Alternative Histories

a collaboration between Veldwerk, the Architecture Foundation and Drawing Matter 

Saturday 23 March – Sunday 14 April


Dear all,

Please do join us at 6 Cork Street, Mayfair, on Saturday 23 March from 11am, for the opening of Alternative Histories.

All of the 88 models, each contributed by a contemporary practice in response to a drawing by another architect from another era, will be on view.

At 2pm, Andrew Clancy (Clancy Moore Architects, Kingston University) and Eleanor Beaumont (Architectural Review) will moderate the first of a series of discussions which will unfold over the succeeding weekends of the exhibition. We hope these events will become as much a part of the exhibition as the models themselves.

They will begin to address the many questions that the project is raising for us all in relation to contemporary architectural practice: about the status and the making of models; about the roles of reference and history; about the status of representation; and, indeed, about our different ambitions for architectural exhibitions. 

Below are thumbnail links to some of the most enigmatic model images and texts from three of the participants of the first session, along with the list of colloquia.

Niall, vbest


Johan Celsing

On Gunnar Asplund's Woodland Cemetery sectional studies, 1935

Johan Celsing on Erik Gunnar Asplund's Woodland Cemetery sectional studies, 1935, model 3

The yellowish tone of the epoxy touches on the soft curvatures and almost bodily character of Asplund’s shapes during the mid1930s. Some of his shapes are interpreted as sensual membranes that may adjust to the structure, skeleton or movements within bodies or buildings. – Johan Celsing

Read on →

Click here for the harder lines of Asplund's Villa Snellmann and here, for his Summer House at Stennäs.

Caruso St John and Siw Thomas

On Hans Poelzig's sketches, c. 1920s

Caruso St John: On Hans Poelzig's sketches, c. 1920s, model 1

The charcoal lines of Poelzig’s sketches imply a volume and material surface that is close to the quality of his buildings. Our model attempts to engage with this fusion of formal energy and material alchemy. – Caruso St. John

Click here for a double-sided view of Caruso St John's model; and here for Tom de Paor's oblique, informal model of the same Poelzig sketch.

Bardakhanova Champkins

On Virgilio Marchi's Cinema Odeon, Livorno, 1940

Bardakhanova Champkins Architects on Virgilio Marchi, Cinema Odeon, Livorno, 1940

In Marchi's drawing for the Odeon Cinema (1940) we recognise the beginnings of a certain anxiety and retrenchment of ambition that is also evident in contemporaneous buildings in Russia, a decade after Golosov's Zuev and Melnikov's Rusakov Workers' Clubs. We see almost a retreat from, and loss of confidence in, the agency found in spatial, volumetric and organisational vigour that characterised Marchi's work of the early 1930s. – Irina Bardakhanova and Nicholas Champkins

Read on →



Saturday 23 March, 2pm

Models of Translation: On interpretation, imitation and the life and death of models in architectural process

Chaired by Eleanor Beaumont and Andrew Clancy, with contributions from exhibitors

Participants confirmed to date: Roz Barr and Cornelius Braam, Stephen Bates, Irina Bardakhanova and Nicholas Champkins, Mikael Bergquist, William Burges and Stephen Davies, Adam Caruso, Johan Celsing, Philip Christou, Sylvie Cosyns, Stefanie Everaert and Caroline Lateur, Tony Fretton, Matthias Haber, Sam Jacob, David Kohn, Laura Linsi, Thomas Padmanabhan, Bernd Schmutz, Tijl Vanmeirhaeghe, Jan Vermeulen, Paul Vermeulen and Jan Peter Wingender


Saturday 30 March, 2pm

The Comfort Zone: On the motivations behind and interest in architectural history among architects

Chaired by Maarten Delbeke and Elli Mosayebi, with contributions from exhibitors and historians

Confirmed participants to date: Roz Barr and Cornelius Braam, William Burges and Stephen Davies, Tony Fretton, Sam Jacob and Laura Linsi


Sunday 7 April, 11am

Dodecanalle: On the changing mandate and potential of the architectural biennial

With contributions from Francisco Sanin and Beth Hughes (Seoul), Adrian Lahoud (Sharjah), Éric Lapierre (Lisbon), Matthew Dalziel, Maria Smith and Phineas Harper (Oslo), and Sepake Angiama (Chicago)


See the Alternative Histories events page for updates relating to the programme and participants for the following weekends.

For tutors interested in student tours during a weekday, please email the Editors; we are in the process of fixing a schedule for these events.

Drawing Matter

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