Railway stations have become cultural icons, from grand termini – the Cathedrals of Steam – to the country halts of literary classics like the Railway Children. Partly this stems from their longevity and partly the ubiquitous place they have in our day-to-day lives; however, it also derives from distinctive and confident architectural styling. Sadly, much subsequent station construction – notable exceptions like King’s Cross aside – has been lacklustre: rooms to move through not somewhere that will conjure a future memory or evoke positive emotions.
We may, at long last, be in sight of a post-Covid world but perhaps the lock-down period, where our lives were dramatically curtailed, provided us with the necessary time to reflect on the challenges of climate change and the actions that generate our individual carbon footprints. Even when this pandemic is over, we should all learn to live with less.
It is unlikely that we will be able to consume and travel as much as we have done if we want to protect ourselves and our planet.
Prepared for the Antepavilion charity /Architectural Foundation’s annual design competition, this year seeking ideas for a floating installation on a series of ex-military pontoons.
Message in a Bottle sought to create a community workspace shaped like a giant floating wine bottle. Alas, a sight too often seen in our canals and waterways as discarded rubbish: a key part of our message was to highlight the need to clean and enhance our waterway heritage as a strong green resource for our inner cities.
No one-size-fits-all in housing: we tried this with the doomed International Style exported by Corbusier and others only to see sub-standard imitations de-humanise too many cities.
All cities have a unique grid, pattern, language and character and their housing should be tailored from the cloth of that identity. For this study I took Glasgow as my model a city famous for its tenements and for the mis-guided 1950s destruction of its heart and soul by well-meaning but insensitive planners. Wrecking balls tore down the classical inspired tenements of architects like Greek Thompson, replacing them with the soul-less brutalism of high-rise flats. Surely, we missed a step in between of creating proper homes set in identifiable communities.
Installtion For the RIBA gallery on the theme of Power
One day Atlas called a meeting with the Gods and complained that earth was getting too hot to handle and he wanted to expel it from the celestial sphere.
An emergency meeting was called and deities came from far and wide, from Mount Olympus, Asgard and beyond; they gathered around Zeus’s table and a plan of action was hatched.
Alongside Atlas Poseidon was equally fed up with all the rubbish dumped into the sea and he too wanted to sea change.