Wednesday, 8 April 2009

A £650 million retail scheme in Leeds, which was set to mark the late Enric Miralles’ English debut, has been mothballed for more than a year
Work has ‘temporarily’ stopped on the much-delayed Trinity Quarter, originally designed by Miralles’ practice EMBT with the Stanley Bragg Partnership (pictured right).
Once complete, the scheme will transform the area around Briggate, Commercial Street, Albion Street and Boar Lane, and will include more than 120 shops. It is currently being delivered as a redesigned version by Chapman Taylor.
Trinity Quarter Developments (TQD), a joint venture between developers Land Securities and Caddick, admitted it had put back the proposed opening of the 93,000m² mall from Easter 2011 to Christmas 2012.
Bob De Barr, development director for TQD, said: ‘Difficult decisions regarding the delivery of the scheme have had to be made in the context of the wider economy. We have thought long and hard about the best way to deliver the scheme and everything suggests that 2012 will be a more appropriate delivery date for all stakeholders.’
Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that Chapman Taylor will shortly submit plans for the ‘multi-million pound remodelling of Albion Street’ neighbouring the Trinity Quarter scheme.

source -£650-million-trinity-quarter-hits-buffers/5200175.article

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Living+Library - Story So Far

To be annotated when i've had some kip!

Living+Library Zoning

Yellow - Library
Red - Reading Pods
Pink - Archive
Green - Cafe
Blue - Boating Centre
Purple - Community Facilities
Grey - Plant, BOH, Circulation

Friday, 20 February 2009

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

InfoSource Spatial Development

Entrance foyer sketch with overhead reading pod, quite a few changes to make but thought it was worth posting anyway!

Monday, 16 February 2009

Seven Stories Concept Model

Concept 3 - Removing and Replacing The Decay

Concept 2 - Removing The Decay And Enveloping The Existing

Concept 1 - Demolition of Existing Buildings

How Do Children See Libraries?

I asked the children at the Rosebank Centre in Lymm what they thought a Library looked like to try and understand how children percieve spaces.

There were some interesting results!

The Ransome Link + Visit to the Arthur Ransome Society

A quick visit to the Arthur Ransome Society based at the Museum of Lakeland Life in Kendal. The society owns a number of Ransome's original books and illustrations.
Arthur Ransome was born in Leeds and believed that every child should have the opportunity to read and access books, he also believed that teaching should be carried out through stories of exploration. His books attempted to capture the joys of the outside world and accentuate the aspect of discovery.
With one in every five children in Leeds starting school unable to read, can Ransome's ideal be applied to the 21st Century to try and encorage children to read from a young age?

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Model Mooch - Spot the ping pong ball!

OMA's competition winning arts centre in Taipei.

Saturday, 17 January 2009


Jan Kaplický Czech architect whose free-form designs revolutionised British building

Deyan Sudjic The Guardian,
Friday 16 January 2009

A model of Future System's controversial design for the Prague's national library. Photograph: Volfik Rene/AP

Jan Kaplický, who has died aged 71, was the Czech architect responsible for some of the most remarkable buildings that Britain has ever seen. Hovering low over the stands at Lord's cricket ground is the press box he built with his former partner, Amanda Levete. It is an otherworldly, entirely unboxy, glossy white disc that seems to have no connection with this earth, or the mundane, muddy preoccupations of everyday building.

And, indeed, it has none. It was made by boatbuilders, and is a small monument to the unshakeable optimism that every real architect must feel, in the face of endless practical difficulties that face them, from cost overruns to cricket correspondents under the impression that by entering something that looked like a flying saucer, they were becoming the victims of an alien abduction. It was their first major project, and it took Kaplický and Levete to the brink of bankruptcy. They were rescued only by becoming, in 1999, the most deserving winners in the entire history of the Stirling prize.

Kaplický designed the Selfridges department store in Birmingham (2003), in the shape of a sensuous free-form iceberg, finished in Yves Klein blue, and studded with silver discs that gave the completed building something of the character of a Courrèges metal dress from the 1960s. It is pierced only by a scattering of windows that gather at pavement level like swooping teardrops. There can be no sharper division between two worlds that utterly fail to meet than the gulf between the dreaming vision of Selfridges, and the gimcrack banality of the rest of the shopping centre around it. They are two worlds that physically touch, but utterly fail to acknowledge each other.

Even more remarkable are all the buildings that Kaplický designed, but which the world will never see - to say nothing of the stream of ideas for solar-powered vehicles, electric cars, jewellery, bikinis and double-decker buses. He came within a handshake of getting to build the French national library in Paris with a design that took the form of a glass canyon bisected by a pedestrian bridge across the Seine. President François Mitterrand took the final decision, and made up his mind that the most conspicuous cultural landmark in Paris should be built by a French architect.

Probably not even Kaplický expected that his house for a helicopter pilot, with legs like a lunar module, and a rooftop landing pad protected by a retractable umbrella, was ever going to get built. Or that his plan for a high rise twice the size of the World Trade Centre in unmistakably phallic form, and finished in pink, was going to get a commercial backer. His designs were part of a constant commentary that he kept up on the short-sightedness of a world that he sometimes saw as conspiring inexplicably to stop him from sharing his altruistic vision of a weightless, effortless, luxurious, solar-fuelled, one-piece, neoprene-lined rocket ride to the future.

His experiences at first hand with the Soviet Union left him wary of political utopias. He wanted to invent a new world, but one in which there would still be room for champagne served in the coolers that he designed for the Ivy, and for gossip in glossy restaurants. He had a languid elegance that utterly contradicted the gloomy pessimism that is an essential part of the Czech national identity. He was particularly fond of the Caprice, for whose former owners he had built a house.

Kaplický's life was fractured by war and totalitarianism. He was born in Prague, the only child of a sculptor and a botanical illustrator. He remembered the German occupation, and the communist takeover, wiping out a vigorous and inventive Czech version of modernism. He was starting to make his way as an independent architect when Soviet tanks bulldozed the Prague spring in 1968. He came to London as a refugee, to find himself in the midst of the glossy world of the King's Road that he had previously only glimpsed through the keyhole of the occasional smuggled copy of Vogue.

He got a job at Denys Lasdun's office, but, given Lasdun's obsession with concrete, there was nowhere less suited to Kaplický's passionate love affair with weightless architecture. He moved to the more congenial setting of Richard Rogers's studio, and he was on the Piano and Rogers team that won the Pompidou competition. He worked with another Czech emigre architect, Eva Jiricná.

Later, he went on to work for Norman Foster. But throughout his time there, Kaplický had another life. He started something that he called Future Systems. It had the kind of ambitious title that suggested Nasa consultancies, and lavishly funded thinktanks, but that at first existed mainly in the minds of Kaplický and his first collaborator, David Nixon. Mainly, but not entirely. Kaplický embarked on an astonishing series of architectural drawings, and montages that mapped out an architecture quite unlike anything else the world had seen. There were projects for robot-built structures in earth orbit, weekend houses like survival capsules that could be helicoptered into position, and malleable interiors. Initially, his drawings suggested a kind of turbo-charged hi-tech that left his former employers, Rogers and Foster, looking earthbound and heavy. But while Kaplický loved machines - everything from pre-war Tatra limousines from Czechoslovakia to lunar landers, and geodesic domes, he was also fascinated by the natural world, by organic form, and the human body.

It was the direction that he took with his submission for the competition for Grand Buildings in Trafalgar Square in the 1980s. The winning design proposed a reconstruction of a dim Edwardian facade. Kaplický, in sharp contrast, suggested a a free-form monocoque structure, its skin penetrated by portholes. Twenty years before the construction of an egg-shaped City Hall for London, he had pointed the way to another kind of architecture.

What turned Future Systems from a brilliant think tank about the world, and allowed it to build the Lord's media centre, and Selfridges, was Kaplický's marriage to Levete. Together they started to turn Kaplický's genius into built form. It was a marriage whose break-up in 2006 placed considerable stress on the practice.

Kaplický was beginning to spend more time in the Czech republic, where he had won a 2007 competition for a new national library in Prague that has yet to be realised, and was working on a concert hall in Brno. He had remarried, in 2007, to the film producer Eliška Fuchsová, and died within hours of the birth of his second child, a daughter.

He is also survived by Josef, the son of his first marriage.

• Jan Kaplický, architect, born 18 April 1937; died 14 January

Friday, 16 January 2009

Daily Mooch (Not necessarily architecture)

So I have spent half the day referencing my proposal document and ended up wandering on to youtube (again). I found this amazing video, although the library on york road is a listed building it is a right mess, probably becuase the council cant afford to bring it up to todays standards. I wreckon that there should be tours of buildings like this so as to capture the original beauty before there is nothing left.

Anyway to my point in hand, i thought the fact that they cleaned up the place whilst they were inside was awesome. . take a look.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

How do you encourage children to read?

Computer-esque books to lure boys

The books are aimed at school children up to the age of nine
Books illustrated with computer- generated images are the latest attempt to get boys to enjoy reading.

Oxford University Press (OUP) claims the "truly boy-friendly" content and structure of its Project X books will appeal to boys up the age of nine.

The books have been tested in 2,000 schools and can be used interactively through CD-Roms and whiteboards.

But critics dismissed the publications as "ghastly" and a shallow attempt to mimic computer games.

The books centre on the character of Max and his friends Cat, Ant and Tiger, who find their watches have the power to make them shrink, opening up a world of adventures.

The friends end up snowboarding on spoons, exploring inside a sandcastle, white-water rafting on pencils and surfing on lolly sticks.

In later books they encounter Dr X, a villain intent on shrinking the whole world.

The friends shrink to an exciting new size


Charlie Higson, author of the Young Bond books, welcomed the OUP's attempt to write fiction for boys, but questioned the books' reliance on computer images.

"They look absolutely ghastly," he said.

"They're trying to look like computer games and they're trying to get them [boys] to interact with them like a computer.

"The point is that books are different to computers - that's the whole point. If kids want to play with computers, they'll play with computers, not read these stories."

Professor Elaine Millard from the National Association for the Teaching of English said the books were a shallow response to the problem of boys not enjoying reading.

"It's counterproductive - we want them to engage with the text so that they enjoy the pleasure of words.

"The culture is such that it is still accepted, in lots of families, that it's okay for boys not to read.

"What we have to do in schools is get that enthusiasm back for words on the page."

'Gripping' story lines

White-water rafting is just one of their adventures

But Elizabeth Blinkhorn from OUP said the books were aimed specifically at getting boys involved.

"We know that boys are very motivated by facts and 3D images and gripping story lines. There are short chapters to keep them motivated.

"And boys really want to be part of the story and in Project X they are part of the story."

Girls also enjoyed the books and benefitted from boys' increased motivation in reading, she added.

Tony Bradman, lead author of the Project X micro-adventure stories, said the books drew boys in with thriller story lines and science-fiction and plenty of action and adventure.

"It's up to us to present books to them [boys] in a way that's attractive," he said.


Sunday, 21 December 2008

mooch of the day - an appreciation of the architecture of bbc look and read!

oh to be a kid again, i swear that giant mouse used to give me nightmares

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

living+library - precedent - Biblioteca Comunale Di Nembro

Biblioteca Comunale Di Nembro by Archea Associati
perhaps my favorite precedent so far my thesis project!
A building erected in 1897, intended as a primary school, that has been used for many purposes over the years, first becoming town hall, then kindergarten and finally consulting room. The request of the municipality was to solve the contingent state of abandon, turning the building into a library, to provide the town with a facility dedicated to education and information of the residents.
The strategic position in relation to the urban tissue, the architectural character of the original structure, closed on three sides, and the need for new spaces oriented the project towards the addition of a new wing in the form of a new construction that closes the only open side, that once faced a courtyard.
The new building, connected via the basement, is separated from the existing structure on all sides, thus underscoring a difference that, in spite of the communicating plan, bears witness to a constructive and formal choice that establishes a dialectic contrast with the historical character of the original building; completely transparent, it is characterized by its surface, made of terracotta elements measuring 40x40 centimeters, glazed in carmine red, supported by a structure made from coupled steel profiles.
This building technique has made it possible to screen and filter the sunlight.The choice of earthenware has been suggested precisely by the typical characteristics of the material, its performance as a screen protecting from light and its link to traditional building methods, but also by the contemporary image created thanks to the assembly technique and its durability.
A large room with computers available for consulting is located in the basement, which also provides access to the new building and its reading room that contains, in the manner of a casket, the precious books available for consulting; the triple height is exploited by two projecting mezzanines housing numerous reading desks, while the main study rooms are located on the ground and first floor of the old building.

random of the day - parkour

so i was mooching on the net today and found this video that reminded me of what ryan was trying to create along briggate!

Sunday, 14 December 2008

urban grain

strange to think, in the life of a city, how often the urban grain is changed or reformed as is happening with the trinity development

living+library - precedent visit - newcastle - bits'n'bobs

Newcastle Central Library, Under Construction
Visit - The Sage, Baltic & Millenium Bridge
Visit - Centre for Life - Terry Farrell
Visit - Laing Art Gallery, Elevation - Visions & Realities in Modern Architecture Exhibition.
A really interesting exhibition with some brilliant illustrations and models. The exhibition displays Painting, sculpture, photography and video by artists including Rachel Whiteread, Langlands and Bell and Paul Noble, responding to themes such as urban living, social housing and regeneration.
Some pretty interesting landscaping too!