Heather Roberge's En Pointe, an array of architectural objects, reflects on the historical and spatial significance of the column as both object and series. Inspired by the hypostyle hall, En Pointe is a group of columns poised on blade-like fulcrums defining dynamic spaces below. To achieve a balanced state, the mass and silhouette of each column is eccentrically distributed to stabilize its adjacent columns. While unstable individually, the columns enter a state of poise when grouped. 

En Pointe challenges qualities long associated with structural and visual stability proposing alternative distributions of force and material and with these, reconfigured spatial experiences. In conjunction with this full scale installation, the exhibit features an extensive collection of historical and contemporary case study projects highlighting the column’s role in architectural innovation. This genealogy reveals changing notions of space in architecture and provokes thoughtful speculation on the nature of the column. 

The exhibition proposes an active engagement with history as a robust reservoir of insight into the nature of the column. It presents a historiography of the column that does not aim to be a conclusive nor an exhaustive survey but rather a particular genealogy intended to speculate on the relationship of the column to disciplinary notions of space and material. The installation draws on these insights to cross-pollinate historical cases with one another to propose the first of what we hope are numerous possible futures of the column.

About Heather Roberge
Heather Roberge is an award-winning designer and educator in Los Angeles. She is principal of Murmur: Architecture and Environments and is associate professor at UCLA where she directs the undergraduate program in Architectural Studies. Roberge’s research and professional work investigates the spatial, structural, and atmospheric potential of digital technologies on the theory and practice of building. Her work emphasizes innovative approaches to material, craft, and manufacturing expanding design vocabulary with mixtures of tradition and technology. Her work has been widely published and exhibited in the U.S. and abroad. Her projects, as co-principal of Gnuform, titled Purple Haze (finalist, PS1/MOMA’s Young Architects Program, 2006) and the NGTV Bar (AIA|LA design award, 2006) were widely recognized for their contribution to digital design discourse. Murmur’s proposal for the Succulent House (AIA|Next LA design award, 2011) and the Vortex House(nomination, Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize for Emerging Architecture, 2014) were recognized for design excellence.