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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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Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again…

Actually last week I was whisked off by the husband to Frenchman’s Creek. I had been suffering from anxiety dreams again, you know the ones. I would find myself standing up before a packed lecture theatre pontificating about the exhibtion when I would suddenly look down and discover that I had forgotten to get dressed […]

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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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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 …

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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…

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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, …

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