RIBA Events 2019, Architecture Gallery London, UK Buildings, British Architects News
RIBA News & Events 2019
Royal Institute of British Architects Exhibition + Talks + Events in London, England, UK
RIBA News & Events in 2019
RIBA Events 2019
2 Feb 2019
Making It Happen: New Community Architecture
30 January – 29 April 2019
RIBA Architecture Gallery, 66 Portland Place, London, W1
How are architects working directly with community groups to create inspiring local buildings and places during times of economic and political austerity?
In this exhibition four immersive installations fill the RIBA’s central London gallery, giving visitors an experiential opportunity to find out more about some of the UK’s new and inspiring community architecture projects. Making It Happen: New Community Architecture tells the stories behind four new public spaces – Hastings Pier, Coniston Mechanics Institute, Old Manor Park Library and Loch Lomond National Park.
In the wake of local funding cuts and shifting priorities, private ownership of public buildings and spaces has escalated and alternative approaches to designing and funding spaces for the public realm are emerging. In response, communities have come together to fight to keep buildings open and functioning, mobilising to campaign and fundraise in the face of closure or catastrophe. Current crowd-funding campaigns for public buildings will be featured in the exhibition and visitors will be invited to contribute what buildings or spaces they would like to reinvigorate or create in their local area.
Architects have been challenged to respond to these circumstances by conceiving new ideas for the design or re-design of existing spaces. In the process architects have become both activist and educator, championing the cause and helping to galvanise the support of the local community.
The four projects featured in this exhibition examine the diverse roles that architects have played in working with communities around the UK. Each example demonstrates a pragmatic response, creating flexible public buildings that give scope for further development. All of the selected schemes demonstrate the extensive engagement of the architects, sometimes continuing beyond the finished construction:
- Hastings Pier – designed by dRMM Architects (2016)
Originally built in 1872, Hastings Pier was closed in 2006 following deterioration. In response the Hastings Pier and White Rock Trust (HPWRT) was formed by local people to raise funds to acquire the pier and reopen it, which it did in 2016. In 2017, the pier’s regeneration championed by dRMM Architects won architecture’s most prestigious award, the RIBA Stirling Prize. Following the Hastings Pier Charity going into administration, the pier was sold to a private owner in June 2018.
- Coniston Institute, Cumbria by Grizedale Arts (2017)
The Victorian artist and critic, John Ruskin spear-headed the creation of a purpose-built home for the Institute which was founded to support the well-being and education of the local copper mine-working community. The building was opened in 1878. Since 2011 Grizedale Arts has helped to rejunvenate and develop the Institute, working with volunteers from the village to create a multi-functional space that is home to over a dozen local interest groups. Takeshi Hayatsu Architects have recently worked with Grizedale Arts on small construction and design projects – including a bread oven and an information pavilion – to engage students and the local community.
- Old Manor Park Library, East London by APPARATA (2015)
This East London library closed in 2012 after 108 years of public service. Years of neglect rendered it no longer fit for purpose. With the previously-loved local landmark standing empty, Create London and Bow Arts, in partnership with Newham Council and the Greater London Authority, invited architects to reimagine the Grade II listed building as a new public space.
The winning proposal by Apparata responded to both the history of the building and its relationship with the surrounding area, and focused on using local suppliers and tradespeople. The architects worked as main contractors on the project, collaborating with designer-maker Philip T Ryan and a team of young apprentices and volunteers to strip out and survey the interior before refurbishing into a radical new spatial arrangement. Artists and architects work from affordable studios at the rear of the building, with the front area home to a community-focused arts residency, the Rabbits Road Institute.
- The Lookout, Loch Lomond National Park by Processcraft (2014)
In 2013, the Scottish Scenic Routes initiative, a three-year programme inspired by a similar idea in Norway, was inaugurated to boost Scottish tourism and local economies, and to encourage a closer look at the landscape. The Lookout is an exemplar from the project – a small, mirrored structure with seating, aiming to achieve a place for engagement, contemplation and a sensory filled response to the landscape.
Drawings, photographs, models and films detail the expansive roles that the four architecture practices took on, working not just as designers, but as contractors, makers, cheerleaders and activists.
Making It Happen: New Community Architecture has been designed by Hayatsu Architects to create a visitor experience that reflects the materiality and spatial qualities of each of the four featured projects. Exhibition visitors will cross the boardwalk of Hastings Pier, step onto a Ruskin-inspired tiled pavement, take a seat in a re-creation of a quiet space at Old Manor Park Library, and enjoy a place for reflection in the Lookout. The theme of craftsmanship and community co-ownership through hands-on making is integral to several of the projects. Initiatives such as the community bread oven and copper tiling detailed kiosk at Coniston will feature in the exhibition.
Making it Happen: New Community Architecture is curated by Pete Collard, curator at RIBA. A series of public events including workshops for families and children and adult lectures will support this programme celebrating the themes and works within the exhibition.
The Architecture Gallery at RIBA is open from 10am – 5pm Monday to Sunday and until 8pm every Tuesday. Free entrance. RIBA is at 66 Portland Place, London, W1B 1AD. Nearest tubes are Oxford Circus, Regent’s Park and Great Portland Street. For further information go to https://www.architecture.com/whats-on/making-it-happen-new-community-architecture
Since its foundation in 1843, the RIBA has amassed one of the world’s largest and richest architectural collections, which now comprises over 4 million drawings, books, models and photographs. The RIBA curates this collection for the general public and specialist audiences and makes it available for research through galleries and reading rooms at its headquarters at 66 Portland Place, London, and at the Victoria & Albert Museum (with whom the RIBA has an architectural partnership)
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24 Jan 2019
Future Trends Survey
Uncertainty and declining confidence amongst small practices: RIBA publishes latest Future Trends survey results
The latest RIBA survey of architects indicates a considerable fall in optimism about their future workload (RIBA Future Trends Survey December 2018 – Workload Index fell significantly to +3, from +10 in November).
Practices in Wales and the West of England were most pessimistic about their workloads (returning a balance figure of -10), while London (at +1) and the South of England (at +8) remained cautious about their medium-term prospects. The most significant fall was reported by firms based in the Midlands and East Anglia, with workload predictions tumbling to zero from +12 in November.
The North of England continues to remain the most optimistic area (returning a balance figure of +15), however the region is less positive than it has been in recent months.
Large practices (with 51+ staff) remain most positive about their future workloads, returning a balance figure of +60 in December 2018. Medium-sized practices (with 11 – 50 staff) returned a more modest result of +14, while smaller practices (with 1 – 10 staff) appeared considerably more nervous, returning a balance figure of just +1.
Forecasted workloads in the private housing fell dramatically in December (down to zero from +8 in November); the commercial sector also saw a decline, falling to a balance figure of -2 from zero. The public sector workload forecast fell to -5 (from 0) and the community sector fell to -3 (from +3).
The RIBA Future Trends Staffing Index fell again to +1 in December from +4 in November, suggesting a weakening in the employment market for salaried architects.
The staffing forecast for large practices (with 51+ staff) remained strong at +40, though down on recent highs. Medium-sized practices (with 11 – 50 staff) returned a balance figure of +14 but small practices (with 1 – 10 staff) moved into negative territory for the first time since April 2018, returning a figure of -1 and providing further evidence of increasing nervousness in the small practice sector.
RIBA Executive Director Members, Adrian Dobson, said:
“Our latest survey results continue to paint a mixed picture: while some practices (generally larger ones) report a steady pipeline of commissions, others (predominantly smaller ones) report difficulties as investors and developers continue to halt decision-making due to uncertainty.
The stalling of the house sales market now seems to be affecting confidence in the private housing sector – the main engine of growth in demand for architectural services in recent years. The decline in the private housing sector forecast perhaps explains the weakening of confidence in the small practice segment, which is particularly dependent on this work.”
RIBA London Events information from RIBA
Location:66 Portland Place, London
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