing for a glass enclosure to seal all the openings up to the soffit of the underside of the pavilion. The canted structure is clearly visible as a panoply of colour from within the Hall. This supports the deep slab of the pavilion to later co-ordinate services and provide an artificial horizon that the pavilion rests on. The exterior wall of the pavilion is a series of layers of diffused glass with words adhered to the surface that imply the unspoken thoughts that dictate the function of the curatorial space. The text exists on a but the north façade to allow the best quality north light to be present in the foyer. The building can now be read within the landscape as an open book allowing the classical language of the Hall to be perceived as a surface that has articulated a vocabulary that can be read within the space of time. The readability of the text only supports this issue within a society that has misconstrued the values that the history of architecture can imply and in turn inform to a populous intent on constructing culture on its own terms. The responsibility of the curator is to become a medium between the building and its function and forge a future.



East view of the Hall


The proposal is self evident in terms of preserving the shell and the remaining interior structural walls of the Hall and inserting a columnar raised pavilion as the attic enclosure to the existing structure, that offers a chaotic polychromatic environment for the end user to occupy in-between. There are no intermediary floors between the ground level and the underside of the pavilion, only being punctured by stairs, lifts and services.


Section view of Sutton Scarsdale


An up-stand and new floor are added to the interior to extend the sill of the existing windows and offer a site to locate the extent of the new external glass skin. The colourful canted columns are clearly visible as they are juxtaposed with the given orthogonal geometry of the Hall that will only enhance the prospective functional use of the intentions as proposed by the curator. It is at this level that shadow enters the building as a frame to the light that the raised pavilion offers its own curatorial response.


Section view of the Hall



Interior view


North West View
Visible here is the service yard and north entrance to the Hall that preserves the formal aspect to the building by following the rectilinear with square upright columns as seen through the external glass enclosure. The north façade of the pavilion preserves the aspect of the saw tooth roof and is finished below in diffused glass without the presence of text. The words applied to exterior wall of the pavilion are integral to the thoughts of the end user and offer an insight into the curatorial approach that instils both architecture and art. To this end the proposal for a pavilion of post contemporary curating is an open script that plays between the approach to vocabulary that the architect is intent on describing, that in its history has offered decay as a solution, to which it is my concern to eradicate in order to describe a future where time is no longer present, but a distant memory embodied by the presence of space.


North West view of Sutton Scarsdale Hall