The Building Centre in the heart of London’s creative Bloomsbury district has long been a hub for innovation, new thinking and exhibitions showcasing state of the art design and architecture projects.

This year, as part of the London Festival of Architecture for 2019, the Building Centre’s Contemporary Cartography Exhibition features the diverse and forward-thinking work of four exhibitors, all exploring modern methods of mapping in a digital age.

These include James Corner Field Operations, the makers of New York’s world-famous High Line park in New York; ScanLAB Projects, the technical geniuses behind BBC series Invisible Cities; renowned architectural academics, Smout Allen; and Studio Mutt, award-winning designers.

Seeking to demonstrate the unusual, the unexpected and the futuristic, not only through the work of each specially selected exhibitor, through the exhibition as a whole, the Building Centre explains why MEDITE SMARTPLY was the natural choice to supply materials for the show.

Harriet Jennings, Public Programme Curator at the Building Centre said: “For this exhibition, we were looking for a wood panel manufacturer who could supply us with not only exhibition plinths, but a material that would also be appropriate for constructing the entirety of Studio Mutt’s Ordinance Pavilion exhibit, as well as the cube within which ScanLAB projects its 3D scan of the city.

“The plinths constructed had to be able to hold the weight of hanging frames for Smout Allen and James Corner’s works, and of course everything has to be durable enough to last the entire three-month exhibition.”

All structures are made out of MEDITE PREMIER MDF, a multi-purpose composite wood panel produced using superior wood refining technology and specially designed resins. Densely compacted during production, it features an entirely consistent density and surface finish, so that designers or model makers can be sure the final product will be suitable for the thinnest laminates and surface coatings.

Studio Mutt’s Ordinance Pavilion exhibit, finished in an unmissable pink, is a deconstructed model of the original ordinance pavilion windmill installation designed and built by Studio Mutt for Lakes Ignite and Langdale Hotel and Spa in 2018. It seeks to bring the concept of iconic ordinance survey maps into a 3D structure, creating something prosaic, emotive and functional.

The easy machinability of MEDITE PREMIER allowed Studio Mutt to recreate the original structure with precision, extending to the purposely jagged-cut edges of the windmill body, where the two halves have apparently ‘broken’.

Edges, or the lack of them, in general are something to be noted. The studio have managed to create both a perfectly cylindrical ‘eye’ out of MEDITE PREMIER and the cross, the cartographic symbol for a church, is, the laid out horizontally as both artefact and seating, machined edgeless and perfectly finished in glossy paint.

ScanLAB’s cube creates the perfect environment, a darkened, cinema-like atmosphere, within which to project their 3D scan of London. Showing the capital the way driverless cars or other AI see it, the effect is almost dystopian; impressive and eerie, exploring the skeleton of a city we only just recognise.

All MEDITE MDF panels are manufactured to comply with the stringent Carb2 standard for Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) emissions and are produced using FSC certified timber from sustainably managed forests in Ireland.

Harriet expanded: “It’s not the first time we’ve worked with MEDITE SMARTPLY for our exhibitions. They are very easy and efficient to work with and create innovative panel products that are perfect for what many of our exhibitions and cooperating architects and designers need to create.”

The projects exhibited in Contemporary Cartography explore new ways of seeing complexity in the world and engenders multiple design possibilities, addressing technology and questioning its legacy and influence on our experiences of the landscape.

The exhibition will be open at the Building Centre until 30th August 2019 and is free. Find more information here:

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