Victoria & Albert Museum
Between painting and architecture
By Antonino Cardillo
Mies + Venturi. Modern in plan and ‘Post’ in elevation, Postmodern Cafe is a divertissement, a quest between Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Robert Venturi.
Urban baroque strategy. Two façades capture glances across the V&A’s 1970s Exhibition Road hall.
Symmetry and negation. Although symmetrical, they are perceived from diagonal points of view. The front view seems to be denied by the pathway.
Inflection. On the façades, figures converge toward the centre. Though symmetrical overall, each side is unequal.
Archetypes. Like huge frescoes, the façades recall the pre-modern bond between painting and architecture. Vinyl graffiti refigure themes of Tympanum and Arch: two contrapositive triangles in a Suprematistic broken tympanum and a stretched arc framing a shard of the Aston Webb screen behind.
Stripes. Crossing the space, there are stripes everywhere, evoking ephemeral structure on a shoreline and retroactive presages close to Gio Ponti and Postmodernism: Art is fluid. Although categorised, it escapes boundaries.
- Client: London Design Festival (via Suzanne Trocmé)
- Director: Ben Evans
- Deputy director: William Knight
- Project manager: Ruth Dillon
- Festival assistant: Siobhan Henderson and Enis Karavil
- Consultant curator: Suzanne Trocmé
- Head at the V&A: Victoria Broackes
- Officier at the V&A: Sophie Reynolds
- Architecture design: Antonino Cardillo
- Graphic design: Antonino Cardillo
- Text: Antonino Cardillo
- English translation: Charles Searson
- Antonino Cardillo, ‘Taking a position’, build Das Architekten-Magazin, no. 5/11, ed. Ralf Ferdinand Broekman and Olaf Winkler, Wuppertal, Oct. 2011, pp. 44‑46.
- Anonymous, ‘Postmodern Cafe’, in The London Design Festival 2011 Guide, London, Sept. 2011, pp. 8‑9, 43, 183.
- Anonymous, ‘About the London Design Festival 2011’, vam.ac.uk, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, accessed 26 Aug. 2011.
- Anonymous, ‘Postmodern Cafe: London Design Festival at the V&A’, londondesignfestival.com, London, accessed 26 Aug. 2011.