ReCasting by Alison Brooks Architects

ReCasting by Alison Brooks Architects, Venice Architecture Biennale Installation

ReCasting by Alison Brooks Architects

Immersive Architecture Exhibition in Italy – Curators, Dates, News

10 Jun 2018

ReCasting by Alison Brooks Architects at Venice Biennale 2018

Installation by Alison Brooks Architects at 16th International Architecture Exhibition

New photos of this elegant installation:

Installation by Alison Brooks Architects at 16th International Architecture Exhibition

Installation by Alison Brooks Architects at 16th International Architecture Exhibition

Installation by Alison Brooks Architects at 16th International Architecture Exhibition

Photographs © Jassim AlNashmi

25 May 2018 – Alison Brooks Architects unveils a major immersive installation ‘ReCasting’ at 16th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia

ReCasting by Alison Brooks Architects

Photos © Luke Hayes

Alison Brooks Architects have been invited by the Curators 16th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara to respond to this year’s theme of ‘Freespace’ by addressing the subject of housing and urban dwelling.

ReCasting by Alison Brooks Architects

The Biennale theme ‘Freespace’ celebrates architecture’s capacity to find additional and unexpected generosity in each project – the spaces, textures and moments of human experience in architecture that can be freely enjoyed. Alison Brooks Architects has created a large-scale, site specific installation that simulates the critical freespaces of their work in housing as four inhabitable ‘totems’: Threshold, Inhabited Edge, Passage, and Roofspace.

The totems invite exploration, emerging from a unifying plinth to frame an amphitheatre and collective gathering space. Each totem offers a particular spatial, emotional and sensory experience, harnessing the Corderie’s specific qualities of light and volume. It has been this practice’s mission to reveal housing architecture’s civic role and its potential for meaningful, subjective experience. ReCasting also communicates mystery and delight: mirrored surfaces, organic geometries and forced perspective create a series of expansive illusions. Together, the totems, plinth and amphitheatre cast an informal stage for gathering and looking outward.

ReCasting by Alison Brooks Architects

The Threshold totem is a huge arch representing one of the eighty-seven brick arches defining the practice’s emerging high density urban block in London’s King’s Cross. These distinctive Bezier-curve arches will act as structure, destination, shelter and landscape frame. In ReCasting, an arch has been ‘dematerialised’ so that it radiates light between thin sheets of plywood. Within its cross-vault, parallel mirrors create the illusion of an infinite colonnade. Resting on the raised plinth the arch creates a framed vantage point for exhibition-goers.

ReCasting by Alison Brooks Architects

The Inhabited Edge totem explores the potential to enrich the experience of housing architecture with occupiable places between interior and exterior – critical spaces that mediate between the public realm and domestic life. Alison Brooks Architects often work with undulating plan geometries and folded surfaces to form these ‘spaces between’. This totem recasts the angled facades of the practice’s Brass Building at Accordia, Cambridge to communicate its multiple spatial and light effects. Perpendicular mirrors multiply these effects to present visitors with a kaleidoscopic illusion of the building’s complete form.

ReCasting by Alison Brooks Architects

Every corridor has the potential to offer an experientially rich journey; this is the concept of Passage. This totem references the practice’s Exeter College Cohen Quad at Oxford University, where arched, glazed cloisters form transform corridors into memorable places. The cloisters are part of a wider spatial choreography; a narrative route that connects the College’s public rooms, teaching and study/living spaces with their surrounding urban landscape. The Cohen Quad’s passages are ‘recast’ in this exhibit as a vertical totem. A series of arches simulate the convex elliptical space of the Quad’s South Cloister, bathed in natural light from a window in the Corderie.

ReCasting by Alison Brooks Architects

The Roofspace totem explores the spatial and expressive potential of roof forms in urban housing. Alison Brooks Architects work with a language of faceted geometries to make adaptable, light-filled roof spaces and distinctive roofscapes. This totem ‘recasts’ a roofspace as a space of retreat. A small windowseat carved into the space of a flared dormer is washed with zenithal light. Subtly angled mirrors reflect the simulated roofspace into an infinite curve, echoing the three crescent buildings the practice has designed at Bath Western Riverside.

ReCasting by Alison Brooks Architects in Venice Biennale 2018

All housing architecture forms a stage for the complex project that is collective urban life. ReCasting’s four totems and small amphitheatre collectively frame an open gathering space. This arrangement echoes the massing and unifying plinth of Alison Brooks Architects’ high density urban housing in London’s Greenwich Peninsula. Conceived as four elements ‘carved’ from single block, this project’s tapered forms, informal plan geometries and loggias frame interlocking social and landscape spaces. ReCasting reflects this organic approach to urban design and places of dwelling; a choreography of form, experience and landscape in support of civic life.

ReCasting by Alison Brooks Architects in Venice Biennale 2018

ReCasting will be on public display in the Corderie, Arsenale at the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale from Saturday 26 May until 25 November 2018.

ReCasting by Alison Brooks Architects © Luke Hayes

ReCasting by Alison Brooks Architects in Venice Biennale 2018

ReCasting by Alison Brooks Architects

Background

Participant Team:
Alison Brooks with Ceri Edmunds, Michael Mueller of Alison Brooks Architects

Special thanks to the generous support of: King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership

With the additional support of:
Knight Dragon at Greenwich Peninsula; Garnica; David & Jenny Clifford; Unex; British Council

Collaborators
Engineered by Arup
Fabricated by Benchmark

Projects Referenced

Arcade North, Kings Cross London for King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership
The Cohen Quadrangle for Exeter College, Oxford University
Albert Terrace, Bath Western Riverside, for Crest Nicholson
East Parkside, London for Knight Dragon at Greenwich Peninsula
Brass Building, Accordia, Cambridge for Countryside Properties

ReCasting by Alison Brooks Architects in Venice Biennale 2018

Alison Brooks Architects

Alison Brooks, Principal and Creative Director of Alison Brooks Architects, is one of the leading architects of her generation. She has an international reputation for a multi-award-winning body of work since founding the practice in 1996. Born in Ontario, Canada in 1962, she moved to London in 1988 after graduating with a BES and BArch from the University of Waterloo where she was recently awarded an Honorary Doctorate.

Alison Brooks’ architectural approach emerges from broad cultural research, with each project expressing a specific response to place, community and landscape. This has produced a portfolio of architecture of distinct identity encompassing urban design, housing, education and buildings for the arts. Her work has attracted international acclaim for its conceptual rigour, sculptural quality and ingenious detailing, exemplified by the spectacular new Cohen Quadrangle for Exeter College, Oxford.

Alison Brooks has become a public voice for the profession advocating the role of housing as civic building, the resurgence of building craft and the use of timber in architecture. In 2017 Alison was appointed as a Royal Designer for Industry by the RSA and selected as Mayors Design Advocate for London. She was honoured with the 2017 AJ 100 Contribution to the Profession Award giving the keynote speech to the UK’s 100 largest practices.

In 2017, to mark 21 years since the founding of Alison Brooks Architects she published ‘Ideals then Ideas’; an overview of the practice’s work within conceptual, formal and material themes that have emerged over the past two decades.

www.alisonbrooksarchitect.com
@AlisonBrooksArc

ReCasting by Alison Brooks Architects in Venice Biennale 2018

SUPPORTERS

King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership
King’s Cross is London’s new creative quarter, home to 67 acres of shops, businesses, homes and outstanding architecture, workspaces, restaurants and a vibrant cultural scene. The area’s industrial past has inspired the 50 new and repurposed buildings; the public spaces between them are a mix of parks, streets, squares, and gardens, with Granary Square and its fountains as a heart.

The new quarter will house up to 2000 homes within a long term vision recognised for its diversity and urban quality. University of the Arts London (UAL) anchors a 24-hour creative culture. Coal Drops Yard, an experiential lifestyle and shopping destination, will open in autumn. King’s Cross is connected to London, UK and Europe via King’s Cross and St Pancras stations and the Eurostar International Terminal.

Alison Brooks is designing one of Kings Cross landmark mixed use projects joining a list of stellar architects including David Chipperfield, Eric Parry, Stanton Williams, Mossessian Architecture, Duggan Morris, BIG, Thomas Heatherwick, Bennetts Associates and Piercy Connor.

The King’s Cross estate is owned by the King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership, made up of Argent and pension fund Australian Super.

https://www.kingscross.co.uk/
@kingscrossN1C

ReCasting by Alison Brooks Architects in Venice Biennale 2018

Knight Dragon at Greenwich Peninsula

Greenwich Peninsula is the flagship scheme of developer Knight Dragon and one of the largest regeneration projects in Europe. It is transforming 150 acres wrapped in 1.6 miles of the River Thames into a dynamic urban district with 15,000 new homes. With digital media university Ravensbourne and seven diverse new neighbourhoods, a new Design District will provide artists workshops and flexible workspaces, all connected with a 5km garden walkway.

Alison Brooks joins a list of stellar architects including Santiago Calatrava, SOM, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Gross Max, Marks Barfield, Pilbrow & Partners, DSDHA, Duggan Morris, Hall McKnight, Allies and Morrison, Barozzi Veiga, Selgas Cano, Architecture 00, 6a Architects, David Kohn, Adam Kahn, Mole, Assemblage, Schulze+Grassov.

Founded and backed by Dr Henry Cheng Kar-Shun and led by Sammy Lee, Knight Dragon is an entrepreneurial urban developer that balances an international approach and resources with expert local knowledge.

www.greenwichpeninsula.co.uk
@ThePeninsulist

ReCasting by Alison Brooks Architects in Venice Biennale 2018

Benchmark

Benchmark are one of Britain’s most technologically advanced furniture makers and are widely regarded as a powerhouse of craft. A forward thinking and progressive company, Benchmark enjoy the challenge of technically complex projects that combine their strong creative and design skills with skilled workmansmanship. ‘Recasting’ required a highly creative, determined and collaborative approach between ABA, Arup and Benchmark in order to turn a brilliant concept into a buildable, demountable and transportable structure. ‘Recasting’ is made using extensive CNC woodworking combined with a traditional craftsman’s approach. Despite being of such a scale, it has been made to cabinetmakers’ tolerances. It is this attention to detail that has enabled it to be built without compromise to the architects’ vision.

Benchmark works internationally with hotels, restaurants, public buildings, offices and private residences on bespoke commissions and has its own furniture collection. They run an award-winning apprenticeship scheme and was the first furniture maker to be awarded the Queen’s Award for Sustainable Development.

www.benchmarkfurniture.com
@MadebyBenchmark

Arup

Arup is the creative force at the heart of many of the world’s most prominent projects in the built environment and across industry. With over 80 offices in 35 countries Arup has more than 13,000 planners, designers, engineers and consultants delivering innovative projects across the world with creativity and passion.

www.arup.com
@ArupGroup

Garnica

Garnica is the supplier of the beautiful, lightweight timber used to make Alison Brooks Architects ‘ReCasting’ installation. Operating out of La Rioja, Spain, Garnica is the world reference in the production of poplar plywood panels using timber from sustainable plantations. With over seven decades of experience in the industry, Garnica exports 93% of its production in to over 40 countries on every continent. Garnica has six production sites and employs more than 1050 people for a production capacity of 350,000 m3 of plywood panels. In 2017 posted a turnover of 220 million euros.

Its production model is based on sustainability promoting fast-growing plantations as a source of raw materials for its products. This benefits rural areas and helps improve the local population’s quality of life.

http://www.garnica.one
@garnicaplywood

Location: Giardini della Biennale, Castello 1260, 30122 Venezi




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