Join Joe Osae-Addo, Coleman Jordan and Jacopo Galli as they introduce the latest ArchiAfrika Pavilion and exhibitions, followed by a series of presentations from the https://registerarchitecturelandscape.uk/course-of-empire . This is going to be a rare treat, and it’s all live via Youtube if you can’t get to Venice in time.
Thank you to Prof. Ola Uduku of Manchester School of Architecture for reviewing the ‘Sharing Stories from Jamestown’ exhibition. The exhibition has been extended to run until the end of June 2019. Below I’ve uploaded a 360 degree panoramic view – you can ‘click and drag’ the film to have a look around….
Iain Jackson’s exhibition co-curated by Allotey Konuah-Bruce and Joe Addo opened to great acclaim on Saturday evening at the Jamestown Café, venue, near Ussher Fort. Curiously the café it was confirmed by local elders who attended the opening is accurately in Usshertown; the exhibition launch providing a great forum for these questions to be aired and for detailed discussions to be had.
Historic photographs and maps of ‘old’
Jamestown buildings have been placed next to those which show their age,
condition and use, in ‘contemporary’ Jamestown have been displayed in the lower
gallery of the Jamestown Café, which itself features in the exhibition as Tarquah
house, the dwelling and warehouse of one of Jamestown’s wealthy local
merchants, who had originally had it built. The exhibition represents a true
joint collaboration between Iain Jackson and Allotey Konuah-Bruce who have
formed a close and productive working relationship as they have spent the…
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You are invited to our Exhibition, ‘Sharing Stories from Jamestown’, opening on the evening of Friday 17th May 2019 at Jamestown Cafe, High Street, Accra. All very Welcome! The exhibition will run until 13th June.
We’ll be exhibiting vintage photographs, plans and drawings from over ten archives and private collections that have been gathered together here for the first time. To accompany the exhibition we’ve also produced a catalogue that attempts to explain and contextualise the images, and to tell the history of Accra’s development, planning and architecture. You can read the digital version below. We’re indebted to Allotey Bruce-Konuah for expertly setting out the catalogue.
We will include more photographs and 360 degree footage of the exhibition as soon as it is installed.
Sharing Stories from James Town and the Creation of Mercantile Accra
Forthcoming Exhibition at James Town Cafe, 17th May 2019
I’ve been working in Jamestown, Accra to start planning an exhibition on the colonial and mercantile architecture of the district. Using archival and historical images and maps the exhibition will celebrate and explore Accra’s rich architectural heritage and urban history. The exhibition will focus on the warehouses, stores, factories and offices of James Town and examine how the city rapidly developed into a vast commercial enterprise.
The images for the exhibition have been generously provided by Unilever, Barclays, UK National Archives, The British Museum and private collections. Most of these images have not been exhibited before and we’re delighted that they will be shown in Accra, and in very close proximity to where they were originally taken.There will be a printed/PDF catalogue to accompany the exhibition showing both archival and modern photographs of the buildings, along with historical maps, and we will hang large photographic banners of the archival images directly onto the historic buildings in James Town.
The main exhibition (co-designed with architect Joe Osae-Addo and designer Allotey Bruce-Konuah) will be hosted by ArchiAfrika at the James Town Café, from 17th May 2019. We’re also hoping that it will go on tour to University of Ghana (details to be announced). In June there will be an additional exhibition hosted at the James Town Café curated by Lukasz Stanek and Ola Uduku of Manchester School of Architecture – and we’ll include more on both exhibitions here.
We’ve also started a new project to produce 360 degree panoramic photographs (and films) of some of the key sites and streets in James Town (and its environs). The images have been captured with a Ricoh Theta camera and we’ve taken over 200 photographs/ short films to date. The clips will be pieced together as a series of films and overdubbed with a commentary on the history and significance of the buildings in view. The films may be viewed with a VR headset for a more immersive experience. Allotey Bruce-Konuah already gives tours of James Town, and these films will enable his expertise to reach a wider audience, as well as encouraging new visitors to make the trip to this unique and highly important portion of Accra.
Exhibition: Nek Chand at Pallant House Gallery, Chelmsford, until 25th October
This is a rare chance to see Nek Chand’s work in the UK, and in an external setting which is how the sculptures should be seen. Pallant House Gallery has a large group of sculptures on show courtesy of the Nek Chand Foundation.
I re-visited Nek Chand’s Rock Garden, Chandigarh in August, eager to see how it was being treated and maintained following Nek Chand’s passing in June. I was very concerned that at best it would not be managed properly, and my worst fears were theft and destruction of this unique creation. It was such a relief to see it all looking better than ever. The walkways were clean, litter free and everything was running smoothly. Whilst work seems to have ground to a halt in ‘phase 3’ this may not be a bad thing. Perhaps we now need to think of the garden as being complete and any further changes to be made with utmost care and restraint.
Exhibition: Tropicality Revisited: Recent Approaches by Indonesian Architects is currently on show at the Deutsches Architekturmuseum , Frankfurt, Germany.
29 August 2015 – 3 January 2016, 3rd floor
GUIDED TOURS: Saturday and Sunday, 14:00
Architecture in the Tropics was never just about offering shelter from rain and sun. “Tropical architecture” suddenly gained global relevance with the emergence of Modernist Architecture and was adapted to suit all climates and cultures. During the post-War period the science of climatic architectural design became an international success. For many generations of Indonesian architects, the tropics has never been a romantic colony, but a harsh reality with its torrential rains, heat, and high humidity. Today, “tropical architecture” is often easily forgotten by the critics, lost behind the glazed and airconditioned skyscrapers or the celebrated designs for tropical tourist resorts. At times, it seems to be taken for granted – pitched roof and overhangs are the ready-to-use answers – but it is also a challenge for architects to find new solutions. In the days of climate change and energy crises, architecture adapted to the climate is making a triumphal comeback.
12 ARCHITECTS \ 12 PROJECTS
- Achmad Tardiyana, Jakarta – Rumah Baca, Bandung
- Adi Purnomo \ mamostudio, Ciputat – Studi-O Cahaya, West Jakarta
- djuhara + djuhara, Ciputat – Wisnu Steel House, Bekasi
- andramatin, Jakarta – Andra Matin House, Jakarta
- Csutoras & Liando, Jakarta – Kineforum Misbar, Jakarta
- d-associates, Bandung – Tamarind House, Jakarta
- EFF Studio, Denpasar \ Bali – Almarik Restaurant, Gili Trawangan \ Lombok
- Eko Prawoto Architecture Workshop, Yogyakarta – Eko Prawoto House, Yogyakarta
- Studio Akanoma, Bandung – Ciledug Timber House, Ciledug \ Tangerang
- LABO, Bandung – House #1 at Labo. the mori, Bandung
- Studio TonTon, Jakarta – Ize Hotel, Seminyak \ Bali
- Urbane Indonesia, Jakarta – Baiturrahman Mosque, Kopeng \ Yogyakarta
More information at: http://www.dam-online.de/
The Exhibition Africa Big Change Big Chance has recently opened in La Triennale in Milan curated by Benno Albrecht
Africa Big Change Big Chance is an overview of the architecture and transformations in progress in Africa. The changes affect the control of large numbers, they show huge shifts of people, pressure caused by urbanization, the inappropriate use of natural resources and territories. The transformation – the Big Change – and the opportunity – the Big Chance – reflect the order of prospects available today for a better and sustainable future in Africa. The continent will be the theatre of a new modernity, where a different global and cosmopolitan culture may be developed.
Jacopo Galli curated the section of the exhibition regarding the Architectures of Modernity presenting 90 projects developed in Africa from 1945 to 2015. TAG member Iain Jackson and Ola Uduku contributed to the exhibition.
The possibility of change is personified by the key players on the African architectural scenario, from the end of World War II to the present. The spotlight turns to the figures involved in design projects committed to proposing a new modernity. Projects are fielded to remedy extreme situations that show the technical horizons of architecture related to passive environmental control. The exceptional nature of these experiments suggests that Africa was – and is – a training ground for a challenging concept of modernity.
A catalogue has been published by Editrice Compositori both in italian as well as in English and it’s available at this link
‘Charles Correa India’s Greatest Architect’
This review was originally published (without the photographs) in the JSAH Journal, Vol 73, no.1, March 2014.
‘Charles Correa India’s Greatest Architect’ exhibition featured at the RIBA, London, as part of its ‘Out of India’ season, that also included numerous events running throughout the summer. Film screenings, discussions, a symposium with Charles Correa, and a lecture by the great man himself will subject the work to an extended period of interrogation where proper debate can ensue.
India has become something of a hot topic, with recent high profile visits made to the country by Prime Minister David Cameron, coupled with numerous television programmes and radio broadcasts, trade delegations and educational visits; the UK is hungry for all things Indian.
The exhibition at the RIBA forms part of this renewed interest, but was largely triggered by Correa’s decision to donate his personal archive of over 6,000 artifacts to the RIBA – the largest single donation to their collection by a non-British architect. This fine array of drawings, models and written ephemera spanning from 1958 to the present, promises to be a most valuable resource to scholars and students, and for those unable to visit London, has been digitized in its entirety (more about this later). Correa is at liberty to give his work to whomever he pleases, but the choice of a British Institution, and a Royal one at that, may raise some eyebrows and probably came as a shock even to the RIBA. Correa was born during the colonial era and his work has consistently looked to develop an architecture that was modern, firmly entrenched as Indian, and certainly not European. Despite this, Correa felt that the RIBA would look after the work and ensure that it is properly catalogued and preserved – a feat that sadly would be difficult to achieve in India (a visit to the Chandigarh City Museum demonstrates how Le Corbusier’s drawings have been treated…)
The exhibition, designed by David Adjaye and curated by Irena Murray, is spread over two floors with the lower level including a series of timber plinths painted in the delightful hues of paprika, turmeric and saffron invoking the Jawahar Kala Kendra project. It is a dramatic introduction to the work that leaves one expectant of something really special but sadly the exhibition fails to do justice to this enigmatic architect. Architecture exhibitions are peculiar affairs, not least because the architecture rarely features in architecture exhibitions, instead, we see the machinery created as a result of, or to enable the production of, the artifact in question – what Correa calls the trail left by a snail. The gap between drawing and architecture is especially apparent when viewing Correa’s work; the buildings and spaces (‘the empty centre’ in Correa’s parlance) really need to be moved through, set against an open sky and as Adjaye describes in the catalogue, absorbed through the soles of the feet. His work is not really captured by a rendered elevation or static photograph, nevertheless, considerable pleasure is gained from studying his sketches that go someway in connecting us to the person behind the drawings. Through the pencil lines and coloured crayons we can discern something of the architect who made the marks – but at this exhibition we are not even looking at the actual drawings. Instead, they are scanned reproductions on mountboard. Perhaps this would not matter if they were not so grossly enlarged to the point that they are pixelated. I found this to be most distressing, as when viewed in the catalogue (which is excellent and highly recommended) they look wonderful. As the original drawings could not be displayed due to the lighting at the RIBA it might have been a better idea not to show any at all, or just to reproduce the images as the small drawings that they are, rather than distorting them in this manner. The photographs are more forgiving, but some of them are also pixelated and not really of exhibition quality. Despite these distractions, the models go a long way to make things better. The Hindustan Lever Pavilion model in tropical hardwood is spectacular and still a radical design despite being over fifty years old, and the model of the Kanchanjunga Apartments stands at over 6ft tall putting the apartments at eye-level and immediately showing the vantage points and interiors. The housing section is the real strength of the exhibition, and arguably of Correa’s career – from the ‘Tube House’ and one-off houses in the Ahmedabadian brick and concrete style, through to the courtyard houses of Belapur and the PREVI experimental houses in Peru he has demonstrated how to design dwellings. It is these schemes, along with Correa’s analysis and proposals for Mumbai that put him up there as one of India’s greatest architects (what will the RIBA call the exhibition if Doshi follows suit with his archive? India’s Greatest Architect 2?)
The rest of the content I found lacking and slightly predictable; I was hoping to see some of the less well-known designs, or greater analysis of some of the larger projects. For example, the confrontational LIC building in Delhi is sadly missing from the exhibition – how does that building fit with Correa’s objective of site and context, for instance? In many ways the designer and curator have played it too safe, and other than the outstanding project in Lisbon, Portugal, and the Po-Mo British Council building in Delhi we are not shown much of the playful later work.
The digital archive interface has been carefully crafted and as well as including the entire collection of drawings contains photographs of the models, buildings and scans of magazine articles and books that discuss the projects in question. The digital archive should have played a central role in the exhibition and broken away, at least in part, from the static mode of exhibiting and the passive role of viewing an exhibition – it was the perfect opportunity to project all of his work in a small space and to use the displays to critically examine the work, and perhaps to further explore why Correa might just be India’s greatest architect.
The catalogue: Irena Murray, Charles Correa India’s Greatest Architect (London, RIBA Publishing, 2013), price £9.95
Jane Drew (1911-1996): An Introduction
We’re delighted that the ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts) is to hold an exhibition specifically on Jane Drew, especially as she helped to establish that very institution. The exhibition has been curated by Claire Louise Staunton and Laura Guy, who are part of Inheritance Projects. The exhibition opens on 12th February – 23 March 2014. More details on the website below.