Lisbon. An exhibition tells the behind the scenes of architecture

At the Centro Cultural de Belém, “Building Stories” shows the hidden facts of building sites, with three installations by Maio, de vylder vinck taillieu and Ricardo Bak Gordon.

"Building Stories", exhibition views, Centro Cultural de Belém, Lisbon, 2018

Taking advantage of the distinctive industrial identity of the Garagem Sul – a former garage located within the Centro Cultural de Belém, in Lisbon (Portugal) – “Building Stories” explores the hidden stories of architectures before their full completion. Curated by Amélia Brandão Costa and Rodrigo da Costa Lima, the show features a series of installations designed by three renowned architecture practices: Maio Studio, architecten de vylder vinck taillieu and Ricardo Bak Gordon.

Highlighting the unorthodox beauty of architecture’s rawness, the exhibition intends to illustrate the behind the scenes of a building under construction by focusing on architectural fragments and familiar sensations, such as the smell of fresh cement or the sound of heavy machinery. As a result, “Building Stories” stands as a collection of abstract spaces or microenvironments that dialogue with each other and that depict the projects – achieved and only dreamt – of the selected architects.

Oscillating between a mood board and a 1:1 render, one of the projects developed by Barcelona-based architecture firm Maio Studio proposes a collage of architectural elements: Here reality is questioned by merging an imaginary composition with an existing structure. Gent-based architecten de vylder vinck taillieu’s “Architecture as Such”, on their side, focus on the essence of architecture. Thought as a series of sculptural readymades and assemblages of pre-packaged materials that can be found on building sites, the installation looks into the details that compose architecture. Finally, the Blue House developed by Lisbon-based Ricardo Bak Gordon stands as “a real physical expression of something not yet built or misplaced”, explain the curators. Presented as a 1:1 model of a house currently under construction in Grandola (Portugal), the volume hosts a selection of drawings, sketches and small-scale models.

Thought as an immersive ensemble, the exhibition also features a sound installation by Portuguese artist Tomas da Cunha Ferreira that adds another element to the complex layering of sensations that one can experience when living an architectural space.

Exhibition title:
Building Stories – de vylder vinck taillieu, Maio e Ricardo Bak Gordon
Curated by:
Rodrigo da Costa Lima and Amélia Brandão Costa
Opening dates:
until 14 October 2018
Centro Cultural de Belém
Praça do Império, Lisbon

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