Series: Members' Screenings
Date: Thursday 12 February 2015 : 19.00
Speaker: AA Members' Cinema Screening



Introduced by Mollie Claypool

Archiculture is a documentary film that examines the strengths and perils of architectural education. The film follows a group of young design students through their final semester at Pratt Institute in New York City. The students interactions and reactions help illustrate the challenges of being a young aspiring designer in today’s world. The film weaves back and forth between the architectural studio and the architectural profession creating convincing impressions between students and industry leading professionals.

The film brings the audience into the studio world with an authentic look at the friendships, culture and habits that result from peer-to-peer learning. From the dedicated all-nighters, to the ubiquitous coffee-runs, these students spend day and night together struggling through the same set of questions and problems. In what sometimes seems like cut-throat competition, the film illustrates the symbiotic benefits that arise in the shared studio environment.

Another significant theme in the film focuses on the benefits and detriments associated with studio critique system. From one-on-one reviews, to public juried critiques, the film shows the ups and downs of these often intense interactions. The film also addresses the trend of training “star” architects and begs the question of how we should go about training the next generation of designers.

Open to all AA Members.

To book a place please follow the link.

Drawing on Holl by Stephen Holl Architects

Series: Saturday Gallery Talk
Date: Saturday 14 February 2015 : 11.00
Speaker: Chris McVoy


To mark the end of its run at the Architectural Association’s, Senior Partner at Stephen Holl Architects, Chris McVoy, will be giving a Gallery Talk on the exhibition Drawing on Holl.

Open to all  with complimentary drinks and refreshments served, any questions please e-mail

Exhibition Text:

“The entire effort here is an homage to Mackintosh.” Steven Holl

Distanced in time and space by a little over one hundred years and the width of a street, the creative architectural practices of Steven Holl Architects and Charles Rennie Mackintosh engage on the slope of Garnethill. The original Glasgow School of Art building evidently has a new neighbour, the ‘Reid’ Building.

Designed and won in competition by Steven Holl and his partner, Chris McVoy, of Steven Holl Architects (New York) in association with JM Architects (Glasgow) the new building accommodates a relocated Directorate, Design School studios, specialist workshops, auditorium, refectory, exhibition spaces, a new visitor centre and the Student Union.

The parallels and inverted contrasts between the two buildings are perhaps obvious and intriguing, not only in their respective programmes and geographically mirrored situations but also in their architects’ ceaseless preoccupations with light, construction technique and spatial disposition which so emphatically inform the day to day experience of both buildings.

The exhibition chronologically charts the design development of the ‘Reid’ Building and depicts the driven voids of light, the circuit of connection, the circulation which encourages the notion of “creative abrasion” and the reversed construction method of thick skin/thin bones as in Mackintosh against thin skin/thick bone of the ‘Reid’ Building.

Steven Holl’s use of watercolour sketches, or in his words ‘drawings with a wet brush and charcoal’, investigate and visualise the compositional form, appearance and spatial qualities of the interiors and the facades, in particular the sourcing and the controlled interplay of natural light. These concept sketches initiate model studies, which then inform new sketches, in an iterative cycle of critiques and discoveries within the studio.

Like Mackintosh before him, Holl exploits the expressive luminosity of this medium in small sketchbooks but unlike Mackintosh’s gentle, geometric precision in his recording of flowers, interiors and landscapes, Holl’s is a more vigorous, though highly considered, use of watercolour which is freer and obviously quick in evocatively capturing the intended coalescence of space, form and light.

In Holl’s own words, “Architecture is an art. This is an art form. This building is an art form.”

Tour of Victoria & Albert Museum’s Eileen Gray Collection

Series: Members' Tour
Date: Friday 20 February 2015 : 11.00
Speaker: Elizabeth Bisley


An exclusive tour of the V&A’s Eileen Gray collection is open to a small group of AA Members and will take place on Friday 20th February lead by Assistant Curator of the V&A Furniture, Textiles & Fashion Department, Elizabeth Bisley. The visit will also include a tour of the furniture gallery and drawing room.

Eileen Gray was one of the most unique furniture designers of the 20th Century, celebrated as one of the first voices of modernism as well as her pioneering work as a women within design.

In 2000, the AA inherited an interest in the copyright of Eileen Gray material held at the V&A, as part of a legacy received from Eileen Gray’s niece, the artist Prunella Clough-Taylor. The legacy supports a series of annual bursaries for AA students, administered by the AA Foundation in memory of Eileen Gray.

For more information on her and her work:

Eileen Gray page on the Victoria & Albert Museum Page – a website dedicated to her work created by Zeev Aram, who worked with Gray during her later years.

Please e-mail if you have any questions.

Image: Armchair, designed and made by Eileen Gray, before 1929. Museum no. Circ.578-1971 Victoria & Albert Museum.

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