Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Field trip to London 30 Jan 2013

30 January 2013: On a sunny bright January day, we had a one day trip to London for a Tall Buildings Walkabout. We had 18 from the Tall Building Studio and 15 from the Long Span Structures Studio, using the same bus.
Both studios started at the Building Centre in Store St. We almost always do this because it has a vast model of London, frequently updated, that shows the existing proposed and recent architecture of London.
   The Long span people went on from here to see the British Museum, the Excel centre and footbridge and cablecar, the Millennium Dome and the Thames Barrier.
While there, we had the chance to see the mini-version of the Prototyping Architecture exhibition that had been created by Prof Michael Stacey and some helpers, mostly from his 6th year studio in Nottingham. It looked better in the tighter and darker environment of the Building Centre exhibition space. 
We moved on to the offices of MAKE, the architect's practice founded by Ken Shuttleworth after he left Norman Foster's. John Prevc spoke to us, and we heard a lot about the master planning project for the Heygate area, adjacent to our site. Although we are not using Heygate, the lecture revealed a lot about the area, but for the students, I thought the more useful revelation was the methodology used by Make to compose and to communicate their proposals.
Here we are in Whitfield St, having heard John and about to depart for the Elephant and Castle. The Red hat is a great benefit because it is so very visible in daylight. We started with 18 students, and despite walking the plan of London, using the Tube for several journeys, walking through subways and using a bus, we somehow managed to finish up with 18!
At the Elephant, we had a good look at the site with the two possible locations for building Tall, over the [now demolished] hotel or the [now demolished] leisure centres. The park [churchyard] is likely to stay intact, with its mature trees.
A year ago, this view looking north was dominated by two functioning leisure centres. I like the circle of standing stones in the park.
Looking north from our site, we can see the shopping centre in the distance, and the edge of a highrise on the right that is the neighbour to the Strata and is being comprehensively refurbished. 
The London cyclists' 'superhighway' goes right through our site, and we would want to keep this too (I hope the students agree). In the distance is the Strata, residential tower.
Just before it got too dark to take any more photos, here is the group in the Broadgate Circus - looking at the ice-rink. We had a hurried time seeing everything and getting back to the tube station in time, so there wasn't time to have a coffee and watch the students skating!

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