Seven architectural practices from six countries and four continents were tasked with transforming one of the city's most prestigious creative institutions for this new type of architecture exhibition.
For a period of ten weeks, visitors to the Royal Academy’s Main Galleries are invited to observe, move through and around, touch, adapt and occupy a series of specially commissioned architectural installations. During this time, the familiar character of its grand Beaux-Arts galleries will host a series of contemporary architectural interventions that will radically transform the apparently dominant character of the classically planned and detailed interiors.
The big aim of Sensing Spaces is to change the way the city thinks about and engages with architecture. At the show's core is a series of space-changing installations – bamboo pyramids that secrete incense, a disorientating maze of mirrors and a kaleidoscope-coloured tunnel that shifts shape as visitors interact with it.
Presenting the work of the internationally preeminent architects, Grafton Architects (Ireland), Diébédo Francis Kéré (Burkina Faso and Berlin), Kengo Kuma (Japan), Li Xiaodong (China), Pezo von Ellrichshausen (Chile), Álvaro Siza and Eduardo Souto de Moura (Portugal), the exhibition not only focuses on the essential elements of architecture (space, proportion, light and materials) overlaid with the subtle presence of cultural nuance, but also, with visitor engagement, on how we perceive these elements through our senses and associative memory – making the experience both personal and collective.
Sensing Spaces: Architecture Reimagined
25 January – 6 April 2014