Page 1

‘It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.’ Einstein

Diploma Year 5 Professional Studies All the information contained within details the development of the Professional Studies module within the PG Dip Architecture (RIBA II) course at UEL. The Professional Studies Journal is designed as a supporting document to the Macro Culture House Project.


RIBA WORKSTAGES What is a Culture House? Why?Is their a need? What is the brief? Brief research Brief development How are the resources to be provided? Money/Land/Labour/Materials Constraints Where is the site? SWOT Analysis What happens when its finished?

Lecture Series Professionalism For Architecture Introduction New Cross Gate NDC Being The Client The Law First Principles The Joy of Engaging with reality A Case Study East Architects Introduction

Development Finances Roland Karthaus Professionalism Quiz Development Finacnes Assignment Case Study Research Booklet Assignment Article Almost a great idea

RIBA Workstages* The RIBA plan of work describes the activities from first meeting the client and general appraisal through to post construction. The stages are also used in the appointment of architects and help to identify consultant services and indicate the resource and fee total by each individual Work Stage. The Culture House Thesis Proposal will complete RIBA Workstages A-F, as construction of the proposal is not a realistic opportunity.


Stage A) – Stage A consists of appraisal of the clients’ needs and objectives. This generally consists of a feasibility study and possibly site visits. The key objective of the Feasibility study is to test the viability of the initial desired objective which has been given through formal and informal discussions with the client. The results of the feasibility study will help inform the client of the potential realisation of initial expectations (i.e. planning, general size etc) and whether to proceed. Stage B) - Development of initial statement of requirements into a Design Brief - negotiations and identification of the clients’ needs. Briefing has become important for both clients and architects, as building users have become more demanding and clients have increasingly found that the buildings they occupy are often inappropriate for their needs. The success of a design cannot be secured at this early stage, but it can be lost. Development of the brief is ‘ iterative and moves from the general to the Particular’# and it is of the utmost importance that the correct needs and requirements are identified at this stage. The development of the organisation and procurement structure is also developed at this stage- once an understanding of the clients’ needs have been established. Stage C) -Following agreement of the design brief, further analysis and feasibility studies are carried out and the beginning of ‘design concept’. Sketch schemes are developed and outline proposals established. Estimations on costs and sizes are also calculated. At this stage the first contact with one of the two statutory authorities can occur- An In Principle Application to the planning service can be submitted. The application needs to be supported by a estimation of cost, as such the design needs to be (reasonably) progressed. This application is not a requirement of the RIBA Workstages but can be chosen in cases of containing contentious issues or planning restrictions. Stage D) During Work Stage D the Outline Proposals are developed further to a greater level of detail to include structural and relevant building services systems. All external materials will be selected and coloured architectural drawings and 3D visualisations will clearly illustrate how the building will look within the context of the existing environ-

environment. Other design consultants – surveyors, structural engineers etc will develop the design under the leadership of the architect. Thermal modelling and simulation maybe required to meet energy targets set out in building regs or within the clients brief. At this stage, the agreed brief should be complete and application for full detailed planning permission should be sent to the Planning Service. The application should include all relevant information (Plans, Sections, Elevations etc) along with statements, studies (thermal, solar, etc) and visualisations. Stage E) – Requires more technical preparation of the design than in previous stages. Detailing and construction drawings with relevant notes and information. Stage F) Stage F is separated into two sub-stages – F1 & F2 . F1 consists of further preparation of production information in sufficient detail to obtain and competitive tender prices form suitable contractors. F2 consists of further development of plans to help aid the construction and building regulations approval.

Amended November 2008

Outline Plan of Work 2007



Design Brief


Design Development

Technical Design

Production Information







RIBA Work Stages


Application for statutory approvals.

Preparation of production information in sufficient detail to enable a tender or tenders to be obtained.

Preparation of technical design(s) and specifications, sufficient to co-ordinate components and elements of the project and information for statutory standards and construction safety.

Application for detailed planning permission.

Completion of Project Brief.

Development of concept design to include structural and building services systems, updated outline specifications and cost plan.

Review of procurement route.

Preparation of Concept Design including outline proposals for structural and building services systems, outline specifications and preliminary cost plan.

Implementation of Design Brief and preparation of additional data.

Development of initial statement of requirements into the Design Brief by or on behalf of the client confirming key requirements and constraints. Identification of procurement method, procedures, organisational structure and range of consultants and others to be engaged for the project.

Preparation of feasibility studies and assessment of options to enable the client to decide whether to proceed.

Identification of client’s needs and objectives, business case and possible constraints on development.

Description of key tasks

3B Detailed Design Approval

3A Design Brief and Concept Approval

2 Procurement strategy

1 Business justification

OGC Gateways

The Outline Plan of Work organises the process of managing, and designing building projects and administering building contracts into a number of key Work Stages. The sequence or content of Work Stages may vary or they may overlap to suit the procurement method (see pages 2 and 3).







Construction to Practical Completion




Tender Action


Post Practical Completion

Tender Documentation


Administration of the building contract after Practical Completion and making final inspections.

Review of information provided by contractors and specialists.

Provision to the contractor of further Information as and when reasonably required.

Administration of the building contract to Practical Completion.

Arranging site hand over to the contractor.

Issuing of information to the contractor.

Letting the building contract, appointing the contractor.

Obtaining and appraising tenders; submission of recommendations to the client.

Identification and evaluation of potential contractors and/or specialists for the project.

Preparation and/or collation of tender documentation in sufficient detail to enable a tender or tenders to be obtained for the project.

Preparation of further information for construction required under the building contract.


* Workstage chart accessed & downloaded from

Page 1 of 3

The activities in italics may be moved to suit project requirements, ie: D Application for detailed planning approval; E Statutory standards and construction safety; F1 Application for statutory approvals; and F2 Further information for construction. G+H Invitation and appraisal of tenders

Review of project performance in use.

L2 Assisting building user during initial occupation period.



Royal Institute of British Architects


Š RIBA 2007

5 Benefits evaluation

4 Readiness for Service

3C Investment decision

What is a Culture-House? Culture

[kuhl-cher] - noun, verb, -tured, -tur路ing. 1.the quality in a person or society that arises from a concern for what is regarded as excellent in arts, letters, manners, scholarly pursuits, etc. 2.that which is excellent in the arts, manners, etc. 3.a particular form or stage of civilization, as that of a certain nation or period: Greek culture.



[n., adj. hous; v. houz] noun, plural hous路es 1.a building in which people live; residence for human beings. 2.a household. 3. ( often initial capital letter ) a family, including ancestors and descendants: the great houses of France; the House of Hapsburg. 4. a building for any purpose: a house of worship.* A Culture house is a new hybrid typology which has came to prominence within the last decade. The history of the hybrid began in the 19th century when the dense city started to accept overlapping of functions as inevitable - with deminising land space and increasing property prices. A culture house does not have a clear programmatic structure it is one of celebration, diversity and a variety of programs - ranging from Libraries, Cafes, Theatres, Dance schools, Art galleries ,Jazz clubs & more. It is an oportunitistic building which moulds to the demands of its area - creating private and public spheres, which go against segregationist morphologies with often conflicting programs. This means that activity and use is constant and does not conform to the structured activity of the area or the city but can influence the area - be that regeneration - socially, structural or through interest.

CF Moller - Kristiansund King Abdullah II House of Culture & Art - ZAHA

Laban Arts Centre- FOA

Dalston Culture - Hawkins Brown

Alot of buildings can contain the culturehouse program but are not necessarily called a culture-house as its quite a specific new European term Quebec Library - OMA

House of Culture & Movement - MVRDV

Is there a need for a Culture House.... ....Why a Culture-House? The Silvertown area as previously identified is both at a critically transitional point between north & south of the city and between the city and the suburbs - the importance of this cannot be underestimated. Aswell as being a commuter paradise it also has the dubious honor of being the receiptant of several failed masterplan and scheme proposals - ranging from mass apartment proposals to aquarims and extreme sport facilities - all very realistic proposals at the time but all very generic* and not considering the needs of the local area either on a micro or macro scale. The aim for the thesis proposal is not merely to deliver ‘architecture’ or building mass to the area like the previous proposals before, but to create a design proposal for the area that actually benefits the area itself - something which the area both needs and one which the residents of the area would use regularly - social sustain-



Currently, as identified through mapping (overleaf) - the majority of cultural facilities within London are located in the west or central areas - leaving the East End appearing to be a sterotypical Eastenders setting. Through relational network analysis it was identified that there was a large number of number of residential units within the area, large industrail units, very little public green space & very little residential areas. The nearest library within the area is 30mins travel time away but is a university library at UEL & the nearest performance venue is the O2 Arena 20mins travel time away but this arena is the biggest performance venue in the UK - not suitable for all types of performace. There is currently a performance facility within the area - The Bricklane Music hall - which is very small and inadequate. With an existing demand for the facilities proposed and the creation and extension of culture & educational networks throughout the area - the proposal should bring much needed facilities to the area but also bring people to the Silvertown area with a cultural axis of the O2 for cinema and concert facilities, the Excel Centre for roadshows and exhibitions and the cultural centre for more initimate performances such as Ballet, dance, graduations and first class library facilities. This coupled with the potential creation of an Educational Network (be that formally,

with links between the institutions or informally through the complementary facilities in close access to each other) -

Ravensbourne College, The Cultural Centre, Drew Primary School and The University of East London (UEL), should mean that the Silvertown area remains population, vibrant

and bring an much needed positive atmosphere to the area. Currently within earshot of Silvertown there is an example of what happens when a facility is provided and there is no need for it - The Millenium Dome (The o2 Arena) - although now it is the UKs premier music venue - it sat empty and mothballed for years. This is something that should be avoided at all costs - it is felt that the research conducted provides sufficent data to ensure that this will not happen as all the facilities which are proposed are necessary, lacking in the area currently and in demand.

The O2 - formerly Londons White Elephant

London Cultural Network













N 1km




C 10km




Proposed Local Cultural Network




















Whats the Brief? The Silvertown area of London is located in the south-east of the city occupying a diverse and lively transition zone between the dense city fabric and the urban sprawl of the suburbs. Even though many people live (& work) in this area, it is mainly passed through by the inhabitants going in and out of the city . The reason for this is the area’s connectivity combined with its lack of facilities - both cultural and recreational. The proposal will engage with the typology of the Culture House - consisting of dual programs - a function as a library / learning facility and a secondary function of a performing arts centre- with supporting facilities such as cafes, office space, practice rooms etc & ancillary facilities such as parking. Taking these two conflicting programs one, predominately static organised and reserved vs a fluid, dramatic and spontaineous program can help to inform and redefine the tyologies and relationships. The concept of the folded landscape and temporality derived from a number of prior studies will be investigated and implemented through the Culture House brief. The project aims to create a ‘social hub’ - not just a place to house books. It will have interior and exterior recreational spaces and a pedestrian bridge* to connect itself with the opposite side of Victoria Dock - creating a dialogue with the near-by Excel centre. The culture house aims to become the anchor project for the future redevelopment of the docks - where many proposals before it have failed (Terry Farrels Aquarium Project & The Xtreme Adventure Centre). The main point of difference between the Culture House proposal and its previous incumbants is that it engages both local and regional communities, encouraging multiple visits and uses, rather becoming a pastiche ‘iconic’ building. A library becomes a ‘secure’ facilitiy for the area and a facility that is invaluable during redevelopment acting as a space for both civic engagement and convergence.

*In 2009 an Olympic Route Feasibility Study conducted by the LDA reccommended a second footbridge to the east side of Royal Victoria Docks

Culture House Users



Preforming Arts

Brief Development The two primary functions of the Culture House were investigated and researched individually to identify their individual programs and relationships. The information for program sizes was acquired through the Metric Handbook & Neufert - in order to get a general idea of the spaces required for the proposal. The spaces themselves were then split in three main categories that each function could relate to ;- Public Areas Private Areas Shared Areas with the addition of a Performance section for the Performing Arts Centre Breakdown. The programs were colour-coded so that similar or related programs were given the same or similar colour - in order to establish some primitive initial relationships - such as The Cafe & The Cafe Kitchen are the same colour , even though one is a public function and the other is private. The programs were then analysed and space percentages were worked out in order to identify the tactic ratios contained within each program. Through this extraction it will be possible to identify areas of the two programs which overlap and do not need to be duplicated within the scheme.

Typical Library Programmatic Breakdown* Public Areas; Cafe Adult Lending Childrens Library Seating Workstations Lobby Public Toilets Archive Room

200sqm 750sqm 350sqm 400sqm 120sqm 300sqm 50sqm 120sqm


Private Areas Administration Maintenance Stock Area Cafe Kitchen Office Space Toilets

400sqm 120sqm 150sqm 60sqm 160sqm 50sqm Public -48.98 %

Shared; Meeting Rooms Study Cells Exhibition Space Circulation

100sqm 80sqm 315sqm 950sqm

Private -20.14%

Shared -10.58%

Total Area


Circulation -20.3%

* it is acknowledged that there is no such thing as a ‘typical’ library and that certain multi-media and interactive facilities have not been listed.

Typical Performing Arts Centre Breakdown* Public Areas; Cafe Lobby Public Toilets Bar Exhibition

200sqm 200sqm 80sqm 150sqm 80sqm

Public -3.98 %

Performance; Rehearsal Auditorium Lecture Facility Changing Rooms Practice Studios Storage Gym Conference Room(s) Production Rooms

300sqm 300sqm 250sqm 1750sqm 150sqm 80sqm 60sqm 270sqm

Private Areas Administration Maintenance Stock Area Cafe Kitchen Bar Storage Box Office Cloakroom Office Space Toilets

250sqm 120sqm 150sqm 60sqm 10sqm 10sqm 25sqm 160sqm 80sqm

Performance -44.85 %

Private -12.28 %

Shared -12.78 %

Shared; Auditorium Circulation

900sqm 1410sqm

Total Area


* it is acknowledged that there is no such thing as a ‘typical’ performing arts centre

Circulation -26.11 %

Public Areas; Cafe(s) Lobby Public Toilets Bar

350sqm 400sqm 100sqm 150sqm

Public -9.99 %

Private Areas


Administration Maintenance Stock Area Cafe Kitchen(s) Bar Storage Box Office Cloakroom Office Space Toilets

500sqm 200sqm 200sqm 100sqm 10sqm 10sqm 25sqm 250sqm 100sqm

Private -13.94%

Shared -10.09%

Shared; Rehearsal Auditorium Lecture Facility Exhibition Conference Room

300sqm 300sqm 350sqm 60sqm

Library -16.19%

Library; Adult Lending Childrens Library Seating Workstations

750sqm 350sqm 400sqm 120sqm

Performance; Changing Rooms Practice Studios Gym Auditorium Circulation Total:

250sqm 1750sqm 80sqm 900sqm

Performance -29.78%

2001.25sqm 10,006.25sqm

Circulation -20%

As observed the two programs have numerous similarities and incidences of programmatic overlaps - with this in mind the more generic performing Arts Centre breakdown is taken as the main backbone of the proposal with the addition of library specific functions such as Adult Lending, Childrens Library, Seating, Workstations & Study Cells added. Some of the facilities which are now shared, such as the Lobby, Exhibition space,Toilets, Admin & Office spaces now increase in size due to them being shared. Each program area is now split into distinct categories - Public (Red) Private (Orange), Shared (Yellow) Performance (Light Green) Books/Library (Green) & Circulation (Blue)

How are the resources to be provided? The Site

The Royal docks area is currently in the control (and ownership) of the LDA (London Development Authority) a government agency who aids and regulates development within London. Previously the area has been subject to numerous Masterplan proposals (see right) many of which were given planning permission but due to the economy have been abandoned.

Royal Docks Opportunity Area The Royal Docks Opportunity Area lies within the stretch of land that runs between Stratford down the River Lea to the Thames - encompassing 650 hectares of land and creating an ‘arc of opportunity’ identified to have a development potential of 22Billion.


The Royal Docks Opportunity Area is a policy outlined by the Mayors of London & Newham to actively encourage investment and redevelopment within the area using the 2012 Olympic Games as a catalyst for long term regeneration. ‘the time has never been better to unlock the Royal Docks’ potential on the back of the 2012 Games’ Mayor of London, Boris Johnson

The policy sets out a Ten-point strategy* for desirable investment within the area - this will be used as a guide for the Culture House proposal. The vision for the future of the Royal Docks is underpinned by a clear ten-point strategy: Develop the Royal Docks as a world-class business destination within the knowledge economy Promote the Royal Docks as a focus for investment on a world stage building on opportunities presented by the Olympic and Paralympic Games Make the Royal Docks a place of choice to live Champion green enterprise and environmental sustainability Ensure that development positively benefits the local communities Exploit the potential for a visitor and tourist economy Create a unique and high quality waterfront urban quarter with a strong sense of place Improve cross-river and local connectivity Communicate openly and clearly Make it happen *London Development Agency (

Minnoco Wharf Proposal - 3D Reid Silvertown Quays Proposal - Richard Rogers

Venture Xtreme Proposal

Silvertown Quays Proposal

Silvertown Quays Proposal - Patel Taylor

Peruvian Wharf Proposal

Silvertown Quays, West Silvertown

Silvertown Quay is identified by Newham Council as a Major Opportunity Zone (MOZ)

The Site Area SITE PARAMETERS Address: Silvertown Quay, West Silvertown, London


Area: 60,720m2 , 15 acres Dimensions: 165m x 368m North Boundary: Roayl Victoria Dock South Boundary: Burt Rd West Boundary: Silvertown Dock East Boundary: Connaught Bridge LATTITUDE 51.50362714828063 째N

LONGITUDE 0.03737926483154297 째E

Funding It is envisaged that the Culture House would be a public project, which would either be completed entirely by the public sector with funding from various bodies - Arts Council England, EU Grants etc or a public-private partnership (PPP) would be entered in order to fund the project. This approach to public service provision means that a ‘risk sharing’ relationship is entered between public (government) and private (contractor) organisations based upon an agreed aspiration (development) to deliver a desired public policy outcome This would mean that the site would be given to a contractor and that the contractor would build the culture house project for the LDA or local council and then continue with their development (presumably housing) with a set percentage allocated for social housing.


Materials In choosing materials and construction techniques, local material sourcing will be considered with an aim to minimize transportation. The waterfront location of the proposal allows materials to be transported by barges directly to the construction site - or to the existing working wharfs - Peruvian Wharfs. This method of transportation reduces the potential carbon footprint by up to 10 times when compared with other forms of transportation such as trucking.

Steel All steel components used will be specified to use a large recycled content, and will include less embodied energy than a solely concrete framed solution. The use of steel means that a bolted assembly can be detailed resulting less time on site and allow for possible deconstruction to facilitate adpation and re-use in the future. Concrete The concrete which will be used for the pier and topping slabs in the steel-framed areas will consider ways to which it is possible to reduce its carbon impact. Generally it is the cement which holds the largest carbon footprint within concrete - the use of of Complementary cementing materials (CCM) such as ground granulated blastfurnace slag (ggbs), fly ash, rice husk ash which are industrial by-products and considered carbon neutrail

20% use of recycled aggregate in structural concrete (columns/beams). Utilizing CCM as a replacement for some of the cement within the concrete mix can provide benefits such as; Reducing materials needed for landfills Reducing embodied energy Reducing CO2 emissions Improve durability Other concrete systems and products such as precast planks, slabs, beams and bubble deck systems will be evalutated for their speed of construction and to reduce on-site waste and formwork which would be needed Labour & Skills The majority of construction techniques which have been considered involve a large amount of intensive low-non skilled labour excavagtion cement mixing shuttering etc The construction of the Culture House in this respect can be completed using unemployed locals. With respect to the technical aspect of the construction - such as surveying, engineering, and then later interior design etc a partnership can be developed with the local universities and colleges (Ravensbourne & UEL) to either provide placement or direct employment.

Macro-Culture House Silvertown - Statement The Silvertown area of London is located in the south-east of the city occupying a diverse and lively transition zone between the dense city fabric and the urban sprawl of the suburbs. Even though many people live (& work) in this area, it is mainly passed through by the inhabitants going in and out of the city . The reason for this is the area’s connectivity combined with its lack of facilities - both cultural and recreational.


The existing site is currently abandoned , lying as a wasteland surrounded by cancelled and shelved masterplans for the area. Currently an axis within the West Silvertown area exists, running along the A1020 (N Woolwich Rd) - the Industrail side containing Thames Barrier Pk & the Residential side with the monumental Millenimum Mill and along the edge of Royal Victoria Dock - seperating the site from the Excel centre and the auxilary facitilies which it provides. The proposal engages with the typology of the Culture House - consisting of dual programs - a function as a library / learning facility and a secondary function of a performing arts centre- with supporting facilities such as cafes, office space, practice rooms etc & ancillary facilities such as parking. Taking these two conflicting programs one, predominately static organised and reserved vs a fluid, dramatic and spontaineous program can help to inform and redefine the tyologies and relationships. The concept of the folded landscape and temporality derived from a number of prior studies will be investigated and implemented through the Culture House brief. The project aims to create a ‘social hub’ - not just a place to house books. It will have interior and exterior recreational spaces and a pedestrian bridge* to connect itself with the opposite side of Victoria Dock - creating a dialogue with the near-by Excel centre. The culture house aims to become the anchor project for the future redevelopment of the docks - where many proposals before it have failed (Terry Farrels Aquarium Project & The Xtreme Adventure Centre). The main point of difference between the Culture House proposal and its previous incumbants is that it engages both local and regional communities, encouraging multiple visits and uses, rather becoming a pastiche ‘iconic’ building. A library becomes a ‘secure’ facilitiy for the area and a facility that is invaluable during redevelopment acting as a space for both civic engagement and convergence. *In 2009 an Olympic Route Feasibility Study conducted by the LDA reccommended a second footbridge to the east side of Royal Victoria Docks

Constraints The Site Public Saftey Zone (PSZ) Public Safety Zones are areas of land at the end of busy airport runways in the UK, within which certain planning restrictions can apply. These restrictions aim to minimise the risk to both flight passengers and people on the ground during both take off and landing. The basic premise of PSZs are to restrict developments near civil airports with the intention that there should be no increase in the number of people living, working or congregating in PSZs and that in circumstances the ‘number should be reduced as circumstances allow (e.g. when any redevelopment takes place)’.( - Civil Aviation Authority) Due to Silvertowns proximity to London City Airport there is a PSZ within the area, although it currently affects a very small area of Silvertown, there are proposals to increase London City Airports traffic capcity -this would suggust that any high-rise proposals maybe refused planning consent on this basis








Port Of London Authority The PLA (Port Of London Authority) is the body responsible for the Thames river, riverbed and docks. They need to be consulted to achieve permission for both surveying, alteration and the creation of new docks and a marina area. River Related Uses Under Section 5(1) of the Port of London Act 1968 (as amended) it is the “duty of the Port Authority to take such action as they consider necessary or desirable for or incidental to the improvement and conservancy of the Thames.� As such, the PLA believes that works which are proposed on, under or over the Thames should have a river related use and that the River should not be regarded or used as an extension of developable land.


There are a number of common misconceptions relating to PLA consents and licences. If you wish to undertake work on, under or over the River Thames please note that the following criteria apply: Ownership and Navigational Jurisdiction Where the PLA is responsible for navigation and owns the riverbed, a River Works Licence or a temporary works consent is required from the PLA. Where the PLA is responsible for navigation but does not own the riverbed, a navigation only licence is required from the PLA Where the PLA owns the riverbed but is not responsible for navigation, Estates Department consent is required from the PLA. Further information about land ownership and whether a licence or consent is required can be obtained on request. Surveying, Sampling and Dredging Consent is required to undertake surveying and sampling – details should be provided at least 4 weeks in advance of the intended surveying/sampling date. The PLA will not accept applications for surveying and sampling on the day that it is due to be undertaken Dredging includes any operation to cleanse, scour, cut, deepen, widen, dredge or take up or remove material from the bed and banks of the River Thames.

Area Connectivity (bridging routes)The main focal point of the greater

site area is the dock side - in order to maximise the potential for waterfront development - the dock has been enlarged to keep it in-line with the urban grid which was overlayed onto the site. Any enlargment or alteration of the river, riverbed , docks and marina will be on the condition of permission for the PLA.

Secondary Routes (Urban Grid)

Site Diagram(s) Site Area

Connection to Strengthen

Possible bridge link


Connection to Strengthen


Views (1)

Visual Axis


Visual Axis


Site Area

Connection to Strengthen


Possible bridge link


Site Views etc






Please see accompanying design development journal for full proposal details.

What happens when its finished? What happens when its finished? Urban Implications,

Silvertown Quays @ 1.5000


The site area within Silvertown Quays is seen to be the catalyst project in the redevelopment of the quays area. In order to inform the design process an urban framework and infrastructure are planned so that the Culture House has the best chance of succeeding in its immediate micro setting, but to also make a larger commitment to the quays area by specifying the types of programs it is felt that the area needs. The quays area was initially modulated using the structural grillage developed in the envelop workshop, this helps to create a field condition and makes it easier to identify relationships within the urban fabric.

Connectivity Urban Stitch & Crossflow The masterplan was designed in such a way that it increases connectivity and the possibility of crossflow between the neighbour areas by stitching the existing urban fabric with that of the proposal.


These decisions will allow more crossflow from the existing facilities and neighbourhoods into the proposal area while also encouraging and promoting those facilities and areas themselves. By creating the possibility of community and social interaction within the area - the new proposal becomes a part of the area rather than a semi-gated community which many new developments become. The provision of public space and squares complimented by the new proposed facilities aim to appeal to both the existing local population and to attract new professionals into the area.

Leisure, shopping, working, creating, educating and living combined in the Silvertown Quays proposal.

Urban Stitch

Urban Stitch

Urban Stitch

Urban Zoning


Residential R e s i d e n t i a l


Cultural Quarter



Residential Mixed

Retail Sports



Providing a mix of facilities in quay locations throughout the site area should ensure that the entire site area becomes socially charged. The main zoning considerations were to locate retail and mixed use facilities around the dock area - to encourage the creation of a waterside bouvelard. A sports centre is located at the southern end of the dock and the north-east area becomes a cultural quarter - with the Culture House neighboured by galleries, workshops and artists studios. The offices and workshops are positioned near the road and towards the eastern side to act as sound barriers to the residential and retail zones.

Housing The London Plan sets housing targets for all London boroughs, which they must aim to achieve over the ten year period from 2011. Phasing (Financial Years) 2012/13 2016/17 Beckton Canning Town & CH


2017/18 – 2021/22

2022/23 – 2026/27



Total 1710





East Ham





Forest Gate



Green Street


Manor Park















Royal Docks




Stratford and West Ham







(Newham 2027 Planning Newham - Choices for the Core Strategy)


9170 18720 38750

Affordable Housing -

London Plan; PPS3; Housing SPG, Housing Strategy; revised interim Housing SPG The term ‘affordable housing’ means housing that has cost/rents below market price designed for people who otherwise could not afford suitable accommodation within the open market. There are two main categories for affordable housing, the social rented and intermediate sectors. Social rented is available to those who are assessed as being Homeless as defined within the Housing Act 1996. They will benefit from a subsidised rent, which in some instances is below 50% of the full open market value.


The intermediate sector includes provision for shared ownership (part buy, part rent) and intermediate rented accommodation. Shared ownership is available to those who wish to move away from social rented accommodation but cannot afford the open market value of properties in the private market. It allows individuals to part rent and part buy their properties. If their income increases they can buy further equity until they have purchased the property outright and become a homeowner _ In schemes of 10 or more housing units 50% of provision should be affordable. (although this can be provided for off-site - in instances such as One Hyde Park) _ The

tenure mix as a percentage of the total amount of housing in each scheme achieving 50% affordable, should be 60% social rented and 40% intermediate. The local borough council - Newham - would retain the nomination rights for tenants of the properties. An example of the % categories defined by North London sub-region proposals Social Rent 5 bedrooms 5% 4 bedrooms 10% 3bds/5person 25% 2bds/4person 40% 1bds/2person 20% Intermediate 3bds/5person 10% 2bd/3person 50% 1bd/2person 40%

The proposal aims to create a diverse community within the area by providing a diverse mix of building types : apartments, town houses, and mixed use buildings.

Mixed Use Residential & Retail _4150 sq/m (residential only) _primarily 5 storey buildings _retail and commercial ventures on ground floor this encourages life in the area after shop hours - helping to make the area vibrant and safe. _providing a mix of 1/2/3 bedroom apartments - with a 45 / 55 split between affordable housing and market value accommodation - with the higher, river / dock facing accommodation remaining at market value.

Multi-Storey Appartment buildings _115,200 sq/m _primarily 4 storey buildings _ 30% one bed , 50% two bed, 20% three bed within each band 30% will accommodate afforable housing - 70% of this to be shared ownership schemes. _aimed at young more transient professionals commuting from the city to more spacious accommodation _underground car parking will be provided.


Town Houses buildings _6930 sq/m _Aimed more towards small / young families & first time owners 50/50 split with market value and affordable housing _primarily 4 storey buildings _more afforable 4 bed accommodation _situated closer to Britannia village - helping to taper the urban fabric to the new development _primarily 3 storey

It is believed that an adequate amount of affordable housing has been allocated for the development even though it does not meet the recommended 50% (although developments rarely do) , if this is a condition of receiving planning then affordable housing will be provided in other developments within the area such as Minnoco Wharf - it is considered very likely that the same developer would be involved in the area.

Town Houses & Atmosphere hoped to be created. _Home zoning is recommended to be used within the area to create a more relaxed neighbourhood.

Transport Strategy Transport plays an important role in achieving economic and environmental objectives. The quality of life which can be attained by the residents within the area is also dependant on transport and the connectivity of the area - how easy it is to get to work, school, shopping leisure and healthcare facilities.


Public Transport Accessibility Levels (PTAL)

(Newham 2020 Planning for the future)

The level of access an area has to public transport is measured in Public Transport Accessibility Levels (PTALS). The higher the PTAL score, the more accessible an area is by public transport The PTAL levels in the area (Royal Docks) are currently on average level 3. The area is connected to the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) but the easiest way to access the area is still by private car. By providing three new footbridges in the area and a new bus stop within the site area - the availability of public transport within a 10min area increases - with the aim of increasing the PTAL level to a 5.

Central Line Thames Clipper Route DLR 678 Bus Route Cable Car Route 474 Bus Route Station / Stop New Stop

Although not directly a part of PTAL criteria - the provision of a shared car scheme could provide an advantage for lower income residents both within the site area - primarily the social housing provision and the greater Silvertown / Canning Town area. The provision or reccomendation of a shared car scheme such as Whizzgo


Schemes such as whizzgo _ reduce the need for parking _ provide access to ‘private’ forms of transport to lower in come families _ help to create a safer area by encouraging people to flow through the area consistently throughout the day. It is estimated that one car per scheme takes up to 20 private cars off the road , therefore lowering CO2 emissions, pollution and traffic levels. There are currently over 34 similar schemes operationing in London, Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Sheffield, York, Edinburgh, Brighton, Bristol, Bath, Huddersfield, Norwich, Birmingham, and Southampton, with plans to expand into more cities.


Lecture Series 10_11


Unless otherwise stated all the information contained within hencefore is credited to the authors of each lecture - diagrams have been redrawn and images will be credited to the appropriate sources on an individual basis when known.

Professionalism For Architecture Roland Karthaus

Intro - whos the module co-ordinator Roland Karthaus

& UEL - Professional Studies

Formerly of architects Mc Dowell & Benetti - working on projects such as the award winning Castleford bridge and the Springboard Business Centre (shown right). There are two strands to professional studies -


Professional Studies - is a set of legal, regulatory and other non-physical requirements that affect you when you carry out your work

& Professionalism is the standard of a professional person in their work Professional studies is about knowing things and professionalism is implementing that knowledge as a standard

Professional Studies and Professionalism should be evident in design work and portfolio - Lecture notes & building review = 50% - Portfolio = 50% There is a big difference between simple and simplistic - do not ignore issues if they are there! Almost anything can be challenged if you have professional knowledge, skill and determination

** All image credits to - unless otherwise stated

Six Questions you should ask yourself I. Need II. Brief III. Resources IV. Constraints V. Make it happen VI. After completion The questions are all inter-related and its not a linear process but becomes iterative. I. What is the need for your project? Is there a need? Is the unit agenda correct? Whats your agenda? Was the millenimum dome (o2) neccessary?


II. How is the brief developed? Where does it come from?What was the decision making process? Make it appropriate! Use 3 reasons to justify it III. How are resources provided? Land,labour, materials? Use appropriate resources think of the ‘economy of means’ principle - dont be flash to be flash - iconic architecture has passed. E.G. The Young Vic Vs The Guggenheim Bilbao IV. What are the constraints? All sites have constraints - these can be divided in physical & non-physical - demonstrate awareness of the constraints & respond to them - observe existing buildings and how they ve responded to constraints. V. Communicate your intent ‘It’s easier to do the job right, than to explain why you didn’t’ Martina Navratilova VI. Designing with the future in mind - think of possibly changes in the area of the project - can the building instigate such changes? will the building be suitable in 10 years time? Is it adaptable?

** All image credits to - unless otherwise stated

New Cross Gate NDC Being The Client

Roland Karthaus Capital Programme Manager,Lewisham Council 2005-2008 New Cross Gate was a flagship ‘New Labour’ project an area based initiative to regenerate some of the most deprived areas in the UK. It was community led: elected board of local residents to run each NDC, supported by local authority and government. New Cross Gate NDC was awarded 45M in 2001 for 8,000 residents. The area had high crime and unemployment rates with a lack of community cohesion - the goal was to reduce social exclusion through an influx of revenue and captial projects.


Resident’s brief •Health and cultural facility •A public space for New Cross Gate (GLA mayor’s 100 public spaces for London) •Iconic architecture to strengthen identity of the area •Aspirations for environmental sustainability Budget • £7,000,000 The Site: The Kender Triangle The site acquistion process involved the council buying private sites using the NDC money and passing them onto the NXG trust - this unearthed some issues such as privately owned former social housing, restrictions on the ability for the council to pass land to the NXG Trust for free and private land owners wanting excessive money. Some CPO (Complusory Purchase Orders) were used in order to gain ownership of some of the land. A design competition was run - OJEU design competition with 73 expressiosn of interest from design teams and 5 shortlisted to take part in the competition with the schemes presented to a public vote, with board and technical jury - a record breaking 400 questionnaires were completed by the residents for the judging.

** All image credits to Roland Karthaus-Lecture Notes - unless otherwise stated

Shown right are the proposals from Field Clegg Bradley & Alfred Hall Monaghan. FCBs proposal was the winning scheme and a clear favourite for both residents and the technical panel. The project was running out of finance and was becoming very expensive : A design for a building costing £30,000,000 •A budget of £1,900,000 •No real commitment from health centre, library or gym •A 1 hectare empty site… The council entered into an agreement with a developer to produce the required development with finance coming from their behalf - but this led to a conflict of interests with the council wanting a quality architecture and the developer wanting to maximise profit and high use of ‘value engineering’.


It was attempted to establish the quality of the architecture through the planning process - normally the planning process involves working to RIBA stages C/D but the scheme was developed to stage E In July 2007, full planning permission granted, with details attached as conditions • A contemporary building in a conservation area • Huge popular support, and clear architectural requirements Once this was completed - the housing market crashed and the scheme was shelved. Ironically a less ambitious scheme may have continued. It was a gamble and they lost it happens alot with architecture: doing something better than average means taking a risk. The best architects are able to see their own work from the client’s perspective (what they don’t yet know they want).

The Law Roland Karthaus ‘An expert is someone who knows when to call the experts’ Anon Ignorance is never a defence - the law applies whether you have knowledge of it or not. Architects arent expected to be legal experts but they are expected to have enough knowledge to be able to operate - or at least to know the limits of their knowledge and when to call for expert advice. The law differs from place to place - the contents contained within are based on the law in England and Wales - Scotland, Ireland, Europe etc have different laws.


The architects legal hand book is a useful guide book. Unlike many countries throughout the world the law is not written down in one single document - although a search portal is now available. Much of the law is based on past precedents - this is known as Common Law. Parts of the law are codified and these are known as: Statutory Instruments - these are very complicated These are usually acts of parliament and are usually put into place to attempt to clarify some of the inevitable confusion arising out of common law, or to deal with specific new circumstances eg. there have been numerous attempts to clarify rights to light, starting with the Prescription Act of 1832

Specialists (including users)

Statutory Authorities

Planning building control, etc,

Appraisal & Brief

Services Structure Cost etc

(J,K,L) Inspecting, information post-completion


(E,F,G,H) Construction detailing,building control, working drawings,tender

Drawing up

(C,D) concept, then detailed planning application

Making Proposals

(A.B) Understanding the client, his requirements and the site

Architectural Practice

Design team


The Law



Site & Building

The main areas of the law architects encounter: *Land law *Construction-Related law *Contract law *Negligence and Tort *Business and employment law ( if you run a practice )

Land Law Tricky because architects done have a direction connection to the site - but their work has legal implications - very easy to do something seriously wrong! Landlaw is an area for experts - due dilgence, ownership, rights of light etc


Construction-Related Law

Often this requirement rests with client - but architects job to advise them e.g. building regulations & CDM (Construction, Design & Management)

Contract Law

Construction contracts are usually between your client and a builder, but you are employed as the expert - SEE PAGE XXX

Tort & Neglience Law

Tort comes from the latin for twisted tortum and is used to indicate when someone has been ‘wronged’, not via a contract, but because they were covered by a duty of care Establishing a duty of care is central to the basis of tort – if no duty of care exists, there is no liability. The duty of care is something that exists outside of, or separate to a contract. Negligence indicates that someone has not taken the necessary measures to protect a duty of care. E.G. Duty of care If you design a building, you have a duty of care to the people who use your building, for example that their life won’t be endangered and they won’t be injured by using your building .But… If someone does injure themselves in your building, it may not be your fault. This is where the negligence test comes in.....

Did you use a level of skill in designing your building that could reasonably be expected of a professional person? *As an architect, you have ethical obligations beyond the law to the end users of your building. A safe building doesn’t mean that it will enrich people’s lives, save the environment or heal the sick.

Business & Employment law

Increasingly complex, but there is lots of help and information out there eg. *employment law *working time regulations *health and safety *tax and financial regulations *premises law

Contract law A contract is an agreement, between two ormore parties, but it must be formed by the following: • An ‘offer’to treat - eg. I’ll do your turn on reception for a fiver • An acceptance of that offer – ok it’s a deal • A consideration (usually money) – in this case, a fiver Also must meet some other tests: • Not formed under duress – eg. do my turn on reception, or I’ll kick your teeth in • Must be legal - eg. no such thing as a ‘contract killer’


But, it does not need to be: • In writing (though it’s a good idea) • Sensible (common sense is not a requirement) Common mistakes can arise when a fliptant comment between architect and contractor can end up in the renegioatation of contract terms and then a new contract is entered architects must always be sure of the decisions being made - even verbally! Construction law The Construction Act - Housing Grants, Construction & Regeneration Act Implied terms in all construction contracts, eg. payments, adjudication, ‘fit for purpose’ If a contract qualifies as a ‘construction contract’, these terms apply even if they are not mentioned, unless they are specifically excluded

Special area of the law, because construction is very complex: • Every project is unique, bespoke product, comprising many elements and labour from different sources • Vulnerable to external factors (weather, supply, unknown unknowns…) • Limited market – currently, demand is outstripping supply • Consequences of inadequate construction can take a long time to materialise • A great deal of work is required to fully define the requirements of a construction contract. A full design should detail the number of screws in a building.Standard forms exist to make the process easier, based on the different routes to procuring buildings. Designed to be operated by construction professionals, without the need for lawyers Standard forms should never be amended, except by a construction lawyer – can cause big problems

Procurement of buildings

The client employs a professional to produce a full set of requirements of the building - they issue the construction tenders, they get prices and they act as the clients direct representative during the build. Design & Build The building contractor is responsible for the design and build of a scheme to a fixed price - Design and build came about to respond to a need for greater costcertainty, as buildings became increasingly to be seen as financial commodities, but this comes at the expense of other factors. There is a trade off which occurs between design & build & traditional procurement methods with cost certainty traded for quality. Its the architects job to persuade the client that the risk of an increase in price is worth while for the higher standard of design and build.

The Joy Of Engaging With Reality ; A Case Study Johnathan Mc Dowell

A step by step walk through of the pitfalls, regulations and problems encountered in projects. A short introduction illustrating some of Mc Dowell Bennettis more recognisably projects - Castleford bridge, Olivers Wharf, & Springboard Innovation Centre. An introduction to the River Hull footbridge - apart of the Hull masterplan to increase connectivity in the city - a dynamic, curving structure with room for commercial space within its structure. It has the ability to act like a doorhandle (and possibly looks like a doorhandle) to rotate around the commercial space area to make way for sea traffic. Alot of hand drawing and annotation used in the intiial design phases of structural development (shown right)*.


The competition began in 2005 and is due for completion in September 2011

** All image credits to Mc Dowell & Benetti Architects

Design Stage Client Promotor

Hull Forward

Funder Yorkshire Forward

Adopting Authority HCC

Project Manager

Planning Authority




Architect M+B





Design Team Artist


Nayan Kulkarni


Contractor OH

Statutory Authority

Delivery Stage Client Promotor

Hull Forward

Funder Yorkshire Forward

Statutory Authority

Adopting Authority HCC

Planning Authority HCC

Project Manager

Technical Approval Authority



Contractor OH




Nayan Kulkarni

Landscape WT

Civil Eng HBPW

Construction Sub Constractors

Lighting SVA

Structural Eng ABA

The responsibility of the construction team changed from Architect to the main contractor


1:1 scale prototypes were created and tested within the office to ensure that the design quality and ideals were kept consistent with the project.

East Architects

East is an award winning architecture, landscape and urban design practice established in London in 1995. They are interested in places, uses and the way they come about - they specialise in community architecture and small projects. They currently employ 15-20staff. Ore Valley adventure playground

A single-storey shed with partitions that do not reach a ceiling. An external wooden ramp is intended for play and is part of the overall architecture. The design of the building and external spaces has been developed with young people at Sandown School, Broomgrove Community Centre and The Bridge. Concepts of Neighbourhoods -without a centre -Childhood neighbourhood with spaces of memory e.g mental mapping of a route to school.

Hatcham Gardens, New Cross Gate Hatcham Gardens in New Cross has been hailed as a shining example of a modern inner city park. It was completely redeveloped as part of the Mayor’s Great Spaces programme. The resulting design means that it is now better used than ever before. Sandpits was absent from playgrounds for years (health and hygiene reasons). Now they have built one with popular backing from council and community. Now only the only complaint is from a particular member of the black community regarding ‘sand getting stuck in afro hair’. - The loudest person or minority isn’t necessarily heard. Poetry introduced on benches so people are more likely to respect street furniture, and not add their own individual names and tags.

A new public drinking fountain offers free refreshment to anyone using the Gardens. The play items include a large sandpit, chess tables, large benches and a table tennis table


Avery Hill Cafe

The new building designed in conjunction with Stakeholders including Friends of Avery Hill and Greenwich Council Original replaces the original which was burned down ,due to pressure from dog walkers and the local community. A very basic vernacular style favoured by the people while an asymmetrical style was favoured by the office. A compromise was reached.

Tottenham Masterplan The high street stretches 4 former hamlets. The street is maily occupied food food stores, mainly ethnic, which are surviving the recession. Although the area remains poor. Council can only fund small projects: -Conversion of ground floor garages of blocks of flats -Re-use of railway arches -Green spaces for recreation So larger projects by private developers are being planned. High rise and ugly, but they generate revenue - Community Infrastructure Levy. Ward’s Corner Market is currently under threat as developer wants to invade. East Architects offer a solution to develop high rises around station and leave the market as it is. Obviously there is strong opposition because of the feeling public spaces being given over to private land. Negotiation of public and private is needed e.g. Private land but completely public use, but its a tricky situation.

Development Finances Roland Karthaus

The Law ‘Without development, there is no profit, without profit, no development’ J A Schumpter, Economist (1883-1950)

Client Site & Building Architects need to change! ‘ The professionals choice’ - report RIBA -cites how little architects understand about how buildings come about getting built and the investment and procedures needed.


Architectural Practice Appraisal & Brief



(A.B) Understanding the client, his requirements and the site

Making Proposals (C,D) concept, then detailed planning application

Agreed Budget



Cost plan Contractor Check

Drawing up

(E,F,G,H) Construction detailing,building control, working drawings,tender


(J,K,L) Inspecting, information post-completion

Pre-Tender Estimate(PTE)


Tender Price Variations

Costs can go up (though rarely down!) - Buildings are complicated and usually bespoke which means costs cannot be precisely calculate and can also change dependant on the market.




The Control Triangle The Law Quality


Client Site & Building There is always a trade-off between cost quality and time. This is probably the most difficult area of a project and where disputes usually occur, because money is committed at this point. Architectural Practice Appraisal & Brief Quantity Surveyor Users (A.B) Understanding the

client, his requirements Tools: Methods/Services: and the site BCIS Measurement: Building Cost SMM Making Proposals Information Standard Method of (C,D) concept, then Contractor System Measurement detailed planning application

Price books


Drawing up Estimating (E,F,G,H) Construction detailing,building con-

trol, working Bills drawings,tender

Procurement Advice Construction (J,K,L) Inspecting, information post-completion

In parallel with the design process, costs are estimated in increasing detail and these are checked against the budget.

As the design is developed in detail more is about the cost. Where does the budget come from? The world changed in the 80s deregulation meant that builders could become clients buildings then changed from being dwellings to becoming commodities. Speculative development is the current hegemony Most construction clients are developers To understand where budgets come from, you need to appreciate what developers do - they speculate - they create value - they make money from money


They have little interest in design and architecture - due to the financial responsibility which they are under. Money has to earn its keep, unless money earns more money, than it loses value due to inflation. So time and money are intrinsically linked: Time really is money. Banks essentially are (should be) risk averse institutions - that will loan money to people / developers at a cost (interest). Some key concepts about development finances: Essentially its a calculated gamble: the developer earns his profit by taking risk Risk has a value, that can be traded

Developer $1

Return $2

Bank $4


Investment $5

Development Time Investment New Value Gearing or Leverage is the ratio of the developer’s investment to the bank’s eg. 4:1 gives a total investment of $5. The return of $2 is the internal return - it is not the same as the developers return or profit. Profit $1 Bank $4

Developer $1

Interest $1

This is the case when the bank charges a fixed rate of interest and the developer takes all the risk for the development. There are different mechanisms for transferring risk - this is the ideal scenario. The risk is when the return is less than the interest, then the developer has to pay the difference - if he loses then it has cost him money to do the project. In order to decide whether to do a project or not the developer needs to assess all risks - a development appraisal - to determine whether the difference between all the costs and the forecasted new value is enough. All costs need to be forcasted - Capital & Revenue, Then the return - Capital & Revenue.

In forecasting both costs and returns, time becomes important A cashflow illustration:


In a typical project construction costs are incurred at the beginning of the project and then operational costs start once the project is completed / in operation.

Once completed the building can generate income through rent etc which means that the developers debt peak is just before the building is running.It is normal for buildings not to be fully rented, all of the time and this would be forecast in the cashflow – known as ‘voids’

At the same time the developer is adding value to the property so it has a capital value offset. Through the development, the developer is converting investment into capital assets (land, buildings etc.) But the value of assets are not fixed, they fluctuate according to the market demand. The market demand is ultimately dependent on the forecasted revenue income in the future. If developers have a high ratio of debts to assets, they can become bankrupt very quickly (in theory). Whilst the developer keeps hold of the asset, he is exposed to risk.Development companies are vehicles for borrowing money, generating value through assets and realising the value through quick disposal. They take a high level of risk, for a relatively short period of time then sell their assets to other lower geared companies.

A common ‘shorthand’ method is the yield for forecasting value .The yield compares an average, stabilised year’s return to the investment. The return for each year is simply the income minus the costs.The income needs to account for an average occupancy rate eg. 20% voids is 80% occupied.

The Internal Rate of Return (IRR) is then calculated to find the present value of the future income


IRR Internal Rate of Return Yt Return for year t (income – costs) r Rate of inflation t Total number of years of appraisal

The above example shows an initial investment of 10 million over 4 consecutive years the income is estimated to be ; 960,000 , 1 000 0000, 1,100 000 , 1, 120 000 and inflation is taken at a static 3%

* It must be remembered the income rates and inflation will fluctuate over time.

The yield is the relationship between the rate of return from the project, and the total investment (why it is called internal) If the investment is geared, the developer still has to pay interest out of the return, so he can compare the yield and the interest rate, to make sure the return is greater and so generate a profit.

In Short: • • • •

Developers invest money to create value. The (potential) value has to be realised at some point in the future The potential of each investment is usually measured by comparing yields Developers usually sell their assets after development to realise a profit. The value is related to the yield. • Profit may be quite high: typically 20% • But they take a lot of risk: risk costs money and if the risk is reduced, the cost is reduced • Development is sensitive to all factors that affect cost and income and therefore yield

(1) Draw a graph to show how phasing a project reduces the level of borrowing - how does this affect the yeild? The term ‘phasing a project’ can suggust several meanings - dividing a construction project into distinct sections , such as pre-construction, construction and completion or to divide a construction project into two distinct timelines - such as part a will be constructed and in operation before part b starts or that it can be staggered between the two. For this particularly question - a case study example of the Waterside Park development in Silvertown will be used.


Phasing in this scenario becomes a mechanism to manage risk- it helps to minimise and spread the risk of the entire development - both for the developers and the financiers (banks / investors) by securing income while still in the construction period by selling units from plans or using show homes and (possibly) proving market demand through the completion and operation of Phase 1. At this point the developer can assess the demand and the risk which he they will be exposed to in Phase 2 , they can either continue with development or wait until the market demand increases - this method results in a quicker construction period (as one phase may be deemed sufficient for the period) , lower overheads, lower interest to be repaid, more value added - particularly if the project had to stop for a long unforseen period - people like to live in areas which are safe and secure - construction sites do not convey a desirable image and possibly better rates for borrowing for future phases and developments. This means that the yeild is high as the rate of return from the initial investment starts early in the project and the stablised year can come earlier.

Phase 1

Phase 2












Homes are sold before Phase 1 completion



Phase 2 Construction started when demand established - Risk minimized

Less Ground work and site preparation costs





















Yield - the average stablised years return to investment

Income initially drops due to majority of units sold and relying on part ownership and rentals















**Rental value & maintainance costs rise due to inflation over time**


Income initially drops due to majority of units sold and relying on part ownership and rentals

Yield - the average stablised years return to investment

(2). Explain all the ways that a shorter construction period will reduce the cost of a development.How will this affect the yield? With the world becoming an increasingly competitive place and developers and companies coming under increased pressure from financiers - profit margins are reducing and improvements in effiency are being made .Shorter construction periods help to reduce the cost of construction and therefore overall investment to a developer by; • • • •


• •

Minimising the financial risk both by keeping costs low and limiting the amount of time that the developer is exposed to risk and its consequences i.e. Interest Shorter lead times means more accurate forecasting for demand and cost - reducing typically associated financial risks and errors Quick delivery of the operation phase of developments give investors an early demonstration of the developers capabilities Quicker construction means less workforce is needed (security, builders etc), less wages are paid due to less hours being worked and more continunity can be achieved throughout the project due to the same workforce being present throughout the project construction phase. Shorter construction period reduces exposure to regulatory rule changes - minimizing possible risk(s) & financial consequences involved in making changes. To achieve a faster construction period - either a different construction method will be employed such as lightweight steel construction, modular construction etc or more employees are used during a more intense period of construction - the benefits of lightweight construction and modular construction is that less work is done on site (less waste) and deadloads are reduced in the building.

A quicker construction period allows developers to progress into the operation phase of the proposal allowing for a quicker return on their investment and a earlier than normal stablised year so that the yeild can be gained. If the quality* of the construction is up to the necessary standards than the yeild should be high - with construction costs low - and then later interest rate charges also being lower. It should be noted that a shorter construction period can also lead to work that is rushed and sub standard which effects the overall quality and desirability of the development, meaning that the income from rents and sales could be lower (if the market demand is not significantly higher than the supply) than anticipated and operational costs would increase - leaving the yeild at a much lower percentage.

(3). As part of a planning permission, a retail development is required to include a public gallery. This adds cost to the project, but it means there will be more customers for the shops. How will this affect the yield? Retail developments rely on footfall and generally areas of high footfall within a commericial area command higher rates of rent. Initially the addition of a public gallery may seem like wasted and void sq footage - but IF the gallery can act as a public incentive to come and stay within the retail development then this will increase the footfall of the area which in turn will increase the rates which the developer can charge to tenants for units within the development. If the architect / designer and the developer orientate and position the gallery in such a way that it is only accessible by walking through the development or by splitting the gallery into two spread across the development it creates a retail avenue that the typical public art visitor must experience before they reach the gallery. Another potential positive that could be taken from the planning requirement is that it could attract a specific type of retailer - Art related , creating, selling etc - this could possibly increase the prestige of the development as art dealers and art collectors are notorious for spending large amounts of money on their pieces - this inturn will further increase the possible rates charged for units. The addition of the gallery can affect the yeild in both positive and negative ways - the ideal scenario is that the gallery creates an retail avenue of interest that leads towards the gallery and business increases and the development becomes more desirable which leads to a higher than average yeild - the negative is that the planners have misunderstood the situation (its possible!) and/or the developer does not spend the required money on the gallery as its seen as merely a requirement and the gallery becomes an empty forgotten space in the development - leading the yeild to fall below an average rate due to units around the gallery void becoming somewhat redundate and empty . The commitment of the developer in continuing the material quality and the vision of the architect in proposing a clear retail strategy and zoning the surround area of the development appropriately will ultimately decide on the % of the yeild which the developer achieves - you have to speculate to accumulate.

(4). The cost of borrowing suddenly increases, but rents stay the same. What does this mean for developments? How will this affect the yield?


Yield is the relationship between the rate of return from the development and the total investment - a raise in the rate of borrowing does not effect the yeild directly as it does not include interest rates - but it will effect the profit which the developer can make and also increase the developers exposure to risk. If the investment is geared then the developer has to pay interest out of the return so he can compare the yeild and the interest new rate to determine which is greater in order to assess if the profit margins are generous enough to warrant exposing themselves to the risks of development.

Almost a great Idea.... The Whitechapel Ideas Store research

The Architect David Adjaye OBE Born: Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania Studied @ London South Bank University Royal College of Art, London 2006 Nominated for the Sterling Prize for the Whitechapel Idea Store


David Adjaye once known as a ‘trendy’ housebuilder to celebrities of London has shaken of his previously small stylish house building tag and has become one of the most prominent and sought after architects of his generation. Adjaye understands that architecture is much more than sculpture or a sequences of spaces- he realises the effect that architecture can have on the individual and their psyche. Adjayes big break came when he beat several high-profile firms to win the Idea Store competition to design and reinterpret what a modern library is today - the focus of this research document. Today he has completed projects of such importance as the Nobel Peace Centre and in 2009 he was selected as the winner of the National Museum of African American History and Culture part of the Smithsonian in Washington DC. Adjaye now has many international offices and has been cited as the example of a professional architect for students today, however Adjaye like many ‘star’ architects before him (Jean Nouvel, Will Alsop et all) has had naivety in his business outlook and in 2009 agreed to a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) to stave off insolvency proceedings reported to be over one million pounds - this means that he will be paying back 43p in the pound to his creditors - the financial aspect of architecture is something which is often overlooked - but is crucially important.

Overleaf you will find the sample questionnaire which was sent to Adjaye Associates on 16/3/11 - at time of print - it had received no response.

The Whitechapel Ideas Store - An architectural precedent for social responsibility & engagement (i) A former prominent Colombian minister (Sergio Farjado) has claimed that; ‘Our most beautiful buildings must be in our poorest areas’ the parallels between this statement and the Whitechapel Ideas Store are obvious - would you firstly agree with the statement? & do you feel that the success of the Ideas Store(s) both critical and on a social level support this statement? (ii) You have worked on many projects which involve a sense of public & social engagement ( Make It Right - New Orleans , The Ideas Stores - London & your photographic journey through Africa) do you feel that this is the direction and approach which architects should be taking today? (iii) The '’architecture of overhang' which you have described seems to be the main architectural mechanism which differentiates the building from the buildings which were prevalent at the time - was this to create a social construct and a place to gather or was it purely an aesthetic evolution? (iv)The client for the Whitechapel Ideas Store was Tower Hamlets council - how did the relationship and the client / designer(s) intentions help to engage the brief and affect the outcome of the design? Where there avenues which you had hoped to explore that were not realised? (v) You have previously mentioned that you wanted to create an ‘an accessible civic building’, this is a term which could often be considered an oxymoron in modern society, how do you feel the existing economic and political situations (both now and at the time) have helped (and will help) to shape public architecture?

The Ideas Store(s) The concept and name Idea Store was pioneered by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets “We want to remove barriers - make it easy for people to see inside it, to enter the building and be part of the space,” says Heather Wills, idea stores programme director. Tower Hamlets faced a series of significant social problems. 30% of the residents needed help with basic skills, while at the same time over 80% of the population never used the library services on offer. Tower Hamlets are using design to:


•make libraries more attractive to those •provide the facilities for life long learning The new Idea Stores mirror the retail approach, both in their location on the high street, and also in their open building style. They are open 7 days a week for 71 hours. Visitor figures have quadrupled and issues are up by 40% and rising. The plan is for centres that draw people to books as effectively as supermarkets draw people to cornflakes and baked beans. Located in shopping areas, cafes and dance studios will lure the punters in. “We have to compete with the best High Street shops,” says idea stores’ programme director Heather Wills.

Finances Funded through proceeds from the sale of municipal buildings, a package of grants and EU funding, and private sponsorship, including Tower Hamlets Council Tower Hamlets College UK Online European Regional Development Fund London Development Agency Cityside Regeneration Surestart Sainsbury Families Charitable Trusts Lloyds TSB The Whitechapel store was new, radical and ambitious.Unlike previous public projects The Olympics, The Millennium Dome et all. Tower Hamlets council had developed a strict budget and a contingency to ensure that the Ideas Store was completed. Tower Hamlets communicated with Adjaye that the building and particularly the ground floor should be designed with the greatest degree of flexibility possible - to enable the possibly usage of the space for retail purposes. This was not only a sound decision in fiscal terms for the short term, but in the long term as flexible floor space means that the building becomes more sustainable and would be able to be sold at a later date for a number of uses.

Ideas Store Network The image shows the current existing network of ideas store which have been opened since the “Ideas Store� concept came into fruition back in 1999.


Recently Tower Hamlets council have announced that a new lo cal Idea Store is to open at Wat ney Market in Stepney designed by Bisset Adams (the architects of the Bow Ideas Store). The store will become the fifth of the coun cils pioneering Idea Stores in Tower Hamlets

Whitechapel Ideas Store

Bow Ideas Store

Crisp St Ideas Store

Canary Wharf Ideas Store


WHY? London Cultural Network Q



















The Ideas Store(s) brings a much need cultural facility to the East End of London, forming a closely knit quadrangle within a 5km radius. Not only does this benefit the immediate area but it will also benefit the city by creating a more evenly distributed cultural map.

Where? Whitechapel, London a built-up inner city district in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, London, England. Located 3.4 miles (5.5 km) east of Charing Cross a

The resident population are of varied ethnic origin, primarily Bangladeshi.

Population of 12,558

Figures estimate up to 52% of the population are Bangladeshi

30% of the current population need help with basic skills

Since the 1970s Whitechapel with neighbouring parts of East London have figured prominently in Londons Art Scene

It will be a scheduled stop for the new Crossrail project due to be completed 2017


In recent years Whitechapel has become very deprived and the literacy rate along with the high percentage of ethnic minorities are contributing factors to this. The Ideas Store in Whitechapel is an attempt by Tower Hamlets council to remove the stigma currently attached to libraries which are seen are intimidating civic institutions. By creating a fresh and contemporary situation that will encourage people to come in and explore rather than a monument to literary genius.

Ideas Store Whitechapel Size: 3,400sq.m Architect: Adjaye Associates Cost: 16,000,000 Fitout cost: 13,000,000 Number of study places / seats : 134 Number of computer terminals: 55 97

Opening Times: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

9am-9pm 9am-9pm 9am-9pm 9am-9pm 9am-6pm 9am-5pm 11am-5pm

The building is constructed using a concrete frame and has a glass curtain wall on all sides - with an ‘architecture of the overhang’ created on the main elevation to create a ‘quasi-atrium’ to encourage people to filter into the building and upwards usingf the external escalator.

Program Public Areas; Cafe(s) IT/Surfing Exhibition Adult Library Childrens Library Teen zone Audio Visual Library

165sqm 150sqm 75sqm 1010sqm 330sqm 50sqm 110sqm


Semi -Private Areas Classrooms Dance Studio Creche Complimentary Therapy Staff Offices Ancillary fuctions

340sqm 140sqm 95sqm 85sqm 125sqm 205sqm


560sqm Public -54.95 %

Semi-Private -28.78%



Circulation -16.27%

The brief calls for a range of activities which have to be layered together - which Adjaye refers to as imbrication - and claims that this is relected in the spatial organisation - however it is felt on a personal level that this does not occur - that the building can be viewed as five seperate levels - with a rat-run like staircase to journey between floors - echoing the claustraphobic nature of the market place - with only 16% allocated for circulation - presumably through brief constraints - I think that if it were 20-24% this could increase the architectural journey in the building exponentially.

*Image sourced from Adjaye:Making Public Buildings - all credits to Adjaye & Associates

Building Visit_ 03/04/11 Emerging from the cavernous Whitechapel station you are immediately met with the hustle and bustle of the market, people are walking, people are talking, people are trading - the area feels full of life if not a little run down. As you pass between the ratrun of coloured awnings a monumental coloured glass cube emerges , rising above its neighbours towering five stories high greets you. Its glass facade sets it apart from the old buildings along Whitechapel, but yet relates it with the market.


The walk to the building is truly a struggle and trying to take a picture of the building from the market place is even worse - as the people rush through this tunnel that has been created. As I approach the building I see the ‘architecture of the overhang’ which I had previously read about. It is greeting and it does have the effect of the building reaching out to pull you in - now for the escalator journey up to the piano nobile - but that is cut short - the escalator is closed - apparently for safety reasons. I feel somewhat cheated - but I will continue on to the building. The ground floor entrance is somewhat anonymous located at the corner of the building and another entrance located down a side street - this porosity is rarely experienced in many public buildings - but the ground floor was designed with retail in mind - if finances demanded - which may explain why it seems lacking a little showmanship. The building seems simple - a central core for lifts and circulation seems prominent but minimal - this couldnt be the only circulation space within the building... but it is. It seems like an architectural shortcut - something that required no thought - something you would expect to encounter in an office block - not a building which was nominated for the Sterling Prize. As I ascend through the building - greeted with a startlingly bright red rubber flooring on each floor - their seems to be no connection between the previous level (apart from the consistency of materials - and I could have lived without the red flooring continuing throughout the building. There are moments of genius within the building - the overhang - possible the escalator - the deep mullions supporting the facade and in turn creating shelving and desk spaces and the cafe space at the top of the building gifting the user with views towards the Gherkin and central London, views which I was not aware were possible in this area of London. The building is busy, my tea is nice, the atmosphere is relaxed - the building undoubtedly works and is popular with the locals as the cafe will testify to, but award winning architecture? Im not sure.

*The visit to the building was recorded and can be viewed on the accompanying CD.

The closed escalator

The rooflight on the top floor

The main elevation on Whitechapel Rd

The facade detail

Materiality Externally the Ideas Store presents itself as a modern glossy building but beneath its veil internally it is a more workmanlike building,with unfinished stud walls and exposed concrete bathed by a dull coloured light spread by the facade. ‘Materiality’ has always been a prominent topic of Adjaye’s work and the Ideas Store is no different. Internally the exposed concrete frame defines the open spaces through ingenuity by the engineers.Arup set the building out on a rectangular grid designed to work as a sway frame – avoiding the need for any internal shear walls or bracing that could have constrained the spaces in use. The intentional monolithic look was achieved by a combination of cast in situ beams and columns, and precast ribbed soffits slabs, a solution whose thermal capacity enhances environmental performance as well as making for a more efficient construction sequence.


Bright red studded rubber is evident throughout which echos more of a cheap playground than a cultural red carpet Materials Palette

Laminated veneer lumber (LVL) Red Rubber Flooring, Spruce plywood, Wood fibre board, Perforated steel, Laminated clear,blue and green glass, exposed concrete

The spectrum of laminated glazing The red rubber floor ‘glowing’ prominently against the spruce shelving

Facade detail

The prominence of the overhang over the payment

Adjayes custom designed shelving units

Panoramic of the library floor illustrating the constrast of rubber,plywood and concrete


Exploration of details


Facade Assembly Detail

The detail illustrates the ingenuity and economy of design where the large LVL mullions become a structure for the shelves and desks within the Ideas Store

Structure There was a requirement for flexibility stated from the client (Tower Hamlets) engineer Arup set the building out on a rectangular grid designed to work as a sway frame – stability provided by the frame itself, avoiding the need for any internal shear walls or bracing that could have constrained the spaces in use. Precaster Hanson supplied 3,000m² of bespoke precast concrete flooring units and 18 concrete staircases for the Idea Store. Hanson was given the task of designing, manufacturing and supplying units to create an exposed concrete ribbed ceiling to the open expanse of floors on the three upper storeys of what promises to become a landmark building in the area. Initially, the concept called for hundreds of separate beams and short concrete-deck elements to act compositely using a structural concrete topping. However, Hanson was able to redesign the units so that, in most cases, multiple ribs and decking were cast in one piece. This greatly aided the handling process during transport and installation and significantly reduced the number of construction joints.


Natural cooling and heating The Whitechapel Idea Store has been designed without mechanical cooling systems: there is no energy guzzling air conditioning. It is mechanically ventilated, however, using a displacement air system, and the cooling is achieved by water-sprayed exhaust air to the incoming air supply via a sophisticated thermal wheelheat recovery device. This process is commonly known as adiabatic cooling. Air is introduced at low level through a raised floor construction and allowed to rise naturally to high level, taking the heat away with it. However poor detailing has led dance teachers to discover that the dance studio has no fresh air inlet and the air con is combined with rooms used for body therapys – the problem is that these occupants want the opposite environment to dancers so there is always a difficulty in providing an appropriate environment. Integration between the structural design and the building systems is a key success element to the building because of the need to minimise the internal heat accumulation. Exposed concrete surfaces act as a thermal energy store to absorb heat during the hot part of the day and naturally releasing it during cooler night periods.Further heat recovery is also engineered for the heating period. The innovative thermal wheel that is used to reduce the incoming supply air temperature in summer has a dual role during the winter months.

An energy-saving facade Arup carried out extensive studies on the facade to determine the optimum percentage of glazing on each facade of the building, ensuring the best thermal performance. This approach to the functionality of the facades produced optimum glazing percentages for each particular building aspect, something which is not immediately obvious from looking at the facade. It was demonstrated that the energy conserving properties of the south-facing facade would be optimised if the amount of overall glazing was kept to 55-60%, whereas for the west facade, the amount of overall glazing should be nearer 45%. Behind the cantilevered facade at the entrance, is an atrium space that contains the escalators. This space acts as a thermal buffer, trapping air in the winter and acting as a climate moderator. A combination of the heat lost from the front of the building and beneficial winter sun warming the space is largely contained within the atrium, resulting in above-ambient temperatures in the atrium and improved comfort in the winter.

Success? According to figures from Tower Hamlets council, the new Idea Store(s) and their mirroring of the retail approach, both in location on the high street, and in open building style has been a success. Now open 7 days a week for 71 hours. Visitor figures have quadrupled and issues are up

by 40% and rising. This can be the only true measure of how successful a project has been and should be applauded as a truly successful example of public architecture.

However, it is very hard to judge how much is of this was determined by the architect and the design and how much is due to the location and new facilities. During my visit to the Ideas Store - it was being used quite heavily by the local population and it was hard to find a seat - this could be deemed as a measure of its success or as a short-coming of the architectural planning (the lack of seats). As a building the Ideas store seems to be lost in the rheotric of its architect its hard to believe that the glazing reflects the market awnings when the Crisp Street store has the same glazing used. The homegenous program 111

although flowing on individual floors could be viewed

as a stack of five buildings rather than one singular building.As a technical exercise its lack of attention to key details - cladding, placement of services and a claustrophic central circulation

space allows it to fall short, as architecture and specifically public architecture it can be a lesson to future public developments, that low cost, low budget materials combined with a well researched social agenda can

make a difference to a society.

Critics cannot agree on whether the building is truely good architecture and even if it warranted a Sterling nomination

‘The building is either too eclectic or not eclectic enough. You have to decide if you’re going to have a minimal building, a funky minimal building, or if you’re going to be very expressive and have lots of stuff going on. The colours are difficult for me. I don’t understand the idea or impulse behind their use. ‘ Martha Schwartz

I just feel there is too much stuff going on. A cacophony. The green glass, the red oor, the angled light fittings. . . I find it all rather exhausting. But I like the escalator at the front, and the way the facade of the building splits to accommodate it. Mariella Frostrup The facade is clever in that it makes a view where there is no view. If you look at the view of the Sainsbury’s car park, it would be totally anonymous without the coloured glass. But the facade frames it and divides it and imposes order on it. Isabel Allen The view down Whitechapel Road doesn’t gain anything from being seen through coloured glass. Perhaps a more mature architect would have celebrated the view by framing that portion and leaving the glass clear. It dumps you in the corner of the building. Ian Ritchie The plan concept is simple - a core and space around it -an office typology that, even with its coloured facade, never succeeds in escaping its straightjacket. It’s wonderful if you’re walking down Whitechapel Road - it pulls you in. As long as you’re walking in the right direction. Ian Ritchie

One thing that cannot be disputed is that the Ideas Store(s) are working and if nothing else they are bringing an architectural debate back to an area which has suffered in the recent past.


Almost a great Idea.....

‘ P C

Main Entrance on Whitechapel Rd

In his Comprehensive Spending Review last autumn, the Chancellor, George Osborne, pledged to cut £16bn from the deficit in the coming financial year libraries will close, schools will shut and a generation of austerity will begin.

Tower hamlets were faced with a situation in Whitechapel that 80% of the population did not use the existing library facilities while 30% of residents needed help with basic skills. The traditional library model wasnt working.

“We want to remove barriers make it easy for people to see inside it, to enter the building and be part of the space,” says Heather Wills, idea stores programme director. The plan was to draw people to books as effectively as supermarkets draw people to special offers and sweets. Located in shopping areas the Ideas Store(s) had to beat the retailers at their own game, but this was not a simple rebranding exercise - the Idea Store in Whitechapel brings together adult learning, training, meeting areas, library Of all the Ideas Stores, it is inevitable that the largest and services coupled with cafes flagship store in Whitechapel and dance studios to help lure the public in. has attracted the most attention, so maybe it would Funded through proceeds be a good place to find the from the sale of municipal answer. buildings, a package of grants and EU funding, and private sponsorship, mainly J Sainsbury and Lloyds TSB. The Whitechapel store was new radical and ambitious. Paradoxically, Tower Hamlets council have recently announced that a new local Idea Store is to open at Watney Market in Stepney designed by Bisset Adams. The store will become the fifth of the councils pioneering Idea Stores in Tower Hamlets. The first two stores - one in Chrisp Street, Poplar and the flagship store in Whitechapel both designed by David Adjaye opened in 2004 & 2005 respectively, but do they work?

‘The East Ends Pompidou Centre’ It has been both lauded as and belittled as a mere office block - the truth lies somewhere in-between.

The appointment of Adjaye was a brave but smart choice by the council. Although the practice had built relatively little on such a scale, it was developing a reputation

for engaging architecture that set itself apart from its surroundings whilst embracing them.

A curtain wall consisting of panels, clear glass,coloured glass and glass faced aluminium panels enclose all four facades. The building As you emerge from the reaches out over the pavement cavernous Whitechapel station creating a quasi-atrium with an you are immediately met with overhanging projection trying the hustle and bustle of the to absorb passers-by into the market, people are walking, building or onto the external people are talking, people are escalator that has more than trading - the area feels full of an echo of the Pompidou. life if not a little run down. As you pass between the coloured The ground floor has two

‘a monumental coloured cube’ awnings emerges , rising above its neighbours towering five stories high greeting you. Its glass facade sets it apart from the old buildings along Whitechapel, but yet relates it with the market. Perhaps due to Adjaye’s reputation there is a tendency to look for philosophical meaning in his work.To somehow relate the colours of the store to more than a municipal reflection of the market stalls, but the program itself and its aims are well defined. How well does it succeed in it?

entrances which seem almost anonymous - overshadowed by the prominent escalator - although there was the possibility that the entire ground floor which now houses the childrens library would need to be sold as retail space to fund the project - which would have truly blended cultural and retail architecture - thankfully this was never necessary - but it does leave the building with more than a laissez-faire feel at ground level.

The main five-storey volume has a central core containing two fire escape staircases reached via double door Conceived as a simple stack of lobbies, allowing access from flexible floor plates the building both the north and south is wrapped in a unified facade faces. Although the space of colour and transparency. houses a heterogeneous and

little short-changed (Adjaye had

planned that the escalator should go to the top of the building, but this was cut for budget reasons.).

All five floors are very similar and of constant height, one could quite easily be confused for the other if it where not for the signs. There is no invitation or impetus supplied by the architecture to move through them in an exciting or even in an obvious way.

defines the open spaces through the ingenuity of the engineers. Arup set the building out on a rectangular grid designed to work as a sway frame – avoiding the need for any internal shear walls or bracing that could have constrained the spaces in use.


The intentional monolithic look was achieved by a combination of cast in situ beams and columns, and precast ribbed The cafe is placed on the top soffits slabs, a solution whose floor to draw people to the top thermal capacity enhances of the building rewarding them environmental performance with views west towards the as well as making for a City, with Foster’s Gherkin and more efficient construction Rogers’ Lloyd’s Building on full sequence. Initially the view. structural solution called for hundreds of separate beams The interior and exteriority and short concrete deck of the building presents, elements, but Hanson the pre-cast manufacturer came up with a solution that meant in most cases, multiple ribs and decking were cast in one piece. This greatly aided the handling process during transport and installation and significantly reduced the number of construction joints within the project. which may have contributed to previous critiques of the This attention to detail is building being left with the apparent in the facade conclusion that it is merely detailing aswell where the a fancy facade on an office laminated veneer lumber block. Externally the Ideas (LVL) form deep mullions Store presents itself as a that restrain the glazing while modern glossy building but doubling as a structure for beneath its veil internally both desks and shelving. it is a more workmanlike building,with unfinished stud Unfortunately the detailing walls and exposed concrete throughout the building does bathed by a dull coloured light not continue to this standard. spread by the facade. Badly laid, bright red studded

‘a condition of confusion’

rubber is evident throughout ‘Materiality’ has always been which echos more of a cheap a prominent topic of Adjaye’s playground than a cultural work and the Ideas Store is no red carpet and the bookcases different. Internally the designed by Adjaye are crudely made from yellowing multi-ply. This apparent lack of thought is not limited to the bounds of materiality - the building is mechanically ventilated using a displacement air system, but with cooling achieved by

‘delibererately visual concrete frame’

water-sprayed exhaust air to the incoming air supply via a sophisticated thermal wheel heat recovery device. This process is known as ‘adiabatic cooling’ and was somewhat of a first at the time for a public building. Air is introduced at low level through a raised floor void and allowed to rise naturally to high level, taking the heat away with it. However, although technically advanced, dance teachers have discovered that the dance studio has no fresh air inlet and the air con is combined with rooms used for body therapys – the problem is that these occupants want the opposite environment to dancers so there is always a difficulty in providing an appropriate environment.

Adjaye describes himself as a ‘perceptualist’ and comments on the imbrication which can be experienced throughout the building and to an extent this is believable. The facade and quasi-atrium which acts as a thermal buffer - creating a zone of heat that attracts traders and passers-by to stand under the canopy works effectively well, but in practice his grandiose elevator gesture is closed the majority of the time and the users are treated instead to non-descript retail entrances on the ground floor. His attempts at creating shelving and desk within the building are admirable efforts but lack the mastery which Alsop demonstrated in the Peckham library. The Idea Stores mirror the retail approach, both in their

with ease. The design even accommodates the possibility of creating retail space on the ground floor - should the project finances have required this. Adjaye has said that he aimed to create a glamorous place that’s open to everybody an accessible civic building’ , given the nature of the architecture used and the evolution of architecture since I think that the treatment of the facade has been reduced to mere graphic facadism if at one point it had been more. As a building the Ideas store seems to be lost in the rhetoric of its architect, as a technical Facade detail exercise its lack of attention to key details allows it to fall short, as architecture and specifically public architecture it can be a lesson to future public developments, that low cost, low budget materials combined with a well researched social agenda can make a difference to a society.

location on the high street, and also in their open building style.Visitor figures have quadrupled and issues are up by 40% and rising, no doubt in part by Adjayes accessible and low-key design, something which should be commended. Architecture rarely succeeds as well on a social scale as it does on an urban or critical scale,

‘I want to operate on a human scale and the urban scale’’ claims Adjaye proudly, but the Ideas Store does this

Ideas Store Whitechapel Client Borough of Tower Hamlets Architect; Adjaye Assoc ( Cost 12million Structural engineer Arup. Main contractor Verry Construction Ltd. Completion Date: September 2005 Gross square footage: 4500m2 sq.ft.






Professionalism UEL

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