In 1958, the architects Alison and Peter Smithson bought a derelict cottage on the Fonthill Estate in Wiltshire, southwest England. Over the next four years they transformed it into a country home for their young family and an extended experiment in the methods and materials that would shape their practice; a pavilion drawing on the tradition of the English folly, known as Upper Lawn or the Solar Pavilion. Retaining the cottage’s original stone walls and one of its chimneys, the Smithsons built what they described as ‘a simple climate house’: two open floors looking over the hills and valleys of Fonthill, where life could be lived simply and in consonance with the fluctuations of weather and seasons. The innovations developed in this private and modest home would feed into large-scale projects, such as Robin Hood Gardens housing estate, for which the Smithsons would become renowned. This publication explores the rich story of Upper Lawn’s construction and inhabitation by revisiting the small book Alison Smithson created with architect Enric Miralles in 1986. Here, the book’s contents, including diary entries, photographs, drawings, and references, are republished in full in a new design, expanded by extensive new materials from the Smithson archive. Together, these documents describe the building’s lived life, picturing it as a ledger of wear and use, a means of private and professional exploration, and a lens onto the passage of time inside and outside its walls. This book places Upper Lawn at the heart of the Smithsons’ practice, revealing its own quiet philosophy and ethics of architecture. This new book has been edited in collaboration with the Smithson Family Collection and includes an introductory essay by Paul Clarke, Professor of Architectural Design at the Belfast School of Architecture.

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In 1984, German furniture-maker Axel Bruchhäuser reached out to architectural duo Alison (1928–93) and Peter Smithson (1923–2003) with a playful letter ostensibly written by his cat and addressed to theirs. The letter between cats inquired about commissioning the Smithsons to build several lookouts on Bruchhäuser’s home, known locally as the “Hexenhaus” (the “Witches’ House”—a common name in the area where the Brothers Grimm wrote their fairy tales). Started in 1986 and completed in 2001, and located in a dense forest in Hessen, the renovation that the Smithsons undertook constituted an example of what they called “law of the conglomerate.” Step by step, the house was expanded and opened to admit the light as well the trees, which became part of the interior. The house’s primary materials are wood and glass, providing a poetic example of latticework and a stunning use of natural light.

Producing over 70 architectural projects and diagrammatic urban hypotheses in the space of 50 years, not to mention an equal number of sometimes overlapping texts, essays, manifestos, sundry artworks, landscapes, and even a novel, the Smithsons led a life of intense creativity. They were equally involved with the mores of their time, whether these were expressed in terms of automobiles, houses, furniture, fashion, or the changing format of their own domestic environment. They were as essential to swinging London as any of the other cultural heroes of that epoch, such as John Osborne, Mary Quant, and the Beatles. Christine Boyer gives us a vivid and nuanced portrait of the lives and works of this redoubtable architectural couple.

Alison and Peter Smithson are among the most influential and controversial architects of the last 50 years. But it has been controversy that has tended to overshadow their reputation and the core of their architectural practise, house designs. The Smithsons believed a house was a particular place, which should be suited to its location, able to meet everyday requirements and accommodate its inhabitants individual patterns of use. This monograph examines the evolution of their approach, by documenting their housing designs. Includes essays by Beatriz Colomina, Dirk van den Heuvel, Max Risselada and a selection of texts by the Smithsons themselves.

Adapting the modernist ideals of prewar architecture to the needs of postwar reconstruction in Britain, Alison and Peter Smithson were among the most influential and controversial architects of the latter half of the twentieth century. As younger members of CIAM (Congres Internationaux d’Architecture Moderne) and as founding members of Team 10, they were at the heart of the debate on the future course of modern architecture; the uncompromising clarity of their Hunstanton Secondary Modern School (1949-1954), which stripped down the language of Mies van der Rohe to a rough simplicity, heralded the Smithsons’ role as the leading exponents of the New Brutalism (a term they coined). As members of the Independent Group alongside Richard Hamilton, Eduardo Paolozzi, Reyner Banham and others, they participated in the 1956 landmark show “This Is Tomorrow,” affiliating themselves with the burgeoning Pop art movement in Britain.
This beautifully produced and fully illustrated volume collects the most important essays published on the couple’s work, from older texts by Reyner Banham, Peter Cook, Kenneth Frampton and Philip Johnson to the most recent texts by Peter Eisenmann, Christine Boyer, Beatriz Colomina and Louisa Hutton. The first publication in Poligrafa’s new “Critical Anthology” series, it provides an essential critical context for the reception of New Brutalism in England.
Alison (1928-1993) and Peter (1923-2003) Smithson met at Durham University in England and were married in 1949. Their Hunstanton School, now a Grade II listed building, announced a new style of construction that foregrounded concrete and repetitive, angular geometries; later works declared a socialist dimension to their philosophy, particularly in the exposure of interior functions.

The Space Between is richly illustrated with drawings and photographs by the Smithsons themselves. It can be considered as a summary of their thinking as architects since the beginning of their career, mainly trying to grasp the identity of places by observations of daily life, developing what they liked to call ‘a sensibility of place’.

Photography has always depended on the extraction and exploitation of so-called natural raw materials. Having started out using copper, coal, silver, and paper—the raw materials of analogue image production in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries—photography now relies, in the age of the smartphone, on rare earths and metals like coltan, cobalt, and europium. The exhibition focuses on the history of key raw materials utilized in photography and establishes a connection between the history of their extraction, their disposal, and climate change. Looking at historical and contemporary works, it tells the story of photography as a history of industrial production and demonstrates that the medium is deeply implicated in human-induced changes to nature. The exhibition shows contemporary works by a range of photographers and artists, including Ignacio Acosta, Lisa Barnard, F&D Cartier, Susanne Kriemann, Mary Mattingly, Daphné Nan Le Sergent, Lisa Rave, Alison Rossiter, Metabolic Studio’s Optics Division, Robert Smithson, Simon Starling, Anaïs Tondeur, James Welling, Noa Yafe and Tobias Zielony, along with historical works by Eduard Christian Arning, Hermann Biow, Oscar and Theodor Hofmeister, Jürgen Friedrich Mahrt, Hermann Reichling, and others, and historical material from the Agfa Foto-Historama in Leverkusen, the Eastman Kodak Archive in Rochester and the FOMU Photo Museum in Antwerp as well as mineral samples collected by Alexander von Humboldt from the collection of the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin.

As part of the 50th anniversary of the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, the exhibition Art on Display explores the display solutions found for the opening of the Museum in 1969 and focuses more generally on the design of museums and exhibitions at that time. The catalogue accompanying the exhibition opens with a curatorial note explaining the aims and characteristics of the exhibition, taking into account that it is held at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon and at Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam at different times. In addition, the catalogue reflects the dual objective of exploring both exhibition design at the Gulbenkian Museum and other significant examples of post-war international museography, as the essays written by each curator of the exhibition reveal: Penelope Curtis analyses the relationship between the Museum and exhibition design in other countries, especially the designs developed by Franco Albini, while Dirk van den Heuvel explores the exhibition as an urban space in the work of Aldo van Eyck, Alison and Peter Smithson and Lina Bo Bardi. The five case studies following these two texts provide greater detail about the projects that the exhibition aims to recreate: Palazzi Bianco and Rosso by Franco Albini, Museo Correr by Carlo Scarpa, First and Second International Exhibition of Experimental Art and Fifth International Sculpture Exhibition by Aldo van Eyck, Painting & Sculpture of a Decade 54–64 by Alison and Peter Smithson and the Museu de Arte de São Paulo by Lina Bo Bardi. Both the essays and the case studies are amply illustrated with drawings and archive photographs of the exhibitions cited, as well as with views of the exhibition at the Gulbenkian Museum.

A celebration of the beloved Citroën DS, icon of screen, street and style, through drawings, photos and ephemera

From the moment of its debut in 1955, the Citroën DS was a sensation and a magnet for movie stars, designers, philosophers and politicians alike. No other automobile was able to combine form and technology so coherently and seemingly effortlessly. Radical in its implementation and revolutionary in terms of comfort and safety, the DS is one of the most innovative design icons of the 20th century.

In collaboration with Lars Müller Publishers, the Swiss architect Christian Sumi published the new edition of AS in DS (Alison Smithson in DS) in 2001. In this new book, he examines the characteristics of this classic vehicle, such as the body, the chassis or the legendary hydraulics, which he documents in carefully arranged picture series and with drawings by Flaminio Bertoni and the Citroën design team. Using image essays from advertising campaigns for the Citroën DS, Sumi critically examines its reception and iconization, along with theories that discuss the phenomenon in both a contemporary and philosophical context.

ARK: Words and Images from the Royal College of Art Magazine 1950-1978 is a wide-ranging anthology of articles and images from ARK magazine. This material has been selected and introduced by current students on the Critical Writing in Art and Design MA programme at the Royal College of Art. This new publication offers a vivid overview of changing attitudes and approaches to art and design in Britain in an age of considerable flux. During its 54 issue run, spanning nearly three decades, ARK was an influential presence in British cultural life. A magazine created by students at the RCA, ARK attracted international attention for its often bold and fast-changing design as well as the extraordinary cast of writers and artists who contributed to its pages, including Ralph Rumney, Lucio Fontana, Alison and Peter Smithson, Toni del Renzio and Reyner Banham, in addition to College students and staff. From his preface to the book, design critic Rick Poynor writes: ‘… ARK has become a vivid historical document. It records, narrates, evokes and recalls its moment (or succession of moments) with energy, eloquence and insight. There were other contemporary British magazines about visual subjects with elements of content or design in common – Motif, Typographica, the short-lived Uppercase, even The Architectural Review – but … none of them could match ARK’s twists and turns, its visual conceits and coups de théâtre, or its eclecticism of content during its heyday from the late 1950s to the mid-1960s.’ The book features: The complete run of Ark covers in full colour – including the designs of Len Deighton and Alan Fletcher. A preface from leading design critic Rick Poynor. A full index of the content of Ark magazine throughout its history. Classic image essays including Ralph Rumney’s ‘Psychogeography of Venice’ and ‘The Humming Birds’, by Scottish poet and novelist George MacBeth (reproduced in full length for the first time since its publication in ARK in 1965). Cedric Price’s own essay on his utopian architectural project ‘Fun Palace’ of 1964. Alison and Peter Smithson’s classic essay, ‘Today We Collect Ads’. A long forgotten text by the British artist and eccentric, Bruce Lacey.

Alison and Peter Smithson, founders of Team X and authors of the classic Team X Primer, are among the most influential architects of the postwar decades. Their reevaluation of modernism shifted the focus of architecture and urbanism toward the particularities and uniqueness of human associations, urban patterns, and climatic conditions. Many of their ideas, both social (cluster and human association) and architectural (Brutalism, the nature of materials), profoundly influenced later generations of academics, students, and practitioners. As the social ideals of earlier times become an integral part of the reassessment of the built environment of recent years, the Smithsons continue to gain in significance.

This unprecedented and long-overdue publication is the first comprehensive book available on the enormous legacy of the Smithsons. The architectural works in this book, which span from the mid-1940s to the mid-1990s, include all of their major projects, such as Hunstanton Secondary School, Golden Lane Housing, Sheffield University, the Economist Building, and the “House of the Future.” Introductions to groups of projects highlight the Smithsons’ ongoing areas of inquiry; each project is accompanied by an original text, photographs, drawings, and plans. The rich and careful documentation on each project ensures that this volume will record the work of these important architects for posterity.

British art and architecture of the 1950s are little known but extraordinarily topical today. Of particular relevance are the activities of the Independent Group, a loosely structured organization whose members included artists Richard Hamilton, Eduardo Paolozzi, and Magda Cordell, photographer Nigel Henderson, critics Reyner Banham and Lawrence Alloway, and architects Alison and Peter Smithson, James Stirling, and Colin St. John Wilson, who sought the essence of the everyday through a sensitivity to the hardships and charm of life in the raw. As Found encounters the transdisciplinary relationship between the constructed environment as it is visually perceived and verbally expressed.

The Independent Group, or the IG, as it was called, is best known for having launched Pop Art. But the young artists, architects, and critics who met informally at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts in the early 1950s were actually embarked on a far more subversive and constructive mission than the founding of an art movement. Street-smart, anti-academic, and iconoclastic, they embraced Hollywood and Madison Avenue and rejected the traditional dichotomies between high and low culture, British and American values. They used their meetings and exhibitions to challenge the official modernist assumptions of British aesthetics and to advocate instead a media-based, consumer-based aesthetics of change and inclusiveness – an aesthetics of plenty. In doing so they drew upon Dadaist, Futurist, and Surrealist strategies to invigorate their alternative version of modernism – a version that today can be said to have insinuated the terms of postmodernism. This book provides the first comprehensive view of the IG’s aims and significance. The texts and illustrations fully represent the achievements of its leaders, including artists Richard Hamilton and Eduardo Paolozzi, architects Alison and Peter Smithson, and critics Lawrence Alloway and Reyner Banham. The historic exhibitions that publicized the ideas of IG members are also documented – “Parallel of Life and Art,” “Man, Machine and Motions,” “This Is Tomorrow,” and “An Exhibit.” Above all, the book emphasizes the interaction between the exhibitions, discussions, art and writings of IG members, showing the ways in which they established a new aesthetic horizon.

The Independent Group, or the IG, as it was called, is best known for having launched Pop Art. But the young artists, architects, and critics who met informally at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts in the early 1950s were actually embarked on a far more subversive and constructive mission than the founding of an art movement. Street-smart, anti-academic, and iconoclastic, they embraced Hollywood and Madison Avenue and rejected the traditional dichotomies between high and low culture, British and American values. They used their meetings and exhibitions to challenge the official modernist assumptions of British aesthetics and to advocate instead a media-based, consumer-based aesthetics of change and inclusiveness – an aesthetics of plenty. In doing so they drew upon Dadaist, Futurist, and Surrealist strategies to invigorate their alternative version of modernism – a version that today can be said to have insinuated the terms of postmodernism. This book provides the first comprehensive view of the IG’s aims and significance. The texts and illustrations fully represent the achievements of its leaders, including artists Richard Hamilton and Eduardo Paolozzi, architects Alison and Peter Smithson, and critics Lawrence Alloway and Reyner Banham. The historic exhibitions that publicized the ideas of IG members are also documented – “Parallel of Life and Art,” “Man, Machine and Motions,” “This Is Tomorrow,” and “An Exhibit.” Above all, the book emphasizes the interaction between the exhibitions, discussions, art and writings of IG members, showing the ways in which they established a new aesthetic horizon.

An illustrated diary by the architects Alison and Peter Smithson (representing the Independent Group – see also As found) driving from their London office through to their Wiltshire cottage, their “Solar Pavilion” from 1961. The contrast of their Citroën DS 19, streamlined and mechanically advanced, with the luscious and picturesque landscape links – thanks to the observing eye – both the urban and the countryside in the most sensitive manner. The book was conceived as “A Sensibility Primer.” Reprint of the original publication from 1983, edited by Christian Sumi, architect, Zürich.

This study looks at the artists, designers and writers who formed the Independent Group in the early 1950s including such influential figures as Richard Hamilton, Eduardo Paolozzi, Nigel Henderson, William Turnball, Rayner Banham and Alison and Peter Smithson. As a group they aimed to raise the status of popular objects and icons within modern visual culture. The development of the Independent Group is mapped out against the changing nature of modernism during the Cold War era, as well as the impact of mass consumption on post-war British society. In this book, Massey examines the cultural context of the formation of the Group, covering the founding of the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, the meanings of modernism, and the creation of a national identity. Key exhibitions such as “Parallel of Life and Art” and “This Is Tomorrow” are also examined.

Illustrates the positions of the members of Team 10, a groundbreaking group of young architects that broke from the modernist vision of Gropius, Le Corbusier and others. Team 10’s theoretical framework, disseminated primarily through teaching and publications, had a profound influence on the development of architectural thought in the second half of the 20th century, primarily in Europe. Team 10 Members listed in the 1968 TEAM 10 PRIMER: Jaap B. Bakema and Aldo van Eyck (Holland), Georges Candilis (France), Alison & Peter Smithson (England), Shad Woods (USA/France), Giancarlo de Carlo (Italy), José Coderch (Spain), Charles Pologni (Hungary), Jerzy Soltan (Poland), and Stefan Wewerka (Germany).

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