Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2022

Features: Equanimity

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We’re honoured to have the opportunity to collaborate with so many talented and creative architects on projects showing in the architecture room for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2022.

We’ve been involved in several of the installations of this year’s exhibition, which opens on 21 June.

The 11m post-tensioned stone beam, made by Webb Yates Engineers in collaboration with Stonemasonry Company, shows how structural stone can be used in place of concrete, saving massive amounts of carbon in the process. Assembled from blocks of Portland stone that had been rejected by the quarry for aesthetic blemishes, and great chunks of granite salvaged from a condemned postmodern building in the Docklands, it exploits the different properties of the two materials along the length of the beam, respectively working in tension and compression. 

We have also supported Boonserm Premthada of Bangkok Project Studio with the 6m tall tower built using self-made bricks made from elephant dung (an abundant waste product in Thailand) along with timber and reused scaffold poles to showcase the use of novel, low carbon and re-useable structural materials creating the structure with minimal embodied carbon.

The voided square and circular bricks are created by mixing the mulched elephant dung with lime and set in bespoke steel moulds. They are then air dried until sufficient strength is reached.

The softwood timber cross members along with the vertical scaffold tubes create a pair of perpendicular portal frames with simple stacked pairs of timbers at the base to create the fixity required.

Other scale models that are on show in the architecture room, which are projects that we’ve worked on, are a model of the Live Museum Delhi, a model which illustrates a stone project with Groupwork, a scale model of a Rammed Earth House that looks at the revival of a centuries-old traditional building technique with Jonathan Tuckey Designs, and a series of timber roofs at York Minster with Tonkin Lui.

This year’s RA Summer Exhibition has been curated by artist Alison Wilding, who has chosen the theme of climate in all its manifestations, and the architecture room has been curated by Níall McLaughlin and Rana Begum. The Exhibition is the largest open-submission art exhibition in the world, and showcases art in all forms, from prints, painting, film and photography to architectural works and sculpture.

The Summer Exhibition is open to the public and runs until 21 August - find out more and book tickets here.

Click on the links to read two great features from The GuardianArchitects' JournalBuilding Design and RIBA J.