Every two years, our Main Space plays host to a major installation over the summer. We’re usually open for the entire month of August.
The series kicked off in 2009 with David Byrne’s wonderfully interactive piece Playing The Building. David’s sound installation did exactly what it said on the tin – a customized pump organ in the centre of the space controlled a series of motors and compressors that allowed visitors to literally “play” our wonderful Victorian architecture. It was beautiful, ingenious and brilliant fun.
Two years later in 2011, with the generous support of Bloomberg, our summer installation series continued with Curtain Call, an epic site-specific work from legendary designer and Chalk Farm neighbour Ron Arad. Ron created a giant cinematic canvas in the form of a 360-degree curtain made out of more than 5,000 giant silicon rods which hung from our roof. He then invited his friends to create video works to be projected onto this unique surface – some of the biggest names in the art world presented their work every day, including Christian Marclay, Mat Collishaw, David Shrigley and many more.
“Playful, original and brilliant”
Most recently in 2013, Bloomberg Summer at the Roundhouse featured a new commission by one of the most exciting British artists working today, Conrad Shawcross. For Timepiece, Conrad built a vast 8-metre faceless clock, a spectacular mechanical light sculpture that flooded our Main Space with intricate layers of light and shadow. Responding to the building’s circular shape and 24 towering support pillars, Shawcross made the building itself become a Timepiece, allowing us all to stop and consider the concept of time in a new light.
“One of the year’s most talked-about visual art events… a masterclass in design and technology”
Perhaps our favourite thing about these installations is that we’ve been able to offer them on a Pay What You Like basis, ensuring that everyone can come and enjoy the experience.