Ordinary Takeover

AA Gallery 4/10/2014 - 1/11/2014

Exhibitions are open Monday to Friday 10:00–19:00, Saturday 10:00–15:00, unless otherwise stated.


Ordinary Ltd is an unorthodox architecture and design studio run by Architectural Association alumni Magnus Larsson and Alex Kaiser. Based in east London, the practice is positioned at the intersection of architecture and material science. For Ordinary Takeover, the firm relocates its creative studio to the AA Gallery and works out of the school’s premises for the duration of the show.


From the Stone Age to the Silicon Age, humanity’s relationship with the matter that makes up our environment has framed our scientific and cultural evolution. This exhibition argues that, despite recent scientific advances that open the laboratory doors to a future of material experimentation, we remain stuck in the Concrete Age – which is why Ordinary forges relationships with scientists to push architecture into the next era.


On display are Ordinary’s first forays into these unchartered territories: a plethora of conjectural schemes – such as magnetic skins, bacterial sandstone cities and buildings made from milk – which challenge the status quo and show that matters matter. Within the gallery Ordinary has built six research departments in areas ranging from synthetic biology to ceramic engineering, in which they will undertake experiments and present architectural projects. Ordinary Takeover also hosts a programme of events, talks and workshops in the gallery, plus a vast collection of contemporary material samples in collaboration with the SCIN Gallery.


AA Honours 2014

Front Members' Room 22/9/2014 - 1/11/2014

Exhibitions are open Monday to Friday 10:00–19:00, Saturday 10:00–15:00, unless otherwise stated.


An exhibition of work by the five students receiving AA Diploma Honours in 2014.


Eugenie Hanae Bliah, 'Socks: Collective Living for the Japanese Housewife'
Ioana-Corina Giurgiu, 'SMFoF: Uncovering the Factory in Nature'
Summer Saud Islam, 'Objects of Nostalgia'
Harry Thomas Kay, 'Jīngjù-on-Sea'
Vere Jacomijn van Gool, 'Dear London'

Director's Selection: Projects Review 2014

Graduate Gallery 22/9/2014 - 1/11/2014

Exhibitions are open Monday to Friday 10:00–19:00, Saturday 10:00–15:00, unless otherwise stated.


Projects Review is the culmination of the year’s work at the Architectural Association, showcasing student projects from across the school, from Foundation to PhD.

Director's Selection: Projects Review 2014 presents Brett Steele’s personal choice of the best student work produced during the AA's last academic year.

One-to-One Dom-ino

Venice Biennale 7/6/2014 - 23/11/2014

The 14th International Architecture Exhibition – Venice Biennale 2014
For further details visit:


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

Pier Vittorios Aureli and Eleanor Dodman discuss Maison Dom-ino

Valentin Bontjes van Beek on building the pavilion

Contact details

Head of Exhibitions:
Vanessa Norwood
T: +44 (0)20 7887 4031

Public Programme



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