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LIKEarchitects Installs Socially Conscious Art Exhibits Outside of the Box

LIKEarchitects Installs Socially Conscious Art Exhibits Outside of the Box

Specializing in ephemeral-architectural art exhibits with a social conscience, LIKEarchitects is an award-winning firm that recently caught our eye. Producing visually engaging creations in their home country of Portugal, the group has created more than a dozen installations over the past few years with materials ranging from what might be considered more traditional mediums to everyday items like tape or light bulbs.

The Andy Warhol Temporary Museum

Most recently the firm presented The Andy Warhol Temporary Museum, an installation featuring 1,500 metal paint cans that created the "walls" of a walk-through maze displaying the artist's work. The maze was actually divided into four rooms, organized thematically, creating a "miniature museum" of sorts. The exhibition attracted more 100,000 visitors to a shopping center in Lisbon and was nominated for an Idea-Tops Award in the “Exhibition” category.

Highly coveted and issued by a committee consisting of respected members of the global-designing community, The Idea-Tops Award, which is also known as the International Space Design Award, is an organization that recognizes works that cover 14 fields of architecture and interior design.

LEDscape

Just last year, LIKEarchitects partnered with Swedish furniture retailer IKEA to create a very visually impactful LEDscape, an interactive art exhibit that was installed at the Cultural de Belém in Portugal's capital city. LEDscape, another walkthrough creation, introduced IKEA’s Ledare LED light bulb and demonstrated how green and energy-efficient lighting can be.

The bulbs were as attractive as traditional, less-efficient bulbs, all while offering a similar effect with a higher level of social conscience. The exhibition took visitors through a maze built with 1,200 Ledare bulbs at varying heights, which lit up selected areas of the pathway only when needed, artistically demonstrating energy conservation.

Frozen Trees

Promoting multi-functionality in the current socioeconomic climate, the materials used to construct Frozen Trees included a metallic skeleton structure, LED tape, car batteries, and plastic-bag dispensers. The peculiar mix of resources produced self-sustaining, cylindrical-shaped streetlamps.

X-hibition

Contracted to design partitions for a room that would effectively and efficiently host two different programs on consecutive days, LIKEarchitects' X-hibiton pop-up was designed to complement [email protected], a business conference whose core theme introduces innovations to supplant conventional wisdom. Cardboard was used to create the dividing walls, blue on one side and a striped on the other, to show off interactive artwork and optimize functionality of space. Apparently, it achieved both, as the X-hibition was nominated for an Idea-Tops Award in the Art Display category.

LIKEarchitects does more than just “think outside the box;” they craft new containers for such conceptualization and notions as well, resulting in provocative imagery and cool urban art that often conveys a message. We look forward to seeing what they come up with next!

The Andy Warhol Temporary Museum The Andy Warhol Temporary Museum The Andy Warhol Temporary Museum Frozen Trees LEDscapeX-hibition


Making It Happen review - from a jewel-like cabin to a poignant pier

W ell-meaning architecture doesn’t have to be ugly is the welcome message behind the latest exhibition at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). For too long, architects have split into the rival camps of the do-gooding community activists and the material-led, detail-obsessed maestros. They tend to be preoccupied with the yawning wealth gap or the crisply-executed shadow gap, but rarely both.

As the new exhibition – Making It Happen: New Community Architecture – shows, it is possible to be socially worthy, environmentally conscious, people-centred and also be interested in the beauty of things and how they are made. Community architecture doesn’t have to mean scaffolding planks, straw bales and bits from a skip nailed together ad hoc.

Beauty, says Nicholas Lobo Brennan of young practice Apparata in a video in the exhibition, was a way of encouraging the public to come in and discover what was going on in the Old Manor Park library in Newham, London, which the architects converted into a community arts space on a shoestring budget. There are none of the primary-coloured panels or cutesy craftivism that usually scream “public community centre” here. Instead, Apparata’s light-touch interventions in the 1905 building reveal the special qualities of the handsome Carnegie library, which were hidden beneath layers of carpet, cement and suspended ceilings.

The Old Manor Park library conversion. Photograph: Emil Charlaff

They have inserted a series of glazed timber-framed screens to define the studio spaces, forming a free-standing framework that weaves its way through the ground floor like a Dan Graham installation. Chipping away a thick coating of cement, meanwhile, they found beautiful terrazzo floors beneath. The careful combination of old and new was possible because, in this case, the architects were also the lead contractors: they could adjust according to discoveries made on site.

“We wanted to show how the role of the architect can go beyond just designing,” says the exhibition’s curator, Pete Collard. “In these projects, they’re involved in many different ways, from organising, to building, to fundraising and beyond.”

Decorative bricks made by students at Central Saint Martins. Photograph: Luke Hayes

He has taken four projects of different scales from across the British Isles that show architects working variously as makers, activists, cheerleaders and more, showcasing pragmatic and poetic examples of making things happen against the odds.

There is a jewel-like lookout cabin on the edge of Loch Voil in Scotland, designed by Angus Ritchie and Daniel Tyler while they were students at Strathclyde University. A tiny mirrored box with a warm timber lining, it was built for just £5,000 as part of the Scottish scenic routes initiative. It is a simple thing, but huge effort clearly went into the precision of its making.

The same is true of the work of Takeshi Hayatsu, a Japanese architect who teaches at a studio at Central Saint Martins art college centred on “Reworking Arts and Crafts” – and who also designed the RIBA exhibition, cleverly transforming the space with an inventive collage of full-size fragments from the four projects.

Collaborating with Grizedale Arts in the Lake District, his students have been working to breathe new life into the Coniston Mechanics Institute, built in 1878, including handmaking patterned bricks to form a new paved area outside.

The Coniston Institute and village hall in the Lake District. Photograph: CandyAppleRed Signimage/Alamy

It is the latest project in an ongoing series of workshops, which have seen the construction of an outdoor communal bread oven and a copper-clad information kiosk. The latter features a charred timber roof and tiles decorated by local schoolchildren using the repoussé soft metalworking technique, echoing the skills once taught in the Mechanics Institute. The finished products exude the kind of rare love and care for the built environment that former Coniston resident John Ruskin argued for so ferociously.

The final project is all the more poignant because of what has happened since its completion. The rebirth of Hastings pier was hailed as a model of community-led regeneration, being the product of a hard-fought campaign by local residents to see the abandoned relic revived.

Once again, the architects dRMM worked as designers, project managers and community organisers to realise an elegant, refreshingly stark deck out over the water. Shortly after winning the Stirling prize in 2017, the pier charity went into administration. After a £12.4m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund was spent on the model refurbishment, the attraction was sold to local hotel magnate Sheikh Abid Gulzar for just £50,000. It has since been closed for maintenance.

Hastings pier, which was sold for £50,000. Photograph: Alamy

Like the rest of the work in the show, the project is a bittersweet symptom of the retreat of the public sector, a response to the shameful cuts to budgets for essential facilities. A concluding panel on the wall reminds visitors that, in the past five years, more than 340 libraries, 50 regional museums and 200 playgrounds have closed, while one in seven public toilets has shut down. Meanwhile, the number of architects working in the field has fallen dramatically: in 1976, 49% of all architects worked in the public sector today, that figure is just 0.7%.

It doesn’t have to be this way. The idea for the exhibition came out of a symposium last year, Designing for the Public Good, which showed an alternative way forward, featuring initiatives such as Public Practice, set up to get architects working in local councils, and Create, the charity behind the Old Manor Park library – small shoots of hope breaking through the ruins of austerity.

The lookout is on the edge of Loch Voil, not Loch Lomond, and the third picture picture is of decorative bricks, not terrazzo floors. This was corrected on 6 February 2019.


Making It Happen review - from a jewel-like cabin to a poignant pier

W ell-meaning architecture doesn’t have to be ugly is the welcome message behind the latest exhibition at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). For too long, architects have split into the rival camps of the do-gooding community activists and the material-led, detail-obsessed maestros. They tend to be preoccupied with the yawning wealth gap or the crisply-executed shadow gap, but rarely both.

As the new exhibition – Making It Happen: New Community Architecture – shows, it is possible to be socially worthy, environmentally conscious, people-centred and also be interested in the beauty of things and how they are made. Community architecture doesn’t have to mean scaffolding planks, straw bales and bits from a skip nailed together ad hoc.

Beauty, says Nicholas Lobo Brennan of young practice Apparata in a video in the exhibition, was a way of encouraging the public to come in and discover what was going on in the Old Manor Park library in Newham, London, which the architects converted into a community arts space on a shoestring budget. There are none of the primary-coloured panels or cutesy craftivism that usually scream “public community centre” here. Instead, Apparata’s light-touch interventions in the 1905 building reveal the special qualities of the handsome Carnegie library, which were hidden beneath layers of carpet, cement and suspended ceilings.

The Old Manor Park library conversion. Photograph: Emil Charlaff

They have inserted a series of glazed timber-framed screens to define the studio spaces, forming a free-standing framework that weaves its way through the ground floor like a Dan Graham installation. Chipping away a thick coating of cement, meanwhile, they found beautiful terrazzo floors beneath. The careful combination of old and new was possible because, in this case, the architects were also the lead contractors: they could adjust according to discoveries made on site.

“We wanted to show how the role of the architect can go beyond just designing,” says the exhibition’s curator, Pete Collard. “In these projects, they’re involved in many different ways, from organising, to building, to fundraising and beyond.”

Decorative bricks made by students at Central Saint Martins. Photograph: Luke Hayes

He has taken four projects of different scales from across the British Isles that show architects working variously as makers, activists, cheerleaders and more, showcasing pragmatic and poetic examples of making things happen against the odds.

There is a jewel-like lookout cabin on the edge of Loch Voil in Scotland, designed by Angus Ritchie and Daniel Tyler while they were students at Strathclyde University. A tiny mirrored box with a warm timber lining, it was built for just £5,000 as part of the Scottish scenic routes initiative. It is a simple thing, but huge effort clearly went into the precision of its making.

The same is true of the work of Takeshi Hayatsu, a Japanese architect who teaches at a studio at Central Saint Martins art college centred on “Reworking Arts and Crafts” – and who also designed the RIBA exhibition, cleverly transforming the space with an inventive collage of full-size fragments from the four projects.

Collaborating with Grizedale Arts in the Lake District, his students have been working to breathe new life into the Coniston Mechanics Institute, built in 1878, including handmaking patterned bricks to form a new paved area outside.

The Coniston Institute and village hall in the Lake District. Photograph: CandyAppleRed Signimage/Alamy

It is the latest project in an ongoing series of workshops, which have seen the construction of an outdoor communal bread oven and a copper-clad information kiosk. The latter features a charred timber roof and tiles decorated by local schoolchildren using the repoussé soft metalworking technique, echoing the skills once taught in the Mechanics Institute. The finished products exude the kind of rare love and care for the built environment that former Coniston resident John Ruskin argued for so ferociously.

The final project is all the more poignant because of what has happened since its completion. The rebirth of Hastings pier was hailed as a model of community-led regeneration, being the product of a hard-fought campaign by local residents to see the abandoned relic revived.

Once again, the architects dRMM worked as designers, project managers and community organisers to realise an elegant, refreshingly stark deck out over the water. Shortly after winning the Stirling prize in 2017, the pier charity went into administration. After a £12.4m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund was spent on the model refurbishment, the attraction was sold to local hotel magnate Sheikh Abid Gulzar for just £50,000. It has since been closed for maintenance.

Hastings pier, which was sold for £50,000. Photograph: Alamy

Like the rest of the work in the show, the project is a bittersweet symptom of the retreat of the public sector, a response to the shameful cuts to budgets for essential facilities. A concluding panel on the wall reminds visitors that, in the past five years, more than 340 libraries, 50 regional museums and 200 playgrounds have closed, while one in seven public toilets has shut down. Meanwhile, the number of architects working in the field has fallen dramatically: in 1976, 49% of all architects worked in the public sector today, that figure is just 0.7%.

It doesn’t have to be this way. The idea for the exhibition came out of a symposium last year, Designing for the Public Good, which showed an alternative way forward, featuring initiatives such as Public Practice, set up to get architects working in local councils, and Create, the charity behind the Old Manor Park library – small shoots of hope breaking through the ruins of austerity.

The lookout is on the edge of Loch Voil, not Loch Lomond, and the third picture picture is of decorative bricks, not terrazzo floors. This was corrected on 6 February 2019.


Making It Happen review - from a jewel-like cabin to a poignant pier

W ell-meaning architecture doesn’t have to be ugly is the welcome message behind the latest exhibition at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). For too long, architects have split into the rival camps of the do-gooding community activists and the material-led, detail-obsessed maestros. They tend to be preoccupied with the yawning wealth gap or the crisply-executed shadow gap, but rarely both.

As the new exhibition – Making It Happen: New Community Architecture – shows, it is possible to be socially worthy, environmentally conscious, people-centred and also be interested in the beauty of things and how they are made. Community architecture doesn’t have to mean scaffolding planks, straw bales and bits from a skip nailed together ad hoc.

Beauty, says Nicholas Lobo Brennan of young practice Apparata in a video in the exhibition, was a way of encouraging the public to come in and discover what was going on in the Old Manor Park library in Newham, London, which the architects converted into a community arts space on a shoestring budget. There are none of the primary-coloured panels or cutesy craftivism that usually scream “public community centre” here. Instead, Apparata’s light-touch interventions in the 1905 building reveal the special qualities of the handsome Carnegie library, which were hidden beneath layers of carpet, cement and suspended ceilings.

The Old Manor Park library conversion. Photograph: Emil Charlaff

They have inserted a series of glazed timber-framed screens to define the studio spaces, forming a free-standing framework that weaves its way through the ground floor like a Dan Graham installation. Chipping away a thick coating of cement, meanwhile, they found beautiful terrazzo floors beneath. The careful combination of old and new was possible because, in this case, the architects were also the lead contractors: they could adjust according to discoveries made on site.

“We wanted to show how the role of the architect can go beyond just designing,” says the exhibition’s curator, Pete Collard. “In these projects, they’re involved in many different ways, from organising, to building, to fundraising and beyond.”

Decorative bricks made by students at Central Saint Martins. Photograph: Luke Hayes

He has taken four projects of different scales from across the British Isles that show architects working variously as makers, activists, cheerleaders and more, showcasing pragmatic and poetic examples of making things happen against the odds.

There is a jewel-like lookout cabin on the edge of Loch Voil in Scotland, designed by Angus Ritchie and Daniel Tyler while they were students at Strathclyde University. A tiny mirrored box with a warm timber lining, it was built for just £5,000 as part of the Scottish scenic routes initiative. It is a simple thing, but huge effort clearly went into the precision of its making.

The same is true of the work of Takeshi Hayatsu, a Japanese architect who teaches at a studio at Central Saint Martins art college centred on “Reworking Arts and Crafts” – and who also designed the RIBA exhibition, cleverly transforming the space with an inventive collage of full-size fragments from the four projects.

Collaborating with Grizedale Arts in the Lake District, his students have been working to breathe new life into the Coniston Mechanics Institute, built in 1878, including handmaking patterned bricks to form a new paved area outside.

The Coniston Institute and village hall in the Lake District. Photograph: CandyAppleRed Signimage/Alamy

It is the latest project in an ongoing series of workshops, which have seen the construction of an outdoor communal bread oven and a copper-clad information kiosk. The latter features a charred timber roof and tiles decorated by local schoolchildren using the repoussé soft metalworking technique, echoing the skills once taught in the Mechanics Institute. The finished products exude the kind of rare love and care for the built environment that former Coniston resident John Ruskin argued for so ferociously.

The final project is all the more poignant because of what has happened since its completion. The rebirth of Hastings pier was hailed as a model of community-led regeneration, being the product of a hard-fought campaign by local residents to see the abandoned relic revived.

Once again, the architects dRMM worked as designers, project managers and community organisers to realise an elegant, refreshingly stark deck out over the water. Shortly after winning the Stirling prize in 2017, the pier charity went into administration. After a £12.4m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund was spent on the model refurbishment, the attraction was sold to local hotel magnate Sheikh Abid Gulzar for just £50,000. It has since been closed for maintenance.

Hastings pier, which was sold for £50,000. Photograph: Alamy

Like the rest of the work in the show, the project is a bittersweet symptom of the retreat of the public sector, a response to the shameful cuts to budgets for essential facilities. A concluding panel on the wall reminds visitors that, in the past five years, more than 340 libraries, 50 regional museums and 200 playgrounds have closed, while one in seven public toilets has shut down. Meanwhile, the number of architects working in the field has fallen dramatically: in 1976, 49% of all architects worked in the public sector today, that figure is just 0.7%.

It doesn’t have to be this way. The idea for the exhibition came out of a symposium last year, Designing for the Public Good, which showed an alternative way forward, featuring initiatives such as Public Practice, set up to get architects working in local councils, and Create, the charity behind the Old Manor Park library – small shoots of hope breaking through the ruins of austerity.

The lookout is on the edge of Loch Voil, not Loch Lomond, and the third picture picture is of decorative bricks, not terrazzo floors. This was corrected on 6 February 2019.


Making It Happen review - from a jewel-like cabin to a poignant pier

W ell-meaning architecture doesn’t have to be ugly is the welcome message behind the latest exhibition at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). For too long, architects have split into the rival camps of the do-gooding community activists and the material-led, detail-obsessed maestros. They tend to be preoccupied with the yawning wealth gap or the crisply-executed shadow gap, but rarely both.

As the new exhibition – Making It Happen: New Community Architecture – shows, it is possible to be socially worthy, environmentally conscious, people-centred and also be interested in the beauty of things and how they are made. Community architecture doesn’t have to mean scaffolding planks, straw bales and bits from a skip nailed together ad hoc.

Beauty, says Nicholas Lobo Brennan of young practice Apparata in a video in the exhibition, was a way of encouraging the public to come in and discover what was going on in the Old Manor Park library in Newham, London, which the architects converted into a community arts space on a shoestring budget. There are none of the primary-coloured panels or cutesy craftivism that usually scream “public community centre” here. Instead, Apparata’s light-touch interventions in the 1905 building reveal the special qualities of the handsome Carnegie library, which were hidden beneath layers of carpet, cement and suspended ceilings.

The Old Manor Park library conversion. Photograph: Emil Charlaff

They have inserted a series of glazed timber-framed screens to define the studio spaces, forming a free-standing framework that weaves its way through the ground floor like a Dan Graham installation. Chipping away a thick coating of cement, meanwhile, they found beautiful terrazzo floors beneath. The careful combination of old and new was possible because, in this case, the architects were also the lead contractors: they could adjust according to discoveries made on site.

“We wanted to show how the role of the architect can go beyond just designing,” says the exhibition’s curator, Pete Collard. “In these projects, they’re involved in many different ways, from organising, to building, to fundraising and beyond.”

Decorative bricks made by students at Central Saint Martins. Photograph: Luke Hayes

He has taken four projects of different scales from across the British Isles that show architects working variously as makers, activists, cheerleaders and more, showcasing pragmatic and poetic examples of making things happen against the odds.

There is a jewel-like lookout cabin on the edge of Loch Voil in Scotland, designed by Angus Ritchie and Daniel Tyler while they were students at Strathclyde University. A tiny mirrored box with a warm timber lining, it was built for just £5,000 as part of the Scottish scenic routes initiative. It is a simple thing, but huge effort clearly went into the precision of its making.

The same is true of the work of Takeshi Hayatsu, a Japanese architect who teaches at a studio at Central Saint Martins art college centred on “Reworking Arts and Crafts” – and who also designed the RIBA exhibition, cleverly transforming the space with an inventive collage of full-size fragments from the four projects.

Collaborating with Grizedale Arts in the Lake District, his students have been working to breathe new life into the Coniston Mechanics Institute, built in 1878, including handmaking patterned bricks to form a new paved area outside.

The Coniston Institute and village hall in the Lake District. Photograph: CandyAppleRed Signimage/Alamy

It is the latest project in an ongoing series of workshops, which have seen the construction of an outdoor communal bread oven and a copper-clad information kiosk. The latter features a charred timber roof and tiles decorated by local schoolchildren using the repoussé soft metalworking technique, echoing the skills once taught in the Mechanics Institute. The finished products exude the kind of rare love and care for the built environment that former Coniston resident John Ruskin argued for so ferociously.

The final project is all the more poignant because of what has happened since its completion. The rebirth of Hastings pier was hailed as a model of community-led regeneration, being the product of a hard-fought campaign by local residents to see the abandoned relic revived.

Once again, the architects dRMM worked as designers, project managers and community organisers to realise an elegant, refreshingly stark deck out over the water. Shortly after winning the Stirling prize in 2017, the pier charity went into administration. After a £12.4m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund was spent on the model refurbishment, the attraction was sold to local hotel magnate Sheikh Abid Gulzar for just £50,000. It has since been closed for maintenance.

Hastings pier, which was sold for £50,000. Photograph: Alamy

Like the rest of the work in the show, the project is a bittersweet symptom of the retreat of the public sector, a response to the shameful cuts to budgets for essential facilities. A concluding panel on the wall reminds visitors that, in the past five years, more than 340 libraries, 50 regional museums and 200 playgrounds have closed, while one in seven public toilets has shut down. Meanwhile, the number of architects working in the field has fallen dramatically: in 1976, 49% of all architects worked in the public sector today, that figure is just 0.7%.

It doesn’t have to be this way. The idea for the exhibition came out of a symposium last year, Designing for the Public Good, which showed an alternative way forward, featuring initiatives such as Public Practice, set up to get architects working in local councils, and Create, the charity behind the Old Manor Park library – small shoots of hope breaking through the ruins of austerity.

The lookout is on the edge of Loch Voil, not Loch Lomond, and the third picture picture is of decorative bricks, not terrazzo floors. This was corrected on 6 February 2019.


Making It Happen review - from a jewel-like cabin to a poignant pier

W ell-meaning architecture doesn’t have to be ugly is the welcome message behind the latest exhibition at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). For too long, architects have split into the rival camps of the do-gooding community activists and the material-led, detail-obsessed maestros. They tend to be preoccupied with the yawning wealth gap or the crisply-executed shadow gap, but rarely both.

As the new exhibition – Making It Happen: New Community Architecture – shows, it is possible to be socially worthy, environmentally conscious, people-centred and also be interested in the beauty of things and how they are made. Community architecture doesn’t have to mean scaffolding planks, straw bales and bits from a skip nailed together ad hoc.

Beauty, says Nicholas Lobo Brennan of young practice Apparata in a video in the exhibition, was a way of encouraging the public to come in and discover what was going on in the Old Manor Park library in Newham, London, which the architects converted into a community arts space on a shoestring budget. There are none of the primary-coloured panels or cutesy craftivism that usually scream “public community centre” here. Instead, Apparata’s light-touch interventions in the 1905 building reveal the special qualities of the handsome Carnegie library, which were hidden beneath layers of carpet, cement and suspended ceilings.

The Old Manor Park library conversion. Photograph: Emil Charlaff

They have inserted a series of glazed timber-framed screens to define the studio spaces, forming a free-standing framework that weaves its way through the ground floor like a Dan Graham installation. Chipping away a thick coating of cement, meanwhile, they found beautiful terrazzo floors beneath. The careful combination of old and new was possible because, in this case, the architects were also the lead contractors: they could adjust according to discoveries made on site.

“We wanted to show how the role of the architect can go beyond just designing,” says the exhibition’s curator, Pete Collard. “In these projects, they’re involved in many different ways, from organising, to building, to fundraising and beyond.”

Decorative bricks made by students at Central Saint Martins. Photograph: Luke Hayes

He has taken four projects of different scales from across the British Isles that show architects working variously as makers, activists, cheerleaders and more, showcasing pragmatic and poetic examples of making things happen against the odds.

There is a jewel-like lookout cabin on the edge of Loch Voil in Scotland, designed by Angus Ritchie and Daniel Tyler while they were students at Strathclyde University. A tiny mirrored box with a warm timber lining, it was built for just £5,000 as part of the Scottish scenic routes initiative. It is a simple thing, but huge effort clearly went into the precision of its making.

The same is true of the work of Takeshi Hayatsu, a Japanese architect who teaches at a studio at Central Saint Martins art college centred on “Reworking Arts and Crafts” – and who also designed the RIBA exhibition, cleverly transforming the space with an inventive collage of full-size fragments from the four projects.

Collaborating with Grizedale Arts in the Lake District, his students have been working to breathe new life into the Coniston Mechanics Institute, built in 1878, including handmaking patterned bricks to form a new paved area outside.

The Coniston Institute and village hall in the Lake District. Photograph: CandyAppleRed Signimage/Alamy

It is the latest project in an ongoing series of workshops, which have seen the construction of an outdoor communal bread oven and a copper-clad information kiosk. The latter features a charred timber roof and tiles decorated by local schoolchildren using the repoussé soft metalworking technique, echoing the skills once taught in the Mechanics Institute. The finished products exude the kind of rare love and care for the built environment that former Coniston resident John Ruskin argued for so ferociously.

The final project is all the more poignant because of what has happened since its completion. The rebirth of Hastings pier was hailed as a model of community-led regeneration, being the product of a hard-fought campaign by local residents to see the abandoned relic revived.

Once again, the architects dRMM worked as designers, project managers and community organisers to realise an elegant, refreshingly stark deck out over the water. Shortly after winning the Stirling prize in 2017, the pier charity went into administration. After a £12.4m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund was spent on the model refurbishment, the attraction was sold to local hotel magnate Sheikh Abid Gulzar for just £50,000. It has since been closed for maintenance.

Hastings pier, which was sold for £50,000. Photograph: Alamy

Like the rest of the work in the show, the project is a bittersweet symptom of the retreat of the public sector, a response to the shameful cuts to budgets for essential facilities. A concluding panel on the wall reminds visitors that, in the past five years, more than 340 libraries, 50 regional museums and 200 playgrounds have closed, while one in seven public toilets has shut down. Meanwhile, the number of architects working in the field has fallen dramatically: in 1976, 49% of all architects worked in the public sector today, that figure is just 0.7%.

It doesn’t have to be this way. The idea for the exhibition came out of a symposium last year, Designing for the Public Good, which showed an alternative way forward, featuring initiatives such as Public Practice, set up to get architects working in local councils, and Create, the charity behind the Old Manor Park library – small shoots of hope breaking through the ruins of austerity.

The lookout is on the edge of Loch Voil, not Loch Lomond, and the third picture picture is of decorative bricks, not terrazzo floors. This was corrected on 6 February 2019.


Making It Happen review - from a jewel-like cabin to a poignant pier

W ell-meaning architecture doesn’t have to be ugly is the welcome message behind the latest exhibition at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). For too long, architects have split into the rival camps of the do-gooding community activists and the material-led, detail-obsessed maestros. They tend to be preoccupied with the yawning wealth gap or the crisply-executed shadow gap, but rarely both.

As the new exhibition – Making It Happen: New Community Architecture – shows, it is possible to be socially worthy, environmentally conscious, people-centred and also be interested in the beauty of things and how they are made. Community architecture doesn’t have to mean scaffolding planks, straw bales and bits from a skip nailed together ad hoc.

Beauty, says Nicholas Lobo Brennan of young practice Apparata in a video in the exhibition, was a way of encouraging the public to come in and discover what was going on in the Old Manor Park library in Newham, London, which the architects converted into a community arts space on a shoestring budget. There are none of the primary-coloured panels or cutesy craftivism that usually scream “public community centre” here. Instead, Apparata’s light-touch interventions in the 1905 building reveal the special qualities of the handsome Carnegie library, which were hidden beneath layers of carpet, cement and suspended ceilings.

The Old Manor Park library conversion. Photograph: Emil Charlaff

They have inserted a series of glazed timber-framed screens to define the studio spaces, forming a free-standing framework that weaves its way through the ground floor like a Dan Graham installation. Chipping away a thick coating of cement, meanwhile, they found beautiful terrazzo floors beneath. The careful combination of old and new was possible because, in this case, the architects were also the lead contractors: they could adjust according to discoveries made on site.

“We wanted to show how the role of the architect can go beyond just designing,” says the exhibition’s curator, Pete Collard. “In these projects, they’re involved in many different ways, from organising, to building, to fundraising and beyond.”

Decorative bricks made by students at Central Saint Martins. Photograph: Luke Hayes

He has taken four projects of different scales from across the British Isles that show architects working variously as makers, activists, cheerleaders and more, showcasing pragmatic and poetic examples of making things happen against the odds.

There is a jewel-like lookout cabin on the edge of Loch Voil in Scotland, designed by Angus Ritchie and Daniel Tyler while they were students at Strathclyde University. A tiny mirrored box with a warm timber lining, it was built for just £5,000 as part of the Scottish scenic routes initiative. It is a simple thing, but huge effort clearly went into the precision of its making.

The same is true of the work of Takeshi Hayatsu, a Japanese architect who teaches at a studio at Central Saint Martins art college centred on “Reworking Arts and Crafts” – and who also designed the RIBA exhibition, cleverly transforming the space with an inventive collage of full-size fragments from the four projects.

Collaborating with Grizedale Arts in the Lake District, his students have been working to breathe new life into the Coniston Mechanics Institute, built in 1878, including handmaking patterned bricks to form a new paved area outside.

The Coniston Institute and village hall in the Lake District. Photograph: CandyAppleRed Signimage/Alamy

It is the latest project in an ongoing series of workshops, which have seen the construction of an outdoor communal bread oven and a copper-clad information kiosk. The latter features a charred timber roof and tiles decorated by local schoolchildren using the repoussé soft metalworking technique, echoing the skills once taught in the Mechanics Institute. The finished products exude the kind of rare love and care for the built environment that former Coniston resident John Ruskin argued for so ferociously.

The final project is all the more poignant because of what has happened since its completion. The rebirth of Hastings pier was hailed as a model of community-led regeneration, being the product of a hard-fought campaign by local residents to see the abandoned relic revived.

Once again, the architects dRMM worked as designers, project managers and community organisers to realise an elegant, refreshingly stark deck out over the water. Shortly after winning the Stirling prize in 2017, the pier charity went into administration. After a £12.4m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund was spent on the model refurbishment, the attraction was sold to local hotel magnate Sheikh Abid Gulzar for just £50,000. It has since been closed for maintenance.

Hastings pier, which was sold for £50,000. Photograph: Alamy

Like the rest of the work in the show, the project is a bittersweet symptom of the retreat of the public sector, a response to the shameful cuts to budgets for essential facilities. A concluding panel on the wall reminds visitors that, in the past five years, more than 340 libraries, 50 regional museums and 200 playgrounds have closed, while one in seven public toilets has shut down. Meanwhile, the number of architects working in the field has fallen dramatically: in 1976, 49% of all architects worked in the public sector today, that figure is just 0.7%.

It doesn’t have to be this way. The idea for the exhibition came out of a symposium last year, Designing for the Public Good, which showed an alternative way forward, featuring initiatives such as Public Practice, set up to get architects working in local councils, and Create, the charity behind the Old Manor Park library – small shoots of hope breaking through the ruins of austerity.

The lookout is on the edge of Loch Voil, not Loch Lomond, and the third picture picture is of decorative bricks, not terrazzo floors. This was corrected on 6 February 2019.


Making It Happen review - from a jewel-like cabin to a poignant pier

W ell-meaning architecture doesn’t have to be ugly is the welcome message behind the latest exhibition at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). For too long, architects have split into the rival camps of the do-gooding community activists and the material-led, detail-obsessed maestros. They tend to be preoccupied with the yawning wealth gap or the crisply-executed shadow gap, but rarely both.

As the new exhibition – Making It Happen: New Community Architecture – shows, it is possible to be socially worthy, environmentally conscious, people-centred and also be interested in the beauty of things and how they are made. Community architecture doesn’t have to mean scaffolding planks, straw bales and bits from a skip nailed together ad hoc.

Beauty, says Nicholas Lobo Brennan of young practice Apparata in a video in the exhibition, was a way of encouraging the public to come in and discover what was going on in the Old Manor Park library in Newham, London, which the architects converted into a community arts space on a shoestring budget. There are none of the primary-coloured panels or cutesy craftivism that usually scream “public community centre” here. Instead, Apparata’s light-touch interventions in the 1905 building reveal the special qualities of the handsome Carnegie library, which were hidden beneath layers of carpet, cement and suspended ceilings.

The Old Manor Park library conversion. Photograph: Emil Charlaff

They have inserted a series of glazed timber-framed screens to define the studio spaces, forming a free-standing framework that weaves its way through the ground floor like a Dan Graham installation. Chipping away a thick coating of cement, meanwhile, they found beautiful terrazzo floors beneath. The careful combination of old and new was possible because, in this case, the architects were also the lead contractors: they could adjust according to discoveries made on site.

“We wanted to show how the role of the architect can go beyond just designing,” says the exhibition’s curator, Pete Collard. “In these projects, they’re involved in many different ways, from organising, to building, to fundraising and beyond.”

Decorative bricks made by students at Central Saint Martins. Photograph: Luke Hayes

He has taken four projects of different scales from across the British Isles that show architects working variously as makers, activists, cheerleaders and more, showcasing pragmatic and poetic examples of making things happen against the odds.

There is a jewel-like lookout cabin on the edge of Loch Voil in Scotland, designed by Angus Ritchie and Daniel Tyler while they were students at Strathclyde University. A tiny mirrored box with a warm timber lining, it was built for just £5,000 as part of the Scottish scenic routes initiative. It is a simple thing, but huge effort clearly went into the precision of its making.

The same is true of the work of Takeshi Hayatsu, a Japanese architect who teaches at a studio at Central Saint Martins art college centred on “Reworking Arts and Crafts” – and who also designed the RIBA exhibition, cleverly transforming the space with an inventive collage of full-size fragments from the four projects.

Collaborating with Grizedale Arts in the Lake District, his students have been working to breathe new life into the Coniston Mechanics Institute, built in 1878, including handmaking patterned bricks to form a new paved area outside.

The Coniston Institute and village hall in the Lake District. Photograph: CandyAppleRed Signimage/Alamy

It is the latest project in an ongoing series of workshops, which have seen the construction of an outdoor communal bread oven and a copper-clad information kiosk. The latter features a charred timber roof and tiles decorated by local schoolchildren using the repoussé soft metalworking technique, echoing the skills once taught in the Mechanics Institute. The finished products exude the kind of rare love and care for the built environment that former Coniston resident John Ruskin argued for so ferociously.

The final project is all the more poignant because of what has happened since its completion. The rebirth of Hastings pier was hailed as a model of community-led regeneration, being the product of a hard-fought campaign by local residents to see the abandoned relic revived.

Once again, the architects dRMM worked as designers, project managers and community organisers to realise an elegant, refreshingly stark deck out over the water. Shortly after winning the Stirling prize in 2017, the pier charity went into administration. After a £12.4m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund was spent on the model refurbishment, the attraction was sold to local hotel magnate Sheikh Abid Gulzar for just £50,000. It has since been closed for maintenance.

Hastings pier, which was sold for £50,000. Photograph: Alamy

Like the rest of the work in the show, the project is a bittersweet symptom of the retreat of the public sector, a response to the shameful cuts to budgets for essential facilities. A concluding panel on the wall reminds visitors that, in the past five years, more than 340 libraries, 50 regional museums and 200 playgrounds have closed, while one in seven public toilets has shut down. Meanwhile, the number of architects working in the field has fallen dramatically: in 1976, 49% of all architects worked in the public sector today, that figure is just 0.7%.

It doesn’t have to be this way. The idea for the exhibition came out of a symposium last year, Designing for the Public Good, which showed an alternative way forward, featuring initiatives such as Public Practice, set up to get architects working in local councils, and Create, the charity behind the Old Manor Park library – small shoots of hope breaking through the ruins of austerity.

The lookout is on the edge of Loch Voil, not Loch Lomond, and the third picture picture is of decorative bricks, not terrazzo floors. This was corrected on 6 February 2019.


Making It Happen review - from a jewel-like cabin to a poignant pier

W ell-meaning architecture doesn’t have to be ugly is the welcome message behind the latest exhibition at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). For too long, architects have split into the rival camps of the do-gooding community activists and the material-led, detail-obsessed maestros. They tend to be preoccupied with the yawning wealth gap or the crisply-executed shadow gap, but rarely both.

As the new exhibition – Making It Happen: New Community Architecture – shows, it is possible to be socially worthy, environmentally conscious, people-centred and also be interested in the beauty of things and how they are made. Community architecture doesn’t have to mean scaffolding planks, straw bales and bits from a skip nailed together ad hoc.

Beauty, says Nicholas Lobo Brennan of young practice Apparata in a video in the exhibition, was a way of encouraging the public to come in and discover what was going on in the Old Manor Park library in Newham, London, which the architects converted into a community arts space on a shoestring budget. There are none of the primary-coloured panels or cutesy craftivism that usually scream “public community centre” here. Instead, Apparata’s light-touch interventions in the 1905 building reveal the special qualities of the handsome Carnegie library, which were hidden beneath layers of carpet, cement and suspended ceilings.

The Old Manor Park library conversion. Photograph: Emil Charlaff

They have inserted a series of glazed timber-framed screens to define the studio spaces, forming a free-standing framework that weaves its way through the ground floor like a Dan Graham installation. Chipping away a thick coating of cement, meanwhile, they found beautiful terrazzo floors beneath. The careful combination of old and new was possible because, in this case, the architects were also the lead contractors: they could adjust according to discoveries made on site.

“We wanted to show how the role of the architect can go beyond just designing,” says the exhibition’s curator, Pete Collard. “In these projects, they’re involved in many different ways, from organising, to building, to fundraising and beyond.”

Decorative bricks made by students at Central Saint Martins. Photograph: Luke Hayes

He has taken four projects of different scales from across the British Isles that show architects working variously as makers, activists, cheerleaders and more, showcasing pragmatic and poetic examples of making things happen against the odds.

There is a jewel-like lookout cabin on the edge of Loch Voil in Scotland, designed by Angus Ritchie and Daniel Tyler while they were students at Strathclyde University. A tiny mirrored box with a warm timber lining, it was built for just £5,000 as part of the Scottish scenic routes initiative. It is a simple thing, but huge effort clearly went into the precision of its making.

The same is true of the work of Takeshi Hayatsu, a Japanese architect who teaches at a studio at Central Saint Martins art college centred on “Reworking Arts and Crafts” – and who also designed the RIBA exhibition, cleverly transforming the space with an inventive collage of full-size fragments from the four projects.

Collaborating with Grizedale Arts in the Lake District, his students have been working to breathe new life into the Coniston Mechanics Institute, built in 1878, including handmaking patterned bricks to form a new paved area outside.

The Coniston Institute and village hall in the Lake District. Photograph: CandyAppleRed Signimage/Alamy

It is the latest project in an ongoing series of workshops, which have seen the construction of an outdoor communal bread oven and a copper-clad information kiosk. The latter features a charred timber roof and tiles decorated by local schoolchildren using the repoussé soft metalworking technique, echoing the skills once taught in the Mechanics Institute. The finished products exude the kind of rare love and care for the built environment that former Coniston resident John Ruskin argued for so ferociously.

The final project is all the more poignant because of what has happened since its completion. The rebirth of Hastings pier was hailed as a model of community-led regeneration, being the product of a hard-fought campaign by local residents to see the abandoned relic revived.

Once again, the architects dRMM worked as designers, project managers and community organisers to realise an elegant, refreshingly stark deck out over the water. Shortly after winning the Stirling prize in 2017, the pier charity went into administration. After a £12.4m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund was spent on the model refurbishment, the attraction was sold to local hotel magnate Sheikh Abid Gulzar for just £50,000. It has since been closed for maintenance.

Hastings pier, which was sold for £50,000. Photograph: Alamy

Like the rest of the work in the show, the project is a bittersweet symptom of the retreat of the public sector, a response to the shameful cuts to budgets for essential facilities. A concluding panel on the wall reminds visitors that, in the past five years, more than 340 libraries, 50 regional museums and 200 playgrounds have closed, while one in seven public toilets has shut down. Meanwhile, the number of architects working in the field has fallen dramatically: in 1976, 49% of all architects worked in the public sector today, that figure is just 0.7%.

It doesn’t have to be this way. The idea for the exhibition came out of a symposium last year, Designing for the Public Good, which showed an alternative way forward, featuring initiatives such as Public Practice, set up to get architects working in local councils, and Create, the charity behind the Old Manor Park library – small shoots of hope breaking through the ruins of austerity.

The lookout is on the edge of Loch Voil, not Loch Lomond, and the third picture picture is of decorative bricks, not terrazzo floors. This was corrected on 6 February 2019.


Making It Happen review - from a jewel-like cabin to a poignant pier

W ell-meaning architecture doesn’t have to be ugly is the welcome message behind the latest exhibition at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). For too long, architects have split into the rival camps of the do-gooding community activists and the material-led, detail-obsessed maestros. They tend to be preoccupied with the yawning wealth gap or the crisply-executed shadow gap, but rarely both.

As the new exhibition – Making It Happen: New Community Architecture – shows, it is possible to be socially worthy, environmentally conscious, people-centred and also be interested in the beauty of things and how they are made. Community architecture doesn’t have to mean scaffolding planks, straw bales and bits from a skip nailed together ad hoc.

Beauty, says Nicholas Lobo Brennan of young practice Apparata in a video in the exhibition, was a way of encouraging the public to come in and discover what was going on in the Old Manor Park library in Newham, London, which the architects converted into a community arts space on a shoestring budget. There are none of the primary-coloured panels or cutesy craftivism that usually scream “public community centre” here. Instead, Apparata’s light-touch interventions in the 1905 building reveal the special qualities of the handsome Carnegie library, which were hidden beneath layers of carpet, cement and suspended ceilings.

The Old Manor Park library conversion. Photograph: Emil Charlaff

They have inserted a series of glazed timber-framed screens to define the studio spaces, forming a free-standing framework that weaves its way through the ground floor like a Dan Graham installation. Chipping away a thick coating of cement, meanwhile, they found beautiful terrazzo floors beneath. The careful combination of old and new was possible because, in this case, the architects were also the lead contractors: they could adjust according to discoveries made on site.

“We wanted to show how the role of the architect can go beyond just designing,” says the exhibition’s curator, Pete Collard. “In these projects, they’re involved in many different ways, from organising, to building, to fundraising and beyond.”

Decorative bricks made by students at Central Saint Martins. Photograph: Luke Hayes

He has taken four projects of different scales from across the British Isles that show architects working variously as makers, activists, cheerleaders and more, showcasing pragmatic and poetic examples of making things happen against the odds.

There is a jewel-like lookout cabin on the edge of Loch Voil in Scotland, designed by Angus Ritchie and Daniel Tyler while they were students at Strathclyde University. A tiny mirrored box with a warm timber lining, it was built for just £5,000 as part of the Scottish scenic routes initiative. It is a simple thing, but huge effort clearly went into the precision of its making.

The same is true of the work of Takeshi Hayatsu, a Japanese architect who teaches at a studio at Central Saint Martins art college centred on “Reworking Arts and Crafts” – and who also designed the RIBA exhibition, cleverly transforming the space with an inventive collage of full-size fragments from the four projects.

Collaborating with Grizedale Arts in the Lake District, his students have been working to breathe new life into the Coniston Mechanics Institute, built in 1878, including handmaking patterned bricks to form a new paved area outside.

The Coniston Institute and village hall in the Lake District. Photograph: CandyAppleRed Signimage/Alamy

It is the latest project in an ongoing series of workshops, which have seen the construction of an outdoor communal bread oven and a copper-clad information kiosk. The latter features a charred timber roof and tiles decorated by local schoolchildren using the repoussé soft metalworking technique, echoing the skills once taught in the Mechanics Institute. The finished products exude the kind of rare love and care for the built environment that former Coniston resident John Ruskin argued for so ferociously.

The final project is all the more poignant because of what has happened since its completion. The rebirth of Hastings pier was hailed as a model of community-led regeneration, being the product of a hard-fought campaign by local residents to see the abandoned relic revived.

Once again, the architects dRMM worked as designers, project managers and community organisers to realise an elegant, refreshingly stark deck out over the water. Shortly after winning the Stirling prize in 2017, the pier charity went into administration. After a £12.4m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund was spent on the model refurbishment, the attraction was sold to local hotel magnate Sheikh Abid Gulzar for just £50,000. It has since been closed for maintenance.

Hastings pier, which was sold for £50,000. Photograph: Alamy

Like the rest of the work in the show, the project is a bittersweet symptom of the retreat of the public sector, a response to the shameful cuts to budgets for essential facilities. A concluding panel on the wall reminds visitors that, in the past five years, more than 340 libraries, 50 regional museums and 200 playgrounds have closed, while one in seven public toilets has shut down. Meanwhile, the number of architects working in the field has fallen dramatically: in 1976, 49% of all architects worked in the public sector today, that figure is just 0.7%.

It doesn’t have to be this way. The idea for the exhibition came out of a symposium last year, Designing for the Public Good, which showed an alternative way forward, featuring initiatives such as Public Practice, set up to get architects working in local councils, and Create, the charity behind the Old Manor Park library – small shoots of hope breaking through the ruins of austerity.

The lookout is on the edge of Loch Voil, not Loch Lomond, and the third picture picture is of decorative bricks, not terrazzo floors. This was corrected on 6 February 2019.


Making It Happen review - from a jewel-like cabin to a poignant pier

W ell-meaning architecture doesn’t have to be ugly is the welcome message behind the latest exhibition at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). For too long, architects have split into the rival camps of the do-gooding community activists and the material-led, detail-obsessed maestros. They tend to be preoccupied with the yawning wealth gap or the crisply-executed shadow gap, but rarely both.

As the new exhibition – Making It Happen: New Community Architecture – shows, it is possible to be socially worthy, environmentally conscious, people-centred and also be interested in the beauty of things and how they are made. Community architecture doesn’t have to mean scaffolding planks, straw bales and bits from a skip nailed together ad hoc.

Beauty, says Nicholas Lobo Brennan of young practice Apparata in a video in the exhibition, was a way of encouraging the public to come in and discover what was going on in the Old Manor Park library in Newham, London, which the architects converted into a community arts space on a shoestring budget. There are none of the primary-coloured panels or cutesy craftivism that usually scream “public community centre” here. Instead, Apparata’s light-touch interventions in the 1905 building reveal the special qualities of the handsome Carnegie library, which were hidden beneath layers of carpet, cement and suspended ceilings.

The Old Manor Park library conversion. Photograph: Emil Charlaff

They have inserted a series of glazed timber-framed screens to define the studio spaces, forming a free-standing framework that weaves its way through the ground floor like a Dan Graham installation. Chipping away a thick coating of cement, meanwhile, they found beautiful terrazzo floors beneath. The careful combination of old and new was possible because, in this case, the architects were also the lead contractors: they could adjust according to discoveries made on site.

“We wanted to show how the role of the architect can go beyond just designing,” says the exhibition’s curator, Pete Collard. “In these projects, they’re involved in many different ways, from organising, to building, to fundraising and beyond.”

Decorative bricks made by students at Central Saint Martins. Photograph: Luke Hayes

He has taken four projects of different scales from across the British Isles that show architects working variously as makers, activists, cheerleaders and more, showcasing pragmatic and poetic examples of making things happen against the odds.

There is a jewel-like lookout cabin on the edge of Loch Voil in Scotland, designed by Angus Ritchie and Daniel Tyler while they were students at Strathclyde University. A tiny mirrored box with a warm timber lining, it was built for just £5,000 as part of the Scottish scenic routes initiative. It is a simple thing, but huge effort clearly went into the precision of its making.

The same is true of the work of Takeshi Hayatsu, a Japanese architect who teaches at a studio at Central Saint Martins art college centred on “Reworking Arts and Crafts” – and who also designed the RIBA exhibition, cleverly transforming the space with an inventive collage of full-size fragments from the four projects.

Collaborating with Grizedale Arts in the Lake District, his students have been working to breathe new life into the Coniston Mechanics Institute, built in 1878, including handmaking patterned bricks to form a new paved area outside.

The Coniston Institute and village hall in the Lake District. Photograph: CandyAppleRed Signimage/Alamy

It is the latest project in an ongoing series of workshops, which have seen the construction of an outdoor communal bread oven and a copper-clad information kiosk. The latter features a charred timber roof and tiles decorated by local schoolchildren using the repoussé soft metalworking technique, echoing the skills once taught in the Mechanics Institute. The finished products exude the kind of rare love and care for the built environment that former Coniston resident John Ruskin argued for so ferociously.

The final project is all the more poignant because of what has happened since its completion. The rebirth of Hastings pier was hailed as a model of community-led regeneration, being the product of a hard-fought campaign by local residents to see the abandoned relic revived.

Once again, the architects dRMM worked as designers, project managers and community organisers to realise an elegant, refreshingly stark deck out over the water. Shortly after winning the Stirling prize in 2017, the pier charity went into administration. After a £12.4m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund was spent on the model refurbishment, the attraction was sold to local hotel magnate Sheikh Abid Gulzar for just £50,000. It has since been closed for maintenance.

Hastings pier, which was sold for £50,000. Photograph: Alamy

Like the rest of the work in the show, the project is a bittersweet symptom of the retreat of the public sector, a response to the shameful cuts to budgets for essential facilities. A concluding panel on the wall reminds visitors that, in the past five years, more than 340 libraries, 50 regional museums and 200 playgrounds have closed, while one in seven public toilets has shut down. Meanwhile, the number of architects working in the field has fallen dramatically: in 1976, 49% of all architects worked in the public sector today, that figure is just 0.7%.

It doesn’t have to be this way. The idea for the exhibition came out of a symposium last year, Designing for the Public Good, which showed an alternative way forward, featuring initiatives such as Public Practice, set up to get architects working in local councils, and Create, the charity behind the Old Manor Park library – small shoots of hope breaking through the ruins of austerity.

The lookout is on the edge of Loch Voil, not Loch Lomond, and the third picture picture is of decorative bricks, not terrazzo floors. This was corrected on 6 February 2019.


Making It Happen review - from a jewel-like cabin to a poignant pier

W ell-meaning architecture doesn’t have to be ugly is the welcome message behind the latest exhibition at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). For too long, architects have split into the rival camps of the do-gooding community activists and the material-led, detail-obsessed maestros. They tend to be preoccupied with the yawning wealth gap or the crisply-executed shadow gap, but rarely both.

As the new exhibition – Making It Happen: New Community Architecture – shows, it is possible to be socially worthy, environmentally conscious, people-centred and also be interested in the beauty of things and how they are made. Community architecture doesn’t have to mean scaffolding planks, straw bales and bits from a skip nailed together ad hoc.

Beauty, says Nicholas Lobo Brennan of young practice Apparata in a video in the exhibition, was a way of encouraging the public to come in and discover what was going on in the Old Manor Park library in Newham, London, which the architects converted into a community arts space on a shoestring budget. There are none of the primary-coloured panels or cutesy craftivism that usually scream “public community centre” here. Instead, Apparata’s light-touch interventions in the 1905 building reveal the special qualities of the handsome Carnegie library, which were hidden beneath layers of carpet, cement and suspended ceilings.

The Old Manor Park library conversion. Photograph: Emil Charlaff

They have inserted a series of glazed timber-framed screens to define the studio spaces, forming a free-standing framework that weaves its way through the ground floor like a Dan Graham installation. Chipping away a thick coating of cement, meanwhile, they found beautiful terrazzo floors beneath. The careful combination of old and new was possible because, in this case, the architects were also the lead contractors: they could adjust according to discoveries made on site.

“We wanted to show how the role of the architect can go beyond just designing,” says the exhibition’s curator, Pete Collard. “In these projects, they’re involved in many different ways, from organising, to building, to fundraising and beyond.”

Decorative bricks made by students at Central Saint Martins. Photograph: Luke Hayes

He has taken four projects of different scales from across the British Isles that show architects working variously as makers, activists, cheerleaders and more, showcasing pragmatic and poetic examples of making things happen against the odds.

There is a jewel-like lookout cabin on the edge of Loch Voil in Scotland, designed by Angus Ritchie and Daniel Tyler while they were students at Strathclyde University. A tiny mirrored box with a warm timber lining, it was built for just £5,000 as part of the Scottish scenic routes initiative. It is a simple thing, but huge effort clearly went into the precision of its making.

The same is true of the work of Takeshi Hayatsu, a Japanese architect who teaches at a studio at Central Saint Martins art college centred on “Reworking Arts and Crafts” – and who also designed the RIBA exhibition, cleverly transforming the space with an inventive collage of full-size fragments from the four projects.

Collaborating with Grizedale Arts in the Lake District, his students have been working to breathe new life into the Coniston Mechanics Institute, built in 1878, including handmaking patterned bricks to form a new paved area outside.

The Coniston Institute and village hall in the Lake District. Photograph: CandyAppleRed Signimage/Alamy

It is the latest project in an ongoing series of workshops, which have seen the construction of an outdoor communal bread oven and a copper-clad information kiosk. The latter features a charred timber roof and tiles decorated by local schoolchildren using the repoussé soft metalworking technique, echoing the skills once taught in the Mechanics Institute. The finished products exude the kind of rare love and care for the built environment that former Coniston resident John Ruskin argued for so ferociously.

The final project is all the more poignant because of what has happened since its completion. The rebirth of Hastings pier was hailed as a model of community-led regeneration, being the product of a hard-fought campaign by local residents to see the abandoned relic revived.

Once again, the architects dRMM worked as designers, project managers and community organisers to realise an elegant, refreshingly stark deck out over the water. Shortly after winning the Stirling prize in 2017, the pier charity went into administration. After a £12.4m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund was spent on the model refurbishment, the attraction was sold to local hotel magnate Sheikh Abid Gulzar for just £50,000. It has since been closed for maintenance.

Hastings pier, which was sold for £50,000. Photograph: Alamy

Like the rest of the work in the show, the project is a bittersweet symptom of the retreat of the public sector, a response to the shameful cuts to budgets for essential facilities. A concluding panel on the wall reminds visitors that, in the past five years, more than 340 libraries, 50 regional museums and 200 playgrounds have closed, while one in seven public toilets has shut down. Meanwhile, the number of architects working in the field has fallen dramatically: in 1976, 49% of all architects worked in the public sector today, that figure is just 0.7%.

It doesn’t have to be this way. The idea for the exhibition came out of a symposium last year, Designing for the Public Good, which showed an alternative way forward, featuring initiatives such as Public Practice, set up to get architects working in local councils, and Create, the charity behind the Old Manor Park library – small shoots of hope breaking through the ruins of austerity.

The lookout is on the edge of Loch Voil, not Loch Lomond, and the third picture picture is of decorative bricks, not terrazzo floors. This was corrected on 6 February 2019.


Making It Happen review - from a jewel-like cabin to a poignant pier

W ell-meaning architecture doesn’t have to be ugly is the welcome message behind the latest exhibition at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). For too long, architects have split into the rival camps of the do-gooding community activists and the material-led, detail-obsessed maestros. They tend to be preoccupied with the yawning wealth gap or the crisply-executed shadow gap, but rarely both.

As the new exhibition – Making It Happen: New Community Architecture – shows, it is possible to be socially worthy, environmentally conscious, people-centred and also be interested in the beauty of things and how they are made. Community architecture doesn’t have to mean scaffolding planks, straw bales and bits from a skip nailed together ad hoc.

Beauty, says Nicholas Lobo Brennan of young practice Apparata in a video in the exhibition, was a way of encouraging the public to come in and discover what was going on in the Old Manor Park library in Newham, London, which the architects converted into a community arts space on a shoestring budget. There are none of the primary-coloured panels or cutesy craftivism that usually scream “public community centre” here. Instead, Apparata’s light-touch interventions in the 1905 building reveal the special qualities of the handsome Carnegie library, which were hidden beneath layers of carpet, cement and suspended ceilings.

The Old Manor Park library conversion. Photograph: Emil Charlaff

They have inserted a series of glazed timber-framed screens to define the studio spaces, forming a free-standing framework that weaves its way through the ground floor like a Dan Graham installation. Chipping away a thick coating of cement, meanwhile, they found beautiful terrazzo floors beneath. The careful combination of old and new was possible because, in this case, the architects were also the lead contractors: they could adjust according to discoveries made on site.

“We wanted to show how the role of the architect can go beyond just designing,” says the exhibition’s curator, Pete Collard. “In these projects, they’re involved in many different ways, from organising, to building, to fundraising and beyond.”

Decorative bricks made by students at Central Saint Martins. Photograph: Luke Hayes

He has taken four projects of different scales from across the British Isles that show architects working variously as makers, activists, cheerleaders and more, showcasing pragmatic and poetic examples of making things happen against the odds.

There is a jewel-like lookout cabin on the edge of Loch Voil in Scotland, designed by Angus Ritchie and Daniel Tyler while they were students at Strathclyde University. A tiny mirrored box with a warm timber lining, it was built for just £5,000 as part of the Scottish scenic routes initiative. It is a simple thing, but huge effort clearly went into the precision of its making.

The same is true of the work of Takeshi Hayatsu, a Japanese architect who teaches at a studio at Central Saint Martins art college centred on “Reworking Arts and Crafts” – and who also designed the RIBA exhibition, cleverly transforming the space with an inventive collage of full-size fragments from the four projects.

Collaborating with Grizedale Arts in the Lake District, his students have been working to breathe new life into the Coniston Mechanics Institute, built in 1878, including handmaking patterned bricks to form a new paved area outside.

The Coniston Institute and village hall in the Lake District. Photograph: CandyAppleRed Signimage/Alamy

It is the latest project in an ongoing series of workshops, which have seen the construction of an outdoor communal bread oven and a copper-clad information kiosk. The latter features a charred timber roof and tiles decorated by local schoolchildren using the repoussé soft metalworking technique, echoing the skills once taught in the Mechanics Institute. The finished products exude the kind of rare love and care for the built environment that former Coniston resident John Ruskin argued for so ferociously.

The final project is all the more poignant because of what has happened since its completion. The rebirth of Hastings pier was hailed as a model of community-led regeneration, being the product of a hard-fought campaign by local residents to see the abandoned relic revived.

Once again, the architects dRMM worked as designers, project managers and community organisers to realise an elegant, refreshingly stark deck out over the water. Shortly after winning the Stirling prize in 2017, the pier charity went into administration. After a £12.4m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund was spent on the model refurbishment, the attraction was sold to local hotel magnate Sheikh Abid Gulzar for just £50,000. It has since been closed for maintenance.

Hastings pier, which was sold for £50,000. Photograph: Alamy

Like the rest of the work in the show, the project is a bittersweet symptom of the retreat of the public sector, a response to the shameful cuts to budgets for essential facilities. A concluding panel on the wall reminds visitors that, in the past five years, more than 340 libraries, 50 regional museums and 200 playgrounds have closed, while one in seven public toilets has shut down. Meanwhile, the number of architects working in the field has fallen dramatically: in 1976, 49% of all architects worked in the public sector today, that figure is just 0.7%.

It doesn’t have to be this way. The idea for the exhibition came out of a symposium last year, Designing for the Public Good, which showed an alternative way forward, featuring initiatives such as Public Practice, set up to get architects working in local councils, and Create, the charity behind the Old Manor Park library – small shoots of hope breaking through the ruins of austerity.

The lookout is on the edge of Loch Voil, not Loch Lomond, and the third picture picture is of decorative bricks, not terrazzo floors. This was corrected on 6 February 2019.


Making It Happen review - from a jewel-like cabin to a poignant pier

W ell-meaning architecture doesn’t have to be ugly is the welcome message behind the latest exhibition at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). For too long, architects have split into the rival camps of the do-gooding community activists and the material-led, detail-obsessed maestros. They tend to be preoccupied with the yawning wealth gap or the crisply-executed shadow gap, but rarely both.

As the new exhibition – Making It Happen: New Community Architecture – shows, it is possible to be socially worthy, environmentally conscious, people-centred and also be interested in the beauty of things and how they are made. Community architecture doesn’t have to mean scaffolding planks, straw bales and bits from a skip nailed together ad hoc.

Beauty, says Nicholas Lobo Brennan of young practice Apparata in a video in the exhibition, was a way of encouraging the public to come in and discover what was going on in the Old Manor Park library in Newham, London, which the architects converted into a community arts space on a shoestring budget. There are none of the primary-coloured panels or cutesy craftivism that usually scream “public community centre” here. Instead, Apparata’s light-touch interventions in the 1905 building reveal the special qualities of the handsome Carnegie library, which were hidden beneath layers of carpet, cement and suspended ceilings.

The Old Manor Park library conversion. Photograph: Emil Charlaff

They have inserted a series of glazed timber-framed screens to define the studio spaces, forming a free-standing framework that weaves its way through the ground floor like a Dan Graham installation. Chipping away a thick coating of cement, meanwhile, they found beautiful terrazzo floors beneath. The careful combination of old and new was possible because, in this case, the architects were also the lead contractors: they could adjust according to discoveries made on site.

“We wanted to show how the role of the architect can go beyond just designing,” says the exhibition’s curator, Pete Collard. “In these projects, they’re involved in many different ways, from organising, to building, to fundraising and beyond.”

Decorative bricks made by students at Central Saint Martins. Photograph: Luke Hayes

He has taken four projects of different scales from across the British Isles that show architects working variously as makers, activists, cheerleaders and more, showcasing pragmatic and poetic examples of making things happen against the odds.

There is a jewel-like lookout cabin on the edge of Loch Voil in Scotland, designed by Angus Ritchie and Daniel Tyler while they were students at Strathclyde University. A tiny mirrored box with a warm timber lining, it was built for just £5,000 as part of the Scottish scenic routes initiative. It is a simple thing, but huge effort clearly went into the precision of its making.

The same is true of the work of Takeshi Hayatsu, a Japanese architect who teaches at a studio at Central Saint Martins art college centred on “Reworking Arts and Crafts” – and who also designed the RIBA exhibition, cleverly transforming the space with an inventive collage of full-size fragments from the four projects.

Collaborating with Grizedale Arts in the Lake District, his students have been working to breathe new life into the Coniston Mechanics Institute, built in 1878, including handmaking patterned bricks to form a new paved area outside.

The Coniston Institute and village hall in the Lake District. Photograph: CandyAppleRed Signimage/Alamy

It is the latest project in an ongoing series of workshops, which have seen the construction of an outdoor communal bread oven and a copper-clad information kiosk. The latter features a charred timber roof and tiles decorated by local schoolchildren using the repoussé soft metalworking technique, echoing the skills once taught in the Mechanics Institute. The finished products exude the kind of rare love and care for the built environment that former Coniston resident John Ruskin argued for so ferociously.

The final project is all the more poignant because of what has happened since its completion. The rebirth of Hastings pier was hailed as a model of community-led regeneration, being the product of a hard-fought campaign by local residents to see the abandoned relic revived.

Once again, the architects dRMM worked as designers, project managers and community organisers to realise an elegant, refreshingly stark deck out over the water. Shortly after winning the Stirling prize in 2017, the pier charity went into administration. After a £12.4m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund was spent on the model refurbishment, the attraction was sold to local hotel magnate Sheikh Abid Gulzar for just £50,000. It has since been closed for maintenance.

Hastings pier, which was sold for £50,000. Photograph: Alamy

Like the rest of the work in the show, the project is a bittersweet symptom of the retreat of the public sector, a response to the shameful cuts to budgets for essential facilities. A concluding panel on the wall reminds visitors that, in the past five years, more than 340 libraries, 50 regional museums and 200 playgrounds have closed, while one in seven public toilets has shut down. Meanwhile, the number of architects working in the field has fallen dramatically: in 1976, 49% of all architects worked in the public sector today, that figure is just 0.7%.

It doesn’t have to be this way. The idea for the exhibition came out of a symposium last year, Designing for the Public Good, which showed an alternative way forward, featuring initiatives such as Public Practice, set up to get architects working in local councils, and Create, the charity behind the Old Manor Park library – small shoots of hope breaking through the ruins of austerity.

The lookout is on the edge of Loch Voil, not Loch Lomond, and the third picture picture is of decorative bricks, not terrazzo floors. This was corrected on 6 February 2019.


Making It Happen review - from a jewel-like cabin to a poignant pier

W ell-meaning architecture doesn’t have to be ugly is the welcome message behind the latest exhibition at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). For too long, architects have split into the rival camps of the do-gooding community activists and the material-led, detail-obsessed maestros. They tend to be preoccupied with the yawning wealth gap or the crisply-executed shadow gap, but rarely both.

As the new exhibition – Making It Happen: New Community Architecture – shows, it is possible to be socially worthy, environmentally conscious, people-centred and also be interested in the beauty of things and how they are made. Community architecture doesn’t have to mean scaffolding planks, straw bales and bits from a skip nailed together ad hoc.

Beauty, says Nicholas Lobo Brennan of young practice Apparata in a video in the exhibition, was a way of encouraging the public to come in and discover what was going on in the Old Manor Park library in Newham, London, which the architects converted into a community arts space on a shoestring budget. There are none of the primary-coloured panels or cutesy craftivism that usually scream “public community centre” here. Instead, Apparata’s light-touch interventions in the 1905 building reveal the special qualities of the handsome Carnegie library, which were hidden beneath layers of carpet, cement and suspended ceilings.

The Old Manor Park library conversion. Photograph: Emil Charlaff

They have inserted a series of glazed timber-framed screens to define the studio spaces, forming a free-standing framework that weaves its way through the ground floor like a Dan Graham installation. Chipping away a thick coating of cement, meanwhile, they found beautiful terrazzo floors beneath. The careful combination of old and new was possible because, in this case, the architects were also the lead contractors: they could adjust according to discoveries made on site.

“We wanted to show how the role of the architect can go beyond just designing,” says the exhibition’s curator, Pete Collard. “In these projects, they’re involved in many different ways, from organising, to building, to fundraising and beyond.”

Decorative bricks made by students at Central Saint Martins. Photograph: Luke Hayes

He has taken four projects of different scales from across the British Isles that show architects working variously as makers, activists, cheerleaders and more, showcasing pragmatic and poetic examples of making things happen against the odds.

There is a jewel-like lookout cabin on the edge of Loch Voil in Scotland, designed by Angus Ritchie and Daniel Tyler while they were students at Strathclyde University. A tiny mirrored box with a warm timber lining, it was built for just £5,000 as part of the Scottish scenic routes initiative. It is a simple thing, but huge effort clearly went into the precision of its making.

The same is true of the work of Takeshi Hayatsu, a Japanese architect who teaches at a studio at Central Saint Martins art college centred on “Reworking Arts and Crafts” – and who also designed the RIBA exhibition, cleverly transforming the space with an inventive collage of full-size fragments from the four projects.

Collaborating with Grizedale Arts in the Lake District, his students have been working to breathe new life into the Coniston Mechanics Institute, built in 1878, including handmaking patterned bricks to form a new paved area outside.

The Coniston Institute and village hall in the Lake District. Photograph: CandyAppleRed Signimage/Alamy

It is the latest project in an ongoing series of workshops, which have seen the construction of an outdoor communal bread oven and a copper-clad information kiosk. The latter features a charred timber roof and tiles decorated by local schoolchildren using the repoussé soft metalworking technique, echoing the skills once taught in the Mechanics Institute. The finished products exude the kind of rare love and care for the built environment that former Coniston resident John Ruskin argued for so ferociously.

The final project is all the more poignant because of what has happened since its completion. The rebirth of Hastings pier was hailed as a model of community-led regeneration, being the product of a hard-fought campaign by local residents to see the abandoned relic revived.

Once again, the architects dRMM worked as designers, project managers and community organisers to realise an elegant, refreshingly stark deck out over the water. Shortly after winning the Stirling prize in 2017, the pier charity went into administration. After a £12.4m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund was spent on the model refurbishment, the attraction was sold to local hotel magnate Sheikh Abid Gulzar for just £50,000. It has since been closed for maintenance.

Hastings pier, which was sold for £50,000. Photograph: Alamy

Like the rest of the work in the show, the project is a bittersweet symptom of the retreat of the public sector, a response to the shameful cuts to budgets for essential facilities. A concluding panel on the wall reminds visitors that, in the past five years, more than 340 libraries, 50 regional museums and 200 playgrounds have closed, while one in seven public toilets has shut down. Meanwhile, the number of architects working in the field has fallen dramatically: in 1976, 49% of all architects worked in the public sector today, that figure is just 0.7%.

It doesn’t have to be this way. The idea for the exhibition came out of a symposium last year, Designing for the Public Good, which showed an alternative way forward, featuring initiatives such as Public Practice, set up to get architects working in local councils, and Create, the charity behind the Old Manor Park library – small shoots of hope breaking through the ruins of austerity.

The lookout is on the edge of Loch Voil, not Loch Lomond, and the third picture picture is of decorative bricks, not terrazzo floors. This was corrected on 6 February 2019.


Making It Happen review - from a jewel-like cabin to a poignant pier

W ell-meaning architecture doesn’t have to be ugly is the welcome message behind the latest exhibition at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). For too long, architects have split into the rival camps of the do-gooding community activists and the material-led, detail-obsessed maestros. They tend to be preoccupied with the yawning wealth gap or the crisply-executed shadow gap, but rarely both.

As the new exhibition – Making It Happen: New Community Architecture – shows, it is possible to be socially worthy, environmentally conscious, people-centred and also be interested in the beauty of things and how they are made. Community architecture doesn’t have to mean scaffolding planks, straw bales and bits from a skip nailed together ad hoc.

Beauty, says Nicholas Lobo Brennan of young practice Apparata in a video in the exhibition, was a way of encouraging the public to come in and discover what was going on in the Old Manor Park library in Newham, London, which the architects converted into a community arts space on a shoestring budget. There are none of the primary-coloured panels or cutesy craftivism that usually scream “public community centre” here. Instead, Apparata’s light-touch interventions in the 1905 building reveal the special qualities of the handsome Carnegie library, which were hidden beneath layers of carpet, cement and suspended ceilings.

The Old Manor Park library conversion. Photograph: Emil Charlaff

They have inserted a series of glazed timber-framed screens to define the studio spaces, forming a free-standing framework that weaves its way through the ground floor like a Dan Graham installation. Chipping away a thick coating of cement, meanwhile, they found beautiful terrazzo floors beneath. The careful combination of old and new was possible because, in this case, the architects were also the lead contractors: they could adjust according to discoveries made on site.

“We wanted to show how the role of the architect can go beyond just designing,” says the exhibition’s curator, Pete Collard. “In these projects, they’re involved in many different ways, from organising, to building, to fundraising and beyond.”

Decorative bricks made by students at Central Saint Martins. Photograph: Luke Hayes

He has taken four projects of different scales from across the British Isles that show architects working variously as makers, activists, cheerleaders and more, showcasing pragmatic and poetic examples of making things happen against the odds.

There is a jewel-like lookout cabin on the edge of Loch Voil in Scotland, designed by Angus Ritchie and Daniel Tyler while they were students at Strathclyde University. A tiny mirrored box with a warm timber lining, it was built for just £5,000 as part of the Scottish scenic routes initiative. It is a simple thing, but huge effort clearly went into the precision of its making.

The same is true of the work of Takeshi Hayatsu, a Japanese architect who teaches at a studio at Central Saint Martins art college centred on “Reworking Arts and Crafts” – and who also designed the RIBA exhibition, cleverly transforming the space with an inventive collage of full-size fragments from the four projects.

Collaborating with Grizedale Arts in the Lake District, his students have been working to breathe new life into the Coniston Mechanics Institute, built in 1878, including handmaking patterned bricks to form a new paved area outside.

The Coniston Institute and village hall in the Lake District. Photograph: CandyAppleRed Signimage/Alamy

It is the latest project in an ongoing series of workshops, which have seen the construction of an outdoor communal bread oven and a copper-clad information kiosk. The latter features a charred timber roof and tiles decorated by local schoolchildren using the repoussé soft metalworking technique, echoing the skills once taught in the Mechanics Institute. The finished products exude the kind of rare love and care for the built environment that former Coniston resident John Ruskin argued for so ferociously.

The final project is all the more poignant because of what has happened since its completion. The rebirth of Hastings pier was hailed as a model of community-led regeneration, being the product of a hard-fought campaign by local residents to see the abandoned relic revived.

Once again, the architects dRMM worked as designers, project managers and community organisers to realise an elegant, refreshingly stark deck out over the water. Shortly after winning the Stirling prize in 2017, the pier charity went into administration. After a £12.4m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund was spent on the model refurbishment, the attraction was sold to local hotel magnate Sheikh Abid Gulzar for just £50,000. It has since been closed for maintenance.

Hastings pier, which was sold for £50,000. Photograph: Alamy

Like the rest of the work in the show, the project is a bittersweet symptom of the retreat of the public sector, a response to the shameful cuts to budgets for essential facilities. A concluding panel on the wall reminds visitors that, in the past five years, more than 340 libraries, 50 regional museums and 200 playgrounds have closed, while one in seven public toilets has shut down. Meanwhile, the number of architects working in the field has fallen dramatically: in 1976, 49% of all architects worked in the public sector today, that figure is just 0.7%.

It doesn’t have to be this way. The idea for the exhibition came out of a symposium last year, Designing for the Public Good, which showed an alternative way forward, featuring initiatives such as Public Practice, set up to get architects working in local councils, and Create, the charity behind the Old Manor Park library – small shoots of hope breaking through the ruins of austerity.

The lookout is on the edge of Loch Voil, not Loch Lomond, and the third picture picture is of decorative bricks, not terrazzo floors. This was corrected on 6 February 2019.


Making It Happen review - from a jewel-like cabin to a poignant pier

W ell-meaning architecture doesn’t have to be ugly is the welcome message behind the latest exhibition at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). For too long, architects have split into the rival camps of the do-gooding community activists and the material-led, detail-obsessed maestros. They tend to be preoccupied with the yawning wealth gap or the crisply-executed shadow gap, but rarely both.

As the new exhibition – Making It Happen: New Community Architecture – shows, it is possible to be socially worthy, environmentally conscious, people-centred and also be interested in the beauty of things and how they are made. Community architecture doesn’t have to mean scaffolding planks, straw bales and bits from a skip nailed together ad hoc.

Beauty, says Nicholas Lobo Brennan of young practice Apparata in a video in the exhibition, was a way of encouraging the public to come in and discover what was going on in the Old Manor Park library in Newham, London, which the architects converted into a community arts space on a shoestring budget. There are none of the primary-coloured panels or cutesy craftivism that usually scream “public community centre” here. Instead, Apparata’s light-touch interventions in the 1905 building reveal the special qualities of the handsome Carnegie library, which were hidden beneath layers of carpet, cement and suspended ceilings.

The Old Manor Park library conversion. Photograph: Emil Charlaff

They have inserted a series of glazed timber-framed screens to define the studio spaces, forming a free-standing framework that weaves its way through the ground floor like a Dan Graham installation. Chipping away a thick coating of cement, meanwhile, they found beautiful terrazzo floors beneath. The careful combination of old and new was possible because, in this case, the architects were also the lead contractors: they could adjust according to discoveries made on site.

“We wanted to show how the role of the architect can go beyond just designing,” says the exhibition’s curator, Pete Collard. “In these projects, they’re involved in many different ways, from organising, to building, to fundraising and beyond.”

Decorative bricks made by students at Central Saint Martins. Photograph: Luke Hayes

He has taken four projects of different scales from across the British Isles that show architects working variously as makers, activists, cheerleaders and more, showcasing pragmatic and poetic examples of making things happen against the odds.

There is a jewel-like lookout cabin on the edge of Loch Voil in Scotland, designed by Angus Ritchie and Daniel Tyler while they were students at Strathclyde University. A tiny mirrored box with a warm timber lining, it was built for just £5,000 as part of the Scottish scenic routes initiative. It is a simple thing, but huge effort clearly went into the precision of its making.

The same is true of the work of Takeshi Hayatsu, a Japanese architect who teaches at a studio at Central Saint Martins art college centred on “Reworking Arts and Crafts” – and who also designed the RIBA exhibition, cleverly transforming the space with an inventive collage of full-size fragments from the four projects.

Collaborating with Grizedale Arts in the Lake District, his students have been working to breathe new life into the Coniston Mechanics Institute, built in 1878, including handmaking patterned bricks to form a new paved area outside.

The Coniston Institute and village hall in the Lake District. Photograph: CandyAppleRed Signimage/Alamy

It is the latest project in an ongoing series of workshops, which have seen the construction of an outdoor communal bread oven and a copper-clad information kiosk. The latter features a charred timber roof and tiles decorated by local schoolchildren using the repoussé soft metalworking technique, echoing the skills once taught in the Mechanics Institute. The finished products exude the kind of rare love and care for the built environment that former Coniston resident John Ruskin argued for so ferociously.

The final project is all the more poignant because of what has happened since its completion. The rebirth of Hastings pier was hailed as a model of community-led regeneration, being the product of a hard-fought campaign by local residents to see the abandoned relic revived.

Once again, the architects dRMM worked as designers, project managers and community organisers to realise an elegant, refreshingly stark deck out over the water. Shortly after winning the Stirling prize in 2017, the pier charity went into administration. After a £12.4m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund was spent on the model refurbishment, the attraction was sold to local hotel magnate Sheikh Abid Gulzar for just £50,000. It has since been closed for maintenance.

Hastings pier, which was sold for £50,000. Photograph: Alamy

Like the rest of the work in the show, the project is a bittersweet symptom of the retreat of the public sector, a response to the shameful cuts to budgets for essential facilities. A concluding panel on the wall reminds visitors that, in the past five years, more than 340 libraries, 50 regional museums and 200 playgrounds have closed, while one in seven public toilets has shut down. Meanwhile, the number of architects working in the field has fallen dramatically: in 1976, 49% of all architects worked in the public sector today, that figure is just 0.7%.

It doesn’t have to be this way. The idea for the exhibition came out of a symposium last year, Designing for the Public Good, which showed an alternative way forward, featuring initiatives such as Public Practice, set up to get architects working in local councils, and Create, the charity behind the Old Manor Park library – small shoots of hope breaking through the ruins of austerity.

The lookout is on the edge of Loch Voil, not Loch Lomond, and the third picture picture is of decorative bricks, not terrazzo floors. This was corrected on 6 February 2019.


Making It Happen review - from a jewel-like cabin to a poignant pier

W ell-meaning architecture doesn’t have to be ugly is the welcome message behind the latest exhibition at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). For too long, architects have split into the rival camps of the do-gooding community activists and the material-led, detail-obsessed maestros. They tend to be preoccupied with the yawning wealth gap or the crisply-executed shadow gap, but rarely both.

As the new exhibition – Making It Happen: New Community Architecture – shows, it is possible to be socially worthy, environmentally conscious, people-centred and also be interested in the beauty of things and how they are made. Community architecture doesn’t have to mean scaffolding planks, straw bales and bits from a skip nailed together ad hoc.

Beauty, says Nicholas Lobo Brennan of young practice Apparata in a video in the exhibition, was a way of encouraging the public to come in and discover what was going on in the Old Manor Park library in Newham, London, which the architects converted into a community arts space on a shoestring budget. There are none of the primary-coloured panels or cutesy craftivism that usually scream “public community centre” here. Instead, Apparata’s light-touch interventions in the 1905 building reveal the special qualities of the handsome Carnegie library, which were hidden beneath layers of carpet, cement and suspended ceilings.

The Old Manor Park library conversion. Photograph: Emil Charlaff

They have inserted a series of glazed timber-framed screens to define the studio spaces, forming a free-standing framework that weaves its way through the ground floor like a Dan Graham installation. Chipping away a thick coating of cement, meanwhile, they found beautiful terrazzo floors beneath. The careful combination of old and new was possible because, in this case, the architects were also the lead contractors: they could adjust according to discoveries made on site.

“We wanted to show how the role of the architect can go beyond just designing,” says the exhibition’s curator, Pete Collard. “In these projects, they’re involved in many different ways, from organising, to building, to fundraising and beyond.”

Decorative bricks made by students at Central Saint Martins. Photograph: Luke Hayes

He has taken four projects of different scales from across the British Isles that show architects working variously as makers, activists, cheerleaders and more, showcasing pragmatic and poetic examples of making things happen against the odds.

There is a jewel-like lookout cabin on the edge of Loch Voil in Scotland, designed by Angus Ritchie and Daniel Tyler while they were students at Strathclyde University. A tiny mirrored box with a warm timber lining, it was built for just £5,000 as part of the Scottish scenic routes initiative. It is a simple thing, but huge effort clearly went into the precision of its making.

The same is true of the work of Takeshi Hayatsu, a Japanese architect who teaches at a studio at Central Saint Martins art college centred on “Reworking Arts and Crafts” – and who also designed the RIBA exhibition, cleverly transforming the space with an inventive collage of full-size fragments from the four projects.

Collaborating with Grizedale Arts in the Lake District, his students have been working to breathe new life into the Coniston Mechanics Institute, built in 1878, including handmaking patterned bricks to form a new paved area outside.

The Coniston Institute and village hall in the Lake District. Photograph: CandyAppleRed Signimage/Alamy

It is the latest project in an ongoing series of workshops, which have seen the construction of an outdoor communal bread oven and a copper-clad information kiosk. The latter features a charred timber roof and tiles decorated by local schoolchildren using the repoussé soft metalworking technique, echoing the skills once taught in the Mechanics Institute. The finished products exude the kind of rare love and care for the built environment that former Coniston resident John Ruskin argued for so ferociously.

The final project is all the more poignant because of what has happened since its completion. The rebirth of Hastings pier was hailed as a model of community-led regeneration, being the product of a hard-fought campaign by local residents to see the abandoned relic revived.

Once again, the architects dRMM worked as designers, project managers and community organisers to realise an elegant, refreshingly stark deck out over the water. Shortly after winning the Stirling prize in 2017, the pier charity went into administration. After a £12.4m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund was spent on the model refurbishment, the attraction was sold to local hotel magnate Sheikh Abid Gulzar for just £50,000. It has since been closed for maintenance.

Hastings pier, which was sold for £50,000. Photograph: Alamy

Like the rest of the work in the show, the project is a bittersweet symptom of the retreat of the public sector, a response to the shameful cuts to budgets for essential facilities. A concluding panel on the wall reminds visitors that, in the past five years, more than 340 libraries, 50 regional museums and 200 playgrounds have closed, while one in seven public toilets has shut down. Meanwhile, the number of architects working in the field has fallen dramatically: in 1976, 49% of all architects worked in the public sector today, that figure is just 0.7%.

It doesn’t have to be this way. The idea for the exhibition came out of a symposium last year, Designing for the Public Good, which showed an alternative way forward, featuring initiatives such as Public Practice, set up to get architects working in local councils, and Create, the charity behind the Old Manor Park library – small shoots of hope breaking through the ruins of austerity.

The lookout is on the edge of Loch Voil, not Loch Lomond, and the third picture picture is of decorative bricks, not terrazzo floors. This was corrected on 6 February 2019.


Making It Happen review - from a jewel-like cabin to a poignant pier

W ell-meaning architecture doesn’t have to be ugly is the welcome message behind the latest exhibition at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). For too long, architects have split into the rival camps of the do-gooding community activists and the material-led, detail-obsessed maestros. They tend to be preoccupied with the yawning wealth gap or the crisply-executed shadow gap, but rarely both.

As the new exhibition – Making It Happen: New Community Architecture – shows, it is possible to be socially worthy, environmentally conscious, people-centred and also be interested in the beauty of things and how they are made. Community architecture doesn’t have to mean scaffolding planks, straw bales and bits from a skip nailed together ad hoc.

Beauty, says Nicholas Lobo Brennan of young practice Apparata in a video in the exhibition, was a way of encouraging the public to come in and discover what was going on in the Old Manor Park library in Newham, London, which the architects converted into a community arts space on a shoestring budget. There are none of the primary-coloured panels or cutesy craftivism that usually scream “public community centre” here. Instead, Apparata’s light-touch interventions in the 1905 building reveal the special qualities of the handsome Carnegie library, which were hidden beneath layers of carpet, cement and suspended ceilings.

The Old Manor Park library conversion. Photograph: Emil Charlaff

They have inserted a series of glazed timber-framed screens to define the studio spaces, forming a free-standing framework that weaves its way through the ground floor like a Dan Graham installation. Chipping away a thick coating of cement, meanwhile, they found beautiful terrazzo floors beneath. The careful combination of old and new was possible because, in this case, the architects were also the lead contractors: they could adjust according to discoveries made on site.

“We wanted to show how the role of the architect can go beyond just designing,” says the exhibition’s curator, Pete Collard. “In these projects, they’re involved in many different ways, from organising, to building, to fundraising and beyond.”

Decorative bricks made by students at Central Saint Martins. Photograph: Luke Hayes

He has taken four projects of different scales from across the British Isles that show architects working variously as makers, activists, cheerleaders and more, showcasing pragmatic and poetic examples of making things happen against the odds.

There is a jewel-like lookout cabin on the edge of Loch Voil in Scotland, designed by Angus Ritchie and Daniel Tyler while they were students at Strathclyde University. A tiny mirrored box with a warm timber lining, it was built for just £5,000 as part of the Scottish scenic routes initiative. It is a simple thing, but huge effort clearly went into the precision of its making.

The same is true of the work of Takeshi Hayatsu, a Japanese architect who teaches at a studio at Central Saint Martins art college centred on “Reworking Arts and Crafts” – and who also designed the RIBA exhibition, cleverly transforming the space with an inventive collage of full-size fragments from the four projects.

Collaborating with Grizedale Arts in the Lake District, his students have been working to breathe new life into the Coniston Mechanics Institute, built in 1878, including handmaking patterned bricks to form a new paved area outside.

The Coniston Institute and village hall in the Lake District. Photograph: CandyAppleRed Signimage/Alamy

It is the latest project in an ongoing series of workshops, which have seen the construction of an outdoor communal bread oven and a copper-clad information kiosk. The latter features a charred timber roof and tiles decorated by local schoolchildren using the repoussé soft metalworking technique, echoing the skills once taught in the Mechanics Institute. The finished products exude the kind of rare love and care for the built environment that former Coniston resident John Ruskin argued for so ferociously.

The final project is all the more poignant because of what has happened since its completion. The rebirth of Hastings pier was hailed as a model of community-led regeneration, being the product of a hard-fought campaign by local residents to see the abandoned relic revived.

Once again, the architects dRMM worked as designers, project managers and community organisers to realise an elegant, refreshingly stark deck out over the water. Shortly after winning the Stirling prize in 2017, the pier charity went into administration. After a £12.4m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund was spent on the model refurbishment, the attraction was sold to local hotel magnate Sheikh Abid Gulzar for just £50,000. It has since been closed for maintenance.

Hastings pier, which was sold for £50,000. Photograph: Alamy

Like the rest of the work in the show, the project is a bittersweet symptom of the retreat of the public sector, a response to the shameful cuts to budgets for essential facilities. A concluding panel on the wall reminds visitors that, in the past five years, more than 340 libraries, 50 regional museums and 200 playgrounds have closed, while one in seven public toilets has shut down. Meanwhile, the number of architects working in the field has fallen dramatically: in 1976, 49% of all architects worked in the public sector today, that figure is just 0.7%.

It doesn’t have to be this way. The idea for the exhibition came out of a symposium last year, Designing for the Public Good, which showed an alternative way forward, featuring initiatives such as Public Practice, set up to get architects working in local councils, and Create, the charity behind the Old Manor Park library – small shoots of hope breaking through the ruins of austerity.

The lookout is on the edge of Loch Voil, not Loch Lomond, and the third picture picture is of decorative bricks, not terrazzo floors. This was corrected on 6 February 2019.


Making It Happen review - from a jewel-like cabin to a poignant pier

W ell-meaning architecture doesn’t have to be ugly is the welcome message behind the latest exhibition at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). For too long, architects have split into the rival camps of the do-gooding community activists and the material-led, detail-obsessed maestros. They tend to be preoccupied with the yawning wealth gap or the crisply-executed shadow gap, but rarely both.

As the new exhibition – Making It Happen: New Community Architecture – shows, it is possible to be socially worthy, environmentally conscious, people-centred and also be interested in the beauty of things and how they are made. Community architecture doesn’t have to mean scaffolding planks, straw bales and bits from a skip nailed together ad hoc.

Beauty, says Nicholas Lobo Brennan of young practice Apparata in a video in the exhibition, was a way of encouraging the public to come in and discover what was going on in the Old Manor Park library in Newham, London, which the architects converted into a community arts space on a shoestring budget. There are none of the primary-coloured panels or cutesy craftivism that usually scream “public community centre” here. Instead, Apparata’s light-touch interventions in the 1905 building reveal the special qualities of the handsome Carnegie library, which were hidden beneath layers of carpet, cement and suspended ceilings.

The Old Manor Park library conversion. Photograph: Emil Charlaff

They have inserted a series of glazed timber-framed screens to define the studio spaces, forming a free-standing framework that weaves its way through the ground floor like a Dan Graham installation. Chipping away a thick coating of cement, meanwhile, they found beautiful terrazzo floors beneath. The careful combination of old and new was possible because, in this case, the architects were also the lead contractors: they could adjust according to discoveries made on site.

“We wanted to show how the role of the architect can go beyond just designing,” says the exhibition’s curator, Pete Collard. “In these projects, they’re involved in many different ways, from organising, to building, to fundraising and beyond.”

Decorative bricks made by students at Central Saint Martins. Photograph: Luke Hayes

He has taken four projects of different scales from across the British Isles that show architects working variously as makers, activists, cheerleaders and more, showcasing pragmatic and poetic examples of making things happen against the odds.

There is a jewel-like lookout cabin on the edge of Loch Voil in Scotland, designed by Angus Ritchie and Daniel Tyler while they were students at Strathclyde University. A tiny mirrored box with a warm timber lining, it was built for just £5,000 as part of the Scottish scenic routes initiative. It is a simple thing, but huge effort clearly went into the precision of its making.

The same is true of the work of Takeshi Hayatsu, a Japanese architect who teaches at a studio at Central Saint Martins art college centred on “Reworking Arts and Crafts” – and who also designed the RIBA exhibition, cleverly transforming the space with an inventive collage of full-size fragments from the four projects.

Collaborating with Grizedale Arts in the Lake District, his students have been working to breathe new life into the Coniston Mechanics Institute, built in 1878, including handmaking patterned bricks to form a new paved area outside.

The Coniston Institute and village hall in the Lake District. Photograph: CandyAppleRed Signimage/Alamy

It is the latest project in an ongoing series of workshops, which have seen the construction of an outdoor communal bread oven and a copper-clad information kiosk. The latter features a charred timber roof and tiles decorated by local schoolchildren using the repoussé soft metalworking technique, echoing the skills once taught in the Mechanics Institute. The finished products exude the kind of rare love and care for the built environment that former Coniston resident John Ruskin argued for so ferociously.

The final project is all the more poignant because of what has happened since its completion. The rebirth of Hastings pier was hailed as a model of community-led regeneration, being the product of a hard-fought campaign by local residents to see the abandoned relic revived.

Once again, the architects dRMM worked as designers, project managers and community organisers to realise an elegant, refreshingly stark deck out over the water. Shortly after winning the Stirling prize in 2017, the pier charity went into administration. After a £12.4m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund was spent on the model refurbishment, the attraction was sold to local hotel magnate Sheikh Abid Gulzar for just £50,000. It has since been closed for maintenance.

Hastings pier, which was sold for £50,000. Photograph: Alamy

Like the rest of the work in the show, the project is a bittersweet symptom of the retreat of the public sector, a response to the shameful cuts to budgets for essential facilities. A concluding panel on the wall reminds visitors that, in the past five years, more than 340 libraries, 50 regional museums and 200 playgrounds have closed, while one in seven public toilets has shut down. Meanwhile, the number of architects working in the field has fallen dramatically: in 1976, 49% of all architects worked in the public sector today, that figure is just 0.7%.

It doesn’t have to be this way. The idea for the exhibition came out of a symposium last year, Designing for the Public Good, which showed an alternative way forward, featuring initiatives such as Public Practice, set up to get architects working in local councils, and Create, the charity behind the Old Manor Park library – small shoots of hope breaking through the ruins of austerity.

The lookout is on the edge of Loch Voil, not Loch Lomond, and the third picture picture is of decorative bricks, not terrazzo floors. This was corrected on 6 February 2019.


Making It Happen review - from a jewel-like cabin to a poignant pier

W ell-meaning architecture doesn’t have to be ugly is the welcome message behind the latest exhibition at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). For too long, architects have split into the rival camps of the do-gooding community activists and the material-led, detail-obsessed maestros. They tend to be preoccupied with the yawning wealth gap or the crisply-executed shadow gap, but rarely both.

As the new exhibition – Making It Happen: New Community Architecture – shows, it is possible to be socially worthy, environmentally conscious, people-centred and also be interested in the beauty of things and how they are made. Community architecture doesn’t have to mean scaffolding planks, straw bales and bits from a skip nailed together ad hoc.

Beauty, says Nicholas Lobo Brennan of young practice Apparata in a video in the exhibition, was a way of encouraging the public to come in and discover what was going on in the Old Manor Park library in Newham, London, which the architects converted into a community arts space on a shoestring budget. There are none of the primary-coloured panels or cutesy craftivism that usually scream “public community centre” here. Instead, Apparata’s light-touch interventions in the 1905 building reveal the special qualities of the handsome Carnegie library, which were hidden beneath layers of carpet, cement and suspended ceilings.

The Old Manor Park library conversion. Photograph: Emil Charlaff

They have inserted a series of glazed timber-framed screens to define the studio spaces, forming a free-standing framework that weaves its way through the ground floor like a Dan Graham installation. Chipping away a thick coating of cement, meanwhile, they found beautiful terrazzo floors beneath. The careful combination of old and new was possible because, in this case, the architects were also the lead contractors: they could adjust according to discoveries made on site.

“We wanted to show how the role of the architect can go beyond just designing,” says the exhibition’s curator, Pete Collard. “In these projects, they’re involved in many different ways, from organising, to building, to fundraising and beyond.”

Decorative bricks made by students at Central Saint Martins. Photograph: Luke Hayes

He has taken four projects of different scales from across the British Isles that show architects working variously as makers, activists, cheerleaders and more, showcasing pragmatic and poetic examples of making things happen against the odds.

There is a jewel-like lookout cabin on the edge of Loch Voil in Scotland, designed by Angus Ritchie and Daniel Tyler while they were students at Strathclyde University. A tiny mirrored box with a warm timber lining, it was built for just £5,000 as part of the Scottish scenic routes initiative. It is a simple thing, but huge effort clearly went into the precision of its making.

The same is true of the work of Takeshi Hayatsu, a Japanese architect who teaches at a studio at Central Saint Martins art college centred on “Reworking Arts and Crafts” – and who also designed the RIBA exhibition, cleverly transforming the space with an inventive collage of full-size fragments from the four projects.

Collaborating with Grizedale Arts in the Lake District, his students have been working to breathe new life into the Coniston Mechanics Institute, built in 1878, including handmaking patterned bricks to form a new paved area outside.

The Coniston Institute and village hall in the Lake District. Photograph: CandyAppleRed Signimage/Alamy

It is the latest project in an ongoing series of workshops, which have seen the construction of an outdoor communal bread oven and a copper-clad information kiosk. The latter features a charred timber roof and tiles decorated by local schoolchildren using the repoussé soft metalworking technique, echoing the skills once taught in the Mechanics Institute. The finished products exude the kind of rare love and care for the built environment that former Coniston resident John Ruskin argued for so ferociously.

The final project is all the more poignant because of what has happened since its completion. The rebirth of Hastings pier was hailed as a model of community-led regeneration, being the product of a hard-fought campaign by local residents to see the abandoned relic revived.

Once again, the architects dRMM worked as designers, project managers and community organisers to realise an elegant, refreshingly stark deck out over the water. Shortly after winning the Stirling prize in 2017, the pier charity went into administration. After a £12.4m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund was spent on the model refurbishment, the attraction was sold to local hotel magnate Sheikh Abid Gulzar for just £50,000. It has since been closed for maintenance.

Hastings pier, which was sold for £50,000. Photograph: Alamy

Like the rest of the work in the show, the project is a bittersweet symptom of the retreat of the public sector, a response to the shameful cuts to budgets for essential facilities. A concluding panel on the wall reminds visitors that, in the past five years, more than 340 libraries, 50 regional museums and 200 playgrounds have closed, while one in seven public toilets has shut down. Meanwhile, the number of architects working in the field has fallen dramatically: in 1976, 49% of all architects worked in the public sector today, that figure is just 0.7%.

It doesn’t have to be this way. The idea for the exhibition came out of a symposium last year, Designing for the Public Good, which showed an alternative way forward, featuring initiatives such as Public Practice, set up to get architects working in local councils, and Create, the charity behind the Old Manor Park library – small shoots of hope breaking through the ruins of austerity.

The lookout is on the edge of Loch Voil, not Loch Lomond, and the third picture picture is of decorative bricks, not terrazzo floors. This was corrected on 6 February 2019.