Touch, climb, explore - interactive architecture at Britain's Royal Academy

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Touch, climb, explore - interactive architecture at Britain's Royal Academy

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Seven original and exciting works have taken residence at the Royal Academy of Arts in London for its new exhibition on architecture.

Among them is an installation by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma. With its low-key lighting, bamboo and scent of cyprus, it is inspired by the traditional Japanese incense ceremony known as ‘Koh-Do’.

Another interactive installation encourages visitors to play with coloured straws and shape them however they wish before sliding them into the over-hanging honeycomb-type structure.

“We wanted to bring the experience and the power of architecture into the galleries, to invite people to explore architecture physically, through the senses, for themselves and to have that direct experience of what it’s like to be in a space,” said the exhibition’s curator, Kate Goodwin.

Each architect was commissioned to create site-specific installations.

Visitors are as much a part of the exhibition as the work itself – invited to touch, climb, walk and contemplate.

Another installation by Chinese architect Li Xiaodong leads visitors through a bamboo maze.

“Some of them are very immersive, you go into a whole other world where the galleries behind just completely disappear. Others are structures, you walk around and you’re sort of observing and sensing them. One has a really strong sense of smell, you can almost feel it physically, another takes you up into a whole other realm of the galleries that you never see, up into these wonderful ceilings that are above us,” says Kate Goodwin.

The installation by a team of Chilean architects takes visitors through a wooden structure all the way to the top of one of the Royal Academy’s galleries, offering a unique perspective of the intricate carvings on the walls and ceilings.

‘Sensing Spaces: Architecture Reimagined’, the Royal Academy’s most ambitious architecture exhibition to date, runs until April 6.

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