Thursday, February 18, 2010

Urban Site Study presentations

18 Feb 2010: We had a whole day of the groups presenting their Site analysis, including an urban appraisal of the context of Leamouth - history, transport, facilities, population, employment etc. Each group also presented a special study that has learning content relevant to this scheme: (Canary Wharf and other out of centre tall clusters, Residential housing patterns, Civic Aspects of Tall Building design, and Regional Planning policies such as Thames Gateway). Two of the four groups attempted a visualisation of first ideas of how 8 towers could be on such a site.
The day started with an excellent lecture by David Leonard about master-planning in Stratford City and in Sharjah. Stratford is being constructed now, and it is just north of our site. The Sharjah story proved more useful as we saw how an idea grows from the genesis of nothing more than three elements: sea, some flat sand and a corniche - this idea became a kilometre of mixed use and mixed height planning, with a very three dimensional character, and entirely hand drawn at this stage.
On the Monday after this, Phil added a short lecture about ideas on master planning.
Photo above, is one of the groups, FutureScrape, who presented the first Urban Study.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Field Trip to London Part 3

4 Feb: We started the day at the office of Gensler Architects in Aldgate. Lukazs Platkowski gave his usual excellent lecture on Tall buildings, but as always using completely new case studies to illustrate his advice on TB design. Gensler have just won a competition in Riyadh with his design, and he showed the evolution of the design from a single tower to variations on twin tower or finally a split tower - one with a deep vertical slit between two cores to give good daylight and ventilation.
After the lecture we had a long walkabout, starting down Minories, to Tower of London (noting the Tower Hill office building by RSH), on to Tower Bridge, and into the GLA building - which we entered, as high as the public can go. We walked on past Hays Galleria and the Cotton Exchange to have a look at the building site of the London Bridge tower (the Shard). We took the Tube to Canary Wharf and had an hour's walkabout there. Caught the DLR to Canning Town station for a good look at our site. Then we returned to East India Dock station on the DLR and had a walk along the Thames (seeing this millennium beacon at E India Dock), and spend the rest of the time on the Trinity site - some people went for a walk on the small eco-park to the west of our site. The bus home picked us up from Orchard Place, for a safe ride home.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Field Trip to London Part 2

3 Feb: After Broadgate we walked on north westwards, to City Rd, and then to SOM's office in London. Timo Kujala entertained us with an introduction to the site, visions of the previous scheme for the site (now stopped), and reasons for changing to a new design (now going ahead). The new design will be more viable economically by doing without the expensive parking groundscraper; it was too high an upfront cost for a mainly residential scheme. The bridge to Canning Town station will also be cheaper.
After Timo's talk, we had to use the Tube to get to the other side of London, to Hammersmith, for a walk down through Fulham to the office of Rogers Stirk Harbour. Dirk Krolikowski has been working for RSH for 3 yrs on the Leadenhall St project, producing wonderful visionary 3D details of the construction - at all scale levels - from the megabraced frame, to the secondary frame, right down to how steel and glass of the facade will work and accommodate movement. He delivers a great lecture with plenty of good advice for young designers. He also allowed us to view the extensive model exhibition, mostly made by their in-house modelmaking team.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Field Trip to London Part 1.

Feb 2010: The whole unit took the bus to London on Feb 3rd for a 2-day field trip. We arrived at the Building Centre, which is a good start as it has the large London Model of present and proposed buildings, plus a lot of temporary and permanent exhibition material about London, and construction.
We took the Tube to Bank and had a long Square Mile walkabout from there, past Lloyds (always good to see), Willis (elegantly fitting), Leadenhall (site surrounded by hoardings), Swiss Re (Gherkin), Pinnacle (large hole in ground), and the Heron Tower. That is making good progress and appears to have topped out structurally, but has another year of cladding and fitting out to do.
    We walked on to Liverpool St station and through the Broadgate precinct (no time to go skating) and entered the plaza under the SOM building with the parabolic curve, that bridges across the railway lines. We walked on under the Broadgate Tower, now fully occupied (and not letting us in). The A-Frame supporting the entire east wall of the tower is impressively massive.

The visit to SOM and other parts of the field trip will be on another blog item.