SEARCH IN BRIEF

 
The Brutalist Playground

This summer the RIBA will present The Brutalist Playground – an exhibition that is part sculpture, part architectural installation, which invites people of all ages to come and play, the Brutalist way. Occupying the entire Architecture Gallery, the immersive landscape is a new commission by Turner Prize nominated design and architecture collective Assemble and artist Simon Terrill. It explores the abstract concrete playgrounds that were designed as part of Brutalist housing estates in the mid-20th century, but which no longer exist. They became playgrounds unsuitable for play. 

 The exhibition draws on features from a number of London estates including Churchill Gardens, Pimlico, the Brunel Estate, Paddington and the Brownfield Estate in Poplar. The playgrounds were often made from concrete, cast into sculptural forms, which presented a distinct move away from previous playground design. They were envisaged as a key aspect of the estate layout and design and as such reflect the preoccupations and social theories of society at that time. 

 Assemble and Simon Terrill have drawn inspiration from photographs and visual material in the RIBA’s collections, documenting the playgrounds when they were newly built and in use.  The exhibition installation will recreate visual elements from the playgrounds in reconstituted foam, creating an interactive, contemporary space where the viewer becomes participant and in this way completes the work.  Archive images of the original playgrounds will be projected on the walls. 

 Assemble says on the creation of the installation: “The challenge of reconstructing elements of now forgotten Brutalist play structures within the RIBA gallery is an exciting opportunity for us to explore contemporary issues surrounding play, by looking at the often surreal objects from the past. Working closely with the RIBA collections and the artist Simon Terrill, the interpretation of these spaces has allowed us to ask questions around materiality and the nature of risk in play, while also giving greater visibility to the incredible original images of the playgrounds that can be found in the collections.”

Artist Simon Terrill says: “The original playgrounds evoke a disappearing world of concrete mazes and windswept walkways. Like a Brechtian stage set rendered in concrete, they speak to a time before soft play and highly regulated public space. The recreation of these forms is a kind of inverted hyper-Brutalism. Playable structures reveling in the sharp edged bush hammered concrete forms they reference. The surreal edges of the Brutalist aesthetic are seen here in the form of the playground.”

 The Brutalist Playground will be on from 10 June – 16 August 2015, accompanied by a public programme of talks, debates and film screenings as well as workshops and events for families. 

Architecture Gallery at RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London, W1  #BrutalistPlayground

Part of the London Festival of Architecture

IN BRIEF
Tuesday 02 June 2015
Will Alsop 1947- 2018
Mon 14 May 2018
Perkins+Will strengthens its London architecture team with new senior appointment
Wed 25 Apr 2018
LIAM FOX LAUNCHES AWARDS FOR BEST BUSINESS PARTNERSHIPS OF THE FUTURE
Tue 20 Mar 2018
NBBJ London office announces strategic leadership additions
Tue 06 Mar 2018
Casey Jones joins Perkins+Will
Thu 22 Feb 2018
David Chipperfield Architects Works 2018
Mon 05 Feb 2018
Darling Associates expands leadership
Tue 16 Jan 2018
Woods Bagot Announces New China Head
Wed 03 Jan 2018