armyofsnails: (time snail)
I shall precede this brief observation with a wonderful and poignant video I have come across recently.



I realise I'm probably doing little to dispel the myth of the Effortless Architect by this story, but it's too amusing not to share.

This morning, my boss J is talking to one of the project leaders about a new masterplan for a site in central London. She is gesticulating at several new buildings on the site plan that are oblong in shape.

J: So this is your sausage, right. These are your sausages.
Project leader: Um.
J (points at one of the buildings): There is a problem with this particular sausage. It doesn't make sense. I think it should be over there.
Project leader: Well, I thought it could be here because...
J: You must understand the sausage first. I'm not sure you do at the moment.
Project leader: Yeah, working on it, but...
J: You must understand the nature of the sausage.
Project leader: Um.

I chuckle at this, as I hear the cackling sound of laughter all around the office. A few moments later, my e-mail client flashes with a new message. It's from a chap called Ken who is sitting a couple of desks away from me. The e-mail has only the following image... )
armyofsnails: (time snail)
Drawn by my LJ friend [livejournal.com profile] edgecondition, translates as,

"Did you see that scene yesterday?"
"A-ha! Women at the construction site!!!"


Clicky for image )

Birthday

Feb. 2nd, 2013 08:30 am
armyofsnails: (time snail)

So I'm now a year older (not far off trying to make people forget what age I really am... futilely no doubt. But who cares if I'm thirty or fifty, right?) I was going do to a summary for 2012 but failed miserably, so this is a substitute for that.

Some of this may read as a bit of a 'London life' informercial.. Hello Time Out? )
armyofsnails: (fear me)
My entry to High Line for London Green Infrastructure competition.

A week's worth of drawing work preceded by (not particularly intense) couple of weeks of research, during which I discovered that the river I was going to write about - called Moselle, not to be confused with the one in Germany - flows directly under my street in Haringey (like many streets in London, mine follows the course of an underground river pretty much exactly).

Pfew! Not done anything like that since university days... Photoshop-tastic and some hand drawing, too. Click for piccy )

Larval

Mar. 1st, 2012 02:08 pm
armyofsnails: (man replacer)
As a follow-up to the Amsterdam bridge competition story this is the entry submitted by my office based on a colleague's design. Rather neat. "Anal claspers". Heh. Read more... )
armyofsnails: (Default)
My office is taking part in an international competition to design a pedestrian bridge in central Amsterdam, on the Amstel river next to the Hermitage Amsterdam museum. Quite a remarkable project, if completely theoretical. A firm of engineers who know us quite well has approached us to join their proposal. We started off with an in-house competition with individuals submitting designs on their own initiative, the winner to be chosen "either democratically or autocratically", according to Nick. I was debating whether or not to bother, but at some point last week I had an hour to spare whilst waiting for someone in a pub, and got kind of engrossed in it... So I did come up with a design of sorts. Quite a few of my colleagues presented their ideas at the big review. I was last. I honestly thought it would be no good compared to the others, but amazingly Nick decided he liked mine the most and almost "executed his authoritarian power"! I actually ended up arguing him out of it because I thought one of the other entries was better. Most of our colleagues agreed with me.

So as for mine, see below... )
armyofsnails: (Simpsons)
First day on new project - a new build academy in the East of England. The principal has somehow managed to get hold of 3 tons of original oak and copper from Lord Nelson's HMS Victory and wants to use it as part of the building. My colleague suggests street furniture, I suggest a feature wall (in the style of Sandy Wilson's King's Library at the BL). We have no idea what condition the ship remnants are in. Have arranged to visit the warehouse of some chap called J Body where the stuff is supposed to be lying around.

No money for it in the budget though, so I say, how about an office outing with 70 architects moulding copper and chopping wood, taking beer as payment??

Apparently the academy principal often wanders into meetings, talks about how she knows a relative of Ian Fleming and wanders out again. We were semi-seriously discussing naming the departments in the new building after James Bond novels. "Goldfinger" Design & Technology wing, "Pussy Galore" Hair & Beauty salon, etc.
armyofsnails: (fear me)
A few text messages describing my adventures in the land of academy design yesterday.

Moss: Arguing with client at the moment who wants hideous maple finish to teacher wall furniture. 1970s all over again!!

A: Tell them they can have it on condition that the boys wear spandex, the girls rayon, and absolutely everybody wears maple finished 4" platforms!

Moss: Lost that battle... Must get T Rex and Ziggy Stardust records to go with that sleek maple spandex look...

A: Hmmm! Maple Spandex - nice!

Update: And then we get this from the site manager... )
armyofsnails: (fear me)
Photos from my completed project... a performance and arts academy in the Midlands. The building opening ceremony.

Clicky )
armyofsnails: (fear me)
Friday, clay pigeon shooting, herding ducks with a stick, archery and making scarecrows on a farm in Oxfordshire... followed by Sawchestra in the Clerkenwell Crypt. Read more... )
armyofsnails: (Default)
...unkind and stereotypical... and PROUD OF IT.



Discussion in the office the other day. )
armyofsnails: (Japanese)
The Hadouk Trio at Dalston Vortex were AMAZING. The venue was great, too. I realised once I got there that I had read about Gillett Square in all the architectural magazines a few years back; it's one of Ken's 100 public spaces (the now defunct project, courtesy of Mr Johnson), and I know the firm who designed it. Last night, there were huge rasta men riding bicycles with the front wheel taken off, making the unicycle feat look effortless, and another bunch taking turns playing ping-pong and downing pints. They looked like they were hanging around the square every single night of the week. Next to prim-and-proper middle class jazz goers sipping their martinis at the downstairs bar. Quite odd. I can see where Dalston gets its reputation from.

Oh goodness, the trio were right up my street, a mixture of dreamy, melancholic, odd and cheeky. They reminded me a little of Pat Metheny actually. They used some pretty interesting Armenian instruments amongst other things. Two older chaps on wind and keyboard, a young Tarzan-like long-haired lad on drums. Soooo good looking - shame jazz men don't go on stage semi-naked... Heh.
armyofsnails: (fear me)
Just back from a fantastic lecture by David Chipperfield at the RIBA Institute. The theme was his relationship with modernism. He has a quirky, dry sense of humour and a very understated, yet totally engaging manner of speaking. Funny how sometimes you hear someone talk and realise half way through that he is basically fleshing out what you've thought all along. And he hates working in this country... I walked away with a mixture of awe and pessimism.
armyofsnails: (Default)
Watched Guy Fawkes fireworks from Battersea bridge, ate fried locusts, crocodile and scorpion, battled with builders about sprinklers and ventilation ductwork, had a Korean barbecue of this little beauty.

A handful of photos... my project only though, sorry to disappoint... )
armyofsnails: (fear me)
I've passed my Part 3 course yesterday.

Just need to apply to ARB through the office and I'll get my ARCHITECT title.

Only took 12 years of my life to get there. I'm called a snail for a reason.

In other news, one of my past projects (the business park) won an international award today.

And I just bought expensive tickets to a pretty unusual foreign destination.
armyofsnails: (Default)
I loathe working at home, and cooking takes too much time, so I've lost count of how many pub lunches I've had over the past few months. This is SERIOUSLY FUCKING expensive, but frankly I don't care at this point.

I love the quiet chatter, the clinking of glasses and cutlery and the sound of people eating. So often I would just sit and work in food type places without even ordering anything. Maybe a coffee or a glass of wine.

I've had a few encounters with weirdos but all fairly harmless. All the local barmen recognise me and some remember my name. Today I've made friends with the chap who works at Figo's Cafe. Turns out, he is an interior designer. Looking for a job. Bad times for that kind of thing unfortunately, recession and all.

Ever walked into a restaurant and demanded "a table for one"? Me neither, until about six months ago. Now it's no longer such a big deal.

So today I sat at Banners at Bob Dylan's table (which has a brass plaque pinned to the wall proudly declaring, "BOB DYLAN SAT AT THIS TABLE IN 1993") and had their food which I swear to god must have crack mixed into it because I even have dreams about it sometimes (ackee and saltfish with fried plantains, curried goat wrapped in flatbread...). While waiting for my meal, I was doing a cash flow diagram in preparation for the exams. I know, so EXCITING.

The urban legend goes that Bob Dylan wanted to visit Dave Stewart from Eurythmics who lived in one of the multiple "Crouch something" streets (Crouch End Broadway, Crouch Hill, Crouch End Hill etc.) but couldn't remember which one it was and mistakenly ended up in the wrong street. The man who lived in the house with the same number in that particular street was a plumber also called Dave, who was out at the time. Unaware of his mistake, Bob Dylan asked the wife of the plumber whether he could wait for Dave in the living room. When the plumber came home, he asked his wife, "Are there any messages for me?" and she responded, "No, but Bob Dylan is waiting for you on the sofa."

And on that note I'm off to bed. Exams on Friday. I hope someone will be there on Friday night to scrape me off the pavement.
armyofsnails: (Default)
Scrap being a florist. I've found something else for me to do if I get enough of my current profession...

Architectural jellymaking. A couple of ex-Etonians fill a room with gin mist, build a replica of the Gherkin, organise a 2000-person architectural jelly fight, and create a banquet with entirely black food.
armyofsnails: (Default)
A colleague sent us this link the other day. I think it's pretty amazing. He's worked on it while at Westminster University.

The Archigram Archival Project
armyofsnails: (fear me)
It's pretty odd unexpectedly finding your work in other people's adverts but it has happened to me twice so far... in national architectural publications no less. First, an informercial by an environmental research institute; second, a glossy manufacturer's ad on the back of the Architect's Journal. I guess I should be flattered.

(They were not breaking the copyright by the way - they must have applied to my places of work for permission to use the buildings, I just wasn't told about it.)
armyofsnails: (Default)
Am writing my Brussels itinerary with the help of Google. [profile] captain_g and I are going there in mid March for a long weekend. I am travelling for free courtesy of my favourite train company, Eurostar.

Looking forward to seeing Victor Horta's museum amongst other things... My Cambridge studio tutor (now at Leicester, as it turns out) wrote a book about him, and in my formative architectural years I remember him foaming with semi-orgasmic saliva while showing us his own axonometric drawings of Horta's house.

And, of course, the gorgeousness that is Belgian beer... Can't wait.

As for the more immediate plans, tomorrow I'm going to be in the land of West London drinking champagne and eating oysters courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] kostriko and [livejournal.com profile] romanthefirst.

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