Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Architecture exhibit at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London

This is the first post on summer exhibits.   The year’s calendar of exhibitions often provide a very conventional agenda during summer because, in many cases for obviuos reasons, it is designed to please the general that on the course of summer holiday travels do visit museums in major cities.

However, there are many cases in which the agenda may offer real gems, impressive quality and worth while the visit.  In the next weeks I will find for you some of these gems, and  highlight here why I like and recommend them to you.

One of my favourites exhibits of these days is the opened in June at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the show "1:1 - Architects Build Small Spaces" is running from 15 June - 30 August 2010.

The abstract from the museum's web:
Using the landscape of the Museum as a test site, the V&A invited nineteen architects to submit proposals for structures that examine notions of refuge and retreat. From these nineteen concept submissions, seven were selected for construction at full-scale.  Read more ... Seven built structures.

The overall concept is fascinating since what is offering is real architecture down to ground and construction to be proved by the visitor; it is connecting the magic of building to who might live in.  The V&A invited nineteen architects "to submit concept designs that should respond to the specific locations within the museum".  The concept models are actually on display in one of the rooms of the museum, and seven of them were decided to be built full scale.  In the V&A website you can explore each one of the seven final proposals and also other details about the development, on-going work and final stages of designing and building the actual show.  Diving into the site you can find interesting the pages with visuals (images and videos) of the real construction of the seven full-scale concepts.

One of the links is the exhibition's blog, by Abraham Thomas, curator of the show who is currrently curator of Design and Lead Curator for Architecture at the V&A.  Thomas started the blog in May 2009 when he wrote:

I want the exhibition to pose some crucial questions and to challenge our perception of the role of architecture, and its relevance to our lives. As this blog develops in parallel with the exhibition, I hope that it will offer a space for debate and discussion - examining this idea of creating personal space, and how we occupy this space both physically and emotionally - so please feel free to return and add your own comments, thoughts and questions

I invite you to browse through the monthly archive to find the curator’s notes and comments about the work and the evolution of the exhibition. Each entry is full of insights and references to architecture in the modern context.  The last weeks they were uploading videos with the building of each of the seven structures chosen to be built in the museum for the show.

The overall information in the site also offers good insight in names of architects and their studios that are developing trends in modern architecture.

Definitely, a fantastic plan to spend quality time in a museum if you are or plan to visit London, but also perfect for virtual visit to the V&A’s website.

Links for more information:
"1:1 - Architects Build Small Spaces"
exhibition's blog

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