Unit 13 - Re-presenting the Pre-modern: Wellcome in Wandle
Unit led by AOC Architecture
About the show
Appropriate and socially participative show-stores in the Wandle Valley, developed with and for the Wellcome Collection.
Around 1880, Henry Wellcome set out ‘to collect the world’, passionately convinced of the communicative power of artifacts. Since his death in 1936 the bulk of his collection remains in store. Pre-modern in spirit, the collection is also resolutely Modern in its categorization and classification of human activity and objects. This dual-character gives it an interesting affinity with our site of inquiry, the Wandle Valley in south-west London. Transformed from Ruskin’s idyllic landscape of ‘meadows and manors’, to the most industrialised river in 19th century Europe, the Valley has subsequently integrated every wave of urbanization to become the archetypal contemporary English landscape.
We have spent the year developing appropriate architectures in response to this context, making proposals to store and re-present the Wellcome Collection’s two million artifacts in the Wandle Valley. We began by sampling items from the Collection and site, synthesizing them to create a characterful wallpaper. Considering the buildings’ potential contributions to the landscape, we re-appropriated Camillo Sitte to develop an experience-led design approach. In November we took a road trip from Switzerland to France, studying Basel’s art bunkers, Grenoble’s university greenhouses and Marseille’s cultural sheds. A study of the storage shed typology, from the Temple of Delphi to Schaulager, helped define our spatial concerns and initiated an exploration of the potential for public access to stored artifacts. We immersed ourselves in the collection and made proposals for spaces in which to store and view the collection, re-considering the relationship between visitor, artifact and space to create appropriate and socially participative show-stores.
|P.V.||Tuesday 25 June 2013, 6.30-10pm|
|Opening||Wed 26 June - Fri 5 July 2013
Mon-Fri 10am-7pm, Sat 11am-5pm
|Venue||Spring House (Ground Floor)|
|Unit||Architecture Unit 13|
|Course||Professional Diploma in Architecture RIBA Part 2