“Housing and the City. James Gowan and Álvaro Siza” at Architectural Association London

March 13, 2017

This exhibition at the Architectural Association offers a close comparative reading of the design process within housing projects by James Gowan (1923-2015) and Álvaro Siza (b. 1933).

 

Álvaro Siza (*1933), Perspective sketch of the Patio of the Bouça Housing Estate in Porto, Portugal, c. 1972. Pencil and ink on paper, 503 × 752 mm. © The architect.

Álvaro Siza (*1933), Perspective sketch of the Patio of the Bouça Housing Estate in Porto, Portugal, c. 1972. Pencil and ink on paper, 503 × 752 mm. © The architect.

 

It offers a close comparative reading of the design process within housing projects by James Gowan (1923-2015) and Álvaro Siza (b. 1933), with particular reference to the specific architectural problems that confronted both architects when addressing the typologies of stacked maisonettes and terraced houses in the decades after 1963. Gowan is represented by his designs for Greenwich and East Hanningfield, and Siza by Bouça and Vila Viçosa.


 

Practical information

“Housing and the City. James Gowan and Álvaro Siza” 
March 11 – March 31, 2017
Architectural Assotiation London
36 Bedford Square, London
UK

 


These projects were being developed whilst the Pruitt-Igoe housing complex in the United States was demonized and demolished – a critique that continues in the current discussion on the fate of Alison and Peter Smithson’s 1972 Robin Hood Gardens.

 

James Gowan (1923–2015), from sketchbook:Housing for East Hanningfield, Essex, 1975. Pen and ink with colour pencil on pink index card, mounted in sketchbook. © Estate of the architect.

James Gowan (1923–2015), from sketchbook:Housing for East Hanningfield, Essex, 1975. Pen and ink with colour pencil on pink index card, mounted in sketchbook. © Estate of the architect.

James Gowan (1923–2015), from sketchbook:Housing for East Hanningfield, Essex, 1975. Pen and ink with colour pencil on pink index card, mounted in sketchbook. © Estate of the architect.

James Gowan (1923–2015), from sketchbook:Housing for East Hanningfield, Essex, 1975. Pen and ink with colour pencil on pink index card, mounted in sketchbook. © Estate of the architect.

 

By examining the design development of specific projects, the exhibition aims to reconsider the particular problems of public housing design that had started with some of the last large-scale developments of the European welfare state, and strives to understand the poor public reception that they have received as models for inhabitation.

 

James Gowan (1923–2015), from sketchbook:Housing for East Hanningfield, Essex, 1975. Pen and ink with colour pencil on pink index card, mounted in sketchbook. © Estate of the architect.

James Gowan (1923–2015), from sketchbook:Housing for East Hanningfield, Essex, 1975. Pen and ink with colour pencil on pink index card, mounted in sketchbook. © Estate of the architect.

Gowan DMC(SB6) © Drawing Matter, 2017

Gowan DMC(SB6) © Drawing Matter, 2017

 

Curated by Ellis Woodman and Manuel Montenegro.A Drawing Matter Collections research project, in collaboration with the Architectural Association.

 

James Gowan (1923–2015), from sketchbook:Housing for East Hanningfield, Essex, 1975. Pen and ink with colour pencil on pink index card, mounted in sketchbook. © Estate of the architect.

James Gowan (1923–2015), from sketchbook:Housing for East Hanningfield, Essex, 1975. Pen and ink with colour pencil on pink index card, mounted in sketchbook. © Estate of the architect.

James Gowan (1923–2015), from sketchbook:Housing for East Hanningfield, Essex, 1975. Pen and ink with colour pencil on pink index card, mounted in sketchbook. © Estate of the architect.

James Gowan (1923–2015), from sketchbook:Housing for East Hanningfield, Essex, 1975. Pen and ink with colour pencil on pink index card, mounted in sketchbook. © Estate of the architect.

 

The Drawing Book series makes available in iBook form a selection of architects’ sketchbooks, or drawing books, that are held in the Drawing Matter Collection. They reveal the variety of uses that a small, empty notebook can be put to by architects in their creative lives. Siza’s drawing book embeds his design thinking within his daily social life, with drawings of the people around him, and even Siza himself, being interspersed with notes and iterations of spatial and architectural ideas for specific projects.

 

Siza DMC (SB31) © Drawing Matter, 2017
Siza DMC (SB31) © Drawing Matter, 2017
Siza DMC (SB31) © Drawing Matter, 2017
Siza DMC (SB31) © Drawing Matter, 2017
Siza DMC (SB31) © Drawing Matter, 2017
Siza DMC (SB31) © Drawing Matter, 2017
Siza DMC (SB31) © Drawing Matter, 2017
Siza DMC (SB31) © Drawing Matter, 2017
Siza DMC (SB31) © Drawing Matter, 2017

 

Gowan DMC(SB6) © Drawing Matter, 2017
Gowan DMC(SB6) © Drawing Matter, 2017
Gowan DMC(SB6) © Drawing Matter, 2017
Gowan DMC(SB6) © Drawing Matter, 2017
Gowan DMC(SB6) © Drawing Matter, 2017
Gowan DMC(SB6) © Drawing Matter, 2017

 

Published to coincide with the exhibition Gowan and Siza, Housing and the City, shown at the Architectural Association in London during March 2017, Gowan DMC(SB6) and Siza DMC(SB31), contribute to the range of Drawing Matter’s publishing experiments. These are designed to make architectural drawings accessible for study, discussion and reference.


 

News source: AA
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