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Robert Hutchinson

MEMORY HOUSES: Nine Allegorical Works of Architecture

MEM(ento): Something to make one remember
MEM(oir): A record of a thing to remember
MEM(orandum): A reminder
MEM(orable): Worth remembering
MEM(orabilia): Things worth remembering
MEM(ory): The ability to recall

Robert Hutchison. Memory House – Chapel, 2015. Conceptual models constructed by Robert Hutchison Architecture. 6 x 36 x 36 inches. Photo by Mark Woods
  • May 3 - 31, 2018
  • Opening: Thursday, May 3, 6:00 — 8:00 pm

Artist Talk: Thursday, May 17, 2018 6:00–8:00 pm

For the last three years, Robert Hutchison’s studio has been working on a speculative project that investigates mortality and memory through the lens of architecture.

This exploration began as a personal one, when Hutchison realized how quickly dementia was taking over his father’s mind. As an attempt to preserve a conversation with his father that he could no longer have, he designed a chapel adjacent to an unbuilt winery that he and his father had designed twenty years before.

Following the death of his father in early 2016, the project expanded into an ongoing architectural investigation for Hutchison’s studio, resulting in the work that comprises this exhibition. Situated along the banks of the Wye River on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Memory Houses explores typologies such as dwelling, chapel, lighthouse, and memorial. Through models, drawings, and objects, the exhibition weaves together a spatial narrative about loss and recollection.

Hutchison’s time as a Fellow at the American Academy in Rome in 2017 was critical to the final development and resolution of the project, providing the opportunity to focus on the exhibition as well as a future publication. Within Memory Houses one can see the influences of geometry as found in the Colosseum, the aqueducts, and early Christian churches and Roman tombs, as well as Hutchison’s continued interest in architectural typologies—and how one might sample and collage them to create new architectures that resolutely maintain a strong connection to place.

About the Artist

Robert Hutchison is a practitioner, researcher, and educator whose interests and practice overlap the fields of architecture, art, and photography. Hutchison received an M.Arch degree from the University of Washington in 1996 and BS degrees in Structural Engineering and Architectural Engineering from Drexel University in 1990. From 1996 to 2001, he was a project architect and project manager at the Miller/Hull Partnership. In 2001, Hutchison formed the Seattle-based architectural firm Hutchison & Maul Architecture in collaboration with his friend and colleague Tom Maul. In 2013, Hutchison established the studio Robert Hutchison Architecture.

Hutchison is an Affiliate Associate Professor in the Department of Architecture at the University of Washington, where he teaches architectural design studios at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Honors and awards include the 2016-2017 Rome Prize in Architecture awarded by the American Academy in Rome, the 2010 Creative Artists Fellowship awarded by the Japan-US Friendship Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts, the 2009 Emerging Voices awarded by the Architectural League of NY, a 2008 AIA Honor Award for Washington Architecture for the installation project 7, and selection as one of fifteen individuals to be 2013-2014 On the Boards Ambassadors.

Robert Hutchison Architecture
Robert Hutchison Architecture (RHA) specializes in the design of contemporary projects of various types and sizes. In partnership with clients, consultants, and builders, RHA seeks creative solutions that result in architecture that is elegant and efficient. At the core of all of the firm’s work lies an interest in the balance of the permanent with the ephemeral, resulting in highly experiential works evocative of a response to place. The firm’s diverse list of projects include custom homes and remodels, cabins, art studios, commercial interiors, and institutional and public works. Always striving for a holistic practice, RHA balances architectural commissions with research, writing, and installation projects.

RHA is: Scott Claassen, Jackie Hensy, Robert Hutchison, Sean Morgan, and Xiaoxi Jiao.

Memory Houses was funded, in part, by the Office of Arts + Culture’s 2018 CityArtists Project Grant.