Photos: Peter Cook.
When designing a small and relatively insignificant building next to a UNESCO world heritage site, there is always going to be pressure from some quarters to make the architecture appear virtually invisible. This particular site, between the Tower of London and Tower Bridge, is particularly charged with tension, and architecturally speaking is a place where only the brave might tread.
Tony Frenton the architect of this project, argued that the new café at the Tower of London should be “visibly striking and fanciful”. In the context of Tower Bridge, being fanciful leaves a great deal of scope as it sets the outer parameter of what fanciful might mean!
Photos: Tim Crocker and Jeremy Phillips
The building, designed by Carl Turner Architects, is a retreat, a place to get away from it, a think-space or a modern fishing hut, or perhaps a writer’s hangout. It was built for a tiny budget, but you could not necessarily tell that from its exterior. Its black, simple form and uncluttered detailing is intended almost to give the impression that it is a shadow of the adjacent barn building to which it stands in a perpendicular relationship.
Photos:Schmit Hammer Lassen Architects
The royal seal of approval has been given to schmidt hammer lassen architects` new University of Aberdeen library now officially called the “Sir Duncan Rice Library”. Although the building has been completed for around a year, the Queen has officially opened it at a time when the very nature of the physical library is being called into question with the increasing proliferation of the eBook and the scanning of historical books online.
Photos: Edmund Sumner.
The key concept of the building is to create an icon, a means to generate attention for its activities through its conspicuous form. Wilkinson Eyre took inspiration from the form of a crystal for the building shape and presumably the name followed – or the other way around.
It is conceived as a pavilion in a park and it is hoped it will capture the public’s imagination as well as the environmental agenda. The building, which was funded entirely by Siemens, has a public exhibition, an auditorium and a café and is there to promote active technologies for sustainable living. Read more
Photos: Candice Lake.
On a decrepit industrial site next to a Victorian railway viaduct in London, Undercurrent Architects imagined something truly extraordinary. Built in and around a railway viaduct they have created an uplifting live-work space that is manifest in the form of a fluid industrial secretion. An ooze of grease from a giant industrial machine perhaps.
The building seems as a gut response to the intense Victorian industrial heritage of the site. The dense overcrowding of those times appears to be a cue to literally squeeze habitable space from the site, almost accepting the resulting form as a consequence of the process. If that is the suggestion of course, it is an illusion. The building is pure artifice. Read more