Gillespie Kidd and Coia Exhibition

Gillespie Kidd and Coia Exhibition
Lighthouse, Glasgow
culture

Gillespie, Kidd and Coia Exhibition
The Lighthouse, Glasgow


Status
Completed November 2007


Client
The Lighthouse, Glasgow


Contract
Value £80k


Funders
The Lighthouse


Award
2008 Roses Design Awards
Chairman's Award

2008 Scottish Design Awards
Exhibition Design


Gillespie, Kidd and Coia: Architecture 1956 to 1987 is the first major retrospective of the work of one of the UK’s most distinguished architecture practices focusing on the period when Andy MacMillan and Isi Metzstein were at the company’s creative helm.

Collective Architecture, in collaboration with artist Toby Paterson, successfully tendered to become the designers for the exhibition. The design is the result of a year-long process informed by regular discussions and workshops with the project initiators The Lighthouse, the curator Mark Baines from the Glasgow School of Art, and the graphic designers ISO.

Much of the source material for this exhibition is drawn from the Gillespie, Kidd & Coia Archive, which was gifted to the Glasgow School of Art in 2005. Using this rich source material, the exhibition - presented over two floors of The Lighthouse - begins by focusing on St Paul’s Church, Glenrothes, before exploring a series of themes inherent in Gillespie, Kidd & Coia’s work. The lower level of the exhibition invites a more detailed study of 22 of the most significant buildings completed by the practice, including input from people using the buildings today.

The design is intended to reinforce the curatorial strategy while providing a varied sequence of spaces to continually reinvigorate the visitor experience. The design aims to evoke to spirit of GKC without pastiche and be dynamic without over dominating the content. 

To this end, the layout was devised to create intense, warm, archive-like spaces to encourage study, and large, open, gallery-like spaces to encourage reflection and evoke the fine art sensibilities of GKC. The construction utilises contrasting plywood and chipboard surfaces to echo the use of self-coloured materials in the work of GKC (brick and concrete in particular). Idle planes and dumb walls are avoided by exposing the structure to give depth, by modulating their form, and with applied painted forms that act as psychological reminders of GKC plans and sections.