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de /d e si gn e xc h an ge V o l um e 0 2 2 012 / £ 8 . 0 0 / w w w. d e m a g a z i n e . c o . u k

v ol ume 02 / serious /TEATRO THALIA Gonç alo Byrne + B arb as Lopes /Architectural Time Machine Heechan Park /FANTASTICOLOGY A team o f The Kl assnik Corporation, Riitta Ikonen & We Made That /FILLING STATION C armody Groarke /VERBANDKAMMER Nil sson Pfl ugfelder /SPECULATIVE DESIGN IN CONVERSATION WITH Daniel Charny / SHAMANIC VISION Q UEST IN CONVERSATION WITH Marcus Coates /OFFSHORE/ ONSHORE by Amy Thomas /WE ARE NOT DREAMERS by José Esparza

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edit or-in-chieF Mariana Pestana editor@demagazine.co.uk intern ation al edit or Diana Biggs inteditor@demagazine.co.uk

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senior edit ors Gemma Barton Robert Pike

F or subscriptions UK: £20.00 per year (4 issues) visit www.demagazine.co.uk

contributing edit ors Barnaby Lambert Kelly Pollard

© 2012 Copyright design exchange magazine claims no responsibility for the opinions of its writers and contributors contained within this design magazine.

sbid section edit ors Emmanuelle Chazarin Stuart Blakley gues t Features by José Esparza Amy Thomas web /online Feature edit or Maria Passarivaki ar t edit or Yvette Chiu yvette@demagazine.co.uk

de/design exchange V ol ume 02 2012 £8 .00 Cover Image |A Ritual For Elephant & Castle | A Film by Marcus Coates COVER PHOTO © 2012 Nick David / All rights reserved

All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without prior permission is strictly forbidden. Every care has been taken when compiling design exchange to ensure that all the content is correct at the time of printing. design exchange assumes no responsibility for any effects from errors or omissions.

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2012 Event diary Se pte m ber /2012 Helsinki Design Week Venues across Helsinki (06-16 September) www.helsinkidesignweek.com Macef Milan, Italy (06-09 September) www.macef.it Asia Hotel Forum - International Hotel Investment Summit Shanghai World Financial Centre, Shanghai (06-07 September) www.asiahotelforum.org 30th São Paulo Biennial, 2012 São Paulo, Brazil (07 September - 09 December) www.universes-in-universe.org/eng/bien/sao_ paulo_biennial/2012 Maison & Objet Paris, France (07-11 September) www.maison-objet.com MoOD (Decosit) Brussels, Belgium (11-13 September) www.moodbrussels.com Liverpool Biennial 2012 Liverpool, UK (15 September -25 November) www.biennial.com

Global Design Forum Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design King’s Cross, London, UK (18 September) www.globaldesignforum.com Designjunction London, UK (19-23 September) www.thedesignjunction.co.uk 100% Design London, UK (19-22 September) www.100percentdesign.co.uk Designersblock London, UK (20-23 September) www.verydesignersblock.com Tent London Old Truman Brewery London, UK (20-23 September) www.tentlondon.co.uk Super Brands London Old Truman Brewery London, UK (20-23 September) www.superbrandslondon.co.uk Hot.E Park Plaza Riverbank, London, UK (20-21 September) www.europehotelconference.com

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Habitat Feria Valencia, Valencia, Spain (18 -22 September) www.feriahabitatvalencia.com

Focus Chelsea Harbour Design Centre London, UK (23 -26 September) www.designcentrechelseaharbour.co.uk

LDF London Design Festival Venues across London, UK (14-23 September) www.londondesignfestival.com

Index Dubai World Trade Centre, UAE (24 -27 September) www.indexexhibition.com

Top Drawer Autumn Olympia Exhibition Center London, UK (16 - 18 September) www.topdrawerautumn.com

Cersaie Bolobna, Italy (25 -29 September) www.cersaie.it 22

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O c t o b e r / 2 012 (WAF) World Architecture Festival Singapore (3-5 October) www.worldarchitecturefestival.com Istanbul Design Biennial Venues across Istanbul (13 October-12 December) istanbuldesignbiennial.iksv.org RHIC 2012 Russia & CIS Hotel Investment Conference Moscow (27 October - 5 November ) www.russia-cisconference.com Tokyo Designers Week 2012 Aoyama Japan (15 -17 October ) www.tdwa.com

Nove m b e r / 2 012 EquipHotel Porte de Versailles, France (11-15 November) www.equiphotel.com Deloitte European Hotel Investment Conference London, UK (13-14 November) www.deloitte.co.uk/hotelinvestmentconference European Hotel Design Awards London (20 November) www.thesleepevent.com Sleep Business Design Centre (21-22 November) www.thesleepevent.com

d e c e m b e r / 2 012 Design Miami Miami Beach, USA (05-09 December ) www.designmiami.com India International Furniture Fair (IIFF) New Delhi (06-09 December ) www.indiafurniturefair


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/ edit orial T he seri ou s issue A new era where the practice of design is shifting towards a collaborative, multiauthorial research ground, demands an attention to process as its fundamental dimension. It is important to open space for the discussion of design ideas and conjectures, one that complements the showcase of finished pieces. Because the real, the serious design lies in the act of imagining an alternative to what already is. The Economist suggested earlier this year that a third industrial revolution is imminent. At Milan’s furniture fair, shows such as ‘The Future in the Making: Open Design Archipelago’ exhibition, curated by Domus magazine or ‘Hacked’, the experimental lab at the Rinascente curated by Beatrice Galilee, focused on how the digitisation of manufacturing is transforming the way goods are made. In fact, new modes of fabrication, production and distribution affect the role of designers today. New networks for sharing knowledge are creating communities of designers that work in collaboration; the doit-yourself culture is spreading via structures such as the Fab Labs and other open-source platforms; and new business models emerge with platforms like Kickstarter playing an ever-larger role in funding art and design projects. Process is at the forefront of design. The impact of this is cross-disciplinary: this new paradigm shows that design is reshaping society as a whole as it influences its modes of production and exchange. Hence, it is increasingly difficult to make disciplinary distinctions between design,

architecture, science or even art. Practitioners progressively extend the borders of their disciplines, often operating in different fields, and their working processes are no longer specific to their original discipline but often borrow methodologies and tools from other areas of knowledge. In a new design era where the directives are collaboration, opensource and DIY, the traditional distinctions between art, design and architecture seem obsolete. As an alternative to disciplinary distinctions, we have devised a system that divides projects according to their life span. We believe that such a system is aligned to the way in which design is practiced today. It privileges process over end result; it considers projects of various scales, budgets and development stages. And it accommodates thought. What if shamanistic rituals were used to create architectural visions? Marcus Coates explains how embodying animals is a tool to think about architecture (Page 62). What if there was an architectural time-machine? Hee Chan Park speculates about what constitutes architectural matter and the dimension of time in space (Page 80). What if memory could be fossilised? Verbandkammer is a spatial manifestation of institutional memory – a sedimentation of information by Nilsson Pflugfelder. What if the deserts were the new factories of tomorrow? Markus Kaiser’s Solar Sinter suggests an inversion of deserts’ geographical and political position worldwide (Page 86). What if hunting became the new form of tourism in Iceland? The latest Bureau Odyssey’s adventurous promenade explores the extreme Iceland landscape and its radical potential (Page 84). What is the meaning of speculation in design, today? Daniel Charny discusses the value of process in speculative approaches to design education. To what extent do the current economic affairs affect architecture? Amy Thomas takes us on a tour of London’s economical landscape, as she discusses the implications of offshore economy on the architecture of the city (Page 48) and José Esparza draws together his reflections on the spontaneous settlements of Occupy Wall Street and how they might inform architecture (Page 77). Mariana Pestana


/ con t ent s v ol 2 2012 issue 26

Section 01/

Section 02/

Long term

medium term

32 / THALIA THEATRE GONÇ ALO BYRNE + BARBAS LOPES

52 / KINGS CROSS FILLING STATI ON BY CARM ODY GROAKE

38 / THE GREEN AND PLEASANT LEGACY BY LONDON 2012

56 / FANTASTICOLOGY by A team of The K l assnik Co rp oration, R iitta I konen & We Made That

44 / ALEXANDRA PALACE : REVIVING THE PEOPLE’S PALACE MASTERPLAN BY FARRELLS 48 / OFFSHORE /O NSHORE : building VACUUMS BY AMY THOMAS

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58 / CANNING T OWN CARAVENSERAI BY ASH SAKULA 62 / IN CONVERSATION WITH MARCUS COATES


Section 03/

Section 04/

Section 05/

Short term

Speculative

iNtEriOrS (Sbid)

68 / SERPENTINE pavilion BY HERZ OG & D E MEURON + AI WEIWEI

80 / Architectural Time Machine BY HEECHAN PARK

99 / s aving st bride’s

70 / VERBANDKAMMER BY NILSSON PFLUGFEL DER

84 / AN icel andic ODISSEY BY BUREAU ODISSEY

72 / REGENT STREET WINDOWS BY VARIOUS PRACTICES

86 / A DESERT FUTURE BY MARKUS KAY SER

76 / T OUCH DIGITAL OFFICES BY POST OFFICE LONDON

90 / ESTATE BY ANDREA LUKA ZIMMERMAN, LASSE JO HANSSON AND DAVID ROBERTS

77 / WE ARE N O T DREAMERS BY JOSÉ ESPARZA

94 / IN CONVERSATION WITH DANIEL CHARNY 31

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100 / Finding th E kEy To Creative Ide as 102 / B es t emerging designer of the y ear 106 / I nterio r Proj ect s: bo mber Co m mand memorial / light house / archerfield Spa / I ntercontinental Ho tel / Fitzrovia Apar tment s


Se c t io n

01

Long term

32 THALIA THEATRE GONÇ ALO BYRNE + BARBAS LOPES 38 THE GREEN AND PLEASANT LEGACY BY LONDON 2012 44 ALEXAN DRA PALACE : REVIVING THE PEOPLE’S PAL ACE MASTERPLAN BY FARRELLS 48 OFFSHORE /ONSHORE : building VACUUMS BY AMY THOMAS


n /1 O

r e vivi n g For r o b o ' s Fa n ta s y

T h e N e w L if e of the T e at ro T hali a , Li sbon

Words Robert Pike Images DMF

Until recently the remains of the Thalia Theatre - a legacy of the wealthy Lisbon industrialist Count of Farrobo’s fall from grace - have been left derelict. But in 2008 the Portuguese Ministry of Education and Science commissioned Gonçalo Byrne and Barbas Lopes to assess whether the shell could be restored as a multipurpose space and once again be a place of culture in the suburbs of Lisbon. 34

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‘ L i ke Tr i an o n and the Gar dens of Ver sailles of Louis X I V, a t t h e Conde do F or r obo’s Lar anjeir as one c o u l d f i n d, f or 20 year s, whatever the mos t unique i n L i s bo n f or its eleg ance, t alents, and wealth... K i n g s an d P r inces attended mor e than one of those m a g n i f i c e n t par ties , a nd o pulence and g o o d t a s te o f t h e C o n d e do F or r obo became f amous among the m o s t gr andio s e o f Eur o pe’ Joao Pinto de Carvalho (Tinop), Lisboa d’outros tempos (Lisboa: Livraria de Antonio Maria Pereira, 1898-99) vol 1, 98-99

Once the private theatre was part of the Count’s Orange estate, now the palace is occupied by the Ministry and gardens are now home to a zoo. Designed by Fortunato Lodi, inaugurated in 1843, it burned down in 1862, destroying the luxurious interior. Over 20 years, the theatre hosted critically acclaimed events for Lisbon’s bourgeoisie. Yet the Count lost his fortune, died and left the theatre derelict. Nowadays it is owned by the state and is surrounded by suburban Lisbon. In 2008 the state commissioned a feasibility study. ‘I did an office renovation for the same client (the Ministry of Education and Science), but frequently had to sign documents at the palace in front of the Theatre. It was in very bad shape but I was fascinated by the building with the neoclassic façade. Our client, finally decided to restore it and contacted Gonçalo Byrne Arquitectos due to his experience with heritage’ says Patricia Barbas of Barbas Lopes Architects. The concept was led by the retention of the historic fabric, as Barbas explains, ‘We did several studies, with different layouts. In all of them the interior of the theatre was always planned as an open space for multipurpose use. We wanted to preserve the audience and stage volumes as a single void, where different actions can take place’. This strategy has led to a simple and minimal concept combining the old – the grand foyer, auditorium and stage – with a new extension maximising flexibility and allowing for theatre, as well as conferences,

0

GROUND FLOOR PLAN

5m

exhibitions, and parties. A 3-storey building between the auditorium and the street was demolished and replaced with a single storey extension that wraps around the rear of the building. It houses a cafeteria, reception, toilets and storage facilities set against the street elevation, creating a generous transition space for activities between the old and new fabric. Stripping the old structure away revealed the auditorium volume. ‘...the old and new parts are a way to reinvent the history of the place. The new construction is physically linked to the ruins but they are two different entities’, Barbas suggests. The building reinvents its relationship with the zoo with the removal of walls and installing of glazed façade creating views into the zoo gardens with its trees, monkeys and strange monuments. This interplay is another curi36

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ous relationship that the new development creates. Yet the most striking aspect is the preservation of the original walls in a new terracotta concrete shell. ‘The […] main decision was to secure the old walls, using a concrete shell on the outside. The concrete reconstructed what had been destroyed by the fire. It makes the two volumes (audience and stage) a single body’, says Barbas. This modern is starkly minimal by comparison to the palimpsest of the original stone Italianate structure. ‘The original sight of the ruins was too strong to erase...the interior of the building is the experience of the ruin,’ Barbas explains. Externally it appears as a singular sculptural tectonic form with majestic materiality that presents its historic ornament in a modern manner. Internally it is minimally detailed yet a rich experience


/l on g t er m Projec t n o. 1


RIGHT & BEL O W: The derelict theatre prior to the reconstruction

for the retention of the old material. The grand entrance presents a solid distinctive front reconstructed in the original Italianate style with the addition of glazed doors and windows. The portico has been restored with cream stucco render, statues and the motto of Thalia. It reads ‘Here the Deeds of Men Shall be Punished’. The foyer has been reconstructed, in the neoclassical style, including a fluted frieze built with styrofoam profiles. Barbas cites the influence of architects like Peter Märkli, a former collaborator who combines play with precision, Eduardo Souto de Moura’s restoration of the Bouro monastery and conversion into a hotel, and Carlo Scarpa’s Castelvecchio museum in Verona. Scarpa is the master of reinterpreting the historic fabric in an inventive modern way without detracting from the original. ‘The past is manipulated and transformed to come back again’ suggests Barbas. The architecture of Thalia has richness and depth.‘We worked with a simple set of solutions...the building is made of concrete, stainless steel and glass. The visual and tactile quality of the walls of the ruin already had a lot of richness. Since there is a lot of open space, light and colour were also important. The program is very loose… it is not a state-of-the-art auditorium...we could do away with a lot of equipment and machinery and stick to basics. During the planning and construction of the Thalia Theatre, the economic situation of Portugal 38

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ABO VE: Constuction work in progress RIGHT : The renovated lobby space with modern lighting additions. BEL O W : Natural light floods into the main auditorium.

changed dramatically. Public and private commissions have stopped, so we decided to take some risks...’ says Barbas. The project revives the memory of the Count of Farrobo but is also a monument to the ruin. At the time of reporting construction is nearly complete and it is hoped the space can reach the heights enjoyed in its heyday. Certainly it has inspired curiosity in a new generation, ‘because the theatre seemed to appear out of nothing’, says Barbas. But what does she think of the new future of the theatre? ‘It is clear the Thalia Theatre is now an urban presence in the surroundings. It can be a good and almost exotic reference. At the time of the Count of Farrobo, or even 30 years ago, it was quite different…but history tells us that the Count of Farrobo also planned his estate as a place of fantasy.’ Long may the fantasy of Farrobo continue to fire the imagination and civic life at the Thalia Theatre. 39

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the g reen a nd pleasa n t le gacy Words Robert Pike images London 2012

The Olympics being awarded to the UK has seen vast change occur on an unprecedented scale in East London. Yet the Olympics is just the start of a long term masterplan that will deliver a lasting legacy that will benefit the city for years to come with the creation of new parks, communities and sporting facilities. Olympics are serious issues for host cities and the legacy is analysed for many years to come. With the closing of the games can London deliver on what is promised and what will be the results in years to come? 40

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The London 2012 Olympics exploded to life in July when Danny Boyle presented his ‘Isle of Wonder’ to the watching world. The opening sequence portrayed the metamorphosis of Britain from a pastoral landscape to a global machine of industry. Similarly the Olympic Park is the result of great changes and large amounts of industry. So whilst sports fans have been enjoying the national pursuit of gold medals the real victory has been to complete this immense project on time. But looking beyond the games the next test for London is to deliver a Legacy. The motto of the game is to ‘Inspire a Generation’. This transcends sport into the built environment. What will be the lasting legacy of London 2012? The L Word From October 2012 the park will undergo an 18-month transformation, setting the foundation for the future development of the Queen Elizabeth II Olympic Park, and the wider 20 year masterplan for the Lower Lea Valley. The London Legacy Development Corporation, who will oversee the creation of the long term vision, suggests it will deliver ‘lush parklands and waterways,

new neighbourhoods and world class sports and entertainment venues. It will draw on the unique character, energy and heritage of London’s East End and the best elements of London living, to create a brand new space for residents and visitors’. Already you can see some of the results of this with the landscapes that surround the stadiums. Will London deliver on its claims for a lasting landscape legacy? In Athens urban renewal has failed and the legacy equates to 21 out of 22 venues abandoned. In Sydney 2000, a proper legacy plan was not implemented until as late as 2006 and only now is this beginning to create results. London put a long-term plan in place hence the Olympic Park, as it currently stands, looks like a transitional landscape. In this respect Barcelona is a positive template which London can look to emulate. Barcelona has rallied since the ’92 games and is the inspiration for London in terms of how the Games can lead to vast urban regeneration and open up new areas of the city. City residents gained a new seafront, even a new beach, from what was an industrial port area cut off from the city by urban infrastructure. The London Olympic 42

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LEFT: Original derelict buildings olympic delivery authority. RIGHT: Aerial view of the Olympic Park showing the parklands looking south towards the Olympic Stadium and Aquatics Centre. Picture taken on 16 April 2012.

Park is born out the vision to remediate vast tracts of polluted industrial land, largely derelict amongst a network of rivers, canals and waterways. The river network has been cleaned up and polluted soil has been brought back to life and will form the very foundation of the park. The Park, with new bridges and links into the wider community will finally allow east to the west movement. The Park Mas terpl an Since 2008 LDA Design has led the masterplanning and detailed design of the Olympic parklands and public realm, which they describe as ‘the most significant landscaping project for a generation’. In games mode the park acts as series of breakout spaces for visitors to Olympic events. Crowds have been seen enjoying the ‘Park Live’ events set amongst river-side meadows of lush summer flowers. This sounds idyllic, and is the result of the landscape vision implemented by American landscape architect George Hargreaves. From 2013 this landscape will grow to encompass a much wider area. The masterplan is conceived in two distinct elements. There is the river valley to the north near to Hopkins designed Velodrome, which will be the setting of the North Park. This is due to open in July 2013 with the retained multi-use arena acting as a community hub for parkland and footpaths, as well as the Velo Park, creating high-quality cycle facilities. Post Olympics one will be able to walk into the area from Hackney, rather than the tortuous pre Olympic detour. Erect Architects have recently won planning permission for the detailed design of these proposals, which is a huge opportunity for a young architecture practice. 43

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Meanwhile a planning application has been submitted for an 11 hectare urban park — the south plaza — that will sit around the Aquatics Centre and main stadium. This is due to open in Easter 2014. The competition for this area was won by a team featuring James Corner Field Operations. The major change now, which is clear across the site and in the surrounding area, is the way the River Lee, canals, and back rivers that criss-cross this area have been remediated, brought back to life and carefully integrated within the design, providing not only a link between the north and south elements of the Olympic Park, but the community also. In all 5 kilometres of river bank have been restored. That is certainly an important sign of a legacy. W ill T his Be a Green and Pleas ant Private L and? But all this comes at a cost. Despite the significant spend from the public purse, much will end in the hands of the private

sector and is representative of a worrying trend across London, where vast tracts of former industrial land are being packaged up and sold off to the highest bidder. The Olympic Park is no exception and the legacy will see control pass from neighbouring local authorities to private companies. This trend for privatisation of the landscape is discussed by Anna Minton, in her book Ground Control, who states that the ‘consequence has been the creation of a new environment characterised by high-security, ‘defensible’ architecture and strict rules and regulations governing behaviour. Cycling, skateboarding and inline skating are often banned. So are busking and selling the Big Issue, filming, taking photographs and — critically — political protest’. Others would argue that it necessary to use public/private partnerships to take, what was effectively wasteland, back into a productive use. Is private money a necessity in austere times, financing the regeneration of wastelands into a usable resource? Is future private 44

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operation of games venues the most efficient operation and management? Anyone who has ever been threatened with arrest for the innocent act of taking a photograph will know that private landscapes go hand in hand with draconian security rules and excessive use of CCTV. The Olympics has brought London to life, animated by people from all over the world celebrating this great global festival. The Olympic Park has created unprecedented change in the built environment of East London.. It will create impressive parkland spaces and access to waterways, as well as exceptional facilities for the wider community. Are we, however, as a consequence of this, facing up to 2 months of sports, good urban design, and a legacy of facilities with ever increasing privatisation of land? Returning to our predecessors, would we be complaining about private ownership if we were faced with a legacy like that of Greece? If the legacy delivers on what it promises who are we to complain?


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a LE Xa Nd ra PaLaC E reViVing the Pe ople 's Pala ce Words Robert Pike images Alexandra Palace

Alexandra Palace - the public owned ‘Peoples Palace’— has had a long and turbulent 130 year history which has seen many ups and downs and led to an uncertain future. Now a masterplan for the Victorian complex produced by Farrells looks set to create a secure vision that will lead to better conservation and maintenance, financially sustainability and an enhanced program based on new and improved facilities. The masterplan will lead the Peoples Palace into another 130 years of local and national service. 46

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Alexandra Palace — the ‘Peoples Palace’ inspired by the Great Exhibition envisioned as a place for the pleasure, education and recreation of local people — is a local landmark of North London. Opened in 1873, it was intended to be the ‘Crystal Palace’ of north London, yet C T Goode in his 1983 history suggests the ‘vast structure was already out of date from the moment it was built as a poor replica...’ and goes on to say that the building was well used without the care a building of this scale demands. 30 years on such statements are apt. ‘Ally Pally’ is well used but is poorly maintained, and is currently the subject of a public consultation on the long-term future of the building. The trustees of Alexandra Palace are seeking the views of the public on a masterplan — produced by a team including architects Farrells and heritage architects Donald Insall Associates — that will safeguard the long-term future of the complex both physically and financially. It is hoped this will guarantee the future of the palace. Wall s that Reveal a Turbulent His t ory The west colonnade stands with only temporary structures behind. These walls reveal a turbulent history. The first palace based here burnt down in 1864. It was rebuilt in 1873, and passed to the Alexandra Palace Trust in 1901 to guarantee it remained for benefit of the local population. Dogged by high costs and the need for maintenance it was adopted in 1980 by Haringey Borough Council only to burn down shortly after. The fire destroyed 60% of the original fabric and the building today is the result of costly restoration work. In the east wing the ice-skating rink and mini golf are popular; in the south east corner the BBC still occupies the offices underneath the iconic broadcasting tower. Other parts of the complex are quiet today such as the Great Hall which hosts major exhibitions, concerts or sporting events. Unfortunately, large parts of the building lie derelict, including a theatre that could be a tremendous community resource. This presents the scale of the challenge and only now, 30 years later, are these proposals be-

ing revisited through this new masterplan. So how can the masterplan deliver a sustainable future for Alexandra Palace? M as terpl an: B al ancing P ragmatism with Vision The new masterplan, in light of the history of the building, is underpinned by the need for financial self-sufficiency with a programme that will generate the necessary income to help conserve and maintain the building and in the long term to provide new facilities. A delicate balance needs to be struck between the two competing issues. The strategy is based on a framework of creating a major entertainment venue, enhance the community and learning potential and a sympathetic conservation. At the public exhibition held at the Palace, the masterplan is framed with 6 big ideas: 48

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Improving Your Firs t Impression The Victorian complex used to be served by a dedicated steam railway that brought patrons from far and wide. They would arrive at the north terrace and pass into the building. But nowadays the grand entrance experience has been eroded by modern incidences. The railway is long gone and the north entrance is among the terraces of Edwardian houses that grew up around the grounds. The current entrances are actually to the east and west courts but the grand experience is lessened by car parks in front of them. The plan is to remove the car parks in favour of generous public spaces. There are plans for the south entrance, south terrace and the under croft as well. Shared surfaces and new cafes built in the under croft will favour pedestrians over cars and buses. This will be a considerable improvement to now


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PREVI OUS PAGE: Inside the derelict theatre space. LEFT: Current view of the main hall looking towards the Willis organ.

place on the same day. The restoration of these grand corridors could help to re-establish a compartmentalised building where the building could be sub-divided for such activities. For example if the theatre is restored then events could occur here at the same time as in the Great Hall. This proposal gears the Palace towards the multi-purpose use it was originally intended for.

where modern infrastructure has eroded the pedestrian experience. Upgra ding the Entrances t o the Pal ace The east and west entrances, dominated by two grand domed palm courts, are to be improved with new planting to create Victorian interior gardens in keeping with the original building. Other improvements are to come in the form of water features and seating, as well as making the entrances DDA compliant. Making it Easier t o Move Around the Pal ace The original plan of the building was based on 4 corridors that linked the east and west wings. Commercially, the trustees would like to hold more events that could take

Upgrading the Main Hall s The Main Hall is currently the most important space in the Palace and attracts national sporting events, large-scale conventions and internationally recognised performers. But that experience could be considerably improved for visitors and organisers alike. The first stage will be to improve acoustics, lighting and the roof. The second will be to allow for expansion, the hall accommodating a balcony. The addition of this would also aid with the acoustics. The long aim is to conserve the Rose window and the famous Henry Willis organ. A Ho tel in the Pal ace A hotel has regularly been mooted as a means to make the complex financially viable. The proposal is to insert a modern building in behind the southwest facade. This has lain idle since the fire of 1980 with only white temporary structure behind it. A hotel would add life to this part of the building. Active spaces at ground level would bring life to the tired terraces. At the 49

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upper levels rooms would have panoramic views over the city. The southwest tower which has stood empty and boarded up for years would be restored with new roof and grand rooms within. The disadvantage of such a proposal would be that parts of the building would be leased to private companies. This is something that in the past has worried residents who see the ‘people’s palace’ falling into private hands. Opening Up Derelict Spaces The theatre hidden away in the northeast corner could offer much potential if restored. It could seat 3000 and would be popular with local residents and community groups. Similarly the BBC studios — the birthplace of public service broadcasting — could become a broadcast archive and learning centre. Meanwhile the basement is an untapped resource for ancillary and support facilities. Looking t o the Future The consultation is the first step towards establishing a long-term plan for Alexandra Palace, and it combines pragmatism with a few bold ideas. The history of this building always suggests that there is a delicate balance to be struck. It can throw up surprises that set progress back for years. Let’s hope the latest masterplan will see the Peoples Palace retain its position as a cultural and community landmark of North London.


Offs hore/O n sh ore buil ding vacu u ms Words Amy Thomas

‘Modernity is the practice of making holes in territories.’ — Saskia Sassen, ‘Beyond Social Exclusion: Emerging Logics of Expulsion’

Building, designing and making are processes that are largely assumed to be additive, that is to say, they ultimately contribute to their surroundings in a material or visual way. Similarly, the cities we fabricate are both celebrated and criticised for their visible or perceptible impact, be it environmental, cultural, social, or economic. But what if the materiality of our built, designed, and made environment was being undermined by the economic processes that created it in the first place? The world is now one giant assembly line. Today, the remote, inhumane sweatshops we heard about twenty years ago are now the distant ancestors of millions of factories, warehouse compounds, call centres, laboratories and even cities, constructed across the globe to house the outsourced operations of the biggest retailers and corporations. Despite employing tens of millions of people worldwide, these places are in fact not registered as places at all, but rather de-regulated, de-territorialized and de-nationalised enclaves built in developing countries to attract foreign companies by removing the biggest obstacles to profit: tax, government regulation and expensive workers. To put it simply, big business and big governments are hacking geographical chunks out of the terrain of almost every country to make way for capital. So when it says ‘made in Taiwan’ in your High Tops, what it really means is ‘made in a de-territorialised regulatory vacuum at the expense of some poorly paid workers in Taiwan’. But this process of ‘making holes in territories’, as the sociologist Saskia Sassen has put it, occurs at almost every level of production and is riddled with contradictions. Just as an American corporation like Apple exploits cheap Chinese labour in Shenzhen – a city that was born as a Special Economic Zone and now furnished by a number of ‘starchitects’ such as Koolhaas and OMA, to name an example - China is literally ‘making holes’ deep into African soil to extract Zambia’s most profitable resource, copper, 1

using Zambian workers and a revitalised old British imperial railway system to transport the raw materials home. However imminent, to those of us who have grown up in the global north, the harsh material reality of this assembly line at times seems remote, as we are usually at the top of the food chain, consuming and not producing. But there is in fact another, perhaps more insidious, face to this system that we experience everyday, residing in our cities, offices and trading floors: the elusive world of offshore finance. The prefix ‘global’ in the terms ‘global economy’ and ‘global city’ paints an unrealistically coherent vision of the world we live in. Just as the World Wide Web is presented as a smooth, continuous network, rather than a ‘leaky’ collection of servers, cables, and satellites, the global economy is often viewed as a complex but nonetheless unified system, producing cohesive urban forms in the shape of ‘global’ cities, among others. The reality is somewhat distorted. Far from seamless, the global financial system is defined by the boundaries and economic barriers of nation states that restrict and regulate the flow of capital; let’s assume this is ‘onshore’, the controlled space of a visible economy. It is within this highly regulated system that loopholes have emerged to overcome these borders and allow transactions to go untaxed, uncontrolled and unseen by the laws of specific countries: let us call these ‘offshore’. For most of us, ‘offshore’ = tax haven = exotic Caribbean island. This is only partly true. In fact, a staggering 80% of all international transactions take place offshore,1 the majority of which occur in London, New York, Tokyo and Shanghai, to name a few, in the realm of offshore financial markets (the deregulated trading of currencies and financial instruments outside their country of origin), or through a network of tax havens linked to these cities. The moral implications of the offshore system are obvious: we pay taxes whilst billionaires pay none (or relatively little). But what are the spatial, material and even architectural implications

Palan, R. 2003. The Offshore World: Sovereign Markets, Virtual Places, and Nomad Millionaires. London: Cornell University Press, Ithaca, p.7

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T he pr ef ix ‘ glo ba l’ in the ter m s ‘ glo b al econ omy’ an d ‘global city’, paints an unr ealis ticall y coher ent vision of the wor ld we live in. Jus t as the Wor ld W ide Web is pr esented as a smooth, continuous networ k , r ather than a ‘leaky’ collection of ser ver s, cables, and satellites, the glo ba l eco no my is o f ten v iewed as a compl ex but n on etheless unif ied sy s tem, pr oducing cohesive urban f or ms in the shape of ‘global’ cities, among other s.

of this seemingly invisible world, and how, if at all, are these virtual vacuums materialised? Usually, architectural output is an accurate and explicit indicator of financial wellbeing: if building stops, it generally means investment has. In fact, a number of theories have emerged in recent decades linking the building cycle to the business cycle, such as the so-called ‘Skyscraper Index’, which argues that tallest buildings are constructed in anticipation of economic crises as panic investments (Empire State Building - Wall Street Crash; World Trade Centre — 1973 stock market crash and oil crisis; Petronas Towers — 1997 Asian Financial Crisis; Burj Khalifa — 2009 subprime mortgage crisis). Cities are usually the mark of economic output as they are highly visible spaces containing a critical mass of people and buildings. But in the case of offshore finance, the opposite is true as a large percentage of the transactions take on an imaginary status. For example, in order to avoid paying tax in one country, companies will ‘fictionally relocate’ to a tax haven and become what is known as a ‘permanent tourist’ (PT) in that country. The term ‘fictional’ is used as the company doesn’t physically move to the tax haven, but only registers itself there, where it now legally exists for tax purposes. So whilst Bob Diamond may be sitting in the executive penthouse of the ostentatiously visible Barclays Bank HQ in Canary Wharf, this is just the (selectively iconic) tip of the iceberg. Barclays is in fact legally resident in dozens tiny offices in tax havens all over the world with its presence marked only by a name on a brass plate. Thousands of these ‘brass plate enterprises’ can exist in single buildings; for example, a recent report showed that one building in the Cayman Islands is the registered address for 18,857 entities.2 The result is a profound distortion in spatial scales, fabricating a situation whereby the territorial presence of a city, or even the size of an office, is entirely disproportionate to the volume of transactions and capital it deals with.

So when 98% of the companies registered on the London Stock Exchange have offshore dealings, how do we interpret the increasing skyline of the City of London? The answer to this question lies in the biggest misnomer presented by the term offshore: namely, that it is the opposite of onshore. As Sassen’s phrasing articulates, the practice of modernity is to make holes in existing territories; far from ‘de-territorialised’ or ‘stateless’ entities, offshore vacuums are the tools of states, which use the power to isolate and deregulate space in specific places in order to extend their financial reach across continents. The City of London’s administrative body, the City Corporation, and the British Government rely on the presence of offshore financial markets, such as the Eurodollar and Eurobond markets, and the City’s intimate connection with tax havens such as Jersey, Guernsey and the Cayman Islands, to prop up the national economy and its international standing. Consequently, billions of pounds are invested every year in producing iconic architecture to house these markets, as well as preserving the historic environment of the old City to attract businesses, produce institutional landmarks, and in turn render it a hotspot for ‘financial tourism’. The Lloyd’s building, the ‘Gherkin’ and the ‘Shard’ and the soon-to-be ‘Walkie Talkie’ are just a few examples of the architectural branding used to create emotional attachment to cities that are, in large part, functionally superfluous to the operations of the corporations it houses. The offshore world is an elusive force within the global marketplace but by no means marginal. If we are to explore the true impact of ‘globalization’ on our cities, we must come to terms with the fact that these deregulated spaces are not perverse abstractions that disrupt the ‘competitive’ environment of the capitalist economy, but are in fact essential to its operation, and, more significantly, dependent upon real places – the visible holes of modernity.

United States Government Accountability Office, ‘Cayman Islands: Business Advantantages and Tax Minimization Attract US Persons and Enforcement Challenges Exist’, Testimony Before the Committee on Finance, US Senate, Thursday, July 24, 2008, p.2

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Edition 23 catalogue Full range now available on brand new website www.chelsom.co.uk

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medium term

52 KINGS CROSS FILLING STATI ON BY CARM ODY GROAKE 56 FANTASTICOLOGY by A team of T he Kl assnik Co rp oration, Riitta I konen & W e Made That 58 CANNING T OWN CARAVENSERAI BY ASH SAKULA 62 IN CONVERSATION WITH MARCUS COATES


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k i n g ' s Cross Filling S t a t i on C arm ody Groark e

Words Kelly Pollard images Luke Hayes courtesy Carmody Groarke

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Each summer, with the hope of sunny weather and the promise of good food, neighbourhoods throughout London become dotted with new restaurants defined not just by their food, but by their unique architectural interventions. In central London, a disused petrol station is now the home of a new semi-permanent restaurant and social space in King’s Cross. Although the use of ‘petrol’ and ‘restaurant’ in the same sentence may seem disconcerting, Carmody Groarke’s Filling Station is sure to attract a plethora of visitors over the course of the next two years. The flourishing King’s Cross area in central London has been undergoing rapid

transformations under a recent and significant redevelopment plan. (Other projects part of this redevelopment include the new Central Saint Martins building, King’s Boulevard, and several residential projects). ‘Through creative re-use and adaptation of the existing canal-side structures, we have set out to create a strong ‘sense of place’ for this part of King’s Cross,’ says Kevin Carmody of London’s young architecture firm Carmody Groarke. This ‘sense of place’ is at the heart of King’s Cross Filling Station project. Aiming to create attractive and comfortable spaces within the context of the site, Carmody Groarke have advantageously utilised the petrol station’s existing canopy, 55

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left: By retaining the existing structure, Carmody Groarke have transformed a disused petrol station into a temporary restaurant and gathering space in King’s Cross; abov e: A new fibreglass structure creates large open spaces around the restaurant, which is housed within the station’s old kiosk.


‘ Through creative reuse and adaptatio n of the exis ting c an al-side s tructures, we have set out t o create a s trong ‘sense of pl ace ’ for this part of King’s Cross’

resulting in an elegant interior space, as well as covered outdoor spaces, which extend the possibilities of cultural programming within the site and the restaurant itself. Staying true to its original form, King’s Cross Filling Station retains its large archetypal canopy, which is complemented by a curvaceous and light enclosure. Overlooking Regent’s Canal, Carmody Groarke have adapted the skeleton of the station into a semi-permanent structure to tastefully complement its setting. Gently curved fibreglass walls shape and structure the spaces within the old station. The walls form series of flowing spaces, inviting visitors into the structure, and create an interesting interplay between inside and outside. Because of the walls’ translucent nature, the exterior transforms by day and night. During the day, the screens conceal the interior as shadows partially reveal the activities taking place inside. By night, the screens are illuminated from behind, gently reflecting in the canal and acting as a beacon for passers-by. A green neon sign gives the venue a landmark quality, almost as if it’s been there for years. Despite this quality, King’s Cross Filling Station will only exist for two years, as new homes are planned to be built on the site in coming years. Carmody Groarke kept this semi-permanence at the forefront of their design. Not only did the architects 56

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left: Situated on Regents Canal, the translucent walls and neon signage give the King’s Cross Filling Station a striking presence at night. abov e: The architects chose to use recyclable fibreglass panels since the structure will only be in place for two years.

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elect to reuse the existing canopy, but they have also constructed the fibreglass cladding in such a way that it can be recycled at the end of the project. Because of its temporary existence, Carmody Groarke ensure that King’s Cross Filling Station minimises its architectural footprint and maximises its impact over the course of its finite lifespan. Using their understated characteristic style, Carmody Groarke have transformed the site into ‘a destination for cultural events and a unique dining experience,’ says Carmody. The building’s two year lifespan has the benefit of becoming a destination venue – albeit a temporary one – for King’s Cross. With its imaginative design, enticing menu, and multi-purpose functions, Carmody Groarke have found a viable use for the disused petrol station, injecting new life to the King’s Cross area. Not too bad for an old one stop petrol station.


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FaN taSt i COL OGY by a t eam o f the k las s n i k Corporat i o n riitta ikonen & we made that

Words Kelly Pollard images Fantasticology design team

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le f t: Outside the Olympic Stadium is ‘Fact Fest’: a board that lets visitors add their own nuggets of information to share with everyone. r i g h t: Benches throughout the Park have unique plaques sharing a selection of facts collected over 18 months.

Over the past few months, there has been no shortage of publicity about this summer’s Olympic Games and the urban and architectural transformations taking place in East London. Venues such as the Olympic Stadium and Velodrome are instantly recognisable to everyone, even before the Games had started. However, one of the largest projects within the Olympic Park – Fantasticology – is lesser known to most. Fantasticology is a cultural landscape project in Stratford, which was commissioned as part of the Olympic Delivery Authority’s Arts and Culture Strategy in order to inject a dose of art, culture, and greenery into the heart of the Olympic Park. The Park is a series of landscape interventions by We Made That, an architecture and design studio based in London, with The Klassnik Corporation and Riitta Ikonen. We Made That designed a series of three interventions in the Park collectively entitled ‘Fantasticology’, which includes: Fantasticology, Fantastic Factology, and The Greenway. Fantasticology, the park as a whole, provides a landscape backdrop for the most notable Olympic venues: the Olympic Stadium and the Velodrome. The designers refer to the wildflower planting designs as ‘Fantastic-Archaeology’ because their arrangements reference the industrial heritage of the site itself. Bright meadows create a distinct patchwork of colourful and varied flowers, which delineate the footprints of industrial buildings that previously claimed the site as their own. Fantasticology is not only designed to brighten the landscape of the Park, but also subtly provides visitors with nuggets of knowledge dispersed along the path that connects the Velodrome and the Stadium. For the past 18 months, facts have been collected from workshops in the local community and from global specialists from a variety of fields, ranging from astrology to zoology. These facts celebrate fantastic and surprising things in life; We Made That say that each statement is meant to ‘excite,

bewilder, inform and inspire’. Hundreds of facts were collected, but only a handful are installed as Fantastic Factology plaques on benches within the Park. Entrances to the Park at Wick Lane and Canning Road also nod to the history and previous function of the area. The Greenway, formerly the route of the Northern Outfall Sewer, is a hardscape entrance that welcomes visitors into Fantasticology. Graphic patterns from textured manhole covers have been reused on steel vertical markers found at each entrance. Scaled up versions of these patterns are also used in the concrete for a more dynamic paved surface. Each of the three elements of Fantasticology adds a lively feature to the Olympic Park, revealing the factual and incredible, as well as referencing the past and celebrating 59

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the present. The size and scale of the 2012 Olympic Games is sure to be felt through all new sites throughout the city. Fantasticology is no exception. It is one of the largest urban parks created in Europe in more than 150 years. We Made That do not seem daunted by such a notable project; rather, they’ve tackled the project in a playful and exciting way for visitors to learn and enjoy the history of East London. Throughout the duration of the Games the Park will see millions of visitors, and Fantasticology won’t disappoint. Its characterful landscape celebrates ideologies such as community, knowledge and history, whilst keeping the Olympic spirit at heart. Fantasticology will certainly attract visitors long after the torch is extinguished, leaving a fantastic new landmark for the East London community.


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Ca n n ing t own Ca ravanserai

Words Robert Pike images Robert Pike and Ash Sakula

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April F ool s Weekend ‘Canning Town Caravanserai’ shouts bold lettering, breaking the monotony of blue hoardings surrounding development site opposite the DLR station in Canning Town — the community to the north west of the Royal Docks in East London. It’s April 1st and Ash Sakula, the architects, as well as a band of keen volunteers and an evergrowing local community have flung open its gates of the Canning Town Caravanserai. This begins the start of a live experiment in adaptable neighbourhoods, sustainable development and temporary urbanism on undeveloped sites like this. They seek to do for this site something that local authorities and developers have yet to – communityled regeneration. The CTC vision is for an ‘adaptable open courtyard surrounded by busy shops and production spaces’, produced by architects, thinkers, makers, community groups and local residents’, the

designers suggest, on the 0.5 hectare site off Silvertown Way. April Fools activity has awakened this idle land and bold new gateways create a landmark on the busy Silvertown Way. The day features several events: two markets and a food demonstration from Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food Stratford – a local group promoting healthy lifestyles through cookery; Chermiah Hart, of Hart Culture – a local charity that promotes arts and cultural opportunities through creative pursuits – demonstrates how to make Duku, the traditional headscarves of Ghana; Yanik Beya presents the work of Imhotep Foundation – an organisation challenging stereotypes and empowering the local underprivileged adolescents through a number of activities including training, workshops, volunteering, media projects and dance. Later – at the 18m long table built of scavenged wood, donated scaffold poles and recycled 61

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Perspex panels – 100 guests gather for a dinner hosted by Latitudinal, a group bringing people together through food. Guests brought a dish of their country that would serve four people. It was a successful introduction of the CTC to the new neighbours and emphasised how it could facilitate a cross fertilisation of serious ideas and offer empowerment with this part of the city, in a fun and engaging event. One criticism of the weekend could be that volunteers outnumbered the community. When this is put to Cany Ash of Ash Sakula she suggests, ‘We are not able to promise footfall instantly, we are all part-time, we are opening an opportunity, not delivering a copper bottom, bottom-up project. People can see we are trying and that is to be honest all we can do. We can’t literally build people’s businesses up.’ It is an honest answer that emphasises the need for patience in a time when people demand


instant fixes. They have not promised a vast change in economic fortunes but they have at least started with the foundations of a platform on which they can build. Certainly at this stage CTC has achieved a lot more than the vast regeneration schemes advertised on the fading billboards across from the site. Opp o r tunit y Dock s CTC emerged from Ash Sakula winning the Meanwhile London Opportunity Docks competition, where Newham Borough Council and the London Development Agency (LDA), sought inventive temporary ideas for development around the empty landscape of the defunct Royal Docks. As with many former industrial areas of Britain, when you remove the key set of industries they are often difficult to replace. Hence Canning Town is a good case study for the current quandary between the need to regenerate areas through private enterprise and huge public subsidy against the wishes of the community, usually marginalised by the results that occur from that process. At the apex of these serious issues is CTC. It is just one of many big empty flat spaces that have been earmarked for regeneration for a considerable amount of time. By contrast the Emirates Air Line – a

privately sponsored (the first private sponsor to appear on the tube map) new cable car linking the Dome to Excel – has recently opened. When discussing such developments with traders at the April Fools Weekend they claimed not to have known about the cable car. To the north colourful cladding is being applied to the Vermilion Tower, the centrepiece of the Rathbone Market regeneration project. Again, local traders seem indifferent to such developments that are allegedly changing their lives. Understandably, the community is jaded by regeneration proposals especially when the £600 million pound Canning Town regeneration scheme has resulted in the emptying of perfectly good housing stock. Fortunately common sense has prevailed and some of these sad looking houses locked down with anti squatting measures adorning windows and doors, will be opened up again by Newham Borough Council. Unbelievably the regeneration plans for the CTC site won’t occur for five years, hence why the site is leased to Ash Sakula. Grand proposals often create monocultural developments that do nothing to replace the industry that once powered the area and the city as a whole, and often force out the community through gentrification. Herein lies the opportunity for the CTC to frame those issues and bring a new line of 62

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F IRST PAGE: Site model produced by Ash Sakula illustrating the potential for the site. ABOVE : Volunteers lend their support to the Caravanserai during a Pop Up Tuesday gathering. BELOW: The blue hoardings adorned with Caravanserai logo. BO TT OM: The grand new gateway to the Caravanserai. T OP: Fun events during the April Fools weekend

thinking to this site ‘momentarily escaping the normative plans of landowners, new urban interventions can take root’, suggests the CTC team. The Pro cess of Co mmunit y Engagement Since January the CTC team has spent an exhaustive amount of time engaging with that community through regular consultation. Events – held in the foyer of local charity Community Links - encouraged local people to draw their own vision for the site based on questions like ‘what do you think should go here? Unleash your creative skills’. This was just one tool that was employed to determine community needs that could facilitate the development of the site, and a program for occasions like the April Fools Weekend. For many temporary projects, particularly prevalent in this period of austerity, is the need to source materials through recycling or scavenging. The leitmotif of such projects is the humble palette and the scaffold pole, and local companies such as Loughton Scaffolding and the organisers of Ecobuild (held at Excel) have recognised the spirit in which the project is framed and have donated materials. It was also in this time that the team began to contact people like Chermiah Hart who are prepared to make a difference in the area. 63

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Continuing Engagement Recently events include the Chelsea Fringe ‘Garden of Mirrors’, promoting workshops on growing, planting, allotments and gardening; and Trade School London – an event instigated by Social Space, who gave lessons in the art of concrete casting and pouring, making unique and beautiful bricks, a textual analysis masterclass, revamping furniture, and ice cream chemistry. Events like these are good at attracting new people who might have an entrepreneurial eye for bringing new ideas like this. Continued occupation will be the key to the long term strategy of CTC. This has taken a step closer following the ‘Dragons Kiosk’ event where six participants successfully pitched business ideas to occupy the kiosk units on site. Of those, three will be renting kiosk units in the immediate future. Of course the ultimate event that CTC aims to tie into is the Olympics, when a captive audience will pass by on their way from the DLR to Excel. Beyond this they have up to five years in which to experiment and to try to answer this question of whether temporary urbanism can deliver sustainable solutions, and whether those solutions can deliver a tangible difference to the masterplan that is already proposed for this site.


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I N CO N v E r S at IO N W It H Ma rC U S C O at E S

INTERVIEW by Mariana Pestana

A RITUAL F OR ELEPHANT & CASTLE A Film by Marcus Coates

images Nick David

Produced by Nomad

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their flats and I did this ritual for them, and it felt quite radical, that whole situation, what happened there, and in different ways I’ve continued that process and performed different rituals around the world, looking at problems and questions that have been difficult for people to solve consciously. — In the f ilm about the Heyg ate Es t ate ther e ar e images of you hanging on the building, r unning ag ains t the building… wer e you tr ying to incor por ate the building somehow as we ll, jus t like you do with animals?

— You r ecentl y did a r esidency at Elephant & Cas tle that r esulted in a f eatur e f ilm f ocusing on the Heyg ate Es t ate and its futur e demolishment. Year s bef or e you developed wor k in Liver pool, also about an Es t ate that was going to be demolished. Wher e does your inter es t f or the built envir onment come fr om? I’ve been thinking of the built environment as a reflection of our current and historical view of how we want to live and how our thinking is shaped by the imposition of town planning. The built environment is a mirror of our own perception of ‘humanness’ in a wider sense. Also the idea of becoming animal has become really interesting to me, looking back at ancient cultures and other traditional cultures that exist now. Becoming animal is a very important role, particularly in the shamanic tradition. To become animal is to enter another world, in traditional cultures often the spirit world, to engage with the spirits affecting the community, to find

information for the community. This ritualistic practice was and is so dependent on the natural environment and a particularly close and dependent relationship to it. As our urban lives are now so removed, I wanted to test this animistic process, a non-rational form of problem solving to see if it could have a functional role. The first project like this was in Liverpool, I was doing a residency in a tower block that was due to be demolished, as part of a project called Further Up in the Air. It was a really good residency because there was no agenda of regeneration. They just asked the artists to live and respond to their environment whilst staying in the vacated flats of this tower block before it was demolished. I said to the residents who were still living there; ‘I’d really like to try this ritual, if you have a question for me, I’d quite like to answer it by going into this other world and becoming animal to try to get some insight.’ and they said; ‘Yeah! We’ll do that.’ They were mainly elderly women and a few elderly men, and we all gathered in one of 65

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Well, I spent a long time talking to people, whoever I could talk to, whoever was interested, but I was also trying to understand the place physically. I wanted to match myself up against the architecture, match myself up against that huge mass of concrete. I also wanted to get in contact with what was there before that concrete. At one point I was just lying on the ground, face down, and I was trying to imagine what was there before it was all covered over, before there were even people there. I was thinking about that place, not just as the Elephant and Castle, but a habitat that has always existed in some way, in different forms. I was trying to think about the place that far back compared to what it is now, with the hope of then, maybe, being able to think about what it will be and needed to be in the future. — It ’s inter es ting how you use the wor d ‘vision’. Developer s and Councils use the wor d ‘vision’ on phr ases like ‘visions f or the futur e’ of this and that place. Do you believe that these collective visions r epr esent the individual visions of the people that they se r ve? Well this was one of the starting points to the whole project: the fact that the Council


was creating a vision for a new Elephant & Castle. The developers were creating their visions. All of these corporate entities, these organisations having visions. Are they visionary? How are they having these visions? Are they evoking them? Are they sitting around imagining them? This was extraordinary to me. The fact that they co-opted this sort of spiritual terminology. I thought, as an artist, I’m supposed to be visionary? I think it used to be expected of us. I thought I should take that on and try and come up with my own vision. A vision though, that is deeply based in the experience of a place and the people who live in it and use it, and that’s what I’m really trying to get across in the film - what informs this vision. That’s what I tried to do in that process. I tried to absorb as much of the place as possible then through a public ritual disseminate the experience in an unconscious narrative that can be rationalised and communicated, so I could understand it in a way that wasn’t and perhaps couldn’t be done within the official planning of this redevelopment. — So that vision of your s, is it a collection of all the voices that you’ve g ather ed thr ough your r esidency or is it something that comes fr om you, or fr om the super natur al? It’s a combination of voices, information, data, and personal experience. I’ve been processing that stuff over the years that I’ve spent there, and it came out in this one, imaginative journey, which is directed by my non-conscious imagination. So in this way my rational and conscious position is removed. I am acting as a conduit and witnessing a journey in my mind that I cannot predict. I enter a world which has been shaped and informed by all my experiences and everyone I met in Elephant & Castle. That’s really what’s guiding it. I have no real control within it. I just have to report what I have seen there. This non-rational approach conversely tends to have very sensible outcomes. — Can you put it into wor ds (the vision)? I think overall, the main overriding message that came out of it was that any future vision, any understanding of what was needed 66

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in the future needed an intimate knowledge of the complexity of what’s happening now, in terms of how the community functions and support each other. And a recognition of the value of what exists, even if it doesn’t seem to have an obvious value now in a monetary sense and the importance of belonging and how this affects us over generations. That’s what came out of that vision and that’s what I took back to the council planning team after the ritual. — Do you think you lef t a leg acy? Ther e ar e s till a f ew year s to come bef or e the demolishment. As an individual its very difficult to feel like you have an influence over the decisions being made about your surroundings and your life, especially when public bureaucratic systems are so complex and seemingly separate from your experience and personal decision

making process. It was important for me that my ritual and its narrative were heard by both the people the redevelopment was affecting and the people who were planning and instigating it. Whether it left a legacy it’s difficult to determine. My main hope is that my process encouraged imaginative thinking, particularly in the council and planning departments where the personal investment can be so scripted. — And you told us that you did a tour. We actuall y sa w that in the f ilm as well, that you did a tour with the ar chitect of the es t ate, T im T inker. Can you tell us about your inter action with him, and the situation of him being the per son that designed a vision back in the 70’s and someone who, toda y, sees another vision coming and completel y er asing that pas t vision?

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Yeah! It was really interesting. He talked about the fact that there were no people there now and the Heygate Estate is a big estate. 1100 - 1200 hundred flats have been vacated, he designed it to be full of people and now there is no one there, its very quiet, quite serene, like a concrete ghost ship. And it had a beauty because of all the trees have matured; it was looking strangely wonderful in the Spring sunshine. He showed me the original drawings from the 60’s when he had drawn the trees as they are now, mature. He thought, what’s really gone wrong here is not the design or the architecture but the fact that because it is social housing for low income households it hasn’t been cared for and has been allowed to become run-down, and the community has become dysfunctional because it’s been a dumping ground for people who have got severe social problems, and of course the land is in the centre of London prime real estate. It occurred to me that there was a


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division of value, do you value this neighbourhood for its property or do you value it for its community? — Was it planned as a social utopia? There was a sense of social utopia when the development was first built in the 60’s. The housing radically improved peoples lives. Residents had their own bathrooms, hot running water for the first time. It came from a political ideology, to improve society. This lost its way in the late 70’s and most of this investment in blocks of social housing started to suffer because councils stopped looking after them and investing in them. It also had problems because of its design, the blocks are monolithic, the scale is imposing and the layout disorientating. Ultimately this type of building has become unfashionable and this might have overridden any assessment of its potential functionality in the future. — Ar e we r epeating that now? I think that we’re creating a bigger problem, in that this planning is ghettoising society into increasingly divisive enclaves of rich and poor. This development isn’t for the people who live there now, a mainly working class community, they will probably have to leave the area eventually, if they haven’t been forcibly moved out already. It will become a nicer place to visit with updated facilities, but the people who move into these new homes will be wealthy and because of this the community will not be as diverse as it is now and this will create its own problems.

— Your f ilm is simult aneousl y dar k and humor ous: who is laughing in your f ilm, or who is the f ilm laughing at? I think there is humour in the film, much of it is unintentional. Hopefully it comes across that I’m taking the situation very seriously, because that’s my intent, but my methods are sometimes necessarily incon68

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gruous to the situation. In these situations I can’t be afraid of looking foolish, but inevitably sometimes do. I’m also aware that I’m asking people to come along with me and take my intentions seriously, I’m not setting out to make anyone look foolish. When I set out to use humour, I do it to disarm normality and invite the extraordinary, this is often when I find the most freedom as an artist.


Se c t io n

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shor t term

68 SERPENTINE PAVILION BY HERZ OG & D E MEURON + AI WEIWEI 70 VERBANDKAMMER BY NILSSON PFLUGFELDER 72 Window displ ay s Regent S treet BY VARIOUS PRACTICES 76 T OUCH DIGITAL OFFICES BY POST OFFICE LONDON 77 WE ARE N O T DREAMERS BY JOSÉ ESPARZA


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Words Gem Barton i mages Iwan Baan

S er pe n t i n e Pavilio n

HERZ O G & D E MEURON + AI WEIWEI

The annual Serpentine Gallery Pavilion commission has reached its twelfth year and is as ever drawing crowds to an ambitious and encompassing installation. The power team that is Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei previously collaborated on the prize winning Olympic Beijing National Stadium in 2008. As the applause has barely died down they come together again to create their first collaborative structure in the UK. This temporary structure sits beneath the Serpentine’s lawn, in quite a contrast to the previous commissioned constructions. A large disc filled with fresh water covers the Pavilion, this ‘mirror’ invites the outside directly onto its surface obscuring the structure beneath and celebrating the surroundings. Eleven columns each representing a past Pavilion are set below with a twelfth supporting the floating platform disc 1.5 metres above ground. Drawing visitors to 70

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explore the hidden history of its previous Pavilions the structure is intended to propose an almost archaeological experience, as visitors are inspired to look beneath the surface of the park as well as back in time at the ghosts of earlier structures. This versatile design has made it possible to drain the disc of water through the structure, leaving a dry roof to create a multi functional platform to host public occasions throughout summer. Ai Weiwei is well known for his voice within the political arena and due to recent challenges with the government in China he is still unable to leave the country. This brought about a challenging time during the design phase of the project meaning that the communication between the collaborators was entirely conducted over Skype. Here he speaks about how the construction of the previous Pavilions left physical marks on the site that became the harnessed


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LEFT & BELOW: The 2012 Serpentine pavilion in Hyde Park, London, designed by architects Herzog de Meuron and artist Ai Weiwei. Images: David Morris

inspiration for this inverted monument. ‘Their shape varies; circular, long and narrow, dots and also large, constructed hollows that have been filled in. These remains testify to the existence of the former Pavilions and their greater or lesser intervention in the natural environment of the park. All of these foundations will now be uncovered and reconstructed. The old foundations form a jumble of convoluted lines, like a sewing pattern; a distinctive landscape emerges out of the reconstructed founda-

tions which is unlike anything we could have invented; its form and shape is actually a serendipitous gift.’ This is true example of a site specific and site inspired piece of design. ‘On the foundations of each single Pavilion, we extruded a new structure as load-bearing elements for the roof of our Pavilion – eleven supports all told, plus our own column that we placed at will, like a wild card’. The versatility of this year’s design has made it possible to drain the disc of water 71

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that covers the pavilion leaving a dry roof to create a multi functional platform to host public occasions throughout summer. This ghost-like, archeological structure will play host to three summer months [closing on Oct 14th 2012] of talks, seminars and other events, including a public talk by Jaques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron and the BBC Proms Music Walk Promenade


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Words Gem Barton i mages Nilsson Pflugfelder

ve r b a n dkam me r ( r e -) s t ag in g i n s t i t u tional m e m o ry NILSS O N P FLUG F EL DER

London and Berlin based Nilsson Pflugfelder focus their practice on the intersection of critical spatial design, architecture, art and discourse. With obsessions spanning archives, narratives and cabinets of curiosities, their catalogue of work situates them perfectly for involvement with FLACC’s recent project, Manifesta 9 Parallel Events. Belgium based FLACC is a workplace for visual artists that creates the organisational, technical and artistic conditions for the realisation of unique projects. Nilsson Pflugfelder have been specialising in projects where spatial constructs overlap, dissect and frictionally flatten several usually distinct programs into one coherent gesture. As part of Manifesta 9 Parallel Events Nilsson Pflugfelder were invited to ‘(re)present’ the FLACC institution with a major installation as well as rethink how it operates critically as a ‘Workplace for Visual Arts’. ‘Through an archival method of praxis 72

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we have merged the two separate projects into one entity in which the life of FLACC is put on display: cultural production, workplace, residency, archive, administration, institution. The physical afterlife of the piece however is the most crucial aspect as it will enable and guide the future life and work at and for FLACC’ says co-founder and director Ralf Pflugfelder. Verbandkammer = (verband (assembly+bond+context) x (wunder-)kammer) The project titled Verbandkammer is a concentration of the formal, programmatic and social aspects of FLACC’s genetic make-up. In its first guise it is situated in the centre of the gallery at Casino Modern. The Verbandkammer throws together cultural production, workplace, residency, archive, administration, and discursive spaces into one dense yet coherent habitable installation. This unified assembly is constructed


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LEFT: Verbandkammer installation FLACC, Belgium. MIDDLE: The nifty research areas within the Verbandkammer. ABOVE: Magnus Nilsson and Ralf Pflugfelder enjoy a cup of tea. BO TT OM: The archive material and unique storage systems.

formulaically from 11 nos. types of frames, 10 nos. types of cladding, 40 nos. types of modules, 6 nos. programmatic entities and 1 no. Verbandkammer. The Verbandkammer is a form of institutional memory – a sedimentation and fossilisation of information. As a cross-section through the institutional shifts, it gauges where FLACC has been in the past, where it is situated at the present, and acts as a firm foundation from where the institution can propel towards the future. It is a framework for mining and reusing existing information previously produced at FLACC – a tangible feedback loop obsessed with keeping past

information in the productive present. In its second guise post-Manifesta 9, the Verbandkammer will move from the ground floor gallery to the first floor where the various components will be reconfigured to enable and guide future thinking and production at the institution. In conjunction with the physical framework, critical research into FLACC as a workplace for the visual arts will be conducted. The Verbandkammer is conceived as a blank canvas that can be hacked by future artists in residence as well as the institution itself. Just like the host institution, the structure has no predetermined final form, it is an open ended, 73

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on going project, constantly in the making. Conceptually, the project is rooted in this analogous processing; that of the dense geological stratification of matter and the layered, strategic archiving of information. Unlike the finite and irreversible process of coal mining, the mining of the Verbandkammer is a sustainable act concerned with retrieval and production of matter. This functional ‘capsule’ is successful on [literally] many levels – it is a space to work in, a space to catalogue and a space to ponder in/on, but perhaps most importantly it is, in itself, a place not just a space.


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Words Gem Barton i mages Suppiled by RIBA

w i n d ow d i s p l ay s r e g e n t S treet VARI OUS PRACTICES

The RIBA funded Architects Open Windows project on the infamous Regent Street in central London is now in its third year and has had huge success engaging the public with its shop front installations. This year saw eight of the streets largest and best known retailers hand over their windows to unveil a collection of incredible installations by some of London’s most innovative architects. The collaborative teams were as follows; Ushida Findlay Architects [with Visitor Studio] and Banana republic, Feix and Merlin Architects and Ferrari, 00:/ and Bose, De Matos Ryan and Reiss, Egret West and Folli Follie, Liddicoat & Goldhill and T.M. Lewin, Gort Scott and Anthropologie, Delvendahl Martin and Moss Bros. The project fuses cutting edge architecture with unique retail design and challenges expectations, a novel approach to the shopping experience. The theme ‘play’ was given to the designers to coincide with 74

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the theme for this year’s London Festival of Architecture. ‘We aimed to create a playful animation…a module of twisted vertical rods of different heights is repeated across the windows to generate a visual trick of shifting and transformed patterns to catch the attention of passers-by. The geometric pattern also creates a hedge-like foil to Anthropologie’s colourful, patterned and printed designs’, says Meliss Haward of Gort Scott. What is perhaps most interesting about this project is that it brings a new audience to the world of architecture and provides a different platform at which to engage with it. More importantly, it offers an alternative context for the public to view the workings of an architectural designer in a more accessible and engaging medium. For example 00:/s project with Bose creates a shop-window that is not consumed visually, but acoustically. It takes the form of a Lon-


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/Vo l ume 02 2012 FROM LE FT: Images supplied by Riba, as part of the Regent Street Windows Project from 00:/ for Bose, Gort Scott for Anthropologie, Feix & Merlin for Ferrari, 00:/ for Bose & Ushida Findlay, Visitor Studio, Millimetre [fabrication] for Banana Republic.

don underground ‘simulator’, constructed in CNC-cut laminated plywood, which recreates the 3D immersive experience of the London underground, but then allows visitors to block it out, using Bose’s acoustic noise-cancelling headphones. Miya Ushida of Ushida Findlays tells us how they developed the concept of Splash. ‘Banana Republic wanted our installation to relate to their Spring 2012 collection, which was Safari. We tried to achieve this by incorporating the idea of animals and movement…it was great fun - especially installing the sculpture. A lot of people on Regent Street stopped to watch us hanging Splash. It was also great working with the fabricator, Millimetre, who came up with the idea of how to construct the fluid form to capture the idea of ‘a frozen moment in time’. Tamsie Thomson, Director of RIBA London says ‘these shop windows might be 75

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FROM LEFT: Images supplied by Riba, as part of the Regent Street Windows Project from Liddicoat & Goldihill ‘High Flyers’ for T.M.Lewin, Delvendahl Martin for Moss Bros & Feix & Merlin for Ferrari.

smaller than the buildings people usually associate with architects, but the creative ideas demonstrated here are just as big. The Regent Street Windows project demonstrates that architects can use their creative ingenuity on projects both large and small’. Many of the architects involved appropriated external features from the locale, Feix & Merlin were inspired by movement, that of their client Ferrari but also the busy passing traffic on Regent Street itself. ‘Ribbons of neon light travel across the shop front space in a turbulent pattern echoing the smoke trails created in the Ferrari wind tunnel. Fabric fixed to the back of the neon strips is blown about by wind machines and billows into different shapes. The ribbons at first glance seem chaotic but eventually take up the outline of the iconic Formula 1 car on one side, and the classic Gran Tourismo 4580 Ferrari car on the other’, says Julia Feix. Liddicoat & Goldhill were inspired by 77

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the traditional shirt-making techniques of their client, entitled High Fliers. Their scheme mixes the theme of ‘play’ with T.M.Lewin’s brand concept of ‘crafted for performance’, using the shirt-maker’s crisp folding and cutting techniques, 125 shirts in multifarious patterns and hues were reshaped into high-flying lanterns. This project added a new dimension to Regent Street throughout April and May 2012, where passers by took a moment to stand still and inhale some collaborative creativity. Following the success of the Regent Street Windows project, RIBA London are currently collaborating with the British Council and Shui On Development Limited to export the Regent Street Windows project to Shanghai as part of the UK Now festival, which celebrates British creative talent in China. This will see nine London based architects working with nine prominent retailers in Shanghai to create individual installations in the windows of the Shanghai Xintiandi and Xintiandi Style shopping centers. If you happen to be in China in September 2012, add this to your tour map.


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Words Mariana Pestana i mages David Giles

a brand new old touch digital studios PO ST O FF ICE LONDON

It is a challenging brief to make a bright retouching studio. Digital retouching agencies need a minimal amount of light in order to correctly visualise computer screens and this constraint usually results in dark working environments. Not this time. Post-Office is a London based architecture and interiors design practice founded in 2009 by Quebec born furniture designer Philippe Malouin. Research is the driving force of Post-Office who describe the aesthetic quality of their work as ‘the mixing of unexpected materials with an artful sensibility in order to create clean, utilitarian yet often surprising spaces’. For the new offices of ‘Touch’, London’s leading fashion photographic services, Post-Office took the lighting challenge to heart: the communal areas of the new touch offices should be bright and airy whilst providing low-light environments to facilitate the retouchers’ work. The result is a maximization of space 78

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and light. Dark chalkboard walls dress the inside of some of the rooms, others are lined in grey felt as to offer a neutral background colour and a noise-proofed ambience for the staff. The aesthetics and materials draw influence from the Scandinavian classic modernism, but also by ‘the 60’s corporate American grandeur’, as Malouin describes it. The influence is evident, but cleverly turned upside-down: the flooring inventively extends up the walls, creating a warm wooden atmosphere. The walls that divide rooms evoke the traditional vertical office blinds but they don’t move to adjust to the user’s need of privacy. Instead, they work as semi-blinding sculptural pieces that again serve to create an atmosphere suggestive of the conventional office. There is an overall sense of dignity in the materials that refers to a nostalgic past, yet the playfulness with what they are manipulated proves their contemporary existence. It is a brand new old.


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we a r e No t dream er s 1 Words José Esparza

‘We are not dreamers, we are the awakening’, claimed Slavoj Žižek at the height of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement at Zuccotti Park on October 8, 2011.2 It has been some time since I’ve closely followed the updates from the Occupy movement, but from the myriad of statements made and arguments published and discussed, perhaps the most powerful and memorable message—at least personally—was made during Žižek’s speech at Zuccotti Park last year. If perhaps claimed by him (and others) many times before, that day, in the context of the unofficially renamed Zuccoti Park into Liberty Park, he contested capitalism and said: ‘don’t be afraid to really want what you desire’.3 For me, who previous to that day was only seeing OWS unfold online and was suddenly found chanting Žižek’s speech through my own words in unison with the ‘people’s mic’, the parallel world that had been set up in Zuccotti Park for a less than a month, began to make sense. The unmistakably rudimentary and ‘autonomous’ society that had been operating there through on-the-spot reinterpretations of society’s core institutions, was being led by decentralized, democratic, and self-run strategies on a daily basis since the camp was set up. Here, the symbolic gesture of attempting to strip down such services—i.e. libraries, kitchens, media centers—from finance capital only amplified their actual dependence on it. It surfaced how public life was deeply rooted in capitalism. But, alternatively, it also made inherently visible the fact that present-day institutions and social structures are up for reinvention. In the field of architecture, many practitioners have taken a stab at the OWS discourse, but it is my impression that in most cases the declarations made are generally driven by a certain ‘professionalism’ (i.e. providing shelter to the occupiers or mapping the now famous Privately Owned Public Spaces) that limits us from truly articulating the real issues at stake and which are at the core of the Occupy discourse: finding—and building—alternatives. In this case, alternatives to the way in which architecture engages with finance capital. Revisiting an article by Columbia University professor

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and Buell Center director Reinhold Martin, titled ‘Occupy: The Day After’, which focuses in the future of the movement after it had been evicted from Zuccotti Park, he problematizes this issue of searching for alternative social structures claiming that architecture inherently finds itself in a complicated (‘mediating’) terrain, since it is known to continuously be in search of new solutions, and yet is intrinsically tied to finance. So, as witnessed in the eviction of the self-built autonomous society at the Zuccotti/Liberty Park, as Martin claims ‘[a]ny structural alternative must ultimately come to terms with this mediating function’.4 Much like Žižek who asks ‘What social organization can replace capitalism?’ and emphasizes in the post-Zuccotti period of the movement, when noting the inevitable questions of ‘the day after the revolution’ such as ‘What is to be done with agriculture? With industry? With energy? With transportation? With health care? With education? With housing?’, Martin states ‘[a]nswering these questions requires reinventing the mediating instruments that currently lie with the state as well as those that lie with the markets. It means building something new out of obsolete forms, or replacing them altogether’.5 And while the argument I try to make here—that of the search of radical alternatives—might seem repetitive at this stage of the Occupy discourse, almost a year in since tents began to be set up at Zuccotti Park, and when many aren’t as involved in its day-to-day operations, we must continue to discuss, question, and search for real and possible alternatives. And in the case of architecture, how these can mediate with the contradictions embedded in its practice. We must also acknowledge and celebrate what those feverish months, when Zuccotti Park had the international spotlight, left behind. OWS not only showcased a rejuvenated awareness in the use of public space and an undeniable awakening in civic participation, it also allowed us to truly think about alternative structures. This, some might say, is dreamy and not enough, but as Žižek claimed in his speech that day in October, ‘the true dreamers are those who think things can go on indefinitely the way they are’.6

Title is an extract form Slavoj Žižek’s OWS speech presented in 10/08/11. Slavoj Žižek, OWS speech, 10/08/11. Slavoj Žižek, OWS speech, 10/08/11. Reinhold Martin, ‘Occupy: The Day After’, published in Places by The Design Observer Group, 12/08/11. http://places.designobserver.com/feature/ occupy-the-day-after/31698/. Martin, ‘Occupy: The Day After’. Slavoj Žižek, OWS speech, 10/08/11.

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80 Architectural Time Machine BY HEECHAN PARK 84 AN ICELANDIC ODISSEY BY BUREAU ODISSEY 86 A DESERT FUTURE BY MARKUS KAY SER 90 ESTATE BY ANDREA LUKA ZIMMERMAN, LASSE JO HANSSON AND DAVID ROBERTS 94 IN CONVERSATION WITH DANIEL CHARNY


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Words Barnaby Lambert images Hee Park

a matter of time: a r ch it ect u r a l t im e m a ch in e

HEECHAN PARK

As materials go, smoke is hardly an obvious candidate for architectural use. In fact, given that we define it precisely by a lack of structural integrity, the stuff is barely a ‘material’ at all. There are few uses in the built world for a substance that gives way at the slightest disturbance. Even fewer for a substance which - after a moment or two 82

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prev ious page Midd le: Parts prior to assemblage. bo tt om: Installation shot from the Portico of University College London. t op right: Plans describing the machines’ smoke ‘cannon’. left: Construction process from flat segments.

- is destined only to disappear. Of course, even the hardiest matter and sturdiest structure will eventually go the way of smoke and dust. But our homes do not evaporate around us. And we can judge architects as having been reasonably able to impede the natural tendency of things to collapse. In this way, architecture represents something of a victory over the contingencies of time; its icons having withstood the proverbial ‘test’. If anything, set against the design of structured space, time is a bit of a nuisance something to be overcome. An effort which smoke never quite seems to muster. So far, so sweepingly generalised. Yet the account above does highlight a certain enduring opposition which, though not exactly between architecture and time, is enough for us to recognise why An Ar-

chitectural Time Machine could make for an interesting project. Especially since the durations which fascinate its creator - Hee Park - are not those outlasted by concrete and steel, but those of vanishing smoke. Easiest described as a mobile installation, Park’s ‘Time Machine’ is made up of six free-standing mechanical devices arranged about an open, circular center. Consisting of a squat, conical cannon rigged to a dryice smoke machine; each of these devices work by amassing a scented white vapor before ejecting it - at regular intervals and with a dull ‘pop’ - into an impressively welldefined ring. A form which progresses at a steady pace, leaves a ghostly trail and then dissipates into the air. Developed last year and ultimately exhibited in the grand Portico of University Col83

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lege London, the project is an accomplished example of its young designer’s continued research into ‘architecture as a time based event’. A theme which shifts architecture’s conventional focus on the spatial toward temporal concerns. Taking advantage of the very quality which excludes smoke from ordinary use, Park emphasises this shift by virtue of the material’s natural impermanence. For in its wavering weakness, smoke is a substance self-evidently subject to temporal change. And in the passage of each smoke-ring from formation to dissipation, a duration of time is made visible. The transient life-san of each misty loop allows us to watch (and even interact with) a process of structural decay in its entirety. All within a couple of seconds. Having established how the workings of An Architectural Time Machine can be understood as a ‘time based event’, the task remains to figure out exactly how this particular ‘event’ relates to architecture. As is often the case of experimental research (a category to which Park’s work belongs) the link between subject and outcome appears tenuous at first. Important to remember however is that the rings of smoke manufactured by Park’s machines are not presented in a vacuum. And once ejected out into the installation’s center, their lingering trajec-


r i g h t: Sketches of the devices’upper half. t o p r i g h t: Detail from finished mechanism. bo t t o m : Explosion diagram. bo t t o m r i g h t: Illustration of Park’s contraption in action.

tories - however brief - act to divide the space of their display into multiple sections and forms. There is nothing arbitrary about these intersecting lines. As the designer’s preliminary sketches show, their positions and durations have been planned both in accordance with each other, and in relation to the geometry and character of the sites where they are exhibited. Creating an essentially spacial effect which returns the work to more familiar themes in architectural discourse. Now that we are back on less abstracted ground, we can appreciate how - in spite of its unorthodox ambitions - An Architectural Time Machine is not so speculative a project that it looses touch with the objectives of architecture. This is because although the work posits time as its central term, it still structures space in an identifiably architectural way, actively shaping its setting upon a pre-arranged system of pathways and lines. This is not to say that Park suggests some newfangled role for smoke in future constructions. Instead, he presents us with an experience of space where temporality is made explicit. And asks us to imagine a relation between architecture and time which, rather than external and opposed, is integral and combined. An approach which is not radical not for demanding a new kind of design, but for pointing toward a different understanding of the built world as it is. 84

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Words Mariana Pestana images Stuart Bannocks

an icelandi c O dyssey BUREAU OD ISSE Y

The Icelandic landscape is extreme. The most sparsely populated country in Europe is volcanically and geologically active. Iceland is part of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and it is situated above the surface of the sea. The Northern Lights, also called Aurora Borealis, can be seen from Iceland even though they occur high above the surface of the earth where the atmosphere has become extremely thin. 86

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LE F T : Shark Hunting in Borgarfjörður Eystri. BEL O W : Fjardaál (Aluminium of the Fjords) haul. Two freshly smelted aluminium bars, still warm to the touch, a gift from Alcoa. RIGHT: An intervention at the smelter in Reyðarfjörður by the Bureau’s Conductor. BEL O W : Blue Beach by Rafael Prada. ‘The artificial is a breeding ground for tourists’.

Iceland was the scenery of Bureau Odyssey’s latest adventurous promenade. Bureau Odyssey joined forces with Platform 10 run by Roberto Feo and Daniel Charny (Design Products, Royal College of Art, London), MAKE by Þorpið, Thorunn Arnadottir, Stuart Bannocks and Nelly Ben Hayoun to make an Icelandic trip. The aim was to assess the extreme in order to propose new leisure activities. Reassessing notions of risk and spectacle, the team intended to speculate on ‘future wonders, parallel worlds, extrapolated tangents and cautionary tales’. Nelly Ben Hayoun designed the brief that would guide students from Platform 10 in a research trip into the confines of Iceland. For each site students should collect experiences and observations through drawings, photographs, performances, interventions and diagrams to map the content and document their findings visually and physically. These ‘active’ observations should define the starting point of their Bureau ODYSSEY’s contributions. They were asked to define their own roles in the Bureau, and some of the roles were ‘Tour Guide’, ‘Director of design and semi-fictional architectural’ or ‘Director of experiences and customer relations’. In the evening there were group discussions and workshops. During the course of the week, students were asked to design ‘extreme’ activities to be set or performed on site and met with local contractors. They built structures and props, participated in hunting activities and created a series of unique ‘Bureau Odyssey’ souvenirs. The results of this intense research experiment are surprising, and disturbing. Student Diana Simpson investigated how hunting could become the

ultimate touristic experience and designed a shamanic ritual costume that used the remains of the genetically engineered chimeras believed to have been introduced to Iceland in the twenty first century. Inspired by the invisible creatures that live in the imaginary of the Icelandic population, Imme Van Der Haak designed a pair of masks that enable the user to enter the world of mythical creatures. Kim Thorne Two proposed an artificial plastic corrugated iceberg to be used in-doors, as an attempt to bring the extreme leisure experience inside architecture and Eirik Helgesen designed a tool to administer the aphrodisiac qualities of powdered reindeer bone made of leftovers from local aluminium production to stimulate sexual attraction hence contribut87

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ing to rural population growth. Rafel Oliva researched the extreme environments as breeding grounds for tourism and leisure activities: inspired by ideas of contamination, desertification and conflict, he designed an artificial, ephemeral, blue beach. The promenade, more than a leisure walk, became a performance in itself. The scenario turned into a backdrop for radical active research: learning by making. The dark tone of most of the proposals only leaves us wondering what is it about the Icelandic landscape that renders the views of its future tourism so obscure. It might be the shadows of the volcano smoke, or maybe it is the misty air next to the Icebergs. How blue are the Northern Lights? There is only one way to find out: an Icelandic Odyssey.


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Words Mariana Pestana images Amos Field Reid and Nicole Losos

a desert futu re MARKUS KAY SER

Nearly two years have passed since Markus Kayser took his first solar machine – the Sun Cutter – to the Egyptian desert in a suitcase. This was a solar-powered, semiautomated low-tech laser cutter, that used the power of the sun to drive it and directly harnessed its rays through a glass ball lens to lasercut 2D components using a camguided system. The Sun-Cutter produced components in thin plywood. Six months 88

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Prev io u s pag e bo tt om : Printing process of a flat square glass tile. t op: Solar Sinter in the Saharan desert near Siwa, Egypt. Top: Morning hours, transporting the machine into the desert. Midd l e l ef t: Desert Manufacturing? Midd l e r i g h t: Flattening a new layer of sand. Bo tt om : Detail of Sun Tracker.

after this inventive experience, Markus looked back at the desert and thought: ‘in the deserts of the world two elements dominate - sun and sand. The former offers a vast energy source of huge potential, the latter an almost unlimited supply of silica in the form of quartz’. So he went back to the desert with a new plan: using the sun as the energy and the sand as the material. In fact, silica sand when heated to melting point and allowed to cool solidifies as glass. Sintering is the name of the process. Converting powdery substances into solid form through heating became a famous process in the recent years, with design prototyping tools such as 3D printing or SLS (selective laser sintering). Designers enter computer drawn 3d designs into printers that use laser technology to convert resins, 89

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bo tt om: First object printed from a 3D file with the Solar Sinter. right: Solar Sinter in the Saharan desert near Siwa, Egypt.

plastics and metals into 3d exact replicas of the designs. As Markus explains, ‘by using the sun rays instead of a laser and sand instead of resins, I had the basis of an entirely new solar-powered machine and production process for making glass objects that taps into the abundant supplies of sun and sand to be found in the deserts of the world’. The first manually-operated solar sintering machine was tested in February 2011 in the Moroccan desert with encouraging results that led to the development of the current larger and fully-automated computer driven version - the Solar Sinter. The

Solar Sinter was completed in mid-May and later taken to the Sahara desert near Siwa, Egypt, for a two week testing period. ‘The machine and the results of these first experiments presented here represent the initial significant steps towards what I envisage as a new solar-powered production tool of great potential’. Combining natural energy and material with advanced technology, Markus’ project became pioneer in a world concerned with issues like the production of energy and raw material shortage. But Solar Sinter isn’t only visionary in 90

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the inventive use of the materials. Solar Sinter raises questions about the future of manufacturing, about the economical geography of the globe. Solar Sinter makes us wonder ‘what if the deserts became the factories of tomorrow?’; ‘What would be the impact of such change, not only ecologically but also politically?’ All these questions justify why we elected Solar Sinter as the project that would inaugurate our Speculative Section. Some projects are just too good to be labelled as ‘past’ or ‘seen’ because they make us wonder about what might come.


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Words Mariana Pestana images Briony Campbell, Rowen Griffiths, Therese Henningsen

est at e

a ndr ea l u k a zimmer man, l as s e jo ha nsson a nd davi d ro ber t s A new feature-length film is being set in an East London housing estate. For the last three years the Haggerston Estate has attracted the attention of national newspapers, television and the architectural community. Sited on the Regents Canal in Hackney it is scheduled for demolition later this year, due to replaced by a new luxury apartment development, ‘City Mills’. In 2007 the council used orange boards 92

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IMAGES : Photo Stills from the reenactment scene depicting the battle of virtue, a duel between Richardson’s two heroinesPamela and Clarissa-on the skeleton of the new development rising alongside the Haggerston Estate. P h o t o s: Briony Campbell, 2012

to cover the windows of the empty flats in order to prevent squatters from occupying them. The remaining residents answered this institutional action by filling the boards with large photographs of their faces. As the portraits re-humanised the façade, they also materialized a critique to the council decision of demolishing the building. i am here was an action initiated by two long-term residents: the artists Andrea Luka Zimmerman and Lasse Johansson, who followed this project with the book Estate constructed around a photo essay of Haggerston’s

empty flats. The same residents are now working in collaboration with David Roberts, an architectural researcher at UCL, on a new project: the film Estate. As David explains, ‘Haggerston rose in the 1930s as a proud symbol of hope for slum dwellers in the East End. After decades of neglect, its handsome facade crumbled and it became known as ‘the heroin capital of Europe’. The progressive decay of the building illustrated the decay of its social context. Now Haggerston’s final block 93

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stands alone awaiting demolition, as if demolition would be the cure for its social pathologies. What are the reasons that justify demolition? What impact does it have on the lives of current residents? Who are the residents? Do they need cure? Capturing a moment of imminent transition, Estate addresses some of these questions as it reflects upon ‘urgent matters of regeneration, gentrification and architecture; its reasons, possibilities and consequences’. As Andrea explains, ‘it is a film about time and place, dreams and wonder’,


or as David describes, ‘Estate opens public housing to scrutiny’. Haggerston blocks were curiously named after the heroines of the English novelist Samuel Richardson: Pamela, Lovelace, Harlowe, Lowther and Samuel. Back in the 18th century, Richardson expanded the dramatic possibilities of the novel by his invention and use of the letter form (epistolary novel), which allowed him to explore characters and personalities. For example, in ‘Pamela: or, Virtue Rewarded’ the story is told by the heroine herself, through her correspondence. By telling the story in the form of letters, Richardson allowed the reader to access the consciousness of his characters, their sense of class, gender, how they fitted in the dominant moral codes and how those conducted their behaviour. Estate is a feature-length film part documentary, part fiction, where the residents of the Haggerston Estate will embody Samuel Richardson’s characters. Just like in Richardson’s novels, where the story was told by the characters themselves, here the story is told by the characters of the building: the remaining residents. Re-enacting the past characters of the novels, the residents will inevitably enact themselves today and their projections for the future. A mix of archive material, documentary footage and fictional imagined scenes of the future of the community, the film will explore general assumptions about housing

estates as threatening environments and celebrate the diversity of its residents. Addressing the morality that guided the architectural design of the building, as well as the perhaps questionable moral intentions that justify its demolition, the film will record the life of the building up to its end. The aim is to ‘chronicle the curious moment of creation and destruction when this dilapidated estate confronts its future. The final block will fall this Autumn as a new construction rises alongside it. Past and future will meet for a moment’, says Andrea. We visited the team of artists at their flat 94

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in Haggerston Estate, from where they’re working on the film. The flat feels familiar and comfortable, objects witnessing their long presence there. Around it, other flats are being emptied; residents get rid of furniture and prepare to leave. Surrounded by the subject of the film, they live their last days at Haggerston depicting the estate’s transition. The estate will be included in Open House weekend this year, hosting a day of installations, tours, discussions and open-air film screenings. Visit estatefilm.co.uk.


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LEFT: Still from the documentary scene following residents on skip day, where they were invited to throw out unwanted furniture before leaving the estate. Photo: Therese Henningsen, 2012 BELOW: Photograph of Samuel House, the last-standing block of the Haggerston Estate, transformed in 2009 by the public art photo-installation ‘i am here’. Photo: Rowan Griffiths, 2010

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IN CONVERSATI O N WITH da nie l ch arn y INTERVIEW by Mariana Pestana

— As a designer, cur ator and lectur er, what does speculative mean f or you? Speculative is a very interesting term that comes from observation but is more associated with gold hunting or taking very high risks in financial markets… Anton Ehrenzweig’s in The Hidden Order of Art describes something like it as essential to the dilemma inherent to the creative act of going on a journey where you don’t have all the information. For instance at Platform 10 (Design Products, Royal College of Arts), this principle encourages us to start experimenting also before we know what we’re making. To introduce more risk and conjectures into the process.

but their ambitions not suited to what they can do, this is where a speculative project can change the way people apply themselves or apply their design. So, when you set a brief within design education or within research this is in a way what you’re addressing: how far can one go, what’s worth doing. — A t RC A you teach a lot of potential speculatives, how do you set up their br ief s? There are two conditions that we try to generate. One is a brief that sets an expectation of a certain activity or behaviour, of an action, rather than a conclusion. The minute you have a conclusion it limits the way in which you might approach the problem. So if you are designing a border, say between two countries, the minute you say it’s a gated border crossing and not what conditions you need or opportunities it could enable, you have an image and you have already defined so many things. If you start by saying it’s a - insert noun here - (for example a chair) you are very likely to end up with what we already know it to be. The danger is being trapped by the very object or typology you are interested in.

— I n our las t conver sation you mentioned how the mos t i nter es ting dimension of speculation is in the pr ocess, in dr a wing f or example. Drawing in its rawest form is a process of discovery and exploration that is parallel to research, not precedent. It is a process where one speculates not just with the information in one’s head but also physically with the materials, sometimes even working without hypothesis. Can you actually do research without knowing what you’re doing? Can you speculate about scenarios or trajectories without actually having a target? Speculative work can have a dramatic impact on projects, but there is a distinct difference between a speculative approach and a planned speculative output. I’m more interested in the former rather than the latter. There are practices that speculate using their tried and tested methods. Trend or colour forecasting for example and the many formulaic in-house marketing led design teams often use methods that have been tried and tested to conceptualise, but it’s just feeding in information into a template. The result may be sold as speculative, the methodology isn’t. Although it claims to be, it’s rarely even progressive. The other side to it is having a speculative process, the result may not necessarily be very speculative but the method is and the risk raises the potential for discovery. I think this is ambitious and very capable, but also very rare. How many companies can you say are super capable and super ambitious? Very few, and it’s the same with speculatives. Because it’s a term that promises big rewards. In the entrepreneurial culture you get people that start up companies with a goal to be the leader in a certain territory. How do they go about it? Are they able to do it? And you get the same with students that come in to design education, they might be very ambitious but they might not be capable, or they might be quite capable 96

— So it ’s a matter of not objectualising… In a way, not setting the brief as a conclusion. So the important thing is the activity rather than the conclusion. For me, generating a brief that has good potential is creating a conversation about the difference between inspiration, activity and conclusion. Then it’s about the process. What is important is to understand what you want to happen as a result of the design, for example whether you want cleaner teeth, or you want to produce something with a very small piece of wood, or whether you want a toothpick. These could be the same brief, but one might result in a toothpick, one might result in a much better way of cleaning teeth and one might result in a new technique for the timber industry or in the least a toothpick plus many other ideas about how you use a particular wood or factory. It depends on how you set the ambition. When we set a brief, there is often a certain sense of openness. Ambiguity creates a situation where people are functioning without information, so more of themselves comes out because they have to fill in the gaps and create content, although there is some kind of beacon that has been set by the brief, a behavioural result, response to a subject matter or interrogation of ones ambitions. |

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Briefs that we’ve given in the past have been aimed at exactly that; one brief from the time I was teaching alongside artist Gabriel Klasmer was ‘design a white elephant in your bedroom’, it was about creating the most ambitious thing you could live with in your own home. Some people took it very literally and some people tried to understand the metaphorical story of the white elephant: it’s a gift that destroys you. One version of this story is that if the Maharajah wanted to ruin someone he would give them a beautiful white elephant that was so very expensive to take care of, but you couldn’t refuse it because it’s was a gift from the Maharajah, and so it would ultimately destroy you. In architectural terms, a white elephant means something a little different but still it’s a grand idea that destroys itself, and you, and the place. One student made an unforgettable place for a white elephant in his bedroom: The first thing we saw were strands of hay all through from the pavement outside and the staircases of the building, you could imagine that might be the case if an elephant was renting a room in a flat. He filled his room with some 60 bales of hay it insulated it so much that there was no noise coming in from a window open to busy city road, the only space left was a crawling passage between the door and window, the rest was hay. The experience was very surprising and totally immersive. That student really opened the way he worked from that point. In this case it was Paul Cocksedge, who came in with an industrial design background, relocated the way he worked and thought, he really raised his ambition and surprised himself and everyone else with these kind of responses. Another student connected all the objects in her room to one machine like entity and turned her space into a factory for producing shoes. She also made an elephant trunk like high boot from greyish white leather that was hanging on the wall like a hunting trophy. This was Marloes ten Bhomer who continues to make and design shoes and her own moulding machines in her home based workshop studio. MA students should be exploring their own agendas, the briefs serve the exploration of their abilities and development of their process. When you move into research you have to have the most rigorous methodology with the most speculative target, if you can, because you don’t have to solve everything yourself in a way, that’s part of the remit of research is that you can concentrate or focus on an aspect, and then you really need a hypothesis.

for instance, understanding the paradigm is critical to any progress in design because you’re trying to improve the way something is being done. You may then end up questioning why it is being done and then you shift but you still need to understand how something is done if you are speculating, you’re speculating on alternatives. At BA level you are looking for something newer or better, so someone can come up with a new cup and you think, in what way is this new or better? The new can express the way in which I feel about drinking coffee, that’s new. On the other hand, with this whole idea of cups, I want to consume my coffee differently, I want it to be in the air, I want it to be a fume, so I go into the coffee room have a sniff and come out. Marti Guixe looked at this as a kind of gin and tonic cloud, this is a kind of challenge of paradigm, is that speculative? Yes because he’s not interested in the machine, he’s interested in the social behaviour that comes with it.

— Do you tr us t, or do you wor k w ith exis ting methodologies? No, I think methods and methodology need to be challenged. We would like to bring that more into design education. When you have a hypothesis you can understand and address the paradigm of the territory you are working in. This is probably the biggest ambition of any speculative piece of work, to challenge the paradigm. Could we be doing it in a completely different way, or should we be doing something completely different. In product design

— I would sa y you t ake r isk s by changing the r ules of the g ame and then see what happens. Did it ever happen the wr ong wa y? Yes of course, there are things that don’t work. But often they are because there is no previous experience or known expected outcomes. An example where things didn’t end up in the way expected? I always wanted to do a poster exhibition without using walls. When we did this exhibition at The Aram Gallery of over a hundred posters, this idea overshadowed the main objective of the whole exhibition

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— A s a tutor you can inser t r isk in your design br ief so as to enhance a speculative pr oject. As a cur ator, do you wor k on a commission basis a lot? I’m called a curator but I haven’t come through history, conservation or curating studies and I’m not a knowledgeable keeper of objects, I think I probably approach exhibitions more like a designer rather than a curator. I’m interested in facilitating situations and enhancing them rather than interpreting. As a curator I play a lot with the format of the exhibition that’s my method’, ideally it should be individual for each exhibition and that becomes a design process for me. In terms of other risks, I like to work a lot with people for whom it’s a first for them. For instance the filmmaker in Power of Making had never made a film on that scale or of that type, he is from a graphic design background, we worked together and I think he did an amazing job with that triptych format. We spent a lot of time on the brief but later we changed significant aspects of the structure during the editing. The risk was that it wouldn’t fit the purpose or abilities, and it’s not a tried format for wither of us. The risk of taking fairly young graphic designers and designing a font that would be used throughout, from the labels to the catalogue to the film and the entrance sign… It‘s about encouraging the situations where things may not yet be at their best but they will be perhaps the beginning of something,

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— Per haps pr ojects that ar e lef t open enough become mor e speculative if the minds of those who r ead and see and use those pr ojects in the futur e, so you would almos t be extending the lif e of the speculation. Take the name of this exhibition ‘Nowhere now Here’ by El Ultimo Grito. It completely captures their understanding of how we can do something completely different with what we have and each thing can be seen from completely different points of view. ‘No where’ which doesn’t belong to anyone, we don’t know where it is, and ‘here’ which is the complete opposite but it’s the same thing. Typographically and linguistically it’s a very clever title, what the collective meant to show, and they did, is a lot of designers who are active now trying to develop alternative ways of designing. You could see computational work, literary, digital, physical, material led explorations in all these different areas at the exhibition that were trying to push for an independent way of doing something, not mainstream. What they showed is that there is a growing number of designers exploring both output and process in their own ways along side the mainstream, and that maybe this is the real way that design happens, once something is successful then it has the chance to become part of the mainstream. If you look at computer related design in the mid-nineties, a few people were developing user interfaces and interacting with the physical, and very few companies got onto it and now it’s everywhere. User experiences and interfaces are completely mainstream, but they started through alternatives. People, companies, governments forget that these ideas started somewhere, they didn’t just become commercially viable or solve the problem, they developed like a weed in the garden. Someone says we can use that for medicine, then it gets grown and rolled out, then its farmed and its engineered, then it becomes the main crop, and another weed starts somewhere else. Speculating is a critical process, not a product, and it’s an activity. It’s the attitude, the approach and the interrogation. Design is very highly suited to doing this, speculating is inherent to design. Then it has to do with the quality of it. What is the quality of the speculation? What are the tools we have and what are the criteria for what is a good speculation? What is needed is for the value of speculation to be elevated, and this can certainly be done through exhibitions and publications, education and research.

which was supposed to highlight the half-baked political position of many designers in London: everything was more concerned with design itself and being very good looking, very cool, there’s some political aspect very few go all the way. It involved a lot of very nice people but underneath there was a risk (and aim) that all these people would suddenly backlash and realise that the position of the exhibition was critical of them. But no one noticed it, it came out in conversations afterward. I actually missed for the same reason I was critiquing, there were too many things going on in the show, everyone was more taken by the exhibition design. At that point I was doing everything in the gallery, the idea, the funding, designing the show, designing the graphics, PR, installing, de-installing, documenting...it was fun. That was also a kind of risk, being spread out, but also I tend to pack in quite a lot of ideas. There was an idea about the design, a product design detail about how they connected to the ceiling, and that’s what people looked at most. — You wor ked with El U ltimo Gr ito as a consult ant cur ator f or their ‘N owher e|N ow|Her e’ exhibition, which dr a w s inspir ation fr om a quote by Fr ank Cos tello in Mar tin Scor cese’s Depar ted, ‘I don’t want to be a pr oduct of my envir onment, I want my envir onment to be a pr oduct of me’. Is the speculation alwa y s in the maker and design of the exhibition or is it at times in the visitor? In this case you seemed to expect the visitor to sum ever ything up in his/her own mind. I think the speculation has to be in the audience otherwise you’ve missed your target completely. There are people that think while they speak, and there are people that have an idea and then they roll it out. Do you think while you speak? — I discover lots of things about what I’m thinking while I speak . For me it’s the same, it’s a responsive process, I know that making is the same for a lot of people, while you make, you think, it’s a type of thinking. Speculation can happen through this and it can also happen through a more considered approach, it doesn’t belong to any of these. For me personally a lot of it happens through the way I work on something, the target might change during the process, the discovery might enhance the aim, or change it even. But design education has a very linear tradition, you learn your skill then you learn to research, at some point you’ll have your own ideas. People can start very ambitiously from the beginning with the making, and think through the making, it’s not in any way about skills, but skills do enable you to go further and to produce better ideas. The speculation of the process, which is I think what you mean by the design, and the speculation of the result, which is maybe the audience, they both have to happen. If the designers are not in the process of speculation it is very unlikely it will happen to the audience. Did you mean that sometimes designers get obsessed with their own speculation and lose the audience? 98

— I suppose a good speculative pr oject is one that makes you think dif f er entl y about something that you’ve alr eady thought about. I would go one step further, it is one that enables you, not just makes you think. Speculative work should really be about offering new significant conceptual areas that capture the imagination, first of all yours but then of the client, producer, user or audience. |

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Society of British Interior Design (SBID)

99 s aving st bride’s 100 Finding th E kEy To Creative Ideas 102 Bes t emerging designer of the year 106 I nteri or Proj ect s: bomber Co mmand memorial / light house / Fletcher’s Cottage Spa / Intercontinental Ho tel / Fitzrovia Apar tment s


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SEPTEMBER0 9 /2 012 Architecture is synonymous with design. The link between the two is being brought closer together as we begin to strengthen our ties with associated bodies that impact on buildings and the built environment around the world. In a digital future, we have taken more interest in the market beyond our own neighbourhood and country. It’s so easy to obtain information through technology that we now expect to learn about industry developments in other countries, the impact buildings make to the built environment and how external forces create different challenges around the world not just locally and nationally. So, when SBID was approached by Design Exchange, an established magazine with a global reach, to partner on design, we were delighted to accept. We choose our partners with great care and strictly work with those publishers with high ethical and professional standards. As a design organisation our members are interior designers, architects, product suppliers and construction companies. Our members are also working, manufacturing and creating all around the world. Keeping our vision firmly where it matters most to each of our category members is key to our success so the opportunity to work with a magazine renowned for its ethical conduct meets our standard, a good partnership must work two ways. DE will help us to achieve our goal; each member will receive a printed copy. DE will help to expand global networks and promotes the interests of the current readership. SBID brings a membership base from around the world of high achievers

and decision makers with budgets. We recognise that no two designers are the same, so opinion is valuable and sharing it as universally as possible will lead to industry improvement. Our representation around the world is now on course to add additional benefits to our trade partners at shows hosted by global event leaders such as UBM, Promosalons and Montgomery as well as locally held displays and presentations. Whatever you want to achieve, learn or explore you will find something of interest at SBID and DE. We will be launching Part One of the SBID Licence to Trade© in September, a bespoke insurance policy, two years in creation, uniquely incorporating arbitration dispute resolution for both SBID policyholder and client. Part Two is the Annual licence, a Letter of Appointment created specifically to work in unison with the insurance policy for a single annual fee to use as frequently as required released shortly after. We are also working on the launch of a celebrity maintenance-fund-raising concert for the Bomber Command Memorial, London’s first monument in 150 years, in Green Park. Designed by leading celebrated architect, Liam O’Connor, the third SBID Annual Fellow of the Year 2012, the monument uniquely has an interior. There are many things to see, learn, enjoy and update that continue to inspire. I hope the hard work put in by the team provides a flavour of the world in design and includes professionals from every postcode. Vanessa Brady SBID President and Founder


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S aV in g S t b r id e ' s f l e et s t re e t Lon don

Words Emmanuelle Chazarin image Morley Von Sternberg Website www.stbrides.com/inspire St Bride’s Church in London is one of the finest examples of Sir Christopher Wren’s work, and has stood tall on Fleet Street for more than 300 years. However, three centuries of weather damage and pollution have taken their toll on this masterpiece, and unless £2.5m can be raised for urgent maintenance, the Grade I listed church – which is open to visitors from all over the world seven days a week – could be forced to close.

The restoration project includes the crumbling spire and stonework, as well as the interior of the church, untouched for more than 30 years, which also sorely needs attention. In light of this, SBID President Vanessa Brady was invited to be part of the INSPIRE! Appeal Working Group which has been set up under the Chairmanship of Paul Finch OBE, Chairman of Design Council Cabe. SBID Board members Gerald Bowey (CEO, International Building Press) and Michael Rose CBE, Hon FRIBA (Chairman, The Building Centre Group Ltd) are also part of the special fundraising Working Group. The official launch for the Appeal took place on Thursday 28 June at the beginning of the London Architecture Festival, in the form of an inaugural Annual Wren Talk by renowned urban designer and architect Sir Terry Farrell. Farrell, who is well known for his masterplanning work both in London and beyond, talked about Wren’s post-fire vision for London, particularly in the context of today’s London Plan. He asked whether a ‘grand plan’ – common in many European cities – could work in a city as diverse as London 101

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and reflected on how London would look had Wren’s design been adopted. Several subsequent events are planned for potential corporate donors, the congregation and general public. The INSPIRE! Appeal aims to secure at least £2.5 million during 2012 from the congregation and visitors, as well as local businesses and the media, with which it has been associated since Wynkyn de Worde established his printing press some 500 years ago in what is now the churchyard of St Bride’s. The Venerable David Meara, Archdeacon of London and Rector of St Bride’s commented on the INSPIRE! Appeal: ‘St Bride’s is a working church; a building that is in use seven days a week, with an active congregation of residents and local business people’. ‘Since renovation work was last carried out, almost 70 years ago, the church has survived lightning, acid rain, smoky chimneys and extensive piling, as well as the ever present birds. The falling stonework is now becoming a grave concern and we desperately need these funds. We have committed £300,000 from our reserves, but need more.’


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can draw parallels with the artist’s Blank Canvas or the author’s Empty Page, both of which have been described as a simply terrifying prospect. The constant companion of self- doubt witters away with; “will I measure up... will I ever be as good as the last time?” Rest easy, this is a natural part of ‘the deal’ that is the lot of the artist. One has no choice other than to ‘lay it on the line’ once again to give more of oneself. Words Mark Wilkinson Almost by osmosis I slowly discovered Website www.mwf.com a process that enabled me to become more comfortable at this point in a project, I can You know that daunting feeling that grabs only offer you that, which works for me. you at the beginning of a new and testThe first of these, I think of as taking ing project when you don’t seem to be able the temperature by working at absorbing as much as one can of that which is around to find your way in? This period of a new design project is often found to be the most you. For this to work at its creative best it difficult. Comfortingly, we are not alone and

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largely depends on one’s way of thinking. To explain, if, whilst you go about your daily and your working life, you deliberately try to stay in contact with your higher self, the self that controls tolerance, love and humour and you stay free, as far as possible from the deadly Siren of fear, you will notice differences in the way in which you perceive the world and the way in which the worlds treats you. This sounds to be terribly difficult, when, in fact, it is not – it is simply deciding to do it. This decision can be transformative in its effect on all you see, do and say, it is dependent nevertheless on the extent to which one chooses to exert oneself, as, even a little flexing of the higher self, helps. Rest assured this is a proper exercise in advancing your perspective on design and


/Vo l ume 02 2012 prev ious page: For the Caudwell Children’s Charity’s Butterfly Ball, Mark Wilkinson Furniture donated one of Mark’s Marilyn ‘jewellery cabinets’ – here Mark is seen designing one of the special ‘butterfly’ handles finished in silver and coated in enamel which was then encrusted with opals and diamonds – the piece raised £90,000 in the auction. left: The final piece, a jewellery cabinet with a difference in solid walnut by Mark Wilkinson OBE. bo tt om: Inside the Brentwood showroom, showing a display of Mark’s Milan style, notice the semi-circular shape to the wall units and, if you look really hard, you will see that the handles are steel rods, clad in hand-stitched leather – modern sophistication defined.

it will work. If you wish to test this new ability out, a simple method is to spend an hour in public deliberately scowling, looking miserable – then spend the next hour smiling kindly to yourself and, importantly, at every appropriate moment, also regarding all you meet with respect and, where possible, paying sincere compliments, at the end you just know what will have happened, you will have ‘gained’ from the second hour and ‘lost’ from the first. With this new perception all that you absorb, from the world around you, will have a better shape, a better feel with which to work. Now in this absorbing mode take the temperature of local, national and international politics. Look at what is happening in the Arts and in the world of fashion. Be aware of shades of light and dark in all things. It is the tonality of all around us that generates mood swings in society, so stay

open to these swings. It is now time to find the key, by which I mean find the one guiding metaphor... Beethoven famously did it with his Fifth Symphony, arguably one of the World’s greatest pieces of music. With this piece he established as a key the: “da da da dum, da da da dum” that was, interestingly, used in its Morse Code variant as the V for Victory symbol of the French Résistance. The genius of what then emerged was that he used it as a base, he pulled it, stretched it, turned and constantly returned to it. It is woven through the start, middle and end of his composition. I have adopted this same technique again and again, in my own work, finding the key, or metaphor, that represents the best of what I wish to say and then worked with it. How this worked for me, to take but one example, was in my Metro style, where I found the wave pattern around the facades 103

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of the old Paris Metro station entrances, that were originally the work of architect Hector Guimard, for me his simple wave was the ‘key’ that allowed me in and from there the rest of the style simply tumbled out. Another strong example is the work of Augustus Pugin, in particular the Palace of Westminster. There is no way one man could have personally designed every detail in that project, what Pugin did was to find his key, his guiding metaphor and then explain that to his team of six, senior designers, each of whom had a team working with them and ‘Voila’... Westminster. What this tells us is never to be frightened by the size of a project... once found, the Key opens the door to the smallest room in the house, as well as in the largest and most complicated project. Get the inspiration first and the rest is ‘sweat’.


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b es t emerging designer of the ye a r Words Emmanuelle Chazarin images Erica Deam Website www.yida-award.co.uk With 3,000 students graduating each year from British universities as fully qualified interior designers, it has never been tougher to get a foot in the interiors industry. This is why Janine Stone, a highly successful designer and founder of the eponymous design practice, established the Young Interior

Designer Awards (YIDA) in partnership with SBID two years ago. The award, which results in a £10,000 cash prize and a six-month paid internship at Janine Stone, was launched to recognise, foster and promote the superb standard of emerging design talent across universities and art institutions in the UK. Janine Stone said: ‘I have been most fortunate to enjoy over 25 years involvement in an industry that I am hugely passionate about. Design has always been at the very heart of my family and my path into the industry was aided by consistent nurturing, encouragement and support. It is within this same framework that I want to continue to help support the next generation of young design talent and potentially discover the most outstanding individuals of the future.’ This year’s winner is Erica Deam, a talented final year design student from the American InterContinental University (AIU). The challenge involved identifying a site and creating a fictional client, and then 10 4

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developing a concept that addressed the client’s needs within the available space. Originally from mountainous Colorado, Erica wanted to infuse a little bit of her background into the design. ‘My fictional clients are a couple in their early 30’s relocating to London from Colorado. Both are highly successful furniture designers seeking a space that can function as their home, design studio and public showroom. They desire the nature, solitude and space of rustic mountain living paired with a more modern style for life and work in London’. ‘My project employs elements of topography to create public and private areas within the home while maintaining the feel of wide-open spaces. Where the typical mountain home is built into the topography of the land, this project was about creating topography within the space.’ ‘Varying layers and elevations provide each functional space with a different level of privacy. Vistas and terraces throughout the space afford views down into the public areas and create a strong visual connection


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“ I pur po s efull y g a ve this pr o ject a mor e con tempor ar y f eel than I would usuall y desi gn, with wooden la yer s and exposed s teel beams, to contr as t with a tr ad itio nal Co lo r a do m o unt ai n l og h ome.”

between the interior and exterior. In order to address her clients’ needs in the identified space, Erica used topography to challenge the traditional concept of a lateral apartment. ‘I began with a lateral concept, and then adapted it by creating an inhabitable landscape within the lateral space.’ She picked The Natural Kitchen on Marylebone High Street in London as the site for her project. ‘Marylebone High Street hosts an ideal mix of small independent shops and restaurants making it a perfect location for young professionals.’ This design works well for the home owners. Seeing as the couple are furniture designers, lines are intentionally fuzzy between the furniture in the exhibition space and the furniture that is on display in private space. Showroom visitors can get a glimpse at the furniture in a private context, and get to see how the creators of the furniture interact with their own designs. ‘I would love to live in that space;’ Erica said, ‘I put a lot of myself into it. I pushed it a little bit, too. I tend to be a bit more traditional in my designs but I wanted to step out of my comfort zone. I purposefully gave this project a more contemporary feel than I would usually design, with wooden layers and exposed steel beams, to contrast with a traditional Colorado mountain log home.’ Janine Stone commented: ‘Erica’s winning design captured the brief perfectly and delivered an exciting and vibrant design solution for contemporary living. The panel and I particularly liked the innovative use of light and shade within the design, it is

a well-deserved win. The competition attracted a large number of submissions and we have been extremely impressed by the quality and professionalism of the designs, especially the twelve finalists’. So how does Erica think her project differed from the other shortlisted entries? ‘They were all really impressive, but I thought I had a very strong concept and I did a lot to alter the structure of the building. I was creative with the space I set for myself and stuck to the concept throughout – that’s a big part of design.’ With a first degree in environmental biology, Erica’s introduction to interior design wasn’t a traditional one. ‘I enjoyed several years of teaching biology after earning my degree. In addition to science and education, I have also always had an interest in architecture and design. I began doing interior decorating projects in the evenings after a full day of teaching. I found it so exciting and invigorating that I decided to look into it more seriously by taking class at the local community college. Then a move to England for my husband’s job gave me the perfect opportunity to transition out of teaching and pursue a degree in interior design.’ Erica moved to England from the United States in 2009 with her husband. She researched universities and interior design courses and enrolled in the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design at AIU in London. ‘AIU appealed to me because they offer both an American degree and an English one. This dual accreditation was key to me seeing as my husband works in the Air Force and we could end up anywhere in the world!’ 107

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‘I heard of YIDA through SBID during my first year as I was AIU’s school representative for SBID. But I had already come across Janine Stone’s design during my first week in the UK while signing a lease at an estate agent in Cambridge. They had a magazine there with a feature on Janine Stone’s practice. I remember writing down the website URL, and when I got home I spent two hours reading up on her. Her practice produces incredible design, and I knew I wanted to gear my career towards this kind of high-end residential design.’ And what better opportunity to achieve that than to work directly with her design ideal? ‘I was shocked and surprised and extremely excited when I heard my name being called out at the Awards ceremony. I’m really looking forward to working at the Janine Stone practice in September and finally seeing on the inside exactly what happens at a design firm. I want to see how the whole show works, from concept and instruction to coordinating, and working with a design team and architects. It will be really interesting to see how they all interact and work together.’ Finally, as she enters into her new career, how does she view her role as an interior designer? ‘My role as interior designer will be to share my knowledge in architecture, design, and esthetics and work with an expert team to ensure that a project is cohesive and successful.’ By taking first prize in the Janine Stone YIDA competition, Erica has proven to be an emerging designer with a bright future ahead of her. We wish her all the best.


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bomber C om m a n d m em o ri a l Hyde Pa r k Lo n don Words Stuart Blakley images Jill Tate At one of the capital’s most notorious congestion spots, a dignified neoclassical edifice has been unveiled. The new Bomber Command Memorial at the junction of Hyde Park Corner and Constitution Hill is

a welcome aesthetic distraction for drivers jammed in commuter traffic. Designed by acclaimed architect Liam O’Connor, it is dedicated to the pilots and aircrew who lost their lives in World War II. In an innovative rethink of the Palladian villa quinpartite arrangement applied to a public structure, the central double fronted portico topped by an entablature with a rationalised Doric frieze is balanced on either side by colonnades of columns surmounted by plain entablatures. In place of pavilions at the extremities are standalone groups of four columns, detached from the main structure, providing space for footpaths in between. O’Connor’s creation is a clever play on void and massing. Indeed it is believed to be Britain’s first open space monument incorporating a publicly accessible interior. 108

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The underside of the roof is formed by a structural stainless steel diagrid based on Sir Barnes Wallis’ design for the fuselage of the Wellington Bomber. This is covered with sheet aluminium made from melted down parts of a Halifax bomber shot down on its return from a mission in Germany. Otherwise, Portland Stone is used throughout. The potential void at the heart of this memorial is filled by a bronze sculpture by Philip Jackson depicting Bomber Command aircrew. Natural light from the open sky above falls directly onto the sculpture. The architect says, ‘We want people of future generations to use the space of the memorial to reflect on the scale of sacrifice of these young airmen. The interior space is monumental yet intimate. Bronze lamps and cast iron bollards complete a project which displays a wealth of traditional craft


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Supplier lis t A rc hit e c t: Liam O’Connor www.liamoconnor.com S c u lp t o r : Philip Jackson www.philipjacksonsculptures.co.uk S t o ne : Albion Stone www.albionstone.com

construction skills employed in making the memorial.’ The use of neoclassical architecture has drawn criticism from some quarters. Au contraire, what other genre would lend such gravitas and head turning car swerving pedestrian tripping elegance? It brings a sense of order (Doric, to be precise) to its schizophrenic setting. To the north, the memorial overlooks the frenetic Piccadilly

underpass with the Hilton Hotel raising its dreary head above a blast of overblown Dutch gables and dormers. To the south lies the serenity of Hyde Park. The recent opening of the memorial by Her Majesty represents the culmination of a seven year campaign by the Bomber Command Association. The campaign raised £7 million for its construction and future maintenance. 109

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The memorial has gained recognition from another source: the Society of British Interior Design. Fellow of the Year is an honour bestowed upon one designer per annum in recognition of significant achievements in the sphere of British design. Liam O’Connor’s ‘external internal space’ at the Bomber Command Memorial Hyde Park London helped propel him towards winning this year’s award.


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lig h t h o u s e C ro u ch E nd Lo n don Images Aura Photography

Crawford Partnership, founded in 1997 by Alan Crawford, is based in Muswell Hill, London. The practice is known for its innovative approach to the creation of space and creative use of light. The brief for the company’s latest project was to create a contemporary family home for clients Miki and Miriam and their two children. Project architect Alex Pickard explains, ‘The clients knew they wanted to build in Crouch End and were lucky enough to track down a plot before it went on the market on a quiet Victorian street

just off the Broadway in trendy Crouch End.’ Positioned at the end of a residential terrace, the site was occupied by four lock up garages, backing onto private gardens. The clients wished to optimise the site by expanding their new building to fill as much of the available area as possible. Crawford Partnership’s solution was to build right up to the pavement edge which allowed for the creation of a private courtyard garden around which the house is wrapped. Alex continues, ‘The site is set in a conservation area and had planning restrictions calling for the bulk and massing of the former garages to be respected and not enlarged in the new scheme. Crawford Partnership suggested using a basement to give sufficient space. This solution was adopted and the basement occupies 60% of the site below ground. This essentially turns the house around.’ The basement accommodates the two children’s bedrooms alongside the family 110

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bathroom and utility room. A sunken lightwell lets natural light and ventilation enter the bedrooms as well as providing a little garden for the children. A large living space containing the kitchen, dining and relaxation areas opens onto the courtyard at ground floor level via sliding glass doors. The master bedroom is on one side of the courtyard; on the other side is a study. Dual layered insulation, double glazed argon filled glazing units, an energy saving boiler and under floor heating mean the house uses very little energy to regulate temperature. The roof is designed to allow a sedum grass blanket to be laid in a few years’ time. Alex Pickard concludes: ‘The central courtyard provides the focus for the home. It is surrounded on three sides by large sliding glass patio doors, in the living space further clear storey windows and large sky lights flood the space in natural light giving the house its name – Light House.’


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Supplier lis t Architect: Alex Pickard, Crawford Partnership, www.crawfordpartnership.co.uk Eng ineer s : Chris Atkins, Symmetrys Limited, Consulting Structural Engineers, www.symmetrys.com Contr act or : Rocklawn Construction: 0208 427 4035 denis@rocklawn.co.uk Cons u ltant s : Quantity surveying Leys Surveying: www.leyssurveyingltd.co.uk Co ncept and creat i v e dir ection: Alex Pickard, Crawford Partnership Fur nis hing s : Joinery Mark Collett: www.markcollett.co.uk Inter ior Des ig ner : Alex Pickard, Crawford Partnership www.crawfordpartnership.co.uk

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Fletcher's Cottage Spa Eas t Lo thia n,Sco tl and images Archerfield WEBSITE www.archerfieldhouse.com/spa The estate of Archerfield, a 40 minute drive from Edinburgh, dates back to at least the 13th century. This East Lothian beauty spot was rumoured to be a favourite of Mary Queen of Scots. The current Grade

I Listed mansion, now the centrepiece of a celebrated hotel and golf club, was built in the late 1600s. Sian Parry Jones, a renowned beauty expert and spa consultant, was commissioned to add a touch of 21st century luxury to the estate while respecting its historic context. Fletcher’s Cottage Spa is the outcome. She has only used reclaimed materials from the 550 acre grounds to create a comfortable retreat. ‘Spas should not only be relaxing,’ believes Sian, ‘but also invigorating and welcoming. They should not be coolly minimalistic or coldly clinical.’ She adds, ‘Every design detail has been carefully chosen to express a responsible ethical approach to health and wellbeing in harmony with nature.’ Lights are suspended 112

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on lengths of hessian and private bath huts in the garden are warmed by burning stoves. The effect is a sophisticated homage to its historic setting, updating the leisure and pleasure facilities associated with Archerfield. Guests are provided with robes made by SOKO, an ethical workshop based in Kenya. Other sustainable touches include relaxation chairs made by Amish communities using reclaimed Canadian barn wood. A wall made of recycled potato boxes still bears the stamps of local farmers’ names. A total of 12 single and dual treatment rooms spanning 9,000 square feet all on one level nestles in the sylvan coastal surroundings. Guests visiting the spa can extend their stay overnight in pine lodges, the Pavilion


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Rooms, the six bedroom Marine Villa which overlooks Fidra Island, or they can go back in time and sleep in one of the 15 bedrooms of Archerfield House itself. A clubhouse and restaurant complete the body and soul experience on the estate. Three years in the making and £3 million later, Fletcher’s Cottage Spa manages to combine a respect for heritage with an original twist on sustainable design. Sian Parry Jones concludes, ‘Fletcher’s Cottage Spa is unlike anything else in Scotland or the UK. We have worked tirelessly to create an environment rich in authenticity and rustic luxury in keeping with Archerfield’s heritage and natural surroundings. Fletcher’s Cottage Spa will redefine Archerfield as a truly exciting wellness and lifestyle destination where all guests will enjoy a purely bespoke and enriching experience.’ DE was lucky enough to experience Fletcher’s Cottage Spa and can confirm they have got this project so right.

Supplier lis t I nt e r io r De s ig ne r : Sian Parry Jones SPA & WELLNESS: NOLA 7 International Designed and manufactured several bespoke materials including the ‘hand made crackle glazed ceramics and oven aged timbers: NOLA 7 International 0044 (0) 1437 768547 wellness@nola7.co.uk www.nola7.com Ro b e s : SOKO www.soko-kenya.com

The Spa An overnight Spa Break for two starts from £385, including bed and breakfast accommodation in a Pavilion Room and two spa treatments Spa and Golf Residential Annual Membership is £2,950

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I n t e r c ontinental P o rt o P al a cio d a s C ardosas Po r t o, Po r tugal images Carlos Cezanne WEBSITE www.intercontinental.com/porto Early this century, ‘the Bilbao Effect’ was all the rage in tourism circles. This was the theory that the fortune of just about

anywhere could be turned around with the addition of a piece of iconic architecture. Who had visited Bilbao before Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum sprung up in all its deconstructivist glory? Before long, every other obscure town was employing the services of a big name architect with inevitably mixed results. Porto is the second largest city in Portugal. The regeneration of its historic Baixa quarter is starting to take place. A two tiered covered daily market, broad avenues lined with cafés and the cathedral add to its charm. But Baixa isn’t requiring a starchitect anytime soon. It has a readymade iconic building which has just been restored at a cost of £30 million. 114

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Once the monastery of Lóios, Palacio das Cardosas belonged to the wealthy secular canons of St John the Evangelist. The original building was constructed near the city’s Fernandina Wall in the 15th century. Three centuries later, the monastery was falling into disrepair so the monks commissioned the architect José de Champalimaud to design a new neoclassical façade. The works were still unfinished when the monastery was abandoned by the religious order in the early 19th century. A wealthy businessman, Manuel Cardoso dos Santos, bought the monastery and converted it into a private palace. The façade was finally finished. Now owned by Solitaire Hotels, the Palacio das Cardosas, all 118,000 square


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Supplier lis t Inter ior Des ig n: Alex Kravetz www.alexkravetzdesign.com Des ig n Impl ementati o n : Bioxene www.bioxene.pt

The Ho tel 105 bedrooms (Deluxe, Executive and 16 Suites) Astoria – Hotel restaurant Cardosas Bar Square – banquet room Fitness and Wellness Centre Business Centre 2 Meeting rooms

feet of it, is the first InterContinental Hotel in Portugal. Established in London in 2004, AKD undertook the refurbishment of this historic building. The studio’s lead interior designer, Alex Kravetz, has extensive experience of decorating five star hotels and resorts. He says, ‘Our designs are always based on a full understanding of the client’s brief. We are passionate about highlighting the unique

local cultures distinctive to each project. Sense of place is paramount to the basis of our concepts. We like to develop a magical, theatrical experience to fulfil guests’ dreams. Timeless luxury and elegance are now the defining attributes of the Palacio das Cardosas.’ The Astoria Restaurant, Cardosas Bar, Square Banqueting Room and all 105 bedrooms have benefitted from AKD’s vision of 115

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contemporary comfort and design blended with period local architecture. A business suite, two meeting rooms, and a fitness and wellness centre cater to the demands of discerning customers. Palacio das Cardosas is the first international luxury hotel in the Baixa quarter. It should act as a catalyst for regeneration in the area and encourage tourism to Porto. ‘The Baixa Effect’ has arrived.


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Supplier lis t A rc hit e c t: HOK www.hok.com B u ild ing Co nt r ac t o r s : John Sisk & Son www.sisk.ie S t ru c t u r a l E ng ine e r s : Alan Baxter Associates www.alanbaxter.co.uk S ervices E ngineers ( M & E ): Maleon www.maleon.com Co s t Co ns u lta nt s : Gardiner and Theobald www.gardiner.com

Fitzrovia apa r t m e n t s Words Stuart Blakley images Manhattan Lofts & HOK

A Polly Morgan taxidermy in the ground floor reception is a sign this is no ordinary office building. The Edison Building on Old Marylebone Road is named after the world’s most prolific inventor Thomas Edison. Its Art Deco exterior has been reinvented by leading architect David Adjaye who has cloaked it in his trademark charcoal grey rendering. The client was Harry Handelsman of Manhattan Loft Corporation, the developer who brought loft living to London. “It could have been a cool apartment building but I wanted to do something more exciting,” starts Harry. He’s clad in a charcoal grey suit, no tie, sitting in his charcoal grey top floor corner office. “I called on my friend David. He designed an amazing transformation.” Adjaye Associates now occupy the

ground floor of the Edison Building which has become a HQ for design firms. Born in Germany, Harry worked as a financier in New York before arriving in London in 1984. He realised the potential for New York style loft living in the English capital, setting up Manhattan Loft Corporation in 1992. ‘We’ve no concerns about building something new though,’ he adds. ‘So much other new development seems too simplistic. It needs to be more energetic, more dramatic. We wanted to give our development a bit of punch!’ That heavyweight punch is taking shape as Fitzrovia Apartments. The architects are HOK. ‘We’ve used them before at No.1 West India Quay. We brought American luxury living to London in 2004 with this 32 storey hotel and residential tower,” says Harry, ever the trailblazer. “We wanted to match the quality of contemporary apartments found in New York. For us, working with HOK is a collaboration of expression and expertise.’ At £750,000 for a one bed, the apartments are at the higher end of the market but they’re almost all sold already. ‘It’s a market endorsement of our efforts,’ he believes. The four penthouses with the largest private terraces in W1 will shortly be 116

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marketed at around £6 million each. HOK’s design is a modern take on the geometry of its period context. A grid pattern is formed by the regular placement of zinc panels, glazed projections and inset window openings framed by Juliet balconies. The skin of Caliza Capri limestone is peeled away at one corner to reveal a glazed curtain wall. A double height entrance hall ushers visitors through to the central landscaped garden. As if in anticipation of its green heart, the communal areas are lined with full height woodland images by artist and photographer Peter Lavery. ‘I got to know lots of artists at the Groucho Club. I used to spend far too much time there!’ Harry laughs. He’s an Artangel Trustee. ‘Artangel is absolutely wonderful. It’s right on the zeitgeist. It means I am the first to know what’s next in the art world!’ Two decades after he brought loft living to London, he’s also the best man to know what’s next in the development world. ‘High rise apartments. That’s the way things are going,’ states Harry. He’s on a roll. ‘Development can make such a positive contribution. I wish the planning regime would be simplified but any issues aren’t insurmountable. There’s enough appreciation of design quality. If it was all smooth sailing I wouldn’t have any grey hairs!’


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/ product s

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h itchmylius

diesel F osc a rini

cloe f l o ir at

Clerkenwell Design Week

Super Brands London

Recognising the need for privacy within public areas, Simon Pengelly has developed the hm87, a sheltering chair and cocoon. www.hitchmylius.co.uk

Like a volcanic rock that when it breaks apart reveals a jewel within, Rock is an interplay of surprises and contrasts. Mysterious and severe outside, diamondbright and iridescent inside. www.diesel.foscarini.com

“Conversation Pieces” Chairs, is a series of 4 different chairs. Designer : Clo’e Floirat in collaboration with Maria Jeglinska. Moulded beech plywood seat covered with a black tinted varnish. Matt black lacquered metal base. www.cloefloirat.com

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c h a lk a rchit ect ure Crafted from standard sizes of solid Oak, with a few simple touches of geometry, the furniture’s sustainability is derived from its simplicity in terms of its materiality styling. A seat pad adds an element of comfort for the bar stool and chair back and introduces a note of colour for accent. www.chalkarchitecture.com

murmur

Cl ay D e s i g n s

The Oporto Show, Portugal LIV Sideboard design by Ana Ribeiro. Almost suspended supported by foundations five different legs crosses and divides the space inside the sideboard and vertically rip the faces of the doors. www.murmur.pt

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Beautifully stylish and well designed originality, Sqillé pictured is rechargeable, sustainably designed and individually hand made in the UK. A stunning outside light sculpture that functions as a table and an area’s statement ambient lighting. www.claydesigns.co.uk

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Aquaduct drain covers add the designer finish to any bathroom, wetroom or Landscape area. Our designs are created using only the finest of materials, finishes and can be made to fit all major European drain gully manufacturers. We can also offer a bespoke service for branding and personalisation...the possibilities are truly endless

www.aquaduct.co

E: infoaquaduct.co

T:20 8450 2244


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Aditi S tudio

Ka rma n

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‘The basement 320 handcrafted from an iron rich glazed stoneware and silk wound cable using traditional methods for use with a variety of luminares. Stunning as a softly dimmed corner piece with traditional filament bulbs and beautiful above a table ,the cluster arrangement of the 320 good levels of light output when fitted with E27 LEDs or other Low Energy sources such as the “Plumen”. www.aditistudios.com

The Oporto Show, Portugal

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BRANCA

Mo bile S t udio

ASPLUN D

The Oporto Show, Portugal BRANCA is a new product and accessory label for the home. where each piece is the result of an experimental approach, supported by detailed research into the aesthetic and structural qualities of the materials. The company was born in Lisbon, Portugal under the direction of Marco Sousa Santos. Here is a large and comfortable Lounge chair delivered with 4 cilindric cushions made of natural cotton fabric. Natural finishing. www.branca-lisboa.com

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For indoor and outdoors Cell is inspired by Chinese lanterns, and is modeled on the structure and spirit, tightening the air with a thin white wire in a cage of light, which enhances the strength and dynamism. Cell is available in different sizes for both indoor for outdoor use and can be suspended in resting on tables and shelves or the floor. www.karmanitalia.it

‘Style Wars: Modernists Vs Traditionalists’ Mobile Studio’s chess sets draw on the on-going style wars surrounding the Prince of Wales’s controversial interventions into the UK planning process. Prince Charles’s speech at the Royal Institute of British Architects in June 2009, has continued to divide the architecture community. The contentious issue originated from the Prince’s speech more than 25 years ago at the RIBA in which he kick-started a style war; Classicists versus Modernists. www.theMobileStudio.co.uk

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Ngispen

Matteo Gerbi

The Gispen Divide is a stylish, multi-functional and versatile desk with a slide-able top and a useful storage compartment. Full of designer panache, use it as a home office, dining table or hobby table thanks to its fine design and clever details. Created by Iris Janssen whose designs are characterised by playful, practical, colourful and especially refreshing elements. www.iconicdutch.com

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Made entirely in the UK, the Ray Shelf system is a high quality construction made from powder coated steel and aluminium. The concept is simple yet totally unique. Completely versatile, the shelves can be formed from multiples of one support shape or customers can select a combination of their favourite shapes and colours. www.rayshelf.com

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Sugru is the exciting new selfsetting rubber that bonds to most other materials. Form it by hand into any shape, and overnight it turns into a strong, flexible silicone rubber. It’s used by a growing community of over 100,000 gadget lovers, outdoor types, designermakers, car enthusiasts, photographers and home improvers all over the world to improve or repair their stuff. www.sugru.com

Stockholm Furniture Fair The Light Tray lamp is the ultimate expression of functionality and design. Created by Daniel Rybakken and Andreas Engesvik, the pair set out to re-examine the design of the traditional table lamp. A tray with hand-blown glass cups acts as an artificial surface, both concealing the unit’s electronics and creating the illusion that the lamp has no external power source. The tray, though an integrated part of the design, appears separate to it, as if it is a tabletop or shelf. www.asplund.org

09 Hugo Pa s s o s Ivey is a practical object for storing your magazines from designer Hugo Passos. Three internal dividers provide support and allow for easy magazine browsing - like flicking through a crate of old records. Currently available online and also sold at the Jasper Morrison Shop. www.hugopassos.com


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TOTO

The Gra nd To ur

Grohe

The NEOREST SE Bath offers the ultimate in relaxation and well-being and is like no other spa bath on the market. Available in a one person and two-person version, it provides a unique array of sophisticated but discreet TOTO innovations to pamper and relax the body. www.gb.toto.com

New addition to The Grand Tour collection ... LUTETIA Marble tops, fine detail and exquisite lacquer* finishes characterise the Lutetia collection of vanity units and dressing tables. Accompanied by bathtubs featuring leather or diamond-mirror surrounds. www.thegrandtour.eu

The GROHE Power&Soul™ shower line is now available in the UK. Featuring up to four different spray patterns Power&Soul™ offers individualised showering experiences – for a fresh start to the day or for simple relaxation. www.grohe.com

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dornbracht

drummonds

Vict or ia + A l b e r t B at hs

Dornbracht presents an expansion of the groundbreaking shower technology Ambiance Tuning Technique with the addition of a new application: the Horizontal Shower. With the Horizontal Shower, for the first time the Ambiance Tuning Technique’s theraputic benfits can be enjoyed lying down. www.dornbracht.com

Drummond’s freestanding Usk bath is a true classic. Based on a traditional ‘bateau’ shape it makes a striking centrepiece for today’s bathrooms. The Usk’s exterior is available in a choice of specialist finishes including hand-polished and lacquered, lustrous copper cladding or hand painted in any colour. www.drummonds-uk.com

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Created for today’s luxury consumer, Cabrits is a dramatic fusion of modern art and ergonomics. The tub’s curvaceous lines make it the glamorous centre piece of any room with contours supporting the body to provide superior comfort for bathers of all sizes. www.vandabaths.com


Traditional and contemporary Handtufted, Passmachine and Woven custom designed carpets and rugs from design to installation

www.customcarpetcompany.co.uk

Custom Carpet Company PO Box 167, Tadworth, Surrey KT20 6WH Tel.: + 44 (0)1737 830301 Fax.: + 44 (0)1737 833785

Email: info@customcarpetcompany.co.uk

Web: www.customcarpetcompany.co.uk


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Glass and Mosaic Arts in Architecture *Birtch Walk glass sculpture www.bradleybasso.com

Photo Š Hufton + Crow


Profile for Design Exchange magazine

design exchange (de Magazine) Vol 2 2012  

Architecture, design, interior design, art We hope to offer much more than just a great magazine with projects, ideas, news, events and desi...

design exchange (de Magazine) Vol 2 2012  

Architecture, design, interior design, art We hope to offer much more than just a great magazine with projects, ideas, news, events and desi...

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