Digital Architecture Open Lectures presents: Francis Aish from Foster + Partners

The next upcoming Digital Architecture Open Lecture will be on Tuesday 24th October at 6PM in Marlowe Lecture Theatre 1. The lecture will be given by Francis Aish from Foster + Partners.

Francis Aish is a Partner and Head of Applied Research and Development at Foster + Partners. He studied Aerospace Systems Engineering at the University of Southampton, and is currently completing an Engineering Doctorate at University College London. He joined Foster + Partners in 1999, and is responsible for the research and development of systems to model and solve complex, multi-disciplinary design problems. In the course of this work he has been involved in over 200 projects and competitions, including the Swiss Re HQ in London, the Smithsonian Institution, and Beijing International Airport. He also conducts collaborative research with leading universities and companies, and has published academic papers on computational design, as well as lecturing widely on the subject in Europe and North America.

CREAte Open Lecture: ‘Architecture of Place’

The next upcoming CREAte Open Lecture will be on Wednesday 25th October at 6PM in Marlowe Lecture Theatre 1. The lecture, entitled ‘Architecture of Place’ will be given by James Kruhly, Founder of Kruhly Architects.

Almost one hundred years ago, Le Corbusier in his Vers Une Architecture advocated creating buildings with the simplicity and efficiency of American silos, factories and ocean liners…”machines for living in.” Modern architecture was born, causing an excitement in the profession, but a resultant destruction of existing urban fabrics and vestiges of a culture’s visual preferences. With his proposal for a new Garden City, which destroyed an entire quartier of existing Paris, Le Corbusier showed his reckless disregard for context, a disregard which has lasted for an entire century. Almost fifty years later, Robert Venturi’s Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture, brought the issue of alternative styles architectural discourse. Unfortunately, his emphasis on decorating buildings with “honky-tonk” ambiguous elements caused a generation of well-intentioned, but empty gestures which did little to energize existing urban fabrics. Certainly Le Corbusier’s followers created buildings more destructive to existing cities, but Venturi’s follower did little to create a new richness and excitement with the introduction of their “ordinary” structures and “decorated sheds.”

Few architects working in a language of the modern idiom have been able to design deeply moving, imaginative buildings which are not only respectful to the existing context but actually clarify and enhance it. But it is certainly possible, and has been accomplished by a handful of very talented architects…Kahn, Barragan, Zumthor, Murcutt, Moneo, Ando to name a few. The element that they all imbue their work with which causes their successful bridging of past and present is poetry. Poetic re-interpretation of an existing fabric, poetic expression of place, of culture, of a history of the site take the more abstract qualities of a modern architectural language and give it meaning, relevance and richness. The emphasis on technology starting with Le Corbusier and intensified today with the “green” movement which thrives on repetition and efficiency has sabotaged the issue of context and caused a boring consistency to present day buildings which lack a sense of place and personality and result in an architecture of nowhere.

Fifty years after Venturi’s Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture,  ARCHITECTURE OF PLACE will discuss the true role which a concern for context should play in the design of today’s buildings. It will study how architects who have created beautiful buildings appropriate to their context and culture have accomplished this feat and how they have used poetry to this end.

Biography

James Kruhly is founder and principal of Kruhly Architects. A Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, a member of l’Ordre des Architectes, France, and a Gold Medalist of the Philadelphia Chapter AIA, Kruhly has been a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Architecture at a number of universities in the US, as well as in Europe.

PhD Student Seminar: Gimin Lee

The upcoming PhD Seminar entitled, ‘Exploring change of traditional marketplaces in the gentrification process from interdisciplinary approaches: The case of Broadway Market and Barking Market, East London’ will be given by Gimin Lee, on 18th October at 4pm.

Authenticity of place in downgraded neighbourhoods has been reviewed differently from the architectural and sociocultural views while gentrification process permeated in the society.
Traditional marketplaces in London, which have been changing rapidly, can be an indicator to see gentrification process and a change of authenticity of place. In this respect, Broadway Market and Barking Market in East London will be explored to illustrate transformation of traditional marketplaces and evaluate authenticity of place in gentrification from both architectural and sociocultural points of view. Visual mapping supported by architectural documentation and ethnographic work will be used based on a concept of juxtaposition and experiential collage. The combined methodologies from different disciplines in this research will help understanding the changing character and authenticity of place of traditional marketplaces.

Prof. Marialena Nikolopoulou discussing the refurbishment of Dalby Square on BBC SE Evening News

The Director of CASE, Prof. Marialena Nikolopoulou, appeared at the BBC South East evening news last night, discussing the refurbishment of the Dalby Square townhouse in Margate with a focus on future proofing against climate change and intergeneration living.  This is an innovative regeneration project that is proactively addressing the challenges of climate change, an ageing population and housing shortages by renovating and converting a Victorian property in Margate for multi-generational living.

The full feature including the interview with Prof Marialena Nikolopoulou, can be found on BBC iplayer from 10.49 to 14.01: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b097c3nz/south-east-today-evening-news-09102017

More information on the project can be found here: https://research.kent.ac.uk/case/climate-change-adaptation-and-intergeneration-living-in-a-heritage-townhouse-in-margate/

KSA’s Dr Davina Jackson to speak at Twentieth Century Society event

The Australian architectural historian and critic Davina Jackson, who has completed her PhD at KSA, will be speaking next week at a special event in London held by the Twentieth Century Society and The Modern House estate agency in London.

The event, entitled ‘Douglas Snelling – Pan-Pacific Adventures in Modern Design and Architecture’ will take place on Monday 9th October at 6.30p-m in FCB Studios 20 on Tottenham Street in London.

Davina Jackoson is the author of the first study of Douglas Snelling’s pan-Pacific life an works. Based in Sydney, Davina works as an author, editor and curator and writes extensively on modernist architecture and design in Oceania. She was also professor of a multi-disciplinary design at the University of New South Wales and an editor of Architecture Australia.

For further information about the event, please see click here.

KSA members can attend free of charge.

KSA Medway Charrette exhibition at Drill Hall Library

The Medway Strategy Group commissioned a project to develop a stronger ‘sense of place’ at Medway and improve connections between different parts of the Medway campus including Pembroke and The Historic Dockyard, Chatham.

Kent School of Architecture students took part in a three-day Design Charrette at the Historic Dockyard, impressing visitors and guests with their vision and professionalism.

The Judging Panel, made up of Professor Don Gray (Head of School, Kent School of Architecture), Denise Flockhart (Office of the VC, University of Kent), Duncan Berntsen (Senior Urban Office Designer, Medway Council), Nigel Howard (Historic Environment and Buildings Project Manager, Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust) was, “unanimous in declaring Team Ocelot (Alana Tidd, Julita Borys, Tilly Franklin, Nor Farah Ain Md Her, Moha Moein-Shirazi) as the winning designers of the ‘charrette’ at Chatham Historic Dockyard. The judges were impressed with the thoroughness and consistency with which the team had constructed their entry, and in particular, how effective the individuals had been working as a team. Judges noted the use of articulated visual clues for wayfinding, including the use of ‘gateways’ and thresholds to identify particular areas in a stimulating ‘journey through time’. They were also impressed by the inventive used of contemporary tram system to move people to key locations on both sites. Pedestrian movement was well considered. A new viewing tower clearly identified the site from a distance.”

The exhibition of work from the Medway Charette is now exhibited at the Drill Hall Library on the Medway campus for the next two months.

CASE Open Lecture: ‘Birkha Bawari: A 21st Century step-well in India’

The upcoming CASE Open Lecture will be given by A. Mridul and Shilpa Mridul on Thursday 12th October at 5PM in Marlowe Lecture Theatre 1 with their talk entitled ‘Birkha Bawari: A 21st Century step-well in India’.

Step-wells, subterranean aqua-structures (Bawari or Vav in local dialect) were an integral part of Indian communities from 2nd century A.D. till the end of 19th century. Relegated in favour of canal and piped water-supply, these exquisite step-wells were gradually abandoned and forgotten.

However, as ecological and sustainability issues took center-stage amidst growing concern over the deepening water-crisis, it became vital that ancient wisdom of harnessing water be revisited and adapted by resurrecting the traditional water systems, creating new ones, rationalizing the modern and integrating the entire gamut of aqua-architecture to build a sustainable water-network.

The talk will focus on the how using traditional language in contemporary context, they have designed a new subterranean structure, Birkha Bawari, fashioned like a step-well, in a residential colony in Jodhpur. With a capacity to hold over 17.5 million litres of rain-water, it is a unique structural system built of sandstone quarried from its own site. This project exemplifies that such large water conserving structures are still architecturally feasible and economically viable.

The team have been exponents of Green Architecture long before it became a movement and have won numerous international and national awards. Known for lending an earthy identity to their buildings, they have done pioneering work in sandstone, mud, lime and other low carbon generating materials and are committed to judicious use of resources.  The Melbourne School of Design has collaborated with them for their WaterLore programme aimed at knowledge sharing of water systems in dry places of the world.