The Baltic Material Assemblies

AA Gallery and RIBA 1/3/2018 - 25/3/2018

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Private view on Wednesday 28 February 6pm at the AA Gallery, followed by a reception at RIBA.

To mark the centenary of Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian independence, the Baltic Material Assemblies presents architecture of the Baltic states, exploring the material, infrastructural and cultural connections that have persevered despite the political borders and conflict lines that have been laid throughout the region. The exhibition investigates futurity through its inscription into the region’s geology, infrastructure 
and architecture. Presented at the AA and RIBA, it reveals built space as a common ground for European unity.

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are the only former Soviet states to have become members of the European Union. An overwhelming majority of the energy networks, mining operations and urban layouts that were instruments of the soviet industrialisation of the Baltic States remain functional today. The reconfiguration or dismantling of this vast space demands a new relationship between society and its environment. The transformation of the Baltic States is incremental, synchronised, negotiated on many levels and in many cases only made possible through the support of other members of the EU.

Electricity grids, fossil fuel pipelines, nuclear assemblies, geological sections, minerals, landform buildings, insulation materials, and landscape photographs are assembled in this exhibition and outline the background to the new architectural commitments of the Baltic States.  

Project Curators

Jurga Daubaraitė and Jonas Žukauskas


Contributions by

David Grandorge and Jonathan Lovekin, Eglė Rindzevičiūtė, Jonas Žukauskas, Litgrid, Elering AS, Nomeda and Gediminas Urbonas, Klaipėdos Nafta, Geology Service under the Ministry Environment of Republic of Lithuania, Agata Marzecova, Maroš Krivý, Emilija Škarnulytė, PMscreen, Kārlis Bērziņš, Niklāvs Paegle, Dagnija Smilga, Laila Zariņa, Selim Halulu and Stavros Papavasiliou, Jüri Okas, Kadarik Tüür Arhitektid, Raine Karp and Riina Altmäe, Johan Tali and Karli Luik (molumba), Oleksiy Radynsky, Ines Weizman, Hardijs Lediņš



Vaida Stepanovaitė


Exhibition Venues

Architectural Association (AA), Gallery and Bar
36 Bedford Square
London WC1B 3ES

Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), Practice Space
66 Portland Place
London, W1B 1AD

Related Talks

The Baltic Material Assemblies: Geologies and Infrastructures
Architectural Association, Saturday 3 March, 12pm

Europa 7: Baltic States
Royal Institute of British Architects, Tuesday 20 March, 8.30pm

Image: Tallinn V, 2016, David Grandorge

Produced by

Architecture Fund

Supported by




In 2018 Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are celebrating their Independence Centennial

Kuwait City

Houssam I. Flayhan

37 Ground Floor Corridor 1/2/2018 - 31/7/2018

Having undergone an era of modernization that saw a city fabric of labyrinthine pathways supplanted with avenues and office buildings, the city-state had generated a legacy of imported modernism over the ruins of its historic earthen homes. This tabula rasa had become the guiding principle of the nation's urban planning efforts as the mentality of the constant purge continues to this day. Architectural iconoclasm, which traces its origins to the reverence of the contemporary, seems to have embedded itself as religious edict among the city’s developers and municipal authorities alike.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

A fast disappearing vertical stratigraphy, emblematic of a city that constantly seeks to rid itself of any semblance of the past, is an evident theme of the photographs Houssam displays. The juxtaposition of buildings in the foreground and background, ones of past and present, play out a scene of a city in flux. The variant textures layered in elevation bring about conversations that had occurred previously in plan as the photographs document the inevitable transformation of building type in preference for one that attempts to play catch-up with a perceived image of a ‘global city’.


Text by Hamed S. Bukhamseen



Contact details

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T: +44 (0)20 7887 4026


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