Gollifer Langston Architects

The lecture discussed the ideas about the big scale buildings taking over medium size buildings in architecture and especially in designing/building cities. The speaker warned that our cities are very much affected by these large and extra large scales. The lecture also predicted the coming years of architecture are referred to the fear of these large scales that are spreading very fast in the practice that it might be the only scale that we will be working in few years. For example the medium and small scales will be very much affected by these by structures taking over. I very much dislike the ideas of large architecture in the cities as it takes a lot of space and turn it into boring, empty, black and white building. When the speaker started discussing these scales I have the ideas of black and white images in my head. It takes a lot of energy and money to build such structures. Also it takes a lot of staff to control it and lead the project, it takes years to build these structures.

Review by Riam Ibrahem

What architecture, Shoreditch High Street Station

  • public and private
  • medium scale
  • community orientated

A medium sized project that involves private and public spaces is to be located in Shorditch High Street Station area. The design would include an office for their own use in the basement, a commercial use for the ground floor, twelve private apartments stories and a roof terrace specially designed for community use, for which they have already spoken to a local music group to use the space once it’s built. But as the site was located in a conservation area, the first problem they encountered with this design was the height, as it had a negative impact on the surrounding buildings of Brick Lane.

So they had to change the design to only four residential floors which obviously had an impact on the profit that was to be made from the flats. Another aspect was that when you build residential flats 25% of them have to be affordable, so two floors of affordable flats and two of expensive ones.

Also, another decision that they made was to give the penthouse
to the community, well conscious of the fact that that’s the part which you usually make the money from .

Section 106 is an agreement that a landlord has to pay some funds or provide some facilities or carry out some works that need to be done due to their building (such as roadwork etc). So the studio  decided to use the Section 106 in order to build a playground right next to their building on a site that couldn’t possibly be used for other purposes because of the trains passing right above the site. I think this was a smart move as it will raise the value of their building for potential flat customers with children.

In order to eliminate vibrations as much as possible being in an area so close to the rail tracks, they have made their building a „chattle”, which means it is not connected to the ground but supported only by two walls – less contact points less vibrations are transmitted.

I found this visit very interesting as I found out so many practical details and heard real problems that the architect has to deal with and also possible solutions to these.

Review by Alexandra Arad


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