Potential Monuments of Unrealised Futures

AA Gallery 16/1/2015 - 12/3/2015

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

 Potential Monuments of Unrealised Futures presents work by two Albanian artists: Edi Hila and Adrian Paci. Curated by Beyond Entropy Balkans (Jonida Turani and Stefano Rabolli Pansera), this exhibition was originally commissioned by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Albania for the Pavilion of the Republic of Albania at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition, Venice Biennale 2014.

The exhibition explores how modernity can be absorbed through a reflection on the social and cultural dynamics presented in the work of the two artists. The unrealised futures are the promises of modernity; partially realised, but yet not completed.

Focusing their gaze on buildings, the processes of construction and unfinished architectural elements, the artists avoid the traditional architectural viewpoint. In the potential created by the fragmented and uncompleted plans, lie the conditions of a new concept of potentiality considered as a value to be preserved. Maintaining this potential suggests another direction for political and architectural action.

In the series Penthouse, Edi Hila envisages the domestic architecture dispersed in the Albanian landscape. The constructions, elevated onto plinths, become imagined architectures loaded with monumental elements: arches, pediments and pilasters. The paintings reveal a conceptual model for transforming the traces of modernity into potential monuments.

The Column by Adrian Paci is articulated in two elements: the projection of a video inside the AA Gallery and a column resting horizontally outside the exhibition space in Bedford Square. The video documents the transformation of a block of marble into a Corinthian column inside a factory-ship on the ocean. The column, a universal architectural element, emerges from the labour of a group of workers who, covered in dust, become an extension of the sculpture. Once completed, the column is detached from this context of production and is not erected but remains horizontal, in a state of impotence and potential.

Event: Friday 16 January, 6:30pm, Stefano Rabolli Pansera and Jonida Turani in discussion with Adrian Paci, Edi Hila and Edi Rama, Prime Minister of Albania

Review: http://www.lovecamden.org/albanian-artists-architectural-association

Salones de Eventos
Freddy Mamani Silvestre

AA Bar 16/1/2015 - 14/2/2015

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


In the fast-developing city of El Alto, just west of La Paz, Bolivia, an architectural phenomenon has emerged so rapidly that it still lacks a proper name. Some refer to it as ‘space-ship architecture,’ others herald it as ‘new Andean,’ but most just call it ‘kitsch.’ Yet the brightly coloured buildings that continue to pop up all over the otherwise flat and monotonous landscape of El Alto represent the most interesting architectural development in the country today.


With no architectural training and almost single-handedly, Freddy Mamani Silvestre has built for the emerging middle-classes of Aymara origins about 60 such buildings in little more than 10 years. A double-height Salon de Eventos (Party Hall) occupies the first floor. It caters for Ayamara's strong culture of communal activity and celebration, and it provides the building's owner with a generous source of income.

Mamani Silvestre believes he is providing the long-despised city of El Alto with a new positive identity.

Extract of an article by Elisabetta Andreoli,
author of The Architecture of Freddy Mamani Silvestre (La Paz, 2014). 

Drawing on Holl
Steven Holl Architects

Front Members' Room 16/1/2015 - 14/2/2015

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


"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."

Written by Mark Baines

Contact details

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

Public Programme



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