That Won’t work… High Rise
Studio 99 – Omid Kamvari + Kerry Dickinson + Dhruv Gulabchande
Architecture is about public space held by buildings. Richard Rogers
Architecture at its core has the ability to record social, cultural and technological advances in human society. In many ways it is a reflection of all that is human. Historically when assessing the success of any part of our past we seek answers from the arts and architecture. In a legislative era where rapid superficial and economically driven responses to urbanisation have overtaken all else, this raises the question, how does our current architecture reflect our other values? Much development has occurred in regard to technologies and construction methodologies in order to decrease the construction time-line, however this has come at a cost to spatial quality and ambition. It is now clear that we need to also challenge the way we design and perceive space in order to be able to better respond to future needs more appropriately. At present there is no notion of the future, the stifled way in which legislation, construction, development and economical parameters dictate architectural responses kills all speculation. Buildings barely respond to current needs let alone the future, Perhaps what is needed is a new strategy which predicts future context and responds to this? Data analytics at present seems to control all aspects of life, its integration into design methodologies is vital if we are to be able to respond to current and future requirements. Our understanding and pattern recognition of an ever-changing dynamic set of urban parameters is critical to creating timeless architecture. Data and mapping can go beyond the rather simplistic current models that seem to only cover the economics, they can begin to indicate a whole range of new activities across our cities, from tourism to heritage which allows us to create a better understanding of how cities function. The lack of this has led to homogeneous responses to the built environment, with “different coloured boxes” or simple extrusions of red-line boundaries Taking over our cities. We have become too afraid to speculate and project as there seems to be little room in today world for such dreams and luxuries.
Unit 99 will look to challenge singular functions of high rise buildings, looking at data, where available, we will speculate on future environments /parameters which allows us to take and make informed decision about architecture today. We will start by looking at the high rise typology. A relatively new addition to the urban landscape which has become synonymous with the contemporary city, providing solution for office, housing and a number of other needs across the globe within a relatively efficient footprint. Our main aim here is to challenge their mono functionality. However, with the onset of COVID 19 questions have been raised in regard to the dormant city centre these high rises generate, numerous competitions announced over the summer seek to understand the future of such developments in the context of the city. Our proposals will seek to generate complex spatial environments of the future, looking at social cultural and technological changes and developments as the basis for our proposals. Current data collection and forensic understanding of urban growth and pattern will be an integral part of our process.
We will start this year by looking at the Lloyd’s building in London. With the retirement of Richard Rogers this seems the best opportunity to revisit this great building to understand its context and how it become an icon of the city. We will look at an Understand the underlying principles of it, the inside out building, the efficiencies this strategy offers and the many different parts of its unique design that enable it to take shape. The aim here is to Understand fundamentals of the high rise typology and to be able to abstract aspects to regenerate new and interesting ideas in regards to its future within the city. We will look at and understand, Structure, Organisation, Core, Services and all other elements and begin to put forward ideas which challenge the normative approach to this. Once understood we will begin to apply our proposals to unique settings and context across the world.