A few extraordinary political, industry rocking events aside, dRMM would like to thank all our clients, collaborators, friends and families for a wonderful year.
We look forward to the whole new series of adventures 2017 will bring, including the completion of two highly anticipated projects; Maggie’s Oldham and Faraday House at Battersea Power Station.
Please note, dRMM closes Friday 23 December and will reopen Tuesday 3 January. See you then!
As we scramble to address the housing crisis and rapidly changing demographics, we must not overlook the positive difference good design can make to the lives of people and communities.
There’s nothing quite like travel to give you a new perspective.
Last year I travelled to Singapore, where I was pleasantly surprised at people’s ability to live in small compact spaces, combined with generous shared inside and outside areas with excellent communal amenities. Architects were designing sky gardens and breaking up tall buildings every 30m (the maximum distance in which you recognise someone’s face) with outside open space. These communal areas encourage interaction, and create opportunities to get to know your neighbours. Clever, thoughtful solutions by designers with people in mind.
Last week I visited China, and the contrast could not have been more stark. Despite all that I had read and been told about the place, I was still shocked by the scale of construction and the acres of concrete. What little greenery there was I found covered with a thick film of dust. There seemed little appreciation or thought given to those of us at a human scale navigating the streets and residual spaces left behind.
Clean, fresh air is something we all take for granted, but when it’s taken away from you, you’re left feeling helpless and angry – tight-chested and red-eyed.
The relentless housing blocks offered few opportunities to nurture any sense of community – ironic I thought, considering the origin of the word. That feeling of “place” gets harder and harder to achieve the denser and higher you build. Too often, spaces and amenities that make a place are lost in the first round of value engineering, or at worst aren’t designed in the first place – something that is common the world over.
As we in the UK struggle to deliver the 200,000 homes a year we need, it’s important to learn from others’ successes and mistakes.
When we’re trying to achieve high numbers, our focus must be on quality as well as quantity: something that those in the developing countries will need to be increasingly mindful of. And as the housing crisis continues to dominate thinking over here, we need to bear in mind that the answer to the eye-watering numbers needed is not always breakneck speed.
the answer to the eye-watering numbers needed is not always breakneck speed.
Above all, we must never forget that houses are homes, homes make a community, and communities make a place… Continue reading on the Building Magazine website.
Well recognised architecture critic, Rowan Moore, released a Top 5 list of 2016’s best architecture featuring dRMM’s Hastings Pier.
The Guardian’s Top 5 Architecture of 2016
Switch House, Tate Modern, London SE1 by Herzog & de Meuron
Breathtaking “vertical” of stairs and halls with some nice art galleries attached.
Walmer Yard, London W11 by Peter Salter/Crispin Kelly
Four intensely crafted houses: a labour of love by designer and developer.
Hastings Pier by dRMM
The rebuilding of the fire-wrecked pier does a lot with a little.
Victoria Gate, Leeds by Acme
Retail vulgarity done well.
Cowan Court, Churchill College, Cambridge by 6a
The Cambridge courtyard reinvented, in an all-timber construction.
For the full article visit The Guardian website.
Photos © Alex de Rijke
The Wooden Architecture Conference in Norway, Trearkitektur Konferansen, is the leading national symposium for outstanding wooden architecture.
This year discussion was centered around the green shift and how the use of wood in architecture is linked to the development, and modernisation, of the construction industry.
Alongside other recognised leaders in timber architecture and design dRMM Director, Professor Alex de Rijke gave a keynote presentation on the importance of timber in modern architecture and detailed five of dRMM’s high profile timber projects.
These included the Kingsdale School Sports and Music building, with its sculptural roof geometry and inventive cladding details, the proposed timber Olympic Stadium, and Hastings Pier, with its inventive use of repurposed timber, through to the Wood Awards Nominated Sky Health & Fitness Centre, and Maggie’s Oldham, the world’s first hardwood CLT building made from a new form of engineered timber co-invented by dRMM.
The conference was opened by the State Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, Baard Folke Fredriksen. He discussed the impact of traditional architecture on our environment in both a micro and macro sense, and emphasised the significance of timber architecture in supporting the green shift currently occurring in the wider construction industry.
The fourth national Trearkitektur Konferansen was held at AHO on 16 November 2016, for further information visit their website.
To view more of dRMM’s innovative and high quality timber projects and learn about our approach, visit this page.
Photos © Knut Werner Lindeberg Alsén