Bath Architecture Exhibition at The Edge, Smithsons Architects Show News

Parallel (of Life and) Architecture

Architectural Exhibition at The Edge, University of Bath, in southwest England, UK

19 Sep 2017

Parallel (of Life and) Architecture – Bath Exhibition

Contemporary reflections on the ideas and impact of Alison and Peter Smithson

The Edge, University of Bath, Claverton Down, Bath, BA2 7AY

Dates: Friday 22nd September – Saturday 4th November 2017

Parallel (of Life and) Architecture will see three duos of architects, artists and designers offer new insight into the legacy of Alison and Peter Smithson. It explores their relationship with the avant-garde and ‘architecture as a direct result of a way of life’ (A+PS). Known for their progressive approach, the Smithsons were key figures in the Brutalism movement and had a great fondness for Bath and the surrounding area.

Simon Terrill, Crowd Theory Thamesmead
image : Simon Terrill, Crowd Theory Thamesmead, 155x250cm, 2017, detail 2

This exhibition brings together the work of Turner Prize winning collective Assemble & Simon Terrill, Warren & Mosley, and The Decorators & GOIG who will each take key developments in the Smithsons’ oeuvre as creative departure points to highlight their impact and lasting relevance as radical thinkers.

Paolozzi Heads, Assemble & Simon Terrill
image : Paolozzi Heads, Assemble & Simon Terrill

The exhibition’s title is taken from the seminal exhibition Parallel of Life and Art, staged in 1953 at the ICA, London by the Smithsons, artist photographer Nigel Henderson and sculptor Eduardo Paolozzi. Echoing the methods and collaborative processes of the Smithsons during their breakthrough phase as architects in 1950s Britain, this exhibition will uniquely reveal their research and creative practices.

Though concerned with how we lived then, the Smithsons’ ideas continue to influence how we live now and undoubtedly will in the future.

Simon Terrill Balfron Tower
image : Simon-Terrill,-Balfron-Tower,-type-C-analogue-print,-162cm-x-200cm,-2010

Jamie Eastman, Director of Arts, University of Bath comments, Alison and Peter Smithson’s approach to architecture, whether as radical arrivals on the post-war scene or as educationists in the late 20th Century, is one so rich with ideas that taking any phase of their careers is inspirational. The University of Bath provides fitting context for the exhibition, as a place of constant innovation, where A+PS designed the beginnings of its 21st century arts complex, The Edge.

Ruth Gooding, Exhibitions Manager, comments, The artists’ creative responses offer us real insight into Alison and Peter Smithson’s architectural practice and audiences will be able to immerse themselves in these intriguing environments which include projections, print, historic models, sound, sculpture and much more.

Work by Sophie Warren and Jonathan Mosley:
Brutal Object
image : Brutal Object, 2015, Sound, cement fibre board, tape, Letraset, printed ABS, light, 760mm x 760mm x 1170 mm, Sound duration 16 minutes, digital modelling by Matt Hynam

A Nodding Acquaintance – A structure for talking while standing and leaning
Sophie Warren and Jonathan Mosley
The Smithsons developed ‘cluster’ housing blocks to engender social relations within ‘streets in the sky.’ Warren & Mosley bring the streets down to earth, rescaling the cluster to the figure as a structure for talking and idling whilst sitting, leaning and standing. The installation references the street party, shifting social values and notions of nationhood from post-war to the present day.

Work by GOIG:
Parallel (of Life and) Architecture, Bath, GOIG

Casa Radas by GOIG:
Casa Radas by GOIG

Casa Pons by GOIG:
Casa Pons by GOIG

Work by The Decorators:

The Decorators:
The Decorators

Seminario Cultural’. Buiding and Remnats Exhibition, Gimaraēs Capital of Culture, 2012:
Seminario Cultural’. Buiding and Remnats Exhibition, Gimaraēs Capital of Culture, 2012.

Ridley’s Temporary Restaurant. Ridley Road Market. London, 2011. Image credit DOSFOTOS:
Ridley's Temporary Restaurant. Ridley Road Market. London

Mobile Italian Garden. Alexadra Palace. London, 2014 Image credit DOSFOTOS:
Mobile Italian Garden. Alexadra Palace. London

Xavier Llarch:
xavier llarch

axonometrica color:
axonometrica color

Transformations of the City
Bath: a re-contextualized, re-scaled, re-enactment
The Decorators & GOIG
This is a unique opportunity to experience the never-seen 1968 Milan Triennale and enter Alison and Peter Smithson’s world of Urban Decoration. It was due to the students’ revolts that year that the Triennale was never open to the public, and the Smithsons’ piece was never seen, but now – in the fitting context of The Edge, University of Bath – audiences can experience it for the first time.

Work by Assemble & Simon Terrill:
Simon Terrill, Nouns of Assembly
photograph : Simon Terrill, Nouns of Assembly -® AC and Sutton Gallery, Melbourne

The Ostrich and the Kipper
Assemble & Simon Terrill
Echoing the collaborative and experimental approach of two of Britain’s most recognised modernist architects – Alison and Peter Smithson and fellow travellers, Eduardo Paolozzi and Nigel Henderson, Assemble and Simon Terrill have created an installation that uses a variety of materials in a collage or ‘glitch’ of intriguing ideas, to unlock the characters of these avant-garde figures.

There will be a programme of events running alongside this exhibition including:

Owen Griffiths
Harvest is a new temporary open-air meeting and learning space, created using straw bales as building blocks. This exploratory project has developed in response to the legacy of post-war architects Alison and Peter Smithson, their connection to the University of Bath and in particular their installation Patio and Pavilion, 1956. Situated in the unique architectural context of the University, Harvest will operate as a ‘free’ space open to all and will host a series of events, discussions and workshops.

Robin Hood Gardens Remembered
Friday 3rd November, 6.30pm
An evening considering the much debated subject of Alison and Peter Smithson’s Robin Hood Gardens in London; a social housing offering scheduled for demolition. How will Robin Hood Gardens be remembered once it’s gone?

Alison and Peter Smithson: Ideas & Impact
Saturday 4th November, 11am – 4pm
A very special symposium that draws together a variety of leading international architects, artists and thinkers to consider the ideas and impact of the Smithsons across urbanism, habitation and education.

Speakers include Simon Smithson, Peter Salter (2017 RIBA award winner and project architect for Alison and Peter Smithson), Assemble, Christine Boyer, David Turnbull, Keith Bradley, Juliet Bidgood, Dr Amy Frost (Bath Preservation Trust) and more.

Parallel (of Life and) Architecture will be the first exhibition in the autumn season – the finale of events at The Edge celebrating the University’s 50th Anniversary year.


Location: The Edge, University of Bath, Claverton Down, Bath, BA2 7AY

Opening Hours Tuesday – Thursday, 11am-8pm
Friday and Saturday, 11am-5pm
Closed Mondays

Admission Free.
Alison and Peter Smithson: Ideas & Impact costs £45 (including lunch and refreshments).

Getting there The nearest rail station is Bath Spa. The Edge is on the eastern edge of campus near the University main bus stop, the East car park and next door to the Sports Training Village.

Twitter: @EdgeArtsBath

The Edge: Art, Research, Adventure

The Edge is an arts and creativity hub informed by the context of the University of Bath. We encourage and nurture arts/research collaborations, providing a place where artists, audiences, researchers and academics can find new perspectives and fertile ground to showcase new thinking and ideas. Here, mechanical engineers meet sculptors interested in moving structures, architects work with artists to shed new light on the nature of play and how architecture influences it, artists bring together inventing and engineering expertise to create artworks of scientific complexity.

Our year-round programme of exhibitions, performing arts presentations, talks, arts classes, family and community events, provide experiences of educational, emotional and intellectual stimulus, all based around our ethos of bringing together arts, research and adventure. Our focus is on participatory programmes and our belief is that everyone can be creative and contribute.

The state-of-the-art Edge building offers galleries, theatres, music and art studios, plus a lively café/bar – a destination that promotes the art in science and the science in art.

Peter Smithson taught architecture at the University of Bath and A+PS designed buildings for its campus, the most significant being 6 East, the University’s Architecture and Civil Engineering building, and the theatre that is now part of The Edge venue.

Location: The Edge, University of Bath, Claverton Down, Bath, BA2 7AY, England, UK

University of Bath Buildings

Changing the shape of floors could cut concrete usage by 75 percent
Thin shell concrete floors University of Bath, UK
image courtesy of the University of Bath
New vaulted style of floor cuts concrete usage

University of Bath – Centre for the Arts, Claverton Down campus
Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
University of Bath Centre for the Arts
render from architects
University of Bath Centre for the Arts

Bath Buildings

Bath Architecture Selection

Bath Riverside
Design: Alison Brooks Architects
Bath Western Riverside
image from Alison Brooks Architects
Bath Riverside

Bath Abbey Building
Design: Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
Bath Abbey Building
image from architect
Bath Abbey Building

The Royal High School Bath
Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
Royal High School Bath
image from architects
Royal High School Bath

Keynsham Town Centre Regeneration
Keynsham town centre buildings
image from architects
Keynsham town centre

The Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care
Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
Dyson Centre Bath
photo © Craig Aukland / Fotohaus
The Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care Bath

Bath Architecture

Key Buildings in Bath, alphabetical:

Bath arts complex – ICIA, Bath University
Winner: McInnes Usher McKnight Architects
Shortlist: Jamie Fobert; McInnes Usher McKnight Architects; Penoyre & Prasad; Stanton Williams; Tony Fretton
Bath University Arts Complex

Bath Spa development
Grimshaw Architects
Bath Spa
photograph : Edmund Sumner
Thermae : Bath Spa

Circle Bath – Centre of Clinical Excellence
Foster + Partners
Circle Bath
image : Foster + Partners
Circle Bath

Holburne Museum of Art
Eric Parry Architects
Holburne Museum building
image by Smoothe from Eric Parry Architects
Holburne Museum of Art building

James Dyson Design School
Wilkinson Eyre
Dyson School Bath
picture from architect
Dyson School of Design Innovation

SouthGate Bath
Chapman Taylor Architects
SouthGate Bath

Bristol Buildings

Exhibitions – chronological list

Bath Architectural Heritage Debate : Speakers incl. Eric Parry + Sir Richard MacCormac
Holburne Museum
picture from architect

English Architects

English Architecture

Comments / photos for the Parallel (of Life and) Architecture – Bath Exhibition page welcome