Show: Hyperbolic Paraboloid Roof, Single Colour Offset Print. Mass Observation.
Tell: “The Hyperbolic Paraboloid Roof is a continuously loaded, double curved, self-supporting structure. This particular structure has had a profound effect on me since childhood; when passing it on the A1 I was always fascinated by the unusual form of it.
“When I researched this modernist structure further I became fascinated by the story of the architect and his practice. Samuel Scorer could be described as a pioneer in the field of Hyperbolic Paraboloid structures, cited by many of his peers as ‘a figure of national importance’ yet despite this; it’s hard to find much reference of his work anywhere. He remains relatively unknown.
“It sits on the sound bound carriage way of the A1 at a place called Markham Moor, near Retford. It was built in 1959 and was originally conceived as petrol station, thirty years later the original shell roof was built under and turned into a Little Chef restaurant, which is currently due for closure along with a further 66 sites.
“This method of recording them in such a matter of fact ways serves to encourage the viewer to re-evaluate them, consider them in more detail. This is furthered achieved by adopting principles from our underlying ethos in print, using materials, technique and process to further the idea of the project. Here we have used a single colour pantone as a way of drawing more focused attention to the particular structure, the print technique, paper and scale is also a means of giving an archival quality to work, furthering the notion that these structures might not be around for long, addressing the passage of time.
“Part of the ethos of my published output is to investigate the mechanics of the built environment, this weathered, tired and neglected structure, as it sits today, to me remains a very visible symbol of the lesser known slipping into obscurity. How the landscape is rich with these fascinating structures and architects.”
Words: Theo Simpson
Info: Mass Observation was formed in 2011 by Theo Simpson and Ben Mclaughlin, operating a practice which encompasses art direction, graphic design and photography. Hyperbolic Paraboloid Roof is printed in an edition of 100 and is available from the Mass Observation website.
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