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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More Creative Work Spaces

This weekend I went along to a preview for the recently-completed house for the artist Brad Lochore – designed by Tony Fretton Architects. It’s a rather strange experience going to these architect house previews – it’s not quite an exhibition private view…it feels more like a cross between a restrained house party and an estate […]

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Cast Courts site visit for Studio Mumbai

As mentioned in a previous post, we have decided to move Studio Mumbai's structure from its original location (the National Art Library staircase – where instead we'll be building a stunning book tower by Rintala Eggertsson Architects) to the V&ACast Courts. Bijoy Jain, director of Studio Mumbai, happened to be in London this week, so we thought this would be a perfect opportunity to take him (and collaborator, Michael Anastassiades) on a little visit to the Cast Courts to try and work out where they might like to build their structure. [video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyoECOeCxW8] Their commission will be sited in the 'Italian' …

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Site Visit to V&A Daylit Gallery

This morning, Lizzie and Ihad a very exciting visit to the V&ADaylit Gallery, currently under construction, and soon to form part of the Museum's brand new Medieval &Renaissance Galleries. The Gallery has been designed by MUMAArchitects (designers for the M&RGalleries) – and includes a stunning glass roof engineered by Dewhurst Macfarlane. This is not only the first new-build architectural space for theV&Ain 100 years, but it is also going to be the new location for the structure by Japanese architect, Terunobu Fujimori, for the '1:1' exhibition. His proposal was originally intended for the Cast Courts, but after some shuffling around, …

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Sou Fujimoto concept model

Our first concept model submission has arrived! Ryo Tsuchie, one of the team in Sou Fujimoto's office arrived at the Contemporary Team offices here at the V&Athis afternoon, straight off a flight from Tokyo – having brought their two (very beautiful)models as hand luggage. This is the moment Ryo opens the package and we see one of the models for the first time: [Film 1] and [Film 2] [video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKlaPPPCIIA] The office wanted to submit two proposals, both for the same location – V&AArchitecture Gallery landing, both eplxoring the idea of rural idylls and the relationship between inside and outside space. …

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Performance Chambers

I'm currently on secondment 3 days a week to the V&AContemporary Team, while curating the '1:1' exhibition. Today we had an away day to Manchester to check out the Manchester International Festival. Huge range of things in the programme – installations, exhibitions, theatre etc. We were all very disappointed that we didn't manage to get tickets to see Punchdrunk's new production, It Felt Like A Kiss, but we still managed to scoot around Manchester and cover a fair amount of the Festival. We saw Gustav Metzger's Flailing Trees installation (21 up-ended willow trees set head-first into a sea of concrete)and …

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Exhibition as Experience

Of course, the V&A is by no means the first museum to bring an exhibition audience face-to-face with full-scale architectural commissions. In fact, the Museum of Modern Art in New York has a rather rich history in the presentation of architectural projects. In 1940, one year before America's entry into the Second World War, Richard Buckminster Fuller (he of geodesic dome fame)was invited to exhibit a full-scale Dymaxion Deployment Unit – a mass-production version of his 1927 Dymaxion House- in the MoMA garden. Eight years later, perhaps inspired by the tradition of demonstration houses and show-homes often seen at World's …

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Writers’ Rooms

I've been thinking a lot about the narrative structure of the exhibition. Idon't want the show to simply be a series of disparate installations. I'm keen for the built commissions to be at once poetic and pragmatic – for visitors to experience each of the buildings as design responses to specific strands of everyday life. During discussions with colleagues, we chewed over the issue of whether to include artists on the longlist, but we made the firm decision that this exhibition should only include architects. On the one hand, exhibitions such as Psycho Buildings at the Hayward Gallery have already …

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Retreat and Refuge

Hello – and welcome to the first entry of the '1:1 – Architects Build Small Spaces' blog. Over this coming year, I'll be sharing with you some of the thoughts and discussions that we'll be having at the V&Aas we develop this exhibition. We want the blog to be a forum in which we can offer an insight into key moments of the exhibition's lifespan:the research, the shortlisting of architects, and the various stages of design development – from concept through to detailed design and final construction at the V&A. It would be great to get your own reflections on …

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