Opening 18 July, the National Gallery of Victoria
will present Draw the Line: the Architecture of LAB, an exhibition which illuminates the process of architectural design through the extraordinary architectural practice of LAB architecture studio.
Co-founded by principals Peter Davidson and Donald L. Bates in London in 1994, LAB has established an international reputation in contemporary architectural design.
Draw the Line will focus on the conceptual design and development of Federation Square together with LAB’s subsequent projects.
Frances Lindsay, Deputy Director, NGV said: “Architecture is a part of the overall story of Australian art. This exhibition provides insight into how an architect views the world.
“LAB’s combination of philosophy and process is reflected in their distinctive architectural style including repetition of geometric forms and angular structures,” said Ms Lindsay.
In July 1997, after an international two-stage design competition, LAB architecture studio, in conjunction with Bates Smart, was awarded the design contract for the development of Federation Square, Melbourne’s new city heart. Since opening to the public in October 2002, Federation Square has become a vibrant hub of cultural, leisure and commercial activity.
The evolution of the design for Federation Square will form a large part of the exhibition, revealing the detailed processes that informed LAB’s design method for the project.
Donald Bates of LAB architecture studio said that for all the advances in digital and computational technologies, architecture still comes down to the line.
“There is no architecture without the line. The line is the architect’s signature and this exhibition will illuminate the way a project evolves from the line, communicating new ideas and meanings,” said Mr Bates.
Along with conceptual drawings and studies, Draw the Line will also feature large architectural models of LAB’s subsequent projects formed in polystyrene and smaller balsa wood and cardboard models that reveal the overall creative breadth and innovative design of LAB architecture studio.
The exhibition will showcase how each of LAB’s projects evolves from conceptual approaches, including the use of materials and space - uniting different architectural elements within actual projects.
Peter Davidson, co-founder, LAB architecture studio said: “This exhibition will illustrate our process of dealing with the common architectural issues of civic space, spatial order and organisation, materials and complex geometry and institutional space and the city. And what better place to hold this exhibition than within Federation Square itself!”
Draw the Line: the Architecture of LAB will be on display at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Federation Square from 18 July to 13 September 2009. The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia is open 10am–5pm, closed Mondays. Admission to this exhibition is free.
Draw the Line: the Architecture of LAB will be a highlight of the Melbourne Open House program on Sunday 19th July. This event provides free access to more than 30 of Melbourne’s most architecturally beautiful buildings.