Friday, February 17, 2012

Dave Leonard visiting

16 Feb 2012: We had a day of reviews of the Site Analysis and Special Studies, and our examiner/guest for the morning was David Leonard, of Leonard Architects, Nottingham. He started the day with a lecture on his work in recent years, with heavy involvement in enormous retail projects, frequently partnering with well known architects, his role being master planner. In addition to the major Westfield projects in West and East London, he has had roles in countless other projects, in Nottingham, Guildford, Bluewater, Croydon, Birmingham, and schemes recently in Mauritius, Kenya, Sharjah, Korea. He has a particularly strong facility for rapid thinking on paper with felt pens, with clients taking part, and this is a reason he is in such strong demand, world wide.

The students presented 3 sets of site analyses in the morning, with varying levels of detail applied to context, transport, massing ideas, microclimate studies etc. In the afternoon, we had three special studies. 
= Group C have been looking at London, and some of the Tall buildings in London, together with pros and cons of tall buildings in that context. They included prominent office buildings, and some residential ones. 
= Group B did a good study, covering the matter of social and shared spaces in large mixed use tall buildings, with some international examples. 
= Group A explained the Passivhaus concept, and their special task was also to relate and upgrade that with ideas for applying it to Tall Buildings, applying Active House thinking to make it work at height. 

The next task is to get a wood model built (for the site) to get the students into small groups (we have 11) and to make a start with their thinking about agenda for the building and an outline brief. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

We love our Studio!

9 February 2012: The Tall Buildings studio have exclusive use of a room in Paton House. Although it is a bit small for 21, there is a great working atmosphere for group working. Most work at this stage is research and powerpoint building for the presentations of Site and Climate analysis, so there is no need for drawing boards. The tables are perfect for holding tutorials, and on tutorial days we have space in Phil's office for overflow tutorials.
    We also have an impressive array of nationalities participating, including Kurdistan, Turkey,  Iran, Sudan, Cyprus, Saudi Arabia, Chile, China and India (and a couple of Brits...)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Ivan visits again

3rd Feb 2012: We had Ivan Jovanovic visiting for the DMT lecture series, and we were lucky enough to get him for part of the morning first to see preliminary run throughs of the students' micro-climate analyses of their Elephant site. It was a great way to push them ahead faster, knowing that he was coming to view the work.

Field course in London

MAKE architects web page on Heygate Master plan
The Elephant and its new castle, the Strata tower
2nd Feb 2012: We had a day out in London, with students seeing the site and more. We started at the London Building Centre, seeing the large model of London, and viewing the exhibition of projects in the region... although these didn't include the Elephant and Castle probably because these are still at a consultation stage. We walked on to MAKE architects who have produced the most recent master plan for E&C and whose plan has been the subject of consultation in 2011 and 2012. John Prevc of Make delivered a talk about the area and about the proposals, and helped to paint in the context for the work we are doing on the St Mary churchyard site. We then took the Tube to Elephant and Castle, had a lunch in the E&C shopping centre, and then viewed our site. Although we can't get on to it, the site is flat, and we can see through viewslots in the hoardings. We had a good walkabout of the site and the locality, checking out Dante Road, the Leisure centres, the Strata tower, the Heygate estate, the railway arches and the Metro Centre flats.

The Shard is well under way, and has a baby shard being built nearby,
in the foreground
 We took public transport to the London Bridge Shard, admiring it from below, but not have had much luck yet with getting a ride up the tower while it is being constructed. That will come in future field trips.
From the Elephant, two thirds of the group took the classic London
Red Bus route to London Bridge, along the old Roman road line.
The others went by tube.....
We had a long walk from there, over the London Bridge, past the Monument, past the Fenchurch St tower building site. We enjoyed seeing the Leadenhall tower site and Lloyds building, and had a tea-stop under the Gherkin. It was about as windy and cold as many of us could bear, with Siberian winds blowing through London. Moving on north, we admired the Heron tower (with its megaframe, PV wall and giant fish tank), and then continued up past Liverpool St to the Broadgate Tower... from where we took the bus home. A good day out!
The group at the Broadgate Tower in freezing conditions, waiting for the bus!