Iceskating shelters by Patkau Architects

Plywood: Material of the Modern World

Last week I headed to the V&A for the private view of their latest show – Plywood: Material of the Modern World. As the name suggests, this free exhibition at the entrance to the V&A looks at plywood’s use within furniture and architecture, and the role it currently plays in digital design.  The informative exhibition explains how plywood is made and charts its historic use from the humble tea chest, through to its use in the aviation and automobile industry. Today, plywood is just as relevant as demonstrated by a plywood section of the Wikihouse, an open source project to reinvent the way we make homes. Also on display are a selection of beautiful plywood chairs by Alvar Aalto, Marcel Breuer and Charles and Ray Eames. My favourite was Armchair 41 designed by Alvaro Aalto in 1932. If visiting, be sure to check out the wonderful plywood ice-skating shelters installed in the V&A Garden. Designed by Patkau Architects, Vancouver in 2011 for the frozen river that runs through Winnipeg in Canada, the huddle of shelters on display were made by London-based Isokon Plus and make for a perfect Instagram post! Well worth a visit.