All Purpose (À toutes fins utiles)AA Gallery 14/11/2014 - 13/12/2014
Exhibitions are open Monday to Friday 10:00–19:00, Saturday 10:00–15:00.
The architectural thought of Auguste Perret (1874-1954) was dedicated to defining a set of characteristics peculiar to the recently discovered material, reinforced concrete. His output demonstrates a radical approach and represents a departure from the construction traditions of the time. In parallel, it can also be perceived as a classical practice, following the ideas of Viollet-Le-Duc, among others.
A series of themes spreads through Perret’s work – facades, the sovereign shelter, the inclusion of a space into another, the structural expression, etc. These themes constitute the fundamental elements of his method and one can find them in every scheme. In this exhibition each element is used as the starting point for a new project – the final set of design propositions gives a clear view of Auguste Perret’s repertoire: column, profile, structure, shelter, cabinet, room, portico and vault.
This work was developed with a third-year studio at ENSA-Versailles – a space created for research that brings together theory and practice. The projects on show evoke proto-architectures and inhabitable open structures instead of architectural answers to predetermined functional requirements. The approach refers to Perret’s pronouncement during the construction of Palais d’Iéna, “ [...] a vast, all purpose shelter. Today it houses civil engineering equipment. Tomorrow we could have sculptures exhibited here [...].”
Organised by: Cédric Libert and Thomas Raynaud
Contributing students: Roxane Belot, Charles Bourely, Julien Bricout, Evalyne Chancel,Thomas Charil, Alice Desamais, Arnaud Despretz, Maria Del Mar Flores Flo, Simon Genillier, Lucas Huvet, Amaury Lefevere, Manon Muller, Julie Rondeau, Charles Rosenfeld, Antoine Souché and Thomas Yaher
À toutes fins utiles was originally developed as a contribution to the exhibition Auguste Perret: Huit Chefs d'œuvre !/? curated by Rem Koolhaas OMA/AMO and Joseph Abram and organised by the Economic, Social and Environmental Council (ESEC) in collaboration with Fondazione Prada at the Palais d'Iéna – ESEC headquarters in 2013.
This exhibition is supported by: ENSA-Versailles and Fondazione Prada
Gallery Talk: Cédric Libert in conversation with Alice Grégoire (OMA/AMO), Paul Cournet (OMA/AMO) and Max Kahlen. Saturday 15 November, 11.00am, Admission Free
Foreign CorrespondenceFront Members' Room 14/11/2014 - 13/12/2014
Exhibitions are open Monday to Friday 10:00–19:00, Saturday 10:00–15:00.
Foreign Correspondence brings together six photographic projects portraying the cities of Buenos Aires, Guatemala, Havana, Medellin, Monterrey and Panama - a selection indicative of the cultural and geographical diversity of Latin America.
While a written description of a place can originate entirely in the imagination (travel writers who never travelled are not uncommon) a photographic survey results from the direct engagement of a photographer. The principal challenge of representing a city lies in identifying the political, social, and economic markers embedded in ordinary spaces whose very familiarity can make them imperceptible to those who experience them daily.
The makers of these pictures share the stance of outsiders, invested in understanding the complexity of their adopted surroundings. They utilize a range of visual resources, from the seemingly objective typology to the lyrical snapshot, as a way of establishing a critical dialogue with the history of the medium and its documentary impulse. The exhibition contests the assumption that a foreign view is inevitably imposing or naive; pondering instead what is gained and lost by distinct attempts to make visible the social and ecological impact of the built environment on everyday lives.
Thomas Locke Hobbs
Supported by Metro Imaging.
One-to-One Dom-inoVenice Biennale 7/6/2014 - 23/11/2014
The 14th International Architecture Exhibition – Venice Biennale 2014
For further details visit: www.labiennale.org
The Maison Dom-ino, realised by the Architectural Association School of Architecture at The 14th International Architecture Exhibition – Venice Biennale 2014.
Introduction by Brett Steele, Director AA School
The Maison Dom-ino was designed by Le Corbusier in 1914 as a housing prototype that would address a Europe-wide housing shortage in the years leading up to the Great War. The system itself never saw widespread production by either the architect or his European contemporaries in the form it was initially conceived. Instead, the unbuilt imagery and generalised design principles embodied in Maison Dom-ino became the most recognisable – the most fundamental – project of twentieth-century architecture. As a project Dom-ino distils modern architecture to a set of guiding, abstract and idealised principles. This is a key reason why the ‘afterlife’ of Dom-ino can still be seen and felt today, a hundred years later on.
This reconstruction of Le Corbusier’s original design is part of that afterlife. It has been made in the form of a 1:1 working model of system ‘B’ (of the three Le Corbusier originally developed). The original construction system for Dom-ino consisted of horizontal slabs, an integral stairway and slender pilotis, which together reduce modern building to its bare minimum – a concrete structural frame. This 2014 reconstruction replaces the steel and concrete with a twenty-first-century building technology, engineered timber (GSA-Technology). With the help of Bern-based engineer Jürg Stauffer (Neue Holzbau and Just Swiss), this new model follows three of the core principles of the original system: prefabricated elements assembled on site; provision for a locally sourced enclosure or cladding; and the assembly of a unit that can be multiplied horizontally or vertically, as if a domino piece.
This building (of the twentieth-century’s most iconic modern architectural drawing) by the AA School for the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale is the first part of ‘Happy Birthday Dom-ino’ – a year-long celebration of the project’s centennial. Built as a transportable, flat-pack installation, this 1:1 model will travel from Venice to London, Tokyo and other cities worldwide. In this mobile form, Dom-ino 2014 offers a demonstration of the project’s other fundamental expectation: that modern architectural principles are (and remain) a project for the entire world, for architecture, cities and people everywhere.
This initial installation, in front of the Italia Pavilion at the centre of the biennale, will remind visitors not only of modern architecture’s most foundational project, but of an architectural instinct made even more apparent today than it was at the time of its original conception; namely that architecture always operates in the space created by a contrast between architecture as already known, and what it might yet become.
The Architectural Association School of Architecture is grateful for the generous support, advice and assistance of many individuals who have made this project possible.
Original Design: Le Corbusier, 1914, with thanks to the Fondation Le Corbusier, Paris
Reconstruction Commissioned by: Brett Steele (Director, AA School)
Project Architect: Valentin Bontjes van Beek (vbvb studio)
Project Collaboration: Joshua Penk, Sreerag Palangat Veetil (drawings & models), Thomas Weaver
Structural Engineering: Juerg Stauffer (Just SWISS)
Fabrication: Neue Holzbau AG
Assembly Venice: AA Exhibitions
Owner/Client: AA School of Architecture, London
Sponsorship & Support: Just Swiss/Neue Holzbau