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Reflections on architecture

Pop Up 1 / The Dry Run

September 4th, 2012

As you may have noticed my blog is a little outdated. This is because a/ we’ve been working non-stop since we got here and b/ I’m new to blogging, so please bear with me.  Since I have a little time today, I’ll upload some images of our trial run from yesterday which seemed to go down pretty well with both the tourists and the locals – (well less so the locals).

That’ll be another repair then!

Almost there..

And there it is…finally!!

Aerial shot from balcony

Entrance at dusk

Internal detail at night

Entrance at night

Dismount at night from above

Ok that's enough for now. Tomorrow....we go public!


Images by Murdo McDermid



The Journey Out

September 3rd, 2012

With so many cheap flights around, driving to Venice may seem like a strange choice. It was however well considered. Transportation costs were astronomical, we were solely responsible for the safe delivery of our gallery and it offered the choice to visit various locations on the way. It was also the low carbon option as opposed to flying and your baggage allowance was huge!

Van fully loaded and ready to go! Leith, Edinburgh

Stop 1: Ferry terminal at Newcastle for overnight sailing to Amsterdam into Germany and onto...

Stop 2: Cologne and Kolumba Museum by Zumthor

Then through Germany & France with a brief customs stop at the Swiss border, we headed for Basel to..

Stop 4: where our fantastic hosts for the night, Bjarki and Ulrike put us up in their amazing 3m wide home in central Basel. Bjarki is an architect in Basel and owns

Zophoniasson & Partner Architekten

Stop 5: From there, a quick trip back across the border to Germany and a visit Vitrahaus by Hertzog & de Meuron.

Then back again into Switzerland and into the Alps, through the 17km tunnel at Gotthard pass and into Italy where we stopped for re-fuelling (Stop 6).

Stop 7: After negotiating some rather windy roads we took a break in Menaggio on the beautiful Lake Como.

After this, we headed south then east, bypassing Milan, Bergamo, Brescia, Verona & Vicenza and finally arrived at our destination - Stop 8: VENEZIA. Then the next morning the Transient Gallery was unloaded onto boat and transported to our studio hub with the rest of the team at Ludoteca Santa Maria Ausiliatrice, Via Garibaldi, Venice.

Images by Murdo McDermid

Scotland + Venice 2012

September 2nd, 2012

After two weeks of exhausting late nights with Andrew (a carpenter), Fergus (a joiner) and Billy (a stonemason) we can only hope it fits in the van...the moment of truth has arrived and after some encouragement it's in and we're on the road.

Its not until the boat leaves Newcastle that the reality of the trip ahead begins to hit us-only 1000 miles to go. We don't really have any expectations of the Biennale. All we know is it'll likely be hot, busy, we are looking forward to it and we'll need a boat.

So, I've been asked to write a blog charting our expectations and experiences of the Venice Bienalle 2012. No problem I thought in my haste...then I thought again - I don't keep a diary and don't often take photos so with the help of Gunnar and Murdo the following will be largely image/video based with the odd caption/comment.

CRITICAL DIALOGUES directed by Jonathan Charley is this year’s Scottish contribution to the Venice Biennale and showcases projects from four emerging practices (Do Architecture, Stone Opera, Pidgin Perfect  and ourselves) that explore the social role of the architect and the creative boundaries of architecture organised as a week long series of events within the public realm.

Our project - The Transient Gallery explores the significance of everyday architectural objects which create or enhance a sense of collective identity across the communities that use them.

In response to the theme of this year’s Venice Biennale, Common Ground the Gallery focuses attention on the historic wellheads located throughout the city, which were for centuries the only source of fresh drinking water in Venice.   These were an important daily meeting point where the Venetian people would exchange stories, gossip and news on a daily basis.  With the decommissioning of the wellheads and fresh water being available in private homes this valuable social aspect has been lost.  By highlighting the wells and celebrating their history we hope to encourage debate on the importance of similar shared functional objects in modern communities.

For more information on the Transient Gallery visit the GRAS blog.