SKY GARDEN VISIT 2015 : BUILDING TOUR and SUPPERAmazons 2015 : Women in the World of ArchitectureSummer Reception 2015 at the Serpentine Pavillion by SelgascanoWinter Party 2015  at the Royal College of Physicians drawn by Sandy Morrison?The Leadenhall Building followed by ?Christmas supperAutumn Debate 2014 : 3Ds Debate : Design, Drawing and Digital


19 March 2015

Architecture Club Housing Debate : How do we make enough housing?
Shoreditch House, London

The Architecture Club housing debate was held on the 19th March in the Secret Garden on the roof of Shoreditch House.

As a result of the interesting and attractive venue and a good balance of speaker, it was an extremely well attended event with a full take-up of tickets from a wide variety of members and their guests.

The subject of the debate was “How do we make enough housing?” and focussed on the issues of the delivery of housing to respond to the ever-growing needs of the capital and the nation as a whole. The debate reinforced the need for the housing to be provided across the full spectrum of housing needs including private for sale and to rent, and affordable and intermediate.

The debate and the speakers were introduced by Michael Squire, who gave a brief summary of the issues of the growing need for increased levels of housing and the context and constraints involved in its delivery.

The first speaker was Jamie Ratcliffe the Assistant Director for Programme, Policy and Services in the Housing and Land Directorate at the Greater London Authority, who explained the political issues associated with the provision of new housing.

Jamie Ratcliffe was followed by Alison Brooks of Alison Brooks architects, who addressed the issue from the architectural point of view, and explained the need for a broad vision in relation to the master plan and layout of new estates, and also emphasised the degree to which detailed design could reinforce the flexibility achievable in new homes where space was at a premium.

The next to speak was Tony Pidgeley from Berkeley Homes, who explained the problems presented by the uncertainty associated with housing delivery and the planning process.

The debate was concluded by Robert Adam, who relied upon information drawn from studies prepared by his own firm, Adam Architecture, which revealed some surprising statistics which questioned commonly held assumptions.
A lively debate followed, promoted by a plentiful supply of questions and observations from the floor.

The general conclusion was that the event had been a thought-provoking and stimulating evening in attractive surroundings, good company, and accompanied by a high standard of food and wine.

Michael Squire
Architecture Club Committee Member

10 December 2014

The Leadenhall Building

A tour of the building with a member of the Rogers Stirk Harbours + Partners team courtesy of British Land, followed by an informal supper.

Club members were welcomed by Adrian Penfold, Head of Planning for British Land before handing over to Andy Young, the Project Architect from RSH+P.

A highlight was being escorted to see views over London from an area normally only accessible for maintenance. We left the building for a brisk walk on a cold, clear evening for supper at Brasserie Blanc in Trinity Square.

12 November 2014

Amazons in Architecture
06 St Chad’s Place, London

A networking evening for women in and around the architectural profession, with opening address by M. J. Long, OBE Architect, a partner in the firm Long & Kentish, and Moira Gemmill Director of Projects, Design and Estate at the V & A

16 July 2014

Summer Trip
Turn End, Waddesdon Manor, The Rotheschild Archive, and The Flint House

The day began with many of us meeting for impromptu coffee across the road to the coach meet, followed by juice and croissants on the coach.

Turn End:
Our first stop of the day will be to Peter Aldington’s Turn End in Haddenham. One of three village houses, The Turn, Middle Turn and Turn End, designed and built in the 1960s. As modern housing, made of wood, concrete block and glass, the group has always been celebrated as a rare British representative amongst the best of European housing.
The narrow lanes of Haddenham and a large coach caused some consternation but we arrived only a little late.
Peter and Margaret Aldington, and Jackie Hunt (Head Gardener at Turn End) made us most welcome.

Waddesdon Manor:
Unfortunately there was not time to tour the Manor. Our introduction to the history of Waddesdon and the Rothschild Family took place in the Power House amongst early 20th C dials and levers.
Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild (1839-1898) bought the Waddesdon Estate, originally nothing but farmland in 1874. He engaged the French architect, Gabriel Hippolyte Destailleur to design a country retreat in the style of a Loire chateaux.

The Rothschild Archive:
Yiannis Kanakakis, Stephen Marshall Architects gave a brief introduction to the project and the design process of the new building at Windmill Hill, before allowing us to wander around to view the building.

The Flint House:
This was an added at the suggestion of Lord Rothschild and a real privilege to be allowed to see this. A man made mountain of flint.
Architect Charlotte Skene Catling De La Pena, illustrated her working process at Windmill Hill before escorting us over dirt track and building site to walk around and on the roof of her work in progress.

The day concluded with supper and animated discussion at The Five Arrows restaurant, built on the site of an old coaching inn at the gates of Waddesdon Manor.

A record number of thanks for the trip.

Lynne Bryant
Honorary Club Secretary

28 April 2014

3D’s Design Drawing Digital : An evening of practice and debate
KPF Gallery, London

The Club’s April event explored the dynamic between ‘drawing’ and ‘CAD’.

The evening consisted of an exhibition of concept sketches, three practitioners creating images using different media and an informal debate. The gallery was arranged in a series of enclaves in order to accommodate the different activities. The illustrations show the three art works produced during the evening in charcoal, paint and digitally. Around 50 people enjoyed wine and food and a lively debate about the importance of drawing and the influence upon it by more and more sophisticated computer programmes.

The discussion was filled with passion. It was primed by a panel of Robert Adam, Will Alsop, Ken Shuttleworth, John Bushell and chaired by Richard Coleman. Some said that we are maybe at a turning point where the computer becomes the best tool for setting down the ideas which generate the ultimate design. Others could not accept anything other than the hand drawn or hand painted first thoughts which allow ideas to flow onto the page, then develop and enrich through the actual process of ‘image by hand’. All agreed that using the computer well, at the early and late part of the design process required skills only available to the practiced artist. Indeed the work of the digital contributor on the night, was complemented by his hand drawings displayed on the wall and his sketch book, by his side, clearly essential for him to achieve his output.

There was a near consensus that drawing is and should always be the first skill of the architect and that with the continually increasing pressure of speed demanded from the industry, brought about by the accepted advantages of the computer age, its survival needed increasingly decisive support.

There are many initiatives which support drawing through competitions and events but these do not penetrate the profession as a whole. Art is still a vulnerable subject in schools and students in architecture should be given more credit when they excel in the medium.
Martin Tang digitally illustrated the KPF building and its Pineapple history; Will Alsop part painted a fascinating imaginative canvass and; George Samaurez Smith and Francis Terry enlarged an image of a Corinthian capital in charcoal. Their images will be auctioned at the Club’s Winter Party early in 2015. The funds raised will be given to charities agreed with the three. We are also expecting a sketched panorama of the event courtesy of Ben guest and practice partner.

Richard Coleman
Club Deputy Chairman

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