Installation view of Gallery VI, Summer Exhibition 2011. Photo: John Bodkin/DawkinsColour Piers Gough and Alan Stanton have co-ordinated the Architecture Room, and they both derived great stimulus from the context of the Summer Exhibition. As Stanton enthusiastically points out: ‘It encourages us to think about relationships between art and architecture – sculptural, conceptual and photographic.’
They can all be discerned here, in a display that affirms the resilience of architecture at a time of severe economic recession. Exceptional drawings by students, including a gothic skeletal structure by Maria-Eleni Tsolka, show the emergent generation at its best. But senior talents are impressive, too. Foster + Partners show a bold yet rightly respectful project for the historic Porte Romaine, Nîmes. Rogers and Partners have sent in an acrylic white model called Miami Tower, surging upwards with streamlined assurance.
A photograph of Richard MacCormac’s Kendrew Quadrangle at St John’s College, Oxford, is equally satisfying. And the President of the Royal Academy, Nicholas Grimshaw, shows a highly sculptural model for his Crossrail project, as well as an enticing model of the Cutty Sark Conservation Project.
The admirable Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres, now being built next to NHS hospitals all over Britain, are represented here by new projects. Chris Wilkinson shows a crisp, dynamic pencil drawing of the new Maggie’s in Oxford, while Piers Gough exhibits a beguiling ceramic model of his Maggie’s in Nottingham, where it is surrounded by trees. He sums up the feeling behind this whole room by explaining that architects are ‘so pleased to be in a major art show. Architecture is an art, and we owe it to the public to produce exhilarating work.’