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 focussing 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 of 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 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 layout is intended to present the curatorial strands in a logical order while providing a varied sequence of spaces and presentation mediums to continually reinvigorate the visitor experience. To this end the exhibition employs a combination of painted surfaces and exposed plywood/chipboard surfaces (echoing the use of self-coloured materials in the work of GKC), folded walls and structurally expressive walls, and open and enclosed volumes. Seating is provided within the cinema spaces (warm timber enclosures) and reflective spaces to allow visitors the freedom to dwell and to restore.