Friday, November 25, 2011

Tutorials with fresh starts

24 Nov 2011: Sometimes a Crit is like a really good laundry or garage clear out.... we have had a few of these with at least four groups coming up with a new form since the crit of last week. It's only 3 weeks to the end of term and that sharpens minds hugely. Everyone now seems to be on a better path with these decisions. It's just as well as we now want to shine the spotlight on primary structure, some more detailed examples of planning, and for next week, will be looking at facade and more detailed sections.
  We had a day-visit from architect Harjinder Singh who is on leave from W.S. Atkins of Hangzhou, China (one of the alumni from this design studio in 2003) and we had half a day from Steve Fernandes of Arups, Nottingham, who is an architect and structural engineer. He is coming back in December to see how his advice was taken.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Interim Crit 17 Oct 11

17 Oct 2011: We had the first Tall Buildings interim crit today with a guest visit from Chris Gaylord, who has been taking part in the Tall Buildings module for many years. He is currently working with CABE.
   Each group got two crits during the day - there was the usual range of progress from 'very good' to 'could try harder'. There's three weeks to the next crit in December, so many decisions, and much resolution needs to be done.
Collage by Hu Chen of the Floating Clouds group at work
on their hotel and office tower for New York

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Lukasz visits the TB studio

10 Nov 2011: Lukasz Platkowski of Gensler visited us for a day. We were very lucky to have him as he is doing a lot of travelling to Doha, Dubai and Riyadh, with major projects on site under construction. This was an ideal time for him to visit as he is expert on the process of form finding and configuring of tall buildings. Lukasz delivered a lecture at lunchtime, with some case studies of some of Gensler's current projects. This included the Shanghai Tower which is about 100m high now, and will be about 650m when it is completed. He also covered the KAFD World Trade Center in Riyadh.
Gensler are one of the world's largest architectural practices and their projects page is a wonder to behold!

As for the humbler projects by our students, he says he enjoyed the day and felt that everybody had a concept and a form developing. There's a week to go before the first interim crit, so we anticipate a tough week ahead of modelling and drawing.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Ivan visits Tall Building studio

3rd November 2011: We were honoured to have a day with Ivan Jovanovic of BDSP, tutoring and delivering a lecture. This was the second week of design proposals, and the designs are beginning to shape up, literally - we are seeing the agenda and the site analysis becoming a form.
   This set of tutorials is still two weeks from a preliminary crit (on 17th November), so there is still time for major changes of direction, if needed. But we feel that every team has an agenda now, and it amazes me how the 'chemistry of design' works so well every year, and somehow, designs emerge when it all seemed so difficult two weeks earlier.
Ivan's diagram of the design process
Ivan's lecture was ideally pitched, with environmental strategies to apply to this early stage of a project. This is a way to avoid descending to too much detail too early when there are still fundamental things to be understood. The building form and facade have to be considered before one goes overboard with technology add-ons - starting from the outer circle of the diagram.