- Wentz + Blackhaus
Architecture of Silence is a creative collaboration between home design studio Wentz and multi-disciplinary firm Blackhaus. The unique endeavour exhibits Wentz’s furnishings and homeware accessories in a design showcase utopia. The surroundings enhance the brand’s products, forming a kind of super-stylish and ultra-cozy gallery. According to Wentz, the collaboration is intended to:
Showcase the Wentz Collection in a serene environment, blurring the lines between reality and imagination.
The venture is an exceptional example of how to showcase products, and aligns perfectly with the brand’s commitment to forward thinking design.
The ‘silence’ component of Architecture of Silence refers to the stillness and sense of clam exuded in the campaign. When viewing the various displays, one is transported away from the challenges of ordinary space to a near-perfect environment. Here, every object is placed with careful calculation, and every surface is designed to amplify the surrounding objects. It is a far cry from the normal tug of war of architecture, where functional constraints and the reality of existing sites are often barriers to overcome through design. In Architecture of Silence, these barriers have been removed, and one is free to experience great design in a completely untarnished way.
The structure of the space is quite unique in the way it ties together various forms. Arched doorways, staircases, raised platforms, and curvilinear ceilings are all represented. In a traditional home this array might come across as excessive or impractical, but in this project the structure feels entirely effortless.
The mix of form is balanced by the restrained use of materials and colour. The stairs are composed of a warm tan terrazzo which ties together the neutral paint colours used throughout. The only other colour imparted in the space comes from Wentz’s products, allowing the pieces on display all the more room to shine.
In the centre of the showcase, a living room scene is set beneath an overwhelming curved ceiling. A long sofa and circular rug mirror the ceiling above. Behind the scene, a staircase rises monumentally into the beyond. The result is a captivating experience that seems to invite the viewer closer while giving off a slightly intimidating air, like viewing a painting and being warned to not get too close.
Another display shows a black dining table and chairs atop a high platform. The table is secluded and chairs empty, yet a bowl and glass of water suggest that the space may have been just vacated. This set-up is a lovely example of how Architecture of Silence allows the imagination to run away. The displays are set in reality, yet just absurd enough to blur the lines.
In a particularly powerful moment, wall sconces bookend a curved archway. A sort of hallway leads to a scene beyond, where more steps support a chair and delicate side table. At first one is simply struck by the beautiful symmetry of the display, but the longer the gaze the more something seems off. Where do the stairs lead to, and why is the chair blocking access to them? The answer is not important. In Architecture of Silence, it is much more about raising the question.