Decision Corridors

Delvendahl Martin Architects, London, 2015


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Coordination with the architecture of the building 

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  • Coordination with the architecture of the building    
  • Carsten Höller, Decision Corridors, 2015 © Carsten Höller. Installation view Carsten Höller: Decision, Hayward Gallery, London, 2015. Courtesy the artist. Produced with HangarBicocca, Milano. Photo ©Ela Bialkowska, OKNO stud    
  • Exit to the corridors and Flying Mushrooms installation    
  • Top view of the corridors    
  • Decision Corridors, Pill Clock and Half Clock    
  • Decision Corridors Entrance 1    
  • Decision corridors entrance 2    
  • Construction drawing    
  • Corridors plan    
  • Construction model    
  • Ductwork detail    
  • Ductwork component    
  • Individual modules are constructed    
  • Decision Corridors ductwork detail    
  • Delivery of the components for the corridors    
  • Start of installation    
  • Components at the factory    
  • Entrance detail    
  • Exit detail    
  • Door detail    
  • Bends and sets    

Site specific installation for a retrospective of Carsten Höller's work at the Hayward Gallery, London, comprising two galvanised steel corridors on a scaffolding structure.

Delvendahl Martin Architects collaborated with the artist Carsten Höller to create a series of site-specific installations at the Hayward Gallery.

One of these installations formed the first piece in the artist's first retrospective in the UK, ‘Carsten Höller : Decision’, which was open from June to September 2015.

On entering the gallery, visitors were faced with the choice of two entrances, each leading them to a separate corridor. The brief for the installation was to explore the show's subject of decision-making and encourage reflection by taking the visitors on different meandering routes through the first part of the exhibition.

Designed as a series of dark and confined spaces, the corridors repeatedly turn and change levels with the aim to disorientate and confuse anyone entering the installation. In order to enhance the desired, almost claustrophobic experience and to allow sound to travel as freely as possible, the architects chose galvanised sheet metal as the sole construction material for the corridors.

Adapting the techniques normally used for forming air handling ductwork allowed the creation of human sized galvanised steel segments with minimal use of material. The thin sheet metal and the geometry of the spaces help to amplify noise and create multiple echoes in the process, making it difficult to locate the origin of sound. In conjunction with the darkness inside the corridors, this acoustic characteristic contributes to a diffused perception of the surroundings and fellow visitors as well as a heightened sense of disorientation.

Aesthetically, the silver galvanised structure appears like a gigantic version of a service infrastructure normally hidden behind false ceilings or confined to service risers. At the same time it provides a conceptual link to the artists’ isometric slides at the end of the exhibition whilst forming a strong contrast against the backdrop of the brutalist concrete architecture of the building.

The second element of the brief was to design an installation that can be reconfigured to suit other spaces, thus allowing it to be included in future exhibitions of the artist's work. The corridors have therefore been designed as a versatile modular structure that can be adapted and reconstructed at varying scales and in different configurations in gallery and exhibition spaces all over the world.


  • Begun: May 2015
  • Completed: Jun 2015
  • Floor area: 160m2
  • Sector: Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £150,000
  • Tender date: Nov 2014
  • Address: Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, London, SE1 8XX, United Kingdom

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