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Bankston Architectural + Edition Office
Bankston Architectural + Edition Office’s complementary ideas of concept and construction, shape and form, material and technique, imbue their latest collection of hardware with a sense of ingenuity. At once bold and minimal, the eightpiece collection, titled Casts, highlights the role craftsmanship can have in hardware design today.
In hardware two strong currents, two basic concepts, two separate approaches, are apparent. The first can be described as a contemporaneous version of traditional sculpture – dense in mass, rigid in form, modelled or carved with classical techniques. The second embraces a new constructed sculpture, diverse in shape, without organic form, seemingly weightless even to the point of transparency. In Bankston Architectural + Edition Office’s Casts collection, these distinctive approaches, characteristically opposing, are equally discernible.
The Casts collection comprises nine products, each articulating a tactile utilitarian design sensibility. While hardware does not readily lend itself to artistic codes, Casts, with its analytic exploration of materials, palpable influence from fields of science and technology, and obsessive experimentation with both traditional and contemporary materials and processes, clearly identifies the artistic principles of form, balance, shape and texture.
Breathing new life into ancient artisanal treatments of solid-forged materials, Bankston Architectural have expanded the limits of architectural accessories. As innovators in the hardware field, they have established a series of ongoing product collaborations with leading design studios around the world. In 2021 they partnered with Sans-Arc Studio to co-create Super Collection: a limited-edition collection of bold door hardware. Playful and offbeat, these unique products, with a strong aesthetic inclination and emphasis on eclectic design, revitalise traditional hardware shapes and forms.
For their second collaboration, Bankston Architectural has partnered with Edition Office, the multi-award-winning Melbourne architecture practice. Launched in 2016 by Kim Bridgland and Aaron Roberts, Edition Office works across a wide range of typologies and scales, including residential, institutional, commercial, educational, urban design and interiors. Edition Office’s approach to tactility and expression through aesthetics and function aligns closely with Bankston Architectural’s ethos, resulting in a seamless collaboration.
In the early stages of development, Edition Office considered the tactile components of buildings and fittings. As an essential object of contact, door hardware characterises a key yet subtle moment of human interaction in the office or home. Given its tactility, Edition Office spent time considering how the hardware’s materials could mature gracefully within a space. Raw bronze and aluminium were carefully selected as both are highly durable yet undergo a marked evolution in their character over time. By using sand as the mould material, no piece in the collection looks or feels the same. Hand poured with surface pitting, these unique casts serve as a physical timestamp of the production process itself.
To achieve this optimum texture, Bankston Architectural and Edition Office conducted detailed experiments with various materials. Cast’s most singular attribute is its use of metals and minimal post production intervention, allowing for a natural evolution that reveals the lifecycle of the object, connecting the physical to the emotional. Unlike the patinated bronze finish, which is rubbed with oil to produce a darker appearance, the pure silver aluminium and rustic metallic bronze finishes are left to patina and expose the natural tones beneath. Metals like bronze and aluminium remain characteristic materials with decisive virtues for hardware construction – they can be cut, welded, moulded, cast, polished or patinated and the result has a durability that exceeds all but the hardest stones.
Aesthetically, minimal intervention post-production enables the metal to appear polished and lightly tumbled. Beyond tone and hue, the Casts collection plays with other minimalist design codes like form and shape. In Lever 01, for instance, balance and proportion are central: like a cantilever, a long thin handle juts out of the side of the small cylindrical form, presumably continuing the lines in the surrounding space. Lever 02 further embodies the collection’s simplicity with an austere rod and a long slick handle that blithely stabilises on the small cylindrical structural base.
With the Pull series, Bankston Architectural and Edition Office transcend risk-taking in design. Pull 01 gives a nod to Brutalist architecture, a forceful yet elegant object designed to sit flush against a surface, embodying restraint and proportion. Pull 02 expands this narrative with an extended scale that spans the length of the door to create a striking impact. Pull 03 by contrast is bold in its organic circular form. The piece’s half-plate silhouette provides a practical door-pull function and the depth of recess considers the user experience. Pull 04 continues this trajectory, turning a simple design moment into a more active
sculptural experience. Although the piece honours traditional joinery pulls with its lean interior, the drawer pull uncovers firm and decisive edges, which speak to an expressive design language. The collection’s accessories complement this experimental sensibility. Where Hook’s simple, bold cylindrical typology incorporates sculptural elements, the smaller-scale Snib aligns closely with minimalism’s reductiveness.
Flexibility remains a persistent feature in the Bankston Architectural Edition Office collaboration. The adaptability expressed in the overall collection required a forward-thinking approach from its creators, as well as considered use of materials, equipment, techniques and processes. An emphasis on pliable forms, practical textures and multi-functionality successfully welds principles of manufacturing and craft. With a unique identity and robust physicality, Casts offers the industry an innovative interpretation of architectural hardware.
Featured in Union Issue 02