LONDON: UNIVERSAL BUILDING CANADA WATER
A Design Studio evolving through a series of chapters culminating in a final project presented in both London and Boston. There will be a series of lectures / seminars about London cultures: Past, Present & Emerging. There will be a Cross Crit in London with Guests at the end of April and a further Cross Crit in Boston in early May. Over the semester this studio will base its enquiry, in a fragment of the global city, London. The opportunity for the city to reinvent itself – in part at least – has been presented by the assembly (by a major landowner/developer British Land) of a vast swathe of infilled former docks at Canada Water. Here we will be able to engage with them and test their emerging programme against what we believe is the essential programme of C21st architecture: the universal building. The Studio will first research the city and the place and then model and draw the potential of the architecture of the Universal Building: in a world where programme is provisional architecture is of ever greater import! This is confirmed by any study of the history of London, where buildings are continuously re-used and re-cycled and programme and function are thus proven to be both inappropriate driver of form or place. The architect of the Universal Building is thus focused around the common ground between the needs of the city, the populace, the building’s producer and the passage of time. At Ground the architecture must engage with the city’s passing population. Activity, be that living, working, playing is then located above and ever increasingly below. The Promenade the thread of social space that connects the public worlds of the city with the private worlds of the building. An architecture for the Theatre of Everyday Life – free from specific programme and open to use, misuse and life after completion!