31 March - 18 June 2016
Architect Anupama Kundoo is internationally recognised for her experimental work in sustainable, affordable construction. She adapts her processes to respond to local socio-economic contexts, working with a huge range of makers, from the most technologically- advanced engineers, to local Indian craftspeople who continue to pass their skills down through the generations.
For her exhibition at Roca London Gallery, which works as a companion piece to her scheduled installation in the Arsenale at this year’s Venice Biennale, Kundoo will show the design process that she and her team have followed to construct lightweight, resilient solutions to housing and sanitation issues worldwide. Elements of her Full Fill Home prototype, Light Matters Housing and Easy WC will be on display, alongside photographs and films that show construction in progress. The skills required to build the homes can be acquired by anyone: simple enough to pass on to local craftspeople yet sophisticated enough to withstand seismic shocks.
Biennale director Alejandro Aravena praises Kundoo’s resourceful fusion of old and new, her ability to learn from indigenous practice and adapt it to contemporary needs: “It is a unique, remarkable design that balances a very rare quality in architecture: resonating with the archetypes of construction, coming from the beginning of the times and simultaneously pointing to the future as a highly innovative project. It carries the DNA of timelessness; we would like to learn from those architects and projects that are going to stand the test of time, I am sure.”
Rather than proposing local materials for mass housing, such as mud and bamboo, simply because they are most widely available, Kundoo’s solution for high density, urban areas is to empower local communities to make ferrocement. Having experimented with the material for over a decade, her research proves ferrocement to be: highly resilient, simple to prefabricate and easy to tint with a range of pigments. Most importantly, it can yield a set of versatile, lightweight parts that can be assembled to produce homes that are practical, stackable, durable and beautiful. Full Fill Home and Easy WC prototypes have been tested in student workshops in collaboration with University Camilo Jose Cela in Madrid. Samples will be on display in the gallery.
Roca London Gallery said: “We are very excited to be able to bring Anupama Kundoo’s groundbreaking work to London for the first time. Water is becoming an increasingly limited resource and Roca is committed to supporting and promoting environmental issues through its We are Water Foundation. Kundoo’s concept for better domestic sanitation in economically deprived countries is inspiring and we hope this exhibition will highlight the need for a more sustainable solution to a global problem.”
Roca London Gallery, Station Court, Townmead Road, London, SW6 2PY
W: www.rocalondongallery.com T: 020 7610 9503