March 18th, 2013
Recently CiA were honoured to receive a guided tour the Scottish Ballet Head Quarters in Glasgow, by the project architect, Clive Albert of Malcolm Fraser Architects. The building shares an entrance with the Tramway Gallery, and we although we had been warned about the inauspicious entrance, as we approached the building from Pollokshields station, the building did indeed look almost derelict. The SBHQ is actually entered from a staircase within the lobby of the Gallery, which deliberately encourages interaction between the different types of artist endeavour. The building itself is regarded as a place of work, rather that a place for performance, almost akin to an office and so it has a sense of serine calm and privacy rather than the dramatic flamboyance of a theatre. The dancers and all of the support staff turn up for workin the morning, just as the rest of us do.
The exterior of the building is tough, robust and somewhat uncompromising, however the interior is intricate and fastidious accomplishment. The sheer scale of the dance studios dictates the plan, but even so, these huge orthogonal spaces are skilfully arranged around a top-lit communal area. It is from here that the intricate three-dimensional relationships that have been created within the building are visible.
The timber-clad interior exudes the kind of warmth that the dancers need to keep their muscles supple. The studios themselves are uncluttered and clean. The space is graduated, so that the busy-ness of the ceiling space seems to recede into the greyness, leaving the pure white walls of the lower area to define the studio itself.
It is the fastidious attention to detail that ultimately defines this building. From the vertical timber batons on the interior walls to the deliberate inconsistency of the colour of the exterior cladding, it is clear that the architects have carefully considered the manner in which the building is used, the effect of weathering, and the experience of occupying it.
February 25th, 2013
Continuity in Architecture is almost twenty years old. It is something that we would like to celebrate and we fully intend to mark the occasion with some sort of jamboree or other such event. Look out for further posts.
Over the years we have conducted projects in many different locations: Palma, Venice, Barcelona, Dubrovnik, Dublin, Manchester, London, Valencia, Sant Sadurni, just to start with. But there is one location that we keep coming back to, it is a place that through position, evolution, history and neglect has a huge amount to offer us in Continuity in Architecture: it is of course: Preston. We have produced some marvellous proposals for the place, from bridges to tunnels, new urban squares to department stores, almost non-existent interventions to massive demolition works, all of which have their basis in the understanding and translation of the qualities of the area.
So it is with great anticipation that we notice that another institution has also recognised the worth of the place. The RIBA have just launched their FORGOTTEN SPACES competition in the engrossing city of Preston. Why not have a go? Why not have a look at the project that you’ve already designed? Let us remember some of your fabulous work. See extract from the competition brief below and competition call here
“Preston is full of potential for development, with proposals for major investment across the city. However, there still remain pockets of obscure leftover land and neglected plots that could- with imagination and new thinking- accommodate a host of functions, respond to local needs and provide a counterpoint to these wider investment proposals.
Held for the first time in the North West, this design competition asks architects, planners, artists, engineers and landscape designers to nominate an existing over- looked site in Preston and propose an idea for its improvement.
A ‘forgotten space’ could be small or large - a grassy verge, a wasteland, an unused car park, a derelict building, an empty unit, an underpass or a flyover. The proposal could be simple or complex, a commercial or public facility, a piece of public art or a new building. The main requirement is that it responds to the surrounding area and serves a function for the local community.”
September 25th, 2012
Projects in Venice and Cartmel
This year Continuity in Architecture will offer two projects, one at home and the other away, but both have a strong connection with water and with travel.
“It is very old, and very grand, and bent-backed. Its towers survey the lagoon in crotchety splendour, some leaning one way, some another. Its skyline is elaborate with campaniles, domes, pinnacles, cranes, riggings, television aerials, crenellations, eccentric chimneys and a big grain elevator. There are glimpses of flags and fretted rooftops, marble pillars, cavernous canals. An incessant bustle of boats passes before the quays of the place; a great white liner slips towards its port; a multitude of tottering palaces, brooding and monstrous, presses towards its water-front like so many invalid aristocrats jostling for fresh air. It is a gnarled but gorgeous city… the whole seems to shimmer – with pinkness, with age, with self-satisfaction, with sadness, with delight.” James Morris, Venice
“I have written about the Britons who first hid themselves here from their Roman invaders, of the Viking sailors who crossed the northern seas in search for homes, of their Anglian and Norman-French overlords, of the monks and Canons who with a call from God came here to teach and to build, bringing with them a stable Christian civilisation. Those who followed have made many mistakes, they have quarrelled and suffered and found happiness; they quarrelled about religion and politics, they suffered from flood, plague, hunger and fire, and each generation as it grew up has found countless homely pleasures, cheerful friendships, the love of their homes and work on the sands, in the fields and woods, even as many of us do today.” Sam Taylor, Cartmel: People and Priory
The story adjusts its gait to the slow progress of the iron-bound hoofs on the climbing paths, towards a place that contains the secret of the past and of the future, which contains time coiled around itself like a lasso hanging from the pommel of a saddle. Italo Calvino, If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller
Remember Reveal Construct
June 15th, 2012
ON THE INDUSTRIAL RUINS
Continuity in Architecture has run two projects this year, both in post-industrial cities: Preston and Barcelona. Each city has approached the problem of how to transform the unban environment to accommodate the needs of the twenty-first century population in a different manner. As always we began with a study of the urban environment, within CiA, the emphasis is always directed towards the site, the place, the situation. Relationships that exist between the different textures within the condition of the location can be explored, translated and interpreted. And thus the form of the new is influenced not by the function but by the form of the existing, and so it is not form follows function, but form follows form.
It was a town of red brick, or of brick that would have been red if the smoke and ashes had allowed it; but as matters stood, it was a town of unnatural red and black like the painted face of a savage. It was a town of machinery and tall chimneys, out of which interminable serpents of smoke trailed themselves for ever and ever, and never got uncoiled. It had a black canal in it, and a river that ran purple with ill-smelling dye, and vast piles of building full of windows where there was a rattling and a trembling all day long, and where the piston of the steam-engine worked monotonously up and down, like the head of an elephant in a state of melancholy madness. (Charles Dickens, Coketown)
Blind with Love for a Language
The prospects of the Barcelonese worker remained the same throughout the nineteenth century: grinding, brutish, and without much hope of change… They lived cramped in garrets and basements, without heat or light or air. Midcentury Barcelona made Dickensian London look almost tolerable; Cerda` found that its population density was about 350 people per acre, twice that of Paris, and that workers had a living space of about ninety square feet per person. (Robert Hughes, Barcelona)
Remember, Reveal, Construct
July 1st, 2010
Bachelor of Architecture Year 6 Projects 2009-2010
Following the students’ participation in the workshop Archaeology’s Places & Contemporary Uses the students chose sites in Venice for their major projects.
Students: Peter Brown, Christopher Brown-Colbert, Sophie Dean, Rachel Galpin, Emma Gander, Nur Liyana Amer Hamzah, Marshal Han, Wan Nurul Huda, William Lau, Kurt Law, Luke McDonald, David Platt, Alex Pritchett, Nor Azua Ruslan, Holly Wells, Katie Wright, Aimi Shairah Zamani
Staff: Sally Stone, John Lee, Dominic Roberts, Laura Sanderson, Eamonn Canniffe
Bachelor of Architecture Year 5 Projects 2009-2010
The Year 5 students also visited Venice and following various exploratory projects each produced a building on the theme of ‘Buildings for Home and Social Life’ on a restrictive site on the Campo S. Barnaba.
Students: Germain Acemah, Umayr Azam, Seb Bayley-Loyn, Stephanie Chan, Lydia Cheung Yuk Wah, Jenny Cook, Thomas Cookson, Simon Davies, Seb Drayson, Michael Groves, Nicholas Gurney, Christina Kim, Wang Lang, Louise McKeown, Nicholas Mitchell, Farah Molotoo, Amy Pearce, David Richards, John Roberts, Josh Rollin, William Saville, Rachael Smith, Lawrence Somerville, Matthew Taylor, Jack Whatley
Staff: Sally Stone, John Lee, Dominic Roberts, Laura Sanderson, Gary Colleran, Neil Stevenson
January 25th, 2010
Charalampos Politakis, a Doctoral student at the Manchester School of Architecture (supervisor Eamonn Canniffe) is currently researching the philosophy of anthropomorphic architecture. Here are some images and text from his Masters project which he completed at the University of Salford in 2009.
From animism to the observation of nature, man has always turned his eyes to nature in order to explore it, study it, admire it, and deify the inexplicable. This relation between nature and man this ‘communication’ was an influence for mankind to create myths, works of art and architectural structures.
The ‘Emerging Face’ project is an artistic and architectural concept that finds its influences in Greek mythology, the anthropomorphic landscape, and the anthropomorphic structure of architecture in general. Anthropomorphic landscapes and how the human body and its parts are identifiable in nature, such as in mountains, has been a field of interests from an artistic and and architectural point of view, as well as the relation of the human body and the exterior form of architectural structures.
The basic concept for this project was the creation, at this initial stage of development, of a 3D virtual installation based on the shape of human face. The face appears not only as a 3D colossal sculpture but also as a 3D architectural structure; a building with the shape of a face in a supine position. The user navigates the installation and the 3D environment with the use of the game engine UnrealTournament 2003. The design of the 3D structure, its environment and installation, is a first step towards this concept being presented for a future development in the creation of a building based on the form of the human face.
September 1st, 2009
The August issue of ‘Blueprint’ magazine features 50 of the Best UK Design Graduates, two of them, Sophie Corkhill and Matthew Duggan, being from the ‘Continuity in Architecture: The City, the Building, the Room’ group. The projects were intended to complement the Basilica Palladiana in Vicenza in celebration of the quincentenary of Palladio’s birth. Sophie’s and Matthew’s work was selected by Nick Johnson who praised it in the following terms.
A bold, brave plan wrapping inventively around the Palladio building. A ’stealth’ building - as much ‘this year’ as the barcode facade was last, and the sloping roofscape before it - seems to work and be an appropriate and articulate response. A believable and convincing plan with a bold yet sensitive rendering.
In a world of architecture obsessed by itself and the veneer of stylistic appeal, this student started from a fundamentally different point of view, concentrating on the ‘feel’ of the space rather than the look. The light into, and the view out of, the space is fundamental. An antidote to so many students intent on stylistic rather than human responses to creating space.
January 5th, 2009
September 2nd, 2008
CiA Bachelor of Architecture 2007-2008. The final show.
June 9th, 2008
The CiA Bachelor of Architecture Show will be in rooms 502, 503 & 504 (fifth floor!) of Manchester School of Architecture, Chatham Tower, Lower Ormond Street. The exhibition starts at Six on Friday, 13 June. We look forward to seeing you.
Faculty of Art & Design Degree Show 2008
Drawing by Alice Green
March 25th, 2008
James Robertson, a Ph.D student at the Manchester School of Architecture, has been awarded a Rome Scholarship in Architecture at the British School at Rome for the 2008-09 academic year. James will be continuing his research intended to illuminate and challenge the received wisdom about the Glasgow architect Jack Coia and the ecclesiastical work of his practice Gillespie, Kidd and Coia. James’s period in Italy will allow him to cover three particular aspects of his study in detail, namely the influence of Coia’s Italian heritage and his travels there from the 1920s onwards, the relationship between his Scottish Catholic clients and the liturgical changes promoted by the Vatican in the mid-twentieth century, and the relationship between architecture and contemporary artists between the 1920s and the 1960s. James’s studies are supervised by Eamonn Canniffe and Dr. Bill Brogden (Aberdeen University).
A virtual tour of the British School at Rome is available HERE.
January 27th, 2008
A former student writes: “Loxford was a strange building in which to study architecture, its staggered brick residential tower sat above the 3 storey podium that contained the studios. There was never a connection between the students that lived in the tower and those that worked beneath. The stairwells were deliberately separated and the two groups would only meet in the latterly re-modified refectory; architecture students strung out from ‘all-nighters’, caning espressos to get them through the pending crit and 1st year sociology students arriving for breakfast at 9.55am, still sporting their pyjamas.
The studio space (pictured) holds one lasting memory, of the first day of my final year of undergraduate study. My peers had not seen each other for a year and there was the inevitable hubbub and babbling of one hundred conversations. Suddenly we were interrupted by a resonant bark of ’shut the **** up’, in an alien tone. Our new head of year was new to us and us to him, there was to be no messing about; his first utterance had seen to that. In the coming year we all got down to business.”
Anon. Former Student.