James Gowan and Álvaro Siza                                     
Housing and the City


AA Gallery 11/3/2017 - 31/3/2017

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

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