1:1 Architects Build Small Spaces (2010)

1:1 Architects Build Small Spaces was a contemporary architecture exhibition exploring the power of small spaces. Running from 15 June – 30 August 2010 at the V&A, a number of international architects were asked to design structures which explored notions of refuge and ‘retreat’. These buildings examined themes such as play, work, performance and study and were built at full-scale in various spaces within the V&A.Exhibition curator, Abraham Thomas documented the evolution of the exhibition and offered an insight into the architects’ design and construction processes.

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Lighting up the Woodshed

Pictured above is Danny Wicke, an instructorfrom Rural Studio, whohas come over to the UK this week from Alabama to install the Woodshed's light vine. This photograph is probably one of my favourite images of the exhibition so far, and comes courtesy of Laura Southall – our fantastic exhibition assistant. The internal lighting for the structure will provide a striking contrast with the ambient space of the Porter Gallery which we plan to illuminate at a very low level – so both the Rural Studio and Vazio S/A projects will appear like lanterns when visitors walk into this dimly-lit gallery …

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‘Ratatosk’ and ‘Spiral Booths’ construction time-lapse

Thanks to Peter Kelleher in the V&A Photo Studio, here is some fantastic construction time-lapse photography for two of the structures in the '1:1' exhibition – Helen & Hard's 'Ratatosk', in the John Madejski Garden, and Vazio S/A's 'Spiral Booths' in the Porter Gallery: http://www.vimeo.com/12509535 http://www.vimeo.com/12509503 As a companion piece for the Spiral Booths time-lapse footage, here's the original3-D framework visualisation that the Vazio S/A team sent us a few months back, as a comparison: http://www.vimeo.com/11994858

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Helen & Hard ‘Ratatosk’ – willow canopy

The Helen & Hard 'Ratatosk' climbing structure is nearing completion in the V&A John Madejski Garden. Another gorgeous sunny day in South Kensington…the two project architects on site, Dag Strass and Caleb Reed, have now grafted strips of willow onto the stumps of the CNC-carved ash trees to create a stunning roof canopy. Taking a close look at the ten ash trees in this bright sunlight, it is fantastic to see the raw, unfiltered quality of the rough exterior bark – complete with moss and gnarled knots. Such a dramatic contrast with the very precise planes that have been carved …

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Finishing touches for the Fujimori Beetle’s House

The Beetle's House construction team have spent most of today applying some final touches to the teahouse. Much of this latter stage of construction has focussed on the interior of the teahouse – in particular the small charred blocks of cedar which have been applied to the inside walls (shown in Terunobu Fujimori's sketch, below), and the installation of the teaset which has been designed by a student from the Royal College of Art Ceramics Department, Malene Hartmann Rasmussen. One change that has occurred since the concept stage (as represented by this sketch) is that instead of having six separate …

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Sou Fujimoto Inside/Outside Tree – a final polish

The protective layers of adhesive sheeting have finally been removed from Sou Fujimoto's 'Inside/Outside Tree', revealing the transparent acrylic beneath. Having been so familiar with the structure in its 'wrapped' form, it's quite breathtaking to see the full, dramatic effect of the tree's transparency, and the delicate 'stitching' of the cable ties, especially as set against the floods of daylight that spill into the Architecture Gallery landing – the location of this structure. It will be quite stunning to see this structure when it basks in the late afternoon sunlight of the summer months that lie ahead of us. http://www.vimeo.com/12369550

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On-site construction for ‘Spiral Booths’ begins…

The construction team from MDM Props have set themselves up in the Porter Gallery, and have started to assemble Vazio S/A's 'Spiral Booths' – a structure consisting of a number of intimate performance booths set around a spiral staircase. The skeleton steel framework has now gone up, reaching the ceiling of the gallery. Over the next week, the booths and facade cladding will be installed, and the team will dress the structure with the red velvet curtains which mark the entrance of each of the booths. Below is a 3-D rendering which Carlos Teixeira (director of Vazio S/A) sent to …

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Helen & Hard ash trees arrive at the V&A

Resembling a group of patients being rushed into an operating theatre on hospital trolleys, the ten Norwegian ash trees for Helen & Hard's 'Ratatosk' climbing structure arrived at the V&A's John Madejski Garden early yesterday morning. http://www.vimeo.com/12369772 As a quick reminder, here's what one of the trees looked like a few weeks ago, as it went under the 'surgeon's knife' of a CNC milling machine: Dag Strass and Caleb Reed from Helen & Hard Architects accompanied the trees on their journey to the V&A from Norway. The weather dramatically improved today, and the two architects have already made quick work …

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Filling up the tower of books

I was working quite late in the office tonight, and as I was leaving I decided to pass by Rintala Eggertsson's 'Ark' book tower, as I knew that they were working late into the evening too. I stumbled across the wonderful sight of seeing hundreds and hundreds of books being loaded onto the many shelves of the tower. http://www.vimeo.com/12374027 I couldn't resist and had to grab my phone (apologies for the poor quality) and capture some photos and footage of this important moment! It was lovely witnessing this stage of the construction process in the deadly silence of the V&A …

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Raising Terunobu Fujimori’s Beetle’s House

Today was quite an exciting day for the '1:1' project…we finally raised the Beetle's House into position, and added its mighty chestnut tree legs. It was quite a sight seeing this charred little teahouse being hoisted up *very* slowly, inch by inch, watched over by the sixteenth-century Morlaix Staircase, there in the daylit space of the V&A's Medieval & Renaissance Galleries. http://www.vimeo.com/12390541 We had all a memorable shared moment – standing on the staircase that leads down into this daylit space from the Ironwork galleries, soaking up this rather striking dialogue that has now been initiated between Terunobu Fujimori's Beetle's …

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The Woodshed grows and grows…

Huge amounts of progress with Rural Studio's 'Woodhsed' in the Porter Gallery. The structure consists of 49 frames, or bents – all concatenated together into an 'extruded' shed; by Friday we should have all 49 bents in place. All that remains for next week is the 'light vine' which Danny Wicke (instructor from Rural Studio) is flying over from Alabama to install. This interior lighting feature will create a wonderfully delicate immersive environment when visitors step inside the structure – and will present quite a stark contrast to the charred, raw surface of the exterior facades. http://www.vimeo.com/12375552

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