February 26, 2018 \ Studio
by David Paton
We rode the wave of optimism, with set squares, Rotring pens and scratching of razor blades and of course hope and ideas.
David’s premise is that cities evolve in cycles of politics, economy, growth and decay. At each stage architects need to craft a response, to leave a legacy irrespective of the factors that may seem at the time to actively discourage a significant contribution. We should see ourselves in the contextual whirlpool, at one and the same time being changed by change but also if we go with the flow changing change.
He reflected on changes we have forged in the culture of city, from our public space initiatives at the Cathedral Square and our embrace of art as a driver of change. The practice was a beneficiary of the strategies that grew out of the change of direction of the city in relation to the retention and regeneration of its existing fabric. Re-roofing, sand blasting the stone facades to strip a century of industrial pollution with bathrooms squeezed into bed recesses, the storm of 68 was the catalyst for this change. Hardly an opportunity you would think but in fact it became the foundation of a revival of pride in the city which culminated in the celebration of that community achievement in the Garden Festival of 1988. Looking back it only took 20 years.
Post the Garden Festival, European City of Culture 1990 (achingly poignant thought now) and Year of Architecture and Design in the CIty, 1999 brought in the Millenia. 30 years of change, We rode the wave of optimism, with set squares, rotring pens and scratching of rasor blades and of course hope and ideas.
We had a dream and Dave built one, the Italian Centre an ‘ideal city’ celebrating the rediscovery of the city, which grew out of the bleakness captured by a writer describing the city centre
‘The twighlight zone.
Where the dead men go.
The bird that didn’t sing’
Sitting in the street with a coffee, gallous frocks and T shirt sellers, windows above your head with lights on, God like statues commanding the parapets and pavements, it was nice to hear the bird begin to sing again, shitting on the figures head as in time immemorial.
Dwelling in the Opening
February 19, 2018 \ Studio
by Prudenci Español
The thickness of the wall is the mediator between the idea of inside and outside, and a potential habitable zone in and of itself.