This exhibiton at the V&A is different from others. It makes people interact with real functioning Architecture rather than just models, drawings and images. In all there are 7 built peices by 7 different Architects spread across different levels of the museum. Each exhibit is vastly different to the last.
All of the exhibits are excellent bar one, which was the Ratatosk by Helen and Hard Architects. I found this to be more like a sculpture and quite uninspiring. The 2 pieces for me that stood out the most were In-Between Architecture by Studio Mumbai and Spiral Booths by Vazio S/A.
Sprial Booths is constructed mainly of steel and glass. It consists of a steel stair in the middle with different compartments coming off of it at different levels which face out into the main gallery space. These rooms are sectioned off by red velour curtains. So when it is viewed from the gallery floor it is something akin to to the red light district in Amsterdam. The structure is encased in a perforated steel mesh, so you can get a glimpse of what is going on inside inbetween the windows. This draws you towards it and makes you want to go in and find out what the space is about.
In-between Architecture is based on the tight narrow ‘unauthorised’ streets of Mumbai. These are streets that have developed without Architects in the slums and made from any scrap material that could be found. These slums draw in light from above, which is exactly what the exhibit does. It consists of a tight narrow corridor that opens up into a courtyard with spaces upstairs for contemplation and thought. We could not get into this one properly as it was closed for repairs, but we did sneak in for a couple of photos when nobody was looking! I may have to go back and check it out properly though.
I also think it is worth mentioning Ark by Rintala Eggertsson Architects. It is like a giant piece of Ikea furniture, made out of pine and balsawood the shelves are stacked with thousands of books it also rather worringly sways back and forth as you get towards the top, but the space itself feels warm and intimate.
This is an exhibiton well worth visiting if you have the time, it is very comprehensive and also includes information on all of the submissions that did not get built, some of which are also quite fantastic. So run along as there is plenty of time to do so! I have no idea what i am going to do next!
Until next time!
All the information on each of the exhibits can be found here:
The Exhibition runs until the 30th of August
Opening Times: 10.00 to 17.45 daily
10.00 to 22.00 Fridays
Nearest Tube: South Kensington
All images courtesy of www.vam.ac.uk