Architects and engineers gathered at the Vision London event earlier this week to present their innovative ideas and projects to improve the way we live, work and play in the capital.
The event, run by NLA at Vision London in Olympia, was a PechaKucha where each participant presented presented their ideas across 20 images, with 20 seconds on each.
Introduced by Ramboll associate Ollie Wildman, first up was Stanton Williams director Patrick Richard, who spoke about the new glass entrances and consequently daylight-filled ‘passenger journey’ at the practice’s Tottenham Court Road Station. The complex geometrical portal forms, tested in wind tunnels, were created to improve the ground level experience as it relates to Centre Point above, and act as ‘light lanterns’ at night, said Richard.
HLM Landscape Architect David Hine spoke about the firm’s ‘Power to the Park’ comptietion project, a public park for the 21st century and celebration of the work of Joseph Paxton. ‘Today, the public park is under threat’, said Hine, citing a report saying that 77% of councils have had to reduce front line staff and grounds keepers, despite their popularity. HLM’s scheme looks at Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens and Park drawing on its history and finding inspiration in nature and new technologies for the two linked elements.
Arup associate director Giulio Antonutto looked at data modelling and the need to ‘embrace’ data, while Perkins + Will associate Lydia Collis examined ideas for adapting historic street patterns for modern use via a new tool, particularly as they related to the creation of more walkable environments. ‘We know that streets are good for us’, said Collis, ‘we know they’re good for our cities, and as designers we should design streets in such a way that they create healthy, sustainable, and resilient places.’
Innovation in Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) housing (‘bringing the tree house to the ground’) was the subject of the presentation by Robert Hall, head of business development at Legal & General Homes. ‘It’s time we changed our approach to building and we need to take a serious look at how we build homes’, he said. ‘We need to move our industry from our comfort zone and that’s what we want to do; build homes different using large institutional funds, offsite, using CLT’.
Metropolitan Workshop associate director Tom Mitchell’s showed his ‘incredibly space efficient’ affordable starter homes on a constrained site in Wandsworth town centre for Pocket Living.
And finally, WSP technical director Ross Harvey related his ideas about innovation in tall building design, particularly on 22 Bishopsgate and the 72 storey One Undershaft, right next door, where the scheme’s engineering solutions include how its cross bracing is connected into the internal steelwork through the cladding.
By David Taylor, Editor, NLQ