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.

Back to the blog front page

Terunobu Fujimori – offsite construction

I've spent a few days this week at the South London workshops of MDM Props, watching Terunobu Fujimori's 'Beetle's House' being constructed. We've had a wonderful team of volunteers from the RCA Architecture and Sculpture departments helping out with the build (HUGE thanks to the RCA's Sarah Teasley and Nao Matsunaga for co-ordinating) – and we've also been honoured with the presence of Terunobu Fujimori himself (pictured above, with one of the Beetle's House legs). Professor Fujimori has flown over from Tokyo for two weeks to oversee this crucial off-site construction period, ensuring that all goes to plan, before we …

Keep reading

Helen & Hard – ‘Ratatosk’ off-site construction

So finally…after months of looking at design sketches, maquettes and 3D modelling scans…we at last get a glimpse of the final version of Helen & Hard's 'Ratatosk' climbing structure – and it looks FANTASTIC. Here are some progress shots sent through this morning by Reinhard, Dag and the rest of the team in Stavanger. Can't wait to see this project take up residence in the V&A John Madejski Garden in June…

Keep reading

Vazio S/A – Spiral Booths off-site construction

This weekwe begin construction in London! There are a number of approaches that we are taking with building the seven structures. In some cases, the buildings are being constructed off-site, and abroad,by the architects – and then re-assembled at the V&A; with others, the buildings are being entirely constructed at the V&A (either by the architects, or by building contractors) – and there are some structures being built off-site by contractors, and then re-assembled at the V&A by those same contractors…pheeew! Confusing, I know. 'Spiral Booths', the structure designed by Vazio S/A, falls into this last category (along with the …

Keep reading

Studio Mumbai off-site construction completed

Very exciting…Studio Mumbai have just finished off-site construction on their 'Inbetween Architecture' project for the V&A Cast Courts. Here are some photographs of how the structure looks, sitting in their workshop yard in Mumbai. It's especially nice to see the quality of light (particularly thewarmth) as the high noon sun reflects off the plaster panels whch dominate every surface of the building. Of course, we can't expect the same light in South Kensington, where the team will re-assemble the structure – but Studio Mumbai are hoping to make the most of the generous daylight which floods the Cast Courts from …

Keep reading

Vazio S/A – Spiral Booths new model

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ou_9DI4XbQ Carlos Teixeira from Vazio S/A Architects has arrived in London with a brand-new model for his 'Spiral Booths' structure (destined for the V&A Porter Gallery, alongside Rural Studio's 'Woodshed'). Here he discusses the spatial arrangement of the performance booths which are arranged around a central spiral staircase. The V&A is commissioning a number of theatre, music and dance companies to devise brand-new pieces of work for the structure. For the first six weekends of the exhibition, these companies will present a series of scratch performances – open workshops/rehearsals which audiences will be able to witness, with visitors and performers …

Keep reading

Helen & Hard – ‘Ratatosk’ progress images

I've finally got hold of some of those amazing images that the Helen & Hard team showed me in the presentation at their studio in Stavanger last week. Shown here, above and below, you can see some of the 3D scanning/modelling drawings – representing the stage before the ash trees are sent to the wood workshop to be carved using a CNC milling machine, based on these very precise 3D 'maps'. Perhaps even more exciting…this is my first glimpse of some of the milling actully taking place. We've had a prototype tree in the office for quite a few months, …

Keep reading

Visit to Norway – Seljord / Rintala Eggertsson

Last night I travelled from Stavanger to Oslo to meet Sami Rintala and Dagur Eggertsson, the partners of Rintala Eggertsson Architects – and the designers responsible for the 'Ark' book tower which will be situated by the V&A National Art Library staircase, forming part of the '1:1' exhibition. We drove for a couple of hours to reach Seljord where Sami (above, left) and Dagur (above, right) are involved in a number of projects in the local area. The images shown above and directly below are both of a project they have just finished – the 'Smoke Sauna', positioned right on …

Keep reading

Visit to Norway – Stavanger / Helen & Hard

Tonight I am in Stavanger, southern Norway – to visit Helen & Hard Architects. I've just spent an amazing day with the Helen & Hard team, not only getting an update on their 'Ratatosk' climbing structure for the '1:1' exhibition but, most importantly, having the opportunity to visit some of their built structures. I started the morning by spending a few hours at their studio, meeting the rest of the office, and getting a brief intro into some of their recent projects, looking at models and drawings etc. The image above shows some tests they have been carrying out for …

Keep reading

Rural Studio – Plywood joint stress tests

The engineering team at University of Bath have just sent us some photographs of their latest stress load tests on this new piece of carpentry technology that they're developing for Rural Studio's '1:1' project. The images above, and directly below, show lots of shearing of wood against wood – and therefore loss of intrinsic strength. The image at the bottom shows the solution they are going to propose for the Rural Studio 'Woodhsed' – a highly compressed birch plywood joint with the same tensile strength of steel – and which shows minimal shearing, and therefore increased strength and stability. It's …

Keep reading

Terunobu Fujimori & Sou Fujimoto – video diaries

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voFmvFe4td4 We've just received a shipment of new micro videos from two of the architects in the '1:1' exhibition, Terunobu Fujimori and Sou Fujimoto. We gave all seven architects HD cameras (thank you, Flip Video) of their own and asked them to record their own moments of reflection – to document their own personal architecture environments, work spaces and retreats (and of course – asked them to try and give us a glimpse into some of those early stages of the design process). Some nice littlevignettes from Tokyo, first up from Sou Fujimoto (first video, above)… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HizruxSflN4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1JNqnDzZyM …and finally, …

Keep reading