1:1 Architects Build Small Spaces at the V&A

Friday, 25 June 2010

In Between Architecture by Studio Mumbai Architects
This exhibition aims to counter the perception of architecture displays as only ever showing drawings and models. Seven designs for small spaces have been selected from an initial range of 19 proposals by architecture practices from all around the globe. Scattered around the galleries and thoroughfares of the V&A, the full-scale buildings encourage interaction, allowing the visitor to appreciate the ways in which architects manipulate materials, proportion and space to define our experiences of the built environment.

Beetle's House by Terunobu Fujimori
The freedom of working at a smaller than normal scale is evident in some of the works including Terunobu Fujimori’s Beetle’s House. Made from charred pine it aspires to a primitive state that could be of any era.

Ratatosk by Helen & Hard Architects
Outside in the garden stands Ratatosk by Helen & Hard Architects; a space that celebrates the possibilities offered by both traditional craft and new digital technologies. 5 ash trees have been split, with the insides being milled smooth using a sophisticated CNC router while on the external surface the raw bark is left untouched. A hand-woven willow canopy creates a sense of being in a forest clearing and wood shavings are used to create a soft play surface. 

Woodshed by Rural Studio
Woodshed by Rural Studio showcases a little used yet incredibly cheap and sustainable material; wood thinnings. This wood, removed to clear space for larger trees, costs as little as £2 per metric tonne and has been used to great effect to create this exaggerated shed form. Made from identical 15cm sections held together by long steel rods, the modularity of the construction means the building is extendible in length.

Inside / Outside Tree by Sou Fujimoto Architects
On the 4th floor, together with a room showing scale models of all 19 original proposal, is the Inside/Outside Tree from Sou Fujimoto Architects. Made from acrylic sheets bound together by cable ties, the structure blurs the boundaries between internal and external space while the form is an abstract interpretation of a tree translated into a low resolution graphic style.

Detail of Ratatosk by Helen & Hard Architects
This is an engaging, interesting and entertaining exhibition and seeing the pieces in context is a great way to experience the museum. It runs until 30 August and admission is free.

Alyn Griffiths
Trends and Events Analyst, Interiors