Earlier this year Drinkall Dean were commissioned to design the latest exhibition at Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) entitled Ordinary Beauty, The Photography of Edwin Smith.

The exhibition comprises some 120 original photographs from RIBA’s collection from a collection of over 60,000 negatives and 20,000 prints given by Olive Cook, Smith’s widow and collaborator, to the RIBA Library.Drinkall

Dean’s brief was to create a contemporary elegant space with broad appeal working in harmony with the gallery itself.

Smith’s broad range of photographs depict urban scenes documenting British social history to evocative landscape images and atmospheric interiors, the images displayed reveal the genius and breadth of his work.

Drinkall Dean set out to create a space that would encourage the visitor to explore the work and would gradually reveal the narrative and uniqueness of these photographs.

We designed three free-standing structures juxtaposed to the architecture, adding valuable hanging space and dividing the gallery into interesting zones adding pace and texture and an element of surprise.

The architecture works around the structures giving strength to both.

Working with the graphic designer Cosima Dinkel who created the identity, Drinkall Dean added scale with the use of large context imagery.

The creative design group supplemented the narrative with strips, reminiscent of rolls of film that included further images from the collection adding colour and punctuation to the exhibition.

The exhibition runs until 6 December at Architecture Gallery, RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London.


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