Uncovering Exhibitions

Late Night at the V&A

What’s great about the Victoria & Albert Museum in London is the Friday Late Night Opening, featuring different sorts of activities and live concerts.

Engineering the World is an exhibition currently running at the V&A, focusing on the designs of Ove Arup and his total design philosophy. He was a proponent of building a relationship between architecture and engineering. Nowadays he’s still seen as a peacemaker, someone who blurred the line between the two disciplines.

Ove Arup, most famous for the design of the Sydney Opera House and Centre Pompidu in Paris, also did some smaller, but not less intriguing projects. In this article I would like to focus on the design of the Penguin Pool in The London Zoo and his bomb shelter cage.


The design of the Penguin pool was a joint collaboration between Ove and a small booming firm Tecton in the 1934. This white concrete modernist structure was an experiment architectural project as reinforced concrete had hardly been used as a building material previously. Sadly enough, penguins are no longer housed in The Penguin Pool.


During the war Ove Arup redesigned the government’s advertised small domestic shelters. He published multiple papers on shelter policy and design, advising to use reinforced concrete to build mass shelters underground. Due to political reasons, these life saving designs were never adopted, even though the money to build these was available.

Housed in the courtyard of the V&A is The Elytra Filament pavilion. Exploring the impact of emerging robotic technologies on engineering in architecture. Elytra is responsive to its environment and was created by a robot building all components on site.


If you have a spare hour in London, don’t miss this eye opening exhibition.

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