The Architecture Foundation has announced its Real Architecture talks programme for 2007 with speakers including Liz Diller, Sir Nicholas Grimshaw, Lord Foster, and Anne Lacaton. From North London to Melbourne, the speakers will present their insights into some of the most significant international projects being built today.
Lord Foster talks candidly about the design process and completion of Wembley Stadium, Sir Nicholas Grimshaw on his designs for Southern Cross Station in Melbourne, Anne Lacaton on the Management Sciences University in Bordeaux, and Liz Diller on their scheme for the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston.
Now in its fifth year, Real Architecture explores architectural creativity in depth. The series routinely attracts the world’s top architects and gives the public a rare opportunity to experience internationally renowned projects first hand. Former contributors have included Zaha Hadid (Phaeno Science Centre, Wolfsburg), David Chipperfield (Neues Museum, Berlin) and Rem Koolhaas (CCTV, Beijing).
The talks will take place at the Union Chapel, Islington throughout April and May.
Real Architecture Spring 2007 is sponsored by leading international project and cost consultancy Davis Langdon.
Thursday 19 April: Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
Speaker: Liz Diller, Principal
The new Boston Institute of Contemporary Art is located on the harbour at Fan Pier in south Boston. The 62,000 square foot building includes 18,000 square feet of galleries, a performing arts theatre, a restaurant, a bookshop, education/workshop facilities, and administrative offices. The design negotiates two competing objectives: to perform as a dynamic civic building, a venue for public and social activities, and as a controlled, contemplative atmosphere where visitors can interact with contemporary art.
The work of Diller Scofidio + Renfro spans architecture, urban design, theatre and dance production, curatorial projects, and the visual arts including video and new media. The practice has received many international awards including the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship for the creation of an alternative form of architectural practice 1999; the Brunner Prize in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; the MacDermott Award for Creative Achievement from MIT; an Obie Award for Creative Achievement in Off Broadway Theatre for their multi-media theatre work, "Jet Lag”; and a Progressive Architecture Design Award for the "Blur Building," a building made of fog for the Swiss Expo 2002.
Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s renovation and expansion at the School of American Ballet opened in January. They are currently working on a variety of projects for Lincoln Center in New York including a 50,000 sq. ft expansion of the Juilliard School and a complete renovation of Alice Tully Hall, the master plan and architectural design of the High Line, an elevated railway stretching 1.5 miles in the Chelsea area of New York, a re-design of Boulders, a luxury hotel and resort in Phoenix, Arizona, and a townhouse in New York.
Wednesday 2 May: Grimshaw
Southern Cross Station, Melbourne
Speakers: Sir Nicholas Grimshaw CBE PRA RIBA AIA FAIA, Chair and Mark Middleton, Director
Grimshaw was appointed to work in collaboration with local Melbourne practice Jackson Architecture on the reorganisation and expansion of Southern Cross Station, one of the largest on-land transportation centres in Australia. As well as the transport interchange and associated track and signalling works, the redevelopment includes a major office building nearby and a retail plaza serving the Central Business District’s west end. The design features an impressive dune-like roof system. This roof creates a visual link between the city centre and new docklands, unites the interchange area and also provides a cool and shaded environment for commuters.
The winner of over 100 awards, Sir Nicholas’ experience spans over four decades and follows in the great tradition of ‘constructional architecture’, taking inspiration from visionaries such as Sir Joseph Paxton and Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Grimshaw’s industrial buildings of the 1970s and 1980s explored the very limits of space, structure and skin; this approach is embodied in the sinuous curved structure of the Eurostar Terminal at Waterloo Station, London. The Eden Project, one of Grimshaw’s most renowned works takes structural economy to another level: the transparent ETFE domes weigh less than the air they contain.
Tuesday 22 May: Foster + Partners
Wembley Stadium, London
Speakers: Lord Foster, Chair and Mouzhan Majidi, Senior Partner and Director
The completion of Wembley Stadium heralds a new chapter for one of Britain's most important sports venues. Home to English national football, the new stadium improves on the heritage of the old with a partly retractable roof that introduces sunlight across the entire pitch and protects all 90,000 seats in poor weather. Internally, the project maximises spectator experience with improved seating, catering and circulation. A 133-metre-high arch soars above the stadium, providing an iconic replacement for Wembley's landmark twin towers.
Foster + Partners is based in London with offices worldwide. Founded in 1967, the practice has pioneered a sustainable approach to architecture and ecology through an impressive range of projects from urban masterplans, airports, civic and cultural buildings and offices to private houses and product design. Recent projects include the Hearst Tower in New York, Millau Viaduct in France and Beijing Airport, China. Foster was honoured with a life peerage of Lord Foster of Thames Bank in 1999.
Tuesday 29 May: Lacaton + Vassal
Management Sciences University, Bordeaux
Speaker: Anne Lacaton, Principal
Located within a developing urban context, the University forms a dense, extremely urban nucleus, built systematically on the alignment of a street. Four blocks unfold at different levels around a square, a number of arcades and interior courtyards. Each block houses a department from the second floor up, whilst the shared services and restaurant occupy the ground and first floor. The structure is made with prefabricated bulk concrete-posts, beams and decks of enormous span - constituting a flexible and economical building system. A fully-glazed facade offers spectacular views over the city, channelling natural light and insulated and shaded with external blinds.
Founded by Anne Lacaton and Jean Philippe Vassal in 1987, the Paris-based practice has lauded with many international prizes such as, Grand Prix National d’Architecture Jeune Talent, French Ministry of Culture 1999; Erich Schelling Foundation Award, Germany 2006, and the Sustainability and Residential Innovation Award, City of Madrid, 2006Recent projects include a new trade fair and exhibition centre in Paris-Nord, completed in late 2006, social housing in Paris and St Nazaire, a school of architecture in Nantes and a mixed-use development in Senegal.
Real Architecture Spring 2007 is sponsored by leading project and cost consultancy Davis Langdon.
Venue: The Union Chapel, Compton Terrace, Islington, London N1 2XD
Time: Doors open at 6.30pm for 7.00pm start
Entry: £ 12 full price / £8 concessions (students, unwaged, OAPs and AF members)
Booking: 0870 730 1419 / www.architecturefoundation.org.uk
Or in person at Angeltix.
Sadlers Wells Theatre, Rosebery Avenue, Islington London EC1R TN
Transport: Nearest tube Highbury & Islington. Bus routes: 4, 19, 30, 43, 271, 277, 279
Further details: www.architecturefoundation.org.uk 020 7253 3334
The Architecture Foundation promotes and encourages the best in contemporary architecture and brings it to a wide public. It runs a rich programme comprising exhibitions, talks, events, design initiatives and competitions, research, policy work and films. Established in 1991 as Britain's first independent architecture centre, The Architecture Foundation actively bridges the gap between decision-makers, design professionals and the public. The Architecture Foundation is building a new centre for architecture in Bankside, designed by Zaha Hadid and currently has a temporary experimental gallery, The Yard, at 49 Old Street in London. www.architecturefoundation.org.uk