anton medyna
Diploma 13

‘…They had better not have ornament at all than see it ill cut – deadly cut, that is. I cannot too often repeat, it is not coarse cutting, it is not blunt cutting, that is necessarily bad; but it is cold cutting – the look of equal trouble everywhere. …’

John Ruskin, ‘The lamp of Life’ ,1849

The main ambition of the project is to design a house that would accommodate a contemporary art collection where ornament will act as a mediator between the client’s individuality, her art and architecture as apposed to the contemporary notion of a ‘White Cube’ in which art exists in isolation.


The Sir John Soane Museum, located on the neighbouring site, is an influential example of the 19th century’s  fascination with an archaeological rediscovery of ornament and its modification in the age of industrial mass production. 

The focus of my ornament design is to restore an evolutionary development of ornament by returning to the classical motifs found in Soane’s collection and establishing its contemporary relevance through modern methods of production.

Complementing Mariele Neudecker’s work, I create an excavated version of the original cast in search of the jewel-like molecules of hematite.

Besides the large-scale excavation the acanthus scroll reappears as a graphic treatment on the surface of a molecule, which I execute using  niello technique used in decorating armour that gives molecules a weapon-like quality.
The lower floor and basement of the building will symbolise an archaeological excavation site. As one of the ruins I will partially reproduce the main dome space of the Soane Museum. An ornament that was previously exhibited as a hung object will now be carved out of the ground.

At this point ornament takes a form of construction mimesis, that resembles the construction process that never took place like in the Greek temple where marble ornament imitates the details of wood construction.In contrast to the in-situ cast space the prefabricated elements require higher level of precision to detail during the manufacturing process and so they are installed afterwards. For instance, this detail demonstrates a metal work of floor grille where the pattern is reproduced as cast metal cast grille for the floor light opening that presents an inverted version of the Soane's museum sky lights.
Ruskin reacted against the process of industrialisation that lead to Fordism, but now we are in age of mass customisation that is considered an improvement through variety of choice. However I would question this because I believe that what we are faced with is an illusion of choice that at its essence still carries the principles of standardised production. And I’m interested in finding a balance between the two to create a new ornament aesthetic.

The linear ornament uses extrusion of each rail profile that gradually morphed one into another  following their historic development. In contrast to the singular motif where profiles are uninterrupted here the radius is diminished, the degree where extrusion fails and profile gets squashed – at this point the customisation happen, through the failure of the industrial process.In contrast to the excavated world of archaeological findings I intend to contract an industrial governed world of steel as a product of Thyssen factory machine.

My ambition is to create a space that would give an impression of a heavy industrial world that would complement contemporary art.In the Industrial room art would be displayed on the movable platforms that can be rolled along the wall.From a catalogue of artworks owned by Thyssen family I have constructed the front façade of the building that symbolises the back of the canvases.

In contrast to the exterior the façade composition on the inside of each panel would be articulated with the brash strokes that will characterise a machine translation of the original paintings.