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date: 15 December 2019

SITE [Sculpture In The Environment]locked

  • John F. Pile

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[Sculpture In The Environment]

American architectural and environmental art organization founded in 1970 under the leadership of James Wines (b 1932). Wines trained at Syracuse University, NY, in sculpture and art history, graduating in 1955. Other principals included Alison Sky, Joshua Weinstein, and Michelle Stone. The group’s main concern was an unconventional approach to the design of the modern urban and suburban environment. Wines coined the term ‘de-architecture’ to describe the work of the group, in which conventional architectural approaches are replaced by surprising, eccentric, occasionally humorous proposals that relate to art and other non-architectural forms of visual communication. SITE’s work first attracted attention in 1971 when the group was responsible for the design of a showroom for the Best Products company, known as the Peeling Building Project, at Richmond, VA. Best Products, a frequent client of SITE, is a chain retailer whose shops are large, box-like buildings that stand in suburban shopping centres surrounded by extensive parking lots. For the Richmond project, SITE developed an exterior treatment, in which the generally blank front wall of the building appears to be peeled away at one edge. Subsequent projects for Best Products have developed other strange, ambiguous, and disturbing treatments for the exteriors of the generally similar and otherwise anonymous buildings. Indeterminate Façade (...

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