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Paper model of Morpheus exhibited at the Building Centre in collaboration with V&A

‘Shaping Space – Architectural Models Revealed’ exhibition at the Building Centre in collaboration with the Victoria & Albert Museum features one of the largest and most diverse collection of models ever exhibited in the UK.  The show spotlights the role that models play in shaping the spaces we live in, examining how they are used as a test-bed for experimentation to bring this essential part of the design process to life.

Originally made for the ‘Paper Castles’ exhibition within the V&A’s Architecture Gallery where fifteen practices were invited to create a paper model to sit on top of cases housing models from the museum’s collection, Zaha Hadid Architects created a paper model of the Morpheus Hotel’s exoskeleton in Macau, responding to a model of a pavilion within the Alhambra.

In Morpheus’ exoskeleton, the structure becomes the architectural expression of the façade. Therefore, the geometrical complexity increases proportionally to the structural challenges. A similar gradient takes place at Alhambra’s pavilion evolving from the columns at the base to the pavilion’s vault, where the fractal-like intricacy of the muqarnas integrate architecture, mathematics and art.

The exhibition at the Building Centre also includes work by David Adjaye, Charles Holland, and Livio de Luca who is coordinating the digital construction site of the Notre Dame, as well as works from students of various architectural schools. 

Curated by the Building Centre exhibitions team in partnership with Simona Valeriani of the V&A’s Research Institute (VARI), the ‘Shaping Space – Architectural Models Revealed’ exhibition has been designed by Roz Barr Architects and builds on research carried out by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded Architectural Models Network (2017-2019), an initiative set up to examine the role of architectural models as part of the creative process in historical and contemporary architectural practice.

The free exhibition is generously supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council through Follow on Funding for Impact and Engagement (Principal investigator Dr. Simona Valeriani, co-investigator Dr. Marta Ajmar). It is also supported by the Built Environment Trust and the V&A.

‘Shaping Space – Architectural Models Revealed’
Building Centre
26 Store Street, London
Until 28 January 2022
Monday–Friday: 9am–6pm
Saturday: 10am-4pm

‘Shaping Space – Architectural Models Revealed’ at the Building Centre