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V&A is to take a piece of a London council block to Venice Biennale

A housing property that’s within the strategy of being demolished in East London is to be despatched to the Venice Architectural Biennale in May. London’s V&A Museum has acquired a three-storey part of the sprawling Robin Hood Gardens, at present below demolition, and is to move it on a barge to Italy for the world well-known design exhibition.

The 213 flat property, designed and constructed by famed brutalist architects Peter and Alison Smithson within the late 1960s with the imaginative and prescient of ‘streets in the sky’. Image by Getty

Robin Hood Gardens was constructed within the 1960s and hailed as one of many most interesting examples of brutalist structure in Western Europe. The housing undertaking was designed by the Smithsons, on the time Britain’s most influential architects, with the imaginative and prescient of it changing into a primary instance of a social housing improvement.  Alison and Peter Smithson had a imaginative and prescient for the property to characterize a brand new way of life, and was a response to the tower blocks that had been arising throughout London.

Alison Smithson on one of many ‘streets in the sky’ decks in Robin Hood Gardens, taken 1970s. Image by Smithson Family Collection

Yet Robin Hood Gardens was marred with social issues and the property was poorly maintained and blighted by crime. A marketing campaign to have it preserved and listed, with signatures from the likes of the late architect Zaha Hadid was unsuccessful, and bulldozers moved in. However, the V&A managed to  salvage a three-storey part of every façade and the unique inside fittings of two flats  and now intends to convey it to Venice for the annual Biennale.

The property was blighted by social issues and crime over the a long time. Image by The Victoria and Albert Museum

Entitled ‘Robin Hood Garden, a Ruin in Reverse’ the exhibition will reconstruct one of many property’s aerial walkways, tagged  ‘streets in the sky’ when the constructing was first unveiled over 50 years in the past, designed by the Smithsons to foster interplay between neighbours.

The view from a flat inside Robin Hood Gardens, 1970s. Image by The Smithson Family Collection

Dr Olivia Horsfall Turner, curator of the 2018 Pavilion of Applied Arts, explains why they selected to avoid wasting a piece from demolition: “Robin Hood Gardens embodied such a bold vision for housing provision yet less than 50 years after its completion it is being torn down. Out of the ruins of Robin Hood Gardens, we want to look again at the Smithson’s original ideals and ask how they can inform and inspire current thinking about social housing.”

The three-floor part (marked out)of the brutalist buidling that has been preserved by the V&A. Image by The Victoria and Albert Museum

Inside the pavilion, the V&A has commissioned a brand new work by Korean artist Do Ho Suh which can current a panoramic report of the structure and interiors earlier than they’re torn down. Through archival images and specially-recorded interviews, the exhibition appears to be like on the imaginative and prescient and destiny of Robin Hood Gardens and asks what we will study from its ruins.




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