Keynes College Duck Pond Competition

IMG_1929

By BA (Hons) Architecture student and winner Edward Powe

In the spring of 2014 the University of Kent invited its students to submit proposals to redesign a public space affectionately known as the ‘Duck Pond’ at the heart of Keynes College.

DSC_0553

Being a resident of Keynes College at the time, I was aware first hand of the sites importance as a space for social interaction, but more importantly as a place of tranquillity amidst nature away from a frenetic daily student life. Therefore I embraced the opportunity to influence the redesign of the Duck Pond and ensure it is as valued by future students as it was by me.

 

My thought process began with the assessment of the different benefactors of the site, human or not, in order to understand their requirements – then facilitating these needs through the creation of three main zones. Beginning from a highly social terrace area adjacent to Dolche Vita, the proposal descends to a secluded boardwalk space on the water’s edge backed by gabion-constructed amphitheatre style seating. The transition space between these two areas uses long grasses and wild plants to create a natural looking environment intended to support the ‘non-human’ users of the site, namely the ducks, insects and other wildlife. This is with the intention that social interaction, private relaxation and wildlife can harmoniously co-exist alongside each other.

Visualisation

The over-riding concept of my design was that the closer you descend towards the water’s edge, the more private the spaces become, therefore the further you move away from the water, the more social the spaces become.

SECTION

Having somewhere to go where you can stop, relax and think which is away from the hustle and bustle of university life is very important. It is equally important however to have access to an environment where you can meet, interact and socialise with friends, which is partly what university is about. For many people, including myself, the Duck Pond is and will continue to be that place. This competition has given me the rare opportunity to have a visual influence on a place which has been so important to my student life and hopefully encourage more people to take advantage of the benefits the Duck Pond can bring.

 

CASE Open Lecture – 26.11.14 in MLT1 at 5.30pm

Dr Eva Gkenakou

Eva2013

Designing-out waste and building-in sustainability in the construction industry- The Principal Contractor’s perspective

CASE is pleased to announce that the next CASE open lecture of 2014/15 will be given by Dr Eva Gkenakou . Her lecture entitled, Designing-out waste and building-in sustainability in the construction industry- The Principal Contractor’s perspective, will be given on Wednesday, 26th November 2014 at 5.30pm in Marlowe Lecture Theatre 1.

Dr Eva Gkenakou is an environmental management specialist. Currently the UK Sustainability Manager of Brookfield Multiplex Construction Europe she heads up the company’s environmental and sustainability disciplines. She has led the introduction of some innovative solutions, especially in line with the site waste management plans. She has also designed and initiated a holistic and user-friendly approach to the management of environmental and sustainability deliverables on projects from conception to construction and beyond. She has contributed to publications for the construction industry, such as the Guide to Sustainable Procurement in Construction and the Environmental Good Practice pocketbook (published by CIRIA). Eva has been recognised as one of the UK’s Rising Sustainability Stars by the Building Magazine and was shortlisted for the Sustainability Executive of the Year 2014 Business Green Leaders Award.

Designing-out waste and building-in sustainability in the construction industry- The Principal Contractor’s perspective

Waste materials put a strain on all three aspects of sustainability; environmental, economic and social. The construction sector consumes more than 400 million tonnes of materials per year. Managing and disposing of waste costs the industry around 1% of turnover which can be 30%, or more, of pre-tax profit. For this reason Brookfield Multiplex makes an effort to reduce the amount of materials we waste in the first place and reuse, recycle or recover the energy of any unavoidable waste. We’re aiming to make our processes leaner and greener. Through the implementation of our programmes we have prevented thousands of tonnes of waste from being generated and we have diverted nearly all remaining waste from landfill sites. The approach is based on WRAP’s (Waste and Resources Action Programme- http://www.wrap.org.uk/category/sector/construction [1] ) five design-out waste principles and the company’s practical experience. The talk will discuss how the principles have been embedded into business practice. The construction of the new University of Glasgow Hospitals will be presented as a case study on the achievements of the waste prevention programmes and also the lessons learned.  This is of significance as it is an important part of Brookfield Multiplex’s sustainability journey and information that will add to the knowledge of construction professionals in the area of resource efficiency.

MAAV students win an award

MAAV_award

Two students on the MA Architectural Visualisation programme have won an award for their Outstanding Visualisation Portfolios. Max Lenton from Miller Hare presented the award to Ruben Chitu and Joseph Sheng after their graduation at Canterbury Cathedral last week. Both Ruben and Joseph have landed positions with Miller Hare since completing their MA.

Programme Director Howard Griffin said, ‘I’m thoroughly pleased for both Reuben and Joseph and wish them all the best for the future. This prize offered by Miller Hare further cements our relationship with industry and builds on our successful internship opportunities’.

David Watkin Presents his Work on the Roman Forum, by Zoi Kokkoni

On Monday, we attended a lecture on the Roman Forum by Professor David Watkin, one of the most important historians of our times. The “Foro Romano”, visited by millions every year, has had a fascinating and vivid building history from Antiquity to the Present. During this period, the forum was repeatedly modified, and as a result, distinguishing the dates of its buildings is not always easy. Temples that seem to be ancient were in fact erected just eighty years ago. For instance, the Temple of Vesta, in its present form, dates back to the 1930s (Watkin David, The Roman Forum, p.16).

Examining views of the forum, including the famous ones engraved by Piranesi, Watkin revealed the Roman monuments in all their grace and splendour, and traced their development from the Early Cristian Times to the Baroque period. The way in which churches were integrated into old roman edifices was absolutely astonishing. On the other hand, the Nineteenth Century idealized the “magnificent Roman ruins” at the expense of more recent buildings.

After a visit to the Forum it is easy to feel disorientated as you are trying to resolve a puzzle of multiple building phases that make the monuments comparable to palimpsests. Despite the archaeologists’ recent interventions to the site (considered to be “clumsy” by Watkin), the Roman Forum remains an ideal site to study Rome’s history and architecture as well as the development of conservation philosophy.

DSCN0285

Zoi Kokkoni 11/2014

For more articles from the Architectural Conservation blog, please click here.

MArch Unit 5 take on Venice

MArch Unit 5 Leaders – Diana Cochrane and Adam Cole

Unit 5 is interested in architecture’s ability to be complex and ambiguous, to be strange and to tell stories. We think architecture is first and foremost a cultural practice, capable of representing more than its own silent self. Like songs and monasteries, architecture can be a repository for the fragile stories and conditions that would otherwise be lost.

This year Unit 5 is turning its attention south of the river to London’s shabby cousin, a hinterland of low-rise sprawl and failing housing projects. It wasn’t always like this. Historically, being outside the City of London allowed it to be a place of pleasure and freedom. It was where you came for bear fighting or music halls, theatre or circus.

Our inner psycho-geographers contend this version of South London is not dead but merely sleeping, It’s still there under the grain of the streets, in the collective memory, and capable of being revived. We will find these stories, draw them, model them. But to turn them into potent architectural strategies we need a catalyst, a counterpoint – that’s why we decided to visit Venice, where the tradition of the Grand Tour has profoundly influenced London’s architectural landscape over the centuries.

Scanning in Venice

The Tour took in many cities but Venice is unique in seemingly having the capacity to be all things to all people, to have the ability to make manifest one’s greatest convictions and to hold a mirror to one’s desires, to be capable of supporting multiple narratives within the same physical space.

We will use this power to develop our own emerging ideas to take back to London. The Victorian art critic John Ruskin went to Venice, finding there the embodiment of all he felt to be true in architecture. His resultant book “The Stones of Venice”, is our guide, but whereas he took a measure and pencil we took a 3D scanner to sample the fabric of the City. We selected and want to revisit in 3d in 2014 some of the elements of Venice that he chose. So we visited the current Fellows at the Venice Biennale British Pavilion and the University of Venice to share and learn more about the science of 3d scanning.

Back in London our unit projects will be stitched into multiple sites throughout Elephant & Castle & Walworth. Our briefs are concerned only with the reintroduction of pleasure, in all its forms, back into the tired urban grain. This won’t be an urban makeover or regeneration gloss, but deep surgery. Like a coral transplant into a dying reef, our Venetian strategies, if inserted with enough skill and conviction, might just heal the whole.

Noah Carter, 4th year student commented on his time in Venice:

“The two words most frequently heard when one mentions Unit 5’s work – concerned, geographically, with a piece of south London stretching the length of Walworth Road to Elephant and Castle – and our 11 day Grand Tour are: “why Venice?”

Noah’s sketch

On one level the awe of merely being in Venice, and its inexorable overload of sensory inspiration, is justification enough, but, like John Ruskin, himself spending his early childhood in Camberwell, and the seventeenth and eighteenth-century Grand Tourers before him, we also recorded, measured and analysed the city; where they used sketchbooks and etchings, we used 3D scanners.

Personally, I have always been an analogue person, understanding buildings by drawing them – a process which forces you to work out how they fit together – and there was plenty of opportunity to use this as a method of recording, but it was just one mechanism in our triumvirate of sketching, photographing and 3D scanning. It was genuinely exciting to be using the digital process of scanning, both with handheld devices and the sophisticated FARO scanner, in an almost unprecedented way which opens up a whole realm of architectural possibility yet to be explored.

We return, not only with the unique architectural experience of Venice, but also a library full of scans – both spatial and detailed, varying in scale from courtyard to capital – and an appetite for creating a new piece of city in Elephant and Castle as complex, daring and delightful as Venice.”

Lizzie Innemee, 5th year student said:

“Before coming to Venice, we were somewhat familiar with the work of Carlo Scarpa. We had seen the textbook pictures of his work; the beautiful proportions and intricately designed details. However, if were under the illusion that we fully understood Scarpa, then we were about to be proved wrong.

The most fascinating aspect of Scarpa’s work is it’s absolute marriage with place and context. His sensitivity towards combining old and new, careful manipulation of natural lighting, his use of water and framing views, gives each of his projects something so personal to it’s particular setting, that cannot be repeated anywhere else in the world.

Lizzie’s sketch

In the Fondazione Querini Stampalia museum, Scarpa willingly allows the canal water to enter the building, and with gradual steps he is welcoming the ebb and flow to become an animated part of the building. In a place where all efforts are put in to block out the flooding; doors are blocked, shops are closed, walkways are erected; Scarpa has done the opposite and embraced this characteristic of Venice as something beautiful.

His restoration of Castelvecchio playfully combines the medieval with the modern, casting dramatic shadows and teasing curiosity to draw people through to the next space. As well as being playful and daring, Scarpa shows his most sensitive side at the Brion Cemetery where he carefully frames the view of the tomb and distant landscape to give the viewer a moment of time to look and reflect.

Through the eyes of Scarpa, we have learnt how to appreciate details which may otherwise have been overlooked and has given us a richer and more intimate experience of Venice.”

For further information and to view videos and other images of their time in Venice, please visit the Unit 5 blog.

Book Chapter Published in Routledge Critiques series

Fontana-Giusti Korolija, Gordana (2015) ‘Transgression and Ekphrasis in Le Corbusier’s Journey to the East‘ in Transgression: Towards the Expanded Field in Architecture, edited by Louis Rice and David Littlefield, London: Routledge, pp57-75, ISBN 978-1-13-881892-7 and 978-1-13-881891-0

http://www.tandf.net/books/details/9781138818927/

Transgression and ekphrasis in Le Corbusier’s Journey to the East explores some lesser known aspects of Charles Edouard Jeanneret’s early trip to the East focusing on the role of traditional arts and architecture that he encountered in the South-East of Europe. The experience, observation and thinking about these arts that subsequently influenced and determined his approach to art and architecture are being explored as a form of transgression and ekphrasis.

The Transgression book has been launched last week at the AHRA (Architecture Humanities Research Association) Annual Conference at the Newcastle University.

PassivHaus Working Group

The PassivHaus Working Group (PHWG) has been established by Dr. Henrik Schoenefeldt at the Kent School of Architecture in September 2014, involving a team of postgraduate students undertaking original research into PassivHaus. The concept behind the PHWG was developed in the context of a collaborative research project coordinated by Dr. Henrik Schoenefeldt at the Centre for Architecture and Sustainable Environment (CASE) last year. This project was entitled ‘Interrogating the technical, economic and cultural challenges of delivering the PassivHaus standard in the UK’. It yielded critical insights into the Passivhaus standard and its application in the UK, but also showed that collaborative research enabled students of architecture to develop a technical area of expertise during their Part II. This year the PHWG is an option available to students enrolled on the Module AR546 Sustainable Technology in the Context of Architecture, but next year the students will have the choice of continuing their research into PassivHaus in context of their dissertation.

21 students from the MArch Programme have joined the group this year and currently undertake detailed case studies on selected projects in England, Wales and Ireland as well as investigating some of the broader political, economic and technical issues.

PHWG is divided into sub-groups, each focusing on one of the four main research themes. Group 1 explores the application of the PassivHaus standard or EnerPhit standard to retrofit projects, with a particular focus on the challenges of upgrading the UKs social housing stock and properties in conservation areas. Group 2 focuses on non-domestic buildings, including office buildings, schools and community centres. Group 3 is undertaking a series of case studies on one-off houses, whilst Group 4 investigates how the Passivhaus standard is applied to larger commercial housing developments, with a particular focus on the economic challenges.

For further details please contact:

h.schoenefeldt@kent.ac.uk

CREAte Open Lecture – Tonight at 5.30pm in MLT1

Giuseppe Rago

Giuseppe Rago (PhD History of Architecture) is Professor of History of Art at the Federico II University of Naples and has been Professor of History of Architecture at the Federico II University of Naples.

Between Late Gothic and Renaissance: civil architecture in Naples during the early modern age – an european experience

When compared to the periodisation dictated by traditional Florentine and Tuscan-Roman classicism, Renaissance in Naples was characterised by the survival of late Gothic elements. Under signs of a strong continuity, these elements transmitted building codes, design and language to the mature phase of Renaissance, while resisting somehow to the new language.

By combining studies on the relationship between Neapolitan architecture and episodes of Iberian late Gothic, comparisons with episodes of Islamic architecture (especially portals) during the same period in various Mediterranean Countries have been considered, trying to establish relationships among movements of workers and their patrons through economic, political and dynastic events.

The reports also support the livelihood of the late Gothic language (in its infinite variations) until the sixteenth century, breaking down the definition of Renaissance as a classical season recovering the antiquity from the fifteenth century.

Dr Luciano Cardellicchio to present at 11th AHRA Conference: Industries of Architecture: Relations, Process, Production

Dr Luciano Cardellicchio will present a paper entitled “The Italian Job”: the construction industry in Italy between standardization and craft approach at the 11th AHRA Conference which will be held from the 13th until the 15th of November at the University of Newcastle. (www.industriesofarchitecture.org/)

In Italy, the construction industry is the most important economic sector due to its contribution to the GDP and for the number of jobs it provides. However, this sector is still dominated by small to medium-sized enterprises, whose organization and production are strongly characterised by a craft approach. Coexistence between artisanal practice and industrial management has always accompanied the evolution of the construction industry in Italy. Therefore construction remains deeply rooted in a variety of small specialisations rarely managed together with an integrated approach.

By comparison, the aim of this paper is to highlight how the “Italian” traditional approach has been shaped by mass-customized techniques for three non-standard buildings: the new Herziana Library by Juan Navarro Baldeweg; the MAXXI museum by Zaha Hadid and the Dives in Misericordia Church by Richard Meier.

Image – Richard Meier, Dives in Misericordia Church, Rome, 2003. Picture from the building site. (Photo by the author)

Luciano_meier