On April 9th 2015 AIA UK continued our tradition of fun and educational events with a special edition of our on-going series of building tours.
The White Building, by David Kohn Architects, is a centre for art technology and sustainability. It is an incubator for discursive and innovative thought. It serves as a testing ground and creative laboratory for artists and creative whose work engages with technology. It is also the home of craft brewery CRATE. The White Building was commissioned by the London Legacy Development Corporation as part of the “Olympic Fringe” – a string of small-scale projects aimed at stitching the Olympic Park into the surrounding city fabric.
David Kohn was on hand to give us an introduction and a tour of the arts facilities and events places. The brewery bar, occupying most of the ground floor, is build of exposed blockwork walls and steel-framed windows and was intended to act as a focal hub – to feel like a courtyard that connected to the adjacent canalside. The arts spaces upstairs are dominated by the undulating ceiling of sheep’s wool stuffed into large red nets – crating a distinctive interior with excellent thermal and acoustic performance. David explained that with such a tight budget it was essential to strip the design to the minimum.
Following that James Kellow from Crate Brewery took the group on a tour of the “brew shed” and gave a presentation on craft brewing - explaining in detail the subtleties of the different beers on hand to sample as well as the process of making. After many samples, including some direct from the giant tanks, the tour concluded with pizza and more beer back in the brewery bar.
For those who missed it you can petition the AIA UK board to make it a regular annual feature on the calendar. Both James and David would be happy to accommodate us again.
Author: Robert Rhodes