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AIA Continental Europe Conference on ‘‘Livability’ in Copenhagen’ / April 11-14, 2019

Fiona Mckay

OMA’s BLOX / The Danish Architectural Centre from the inside, with harbour views… Photo Credit: E Fitzpatrick, AIA

OMA’s BLOX / The Danish Architectural Centre from the inside, with harbour views… Photo Credit: E Fitzpatrick, AIA

The AIA Continental Chapter previous Conference on Architecture and Urbanism in Copenhagen was in Oct 2000.  Not so long ago one might think, but this year’s Conference was not just a routine update on a familiar city.   While the popular landmarks still retain their charm, Copenhagen has undergone some dramatic changes in the intervening two decades, in which modern Danish architects have played a significant role.

The formal Conference started at Danish Architectural Centre with a lecture by its CEO, Kent Martinussen, on the ‘Recent History of Copenhagen’s Built Environment’, outlining the philosophy that underlines Copenhagen’s planning.  

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The ‘Open Hand’ from 1947 – based on building out along ‘fingers’ from the central ‘palm’ of the older city - is the humanistic symbol that puts man at the centre of Denmark’s future, based on an ideal in which everyone contributes. Critically, the Danish architects have bought into sustaining a society where ‘few have too little and even fewer have too much’. Two major segments of the Conference explored the concept of ‘livability’ within the city.

Major highlights of the Conference included:

  • ‘A Walk Through Time’ exploring Copenhagen’s architectural history:  The tour highlighted stylistic changes from the past and ended with the Danish National Bank, Arne Jacobsen’s 1970s contribution.

Arne Jacobsen’s Danish National Bank… Photo Credit: R Rhodes, AIA

Arne Jacobsen’s Danish National Bank… Photo Credit: R Rhodes, AIA

  • A harbour boat trip along Copenhagen’s harbour: The extensive frontage reclaimed from industrial works has given a totally new focus to the city.  In the last decade, the harbour has welcomed the addition of multiple, iconic cultural projects – the three prime ones viewed up close at the Conference are the Opera House (Henning Larsen); the Danish Architectural Centre, ‘the BLOX’ (OMA (fronted by Rem Koolhaas and Ellen Van Loon)); and the Black Diamond Library (Schmidt Hammer Lassen).  

  • Two panel discussions (a new format for a CE Conference): ‘Women in Architecture’ featured senior female professionals from Schmidt Hammer Lassen, Henning Larsen, BIG and 3XN comparing their experiences. ‘Learning from the Other America’ featured a male panel talking through their project insights.

  • A series of technical lectures held at the Danish Architectural Centre:  These included: ‘Sustainability and Research’, ‘Engineering Combining with Architecture’; ‘Tackling the Complexities of Material Selection’; and ‘Sustainable Building Research’.

BIG’s Figure 8 Building at Orestad on a bleak day… Photo Credit: L Korzilius FAIA

BIG’s Figure 8 Building at Orestad on a bleak day… Photo Credit: L Korzilius FAIA

  • Walking tour of Orestad:  The tour visited the length of a major finger in the Open Hand - one of the fastest growing regions of the city.  Featured buildings included: VM Housing, Mountain and the Figure 8 Building (Bjarke Ingels Group - BIG); Concert House (Jean Nouvel); Tietgen Student Housing (Lundgaard & Tranberg) and Faelledhaven Housing (Domus Architecter).  

Klimt’s Grundtvigs Kirke… Photo Credit: L Korzilius FAIA

Klimt’s Grundtvigs Kirke… Photo Credit: L Korzilius FAIA

Lundgaard & Tranberg’s Tietgen Student Housing Photo Credit: L Korzilius FAIA

Lundgaard & Tranberg’s Tietgen Student Housing Photo Credit: L Korzilius FAIA

  • Lecture and walking tour of Nordhavn: The tour touched on the tip of another finger of the Open Hand, with an emphasis on the more humanistic local style of housing, possibly more in line with the humanistic philosophy than the Orestad area.

  • Tour of Grundtvigs Kirke:  Grundtvigs is one of the most recognisable churches in Scandinavia, designed by Peder Vilhelm Jensen-Klint and built with over 5 million yellow bricks between 1921 and 1940.

The Danish architects generously supported the Conference by offering their time, their projects and their offices as venues - Schmidt Hammer Lassen, 3XN, COBE and Henning Larsen – all local practices with international reputations.

3XN’s Copenhagen Office complete with water dock… Photo Credit: L D King AIA

3XN’s Copenhagen Office complete with water dock… Photo Credit: L D King AIA

Intermixed with all the educational content – including 16.5 CE credits (of which the majority were HSW) - Conference attendees also enjoyed the comradery of the international group of architects and the hospitality of the city of Copenhagen.  The food – in particular - was healthy and good. The weather – unfortunately – was unseasonably cold and windy, but did not detract from the general warmth.

The next Continental Europe Conference will be in Brussels, Belgium from 3 to 6 Oct 2019. The Continental Europe Chapter, extends membership rights to AIA UK Chapter members to attend the conference at the same costs as its own membership.

Written by: Lorraine D King, AIA





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2019 Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Fiona Mckay

Courtesy Barima Owusu-Nyantekyi

Courtesy Barima Owusu-Nyantekyi

Dear Members,

At the 2019 AIA UK Annual General Meeting in January, we announced a board initiative to focus our lens this year on equity, diversity and inclusion. We intend to address this in three ways: first, to turn a critical eye to the balance of our annual programming to ensure it reflects the richness of human experience in the profession; second, to expand opportunities for member participation and create flexible avenues for continuing education credits; and third, to celebrate the exceptional achievements of our membership.

Our chapter’s efforts are supported by a forward-looking series of initiatives by AIA National. In 2017, The Commission on Equity in Architecture released five areas of focus and eleven priority recommendations to be implemented by the AIA in subsequent years. The Equity and Future of Architecture Committee (EQFA), in 2018, released an introduction and three of the total nine intended guidance documents for individuals, firms and the profession highlighting challenges and steps forward to bolster equitable practice. The papers present a balance of analysis and reportage on existing and newly conducted research and quotes reflecting the experience of individuals in daily practice. Moreover, they frame actions and topics for consideration at all three levels and are an invaluable resource for both our board and members looking to foster conversation about this critical topic. These can be downloaded from the AIA National website.

Courtesy Agnese Sanvito

Courtesy Agnese Sanvito

Since the formation of our chapter in 1992, its board of directors and elected leaders have included members with varied backgrounds. We have, for example, celebrated the contributions of our past women presidents in a series of articles. With your support, this year’s board happily features more than 50% female representation, LGBTQ and ethnic minorities, academics, emerging professionals, mid-career professionals and those that have recently retired but continue to contribute to the discipline in non-traditional capacities, as well as recent graduates and parents with children of all ages.

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The board has already sought ways to embrace its EDI focus in the first months of 2019. This year’s Excellence in Design Awards jury featured an equitable split of female, LGBTQ and ethnic minority representation, and a range of professional expertise, from academics, researchers and practicing professionals at different career stages. For Women’s History Month, in March we conducted an Instagram campaign featuring our female directors and exemplary chapter members. As we look forward to the many exciting events we have planned for 2019, we will be rigorous in our review of panelists and speakers to bolster the representation of diverse perspectives and experiences.

We are committed to creating a varied annual programme that increases opportunities for our membership to participate. We recognise our members have busy lives, at work and at home. This year, you will be able to meet fellow members, see exciting case studies, and earn continuing education credits in many ways. If you’re in London, or passing through, join us for one of the many evening lectures, film nights, building tours and emerging professional events on our calendar.

Or keep an eye out for cross-branded events that allow you to earn credits from many of the other architectural lectures and tours in town. And if you’re further afield, or like to travel, join us for the Cambridge Super Saturday or our Newcastle City Excursion for a focused blast of 6-12 credits. We’re also looking to trial recorded sessions that allow you to view events you’ve missed missed and even earn credits from your desk in those last desperate weeks before the end of the year. In the years to come, we aim to engage the leadership of the International Region to use technology to facilitate learning across regions.

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As a board, we support celebrating our members’ accomplishments. In addition to several social media drives to highlight member successes, this year we are improving our website to be able to feature members’ projects on the banner; details on how to participate will be released soon. We’re always looking to highlight members and their work on our blog and social media, so if you’re excited about something you’ve worked on lately, get in touch via socialmedia@aiauk.org, chapterexecutive@aiauk.org, or directly on our media platforms.

On behalf of the AIA UK Board of Directors,

Amrita Raja

President, 2019

AIA United Kingdom

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Chapter Member Sheila O’Donnell named Architect of the Year in 2019 Women In Architecture Awards

Fiona Mckay

Sheila O’Donnell and John Tuomey

Sheila O’Donnell and John Tuomey

Irish architect Sheila O’Donnell, of O’Donnell and Tuomey, has been named the Architect of the Year at the 2019 Women in Architecture awards in London. The awards are an international program organized by the UK-based publications The Architectural Review and Architects’ Journal.  

Sheila and partner John Tuomey are Honorary Fellows of the AIA and are strong supporters of the AIA UK. They help with the chapter’s emerging professionals programme and hosted us at their office and took us on a tour of several of their buildings in Dublin during our city tour last autumn.

Sheila and partner John Tuomey established their practice in 1988 after both working in the office of James Stirling in London. They have been described as the “godfathers of contemporary Irish architecture” by Architecture Today magazine.

Sheila won the prize for her work on the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. The practice produced a master plan to consolidate the university into a single campus. The first phase of the project is a new limestone-clad building that includes a lecture theatre, cafes, offices, classrooms and a library.

“O’Donnell’s passion for the buildings of the Central European University was rewarded with an exceptionally high-quality building which she evidently fought hard for,” said the jury. “She is a role model for young women in architecture. Sheila O’Donnell did not have to break the glass ceiling – her and John Tuomey created a new reality.”

Five-time contenders for the prestigious Stirling Prize, the duo was named the recipients of the 2015 RIBA Gold Medal, only the third and fourth Irish architects to receive this accolade. They have also exhibited at Venice Architecture Biennale three times. The pair spoke at the 2017 National Architecture Conference in Sydney.

O’Donnell and Tuomey have completed a number of projects across a diverse range of typologies both in Ireland and abroad. Their Stirling Prize finalist projects include the London School of Economics Saw Swee Hock Student Centre, the Irish Language Cultural Centre, the Ranelagh Multidenominational School, the Lyric Theatre and the UCC Glucksman Gallery. In an interview with Tania Davidge for ArchitectureAU, O’Donnell said, “I think we enjoy working in all contexts. We start projects with what we call a process of immersion, where we try to immerse ourselves in all aspects of the question being asked. One of those aspects, of course, is the place and every place is interesting because you are trying to imagine what makes a place a site, rather than just a place.”

“In what way is this a place where a building could be, what is the relationship with its use – because that is really part of the context as well. What is the function that the building must achieve and also embody? What is the physical context, what is the shape of the ground, the neighbouring buildings and also the history and the culture, who has been there before? What marks are there on the ground?”

Written by: Michael Lischer

Source: Architectureau

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'Sleek and modern' or 'wonky and industrial': A reminder of an architect's duties

Fiona Mckay

Beale.jpg

This is another article in our legal series provided by AIA UK partner, Beale & Co.

A recent decision in the English Technology and Construction Court has found that an architect was A recent decision in the English Technology and Construction Court has found that an architect was negligent for altering the design of a cinema room without first informing or agreeing the changes with his clients.

Although it is a fact specific case, it provides useful guidance on the duties and obligations that the court expects an architect to meet. This includes the importance of a formal appointment, clear and accurate record keeping and ensuring that architects have finalised written briefs prior to commencing work on a project, as well as complying with the RIBA Code of Professional Conduct and the ARB Code of Conduct.

Nathan Modell and Priya Thakrar provide more detail in their article here.

Written by: Nathan Modell and Priya Thakrar

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Global Architecture Billings Index (GABI)

Fiona Mckay

ABI_graph.JPG

The AIA – in coordination with partner organizations around the world – is looking to expand the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) into the international realm. To help the architecture profession better understand business conditions, opportunities and risks around the world, the new Global Architecture Billings Index (GABI)initiative will help monitor design markets across the globe to assess the construction outlook in key countries and regions.

We are currently signing up firms to join the GABI survey panel. As a GABI panelist, you will be asked to complete a brief survey on the firm billings (to indicate if billings have increased, decreased, or stayed the same – we will not request proprietary data!) and business conditions on a quarterly basis. You will receive early access to the survey results before they are published, and may have access to the survey data in the future. 
 
If you would like to join the GABI survey panel, we ask that you complete a brief background information form. This information will be kept confidential and will not be shared with others or linked back to your firm; it will only be used for analytical purposes and your responses will only be reported in aggregate with others. If you are not the correct person at your firm to provide this type of information and participate in the survey, please share this invitation with the appropriate colleague.

Thank you for your interest, and please contact economics@aia.org if you have any questions.

Sign up for the GABI survey panel: Background Information Form

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AIA Fellowship – UK Update

Fiona Mckay

The 2019 crop of AIA Fellows and Honorary Fellows has been announced and includes two UK-based architects. Congratulations to Jane Duncan and Amanda Levete on their elevation to Honorary Fellowship!

Former RIBA President Jane Duncan received an Honorary Fellowship in recognition of her contribution to the profession including being the Champion for Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion on the RIBA board.  She established student and practice mentoring guidelines and set priorities for mental and physical health initiatives. She also initiated the publication of a guide for those with disabilities wishing to enter the profession and supported development of a financial assistance fund for deserving architecture students.  Following her election as RIBA President she advanced her initiatives with a new five year Strategic Vision for the RIBA, International Women in Architecture Day, and she constructed a review of Council make-up to bring in a greater proportion of student and young people, launching the Young Architects & Developers Alliance (under age 35) to bring equality, diversity and inclusion to a level never before seen.

Amanda Levete also received an Honorary Fellowship in recognition of her design work, both at Future Systems with Jan Kaplicky, and latterly as Amanda Levete Architects.  Her work frequently involves the creation of buildings that create new or positively impact existing urban spaces. Whether the waterfront esplanade at Lisbon’s MAAT complex or the city centre redevelopment of Selfridges Birmingham, her work reaches out to the public, engaging them in a carefully considered dialogue between building and site. She is adept at integrating heritage structures into her work; the recent Victoria and Albert Exhibition Road Quarter skilfully inserts contemporary form and function into a 19th century courtyard, creating a new vibrant entry plaza while respecting the resonance of the museum’s historic architecture.  

Written by: Lester Korzilius; FAIA, RIBA


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