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Atelier Vierkant with Suzanne Turley

14 May 2020

Since its discovery, clay has been a medium used to express knowledge and connect people. Ancient cultures inscribed script and built villages in it, while ceramists, artists and architects world over still rely on its integrity to construct our material world.

In an age where man-made materials dominate the fabrication of objects and structures, Atelier Vierkant has founded a design house that re-grounds us and our built landscapes, each vessel and form evolving from the collaboration of many people, shaping, carving, firing with the same passion and craftsmanship our ancestors would have.

Willy and Annette Janssens founders of Atelier Vierkant stay true to the hands-on approach of making and creating, continuously evolving their understanding of clay’s capacities.

Design development and manufacturing are all achieved out of the one Atelier Vierkant premise in Belgium.

We spoke to Suzanne Turley, one of New Zealand's most celebrated landscape designers, whose recently published book 'Private Gardens of Aotearoa' features Atelier Vierkant.

ECC: What are the key things you strive to achieve when designing a landscape?

ST: Our final goal is to create a space that enhances the architecture and strongly interacts with the wider environment, be it built up, like in the city, or natural. While doing all of this the space we design must deliver on our client's brief.

ECC: Could you please express your thought processes around selecting pots and vessels to complement your landscape designs?

ST: We always consider the architecture when designing a garden. And of course, the brief we receive from the client.

When selecting a pot the same key elements come to play but more importantly, our connection with the interior designer will guarantee that our selection fits the overall mood set for the property.

ECC: What sets apart Atelier Vierkant from other ceramicists?

ST: Their collection offers great versatility in mixing and matching from different ranges. The natural clay combines many opposites - it’s cutting edge in style but traditional in technique; simple in the fact that they are one material only, but unique thanks to the endless textures and shapes. Thanks to their natural imperfections these pots provide a very soft yet strong presence in our designs.

ECC: What inspired you to pursue ‘Private Gardens of Aotearoa’?

ST: Our practice has been going for 25 years and we felt it was time to look back on the gardens we have been privileged to work on. We were very fortunate to know Thomas Cannings with whom we shared our dream of publishing some of our projects.

We revisited and photographed many of our gardens to compile a story about our journey. Thomas took up the task of compiling a selection of our work into the book that has made us very proud.

'Private Gardens of Aotearoa' is available to order now through our online store here.

Atelier Vierkant's MF, AH and Pebbles series feature in the Private Residence projects.