Posts tagged ‘architecture’

Architecture vs. Floods

These are some sketches from an unfinished project that I shall be revisiting.  Positioned along the River Thames, it is to be an auction house that would be able to respond to an emergency situation should London ever become flooded.  With rising temperatures as well as sea levels, the risk of this has heightened greatly, along with other factors that have inspired Armageddon style movies contemplating a bleak future.

Designed as a pavilion sitting daintily on the river’s edge, the section of building on the water would spring into action if ever the floods came with the help of hydraulic pump stilts.

Maybe Lord Foster’s plans for a new flood defence system (as well as the overall proposal)  in Foster and Partners scheme for a Thames estuary airport are not such a bad idea, if figures are to be believed.


Not quite the spanish steps!

I will become an architect and my soft spot are stairs, staircases, steps….well you get the idea!

So when I saw these above I was open mouthed and close to dribbling!  This bespoke set of stairs are made by Five Twenty Two Industries.   I am in love with the customised balustrade made of cross sectioned tubes and pipes. I approve this playful design in the ever enlarging world of Ikea flat packs!

when the whores shout rape

University started for me 10 years ago now.  It don’t seem like so long ago, but intervening years have not been kind to me.  The first two years of my architecture degree went great and I started the final year of the bachelor’s with great hope and excitement for the future.

Little did I know what was to happen halfway in, when a personal tragedy made me suspend my studies.  A few failed restarts later, I switched universities to overcome my mental block and again a sense of anticipation filled me.  Whereas before I was shown compassion and sensitivity, I was completely unprepared for how Canterbury School of Architecture (yes those twats who re-brand themselves each year by re-naming to sound more prestigious) treated me.

So let’s fast forward to this week, a letter arrives asking me for over £3000 pounds from debt solicitors.  Their clients, Canterbury School of Arseholes, decided to pass their claim onto them since I was refusing to respond until they responded to an email I sent moons ago.  Double standards don’t you think?  they messed up my education by mishandling my enrolment, yet I must be the one that pays for a service they did not provide.

It started when they withdrew me without telling me apparently, though I responded in ample time, to say this is not what I want.  They were the ones to stop the dialogue.  Then came summer, where they asked me to rejoin and Ii obliged, as all I wanted more than anything was to complete my course after a tough, prolonged period of my life.  The beauty being I was on the old fees system where you paid just over £1000, not £3000, which new students were having to pay.  So, imagine my surprise when they turn around and tell me I must re-apply as a new student.  Again, I agree, because I want my degree, but I make a strong stance against this mistake they made and decline to pay as much as they ask when I go to enrol.

A whole semester passed and I was unable to use any of their facilities and they took so long to get back to me that I did not know if I was a student or not.  I was unable to get a student loan and being asked for council tax.  Eventually they let me enrol after much shunting over to various departments and I was given extensions to deadlines, yet the new semester was well under way and they expected me to meet those without deadlines.  I was told to submit more evidence if I wished to extend the deadlines I’d got, because the registrar could see I had a case, because I was given no answers for so long and no access. I even paid a sum, which i believed was correct for me on the old system, so as to avoid having no access again to vital facilities like the computer labs and library.  I was cornered into this by them refusing to accept my valid evidence and subsequent threat of further non-access.

I requested a meeting to discuss my deadline and get advice for my appeal.  Surprise, surprise there was no reply.

Now I have a letter from debt solicitors telling me not to contact their oh so precious client.  What gives them the right to such audacious double standards?!   It’s even worse than getting a divorce and then having to talk to the one you shared your bed with through these low, down, dirty, good-for-nothing sharks – ooops, what I meant was debt collectors.  Not that I’ve been through a divorce, but I am going through this.  in this case I feel used, I feel, dear jury, that the university seduced me with promises of a comfortable life and then, when I needed it to be there for me, it turned it’s back pretending a headache. So yeah, dear Uni, I want to say farewell, but you shall not get any divorce alimony, not while I can do something about it. Good luck with your next sucker.

is she fact or is she fiction?

Recently I have been trying to re-read Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter.  A story set in victorian London, it reminded me of the inspiration for one of my favourite projects back in architecture school.

This is my plan and section of a kitchen, I envisioned after reading a small extract of text taken from the book.

Quite an appropriate accompaniment on the train journeys into London, of which I shall soon be making more frequently.  As I return to my past work, so shall I return to road leading to becoming an architect.

if you can’t stand the heat…..

Want to live in a fine piece of pottery that is water-resistant and can survive earthquakes?

Developed in the late 70’s, by the Iranian architect Nader Khalili, traditional clay houses became ceramic after firing from within.  The Geltaftan system was discovered by Khalili when he realised many of the rural desert structures that have survived for many years were in fact the village kilns.

Even the furniture can be fired within the house at the same time.  So, just a mixture of earth and water can be used to make complex shapes and structures.  Follow this with a day of firing from within to bake the clay at 1000 degrees Celsius, and you have the primitive mud hut transformed into a fine piece of pottery.

The thermal mass of the walls keeps it cool in summer and warm in the cold nights.  Particularly, a great solution in desert landscapes where resources are scarce and the only real building material is earth.

A potter as an architect? Imagine that.


It’s in the doing that the idea comes.” – Edmund Bacon

The architect known as ‘The Father of Modern Philadelphia’ as he is sometimes known or Kevin Bacon’s father, Edmund Bacon shaped the urban landscape of the city as head of the Philadelphia Planning Commission from 1949 to 1970.

This evening I discovered this quote he told one of his architecture students and once again feel inspired, so I drew today on a fresh piece of cartridge paper.