Adaptable Modernism

October 16th, 2013

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It is very sad to see that the demolition of the Sports Centre in Grange-over-Sands is about to begin. The building is/was one of a number of sports facilities that Hodder Associates created, all of which expressed a connection with context, combined with an empathy with the needs of the user. The Sports Centre and the Swimming Pool are linked but separate volumes, which rise up the hill, to exploit the light, the view over Morcambe Bay and the advantages digging the double height spaces into the hillside. The Swimming Pool at Grange has/had a modest elegance, cool calm spatial arrangement and a deep connection to its site. Within this project the reoccurring themes of Hodder’s work can be seen: that is the contrast between the lightweight or transparent elements, against the planar solid parts.

The Swimming Pool and Sports Centre was constructed in 1998, and in his introduction to the Hodder monograph, Hugh Pearman described how towards the end of the Twentieth Century a style of architecture emerged that could be described as adaptable modernism, and Steve Hodder whose practice at the time was still in its infancy, was one of the “serious young architects making their way through the stern economic climate of the 1990’s, who realised that modernism needed to be cleansed, and would be better for it”.

 

Remembering the Archaeology and Architecture workshop, IUAV, Venice, 2010

BIM ‘69, The Integrated Team

February 23rd, 2012

Architectural Practice 1969

This is the cover of the June 1969 issue of BDP Preston in-house magazine ‘Contact’.

BDP was founded in Preston and pioneered a team-based, democratic approach to building design in the era of the mandatory fee scale. In this illustration entitled THE INTEGRATED TEAM the BDP ethos is affectionately satirised.

I believe the artist was Peter Jones, an architect in the BDP Preston office. Note the representation of the QS ‘CALCULUS ABACUS’ in what appears to be a dunce’s cap.

Keeping his head

February 14th, 2012

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Louis Hellman, cartoonist, at Scarpa’s Canova Plaster Cast Gallery, Possagno. Circa 1990.

Architects at work

February 4th, 2011

7pm 13/04/06

Architects’ office April 2006.

Francis Roberts Architects have moved to 1 Ribblesdale Place, Preston.

A Grand Day Out?

January 10th, 2011

Winter sun

ManchesterModernist Society are organizing a ‘Preston Grand Day Out’ on Saturday 22 January 2011. All are welcome - see details on the MMS website.The trip will be led by Aidan Turner-Bishop, a key figure in the fight to protect the architectural heritage of Preston from inappropriate development.

The day out will involve crawling all over Preston Bus Station and exploring the local urbanism of pedestrian alienation (’subways’). The group will subsequently visit an architectural masterpiece - The Harris Museum and Art Gallery …

Details here

aSZ Arquitectes in Barcelona

December 17th, 2010

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Elena Canovas of the University of Barcelona joined us in our teaching at the recent Architecture/Archaeology workshop at IUAV Venezia. She is a director at aSZ Arquitectes, Barcelona.

aSZ Arquitectes, Barcelona

Hodder Collaboration

November 9th, 2010

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Hodder + Partners have agreed to set up a special collaboration with the Continuity in Architecture BArch Studio.

On 8 December Steven Hodder, Principal of the practice and Stirling Prize winner, will give a lecture about his work at St Catherine’s College, Oxford with particular emphasis on the integration of the scheme with Arne Jacobsen’s original plan. This will be followed in the coming months by Studio Workshops featuring architects from Hodder + Partners.

CiA/Steven Hodder Lecture: 2pm, Wednesday 8 December, Lecture Room 3, Geoffrey Manton Building, Manchester Metropolitan University

All students are welcome. Further details available from Sally Stone: s.stone@mmu.ac.uk

Hodder + Partners

Hampstead High Life

October 29th, 2010

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Luca Csepely-Knorr has commenced her studies at the Manchester School of Architecture into the work of the Hungarian architect Bela Rerrich and the British landscape and town designer Thomas Mawson prior to the Great War.

On 11 October 2010 the RIBA, the Goldfinger family, the National Trust and their guests formally presented the Scholarship award to Luca during a reception event held in Erno Goldfinger’s house 2 Willow Road in London. Amongst the guests were James Dunnett, Gavin Stamp, Kit Allsopp, Professor Kinga Szilagyi of Corvinus University of Budapest and László Magócsi, Science and Technology Attaché of the Hungarian Embassy in London.

Luca is pictured being presented with the award by Michael Goldfinger, and with Professor Szilagyi.

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Our colleague James Robertson continues his doctoral research on Jack Coia with a presentation on his work at the Association of Art Historians Summer Symposium at the Henry Moore Institute (24-25 June 2010) in Leeds. The conference theme is ‘Architectural Objects:Discussing Spatial Form across Art Histories’, and James’s abstract is below.

The Prototype Pavilion – Modernism, National Identity and Religion in the Context of Scotland

The national and international architectural expositions of the twentieth century gave designers the opportunity to craft on a small scale, with very distilled and often experimental forms of architecture. Through their participation in such varied architectural displays, designers would very often create work which in some way reflected the ‘mood’ of the nation or of the era. One such exposition, the international importance of which has not yet been satisfactorily documented, was the Glasgow Empire Exhibition of 1938.

A team of Scottish architects was commissioned to design the exposition pavilions representing industry and institution, in a nationally symbolic gesture of optimism following decades of economic and social depression. The pavilion of the Roman Catholic Church, designed by the Glasgow architectural practice of Gillespie, Kidd & Coia, headed by the Scoto-Italian Jack Coia (1898-1981), was one of the most striking, unconventional and overtly ‘modern’ pavilions created at the exposition, particularly in a religious context, and in fact could be said to be seminal in terms of modernism in Scotland in a wider sense[1].

In collaboration with artist colleagues and student apprentices, and looking simultaneously to Scotland’s national past and to international architectural developments, Coia fused artistic and architectural themes with a provenance in contemporary Italian architectural projects. The de Chirico-influenced metaphysical painting of churches such as San Felice da Cantalice, Rome (Paniconi & Pediconi, 1934) and the political montages of the ‘Fascist’ architecture of the time, such as Terragni’s Casa del Fascio, Como (1932), are critically apparent, as are the quasi-religious architectural devices of the Exposition of the Fascist Revolution, Rome (1932). Coia effectively experimented on a small scale with architectural motifs at Empirex[2] which would subsequently evolve into the ‘architectural objects’ of much of the firm’s later, more celebrated work.

It can be argued that that Empirex allowed Scotland to experiment with, through the medium of a small-scale pavilion in a national exposition, and through Coia, the prototype for a Scottish national version of ecclesiastical modernism, with potentially direct connections to Rome, the Vatican and the Italian artistic and architectural milieu of the era.

[1] The Scottish Catholic historian, Peter Anson argued in 1939 that the pavilion ‘may mark the beginning of a new epoch in Scottish church architecture’

[2] Empirex was an acronym relating to the Glasgow Empire Exhibition

The Lycian Way

May 7th, 2010

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Our good friend and erstwhile colleague Neil Stevenson has caught the mid-life pilgrimage bug. His latest cycle journey was along the Lycian Way in Turkey, a route littered with archaeological remains, interesting lodgings and good food.

Neil’s Lycian Way Sketchbook

The Lycian Way

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Aidan Turner-Bishop of the C20 Society NW Group writes:

Manchester Central Library (E Vincent Harris, 1934+) is closing very soon for a major reconstruction. The Library has arranged closedown tours which are listed below. A special tour by the NW group of the C20 Society would probably be difficult to arrange within these dates, times and numbers so I suggest that anyone who is interested books directly with the Library. This will be your *Last Chance* to visit behind the scenes of Vincent Harris’s Central Library for some years. *Book now* if you’re interested. Places are sure to go quickly. The contact details are:

Libby Tempest
Cultural Services Manager,
Manchester Library & Information Service,
Central Library,
St. Peter’s Square,
MANCHESTER
M2 5PD

0161-234-1981
L.Tempest@manchester.gov.uk

Dates:

Wed 17th March @ 10.30am; Thur 18th March @ 2pm; Sat 20th March @ 11am; Tues 23rd March @ 4.30pm; Wed 24th March @ 6pm; Thur 25th March @ 2.30pm; Thur 25th March @ 6pm; Sat 27th March @ 2pm; Mon 29th March @ 10.30am; Tues 30th March @ 5.30pm

Maximum of 15 places on each tour.