This summer, RIBA becomes The Brutalist Playground

Part sculpture, part architectural installation, all play: The Brutalist Playground is a new commission by Assemble and artist Simon Terrill exploring post-war design for play. It will be open to the public until August 16.

 

The Brutalist Playground by Assemble and Simon Terrill © Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for RIBA

The Brutalist Playground by Assemble and Simon Terrill © Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for RIBA

 

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 post-war housing estates in the mid-twentieth century, but which no longer exist. They became playgrounds unsuitable for play.

 

The Brutalist Playground by Assemble and Simon Terrill © Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for RIBA

 The Brutalist Playground by Assemble and Simon Terrill © Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for RIBA

The Brutalist Playground by Assemble and Simon Terrill © Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for RIBA

 

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.

 

Churchill Gardens, 1956 © John Maltby - RIBA Library Photographs Collection

Churchill Gardens, 1956 © John Maltby – RIBA Library Photographs Collection

Churchill Gardens Estate, archive image © John Donat - RIBA Library Photographs Collection

Churchill Gardens Estate, archive image © John Donat – RIBA Library Photographs Collection

Balfron Tower playgound, 2015 © Assemble and Simon Terrill, 2015

Balfron Tower playgound, 2015 © Assemble and Simon Terrill, 2015

 

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.

The exhibition and installation will be accompanied by a season of talks and events from June to August 2015. Check the online agenda clicking here.

 

The Brutalist Playground by Assemble and Simon Terrill © Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for RIBA

The Brutalist Playground by Assemble and Simon Terrill © Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for RIBA

The Brutalist Playground by Assemble and Simon Terrill © Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for RIBA

The Brutalist Playground by Assemble and Simon Terrill © Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for RIBA

The Brutalist Playground by Assemble and Simon Terrill © Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for RIBA

The Brutalist Playground by Assemble and Simon Terrill © Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for RIBA

Assemble and Simon Terrill © Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for RIBA

Assemble members and Simon Terrill © Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for RIBA


 

Practical Information

The Brutalist Playground
June 10 2015 / August 16 2015
Monday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm
Tuesdays from 10am to 8pm

The Architecture Gallery, RIBA
66 Portland Place, London

Entrance is free.

 


 

Exhibition information and images courtesy of the Royal Institute of British Architects.