Apr 7–Oct 15, 2022

The Garden of Privatised Delights

Store Street, London WC1E 7BT Map
Mon–Fri 9:30 am–6 pm, Sat 10 am–5 pm

The Building Centre, the Architectural Association School of Architecture, the Museum of Architecture, and the British Council have come together to bring the 2021 British Pavilion from the 17th International Architecture Exhibition at la Biennale di Venezia – to London.

Commissioned by the British Council and curated by Madeleine Kessler and Manijeh Verghese of Unscene Architecture, the exhibition calls for new thinking around privately owned public space in cities across the UK. It challenges the polarisation of private and public organisations and instead poses solutions on how they might work together to improve use of, access to and ownership of public spaces.

Taking inspiration from Netherlandish artist Hieronymus Bosch’s triptych The Garden of Earthly Delights, the exhibition explores the UK’s privatised public space as a non-binary issue. As Bosch explored the middle ground of Earth between the extremes of Heaven and Hell, the curators suggest privatised public space also sits between two extremes: the utopia of common land before the Enclosures Act of the 18th century and the dystopia of total privatisation.

The themes of the exhibition are based on very British issues – including pubs, high streets, garden squares and toilets – with seven different types of privatised public spaces reimagined as inclusive, immersive experiences.