Sunday, 13 December 2009
Saturday, 12 December 2009
Thursday, 3 December 2009
Thursday, 26 November 2009
Monday, 23 November 2009
A building’s life finishes with the final node, demolition. Sometimes it’s required out of necessity, other times it’s own design can be the defining factor. Except now our relationship towards construction and building has shifted, no longer can opinion determine a building's outcome, the worlds fascination with Carbon emissions has resulted in what perhaps may be a flawed system.
The attraction of constructing new “green” buildings in replace of old “inefficient” ones appears so fruitful as they are carbon neutral, a term that portrays a false vision. Carbon neutral buildings only offset the carbon they produce at the present time and during construction, however what about neighboring buildings that may not be as efficient, or what about the past 500 years of carbon emissions. Buildings don’t need to be “Carbon Neutral”, they need to be “Negative Carbon”.
As it stands by 2019 all new buildings have to be Carbon Neutral, except what about existing buildings? Surely our approach to the Carbon problem is somewhat selfish, only thinking about sole dwellings. Countries should perhaps devise new strategies that offset villages, or even cities, doing so would require less construction over the whole city. If one tower offsets a city, then the need for new builds can diminish, and in it’s place “Adaption”.
Adapting existing architecture forces a building to evolve to the current standards, vast amount of facades systems exist all over the world that can simply latch on to the external skins of buildings, reducing carbon emissions and providing new properties to the users that reside inside the structure. Algae is becoming ever so popular in modern architectural technology, and the systems currently devised can easily fuse with old buildings.
As it stands in Manchester 2 major demolitions are currently underway, the Refectory within the University of Manchester Campus, and St Mary’s Hospital. These two builds from the 2nd half of the 20th Century are the result of new builds replacing them. What is most interesting is the simplicity of their designs, especially the large tower attached to the Refectory. If one was to merely gut the building it could quite easily be developed into a much more Carbon Efficient building without the need for demolition and then reconstructing.
Schemes already exist of renovating buildings form the early 1900’s, but why can’t schemes appear to save much newer buildings, much like in Sheffield with Park Hill. Maybe then we can begin to see the importance and impact that existing buildings have on our countries carbon emissions.
Images Copyright of Jack Penford Baker
Sunday, 22 November 2009
Thursday, 19 November 2009
Sunday, 8 November 2009
Saturday, 24 October 2009
Isolative Urbanism is a collection of essays from tutors and students of the BArch [Re_Map] Unit at Manchester School of Architecture. The unit, as its name may suggest, concerns itself with the mapping of the contemporary city, through analysing existing data, networks and how space is demarcated. Each of the essays presented deals with the resulting relationship between existing “urban conditions and space, public and private.” Within this framework the editors, Richard Brook and Nick Dunn, have seen fit to divide the essays into three categories: Policy, Utopia and Globalisation.
The introductory text, written by Brook and Dunn, aims to set the scene for the proceeding essays with a series of short sections that take the reader from the “notion of fragmentation” between art and architecture in the 1920s and 1930s through to Venturi’s description of the “decorated shed” and on to Paul Virilio’s musings on modern warfare. From this starting point it is clear that the following essays will deal with a myriad of challenging and complex issues. Each text is further contextualised by the placing of these theoretical studies within a setting, Barrow-in-Furness, the second largest town in Cumbria and a place referred to as a ‘30-mile cul-de-sac.’
Each essay provides the backdrop to an architectural solution that in most cases seeks to re-imagine or renew Barrow-in-Furness but without using the expected or clichéd methods that have become the norm in UK (and global) architectural policy for urban environments. These fresh perspectives often challenge the convention of established systems that have been backed by traditional capitalist ideologies and range from Grant Erskine’s proposal to remove all automobile-based transport from the town (with a 25,000 space car-park on the town’s periphery) to Ben Paterson’s plans to transform Barrow-in-Furness into a leading world port town.
At first glance these proposals may appear whimsical and far fetched but on reading the essay’s the argument behind each becomes clear and lends to them a certain credibility, a credibility strengthened by the depth of research. The essays do not go on to describe in depth the proposals, that is left to a double-page spread of greyscale images that tease at the possibilities presented but perhaps ultimately leave you wanting more. Nevertheless the rationale behind each provides a springboard for further debate on how the
Tuesday, 13 October 2009
Manchester has inflicted a great tragedy upon it’s self in the last 50 years. Like all universities their student community has metamorphosed into a seasonal leech that instantly embodies a vast area of the city for 9 months before dispersing into a much sparser area for hibernation. The “Leech” substantially fluctuates the city’s population, however they do not appear to be affiliated to the city, they are a separate entity that follows it’s own rules and style of life. Except the “Leech” is a necessity, without it Manchester wouldn’t be able to support itself, as much as it’s unusual behavior and profound lack of awareness of the neighboring communities disrupt the social make up, it is an investment, that will eventually be dissolved by the city and become apart of the machine.
The student community of Manchester that sprawls across the corridor of Oxford Road neglects the permanent communities that make up the rest of Manchester and as as a result live an isolated life that could benefit greatly by becoming a key component in the wider context. However I do not believe that it is the individual students persona that causes the fragmentation, in fact this vast social divide has nothing to do with the social landscape, instead it is down to the simple geographical location of the University.
Campus based Universities isolate themselves within a specific boundary, these work in outskirts of cities, but when a city adopts a university campus within it’s heart the student community is forced to accommodate the nearest residential zones and stay as close to where they study ignoring it’s surroundings. In the case of Manchester’s Oxford Road everything needed to live can be found on this one “Corridor”, stretched from Fallowfield directly in to the City Centre, which immediately causes the social separation of the communities. If one has everything in one place, why would one purposefully travel further to get what is already so close? Manchester is not the only case, Leeds for examples harbors the same problem along it’s Otley Road, although it appears to be a few years behind Manchester in terms of it’s severity.
The “Corridor” problem isn’t destroying Manchester, on the contrary, it harmless resides in it’s place, but a city is a single entity and in order for it to develop and improve the issues of the student community have to be dealt with. The occupation of the “Corridor” needs to disperse and fan out in order to be absorbed by the surrounding communities except the promise of a better city isn’t enough incentive for such a vast group of people. My solution, although abstract in form, does address the issues raised if Oxford Road was eliminated from Manchester and in it’s place lay a vast maze of roads that forced you to explore other areas of Manchester, perhaps then Manchester could evolve as an individual city.
Monday, 12 October 2009
Thursday, 8 October 2009
The Co-Operative Group seems to have ridden the recession without falls, last year it successfully acquired Somerfield and has now published and successfully received planning permission for a new head office in the heart of Manchester, right in the shadows of the prominent CIS Tower.
Co-Operative Group started in Manchester 150 years ago, and now stand as a leading company in the UK the design’s purpose is to house the additional administrative side acquired from the Somerfield deal, however 3DReid’s unusual form conveys a more subtle motive. The unusual plan shape, the inefficient curved edges, the vast loss of office space in return for a huge atrium. They are all there to promote the CO-Operative Groups ethos, so has the architectural equation changed in a modern environment, is it now function follows form follows advertisement, perhaps that is all we get from a capitalist society.
However 3DReid has created a somewhat refreshing office block that diverts from the typical glass cladded box. It looks at sustainability on a larger level and worker friendly environments, parking is limited as the local transport services are the advised use of travel, a vast atrium inside creates an open environment for it’s workers and leads the path for a new style of offices that are less enclosed, and more open.
As planning permission has been awarded, construction is due to take place at the start of 2010, with completion and opening set for sometime in 2012.
Images and video property of 3DReid
Saturday, 3 October 2009
The five shortlisted practices are:
Amanda Levete Architects
Edward Cullinan Architects
Amanda Levete Architects' proposal
Haworth Tompkins' proposalMUMA's proposal
Stanton and Williams' proposal
Wednesday, 30 September 2009
The President’s Medals Student Awards is an internationally acclaimed award of which RIBA accredited institutes can enter. It’s main purpose is to serve as a platform to promote the vibrant work currently erupting from the student community, but it also is there to help elevate the individuals whose work is at the forefront of architecture.
The winners, announced on the 2nd of December, will be invited to the award ceremony, of which previous guest speakers have been Lord Norman Foster and Richard Rogers, and their work will be published in a supplement included with the critically acclaimed Architect’s Journal. There are various prizes ranging from £250 worth of books to a £1250 Travelling Fellowship from SOM Foundation, however the most significant reward is the acknowledgment by the industry of whom they will soon become apart of. l. Therefore a mere nomination could extrude into substantial exposure.
Manchester School of Architecture have received commendations before, but an award has always deceived them.Perhaps this year may favour them but the outcome of the awards are a distant enigma, however the quality and innovation of MSA’s nominations are unquestionably evident and show true promise in a competitive arena.
Jack O'Rielly's URBAN F.@.M.I.N
Jack O’Rielly’s URBAN F.@.M.I.N (Urban Farming and Media Interactive Networks) is a detailed solution to promoting sustainability in an urban built environment. The proposal consists of a process starting with the production of crops in the heart of manchester, which is then sold to local restaurants, of whom promote the urban farm and the process repeats itself. An addition of a TV studio, integrated with in the build, creates programmes that aim to promote sustainability. Jack’s diverse concept fused with his exceptional drawing skills creates a vibrant project.
Luke Butcher's Home Truths
Luke Butcher’s Home Truths is a two part look into a new residential development in East Manchester. Luke focuses on a solution for problems that are currently residing in social state of the urban built environment. The result is a development that is built not for the present but the future; “... A sophisticated and socially inclusive range of mixed dwellings that challenges the perception of affordable housing.” It successfully creates concepts that are harbored in reality, and it’s maturity shows true ambition.
As part of the Displace Non-Place BARCh Unit Rebecca Stephens has created a beautiful design for an addition to the town of Chiavari on the Italian Riviera. Her work is deeply rooted in the heart of town’s history. The concept looks at promoting healthy living to the local teenagers. The design illusively perches in it’s context, with the upmost respect for the surrounding buildings. The design chooses to impose as little as possible visually, but it’s details show much appreciation to the history of the area.
Matthew Ault’s project comes from a brief that “required the intergration of architecture and performance as well as context, with careful treatment of a relationship to a body of water.” His design beautifully fuses a precise technical design with the freedom of performance and deserves commendation.
Nick Walkley’s dissertation explores the idea of ornament and how it has seen a revival in the early years of the 21st century, noticeably due to the addition of the computer in the world of design. He explores the effect it is having on design cultures. However what is most exceptional about his work is how he has managed to transcend his dissertation into reality with the design and production of a gothic concert hall for his thesis project.
Tuesday, 29 September 2009
This vibrant and environmentally friendly scheme contains two cool and calm atria for social activities; both spaces contain bridges and balconies connecting buzzing human traffic across the building.
Sunday, 27 September 2009
Thursday, 24 September 2009
Tuesday, 8 September 2009
Tuesday, 18 August 2009
The Roof to the Catholic Chaplaincy Building of The University Of Manchester, Oxford Road.
Architectural Flamboyance will be a weekly update looking at elements of Manchester’s buildings where the architect has been allowed to indulge in a little bit of self expression. It won’t include major architects, it won’t necessarily be about modern buildings, but it will show that the everyday architect can still, and has always been able to, create fresh designs even though the client’s small quantity of money tries to prevents them. No article will accompany the image of the element, it will speak for itself, any knowledge about it will be conveyed, however the buildings on show may have no data regarding them. But perhaps the acknowledgement in these updates will conjure up new data, or just give them the appreciation they require.