Friday, 25 April 2014

Adventures in Architecture

How many of us Londoners chastise ourselves for not making the most of what our city offers?

Knowing that the RA's Sensing Space exhibition was in its last days, and having heard how good it was, it was first thing on my list when I was able to catch an afternoon off.

The RA is such an architectural feast itself. I love walking into the courtyard from the bustle of Piccadilly.

It's a little known fact that either side of the door are old London phone boxes, made out of wood!

The detailing on the pillars is so intricate it could almost make you forget the main attraction.


The exhibition began with a room shrouded in white curtains, onto which were projected some quotes from the featured architects.

Wise words, softly billowing.

Next was a room within a room. You could climb inside this birch wood structure, and walk around the platform at the top.

True to the quote, the stairs were so stripped to their function that they had a purity and rhythm.

Being up there allowed me - quite literally - to see the gallery from a totally different perspective. I could not count the number of times I have walked through this gallery, but I'd never appreciated the detail before.

The following room was pure fun. Plastic straws had been hooked onto the structure, so that it was a truly interactive piece. Even the littlest could make an architectural contribution!

Messy up close, but the overall effect was quite ethereal.

I loved these witty echoes of the doorways

The most surreal room was signalled by an entrance of canvas slats.

Inside was a wood structure which seemed to start as a maze..

...and then opened into a room, carpeted with pebbles. This was moody, noisy architecture!

I think the archtitect would have been delighted to have Shining-esque twins crunching their way around!

As I left the exhibition, there was a sober and topical reminder that people affect architecture in ways never intended.

An added treat of the RA membership is the Friends' Room.

The members space has recently been upgraded and expanded.

Quirky details feature everywhere.

Even a visit to the loo was a visual treat.

Located right in the basement, this was the sweeping entrance.

Inside, the low lighting and dark neutrals were used to dramatic effect.

I also discovered in the basement a jewel box of a bar. The bar itself was a plush red.

The rest of the room was a fleshy pink, and hung with work by contemporary Academicians.

Putting theory into practice. Top marks, RA!

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