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Common Cause, for Open City

Alison Brooks is a Trustee of Open City, a charity dedicated to the idea that architecture and urban design must make our built environment more accessible and inclusive to everyone. In this article, she discusses the post-covid 19 period with optimism.

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Alison Brooks is a Trustee of Open City, a charity dedicated to the idea that architecture and urban design must make our built environment more accessible and inclusive to everyone. In this article, she discusses the post-covid 19 period with optimism.

The reset button being pushed by the pandemic is a chance for human culture to change for the better. ‘Times of crisis can bring out the best in people. Inevitably, they make us see the world through a new lens. This coronavirus pandemic is perhaps the first time humanity is seeing the world through a common lens. Suddenly we’re all on the same side, acutely conscious of our interdependence.’

Open City ‘Common Cause’ by Alison Brooks

Publisher
Open City
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Southwark Council and LHC ‘Fairer Futures’ Framework

We have been selected to Southwark Council, and LHC’s groundbreaking new architectural services framework for London. Over the course of the next four years, the Framework will administer architectural design contracts for a range of exciting public projects in the capital.

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We have been selected to Southwark Council, and LHC’s groundbreaking new architectural services framework for London. Over the course of the next four years, the Framework will administer architectural design contracts for a range of exciting public projects in the capital.

Alison Brooks have been selected in the categories of New Homes, and Education, Social Care and Community Projects. We are very excited by the potential for the Framework to delivery real design excellence in the procurement of public architectural contracts across London.

Leo Pollak, Southwark Council cabinet member for social regeneration, great estates and new homes, previously said the framework would engage a ‘new generation of designers’ in a bid to break with the ‘private gain over public good’ design culture of the past.

LHC regional manager Jennifer Castle said: ‘Through collaborative working, we designed the procurement process to attract the best architectural practices able to deliver innovative construction services to the public sector in London.’

Architects Journal ‘Southwark Framework’

Publisher
Architects Journal
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Home Ground, Biennale Architettura 2020

We are very happy to reveal that our contribution to the Biennale Architettura 2020 curated by Hashim Sarkis is called ‘Home Ground’. Responding to the theme of How We Live Together, and designed to encourage dialogue and debate it will feature in the As New Households section at the Arsenale from 29 Aug – 29 Nov. This is the fourth installation that Alison Brooks Architects has contributed to the Venice Biennale, and third in succession.

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We are very happy to reveal that our contribution to the Biennale Architettura 2020 curated by Hashim Sarkis is called ‘Home Ground’. Responding to the theme of How We Live Together, and designed to encourage dialogue and debate it will feature in the As New Households section at the Arsenale from 29 Aug – 29 Nov. This is the fourth installation that Alison Brooks Architects has contributed to the Venice Biennale, and third in succession.

Housing defines the way we live together in cities; as households and by shaping collective ground. Each of our housing projects consciously frames urban space at street level. We also work to enliven it with sheltered and internal spaces where diverse communities can congregate in new kinds of ‘home ground’. By bringing disparate projects together in this installation we aim not for the ‘ideal city’ but rather one that reflects the contingencies and complexities that shaped each of them.

For a full list of participants visit the Biennale website

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Building Design: Alison Brooks gets OK for biggest project yet

Architect’s 38-storey Vancouver regeneration scheme clears key planning hurdles. The residential-led mixed-use development in Vancouver includes a 38-storey tower as well as mansion-block and point-block elements.

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Architect’s 38-storey Vancouver regeneration scheme clears key planning hurdles. The residential-led mixed-use development in Vancouver includes a 38-storey tower as well as mansion-block and point-block elements.

The practice’s The Passages scheme, earmarked for the Canadian city’s Surrey district, will deliver 90,000 sqm of new space – including 1,126 homes, 2,700 sqm of amenity space, and 1,683 sqm of retail and commercial space.

Brooks said Surrey city centre had a desire to create a high-density, transport-oriented and walkable downtown core to address “critical housing need”, and that the character of tall buildings and how they merged to form a beautiful skyline with “humane and diverse streetscapes” had been a key design driver.

“The proposal for The Passages on Whalley Boulevard is for an open city block, with free-flowing public space at its heart, lined by a mix of uses which aim to serve its residents and the wider city of Surrey,” the practice said.

Source
BD Online - Alison Brooks gets OK for biggest project yet
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Victorian Society Lectures

Wed, 01/29/20 , 18:30
The Art Workers' Guild
The Art Workers' Guild (map)

Re-engaging with the Past: New Architectural Approaches In the third lecture of The Victorian Society winter lecture series The Victorian Society, in which Alison Brooks discusses the role of archetype as a critical physical and conceptual framework for human experience.

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Re-engaging with the Past: New Architectural Approaches In the third lecture of The Victorian Society winter lecture series The Victorian Society, in which Alison Brooks discusses the role of archetype as a critical physical and conceptual framework for human experience.

Alison will explained how she transforms these models into an experimental, culturally specific architecture. Works discussed include her seminal new Quadrangle for Exeter College, Oxford; a competition-winning scheme for York Castle Museum; a new Maggie’s Centre in Somerset; and a private house in Hampstead. Each of these projects engages in a dialogue with historic forms, materials and patterns in search of a contemporary iconography. The ongoing debate about how to adapt and reuse old buildings has reached an exciting stage. A new approach to reconciling old and new in architecture has emerged in recent years, one that is neither purely conservationist nor historicist but instead adopts a fresh, innovative approach. In this Victorian Society lecture series seven leading architects discuss this new trend and what it means in their work.

Wed, 01.29.20 , 18:30
The Art Workers' Guild
The Art Workers' Guild
When
Where
The Art Workers' Guild (map)
Website
architecturediary.org
Robert Park [less..]

The launch of Cadence, King’s Cross Central

Cadence, our pivotal building at the North of Lewis Cubit Park, has been officially launched at a press event today. New graphic hoardings have appeared across London promoting the residential sales.

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Cadence, our pivotal building at the North of Lewis Cubit Park, has been officially launched at a press event today. New graphic hoardings have appeared across London promoting the residential sales.

Cadence, an architecturally striking urban landmark in London’s re-energised King’s Cross neighbourhood, will bring 103 private residential homes to the London housing market. 51 different spatial configurations for the apartments have been carefully crafted to provide flexible living to suit every individual with interior design led by Conran and Partners. In addition, 60 units will be managed by Pocket Living, offering design-led rental homes for middle-earning local workers who positively contribute to their community.

Please refer to the Cadence project page for more information

 

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Governor General’s Medals in Architecture, 2020 Jury

Alison has had the great honour of being invited to the Jury to decide the recipients of the prestigious Governor General’s Medals in Architecture 2020. Organised by The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) and the Canada Council for the Arts, these Biennial Awards recognise and celebrate outstanding design in recently built projects – big or small – by Canadian Architects.

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Alison has had the great honour of being invited to the Jury to decide the recipients of the prestigious Governor General’s Medals in Architecture 2020. Organised by The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) and the Canada Council for the Arts, these Biennial Awards recognise and celebrate outstanding design in recently built projects – big or small – by Canadian Architects.

The Governor General’s Medals in Architecture are among this country’s most prestigious and coveted architectural awards. The medals recognise excellence in the art of architecture. The jury will assess the architectural and artistic merit of the design, taking into consideration factors such: conceptual clarity; innovation and uniqueness; compatibility with the site; sustainable design; and detailing.

The 2020 jury members are:

  • Alison Brooks, Principal and Creative Director, Alison Brooks Architects, London, UK
  • Johanna Hurme, FRAIC, Architect and Co-founder, 5468796 Architecture, Winnipeg, MB
  • Renée Mailhot, MIRAC, Architect and Co-founder, La SHED architecture, Montreal, QC
  • David Theodore, MRAIC, Canada Research Chair in Architecture, Health, and Computation at the Peter Guo-hua Fu School of Architecture, McGill University, Montreal, QC
  • Isay Weinfeld, Head Architect, Isay Weinfeld Arquitetura, Sao Paulo, Brazil
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Competition Win: Lincoln Court Estate, Hackney

After a highly competitive design competition with some of London’s most prolific housing practices, Alison Brooks Architects have been appointed by the London Borough of Hackney for the regeneration and extension of Lincoln Court, a 1960s council estate in the north of the borough currently comprising three towers.

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After a highly competitive design competition with some of London’s most prolific housing practices, Alison Brooks Architects have been appointed by the London Borough of Hackney for the regeneration and extension of Lincoln Court, a 1960s council estate in the north of the borough currently comprising three towers.

The commission is the result of a two-stage competitive tender resulting in a design competition. The stellar shortlist included Karakusevic Carson, Metropolitan Workshop, Haworth Tompkins and Bell Phillips.

ABA’s scheme for Lincoln Court is about reanimating the street, introducing a new urban grain and integrating mixed tenure housing into the existing built fabric. Their proposal introduces four mid-rise, street-facing residential buildings to mediate between the towers and the surrounding neighbourhood, reinstating the domestic character of Bethune Road before its post war redevelopment. The new linear block will embrace the towers at their bases and together will frame three west-facing garden courtyards. Two large new flexible community spaces opening to the communal gardens will support a range of daytime and evening uses.

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Major Regeneration Project in Vancouver Approved

Having gained consent at the first and second reading, The Passages, a one million square foot mixed use residential development in Vancouver was approved at the City of Surrey Public Hearing and third reading yesterday.

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Having gained consent at the first and second reading, The Passages, a one million square foot mixed use residential development in Vancouver was approved at the City of Surrey Public Hearing and third reading yesterday.

The Passages site is at the heart of the emerging Surrey City Centre in Vancouver, where there is a drive towards a high-density, transit-orientated and walkable downtown core to address a critical housing need. The character of tall buildings and how they merge to form a beautiful skyline with humane and diverse streetscapes has been a key design driver. Alison Brooks have worked with IBI Group on this project, for Rize Alliance.

Please refer to The Passages project page for more information

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Sto-Foundation: November Talks

Tue, 11/19/19
University of Stuttgart
University of Stuttgart

Alison delivered a presentation to the University of Stuttgart for the Sto-Foundation November Talks season. She began her lecture entitled “Making it real – Archetypes and Ecosystems” by reading a statement on today’s crises in which she commented: “We overuse the word crisis”.

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Alison delivered a presentation to the University of Stuttgart for the Sto-Foundation November Talks season. She began her lecture entitled “Making it real – Archetypes and Ecosystems” by reading a statement on today’s crises in which she commented: “We overuse the word crisis”.

Alison Brooks – November Talks

 

Tue, 11.19.19
University of Stuttgart
University of Stuttgart
When
Where
University of Stuttgart
Website
www.sto-stiftung.de
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International Quarter London, Competition Win

Alison Brooks Architects have successfully topped an international competition to design two new residential buildings within the International Quarter London (IQL) development in Stratford, East London.

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Alison Brooks Architects have successfully topped an international competition to design two new residential buildings within the International Quarter London (IQL) development in Stratford, East London.

Lendlease and LCR announced today that Alison Brooks Architects was selected from five practices invited to submit initial designs for two new residential and mixed-use buildings within the 22-acre development.

The buildings will include commercial space, a creche, and over 330 homes; increasing the number of properties available at IQL via affordability schemes such as Shared Ownership and Help to Buy.

Public consultation on a final set of designs is expected to begin in January, and the proposals will be consulted on and exhibited locally. They will demonstrate the very highest standards of architecture, while also melding seamlessly into the existing mix of residential, commercial and retail property at IQL. Plans for the public spaces around the buildings will refine the original masterplan and provide a continued focus on outside space, accessibility and nature.

Justin Davies, Head of Residential at Lendlease, Europe said: “Alison Brooks Architects have a wealth of experience in designing high quality residential buildings, and they have been hugely collaborative throughout this process. We are keen for that approach to continue as we take forward a project that will see us double the amount of housing on offer at IQL.

Adrian Lee, Development Director at LCR, said: “These designs will play a crucial role in delivering much-needed new homes for London and contributing to the Government’s housing targets, while bolstering IQL’s reputation as one of the capital’s top destinations to live and work. The area has leading cultural institutions and outstanding leisure and sporting facilities on its doorstep, which help it stand out as a great place to locate. We look forward to welcoming Alison Brooks Architects to the IQL team to bring new flair and design excellence to Stratford and to ensure that the new buildings will have sustainability at their core.”

Alison Brooks said “We’re honoured to have been selected to work amongst the exceptional architects working in the IQL and the wider Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park context. Our intention is to bring new character and urbanity to this park-side site, evoking the spirit of early 20th Century residential towers of New York and Chicago. Our proposal is conceived as a series of nested hexagonal columns that form ‘park ledges’ rising above a colonnaded base. We look forward to developing this concept with Lendlease and the wider Stratford and QEOP communities.”

IQL stands at the gateway to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The joint venture development between Lendlease and LCR is creating a vibrant new neighbourhood within the heart of Stratford, which brings together new homes, offices, and a diverse range of shops.

Image: Makower Architects’ masterplan for the International Quarter London.

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In Conversation with Alison Brooks, Parlour Magazine

Parlour Magazine have published an in-depth interview with Alison Brooks, in which she discusses a range of topics including her early career, the value of professional recognition, urban housing project work, the challenge of balancing work and motherhood, and the future of the profession.

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Parlour Magazine have published an in-depth interview with Alison Brooks, in which she discusses a range of topics including her early career, the value of professional recognition, urban housing project work, the challenge of balancing work and motherhood, and the future of the profession.

“I started studying architecture at the University of Waterloo in Canada in 1981 and graduated in 1988. It was a long education, because the Waterloo program involved working every other semester after the first year, so that stretches out the program by about two years. It means that you’re very skilled up and switched on by the time you graduate….”

In Conversation With Alison Brooks

 

Publisher
Parlour
Source
In Conversation With Alison Brooks
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Wood In Architeture, Florence

Thu, 11/14/19 , 16:00
Palazzo Pucci, Florence
Palazzo Pucci, Florence

Michael Mueller delivered a lecture at the Palazzo Pucci in Florence, on ABA’s approach to designing with timber. The event was organised by The Plan Magazine and AHEC (American Hardwood Export Council).

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Michael Mueller delivered a lecture at the Palazzo Pucci in Florence, on ABA’s approach to designing with timber. The event was organised by The Plan Magazine and AHEC (American Hardwood Export Council).

The hall of the Palazzo was packed with about 400 architects – some had to stand throughout the more than 2 hours event.

David Venables (AHEC) described the variety of American hardwood species: they are now trying to introduce more red oak to construction. He also discussed new ways of mapping deforestation and growth of forests and explained how quick the American hardwood regrows, even with harvested timber.

https://www.eventbrite.it/e/biglietti-architettura-in-legno-creativita-tecnologia-e-innovazione-seminario-di-architettura-77462511457#

Thu, 11.14.19 , 16:00
Palazzo Pucci, Florence
Palazzo Pucci, Florence
When
Where
Palazzo Pucci, Florence
Website
www.eventbrite.it
Robert Park [less..]

This Is Not A Fake, Bartlett International Lecture Series

Wed, 10/23/19 , 18:30
Bartlett School of Architecture
Bartlett School of Architecture

In the context of a contemporary culture saturated with the virtual and the illusory, Alison Brooks delivered a lecture to the Bartlett on both the agency of the architect and the role of architecture as a critical grounding force. She described the ways in which memory, conscious and sub-conscious experiences of ‘real’ places contribute to instinctive creativity (a fundamental human characteristic and critical form of authorship in architecture).

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In the context of a contemporary culture saturated with the virtual and the illusory, Alison Brooks delivered a lecture to the Bartlett on both the agency of the architect and the role of architecture as a critical grounding force. She described the ways in which memory, conscious and sub-conscious experiences of ‘real’ places contribute to instinctive creativity (a fundamental human characteristic and critical form of authorship in architecture).

Introduction to Lecture:

This Is Not A Fake

‘I thought I should start by explaining what I mean by this lecture title. I’m sure everyone in this room is aware of the number of crises we’re facing as a society, and as human culture in general.

There is the climate crisis. We’ve finally realised that the artificial division between “human culture” and “nature” carried down through centuries of so-called “human progress” must be reversed. This a huge project that should bring together all of humanity, and in which architecture must play a very big part.

There is the crisis of truth. Facts are manipulated by biases of many kinds, by political, religious, or commercial agendas. What is real? There is even a crisis in the overuse of the word crisis! We are simultaneously becoming immune and over-sensitised to transgressions of behaviour and language, to natural and man-made disasters, to image bombardment that digital communication has enabled.

So where does that leave architecture?

I’d like to put forward a declaration of optimism. That, although we are operating in a maelstrom of information and disinformation, the work of the architect is not a fake.

Problem solving, imagining, detailing, producing instructions for building: these acts although sometimes dream-like are commitments to the real, the solid, the permanent, the instrumental. We are tied to the fundamentals of being: we make places for people to spend time, share experiences, form memories and collectively flourish.

We hope projects and clients will offer us opportunities for poetic licence and, as a result, enrich others’ lives with meaning. We all know this is a privileged role that comes with huge responsibilities to current and future generations, institutions, corporate entities and the planet.

Maybe the most important role that being an architect allows us, within limits, is to express our individual conscience. Architects Declare, that I have signed up to, is fundamentally an expression of conscience. It is a catalyst for change in personal behavior and working practice. Therefore my position is that through our individual expertise, poetic instincts and collective conscience, architects are uniquely able to commit to, and act on, a better common future. We humans are part of the real and natural world and our project, as architects, is to prove it.’

This Is Not A Fake, BD Magazine

Wed, 10.23.19 , 18:30
Bartlett School of Architecture
Bartlett School of Architecture
When
Where
Bartlett School of Architecture
Website
www.ucl.ac.uk
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Architecture Alive in Malta.

Sat, 10/19/19 , 18:30
MUZA Valletta
MUZA Valletta

Alison presented a lecture on New Archetypes and the Civic Ideal at the Architecture Alive event in Malta organised by Studjurban and the Malta Planning Authority. Alison discussed the role of the archetype as a critical architectural and conceptual framework for her work.

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Alison presented a lecture on New Archetypes and the Civic Ideal at the Architecture Alive event in Malta organised by Studjurban and the Malta Planning Authority. Alison discussed the role of the archetype as a critical architectural and conceptual framework for her work.

Archetypal forms, spaces, organisations and relationships structure our individual experience and collective memory. They act as a springboard for our individual creative acts. She will illustrate how her practice works with archetypal models and local histories to create an experimental, culturally specific architecture including her seminal new academic Quadrangle for Exeter College, Oxford; the Mies van der Rohe nominated Ely Court; the York Castle Museum and residential towers in the UK and Canada. These projects represent the extraordinary range of scales, geographies and social structures; each exploring an expressive materialality and a search locally resonant, sustainable building practice.

Alison Brooks – Architecture Alive

 

Sat, 10.19.19 , 18:30
MUZA Valletta
MUZA Valletta
When
Where
MUZA Valletta
Website
www.architecture-alive.com
Robert Park [less..]

ROME XL Exhibition

Wed, 10/16/19
Istituto Italiano di Cultura
Istituto Italiano di Cultura (map)

The Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Toronto celebrates the work of past Waterloo Architecture Rome Program graduates in a new exhibition in Toronto. The exhibition includes student sketches by Alison Brooks seen alongside built work and new project influenced by her time in Rome.

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The Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Toronto celebrates the work of past Waterloo Architecture Rome Program graduates in a new exhibition in Toronto. The exhibition includes student sketches by Alison Brooks seen alongside built work and new project influenced by her time in Rome.

RomaXL presents drawings by a selection of highly accomplished Waterloo graduates completed during their Rome term, together with examples of their built work. This juxtaposition reveals unexpected influences of Roman architecture, landscape architecture and urban design on Canadian architects today.

The exhibition features work by Alison Brooks, Johnson Chou, Jean Colonnier, Shelley Craig, Alexander Josephson, Chris Pommer and Lisa Rapoport, Paul Raff, Brigitte Shim and Howard Sutcliffe, John Shnier and others.

iictoronto.ester.it

Wed, 10.16.19
Istituto Italiano di Cultura
Istituto Italiano di Cultura
When
Where
Istituto Italiano di Cultura (map)
Website
iictoronto.esteri.it
Robert Park [less..]

BASE – Big Architecture and Sustainability

Mon, 10/7/19
The Venue, De Montfort University
The Venue, De Montfort University (map)

More than 700 Architecture and Arts students from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) gathered for the first week of the academic year to take part in BASE (Big Architecture and Sustainability Event) where the discussed their future impact on sustainable design and communities. Alison Brooks presented a lecture on Experimental Sustainable Archetypes.

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More than 700 Architecture and Arts students from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) gathered for the first week of the academic year to take part in BASE (Big Architecture and Sustainability Event) where the discussed their future impact on sustainable design and communities. Alison Brooks presented a lecture on Experimental Sustainable Archetypes.

As well as the lectures, which also featured presentations by Matthew Barnett Howland, Oliver Wilton and Louise Palomba, a series of workshops involved students getting together in groups to think and work creatively, such as dreaming up a perfect building for a celebrity and designing the structure in miniature out of paper straws, or coming up with ideas of how society can work in a more sustainable way.

www.dmu.ac.uk

Mon, 10.7.19
The Venue, De Montfort University
The Venue, De Montfort University
When
Where
The Venue, De Montfort University (map)
Website
www.dmu.ac.uk
Robert Park [less..]

Oktyabrskaya masterplan in Kaliningrad

Our contribution to the Oktyabrskaya masterplan in Kaliningrad has been supported by the municipal governor, and is moving onto the next stage of design development and subsequent permissions. Working with Strelka KB, the overall masterplanner, for the government client body DOM.RF (formerly AHML), we were asked to design a series of related concept apartment building typologies which overlook a new public park.

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Our contribution to the Oktyabrskaya masterplan in Kaliningrad has been supported by the municipal governor, and is moving onto the next stage of design development and subsequent permissions. Working with Strelka KB, the overall masterplanner, for the government client body DOM.RF (formerly AHML), we were asked to design a series of related concept apartment building typologies which overlook a new public park.

Streetscape and programmatic considerations have been important in the emerging design – as we are creating a zone of the city that is lively and active. The development site for our project within the Oktyabrskaya Masterplan in Kaliningrad is a high-density urban quarter consisting of residential courtyard blocks with 5 to 9 floors and commercial double and single height ground floors. The ten concept apartment buildings we have designed are conceived as ‘Palazzos’ with more or less symmetrical massing which define a strong edge to the park. Strategically located towers with up to 20 floors provide spatial accents at the main square and at the transport hub at the entrance to the site. We developed these typologies in a very short space of time, with each block designed by a different architect in the studio according to a set of overriding design principles. They were produced for the masterplan to illustrate the future potential of the development.

Robert Park [less..]

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition

Mon, 06/10/19
Royal Academy
Royal Academy (map)

Varnishing Day at the RA Summer Exhibition this afternoon. We are showing two models in the Architecture Room: Exeter College in Oxford, and The Smile. The collection was curated by Spencer de Grey this year, with a focus on design and sustainability.

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Varnishing Day at the RA Summer Exhibition this afternoon. We are showing two models in the Architecture Room: Exeter College in Oxford, and The Smile. The collection was curated by Spencer de Grey this year, with a focus on design and sustainability.

“Alison Brooks uses structural cross-laminated and sustainably-forested Tulipwood in her Smile pavilion, resulting in a building with a negative carbon footprint.”

www.architecturetoday.co.uk

Mon, 06.10.19
Royal Academy
Royal Academy
When
Where
Royal Academy (map)
Website
www.royalacademy.org.uk
Robert Park [less..]

Architects Declare – A Climate and Biodiversity Emergency

Along with 16 other UK winners of the RIBA Stirling Prize, we have signed an open letter declaring a climate and biodiversity emergency, making a commitment to positive action in response.

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Along with 16 other UK winners of the RIBA Stirling Prize, we have signed an open letter declaring a climate and biodiversity emergency, making a commitment to positive action in response.

The twin crises of climate breakdown and biodiversity loss are the most serious issue of our time. Buildings and construction play a major part, accounting for nearly 40% of energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions whilst also having a significant impact on our natural habitats.

For everyone working in the construction industry, meeting the needs of our society without breaching the earth’s ecological boundaries will demand a paradigm shift in our behaviour. Together with our clients, we will need to commission and design buildings, cities and infrastructures as indivisible components of a larger, constantly regenerating and self-sustaining system.

The research and technology exist for us to begin that transformation now, but what has been lacking is collective will. Recognising this, we are committing to strengthen our working practices to create architecture and urbanism that has a more positive impact on the world around us.

www.architectsdeclare.com

Robert Park [less..]