Michael Wilford: A Legacy in Colour

Partner Programme

18 — 22 Sept 2023

Architecture / Landscape, Materials

Sto Werkstatt

153 -157 Goswell Road



Through the lens of award-winning photographer Richard Bryant and the newly commissioned short documentary ‘Building in Colour’, this exhibition celebrates the legacy of Stirling Prize winner Michael Wilford CBE (1938 – 2023) and the future possibilities of materials and colour in architecture.

"The reason for introducing colour is actually to bring another dimension. To bring joy, delight, pleasure and to celebrate the fact that there are certain materials that can be coloured as distinct from the use of more natural materials" - Michael Wilford (Wilford, Michael, & Dillon, Niamh. (2010). Michael Wilford interviewed by Niamh Dillon (Part 7 of 11) (NLSC: Architects' Lives) Michael Wilford's flare for using vibrant hues to stimulate and engage, while also harnessing new possibilities of material production were articulated in the design of Sto's iconic campus nestled at the foot of the Black Forest in Germany. With pride and celebration, Sto share with the architecture community how this collaboration with Wilford in the 1990s came to embody Sto as a brand and lay the foundations for future generations of architects to be inspired and innovate with materials and colour. Alongside Sto's campus architecture, the exhibition features buildings including the Stirling Prize winning Music School in Stuttgart (1992-96), The Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart (1984), the Clore Gallery extension to Tate Britain, London (1985), Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts (1985), Temasek Polytechnic, Singapore (1991) and No. 1 Poultry, London (1996). "By exploring architecture through the eye of the lens, this exhibition give us the opportunity to pause and reflect on the unique moments when light interacts with the surface of materials and their colour. These moments form a legacy of colour as a design tool, on the part of Michael Wilford, and composition, framing and exposure in the case of photographer Richard Bryant. Yet these moments are also contemporary and evolving as explored in the cinematography of Alberto Balazs." - Amy Croft, Curator, Sto Werkstatt A pre-eminent architecture photographer of his generation, Richard Bryant has photographed projects for Zaha Hadid, Frank Gehry, David Chipperfield, James Stirling, and of course Michael Wilford. An honorary Fellow of the RIBA, his passion for architecture is evident in his work. It is only through this careful capturing of moments of time in the built environment, that allows ideas and inspiration to be brought to vivid life across generations and geographical locations. Alongside Bryant's photography, a new short documentary produced with cinematographer Alberto Balazs, will be screened in the gallery space throughout the week. Titled 'Building in Color', the film is inspirational, poignant and at moments divisive. It takes us through the processes, pitfalls and considerations architects face when designing with colour. Through conversations with colleagues of James Stirling and Michael Wilford; Chris Dyson (Founder, Chris Dyson Architects) and Manuel Schupp (Founder, Orange Blu) we gain insights into how colour was used in the studio. Designer Adam Nathaniel Furman shares the ways seeing the British Embassy (Wilford Schupp Architekten, 1994-2000) affirmed their own desires to use colour as an important tool within the design process, exploring cultural affinities with specific hues or palettes. "If you want to speak to an audience, if you want to create a sense of local identity, just like a country needs a flag. You kind of do need to start thinking about incorporating colour in a conscious way." - Adam Nathaniel Furman 'Building in Color', 2023. Material, texture, sheen and color are inseparable - the identity of a building becomes clear through an architect's choices in how these come together. Considered through the lifecycle of a building from design, occupation and legacy, we understand that achieving the right expression is tantamount to the success of a building. Sto's innovative materials and data driven color system compliment design ambitions with technical knowledge and rigorous testing, to offer possibilities, accuracy and longevity when 'building in colour'.