Have you ever walked down the street you live on and then suddenly noticed something that you had never seen even though it had been there for as long as you have? Perhaps an interesting door or the sliver of sky with the moon poking through? We often go through life with blinkers on not noticing what is right before our noses. An installation by Dutch architecture office Paul Scales and French architecture and design studio Atelier Kit have framed bits of Montpellier’s architecture to help open our eyes.
Reframe formed part of the “Festival of Living Architecture” under the theme “Surprise.” And surprise it does. From the outside, the installation seems nothing more than a modernist cube stuck in the courtyard of one of Montpellier’s ancient monuments. It is when you walk around it that you find the seemingly solid shape is made up of cut sheets of 16 mm multi-wall polycarbonate and held together with steel plumbing pipes. The cutouts line up to frame details of the building and people behind, changing as the observer walks around Reframe. Along one axis, the frame expands and bends along the way creating and effect like when characters go back in time or to another dimension in an 80’s movie. Another dimension discovered by local kids is how people can interact with the different layers, making it a favorite for group pictures. The sheets were cut to size in Rotterdam and assembled on site.
Unfortunately, the festival is over but Reframe is for available for rent by Paul Scale Studio. Perhaps the idea should instead be repackaged in sunglasses so that we can all reframe our worlds. Photos here are by Paul Kozlowski.