Pezo von Ellrichshausen designs a building made up of 100 circles

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Pezo von Ellrichshausen designs a building made up of 100 circles

Chilean architects Mauricio Pezo and Sofia von Ellrichshausen are presenting a concept for a megastructure built from 100 overlapping circular enclosures, as part of an exhibition in the Czech Republic (+ slideshow).

Infinite Motive project by Pezo von Ellrichshausen as part of the exhibition Finite Format at the Gallery of Contemporary Art in České Budějovice

Pezo von Ellrichshausen worked with architecture students from the Technical University of Liberec on the project Infinite Motive, which imagines a sprawling architectural structure made from circles in a wide variety of sizes.

Infinite Motive project by Pezo von Ellrichshausen as part of the exhibition Finite Format at the Gallery of Contemporary Art in České Budějovice

It is one of two works on show at the Gallery of Contemporary Art/House of Art in České Budějovice as part of the exhibition Finite Format.

Infinite Motive project by Pezo von Ellrichshausen as part of the exhibition Finite Format at the Gallery of Contemporary Art in České Budějovice

According to the architects, the aim of the project was to investigate the capacity for architectural experimentation when constrained to a single repeating element – in this case, the circle.

Infinite Motive project by Pezo von Ellrichshausen as part of the exhibition Finite Format at the Gallery of Contemporary Art in České Budějovice

The duo have produced a series of drawings exploring this, both in configurations of 10 and 100 circles. They have also built a large scale model out of cardboard, which forms a centrepiece for the exhibition.

Infinite Motive project by Pezo von Ellrichshausen as part of the exhibition Finite Format at the Gallery of Contemporary Art in České Budějovice

The seemingly random arrangement of the shapes demonstrates the scope of room shapes and sizes possible, despite the original constraint. Some are still round, others are crescent shaped, but the majority are much more complex.

The sense of scale is emphasised by a series of doorways cut through the walls, as well as by the addition of figurines.

Infinite Motive project by Pezo von Ellrichshausen as part of the exhibition Finite Format at the Gallery of Contemporary Art in České Budějovice

The project can be seen as a continuation of the architects' ongoing interest in architecture that adheres to a strict geometry. Examples of this include their strictly gridded Casa Meri and the symmetrical Casa Pezo.

"We believe the beauty of vernacular architecture resides in its unapologetic sense of naiveté, in its fragile sense of ingenuity, of being 'unaware of itself', intuitive, primitive, innate, almost a sheer product of natural commandments, an instinct," said Pezo and von Ellrichshausen.

Infinite Motive project by Pezo von Ellrichshausen as part of the exhibition Finite Format at the Gallery of Contemporary Art in České Budějovice

"But architecture is far from that original innocence," they added. "It is in fact an explicit opposition to nature."

"Architecture is a product of reason; it is an artefact, a more or less intentional device. While nature is somehow given, architecture is constructed by motives, purposes, by artificial orders."

Infinite Motive project by Pezo von Ellrichshausen as part of the exhibition Finite Format at the Gallery of Contemporary Art in České Budějovice

Infinite Motive is presented alongside a second work – comprising two collections of 243 paintings. Both sets of images show a simple rectilinear volume incrementally adapted into a variety of different forms.

Infinite Motive project by Pezo von Ellrichshausen as part of the exhibition Finite Format at the Gallery of Contemporary Art in České Budějovice

Mauricio Pezo and Sofia von Ellrichshausen established their architectural studio in 2002 in Concepción, Chile. Their own house and studio is a seven-storey tower with rough concrete walls and a complex layout.

"Over more than 10 years, the architects have created a remarkably concise body of work, with a distinctive signature style, independent of the latest trends, and with a clear eye towards designing structures imbued with enduring value," said the gallery's chief curator, Michal Škoda.

Infinite Motive project by Pezo von Ellrichshausen as part of the exhibition Finite Format at the Gallery of Contemporary Art in České Budějovice

"The work of Pezo von Ellrichshausen can be described as possessing a clear signature style, one that is based on simple geometry and is not subject to any design trends or the latest special technologies," he added.

"The aforementioned absence of design is considered an important factor, for good architecture is not about appearances but should ensure that we have the best possible experience from the space."

Infinite Motive project by Pezo von Ellrichshausen as part of the exhibition Finite Format at the Gallery of Contemporary Art in České Budějovice

The exhibition continues until 19 November 2015. It is supported by the Czech Ministry of Culture and the Embassy of the Republic of Chile.