Category Londos’s Contemporary Architecture

0

Dulwich Picture Gallery

Dulwich Picture Gallery is a celebrated London landmark and was England’s first public art gallery, designed and completed by one of its most famous and respected architects, Sir John Soane, between 1811-14. But a public gallery that is simultaneously a mausoleum for a painting collection’s founding menage a trois is surely a strange circumstance to which architectural talent should adapt itself. Given Soane’s status, it is understandable that Rick Mather’s extensions and alterations are sensitive, contextural, and respectful of what exists, complementing both Soane’s work and the old Dulwich College buildings forming a back-drop to the Gallery...

Read More
0

Horniman Museum

The Horniman was originally designed by Charles Harrison Townsend in 1901 (he also did the Whitechapel Gallery and the Bishopsgate Institute) and the A&M work was part of a long overdue delapidations and extensions programme that called for an exhibition space, education facilities, a shop and cafe. It also called for clearing away unsatisfactory extensions and attempting to make a connection between the interiors and the surrounding parkland. The result is a delight, both in terms of what A&M have done and what the Horniman now is.

Townsend’s building is now a small complex of inter-linked pavilions in a park...

Read More
0

Inner Ring 2 Peckham Library

Peckham Library has been a social as well as architectural success, but the building is simply one part of a larger story: the third part of a plaza that terminates a new urban park (Burgess Park) as it meets the local Peckham High Street, aiming to give a regenerative civic dignity to the locale. Apart from the park itself, the first part of the equation was the arching shelter designed by Troughton McAslan — a gateway to the park, a place to linger, to protect market stalls, and an art-work in coloured lighting; the second built part was the Peckham Pulse, the local fitness centre.

The library rises up to stand tall above its surroundings and locates its raison d’etre — the lending library — on the 5th, upper, floor, requiring lift access.

This engenders a large open space a...

Read More
0

Goldsmith’s College

Goldsmith’s is a campus with a potential to envy: most of it appears to be just another mixed bag of London architecture, but even the apparently residential terraces turn out to be occupied by the College. The Laban used to be here and it is highly questionable whether they should have moved or improved the campus with new facilities here rather than at Deptford Creek. But whether the College will realise this potential remains in doubt.

The most slaient building here is a recent work by Alsop — one of those ‘generic’ buildings beloved of universities, accommodating a mix of studios and offices (what they have in common remains an open question), one that is simultaneously asked to fulfil a branding exercise by standing as a ‘trophy’ work of excellence.

In fact, it is a r...

Read More
0

Inner Ring 97 Not Blue and Not Wood

t

FAT’s designs exhibit their ‘80’s training and the ‘Blue House’ (actually pale turquoise; and it’s not wood either, but fake wood boarding) betrays its author’s PoMo enthusiasms (Venturi plus a touch of Arts & Crafts). The authors tell us: “We are more interested in the effect the thing has, than how you might produce it”. Contexturalism here is a purely cerebral, transatlantic game that refuses parochialism: the house is two small apartments pretending to be a villa in Maine, deriving every possible benefit from its tight site and given odd features such as an end elevation capped by what is supposed to be an Amsterdam skyline...

Read More