Photos: Tom de Gay.
Avanti Architects originally made their name with scholarly restorations of famous Modernist buildings such as the Finsbury Health Centre in London by Bertold Lubetkin. The Urswick School, built in a deprived borough of London called Hackney, is however a new build project designed by the practice. The building has just won this year’s Peoples Choice Award at the Hackney Design Awards. The awards scheme is designed to stimulate and promote good design in the borough.
Let’s see what got the locals excited.
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
Photos: Studio Weave.
Located in Aldgate, an ancient part of London where Geoffrey Chaucer lived when he wrote, The House of Fame and Parliament of Fowls, is “Payleys upon Pilers”. It is an installation designed by Studio Weave to mark the Olympics and a route from the City of London, east to the Olympic Park. It is also marks the historical gateway into the city, hence the area’s name “Aldgate”.
In these poems Chaucer discribes images of temple-like structures elevated over strange landscapes, and it is those references that Studio Weave have used as their inspiration. Read more
Photos: Nerida Howard
Building on Green-Belt land, where development is greatly restricted, can be a fraught affair. In this apparently effortless example, a long and narrow barn building imposed some impractical living restrictions that could be mitigated by a simple extension to give the building more width.
Nicolas Tye Architects used the opportunity to create a thoughtful mediating space that better linked the garden with the living accommodation of the barn. The new space also extended the variety of living accommodation creating something between a simple room and a conservatory. Read more