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Reflections on architecture

The Velvet & Silk Cafe No.6

December 11th, 2012

Last Thursday, we attended the Velvet and Silk Cafe No. 6 at which we were kindly invited to present our work carried out at this year’s Venice Bienalle alongside our Critical Dialogues collaborators, Do Architecture, Pidgin Perfect and Stone Opera.


Kiltr were generous enough to host the event in their new office - a conversion of an old slaughterhouse next to the award winning Printworks development, both designed and redeveloped by Cameron Webster Architects. Nearing completion, the space retains a gritty warehouse aesthetic but with its heated, concrete floor it manages to be a very comfortable workspace. It’s a hidden gem, tucked away in a courtyard which we accessed through what felt like someone’s front door and is the latest in a series of projects by CWA looking to reoccupy what Robin Webster himself describes as Glasgow’s, “back passages”.


The schedule for the night was packed and included;

Kiltr themselves talking about version 2 of their Scottish social media platform; Robin Webster and the potential of Glasgow’s underutilised lanes; Ruth Morrow and the unique blend of textiles and concrete created by Tactility Factory – who claim to make "hard things soft"; Paul Stallan of Stallan Brand and his entertaining presentation on working with various well known artists and designers; Anna Gibb regarding her involvement in the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale with her series of amazing drawings; and a presentation of Home/Away – a collaboration between Angharad McLaren and Emlyn Firth working with Johnstons of Elgin on a set of rather nice sports-inspired scarves for Scotland Can Make It (I want one by the way).

A big thanks has to go to Wendy Murray for inviting us to talk but also for her continued efforts running the inspirational not-for-profit Velvet & Silk Cafe.




November 26th, 2012

Last Friday night we attended the preview of the first Royal Scottish Academy Architecture Open Exhibition 2012.  Set in the one of the lower galleries of the RSA on Princess Street in Edinburgh, it aims to showcase some of the most interesting architectural practice drawn from across Scotland in the form of models drawings and films.

The architecture gallery looked great with plenty of nice drawings and models on show, there was some great art in the other galleries too and the drinks weren't bad either!

We were lucky enough to be selected to exhibit our collaborative submission for Critical Dialogues at the Venice Biennale alongside Do Architecture, Pidgin Perfect and Stone Opera.

To makes things even better, we have just been told that Critical Dialogues has been awarded the RSA Medal for Architecture Award.  So, good effort to everyone involved, and a big thanks to Do for all their hard work in organising the collaborative submission.

If you are interested in taking a look get yourself down to the gallery, it's open Mon- Sat 10-5 and Sunday 12-5 with free admission - you might even be tempted to buy something...



Pop Up 6 / Lamb's House, Edinburgh

September 24th, 2012


The Transient gallery popped-up yesterday at Lamb’s House recently restored by Groves-Raines Architects Ltd (our office) which welcomed some 1500 visitors in 4hrs for doors open day.


We didn’t have a well-head to surround so instead exhibited some photos of the trip to Venice.


The gallery had never seen so many people and we received some very positive feedback – It was nice being able to explain it in English too. Our plan is to take it to various locations in Glasgow and Edinburgh so we’ll post a note on our blog/twitter/facebook feed if you fancy taking a look.


We particularly liked the mud circle left at the end of the day.





The Return Leg

September 18th, 2012

Another 1000 miles north taking in Luxembourg and Belgium took the total country count to eight and provided plenty time to reflect.

We had come to the Biennale without much idea of what to expect and with a degree of uncertainty about how much we would be able to achieve beyond our minimum aspirations given tight controls in Venice during the festival. After a week of initially finding our feet, exploring the possibilities and later becoming increasingly adventurous in our exploits (with the support of the event organisers) we have come away feeling content with what we have achieved and impressed by the work of the other practices.

I would like to say thanks for all of the help and support provided over the course of the Critical Dialogues project to Ian and Sandy from the Scottish Government, A+DS, Polyscot for fabricating the panels, Lottie, Anne and Lloyd from the British Pavilion, Jonathan, Gilmar, Judith W, Dele, Marc and Becca from Pidgin Perfect, Judith, Adrian and Betty from Do Architecture, Hanneke and Kathy from Stone Opera, Nick, Limma, Vifill and Halla for their support throughout and in particular to Murdo for joining us on the road, taking some great photos and his technical help assistance.

So to sign off, I'll leave you with a little video we made on the ferry in Amsterdam,

a picture of Gilmar Ribeiro - because we love his unique camera stance and

Gunnar with the buskers who didn't require any money to play for us  inside the gallery....

Pop Up 5 / The Closing Party

September 12th, 2012

After an extremely busy and tiring but highly rewarding week, all of the practices and organisers got together with stakeholders and Biennale visitors to bring the Scotland week to a close with an evening reception in the Studio.  Each of the practices had samples of their weeks work on show and we set up the gallery to the rear of the building (see video here) to allow visitors the chance to experience it.  There was a good turnout and the mood was positive, with everyone seemingly happy with what had been achieved.


We now have the task ahead of us of packing everything up and doing our journey in reverse to take the gallery back to Scotland where we hope to continue the project in one way or another.

Images by Murdo McDermid