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Scratching the Surface
Start Date 28/06/2007
End Date 01/09/2007
Location London 
Country United Kingdom 
Description A Building Centre/New London Architecture exhibition
The Building Centre, 26 Store Street, London, WC1
Private view Wednesday 27 June, 6.30pm

Everything from straw to steel: New exhibition discovers London’s emerging new aesthetic in façade design.

The latest exhibition from The Building Centre will explore current issues in façade design, looking at 30 of the most innovative London projects from some of the best practices working in the capital today.

Showing that architects can be creative on limited budgets, we see all kinds of materials employed in innovative ways in London. From Ash Sakula’s Peabody Trust housing in Silvertown, E16 where a mesh of inexpensive sustainable materials such as reflective foil, reused wire and polycarbonate create a textured skin to Alison Brooks’ ‘parquet’ hardwood façade for a private house in Lyford Road, SW18 – striking because of the herringbone-pattern and because timber has not often been used in London’s buildings since the great fire in 1666. Architects dRMM have gone a step further, devising a bespoke inhabited glass wall for Clapton Manor School, not only a façade, it also incorporates shelves and seating.

New technology has also given rise to new creative solutions in external design. Gianni Botsford has developed a process to track and record how daylight falls across a building throughout the day, in order to work out exactly which panels need to be frosted to provide shading from the sun. The result is a façade that creates a patchwork effect through its various shades of opacity. Stock Orchard Street, Sarah Wigglesworth’s home and office, uses a number of innovative technologies based around the principles of sustainable design including a new system of walling incorporating straw bales never before seen in an urban context.

Scratching the Surface will be supported by a series of free breakfast talks where you can hear leading architects further the discussion about London’s emerging new aesthetic and prompt the debate. Should new buildings only use traditional London materials, or should we be creating bold, contemporary facades in a variety of new materials? Speakers include Ash Sakula, Deborah Saunt (DSDHA), Philip Marsh (dRMM) and Sarah Wigglesworth.

Venue:Main gallery, The Building Centre, 26 Store Street, London WC1 Opening times:Mon – Fri, 9am – 6pm and Saturday, 10am – 5pm.
Admission free.
Nearest tube: Tottenham Court Road or Goodge Street
Telephone: 020 7692 6205


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