Door handle Biennale 2014

FSB@La Biennale di Venezia

Door handles will gain acclaim in the most unlikely of settings when architecture enthusiasts get together in Venice from 7-23 November 2014. Rem Koolhaas accords these much underrated functional extensions of the human hand a key role in architecture. Like any other interior appointment, handles and the like have assumed a life of their own since the process of industrialisation got underway.

Regardless of whether the products involved are original creations by architects or are placed in users’ hands by (ideally) architecturally-minded companies, Mr Koolhaas credits FSB with quite some degree of expertise and accordingly invited us to make a modest contribution to his Fundamentals show. This is what caused us to look up handle collectors (sic!) all over the world and to scour their archives.

We unearthed a rich panoply of handle culture. From the 18th century to the present day, from B for Behrens to W for Weise - handles from the most varied of sources will be displayed in recesses in the passages permeating the Central Pavilion. That an installation from Brakel shows more than just Brakel handles should come as no surprise. We’ve only been in business for 133 years, and others had a hand in things before then.

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