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Architectural model - Ultra Ruin

Ultra Ruin

  • Object:

    Architectural model

  • Place of origin:

    Inkoo, Finland (made)

  • Date:

    2009 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Casagrande, Marco (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Balsa wood

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Marco Casagrande/C-Laboratory

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E, case ABOVE 3A

Using the landscape of the Museum as a test site, the V&A invited nineteen architects to submit proposals for structures that examine notions of refuge and retreat. Responding to specific locations in the Museum, the architects explored themes such as study, work, play, performance and contemplation. Seven of the proposals were then selected for construction at full-scale.

These projects promoted an attitude to architecture where to 'dwell' meant something more than simply to find shelter. Each building invited the participation of the viewer. These immersive environments reawakened people's ability to inhabit architectural space on both a physical and an emotional level.

The architects propose that this structure would be built in Finland, in an abandoned industrial space. The C-Laboratory team would inhabit the building (with its live/work spaces, sauna and fireplace) for two weeks. During this time they would write, edit and print a newspaper. The structure would then be dismantled and re-assembled at the V&A as a creative laboratory. The newspaper would be distributed around the Museum during the exhibition.

Physical description

A model of a building made out of slats and batons of balsa wood, the structure has a sloping roof with a circular hole in it and one side is removable to reveal the interior, a staircase leading to a mezzanine and a series of balsa wood shelves and boxes.

Place of Origin

Inkoo, Finland (made)


2009 (made)


Casagrande, Marco (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Balsa wood


Height: 300 mm, Width: 300 mm, Depth: 260 mm

Descriptive line

Model for 1:1 Architects Build Small Spaces exhibition, 'Ultra Ruin', by C Laboratory - Marco Casagrande, Inkoo, Finland, 2009.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Abraham Thomas, 1:1 Architects Build Small Spaces (London: V&A publications, 2010)


Balsa wood; Material




Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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