In 2010 The World Monuments Fund added Dudley Zoo’s collection of 1930s concrete buildings to its ‘at risk’ register.
The twelve structures were designed by Tecton, the architectural practice of Berthold Lubetkin, and are considered to be some of the most important examples of modernist architecture still in existence.
Now, students from Birmingham City University (BCU) worked in teams, recording, responding to, and ‘preserving’ the Tectons in a number of diverse ways.
Tamed with a Smile is an exhibition and publication which will launch at Dudley Zoological Gardens on Saturday 22 June.
The exhibition is in one of the two Kiosks and draws on the complex and layered history of this and the other structures. It presents contemporary approaches to the idea of documentation and preservation, and creates a new physical structure to support these narratives.
The students have explored themes of decay, preservation and the legacy of European Modernism in Britain. Whilst there is an undoubtedly romanticism associated with this decay, the students have demonstrated a rigorous commitment to understanding the structure’s origin, its history and its potential future use.
The academic relationship between Art & Design and Architecture students is an ongoing exploration of interdisciplinary boundaries and opportunities, led by Stuart Whipps and Mike Dring.
Tamed with a Smile aims to showcase and celebrate both the architecture at Dudley Zoo and the exciting and innovative work produced by Birmingham City University’s students.
This exhibition and publication has been funded through the Collaborative Project scheme, coordinated by The Centre for Enhancement of Learning and Teaching at Birmingham City University.
To find out more about Tamed With A Smile contact Megan Morrall: firstname.lastname@example.org