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Summer Exhibition Architecture Room reviewed  Wilkinson Eyre’s Mary Rose Museum, Architecture PLB’s Lloyd Park pavilion £4.95 IBP MAGAZINE OF THE YEAR THEAJ.CO.UK


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NO SUBSTITUTES Our toilet and changing cubicle systems were recently installed in the new home of English football. The magnificent St George’s Park in Burton upon Trent, proving once again that unlike on the football field, there truly is no subsitute for a Thrislingon cubicle, locker or bench.


The Architects’ Journal

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Week in pictures Planners ditch Steven Holl’s Maggie’s design Front page Robin Hood Gardens revamp: architects announced UK news Herzog & de Meuron named in Israel high court claim First look Sou Fujimoto’s Serpentine Pavilion press preview News feature Opportunity knocks for British firms in Moscow Competitions & wins McCarthy & Stone’s baby boomer homes Building study Wilkinson Eyre’s Mary Rose Museum opens Technical study Architecture PLB’s Lloyd Park pavilion Culture The RA’s Summer Exhibition Architecture Room This week online See a First Look of AJ Small Projects winner Jack Woolley’s new home in Islington TheAJ.co.uk/FirstLook

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concorde ad m-tec- march 2013- high-res.pdf

Specialist metal fabricators and consultants

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From the editor

The concept was described as a cloud and, seen from a distance, visitors who have climbed to find their seat on its raised glass platforms do appear suspended in air, floating among the cubic clusters which dissolve, at their edges, into the sky. This is Sou Fujimoto’s Serpentine Pavilion in London’s Kensington Gardens – the 13th in the series commissioned by Julia Peyton-Jones and Hans Ulrich Obrist. The concept was pure – a single unit, a 400x400mm cube, stacked up in an irregular, cloud-like form that creates both a sheltered undercroft and raised platforms, including raked seating above an auditorium and café space. At the opening, Fujimoto described the pavilion as two clouds, one formed by the stacked cubes, the other formed by a canopy of polycarbonate discs included to provide some shelter from the rain. The cloud is not so ethereal once inside, where the glass steps and polycarbonate discs are more visible and increase the feeling of enclosure. Once seated, it’s like being in a conservatory that surrounds, rather than contains, the trees of the gardens. Fujimoto has played with the density of the structure, adding a double 800x800mm unit to the original design (he feared the single unit would prove ‘boring’), so at times the structure feels heavy, almost clunky, while extensions added to the periphery of the structure dissolve its mass. Climbing the structure, especially in stark sunlight, is a tricky business, with all those white lines, solids and voids. Is this what it would feel like to find your footing on a cloud? But risk is the essential ingredient of play and climbing the pavilion is fun, to find your seat in the branches of this ‘white forest’, as Fujimoto describes it. Unfortunately, health and safety considerations forced the inclusion of some not very elegant balustrades, pushed through by the planning authorities. The fat tubing sticks out against the delicacy of the 8km of 20mm steel lengths employed throughout. Fujimoto ..

BEN BLOSSOM

All that is solid melts into air at Sou Fujimoto’s Serpentine Pavilion, writes Christine Murray

The Serpentine Pavilions have become a new typology. Like the Case Study Houses, they teach us about the mutability of architecture insists that, although they were introduced late, they were not a compromise. They do feel so. But Peyton-Jones and Obrist should be commended for their midwifery of another successful commission. Their ambition, so Peyton-Jones told me at the press launch, is to enable the architect in the creation of a masterwork. And Fujimoto’s is that – a lovely thing, light and transcendent, solid but melting. There is a wonderful tension between its organic form and its rigid functional structure – like a visual expression of the seemingly counterintuitive fact that molecules combine to make air. The Serpentine Pavilions have become a new typology. Like the Case Study Houses, they teach us about the mutable character of architecture, and remind us of the opportunity for play in the making of space. It is, as Obrist said to me on the morning of the opening, a growing ‘imaginary collection’ of buildings, now scattered and lost, but in memory, a body of work that viewed together expresses what shelter can be, and how it is experienced. Another successful year. christine.murray@emap.com 


Week in pictures

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 Manchester studio 5plus Architects has completed a £22 million project to refurbish and extend the Grade II-listed Trafford Town Hall. The 3,200m scheme, which features a new low-rise office building, is connected to the existing town hall by a doubleheight glazed internal ‘street’ 1

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 Sergison Bates 2 Architects has won a rare planning victory for a ‘country house clause’ project under paragraph 55 of the National Planning Policy Framework – formerly PPS7. The home for Viscount Lymington replaces a redundant 1930s water tower on his estate at Farleigh Wallop

 Richard Murphy 3 Architects has submitted plans for a large house on a sloping site overlooking Dublin bay. The zinc-clad, wedge-shaped scheme has been designed to meet strict planning conditions, which restrict the building’s height to allow the public view from the street to the sea

 The City of London’s planning committee has thrown out Steven Holl Architects’ proposal of a new Maggie’s cancer care centre at Barts Health NHS Trust. The committee voted 11 to 8 against the American star’s three-storey scheme in Smithfield and raised concerns about the glass facade 4

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 Patel Taylor has submitted a hybrid application for ‘Fortress Wapping’ – Rupert Murdoch’s former News International headquarters in east London. Including a 33-storey residential tower, the 6-hectare scheme features 1,800 new homes, 20,000m² of commercial space and a secondary school 5

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PICTURE CREDITS: 01 MARK WAUGH 02 SERGISON BATES ARCHITECTS 03 RICHARD MURPHY ARCHITECTS 04 STEPHEN HOLL ARCHITECT 05 AVR LONDON

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Enter the ideas competition for the future of office receptions You arrive for your appointment at a cool and contemporary office block. What happens next? How do you know you’ve arrived? Future Reception is an exciting ideas competition, with £5,000 in cash prizes, to rethink the way we arrive at office buildings. The experience of office receptions is too often time consuming, disorienting and inefficient. Derwent London and Office Concierge are looking for radical and refreshing new ideas to transform this visitor experience from a waiting game to infuse it with drama and a sense of occasion and arrival. The brief is to design a reception and arrival sequence for a real project – Derwent’s new office building for Old Street, designed by AHMM. The winning scheme will not be built. This competition is an opportunity to work with new and inspiring architects and designers to explore how Derwent and Office Concierge can provide a better

CGI COURTESY OF AHMM

FUTURE RECEPTION

and inclusive experience for anyone who visits office buildings, and to discover new talent. The winning idea will reflect changing work practices and the need for a dramatic, enjoyable and efficient arrival sequence. • To download a full brief visit architectsjournal. co.uk/home/future-reception • Entry Deadline 28 June sponsored by


Front page

Goodbye Robin Hood Gardens   Metropolitan Workshop Architects and Jestico + Whiles have won the competition to design a replacement for Alison and Peter Smithson’s soon-tobe-demolished Robin Hood Gardens estate in Tower Hamlets. The practices were chosen from more than 30 entrants, including the likes of Mossessian & Partners and Studio Egret West, to land phase two of the £500 million Blackwall Reach Regeneration Project. This stage will controversially see the Brutalist western block of the 1972 ‘streets in the sky’ ..

council housing scheme flattened sympathy with those views. to make way for 239 new homes. ‘[But] the buildings are now In a joint statement addressing immune from listing, the project the expected criticism from those has Planning Approval to who regard the Smithsons’ proceed and the first phase buildings as ‘iconic’ is under way, there and adaptable to seems little point in re-use, Metropolitan looking backwards. New homes intended The local residents Workshop partner for Blackwall Reach and the local Neil Deely and scheme Jestico + Whiles’ authority desperately Eoin Keating said: want improvements at ‘We respect, as others Blackwall Reach and these do, the Smithson’s legacy and voices should not be disregarded.’ what they have contributed to The team said the project British architecture. We are tackled some ‘very challenging aware of the campaign to save urban environments created Robin Hood Gardens and have over the past 50 years’ and

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JANET HALL / RIBA LIBRARY PHOTOGRAPHS COLECTION

Developers pick Metropolitan Workshop Architects and Jestico + Whiles to design replacement for Smithsons’ Brutalist icon in Tower Hamlets

offered a ‘major opportunity to repair some of the physical and social isolation caused by the late 20th century’. Chosen by project backers the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and the Greater London Authority (GLA), the duo will also review and ‘refine’ the entire Horden Cherry Lee and Aedasdesigned masterplan for the wider 7.7-hectare site, which won outline planning in March 2012. In addition, the development team has appointed Karakusevic Carson to deliver phase 1b of the scheme, which includes 245 mostly private homes. In 2008 then architecture minister Margaret Hodge refused to list the Smithsons’ buildings, agreeing with English Heritage that the concrete housing estate was not a fit place for people to live in. Richard Waite 


News

Herzog & de Meuron named in Segal’s Israel National Library high court claim Swiss stars added to list of respondents in high court claim to competition award brought by Israeli architect ousted from prestigious library scheme

 Pritzker Prize-winning practice Herzog & de Meuron faces a courtroom showdown with New Jersey-based Rafi Segal to decide who will design the National Library of Israel. A judge at the Municipal Court of Jerusalem has ordered that the Basel-headquartered practice be added as a respondent in a claim brought by Segal over the project. Israeli architect Segal was chosen in September 2012 as the preferred architect for the prestigious scheme. But the National Library Construction Company (NLCC) cancelled his appointment later that year after finding ‘deficiencies’ in his proposal (visualisation, pictured).

In March 2013, the client launched a fresh contest to design a new home for the 120-year-old Jerusalem library and in April appointed Herzog & de Meuron. However, in May the Municipal Court of Jerusalem heard a case brought by Segal, in which the architect demanded to be reinstated as winner of the competition.

Segal’s disqualification came after former Harvard School of Design colleague Bing Wang, whose company, HyperBina, worked with the Israeli on his library proposal, challenged his ownership of the winning design. Segal’s lawyer, Yehuda Ressler, told the judge at the May hearing that Segal’s designs had won the contest anonymously. Ressler told

the hearing: ‘Segal came up with the idea and made drawings on his own more than a year ago.’ The NLCC said several documents showed Segal had partnered on his library proposal with architects ‘which were not allowed to participate in the competition’. Certain phases of the contest were open to Israeli architects only – Wang is not an Israeli national. Judge Gila Knafi-Steinitz approved a bid by Segal’s lawyers to add Herzog & de Meuron as a respondent in the case. The judge said the corrected claim should be served to all respondents – Herzog & de Meuron, the NLCC and HyperBina – by 1 June. A further preliminary hearing takes place in September. Herzog & de Meuron declined to comment. But the NLCC said in a statement that the Swiss practice was under no obligation to defend its award (See the full statement online). Greg Pitcher

 Wilkinson Eyre and Purcell have been appointed to refurbish Giles Gilbert Scott’s iconic Battersea Power Station. A £100 million programme of repairs, led by Buro Happold and Purcell, will start in October, 30 years after electricity production stopped inside the Grade II*listed brick masterpiece. The project includes repairs to the facade, wash towers, steel frame and windows plus replacement of the four chimneys, which could happen simultaneously under controversial proposals by the developer. Planned to complete in 2016, the works pave the way for eventual redevelopment of the  ..

disused behemoth which is at the centre of Rafael Viñoly’s £8 billion vision for the prime riverside site. The project was purchased by a Malaysian consortium for £400 million in September. Wilkinson Eyre has been chosen to work on detailed designs for the interior. Battersea Power Station Development Company chief executive Rob Tincknell, said: ‘The reconstruction of the iconic chimneys is an essential part of the refurbishment and will be undertaken with great care and precision, so that they remain a landmark on the London skyline for decades to come.’ Merlin Fulcher

 Darling Associates has been chosen to take forward Make’s long-stalled kissing towers scheme in London’s Docklands. The practice has been appointed by build-to-rent specialist Essential Living, which recently snapped up the 0.4-hectare site in Trafalgar Way, Isle of Dogs. Ken Shuttleworth’s practice Make began work on the 35,000m scheme, which has planning consent, back in 2007. The proposed residential development next to Poplar Dock in Canary Wharf features two towers of 29 and 35 storeys. Elliptical in plan, the skyscrapers originally featured about 400

MAKE

Battersea architects named Darling takes kissing towers

homes and a ‘multi-level’ link bridge with sky gardens. The plot, currently occupied by a McDonald’s, was bought from Irish company Trafalgar Way. Explaining the practice’s approach to the project, Chris Darling said: ‘We will be making some enhancements but remaining true to the spirit of the Make design. It is hoped it will be on site later this year.’ Richard Waite ..


Design by Philippe Starck

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First look

Fujimoto’s Serpentine revealed Eight kilometres of steel tubing plus polycarbonate discs combine to form cloud-like structure with seating platforms and undercroft café   Sou Fujimoto has taken the wraps off this year’s Serpentine Pavilion in London’s Kensington Gardens.  ..

Built with 8km of 20mm steel tubing cut into 27,000 lengths, the scheme features elevated seating platforms and an

undercroft café protected from the rain with polycarbonate discs. Described by Fujimoto as a ‘frame cloud and a polycarbonate

cloud’, the pavilion, engineered by AECOM and built by Stage One, is composed of two cube units of 400x400mm and 800x800mm. The units were welded into approximately 55 large sections, transported by lorry and bolted into place on site. Fujimoto’s is the 13th pavilion in the longstanding series of pavilions, which has welcomed architects including Herzog ..


ALL PHOTOS BY BEN BLOSSOM

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& de Meuron, Jean Nouvel, Zaha Hadid and Frank Gehry. Gallery directors Julia PeytonJones and Hans Ulrich Obrist said the selection of Fujimoto was a deliberate move towards the inclusion of a ‘younger generation’ of architects to work on the famous commission. The pavilions opens to the public on 8 June and closes on 20 October. Christine Murray ..

I wanted to make something natural and artificial: a mix of architecture and nature. I used this ordered grid system, then blurred the experience, like a forest or the branches of a tree. This is to express the beautiful duality of the artificial and the natural order. It’s a frame cloud and a polycarbonate cloud, with different densities throughout – some areas are almost opaque, while others are transparent. My work is inspired by Gaudí and Einstein. I found Gaudí when I was 12 years old. As a child, I just felt that his work was amazing. After I visited Barcelona, I felt differently about his work. At Parc Guell I saw that there was no boundary between architecture and landscape. Like Gaudí, I wanted to create something in between architecture and nature. A transparent landscape, a white forest. Einstein is my other influence. My first concept of space came to me through Einstein, before I met architecture. I was thinking about behaviour and field. In this pavilion

there are order, rules and diversity, but also something beyond the usual order. I knew the previous Serpentine pavilions very well and had visited a few. This was a dream commission. Each pavilion has been personal to each architect. You don’t have to take on, or avoid, the approach of previous pavilions, you just have to be yourself. We focused on what we have done, what we are thinking about now, and what we might think in the future. The relationship between architecture and nature is a strong stream for us. The first idea was to only use small cubes, but during the process of design and in conversation with Julia and Hans, we felt that, although the original concept was pure, using only one volume would be boring. The mixture creates different densities. We sent a 3D computer model from our office to divide the structure into units and bigger modules. I feel we haven’t made any compromises. We had to add the handrails for safety, but we studied all the different options, so in the end, I don’t feel this was a compromise.’ 


News feature

Opportunity knocks in Moscow for firms willing to commit to long term The collapse of the ambitious plan to double the size of the Russian capital has given rise to a flood of more manageable projects, writes Greg Pitcher Last September an AngloAmerican team including John Thompson & Partners was announced with fanfare as winner in the contest to expand Moscow by 155km and create homes for 1.7 million people. The competition was an attempt by the Russian Federation Council to reorder the sprawling city and solve chronic congestion and environmental problems. But politics have stymied the scheme and the Russian Federation’s headline-grabbing project to double the size of Moscow has hit the buffers. Vladimir Putin, re-elected as president in March 2012 after an enforced four-year spell as prime minister, is not thought to favour a contest which was launched in his absence. Fred London, partner at John Thompson & Partners, reckons the expansion plan, which included proposals to shift the seat of power, has been ‘overruled’ by Putin. He says: ‘I don’t think he liked the idea of putting the equivalent of Westminster into the equivalent of Croydon. No work is going on at the moment on this scheme.’ While this may be bad news for Muscovites, it is not necessarily so for British architects. The programme would have taken many years to finance and push through planning. In its absence a multitude of smaller, more manageable schemes could herald fresh opportunities for  ..

Annual GDP growth % Source: World Bank

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UK architects. There is certainly a pent-up demand for development in Moscow, a city whose drive to redefine itself in the post-Soviet era was cut short by the global economic crash in 2008. ‘Before the downturn, a lot of money was coming into Moscow from the West,’ says Michael Graham, director for London and Moscow at PRP. ‘When the Western banks stopped lending, the development market collapsed.’ Aidan Potter, director at John McAslan + Partners, remembers this collapse vividly. He says: ‘We had 15 projects one week, and three the next.’ Fred London recalls going on holiday in August 2008 ahead of a busy autumn. ‘When I got back in September I had nothing to do,’ he says. ‘I would pick up the phone and clients had gone out of business; or, if they were still

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Investments in Russia by source of capital. Source: Colliers International

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Foreign capital Russian capital

‘There is an appetite for British architects and a high regard for British consultants’ Aidan Potter, John McAslan + Partners

around, they were putting all new work on ice.’ Worse still, in 2011 Moscow’s mayor, Sergei Sobyanin, began cancelling construction permits for 11.5 million m of projects in a bid to stamp out high-rise development lacking infrastructure. But the city reviewed and simplified its planning, lease signing and building inspections processes and went on to approve 30 million m-worth of construction contracts. And the market is moving again. In 2012, the equivalent of almost £2 billion was ploughed into the city by international investors and developers – landing the Russian capital joint eighth place with Washington DC in Jones Lang LaSalle’s league table of top destinations for commercial real estate. As well as regaining relative economic and political stability, Moscow is also preparing to host a G8 summit next year and football World Cup matches in 2018. ‘Now we have state banks investing and money from the Far East,’ says Graham. ‘PRP is involved in the commercial sector; particularly the growing market for retail. There is also growth in hotels work, owing to a lack of stock, particularly quality mid-range stock.’ AECOM bought a local practice in 2009 to establish a presence in Moscow and now has 250 staff in the city. Managing director for Russia David Whitehouse says: ‘We are starting to see decent upturn since the fourth quarter of 2012. Clients are revamping suspended schemes, particularly ahead of the World Cup. ‘There is a lot of infrastructure and hotels work. I think it is a logical place to look for work; ..


‘If you want to dip in and out, it won’t work. You have to commit for the long term’ David Whitehouse, AECOM there will be steady growth.’ Aukett Fitzroy Robinson, which has offices in Moscow, expects to see an upturn both in the city centre and in selected pockets to the west of the city. Chief executive Nicholas Thompson reckons the plan to develop the south-west of the city strangled development in the centre. He says: ‘The masterplan is a good idea but it is driven by the federal government. If they are not going to, who will fund it? ‘Other areas that will benefit are Skolkovo, which is the Russian Silicon Valley and will host the G8 in 2014, and Rublyovo-Arkhangelsk. These are business-led programmes, but big areas with a whole range of buildings.’ Scott Brownrigg won a 104,00m business park in Skolkovo. British practices are well positioned to win work on such new developments, analysts say. ‘There is an appetite for British architects,’ says Potter. ‘I see a lot of French, Swiss and Germans here but there is a high regard for British consultants.’ London adds: ‘The communist era did not value creativity – it was about applying Building System 6843.10. So they import creativity from the West.’ The coming wave of work may be among the last for Brits, however, with local architects expected to compete more strongly in future. ..

‘The youngsters are growing in experience,’ says London. ‘The days of looking for Western expertise are numbered.’ Despite – or maybe because of – this, British practices looking to cash in on the Moscow market need to make long-term plans. ‘If you want to dip in and out, it won’t work,’ says Whitehouse. ‘You have to commit for the long term. You also have to team up with someone.’ Potter agrees with the need for a long-term view and stresses the need for a relationship with a Russian firm. ‘You need a good local partner both in terms of language and negotiating approach,’ he says. As well as planning complexities, contracts can be structured differently than in the UK. ‘There is not a culture of being paid for variations,’ says Potter. ‘You should not go into a contract expecting to put in a big bill for a client’s changes.’ McAslan + Partners, which carries out much of its Moscow work in London, makes almost weekly visits to the city. PRP believes having a presence in the city is critical. ‘We were advised that we needed to have an office here to be taken seriously and it proved true,’ says Graham. ‘Working remotely can be very hard in a very bureaucratic country.’ Perhaps because of these challenges, the Moscow market is seen by some as relatively untapped by British architects. ‘The size of the Moscow market is attractive and there are fewer architects per capita than in the UK,’ says Thompson. ‘You rarely compete against other firms from the UK. The British brand and knowledge of buildings is a competitive advantage, yet we recruit locally and the skills are high.’ ■

 (1) Plans to double the size of Moscow by John Thompson and Partners have been shelved (2) PRP has mooted a mixed-use skyscraper complex in Moscow’s international business district, (3) Work has begun on John McAslan + Partners’ Bolshevik factory regeneration which includes a circular art museum 1

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Competitions & wins

Tom Russell wins baby boomer housing contest Retirement home developer McCarthy & Stone reveals winner and finalists in competition to re-imagine housing for the over-55s  Bristol-based Tom Russell Architects has seen off a gaggle of up-andcoming practices to win the RIBA Competition to design ‘pioneering housing’ for those aged 55 and over. The firm beat Metropolitan Workshop offshoot AU Studio, London’s Inglis Badrashi Loddo Architects, Sheffield-based

WINNER  ..

waparchitects, and Living Space Architects with Hilary Lawson from Exeter to land the Re-imagine Ageing competition. Backed by retirement home developer McCarthy & Stone, the contest attracted entries from nearly 120 UK and Irish practices, with competitors asked to design ‘a new concept’ in retirement living for the baby

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SHORTLISTED

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PATRICK THEINER

COMPETITIONS FILE

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Trinity College Dublin (pictured) is seeking an architect to design a new business school and central services building. The 12,000m² facility will host entrepreneurship activities on the prestigious university’s main College Green campus. Project managers, quantity surveyors and engineers are also required [Requests to participate are due 24 June]

THE AJ DOES NOT ORGANISE, ENDORSE OR TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR COMPETITIONS

boomer generation. Describing Tom Russell’s Inside Out Outside In concept, judge Robert Sakula of Ash Sakula Architects, said: ‘This proposal, with its elegant layout and intelligent balance of privacy and community, really advances the debate as to how older people want to live. It’s a beautiful scheme and a worthy winner.’ McCarthy & Stone set a guideline cost of approximately £1,184/m and earmarked a ‘prime tree-lined 0.96-hectare site’ 200m from the town centre of Bishop Waltham in Hampshire. The developer said that it was ‘now looking to work’ with Tom Russell Architects to make its ‘vision a reality’. Each finalist received £2,000, with the winner getting £5,000. Richard Waite

A competition has been launched to find a ‘signature architect’ to redevelop Ireland’s Curragh Racecourse. Six long-listed practices will receive £6,800 each to work up ‘vision’ proposals, with a three-strong shortlist later receiving £25,000 each to submit concept designs. The winner will be awarded the contract [Responses are due by 4 July] Sweden’s Cultural Heritage without Borders has opened an international ideas contest to reconnect three heritage sites in Vushtrri, Kosovo. Open to students and professionals, the contest focuses on the city’s Stone Bridge, Hamam of Ali Bey and Old Castle sites. Three finalist entries will share a £1,700 prize and be exhibited [Registration by 15 June] Sean Kitchen TheAJ.co.uk/competitions 


People & practice

‘Serpentine is a highlight’

NEW PRACTICES

Where have you come from? I’ve been a structural engineer at AECOM for four years. Before that I studied Engineering at Cambridge. Why did you choose to go into engineering? I like numbers and building things; engineering seemed the obvious choice. Why did AECOM want to be involved in the Serpentine Pavilion project? It is the highlight of London’s architectural summer. David Glover, head of global building engineering at AECOM, worked on previous pavilions while at Arup and we were delighted to be invited to support Sou Fujimoto this year. What were the biggest challenges on the pavilion? I’ve become quite used to working with AECOM’s own architects which is great as we all sit very near to each other so we are always there to ask and answer questions. So, working with an architect who is based in Tokyo had its challenges, especially given the very tight programme. But we got around it by having daily conference calls and sharing a lot of live 3D models. What were the differences between working with a UK architect and a Japanese one? The creative process is different  ..

with each architect. Fujimoto designed a very complex structure made up of more than 20,000 individual elements and 9,000 nodes, compared with the 1,000 to 2,000 found in a typical building. The quality of the detailing and fabrication is a fundamental part of the pavilion’s design so our work will be on show for everyone to see. While this has certainly generated some pressure, we are looking forward to having visitors ask themselves ‘How did they manage to achieve that?’

OFFICE S&M

Young Structural Engineer of the Year Harriet Eldred, 26, talks about working on the Serpentine Pavilion with Sou Fujimoto

Office S&M   Catrina Stewart and Hugh McEwen  Manor House, London  January 2013  www.officesandm.com

How much input did you have? Quite a lot really – we had a lot to do and virtually no time to do it. What do you like most about working with architects? And what do you feel they could do better? I love the crazy schemes that architects come up with and the imagination behind it. I really enjoy working with architects to turn those ideas into a reality. Sometimes that’s a really great and collaborative process, but sometimes it does feel a bit like swimming against the tide. What do you think should be done to tackle the lack of female voices in architecture and engineering? The industry is moving in the right direction and I have never felt myself to be at a disadvantage. Careers events at local schools are a great way to let girls know what a career in architecture or engineering is all about.

Where have you come from? We completed our diplomas at the Bartlett in 2011. Stewart previously worked at CRAB and Quay2C. McEwen works for PTEa and was at Nissen Adams. We have run workshops for Tate and taught at UCL and Brighton. What work do you have and what kind are you looking for? We have been very lucky with local authority competition wins and the Mayor’s Outer London Fund has been a great boost for small practices. We are currently working on two shop renovations and a stand for a flower store on Barkingside high street (pictured) as part of DKCM’s civic square regeneration. What are your ambitions? We started small but are looking

to expand the time we spend working for Office S&M. We are founding members of a Londonbased collective of architects and designers, Ada, which allows us to tackle larger projects and working relationships. How optimistic are you as a start-up practice? There is a great group of young practices with experience of how hard it is setting up on your own, such as Jan Kattein Architects, DK-CM and Studio Weave. They have been amazingly supportive of new practices by giving them opportunities to work on small, independent projects. How do you market yourselves? By going out of our way to meet people, whether in real life or via social media. ..


Astragal

School ‘on probation’  What is happening at the University of East London’s School of Architecture? The ARB, it can be revealed, has only prescribed the school for two years, rather than the requested four. Unpicking the ARB’s official report published last year, it seems the board was

concerned about ‘resourcing’ of its BSc and Part 2 courses and has effectively put the Docklands-based school on probation until the ‘issues have been fully resolved’. Meanwhile it has emerged Renée Tobe has stepped down as the school’s head, with Carl Callaghan parachuted in as the acting head of Architecture, Design and Built Environment.

A spokesman from the school refused to say why. I’m sure the students would love to know.

The Brady bunch  Is Angela Brady a big fan of RIBA Council? Some of the 60-strong assembly think not and are grumbling because the outgoing president will not chair

her final council session – her second non-attendance in a row. The Portland Place head missed April’s council due to a cold and has forsaken June’s meeting for an expedition to China. She said: ‘Sadly I will be away on a UKTI mission from 19-29 June, with a view to expanding the RIBA brand and opportunities for RIBA architects.’ The absence could, however, be good news for incoming leader Stephen Hodder, who has now bagged two pre-presidential sessions in the hot seat. With RIBA board heavyweights Oliver Richards, Jane Duncan, Andrew Salter and Owen O’Carroll all stepping down in September, he probably needs the head start.

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RIBA’s mystery move

Hellman This caricature of the Mayor of London as a building, one of a series called Celebuild, was submitted to this year’s Royal Academy of Arts ..

Summer Exhibition Architecture Room, though rejected. Perhaps it was felt Bojo would be too intimidating among polite architectural models?

 The RIBA is rumoured to be close to an agreement over a new annexe in Marylebone. Although the institute is remaining tight-lipped, insiders insist the long-awaited decision on where to locate RIBA’s office overspill will finally be made in July. The move to new open-plan premises – aimed to encourage ‘team working’ – has been prompted by the lease drawing to a close on its imposing Georgian 77 Portland Place building in 2014. The building, next door to RIBA’s permanent 66 Portland Place base, has thought to have proved particularly challenging to replace, owing to its cheap ‘charities-only’ lease. If the Marylebone deal proceeds, not all RIBA functions will move across. Plans are afoot to catapult RIBA London into a Shoreditch base, which might see the institute finally make good on outgoing president Angela Brady’s ambition for a presence in Hoxton Square. 


Letter from London

The ‘Cheesegrater’ embraces ideas about architecture, planning and the public, writes Paul Finch Rogers Stirk Harbour’s City of London landmark, colloquially known as the ‘Cheesegrater’, because of its angled glazed facade, will be topped out by Boris Johnson later this month. The 75,000m building is 51 per cent let, at rents of more than £60 per square foot, and promises to be a significant commercial success for developer British Land and various funding partners. One of those lettings has given the London insurance market a huge psychological boost: the giant US company, Aon, is not only taking several floors in the project, but is moving its top management team from its current headquarters in Chicago. This follows another important decision, by the Boston-based WR Berkley group, to build a European headquarters, designed by KPF for a site diagonally opposite the Cheesegrater and known as the ‘Scalpel’. You have to have a nickname. That has yet to start construction, while the RSH scheme will complete in a year’s time, when its true urban significance will become apparent. It involves the most generous public realm contribution to the City for many years, in the form of a gigantic cutout at the base of the building, providing a huge volume and a flowing ground plane which links with the piazza of the adjacent building, originally the Commercial Union Tower (now Aviva). The scale of the public space will do what Richard Rogers had difficulty in achieving at the Lloyd’s of London headquarters. At Lloyd’s it was only possible to use Leadenhall Market for this purpose, but that is an interior environment at the back of the insurance building. The Cheesegrater is an entirely different story, since the public space, with its 30m soffit, is essentially external. So we have a highly unusual example of the same architectural practice working on both sides of the street, able to complement an earlier building via the creation of new street life opposite. Valuing this public realm element is difficult, except by assuming that the office space could have come to  ..

ground, with a conventional entrance. Multiply the additional potential huge office area by £60 per square foot, apply a yield value for prime City of London office space and you begin to understand, even assuming a construction cost of about £300 per square foot, the scale of the public contribution that the developer and development have made to the Square Mile. Generous public realm provision is part and parcel of a calculation about commercial value, of course. Amenity creates value. This is not a building where it would have been possible to provide public, or quasi-public space at the top, since the form of the building diminishes sharply, in contrast with Rafael Viñoly’s nearby ‘Walkie Talkie’, where the top of the building is given over to a substantial winter garden (very visible from the top of

The Cheesegrater project involves the most generous public realm contribution to the City for many years 120 Leadenhall). The alternative was to provide public space at the base. Similarly, the decision to provide an angled facade meant that a tall building (225m) in this location would not interfere with views of the dome of St Paul’s from Fleet Street, in particular from just outside the Cheshire Cheese public house (rebuilt 1667). Does the form of this remarkable building simply follow function and external programmatic demands? Only as part of a broader architectural approach to the provision of City office buildings, explored by RSH director Graham Stirk in his designs for 88 Wood Street, and the Lloyds Registry Building. All in all, the Cheesegrater is a speculative office development of extraordinary quality, built in an exemplary way by Laing O’Rourke, with engineering by Arup. It sets standards that few are likely to emulate. ..


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08/08/2012 12:03


Black box

The Istanbul riots are fundamentally about a city struggling to catch its breath, says Rory Olcayto

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In 1991, I spent three happy months in Istanbul, two of them working in the office of Hüseyin Başçetinçelik, an accomplished architect known for his design of Istanbul University Library, a fantastic Modernist scheme few outside Turkey will be familiar with. (This is a great shame. It now faces demolition and will be replaced next year by a vapid slab of pseudomodernism). Hüseyin’s contemporary was Biltin Toker, the radical architecture student of whom Martin Pawley wrote fondly in these pages some years ago. They studied together at the Oxford School of Architecture and, as Pawley suggested, ‘readers might be interested in comparing Toker’s 1960 design for a youth hostel on Skye with Hadid’s 1982 Hong Kong Peak competitionwinning scheme’. Toker went on to become the mayor of Istanbul’s chief urban design adviser, but lost his job when Tayyip Erdoğan, now prime minister, won the mayoralty in 1994. Hüseyin trained under Sedad Eldem, another great architect, relatively unknown here, but whose Social Security offices in Istanbul picked up the Aga Khan Award in 1986. Eldem pioneered a distinct contemporary regional architecture that blended Modernism with traditional Ottoman forms. He also designed the Istanbul Hilton, with SOM, the International Style hotel made famous by Bond movie From Russia With Love. Despite Hüseyin’s Modernist credentials, the projects I worked on were restorations of wooden

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houses from the late Ottoman era, but, given the terrible state of conservation design in the city then, and which still prevails today, in retrospect his dedication to renewing old buildings was progressive. Hüseyin’s office was on a street just off Taksim Square, home to Hayati Tabanlioğlu’s Ataturk Cultural Centre and its stunning modish interiors – the work of another unfairly neglected architect – but more famous as a meeting spot for young lovers embarking on evening strolls down Independence Avenue, and its throng of bars, restaurants and clubs, bookstores, music shops and consultates (The British one is by Charles Barry). Taksim is fairly new for ancient Istanbul. In the 16th century golden age – the age of Sinan – Taksim was open countryside, well outside the city walls, and a handy spot for highfalutin’ Ottoman grandees to practice archery. By the 1700s it had been remodelled by civil engineers as a water distribution centre (Taksim is an Arabic loan word meaning distribution) and another 100 years later it became the site of military barracks. These were razed in 1940 to make way for Gezi Park. I got to know Taksim’s Gezi Park during the summer of ’91. I had lunch there every day. This past week the world has got to know a little of Gezi Park. It has become the centre of anti-government protests (pictured), which have seen violent clashes erupt between riot police and Istanbullus who had gathered to peacefully protest its redevelopment. (Ironically, the plan is to rebuild the barracks). It has been said the protests are no longer about the park, that they are more a reaction to Erdoğan’s politics. Yet Istanbul is a city like no other in Europe: in 100 years it has grown 14-fold. Until the 1950s it was famous for its open green spaces, its forests and its curious mix of low-rise, hilly streets and picturesque cemetery glades. The city’s collective memory is one of fresh air. Now, with a population of 14 million, double that of when I worked for Hüseyin just two decades ago, Istanbul is struggling to catch its breath. Fundamentally, the riots really are about saving Gezi Park. Without it Istanbul is in danger of choking itself to death. ..


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Letters

Last issue AJ 30.05.13 Established 1895

Bridge the energy gap

Post your letters to the address below or email letters@ architectsjournal.co.uk

I write in support of the AJ’s Bridge the Gap campaign and your call for bravery. The vast majority of energy used in a building’s life cycle occurs when the building is in use. Yet the gap between predicted and actual energy usage can be very large – often quoted as double – and equally often is completely unknown. Why does this matter? It is the actual energy used that costs the user money and contributes to the UK’s CO² emissions. What can be done to bridge the gap? The root causes of performance deficiencies often belong to earlier steps in the building delivery process, but the siloed nature of the industry means these are often not clear or not addressable until ‘too late’. Decisions made at specification and design stages set the foundation to maximising all building performance – and influence the extent to which the performance gap can be closed. When there is a whole system approach to building delivery, addressing eventual energy use at

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Editor Christine Murray Deputy editor Rory Olcayto () Editorial assistant Rakesh Ramchurn () News editor Richard Waite ( ) Reporter Merlin Fulcher () Asia correspondent Hyunjoo Lee Technical editor Felix Mara () Technical reporter Laura Mark () AJ Publications editor James Pallister () Special projects editor Emily Booth () Sustainability editor Hattie Hartman () Sustainability intern Henry Pelly AJ Buildings Library editor Tom Ravenscroft () Art editor Brad Yendle () Graphic designer Ella Mackinnon () Head of production Alan Gordon () Production editor Mary Douglas (on leave) Content producer Isabelle Priest () Contributing editor Ian Martin Editorial director Paul Finch

Letters should be received by 10am on the Monday before publication. The AJ reserves the right to edit letters. The letter of the week’s author will receive a bone china AJ mug.

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LETTER OFK THE WEE

design, procurement, construction, commissioning, handover and operation, we will see the performance gap diminish. Kerry Mashford, chief executive, The National Energy Centre, Milton Keynes

Test the Plan of Work Your article on the RIBA Plan of Work 2013 (AJ 16.05.13) suggests there’s a lot of interest in it. As editor of the Plan of Work I can tell you that: Sustainability is at the heart of the Plan. The sustainability checklists encourage ‘over and above’ processes. We anticipate the majority of users will use them. Far from being a ‘onesize-fits-all’ solution, a number of small practitioners were on the review group and the online tool produces a version specifically for traditional projects. The Plan does not anticipate ‘rushing’ design. Indeed, it advocates preparation of a project programme. The stages were developed in collaboration with the CIC, with recent adjustments reflecting RIBA members’ comments. Planning, Building Regulations and tendering are all

Chief executive officer Natasha Christie-Miller Interim managing director of the architecture group Robert Brighouse Commercial director James MacLeod () Business development managers Nick Roberts (), Ceri Evans () Group advertising manager Amanda Pryde () Account managers Hannah Buckley (), Simon Collingwood (), Steph Atha () Classified and recruitment sales Mark Malone () The Architects’ Journal is registered as a newspaper at the Post Office. © . Part of the EMAP network. Printed in the  by Headley Brothers Ltd.  (  ) is published weekly except Christmas, Easter and August. Subscription price is . Periodicals postage paid at Rahway,  and additional mailing offices. Postmaster send address corrections to: , c/o Mercury International Ltd,  Blair Road, Avenel, New Jersey . Distributed in the  by Mercury International Ltd,  Blair Road, Avenel,  .

in the RIBA Plan of Work 2013; it could hardly be otherwise. I hope readers will test it for themselves at www.ribaplanofwork.com. Dale Sinclair, director, Dyer, and editor of the Plan of Work 2013

Battersea’s chimneys So Rob Tincknell says: ‘The reconstruction of the iconic chimneys is an essential part of the refurbishment [of Battersea Power Station] and will be undertaken with great care and precision so that they remain a landmark on the London skyline.’ (TheAJ.co.uk 30.05.13) Well, yes, except that the chimneys do not need to be reconstructed at all. An engineering report commissioned by the Twentieth Century Society and others in 2005 found no evidence to support the proposition that the chimneys were beyond repair and concluded they could be repaired by conventional techniques. Why would a commercial developer insist on carrying out such a difficult and expensive operation when a more straightforward and cost-effective solution is at hand? Keith Garner, via email

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GRAHAM CARLOW

AJBuildingsLibrary.co.uk

Project of the Week V&A Ceramics Gallery Bridge Wilkinson Eyre Architects London, 2009 The bridge, which provides a stepped escape route from the Ceramics Gallery across an external space to the adjacent Secretariat block, is one of 10 Wilkinson Eyre schemes in the AJ Buildings Library ..

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The ship’s sarcophagus

The design of the Mary Rose Museum posed searching questions, but did Wilkinson Eyre and Pringle Brandon Perkins + Will find the right answers? asks Felix Mara


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he regimented naval quarters and warehouses forming endless vistas in Portsmouth’s 800-year-old Historic Dockyard convey an overwhelming sense of power. Surrounded by a working naval base, the hulls of operational and decommissioned warships forming deep canyons with grids of cannons, its imposing structures yield glimpses of jade seawater and at its north end, rounding the bow of HMS Victory, you see an intriguing black structure like a giant beached mussel. This museum (seeTechnical Study, AJ 31.05.12) opened to the public on Friday (31 May) as the home of Henry VIII’s cherished flagship, the Mary Rose, which was built – and in 1545 sank – nearby. For lead architect Wilkinson Eyre and the architect of the interior, Pringle Brandon Perkins+Will, the design of this structure, which envelops and augments a temporary lightweight enclosure built in 1984 after the Mary Rose was raised from the seabed, posed two searching questions. First, how should it address the challenges of its multiple roles as protective environment, research facility, museum and monument? Second, how to respond to its unique historic surroundings? What remains of the ship and its contents, finally reunited, is terribly vulnerable, but also subject to intense curiosity. A new museum had the potential not only to help >>

Left View from west with stern of HMS Victory. The museum’s external gallery can be used for corporate events

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visitors understand its significance – it is the only 16th-century warship on display in the world and contains a large collection of Tudor artefacts – but also to commemorate the 465 lost crew. ‘We started with the idea of working from the inside out,’ says Wilkinson Eyre director Chris Wilkinson. ‘The museum has a very specific design, only suitable for the Mary Rose.’ So responding to the context was not the starting point. But Wilkinson, who is an English Heritage commissioner and wanted a contemporary design, did consider context a priority. He also wanted the museum to complement rather than distract from its displays, so in a sense the design was under pressure from both inside and outside and its evaluation involves asking whether it is perhaps too self-effacing. Many architects choose to work from the inside, but in the case of the Mary Rose Museum, this involved three specific tasks: addressing conservation requirements, considering the visitor ..


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experience by formulating a strategy for displaying the ship and its contents and organising spaces and circulation routes. Like the Vasa, a Swedish warship that sank in 1628 and was salvaged in 1961, the Mary Rose was treated with polyethylene glycol to strengthen its timber fabric cell walls and seal its surface. These processes, lasting 19 years, were completed in April and, when the hull dries out, potentially in 2017, its current temporary enclosure, studwork walls and windows will be removed, allowing visitors to occupy the same space as the ship. The enterprise entailed building over this structure and limiting the new building’s internal volume to achieve the required environmental control levels. This involved designing simple spanning low-arched beams. The new envelope also carefully regulates daylight and energy use. The display strategy involves three concepts. When the ship sank, the ..

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View project drawings, images and data at AJBuildingsLibrary.co.uk Search for ‘Mary Rose’

Far left The designers remained faithfull to the concept of a virtual hull, shown in this drawing Right above The external cladding replicates the carvings of illiterate seamen Right Entrance desk

starboard side of its hull and many of its contents were embedded in clay beneath preserving layers of silt on the seabed, whereas everything else was carried away or destroyed by chemical action. The core strategy involved constructing a port hull complementing its salvaged mate. Visitors can explore the context galleries of this virtual hull, an abstraction of the original with GRG walls populated by carefully positioned salvaged objects from the ship. Ideally, visitors would be able to see the outer face of the original hull and this may one day be possible. The second concept, also integral to the external architectural expression, envisions the museum as a jewellery box, another stock architects’ approach and an analogy, often invoked to rationalise uninspired, low-key design, emphasising the museum’s contents as highlights. Due to their scarcity, timber artefacts more vulnerable on dry >>

LUKE HAYES

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1. Ship hall 2. Context gallery 3. East gallery 4. West gallery 5. Education entrance 6. Laboratory 7. Classroom 8. Plant room 9. LV room 10. Secondary collection 11. External plant compound 12. Museum service area 13. Office 14. Entrance 15. Staff room 16. Changing room 17. Storage 18. South pavilion roof 19. Boardroom 20. Terrace 21. Light lock Expected to be removed in 2017 leaving only glass-balustraded walkways

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1. Ship hall with ‘hot box’ conservation enclosure 2. Existing structure 3. East galleries 4. West galleries 5. Terrace 6. IT room 7. Conservation equipment 8. Cradle 9. Barge deck 10. AHU Expected to be removed in 2017 leaving only glass-balustraded walkways

Right Walls and windows between the context gallery and the ship hall will ultimately be removed Far right End gallery at first floor level

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land are the most valuable. Of course, jewellery boxes can also be elaborate. Although Wilkinson Eyre describes the museum as a finely crafted jewellery box, this seldom comes across in its interior, where details, for example the roof soffits, are blacked out, greyed out or designed out. Fine glass cases in the context galleries are an exception. The final concept, related to the jewellery box strategy, involves a gradation of low light levels. Wilkinson acknowledges the architectural appeal of daylit spaces, but dismisses them as an option in this museum, even where objects aren’t light-sensitive. Creating a sense of intrigue and highlighting displays against dark backgrounds is part of the logic, but Wilkinson and Pringle >>

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Brandon Perkins+Will director Chris Brandon emphasise their strategy of simulating the dark, claustrophobic conditions on the lower decks of the 45m-long ship with 500 crew, seconds before it sank, paralleled by intimate scaled spaces. They’re not that intimate, although there are unusually low soffits. Anti-boarding netting above the context galleries document a precaution that tragically backfired, fatally trapping crew. However, weather deck conditions are not recreated. ‘It’s anti-light,’ says Brandon. The spatial organisation follows a clear diagram, with the three linear context decks connecting large, semi-elliptical end galleries. As in the original ship, these context galleries, with unlabelled displays, follow a curve descending from the stern then rising to the bow. Visitors enter at middle deck level, typically descending an open staircase to the lower level before ascending to the top, enjoying the best view of the Mary Rose from a glass-walled lift car. But if there isn’t an attendant on hand to recommend the lift instead of the stairs, you could easily miss this experience, although you will have enjoyed an opportunity to follow your own path through the museum. This emphasis on encouraging visitors to explore is one of the building’s strengths. But this freedom is undermined by the simulation strategy, projecting  ..

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1. Entrance foyer, shop and café 2. South plant room 3. Context gallery 4. Hold deck 5. Main deck 6. Castle deck 7. Dock level walkway 8. Hot box 9. Ship hall with ‘hot box’ conservation enclosure 10. Conservation crane 11. Existing structure 12. Staff room 13. Education entrance 14. Classroom Expected to be removed in 2017 leaving only glass-balustraded walkways

Opposite Ground floor context gallery with anti-boarding netting overhead

a singular, literal interpretation. Nevertheless, it’s an imaginative visitor experience, although it doesn’t fundamentally challenge expectations or question the familiar routine of entrance desk, displays, shop and café. Looking back at the museum after leaving, I appreciate how much is below grade, sitting in an elliptical 18th century dry dock whose geometry, rather than that of the ship, has generated its plan form. Nevertheless, even with much of its accommodation decanted to incongruous twin flanking pavilions, it is a bulky sarcophaguslike volume, much larger than HMS Victory and about twice the length of the Mary Rose, although a larger, more commanding museum for this hallowed treasure would not have been incongruous amid the dockyard’s imposing structures. However, construction on the scale of the Mary Rose Museum raises questions about detail and articulation unless a sublime, scale-less monumentality is preferred. True to the finely crafted jewellery box strategy, Wilkinson Eyre found refinement in the setting-out of the external cladding planks, which slope upwards from the horizontal towards the ends, where they meet in ducktail configurations. The curved plan also belies the museum’s bulk, encouraging the eye to look around and beyond. The design makes no bones about references to the form and

construction of the Mary Rose, through its toroid geometry and mimicry of the ship’s caravel hull construction, which facilitated the introduction of gunports that seem to have been involved in the chain of events that led to her sinking. Leaving aside questions of integrity, narrative and mimicry alone do not make for great architecture. The museum’s quasi-nautical form is a near miss, but avoids the kitsch of Stockholm’s Vasa Museum, with its pseudo-masts. However, redeeming qualities make it a good building, albeit one that punches below its weight as urban design. ■ Project data start on site November 2009 completion May 2013, conservation expected to complete in 2018 gross internal floor area 4,495m² procurement Enabling works: JCT 2005 SBC Without Quantities (Rev1) Main works: JCT 2005 Design and Build (Rev2) construction cost £27 million construction cost per m2 Not confirmed client Mary Rose Trust architect Wilkinson Eyre Architects architect of interior Pringle Brandon Perkins + Will contractor’s architect ECE Architects structural engineer Ramboll m&e consultant Ramboll quantity surveyor Davis Langdon exhibition design Land Design Studio fit-out contractor 8Build project manager GVA Second London Wall cdm inspector Davis Langdon building inspector Portsmouth City Council main contractor Warings cad software used MicroStation and Rhino

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Working detail

Mary Rose Museum, Portsmouth Wilkinson Eyre Roof to external wall junction

1. Gutter 2. Eaves 3. Birdsmouth 4. Profiled metal structural deck 5. Vapour barrier 6. 195mm insulation build-up 7. Aluminium standing seam roof with zinc finish 8. Thermally broken clip 9. Drip 10. Aluminium flashing with welted joints to match roof finish 11. 18mm WPB ply backing 12. Edge support angle 13. Insulated steel gutter 14. Steel beam behind 15. Plasterboard lining 16. Metal stud lining 17. Vapour barrier 18. Galvanised top hat section 19. 22mm-thick cedar boarding (widths differ), blackstained finish 20. Steel frame 21. Aluminium weather flashing, black RAL 9005 22. 22mm x 150mm cedar board, blackstained finish 23. Timber batten 24. 22mm-thick cedar boarding (widths differ), blackstained finish 25. Building paper 26. 18mm plywood sheeting 27. Blown insulation

LUKE HAYES

GARETH GARDNER

HUFTON + CROW

The main building is clad in timber planks of various lengths and widths. Western red cedar was chosen for its functionality and durability. The planks were stained with Solignum, an architectural stain suitable for coastal environments, and laid to mimic caravel boat construction – a technique used on the Mary Rose – where timbers were fixed with minimal expansion joints to avoid overlapping. The aluminium standing seam system to the main roof has a zinc finish, its geometry derived from the cut of a torus. The seams run parallel to the narrower length of the building

and particular attention was paid to the detailing to avoid water ingress at the shallower ends of the roof to the east and west. Due to the elegance of the building geometry, we wanted all details to be as clean as possible. At the transition between the roof and the external wall, a birdsmouth detail emphasises the roof edge. We wanted to represent the roof as the cap of a jewellery box, containing the Mary Rose as a treasure. The proportion and simplicity of the eaves detail was essential to maintain our original concept. Folded, galvanised, laser-cut plates deal with the double curvature of the eaves to form the birdsmouth, their template developed through 3D modelling. Several mock-ups were constructed to fully understand the detail’s feasibility. Chikako Kanamoto, project architect, Wilkinson Eyre

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Clockwise from top left First floor context gallery; view looking north from HMS Victory; ventilation openings in external cladding

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Parklife

Architecture PLB has designed a community facility for Walthamstow that deters vandals without imposing a defensive aesthetic, says Tom Ravenscoft. Photography by Timothy Soar

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ravelling to the final stop of the Victoria Line on a bitterly cold day to trudge around a park in Walthamstow was not how I wanted to spend my afternoon. However, when I arrived I was encouraged to find Lloyd Park bustling with activity and I was just in time to buy a cup of tea from the pavilion I had come to visit. Named in honour of its benefactor, Frank Lloyd, the park was gifted to the local authority, along with the childhood home of William Morris,

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in 1898. Although well-used, the 100-year-old park had slipped into a run-down, confused state due to successive alterations and adaptations, combined with poor maintenance and vandalism. A £3.48 million Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund grant awarded under the Parks for People initiative (to which the council added £1.75 million) has revitalised the public park. Most of the £5 million has been spent on a series of major works, including the restoration of the

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mansion’s original terracing, the creation of a William Morris interpretive garden, the relining of the lake, extensive planting of shrubs and trees and decluttering (there had been six different types of railings). However, the most visually obvious improvement is the addition of a central pavilion, designed by Architecture PLB. The principal design challenge with many pavilions is how to create a high-quality piece of architecture that will not attract the abuse so often aimed at public buildings. The previous pavilion had been the victim of severe vandalism and from the start Architecture PLB set out to create a robust structure that would not suffer a similar fate. They wanted, and have created, a building that can be fully secured, but that does not impart a defensive aesthetic. Standing at a natural gathering point, the pavilion rests at the intersection of two main routes through the park where the formal gardens associated with the mansion break out into the open fields of Aveling Park. A ribbon of buildings running alongside the north-south thoroughfare, the hub is directly linked by a path to the park’s other main draw, the William Morris Gallery, which was recently renovated with >> N

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Left View of café from new playground Right Passage between art gallery and community room Part of your AJ subscription

View project drawings, images and data at AJBuildingsLibrary. co.uk Search for ‘PLB’

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Lloyd Park Pavilion, Walthamstow Architecture PLB

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an unremarkable extension added by Pringle Richards Sharratt. Now the focal point of the park, the pavilion contains a gallery, six artists’ studios and a café, run by Waltham Forest College. The adult education programme delivered in the kitchen allows the café to justify extended operation hours, which encourages activity around the building. The café is welcoming, with the fullheight glazing facing the playground. To make it secure, Architecture PLB did not want to hide the building behind a fence – a technique employed by Cottrell & Vermeulen at the Lloyd Park Children’s Centre situated opposite. In contrast, the Lloyd Park Pavilion’s security elements have been integrated to create a fully secure building that does not resemble Na fortress. Rainwater pipes are recessed into walls and the roof has a large overhang to prevent climbing on the building. The green roof is not only a sustainable design feature, but also prevents the smashing of roof tiles, something the architects’ research found to be a favourite youth antic.

1. Café 2. Kitchen 3. Community room 4. Gallery 5. Park mess room 6. Medical room 7. Artists’ studio in refurbished existing building

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Top left Mesh screen printed with William Morris design provides solar shading Left Full-height glazing in the café Above right Rainwater pipes are recessed into the walls

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TOM RAVENSCROFT

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Lloyd Park Hub, Waltham Forest ArchitecturePLB

Other security elements are disguised or hidden. The window bars are designed to look like brise-soleils, the roller shutters are fully concealed within the eaves and a mesh, decorated with a pattern from a William Morris print chosen from the collection in the nearby museum, provides solar shading for the café. Unfortunately Architecture PLB’s aesthetic strategy has not been completely implemented. A security fence, following Secured by Design guidance, encloses the refurbished art studios. The architect’s intention, as seen in the planning drawings, was to continue the rough-faced brick garden wall surrounding the café and art gallery around this third of the building. A funding shortfall resulted in last-minute cost savings and, in order to bring the project within budget, the building’s height was lowered by three courses of >> 


Lloyd Park Pavilion, Walthamstow Architecture PLB

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1. PPC fascia and trim clip to minimise exposed fixings 2. 75mm-high angle to form lip to dress waterproof membrane up to 3. Two layers of 19mm WPB plywood laid to falls on tapered firings 4. UV-resistant liquid-applied roof coating 5. Treated timber packers on top of RHS beam to form 70mm-high upstand between CHS column heads 6. Green roof on liquid-applied warm roof coating, PIR insulation and filtration layers to achieve 0.1 U-value 7. 6mm Nylatron thermal break 8. Rendered soffit on cementitious board to align with internal ceiling 9. Concealed roller shutter over full glazing, removable PPC aluminium framed access panel mounted beneath roller shutter to match colour of soffit 10. Bottom flange of UB cut away to allow shutter housing to fit 11. Fixing plate to underside of UB with 30mm deflection gap above top of mullion

TOM RAVENSCROFT

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brick and the final section of the wall was abandoned. It’s a shame that Architecture PLB was not given the opportunity to follow the programme to its conclusion – perhaps a modern day Lloyd was required to fill the funding gap? The architect has resisted the temptation to build a trophy pavilion,  ..

investing instead in high-quality design and integrated security. The overall effect is a building that, through its lack of overt defensiveness, does not present itself as a challenge. To deem any building ‘vandal-proof ’ is a step too far, but I hope Architecture PLB’s pavilion will stay as fresh as the day I visited it. ■

start on site July 2011 completion September 2012 gross internal floor area 400m2 procurement JCT Traditional Contract cost per square metre £2,500 pavilion total cost £1 million client London Borough of Waltham Forest architect Architecture PLB project manager Plincke and LBWF structural engineer Ramboll m&e consultant Ramboll landscape architect Plincke main contractor Jerram Falkus cost consultant Jackson Coles skate park design Gravity estimated co2 emissions 37.5kgCO2/m2/year

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Left The refurbished artists’ studios sit behind a security fence, the final section of wall having been abandoned due to a funding shortfall Right A large overhang prevents vandals from clambering onto the roof

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Culture

JIRˇICˇNÁ’S RIGHT ROYAL SHOW Eva Jiřičná has been a ruthless curator of this year’s Architecture Room at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. The show is all the better for it, writes Christine Murray  ..

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROEL PAREDEANS

exhibition Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition, 10 June to 18 August, Royal Academy of Arts, London

The chaos of the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition, a maze of esteemed galleries cluttered with artwork clamouring for attention, is a product of the show’s unusual selection process. This long tradition, an annual event held without fail since 1769, sees thousands of works paraded in front of its curators who pick the best of the open submissions for their rooms. But the small print is that if you are a Royal Academician (RA), up to six pieces of your work are automatically included in the summer show. The frenetic exhibition is borne of the curatorial team’s struggle to meaningfully combine the mandatory RA work with exciting discoveries from lesser-known talents. The challenge with the Architecture Room is how ..

Main image FCB’s Southbank models won the top £10,000 prize Top centre The Architecture Room Top right Birds Portchmouth Russum Architects were commended for Brewster House Above Spencer de Grey’s commended models for the Einstein Museum

to stop the RA work from dominating this space – the smallest gallery in the exhibition – to make room for exhilarating work from emerging architects and students. Curators often cope by hiding uninspiring commercial models (presumably submitted by RAs to flatter clients) in the centre of plinths, bookended by interesting work, or by climbing the walls, hanging them far above eye level. The curator of the Architecture Room this year, Eva Jirˇicˇná, took a more radical approach: If the RA work didn’t suit the room, she phoned up RAs and asked them to withdraw work and submit a different piece. ‘It’s always difficult to reject any work that is submitted. It’s so much easier to spread good news rather than bad,’ Jirˇicˇná says. ‘At the end of the day there is only one relatively small gallery, so something has to give.’ Jirˇicˇná also managed to trade some architecture pieces into other galleries, such as the enormous David Chipperfield model, to save on space. Zaha Hadid’s sculpture also features in another room. The Architecture Room is stronger for it. There are >> 


Culture Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition Architecture Room

notably fewer pieces exhibited, and these are of more uniform quality. There’s still plenty of work on show, but it’s a slightly less confused experience than usual. The inclusion of occasional pieces of sculpture or art in the Architecture Room emphasises, rather than blurs, the distinction between the arts – object-making versus the making of space. There are some fun juxtapositions: Richard Rogers’ star-shaped steel cross-bracing next to starfish-shaped sculptures by Ikuko Iwamoto, an Amanda Levete Architects model of the EDP Foundation near a stainless steel sculpture by Margarita Trushina. Standout pieces include the winners of this year’s AJ/Lend Lease Awards: two models by Heatherwick Studio, which picked up the £5,000 prize for Best First Time Exhibitor, with Mina  ..

Top and main image Heatherwick Studio’s models of Teesside Power Station and Masdar Mosque won the £5,000 Best First Time Exhibitor prize Above Mina Gospavic´ was commended for her brass, card and paper drawings

Gospavic´ commended in this category, and Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios’ Southbank Centre models, which scooped the £10,000 Architecture Award, for which Spencer de Grey’s models for the Foster-designed Einstein museum in Jerusalem and Birds Portchmouth Russum Architects’ Brewster House were commended. As for the canary-yellow walls, Jirˇicˇná explains that they were intended to make the drawings stand out. They are a bit garish, but what architects might prefer (white walls) matters less here – this show and its awards are about engaging the up to 60,000 visitors. ‘My secret dream is that people will enjoy it,’ Jirˇicˇná says. I certainly did. The overall impression is of a profession engaged in ‘making’ and that architects are a playful, inspired bunch. It may inspire new recruits into the profession. ■ ..


James Pallister welcomes a Hugh Casson retrospective at the Royal Academy

Comment from Eva Jirˇicˇná ‘I sincerely hope visitors to the exhibition will notice that architecture is interesting, inspirational, very serious, though at the same time excellent fun. There is a large selection of sketches, built and unbuilt projects, ideas, abstract composition – you name it and you’ll find it. ‘Architecture is seen in juxtaposition with art, of both well-known and emerging artists. That is to show that architecture can be an integral part of a very famous art show and not, as it has been for a long time, completely separated from the mainstream. ‘My secret dream is that people will enjoy it, find little jokes here and there and leave with a smile – hence the yellow colour on the walls, to bring the sunshine in.’ ..

Ruskin famously found solace from a brutal world in the humble penguin. He wrote in a letter to Charles Eliot Norton: ‘I find penguins at present the only comfort in life. One feels everything in the world so sympathetically ridiculous; one can’t be angry when one looks at a penguin.’ The sketches of Hugh Casson have a similar effect, particularly the thoughtful-looking elephants in his watercolours of his Elephant and Rhinoceros House at London Zoo. Modern concerns about safety, welfare and pachyderm podiatry mean that, like the penguins and their Berthold Lubetkin-designed pool, the elephants are no longer resident in their striking concrete silos, having moved out in 1991. Completed in 1965, Casson’s design used a vertical striation to help ‘roughen’ up its exterior, helping to dissuade animals from rubbing up against it and damaging the walls, as well as providing a visual nod to the large animals’ rough skin. A display of this sketch and more is currently on show at the Royal Academy. The building can be admired at London Zoo, where, with a bit of luck, you will find some pygmy marmosets snuffling around. You may also enjoy reading Mark Haywood’s essay A Brief History of European Elephant Houses: From London’s Imperial Stables to Copenhagen’s Postmodern Glasshouse. Adding to his thorough genealogy of the type, Haywood speculates that the long-term breeding of the beasts in captivity, ‘together with a lengthening absence of genetic input from wild stock’, may mean that their ‘social behaviour may become increasingly divergent from their wild ancestors’. Haywood goes on: ‘It is even possible over time that zoo elephants may evolve into a domestic sub-species which is not simply unsuitable for reintroduction into the wild, but is better equipped for life in a socially and spatially restricted urban setting.’ The Urban Elephant. Who knew?

visit Hugh Casson: Making Friends, until 22 September at the Royal Academy, Piccadilly, London

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Practice

Planning portal Regulations have evolved for logical reasons and bring clear benefits, writes Craig Casci In an attempt to kickstart an economic recovery, many governments turn to deregulation as a way of stimulating growth. The belief is that regulation stifles trade, creativity and wealth and that it is easier to remove ‘restrictive’ regulations than it is to develop new stimuli. Desperate governments seem to forget that most regulations are former responses intended to produce better results. Hacking away at, say, town planning rules is much more likely to result in uncontrolled development than boost GDP. Thatcher deregulated many of the City’s constraints and in hindsight we now know that these rules and their regulatory watchdogs also prevented criminality (and may have been able to prevent global economic collapse). In truth, the coalition’s ambitions are meek compared with the ideological posturing of some former governments. A generation ago, a planning application would consist of a letter, some forms, a cheque and a small bundle of drawings. A ‘pre-application’ meeting was a chat with an officer on site (yes, they used to meet you on site). Application, committee and consent took about six months. Now a large project will have 20-30 consultants and the pre-application process will be married to an extensive public consultation programme and political discussions. After 28 verified views, an environmental statement, various papers on construction, refuse and sustainability and, 18 months later, you have a decision. So obviously getting rid of impediment will speed things up and make it cheaper. But the key question is: will it make it any better? And where would that leave due process, local involvement and sustainability – all agendas created for good reasons? Regulations are the consequence of a logical sequence of events. That is not to say that circumstances do not change and that redundancy is not part of any regulatory framework – after all they no longer expect adept hand signals in driving tests. Section 20, which was repealed in January, was aimed at large-volume buildings, commonly warehouses, but also applied to residential buildings. It didn’t do anything – and hadn’t for the last 10 years – so its demise will save neither money nor time.  ..

In the 1980s there was a huge ‘simplification’ of Building Regulations. This simplification was intended to reduce the regulatory and constrictive nature of an aging document, removing mandatory solutions and replacing them with principles. Gone was that A5 beige softback that could be slipped in a briefcase, replaced instead by two lever arch files of approved documents to be read in conjunction with the Act and numerous British Standards. Simplified? No. More effective? Well, yes, but only if you had the skills, knowledge and experience necessary to know how to reflect the spirit of the regulations. Like law and medicine, deciding what action to take is a lot more complex than understanding the documents on the table. It needs experience, skill and judgement of interpretation.

The complexity of the planning system is here to stay – our buildings last longer, look better, are safer and more usable The complexity of modern buildings and the planning system is here to stay – our buildings last longer, look better, are safer and more usable by all user groups than they have ever been and there is no doubt that this is in the greater part due to regulations and guidance. They were created by the demand of our ever greater expectations and we should never reduce our aspirations. By all means have a clear-out of redundant references, but don’t expect to fuel a bonfire. And don’t expect to create a regulatory Big Bang – we collectively want better accessibility, durability, flexibility and (no apology) beauty. You may have noticed that medicine is ever more complex and expensive and that we are living longer. The medical profession deals with this demand by specialisation – and so should we. Craig Casci is a director of Grid Architects ..


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Part III (RIBA) Experienced Part III with proven track record in project delivery through all stages, excellent design and technical skills. The ability to establish strong working relationships with clients and consultants in a team leader role is essential. Residential and commercial experience an advantage. Must be proficient in Revit 2013 & AutoCAD. Part II Experienced Part II required with proven track record, excellent design and technical skills. Must be proficient in Revit 2013, AutoCAD, 3ds Max & InDesign Technologist / Technician Experienced candidate with minimum five years experience in the UK or Ireland. Must be proficient in Revit 2013 & AutoCAD. Part I Available to the candidate who demonstrates exceptional design and presentation skills and the ability to meet deadlines. Must be proficient in Revit 2013, AutoCAD, 3ds Max & InDesign.

visit www.architectsjournal.co.uk the home of British architecture

Research Fellowship in the Built Environment £30k per year for 2 years

Closing Date for applications Wednesday 28 August 2013

“Genetics and the Built Environment”

To advertise in the next issue of

Architects’ Journal, please contact

Stephen Beszant on 0203 033 2948

or email stephen.beszant@Emap.com

..

How can the understanding of genetic engineering and the “irreducible complexity” of the architecture of life cross over into the built environment, and what does it offer by way of alternative pathways for participants in the next evolutionary step of our communities and their supporting physical environments? Are the principles of natural selection and genetics a better model for the built environment than chance, or approximate design? And if so how might we use them? Does genetics suggest new approaches or participants for the built environment? And what can be learned about the ethics of such an approach, and the iterative development of solutions that are best adapted to change, not of an individual, but of the global human “organism”? The successful Fellow should show how such cross-over thinking can translate into the “architecture” of practical solutions for the built environment, and may include relevant thinking on planning, ethics, precedent, learning and adaptation mechanisms, manufacturing protocols, and environmental and cultural tests for success. Visit our website to discover more about the Fellowship on http://www.royalcommission1851.org.uk/built.html




Ian Martin

A cloudmapped happening is on the way Monopoly houses, then skewered into terraces. There are New York ‘subways’ with edible signage; French versions with Art Nouveau stylings at either end. Impossible-to-eat deconstructivist ‘anti-pasties’. Ice cream cones in the shape of Shards. Exotic double-miniburgers with salad mezzanines. Oh LOTS of salads of course, this food is architectural. Rewilded salads. Green roof salads. Salads like miniature rain forests. All great to look at but you wouldn’t want to eat any of it. Never buy street food in Mercia, everyone knows that.

MONDAY. Excited to be curating this year’s Tamworth Popupalooza. It will be many things – an urban showcase, an indie artfest, a psychospatial experiment, a realtime craft fair, an intersectional nebulisation, a global inreaching, a vertical thinkathon, a cultural boot sale, an actual boot sale, a celebration of biversity, a festival of affirmation, a carnival of tolerance, a network of beer-and-vinyl boutiques, the location of Britain’s Biggest Conga, free all-day cycling and the Great Community Bake-Off. But Popupalooza is not just about fun. It has a grimmer purpose. It is about restoring Tamworth as the capital city of Britain. By bloody insurrection if necessary.

THURSDAY. Finalise arrangements for our ‘suburban beach’, a strip of sand with herbaceous borders and a big sign prohibiting ball games.

TUESDAY. This year’s Popupalooza will feature a specially created model village, ‘Popuppingham’. All thatch and whitewash, smelling of cut grass and fresh laundry. It has been designed to feel exactly like a Leicestershire superhamlet, the sort of place highearning professional people retreat to at weekends. We tireless campaigners, we Friends of Mercia, are simply making a point. ‘This is what we would have had within an hour and a half ’s commute of Tamworth’ we are saying, ‘if only it had retained capital city status. ‘Instead, the title Capital of England was wrenched from us by dastardly Winchester in the ninth century, only to be snatched from THEM by suave, double-crossing London in the eleventh. As a consequence, nearly every wanker in a pink shirt lives in the South…’ These days, Tamworth’s notional commuter belt has one of the lowest densities of wankers in pink shirts in England. If there is anything positive to be taken from this underperformance it is that ‘WIPS’ belong in London, along with unpleasant wealthy foreigners, war criminals and charity beatboxers. When Tamworth rises again (inevitable, given global warming and the success of Game of Thrones) we will develop an entirely new dress code for wankers. Let’s draw a line under the pink shirt and move forward.

 ..

SATURDAY. Approve the planted wheelbarrow display. We’re using only flowers, vegetables and weeds that flourished, along with Offa’s Tamworth kingdom, in the eighth century. Hogstink. Deathpansy. Witchsnot. Arsefennel. Gripeweed. Bloodturnip. Shitgrass. Bubbling Gashwort. Happy days.

HANNA MELIN

WEDNESDAY. I’m with the rest of the judges in the secret judging marquee, shortlisting some architectural street food for Popupalooza. As is customary, we pause ever now and then to pull a ‘surprised’ face. Or squint uncertainly over glasses. Or laugh, gaily. A local string quartet is in the corner, playing generic pizzicato passages to keep us ‘in the mood’. We like the look of the architectural kebabs. Mechanicallyretrieved animal plasma dyed emerald green, shaped into little

FRIDAY. A cloudmapped social happening such as Popupalooza would be incomplete without installations all over the place, challenging everyone’s perceptions of what a cloudmapped social happening is. There’s some properly challenging stuff lined up. ‘Ha Ha Ha You Fucking Ants’ is a powerful installation by artists Con and Connie Connaught: 42 flags on the roof of the cider tent, ‘each one a command to passers-by to think a bit more about things for a change’. Questions range from the provocative (‘What are you looking at?’) to the oblique (‘How many pixels in a daydream?’) Let’s hope it gets people thinking about how we can speed Mercian independence, crush the ancient kingdoms of Wessex and Anglia and reinstate Tamworth as the capital city, otherwise we risk getting a bit distracted.

SUNDAY. Leisurely afternoon, reviewing Popupalooza progress reports in my eighth century Mercian recliner. It’s a reconstruction, fashioned from timber and clotted flax. Not very comfortable. But then the truth often hurts. I smile grimly to myself and sketch out plans for a flooded Milton Keynes. In the era of New Mercian hegemony it will become a wet playground, the ‘Venice of the Upper NorthWest South East’. ..


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