Royal Scottish Academy Annual Exhibition: 2004 Review
Interesting to see Richard Murphy ARSA has won the RSA Medal for Architecture: the blurb reads 'Medal for outstanding work, preferably a drawing, to encourage younger architects'. An RSA Latimer Award went to younger architect Mr Chapman for Oliver Chapman Architects' 'Hidden Garden HQ', wonderful title, one imagines spymasters nestling within illusive shrubberies.
Joking apart, this year's field is strong and presentation generally of high standard. For non-architect denizens of Auld Reekie the three Princes Street Galleries drawings are surely a highlight and it is useful to engage in this way despite the current state of flux, so thanks to EDI for approving this outing. Getting light into the depth of the section is the key but the promenade could live on, circumscribing the vital rooflight to form an arcade a la Mayfair's 'promenading arcades' such as the Burlington.
For the architects there are a veritable multiplicity of highlights - the rhythmic facades glowing poignantly in RMJM's Beijing Convention Centre, the sumptously coloured and cropped Landforms photo, Alan Dunlop's fantastic drawing(s) cutting through Glasgow, with a bridge in there too.
Allan Murray Architects' Frankfurt images show a real move away from ordered forms of their Edinburgh Park, Coalhill - and even the recent Stavanger competition - schemes: 'flowing lines' is the description and there is something rather eurozeitgeist about these twisted forms. The Newcastle College Performance Academy presentation refreshingly shows a building being made, great!
Terry Farrell's twenty-four Warholesque colour plates of Ocean Point 1, Leith, doesn't make the scheme any easier to digest...viewers will be left wondering (where's the text?) if it was a study of options or a proposal for variant lighting or kinetic sculpture. Their central two blockbuster images (EICC & The Dean) are oversized for the room, bludgeoning the subtler drawings and white-on-white models, but usefully catch the eye on entering the RSA's Galleries.
Most useful for many will be the unbuilt schemes as these rarely make it into the trade press: Edward Hollis' & Frazer Hay's colourful and subversive Thameside Kiosk (& Ed's Cowgate Fire Competition entry), Ric Russell's Finnieston Bridge Competition model, RMJM's Queen Margaret University College Relocation Proposal & Vietnam Parliament Competition entry [Mick Duncan], and Bob Steedman's Landforms extension to name but a few. A country that forgets its unbuilt schemes is a country lost to the joy of differance and the richness of choice: this exhibition celebrates as many schemes that are unbuilt as those that have made it through to the other side. Vive la differance, or, as the RSA motto states, 'dignity and force'.
Review by Adrian Welch ARIAS RIBA
RSA Exhibition: Letter
2 Apr 2004
How terribly droll for the Royal Scottish Academy to open up it's press day on April Ist with some huge, well viewed images by Sir Terry Farrell. The cappa mounted photographs take up a whole wall, just for fun and include some sketches that the great man has obviously produced whilst running for a bus.
Now that the day's over though, the RSA should also let us know what really won the Gold Medal for Architecture. I mean we all like a laugh but you can take a joke too far.
Royal Scottish Academy Annual Exhibition: 2003 - no Review
For the first time in its history the Royal Scottish Academy's 176th Annual Exhibition will be held outwith Scotland's capital. This year's RSA Exhibition was held in the McLellan Galleries, Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, as the RSA Gallery in Edinburgh is currently closed as work on the £26m Playfair project proceeds (will not re-open until early summer 2003).
Royal Scottish Academy Annual Exhibition: 2002 Review The RSA Annual Show is also an opportunity for architects to display recent or proposed projects. Richard Murphy’s adventurous intervention in Stirling Tolbooth to create a new arts centre is illustrated here, along with other important architectural projects such as Allan Murray Architects’ sharp designs for a new Royal Theatre in Copenhagen.