In His First Work of Architecture — A Country HQ for Kvadrat — Thomas Demand Takes Inspiration From the Page
Known for his highly nuanced, opaque, anything-but-straightforward photographs of cinematically lit, full-scale sets made of paper, artist Thomas Demand’s latest project is an incredibly literal work of architecture that appears like a paper construction. The pavilion — done in partnership with Caruso St John Architects as part of the textile manufacturer Kvadrat’s headquarters in coastal Ebeltoft, Denmark — follows, as the artist says “the logic of paper.”
Demand’s work is typically conceptually rigorous and at times challenging. A beautiful series of photographs that captures full-sized cherry blossom trees, for example, proves darker than the cheery pink shade may connote, as the works quote a detail from a news photo of the munitions-filled home of the deadly Boston Marathon Bomber. His photographs of trompe l’oeil paper sets, which are destroyed after the photograph is completed, question the “construction” of truth in media and society.
Demand eschews the thought-provoking in favor of the playful for his first-ever architectural project. The pavilion is divided into three sections, each taking on the form of folded paper. The performance area in the shape of an oblong lozenge with pointed ends is meant to mimic a paper soda-jerk hat. The gabled roof of the meeting space appears like a sheet of yellow legal notepad paper—complete with blue lines and 3-hole punches—that has been folded and tented. The area that houses a kitchen and dining space takes on the appearance of a fluted paper plate, the flimsy kind that never quite holds your food. Demand is in on the joke, as he has titled the building “Triple Folly.”
Demand’s “Triple Folly” building joins a campus filled with artworks by artists like Olafur Eliasson, along with an impressive roster of worldwide collaborations by the brand with names such as renowned architect David Adjaye, 2017 Venice Biennale Golden Lion recipient Anne Imhof, Arthur Jafa, Pipilotti Rist, Larry Bell and more.