RIBA Architecture Gallery, 66 Portland Place, London, W1B 1AD. FREE.
Thursday 28 April 2022 – Saturday 30 July 2022
Waverley has become the material sponsor for the latest exhibition by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).
Radical Rooms: Power of the plan has been created through a special partnership between architect Charles Holland and visual artist Di Mainstone.
“Radical Rooms is Waverley’s first partnership with RIBA and we are delighted to see the highly creative use that Charles Holland and Di Mainstone have made of our materials. The show illustrates the essential role that curtains have played in domestic architecture down the centuries.”
Daniel James, Managing Director
Spanning nearly 500 years, the exhibition is anchored in three domestic buildings from the 16th, 18th, and 20th centuries: Hardwick Hall, A la Ronde and the Hopkins House. Each exemplifies the way that power structures are embedded in the domestic plan, revealing the social relationships of their time. Radical Rooms also exhibits the profound role of women in their development and design, an influence that has persistently been left out of the history of architecture.
With a layout inspired by the Palladian house plan, the exhibition forms an abstract grid of connected rooms defined by curtains and floor patterns. Animated and occupied by the four women behind the buildings – Bess of Hardwick, Jane and Mary Parminter and Patty Hopkins – these spaces share their stories through elaborate costume design and a music score that makes up an immersive audio-visual performance.
The gallery is divided into three sections, separated by fabric and carpet, which make reference to specific details within each house. For example, curtains in the space mimic the tapestries which hang in Hardwick Hall, providing a function beyond decoration and concealing architectural projects from the RIBA Collections.
More details on the houses and the women who inspired them can be found on the RIBA website. The exhibition is free to attend at the RIBA Architecture Gallery in Portland Place, London from Thursday 28 April to Saturday 30 July. Find out more here.
Photo credit: Black Edge Productions