A Place to Call Home

Sunday, September 2nd, 2012

I didn’t make it to see A Place to Call Home: Where We Live and Why when it was in London so I was pleased to discover that it had transferred to Liverpool.  Even better within walking distance of the city centre at the Mann Island Exhibition space and taking about 30 minutes to go round so an ideal lunchtime trip.

It’s a nice compact exhibition covering the development of housing in Britain over the last two hundred odd years.  The main thread of the exhibition is laid out as a timeline running from the Georgian times up to today covering influences and issues.  This cleanly laid out thread is illustrated with art, photographs, elevations, plans, models and short, informative text.  One technique I’d like to see in other exhibitions are little sections illustrating how a style is a development of earlier styles.  Separate from the main timeline area a series of free standing boards addressing issues like the size of housing and energy usage.

I’ve few small criticism – not of the exhibition.  Given the large size of the Mann Island Exhibition space the display could have been spread out a bit more.  The publicity for and information about the exhibition wasn’t maybe what it could be.  I was there on a lunchtime when the nearby museum and waterfront looked busy but I had the exhibition to myself.  I’d never heard of the Mann Island Exhibition space so a bit of information would really help.

The exhibition runs till the 9th of September and is open (according to the website) 9:00 AM – 11:00 PM.  If you’re interested in architecture and in the area well worth a visit.

So where is the Mann Island Exhibition space?  If you’ve been to the new Open Eye Gallery its easy as its right next to it – you walk into it to get to the Open Eye.  If you don’t know where the Open Eye Gallery is then its in the new black glass sided building between the Pierhead and the Albert Dock, between the new Museum of Liverpool and The Strand.  The road side entrance is off Mann Island between the two black wedge-shaped blocks.


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