James Gowan and Álvaro SizaAA Gallery 11/3/2017 - 31/3/2017
Housing and the City
Monday to Friday 10:00–19:00, Saturday 10:00–17:00.
This exhibition offers a close comparative reading of the design process within housing projects by James Gowan (1923-2015) and Álvaro Siza (b. 1933), with particular reference to the specific architectural problems that confronted both architects when addressing the typologies of stacked maisonettes and terraced houses in the decades after 1963. Gowan is represented by his designs for Greenwich and East Hanningfield, and Siza by Bouça and Vila Viçosa.
These projects were being developed whilst the Pruitt-Igoe housing complex in the United States was demonized and demolished – a critique that continues in the current discussion on the fate of Alison and Peter Smithson’s 1972 Robin Hood Gardens. By examining the design development of specific projects, the exhibition aims to reconsider the particular problems of public housing design that had started with some of the last large-scale developments of the European welfare state, and strives to understand the poor public reception that they have received as models for inhabitation.
Curated by Ellis Woodman and Manuel Montenegro
A Drawing Matter Collections research project, in collaboration with the Architectural Association
THE RIVERBEDFront Members' Room 18/3/2017 - 27/5/2017
Monday to Friday 10:00–19:00, Saturday 10:00–17:00.
NB. Closed 1–18 April (AA Easter Closure)
In a remote mountainous area of south-east Spain, multi-national, non-conformist individuals live out their versions of paradise in ephemeral, loosely bound communities. Here, people choose migration to facilitate an ideology, in an attempt to escape western society rather than join it.
In this landscape, distinct countercultural groups exist in hard to find places – along the banks of an infertile riverbed, in ravines and off mountain passes, in relative proximity to each other. People who reject and subvert the conventions of a structured democratic society from Europe, North and South America, Japan and Australasia gravitate to this area, making their temporal imprint on the land, local culture and atmosphere of place through the environments they stage and occupy. Temporal encampments appear then disappear. In a continual state of flux, some are relocated, some are destroyed by the local authorities, some are abandoned, then re-inhabited and reconfigured by others searching for a sense of utopia.
These photographs, made during extended trips over a ten-year period, show how international neo-nomadic countercultures are represented, reinforced and maintained through the customised trucks, vans, coaches and self-made dwellings they inhabit. Reflecting on values and expectations of home, society and freedom, and the inevitable paradoxes, compromises and entanglements inherent in rejecting the dominant system, the work aims to ask what it means to live an alternative life on the margins of the mainstream, and how these identities are expressed through dwelling and habitat.
Anthroposophical Architecture: Rudolf Steiner37 Ground Floor Corridor 13/1/2017 - 1/4/2017
Photographs by Peter Jeffree
Monday to Friday 10:00–18:00
A selection of photographs of the world centre for the Anthroposophical Movement in Dornach, Switzerland.
Rudolf Steiner was one of the most influential yet controversial reformers of the 20th century. He founded the anthroposophic movement, inspired artists such as Modrian, Kandinsky and Beuys, set up the Steiner school system, created extraordinary furniture designs and influenced a style of construction that seems to have anticipated contemporary architecture.
Worldwide, several hundred Steiner schools, numerous anthroposophic clinics, therapeutic establishments, banking institutes and hundreds of biologically dynamic farms demonstrate his ideas have had a lasting impact and the breadth of their influence. His holistic philosophy even seems to have arrived in mainstream post-modern society, as is evident from the growing demand for natural cosmetics and organic products and an increasing awareness of the environment. Nevertheless, opinion is still divided on him. Some revere Steiner as an important source of inspiration, while others find the esoteric aspects of his philosophy and the messianic characteristics of his work just as suspect as the idiosyncratic aesthetics of his works.
Rudolf Steiner: Alchemy of the Everyday, Vitra Museum of Design, Foreword, Alexander von Vegesack & Mateo Kries, 2010
Peter Jeffree studied architecture at University College London, qualifying in 1976. He worked as an architect for the BBC, and later as Chief Architect for John Lewis Department Stores until 2006. A photography enthusiast since his youth, he began commercial architectural photography in 1990, initially in parallel with his work as an architect. Architectural photography is now his primary occupation. Extensively travelled, his work covers a wide range of commissioned and self-initiated subjects from newly built exteriors and exteriors to restoration studies of historic structures. He has been a regular contributor to the Architectural Association Photo Library since 1995.