Contemporary Architecture Videos

The Woodshed, Rural Studio.

The Woodshed, Rural Studio.

The V&A staged a contemporary architecture exhibition which opened on 15th June 2010, exploring the power of small spaces. From a shortlist of nineteen, seven international architects were selected to design structures which explore notions of refuge and retreat. These buildings which examine themes such as play, work, performance and study will be built at full-scale in various spaces within the V&A.

The V&A has commissioned seven short films which look at  the architects and their projects. These combine filmed interviews with the architects about their design philosophy and their retreat concept for the V&A with self-shot video footage.


Video: Rural Studio's architecture with a mission

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Rural Studio has been working on a project that aims to turn coppiced thinnings from tree plantations into a practical and inexpensive building material by exploiting the natural springiness and strength of green wood. The V&A project sets out to demonstrate the potential of thinnings by turning them into a simple but elegant building.

'Architects shouldn't just be the playthings of the rich,' says Andrew Freear, Associate Professor of Architecture at Auburn University, Alabama. 'They have a bigger role to play in society.' Freear supervises Rural Studio, a student programme with built projects ranging from parks to fire stations.

Video: Inside / Outside Tree - Sou Fujimoto

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Sou Fujimoto's plan to build an artificial tree in the V&A for the exhibition 1:1 - Architects Build Small Spaces, emerges from an architecture that draws both on the deep complexity of nature and the imposed simplicity of man-made design.

This film shot both in the V&A and in Fujimoto's home town of Tokyo using self-shot footage shows Fujimoto talking about his design philosophy and reveals his practice at work.

Video: Helen & Hard Architects, Stavanger, Norway - Ratatosk

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This film follows the architects on their first trip to the V&A in November 2009 and asks Helen and Hard founder Reinhard Kropf about the practice's philosophy and working methods. This film includes the architects combing the Norwegian woods for a suitable ash tree for the project as Helen and Hard reconstruct an ancient ash tree harvested from the forests near Stavanger. Their concept is to recreate the childhood pleasure we all take from playing in dens in the forest.

Video: Ark - Rintala Eggertsson Architects

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In this film Dagur Eggertsson talks about the background to his architectural partnership and his plans for a striking book tower. The principals of Rintala Eggertsson come from different parts of Scandinavia and are now based in Norway. This film draws on interviews shot when Rintala Eggertsson visited the museum last year and also includes self-shot footage of places in Norway which inspire the practice.

Video: In-between Architecture - Studio Mumbai

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The homes of many of Mumbai's citizens are carved out of marginal  spaces next to offices, industrial buildings and the street. Yet the determination of their occupants to turn these in-between spaces into proper, comfortable homes imbues these  dwellings with a distinct sense of dignity.

The collaborators talk about their shared values and their plans to build an in-between home as a retreat in the V&A's Cast Courts.  The film also includes footage from films 'home-made' by the architects on mini digital camera on which they record their Indian inspirations and sources.

Video: Spiral Booths- Vazio S/A

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Brazilian architect Carlos Teixeira explains his fascination with the urban 'voids' of Belo Horizonte. Teixeira named his practice Vazio - void in Portuguese - and he continually returns to notions of the void in his work. The film combines an interview shot when the architect visited the museum last year in which he talks about the performance space he is designing for the museum with self-shot video footage of his home town.

Video: Beetle’s House - Terunobu Fujimori

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Sou Fujimoto's plan to build an artificial tree in the V&A for the exhibition 1:1 - Architects Build Small Spaces, emerges from an architecture that draws both on the deep complexity of nature and the imposed simplicity of man-made design.

This film shot both in the V&A and in Fujimoto's home town of Tokyo using self-shot footage shows Fujimoto talking about his design philosophy and reveals his practice at work.


Written to accompany the exhibition 1:1 - Architects Build Small Spaces.

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