out and about :: 1:1 architects build small spaces

Friday night at the V&A was a like treasure hunt. They had asked 19 architects to submit plans for ‘small spaces’ that explore the idea of refuge and retreat – and seven were selected to make 1:1 scale models, which are now on display all over the museum. A map (and my terrible map reading skills) led us to the first installation; the delightfully wooden “woodshed” by Rural Studio (a programme of a school of architecture at Auburn University):

"Woodshed" by Rural Studio

"Woodshed" by Rural Studio

Our explorations then took us on to my idea of heaven…

…a multi-storey book shelf, with built-in stairs and seats for hiding away with a good book; or as it is more properly known; “Ark” by Rinatala Eggertsson Architects:

"Ark" by Rintala Eggertsson Architects

"Ark" by Rintala Eggertsson Architects

Having proclaimed this one our favourite, we were instantly proved wrong when we ventured outside to find the Ratatosk; a tactile, organic and enveloping structure by Helen & Hard Architects:

"Ratatosk" by Helen and Hard Architects

"Ratatosk" by Helen & Hard Architects

"Ratatosk" by Helen and Hard Architects

"Ratatosk" by Helen and Hard Architects

A bit more map reading; and we discovered a part of the V&A I have never been to before and Beetle’s House – the final favourite!

"Beetles House" by Terunobu Fujimori

"Beetle's House" by Terunobu Fujimori

"Beetles House" by Terunobu Fujimori

"Beetle's House" by Terunobu Fujimori

Interior of "Beetles House" by Terunobu Fujimori

Interior of "Beetle's House" by Terunobu Fujimori

So what did I learn? That I really must take a V&A tour one of these days, that architecture doesn’t have to be about straight lines and tessellating boxes; it can create rooms within rooms – little sanctuaries within busy homes; it can be organic and sculptural and full of quirks and surprises… and that I’m definitely having a tree house in my garden as soon as I’ve got a garden!

It’s on until 30th August: http://www.vam.ac.uk/collections/architecture/smallspaces/index.html

Further reading / watching for the especially geeky:

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