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 [ profile] edgecondition, translates as,

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

Clicky for image )
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 )


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)
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: (miro hare)
OK, maybe I should boast.

My office has won an entry in the the Architect's Journal's 100 most successful practices, jumping from nil to 50th-ish place. And my previous building was used as a backdrop for a car commercial. Woohoo.

And I'm getting a tattoo on my back.
And I'm meeting with a fire eater-cum-ex-porn director this Friday (for drinks. Just for drinks).
And I saw Miro at Tate M which was mind-alteringly amazing (hence new userpic).
armyofsnails: (fear me)
Usual maze at the site yesterday... 14 hour long day, three meetings back to back, during one of which the chair kept wandering in an out as if he didn't belong (on one occasion he left us for almost 20 minutes - which for him is nothing unusual). Sat at another meeting that I knew nothing about, and even fluttering my eyelashes didn't help. Sat at a third meeting with the building control authority, 125 points to cover (did you know that if a person in a wheelchair is escaping via an external staircase, the facade of the building and any doors within 1.8m distance must have at least 30 minutes fire resistance? I didn't either). Stood on site trying to outshout the loud machinery, about a ductwork clash wth tubular bracing in the radio studios. Right there, the M&E subcontractor started to flirt with me. If you must know, he said, "No kissing me today, I have a cold." Seriously. Hahaha.

The highlight of the day was the M&E manager addressing me as "Tania, my sweet!" before waltzing around the site office and proceeding to show me some samples of PA speakers, which he carefully unrwapped one by one as if they were some sort of antique treasures. Before asking me to make a decision, he warned me, "I can be petulant, you know." Oh, the sexual tension!! At least he was being slightly more subtle than the first one (although the first one is young and cute, so gets points for that).

1.5 more days of this and I'm a seagull. Phew.
armyofsnails: (snail boob)
I had a python sit on my shoulders on Saturday night - put there by a bellydancing snake charmer. A strange, strange sensation - the scaly beast started wriggling about (as scaly beasts do) and I could feel my neck being squeezed by the giant muscle while I stood in the middle of the room with a huge idiot grin on my face.

In other news, friend of a friend has expressed an interest in my paintings and asked whether I would want to do a storyboard for his film (located in a Greek monastery). I've no idea what it entails and it'll probably come to nothing, but I can't let this chance go without at least finding out more (and bragging about it, of course).

And all the M&E people on the Birmigham construction site are now terrified of me! Long boring story involving mechanical installation gone wrong on three floors, and my causing a massive commotion on site two weeks ago. I arrived there last Thursday to find the M&E subcontractor under his desk, claiming he was hiding from me. Then jokes about "being killed by the architect, a glamorous death." Heh.
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: (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.)


Feb. 19th, 2010 11:34 pm
armyofsnails: (mosshood)
So apparently I'm starting evening lapdancing classes in a couple of months' time. Don't ask (until, if and when that actually happens...)

And I've spent a night in Birmingham in a four-star hotel facing one of Brum's cathedrals - St Chad's (whoa, there was an actual saint actually called Chad?? And he's from Birmingham?? Hmmm, he's not too big on miracles though: "Chad accepted Theodore’s charges of impropriety with such humility and grace that Theodore regularized his consecration and ap­pointed him the bishop of Mercia"... Eh? What, no internal organs devoured by lions, no limbs growing back after being chopped off by a herd of Brummie infidels?? Why is it that even the saints in England have to be polite and stiff-upper-lip?).

Couldn't get the TV in my room to switch on (yes, I'm that much of a retard, is that news?) and asked the receptionist for help. In the lift she asked me, "You must be here for business meetings, then?" Duh. The TV fault was attributed to a hidden switch button and flat batteries. No complimentary porn channels were provided, so I hit the town instead. Went for a walk around the gigantic traffic junctions (to give the idea of their size, to cross one of them I had to walk through an entire shopping mall) and the canals. The latter were very pleasant actually. Paved walkways, soft street lighting, little pedestrian bridges, bars and cafes - mostly chains though. I crossed three funny looking bridges to get to a pub by a canal where I sipped my wine in almost complete solitude while reading Richard Dawkins.
armyofsnails: (Default)
My office is off to Paris this coming Friday for our Christmas lunch. Sounds much more extravagant than it is. Basically, one of the awards we won this year included a small sum of money, and we thought of no better way of spending it than to blow it on a one-day trip to Paris with a restaurant lunch and booze on the house.

A colleague has come up with a game to kill time on the outward journey. All employees draw an intentionally crappy portrait of themselves, e-mail it to her in advance and she collates the drawings into a booklet. Once on the Eurostar, she gives everyone a copy. Much merriment ensues as people attempt to guess who is who and hopefully fail.

So I suddenly remembered that today was the deadline to submit the scribble and spent the best part of two minutes this morning trying to come up with something... E-mailed it to her, only to receive a response that it looks too much like me. Still, she decided to include it... Heh.

This is what I'm capable of given a 60 second timescale. )
armyofsnails: (Default)
I love being in public places on my own. The murmur of voices, cutlery clinking on plates, the occasional sound of a broken glass and the resulting commotion; people at a table next door talking about how disgusting Christmas food is ("Brussels sprouts are a Devil's vegetable! A Devil's vegetable, I tell you!!"). Villiers was choc-a-bloc full of prams today and the air was heavy with the scent of mulled wine. I sat in the corner with the laptop drawing up for next week's work deadline, drinking coffee and doing my best to resist the smell of spices and warm alcohol. When I eventually cracked and attempted to buy a glass (around 6pm, having been there for seven hours, a feat) I was told that the next batch of mulled wine wasn't ready yet and that the barman was going to pop out to the shop for more spices in about an hour. So I left before I got the chance to sample any.

Drawing finished. Above ground and rainwater drainage details, including soffit mounted pipework runs. Whoopee. You go girl.

Feeling sad and empty for entirely unrelated reasons. Have some Glenn Gould while I'm at it.


armyofsnails: (Default)

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