David Adjaye’s Size & Matter installation, shown at this year’s London Design Festival, has sold at auction for £145 250.
The architect and product designer’s undulating tulipwood Sclera pavilion, created for the London Design Festival’s Size & Matter programme, sold at auction house Phillips de Pury’s contemporary art evening last weekend, in what was Adjaye’s first-ever showing at auction.
According to worldwide director of design at Phillips de Pury, Alexander Payne, the piece exceeded expectations.
Payne says, ‘It did phenomenally well, given it was Adjaye’s first opportunity ever to come on to the market. We had international interest, and the pavilion went to an important collector.’
Sclera’s predecessor – Urban Nebula by Zaha Hadid – last year sold in London for £311 200.
Payne says, ‘You can’t really compare the two [pieces]. Adjaye’s is completely different. Hadid was selling to an established market, and had a strong record at auction. This is a different structure and a different type of client.’
The Size & Matter programme, now in its second year, aims to explore the increasingly blurred boundaries between architecture, design, engineering and sculpture by matching a chosen material with an eminent designer or architect.
Adjaye selected tulipwood – supplied by the American Hardwood Export Council and deemed an under-appreciated and utilitarian wood – for its flexibility, strength and varying colour hues.
The 8x12m elliptical outdoor structure, divided internally by two chambers, is formed by varying lengths of timber alternating with open air, admitting light and enabling views of the sky and city.