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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Boxes and boxes of books…

The Rintala Eggertsson team have started to add shelves to the 'Ark' reading tower… Soon, every facade of the tower will consist of hundreds of these shelves.The structure is really starting to take shape now, and it won't be long before we start loading up the books themselves. We have received generous donations of books from Booth Books and Dominic Winter Book Auctions – and for this we're very grateful, as the project wouldn't have been possible withouttheir support. We would also like to thank UPM who donated the gorgeous Finnish timber from which the tower has been constructed. The …

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Beetle’s House in the Medieval & Renaissance Galleries

This week we began construction of Terunobu Fujimori's 'Beetle's House' in the daylit space of the V&A Medieval & Renaissance Galleries… The images above show the build team from MDM Props carefully placing the roof on Professor Fujimori's teahouse (which will shortly be elevated into position, and have four charred chestnut legs added). Professor Fujimori has been in the UK for the last two weeks, based at the south London MDM workshops, overseeing the meticulous off-site assembly – in collaboration with a number of Royal College of Art students who have contributed a huge amount to this stage of the …

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Studio Mumbai progress continues…

http://www.vimeo.com/12375001 Today I had another tour of the 'Inbetween Architecture' structure with Studio Mumbai's Bijoy Jain. A large number of the plaster panels have now been applied to the building, both on the interior surfaces and to the exterior facade. This cladding has totally transformed the structure, particularly in terms of the warmth of light as reflected off the inside walls. Here, Kate Dineen, one of the co-creators of the project, applies some touches to the plaster finish on one of the external walls: Kate can also be seen in the video, above, with Michael Anastassiades, the other co-creator of …

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(Another) new model from Vazio S/A

We don’t start on-site construction for Vazio S/A’s ‘Spiral Booths’ structure until the week after next, but I just wanted to share with you some photographs of a model which Carlos Teixeira and his team have recently created. The model is especially useful as it gives a better sense of the varying levels of transparency […]

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Rintala Eggertsson team arrive at the V&A

The team responsible for building Rintala Eggertsson's 'Ark' reading tower have arrived at the V&A. Led by Dagur Eggertsson (one of the partners in the practice, alongside Sami Rintala), the team consists of a wonderful mix of architecture students and previous collaborators. Progress has been pretty quick in the last few days, and they have already started construction on the third floor of the tower. Eventually, this uppermost level will allow visitors to peer out, surrounded by shelves of books, and look into the reading room of the National Art Library. http://www.vimeo.com/11995399 Once the timber framework has been completed, the …

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Studio Mumbai – tour with Bijoy Jain

The project being built in the V&A Cast Courts by Studio Mumbai (in collaboration with Michael Anastassiades and Kate Dineen) – 'Inbetween Architecture' – has come on in leaps and bounds in just a few days of on-site construction. Today I had a tour of the structure with Bijoy Jain, the director of Studio Mumbai. The main walls have been erected, staircases are in place, and the two mezzanine levels have started to take shape. It was really exciting to have this walk-about with Bijoy and to really get a sense of how these spaces connect with each other, and …

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Construction on Sou Fujimoto’s Inside/Outside Tree begins

This photograph captures the moment the very first acrylic sheet was lifted into position to begin construction on Sou Fujimoto's Inside/Outside Tree. The MDM Props team (the contractors responsible for building the Inside/Outside Tree) have spent the last few weeks assembling the structure off-site at their workshops in south London, and this week marks the start of construction on-site here at the V&A, on the Architecture Gallery landing. http://www.vimeo.com/12369229 This photo, above,shows members of the team meticulously assembling one of the numerous branch elements which make up the tree form. The structure consists of an extremely complicated arrangement of polygons, …

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The Rural Studio ‘Woodshed’ arrives…

Today, Green Oak Carpentry Co., the team responsible for building the Rural Studio 'Woodshed', arrived at the V&A – and they have already made an amazing amount of progress. We're really pleased with the charring effect that the Green Oak team have achieved on the timber – a process of traditional burning, finished with a layer of shellac. The original wood grain stands out beautifully. The structure consists of a number of 'bents', or frames, which are being assembled on-site in the Porter Gallery, with each element hammered into position. http://www.vimeo.com/11992723 Once a bent is assembled, it is then hoisted …

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Studio Mumbai – first week on site at the V&A

Studio Mumbai's construction team arrived at the V&A this week, and have begun building their 'Inbetween Architecture' project in the V&A Cast Courts. The group that have come over to London are a team of craftsmen that have worked on a number of previous Studio Mumbai buildings in India. They are led by Bijoy Jain, director of Studio Mumbai, and Michael Anastassiades and Kate Dineen who have been the co-creators of the project, and have been crucial to the development of the structure. It's quite a sight to see this building slowly emerge, block by block, nestled amongst these objects …

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Sou Fujimoto Inside/Outside Tree – London workshop fabrication

Some updates from this week's construction progress for Sou Fujimoto's Inside/Outside Tree. Our building contractor, MDM Props, have built a wooden rig which is being used as a support so that each of the acrylic polygons can be slotted into place, and strapped together using the cable ties (there are boxes containing hundreds and hundreds of them at the workshops at the moment…quite a sight) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p458EEViApQ A particularly tricky job is getting the ploygon sheets to all line up with each other, following the detailed design model exactly – while also ensuring that there is structural rigidity – and making …

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