Gareth Hoskins Architects
The Lighthouse, Glasgow, until Sun 2 Nov
For years, the temporary architecture exhibits at the Lighthouse always seemed to fall a little flat, too often burdened with fancy interactive displays, with too much insider jargon for the layman and too broad a sweep for the expert. Gareth Hoskins Architects 0–10 Years bucks that trend, offering a clear, concise overview of the development of an architectural practice, with models and texts set on a plinth designed, in what must have been an intriguing meta-project, by GHA.
GHA is the natural choice for this, the first instalment of the Lighthouse Architecture Series, an annual programme celebrating contemporary Scottish architectural practice. Gareth Hoskins, then a one-man operation, returned to Scotland in 1998, just in time for Glasgow 1999: UK City of Architecture and Design, the festival which begat the Lighthouse, and won the competition to design the Mackintosh Interpretation Centre in the new venue. Fast forward a decade, and GHA – now well-established – is behind the Lighthouse’s pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale.
In the intervening years, GHA has grown and developed an instantly recognisable style – heavy on the use of natural materials, with modernist boxes leavened by the use of curvilinear forms – and an approach that allows the practice to work on the smallest of scales, designing exhibitions such as this one, to the grandest, overseeing regeneration projects, as in the redevelopment of the 30-hectare Pacific Quay site in Glasgow.
That approach is explored here in groups of projects, dubbed ‘In Town’, ‘Edge of Town’, ‘Rural’, ‘Within these Walls’ and ‘Cityscape’, each section illustrated with plans, pristine models and some pleasingly rough-and-ready maquettes, created with card and tape to explore possible forms.
Ultimately, though, these discrete groups flow into one another, making it easy to grasp that, whether precisely placing the Culloden Battlefield Memorial Centre so as to conceal the car park from the archaeological site or working with the existing interior of the V&A to guide visitors through the museum’s new architecture galleries, GHA operates with a keen sensitivity to places and the people that occupy them, not only designing a space but, to quote Hoskins, ‘choreographing a journey’.