Apart from being one of the titles of my A-level art projects, the heading “Inside Out” is instantly intriguing- to me at least. Of course, when you learn that Richard Rogers, the brains behind the Pompidou Centre and the Lloyds building in London is the architect to whom this exhibition is dedicated, things become a little more self-explanatory.
I confess. I am no massive architecture expert, and whilst I appreciate the originality behind the Lloyds building for example, I can’t help but point out its inevitable flaws. Yes, the building has all the lifts on the outside, and yes, the entrance hall and vast underwriting floor is truly dramatic with its vast ceiling height and sense of grandeur. Ultimately, the lifts and pipes that have been moved to the exterior to give the interior more space may have functioned in the most important rooms, but where the majority of people work, the day-today offices really leave a lot to be desired. I’m talking low ceilings, a vast expanse of grey felty textures, very few windows (don’t even get me started on the issue of replacing the glass) and in reality you could be anywhere. So if the building really was inverted it would be rather felty, uniform and grey. Which I suppose is of course the point of Rogers’ project, creating a change from the conventional monochrome high-rise to be found in the city, for me however, it is just a shame that the interior of the building is oh so mediocre.
That said. This exhibition at the RA was incredible (and free) really opening the term “architecture” and giving an interesting insight into Rogers’ reasoning. The phrases and motivational statements decorating many of the walls, were, for some reason, not overly cheesy in this instance and seemed “fit the space”. Definitely worth a look in if you happen to be frazzled after a long oxford street session or fancy a cultural digestif.
The exhibition is in the Burlington Gardens section of the Royal Academy and runs until the 13th of October. (Access only via the back)