Architecture on display

An exhibition contrasting modern styles of architecture in Scotland and Norway is to go on show at the Bonhoga Gallery in Weisdale Mill.

Building Biographies is on tour from The Lighthouse, the national architecture and design centre in Glasgow. It is a self contained exhibition featuring recent projects from Scotland and Norway that examine issues of culture of place and regional identity in this time of globalisation.

The exhibition looks at four recently completed buildings, three from Scotland and one from Norway, to explore the new trends in regional and sustainable building. It was co-curated by Oliver Lowenstein and Morag Bain and features specially commissioned models, photographs and films.

The Lighthouse director Nick Barley said: “The point of departure was to ask to what extent today’s new buildings are a reflection of the region in which they are produced. In effect, we wanted to find out whether there is such a thing we can describe as a ‘new Scottish architecture’, or a ‘new European architecture’, or even a ‘new regionalism’ and if so, what exactly these phrases might mean.

“But as the project has progressed, its scope has become more refined. By asking ‘what are the factors which make a building the way it is?’, we have ended up searching for answers to the question of what architecture might stand for in a post-industrial, post-fossil-fuel, post-modern age.”

Architecturally, the clearest contrast between Scotland and Norway is that Norway has one of the longest and unbroken traditions in timber building and construction, while Scotland is known for a building tradition which, until recently, has shown limited interest in timber, despite the many forested parts of the country.

The Norwegian building featured in Building Biographies shows how a new generation of young architects is using contemporary architecture to continue, in the most general way, two of Norway’s most noticeable cultural influences: the abiding power and love of the natural world and the commitment to work with, and expand, the possibilities of wood.

There will be no preview for this exhibition but on 8th May the gallery will play host to the launch of the logo for the Power of Place Festival which is planned for January 2010. The evening event will run from 6pm to 8pm and everyone is welcome.

Building Biographies will run until Sunday 24th May. The gallery and cafe are open from Tuesday to Saturday, 10.30am to 4.30pm, and on Sunday from noon to 4.30pm.


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