assemble brings its brutalist playground to the vitra design museum assemble brings its brutalist playground to the vitra design museum
jan 10, 2017

assemble brings its brutalist playground to the vitra design museum

 

last year, architectural collective assemble — winner of the 2015 turner prize — collaborated with artist simon terrill to construct ‘the brutalist playground’ — an installation that recreates post-war play structures using foam. inspired by the brutalist architecture movement, the team used archival material from the royal institute of british architects (RIBA) to reproduce now demolished playgrounds as architectural installations and walk-through sculptures for adults and children. the exhibition is now set to go on view at the vitra design museum.

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the installation recreates post-war play structures using foam
image by alun bull © RIBA (also main image)

 

 

originating in britain shortly after the second world war, brutalist architecture brought about a range of expressive structures made with raw materials and an uncompromisingly rugged aesthetic. across the country, architects constructed a number of large concrete residential buildings, some of which featured unconventional recreational areas for children. assemble’s playground comprises full size fragments of three distinctive london housing estates: churchill gardens in pimlico, the brownfield estate in poplar, and the brunel estate in paddington.

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the team used RIBA’s archival material to reproduce now demolished playgrounds
image by alun bull © RIBA

 

 

the concrete and steel structures have been recast in reconstituted foam, allowing the objects’ formal characteristics to be viewed separately from their materiality. the interactive presentation of the playground allows visitors to explore the original spatial concepts of brutalism. to complement the installation, artist simon terrill has created a film composed from images of the estates from RIBA’s archive. ‘the brutalist playground’ opens at the vitra design museum on january 14, and remains on view until april 16, 2017.

assemble-the-brutalist-playground-vitra-design-museum-designboom-02
the walk-through sculptures are intended for both adults and children
image by alun bull © RIBA

assemble-the-brutalist-playground-vitra-design-museum-designboom-02
the concrete and steel structures have been recast in reconstituted foam
image by tristan fewings © RIBA 

assemble-the-brutalist-playground-vitra-design-museum-designboom-06
the interactive presentation allows visitors to explore the original spatial concepts of brutalism
image by tristan fewings © RIBA 

assemble-the-brutalist-playground-vitra-design-museum-designboom-02
‘the brutalist playground’ opens at the vitra design museum on january 14, 2017
image by alun bull © RIBA

assemble-the-brutalist-playground-vitra-design-museum-designboom-02
churchill gardens estate, pimlico, 1978  
image © john donat — RIBA library photographs collection

assemble-the-brutalist-playground-vitra-design-museum-designboom-02
churchill gardens estate, pimlico, 1956  
image © john maltby — RIBA library photographs collection

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