‘Creation from Catastrophe’ – Exhibition Review

Disasters can allow for opportunities, opportunities for cities to respond to natural threats or to simply re-erect the city they once knew. The ‘Creation from Catastrophe’ exhibition takes you on a story from the devastating great fire of London in 1666 to the the 18th Century, 19th Century ending in the present with the natural disasters occurring over Japan, Pakistan and Nepal.

Visitors enter the exhibition into a plain white façade of which visualises the catastrophic evidence from the great fire of London. Images and descriptions show the craze to re-build a new formation, by means of floor plans and architectural sketches. The exhibition takes you back to the reformation of London and the manic rush to make a decision on how the future entails the city. An inclined textural cork passage way leads you to the second room which shows how London strived for influence from other cities, like the first high rise school in Chicago after their great fire or the earthquake resolution in Lisbon in 1750. Some felt that plans had been discussed previously and were already being erected when the flames were still burning. London grasped hold of the idea to widen the streets however, plans became hard to fully control as people were taking it upon themselves to re-build on their previous land.

Still among the atmospheric cork passage you end in a room that over looks the past you have just been immersed in and allows for greater understanding of the natural disasters that can occur with no warning that happen regularly in many countries. Whether the disaster is from a natural cause or man-made, it still devastates the city. This last room shows you how communities and architects have to deal with countless destruction. This last room really caught my attention showing how architects and the community compliments each other to re-structure the city to minimise the excessiveness of the destruction. Through images, models and video footage the exhibition takes you through a timeline of events from the devastation to the reformation.

In order to minimise the chances of further problems the architect responds to Japan’s Tsunami threats with an urban solution. A solution that places the city further back with a forest causing a partition between the water and the city, if future tsunami’s hit the main volume and hit of water will be absorbed throughout the forest. Urban architecture is an up and coming design idea. With weather being more and more unpredictable and flooding becoming more evolving over the country. Precautions need to be made to ensure that buildings can become sustainable through out these changes. London is increasingly running out of housing space. There are many large at flood risk areas of which London is looking to scope towards, with clever architectural plans and design manipulation they plan to adapt and modify a home to adjust the average floor level with the rise in water.

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