17 May 2010

V&A Architectural Model Exhibition

Villa Stein-de Monzie, Le Corbusier (built 1926-8)
Le Corbusier was the pioneer of 'Modern Architecture' & the 'International style' of architecture. He was an architect, artist, designer, urbanist & writer born in Switzerland. The model shows his Villa Stein-de Monzie in Garches, France. The building has been described as having "isolated space", surrounded by gardens & open spaces created by terraces. The concept came from the idea of ocean liners, & 16th century Palladian homes. This was my favourite model, not necessarily because of the actual structure, but the materials used, mainly the contrast between the light material used for the building itself & the dark surrounding trees.

Gatwick Airport Terminal, Hoar Marlow & Lovett (built 1935-6)
This was the first airport terminal to give passengers direct, covered access to the aircraft. The interior was carefully considered & designed to seperate streams of passengers, this was done with three telescopic tunnels that brought passengers from arrivals into customs & the immigration halls. Another three tunnels connected the passenger lounges to the departing planes. For the time I think this was quite an ingenious design & layout, however when you think what Gatwick airport is like today it is a very different story! Just the size comparison is astonishing, but then today you can fly to any destination in the world which is very different how it was nearly 100 years ago.

Bluewater, Eric Kuhne & Associates (built 1996-9)
Bluewater, in Greenhithe, Kent, is the UK's largest shopping mall. Nine million people live within one hour's drive of the centre. The design is so that it houses leisure facilities, shops & restaurants all under one roof, similar to most shopping centres. The triangular shape holds 320 outlets, in three seperate districts, all aimed at different markets. The model was quite impressive, it clearly illustrated the expanse of the centre & the variations of buildings & usages within the site.

BedZED Sustainable Housing, Bill Dunster Architects (built 1999-2001)
Bedddinton Zero Energy Development (BedZED) in Wallington, Surrey, is the UK's largest mixed use sustainable development, incorporating housing, workspace & community facilities. Normal people have moved into the development to live more sustainable & environmentally friendly lives. Every aspect of life is monitored & all sustainable alternatives are used throughout their lives, from water & electricity usage, food products, waste, transport, housing & many more aspects. I saw this model at the V&A as was so intrigued I decided to make a visit as it is just 10 miles away from Kingston. The development is pretty amazing, it is function, efficient & quirkily attractive. Unfortunately I was unable to take photos as this is where people actually live, however I was given permission to take photos from the BedZED website (http://www.bioregional.com/what-we-do/our-work/bedzed/)


Rachel said...

Hey, do you have any idea what the trees are made out of in the model of Villa Stein-de Monzie by Corbu? They'd be perfect for my thesis model, but can't tell if thet're made of wire or paper or something else entirely....

Alice said...

Hi. I am not entirely sure, these photos were taken quite awhile ago, however I'm pretty certain they were wire. And looking at the photo I think it looks more wire like than anything else. Sorry I can't be more sure!