Episode Twenty-Four – Clare Richards

On the programme this week we speak to the architect Clare Richards.

Clare took an unusual route into architecture. Clare started her career as a researcher for BBC television before joining commercial broadcaster TV-am for its launch in 1983. TV-am was hugely influential as the UK’s first nationwide commercial breakfast television programme. It left a huge legacy on the UK media landscape. It’s bold ambition as a television programme was matched architecturally with an iconic modernist building designed by Sir Terry Farrell.

Clare Richards. Image credit: Bill Knight

Following a successful television career as a documentary filmmaker, focusing on difficult social and societal problems, she took the bold decision to change direction – enrolling at the Bartlett School of Architecture in London.

She went on to develop her experience of working in collaboration with local communities. Indeed, in 2010 she won the RIBA President’s Medal for her dissertation Happy Communities.

Since qualifying as an architect in 2012 she has chosen an equally unusual path working on a range of projects, often in close collaboration with residents.

She recently founded ft’work, a not-for-profit company with an ambitious aim – to ensure that clear social principles underpin all new development and regeneration.

Continue reading “Episode Twenty-Four – Clare Richards”

Episode Twenty-Three – Chris Wilkinson and Jim Eyre

On the programme this week we speak to Chris Wilkinson and Jim Eyre, directors of WilkinsonEyre.

Chris founded Chris Wilkinson Architects in 1983 with Jim joining the practice – now WilkinsonEyre – in 1987.  The practice now employs more than 200 people in London, Hong Kong and Sydney.

Jim Eyre (L) and Chris Wilkinson (R). Image Credit: Mark Cocksedge

Chris originally studied architecture at the Regent Street Polytechnic – now part of the University of Westminster – before working for Denys Lasdun, Norman Foster, Michael Hopkins and Richard Rogers, before starting his own practice.

Jim studied at Liverpool University and at the Architectural Association before working at Hopkins Architects where the two met.

The practice has won numerous awards, including the RIBA Stirling Prize – two years running – in 2001 for the Magna Centre in Rotherham; and in 2002 for the Gateshead Millennium Bridge.

They won the RIBA’s International Lubetkin award for the Guangzhou International Finance Centre in China and continue to gain a significant amount of work from overseas.

The practice is currently on site overseeing the plans for the renovation of Sir Giles Gilbert Scott’s iconic Battersea Powers Station in London.

Continue reading “Episode Twenty-Three – Chris Wilkinson and Jim Eyre”

What’s in a Theme? – Tamsie Thomson

The London Festival of Architecture is now – by some margin – the world’s largest annual architecture festival – taking place each year throughout the month of June. This year we held over 530 separate events: including talks, architectural installations, exhibitions, film screenings, tours, Open Studios, debates, architectural bake offs and much, much more. All this helped the festival engage an audience of well over 600,000 people.

Our theme for this year’s festival was ‘identity’. The theme was picked up by many event organisers and allowed us to explore a range of cultural and political issues that relate both to our city and to architecture more broadly.

In this week’s podcast we announce the theme for the 2019 London Festival of Architecture.  We’re also joined by Tamsie Thomson, Director of the LFA, who talks us through plans for next year’s festival.  Continue reading “What’s in a Theme? – Tamsie Thomson”

Active Social Architecture – Kigali

On the programme this week we speak to Francesco Stassi and Alice Tasca, principals of Active Social Architecture in Kigali.

Francesco Stassi

This week’s programme was recorded in Rwanda as part of a series of episodes we’re bringing you from East Africa to explore identity and architecture. Identity is the theme of this year’s London Festival of Architecture.

Alice Tasca

Active Social Architecture – or ASA studio was founded in 2012 by Nerea Amòros Elorduy and Tomà Berlanda following their extensive work on projects for PLAN INTERNATIONAL and UNICEF, but when the two moved on the firm was taken on by Francesco and Alice along with Zeno Riondato. Together they now lead the firm’s work on a range of projects from healthcare to schools and education facilities.

Alongside the practice Alice continues to teach at the Department of Architecture at the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology, now part of the University of Rwanda. The University of Rwanda is still the only architecture school in the country.

Continue reading “Active Social Architecture – Kigali”

University of Nairobi – Nairobi

On the programme this week we speak to Professor Tom Anyamba, Dean of the University of Nairobi’s School of the Built and Environment.

This week’s episode was recorded in Nairobi as part of a series of episodes we’re bringing you from East Africa to explore identity and architecture. Identity is the theme of this year’s London Festival of Architecture.

The University of Nairobi started life as the Royal Technical College in 1956 – before Kenyan Independence (in 1963) issuing degrees backed by the University of London.

Tom originally studied architecture at the University of Nairobi before working for Richard Hughes and Partners in Nairobi. He subsequently left Nairobi to take his Masters Degree at the Helsinki University of Technology – now Alvar Aalto University – then going on to complete his PhD in Olso.

He now leads the University of Nairobi’s school of Architecture, the oldest of just four universities teaching architecture in Kenya, where he’s taught for over 30 years. Continue reading “University of Nairobi – Nairobi”

Raas Architects – Addis Ababa

On the programme this week is Rahel Shawl, Founder and Director of Raas Architects, one of the leading architecture practices in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.

Rahel originally studied architecture at the Southern Campus of Addis Ababa University.

Soon after graduating, Rahel established ABBA architects in partnership with a friend before going on to form Raas Architects some 14 years ago

She’s gone on to win numerous awards including the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2007 and was shortlisted this year for the Royal Academy’s inaugural Dorfman Award.

Her practice has developed a track record of impressive work on embassies and cultural institutes in Ethiopia – including designing the British Council’s office in Addis, along with the Council’s in house design team.

Continue reading “Raas Architects – Addis Ababa”

Orkid Studio – Nairobi

On the programme this week we speak to James Mitchell and Carolina Larrazabal  from Orkid Studio in Nairobi.

This week’s episode was recorded in Nairobi as part of a series of programmes we’re bringing you from East Africa to explore identity and architecture. Identity is the theme of this year’s LFA.

James Mitchel

Orkid Studio was founded in 2008 by James Mitchel and Julissa Kiyenje in Cardiff where the pair studied. James was just 19 at the time.  Their aim was to establish a practice interested in providing architectural services to a wider section of society.

 

Carolina Larrazabal

Much of their early work was conducted during holidays and time away from study and teaching – where James taught at the Mackintosh School of Architecture.  The practice made the decision relocated the practice from Glasgow to Nairobi in 2016 .  The practice has gone on to win much praise from across the profession.

Continue reading “Orkid Studio – Nairobi”

MASS Design Group – Kigali

In this week’s episode we speak to Theophile Uwayezu, architect and associate at MASS Design Group in Kigali, Rwanda.

This week’s episode was recorded in Kigali as part of a series of episodes we’re bring you from East Africa, exploring identity and architecture. Identity is the theme of this year’s LFA.

MASS Design Group was established in Massachusetts in 2008 as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organisation.

Theophile Uwayezu

In the words of the practices “Architecture is never neutral. It either heals or hurts.”  MASS say that their “mission is to research, build, and advocate for architecture that promotes justice and human dignity.”

MASS Design Group began in 2008 as an idea for a different way of practice by a group of students at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

The practice’s first project in Rwanda was to design and build the Butaro District Hospital in partnership with the Rwandan Ministry of Health and the NGO Partners In Health.

The practice went on to open an office in Kigali where it’s now one of the largest firms in the country.

Theophile studied architecture at the University of Rwanda – the country’s only architecture school – where some of MASS Design Group’s partners still teach.

Continue reading “MASS Design Group – Kigali”

Nairobi Design Week – Nairobi

For this week’s episode we talking to Adrian Jankowiak and Julita Bhagat, Co-Directors of Nairobi Design Week – an organisation with a mission close to our own hearts, promoting design – in all its disciplines – to a wide public audience.

This episode was recorded in Nairobi, the first in a series of episodes we’re bringing you from East Africa to explore identity and architecture. Identity is the theme of this year’s London Festival of Architecture.

Originally from Poland, Adrian studied Industrial Design at Loughborough University before going on to work for as an industrian designer for various multinationals. He worked in many developing countries  before going to Kenya.

Kenyan national Julita meanwhile is currently studying Human Centred Design at the Nairobi Design Institute.

Continue reading “Nairobi Design Week – Nairobi”

Association of Ethiopian Architects – Addis Ababa

On the programme this week we speak to Meskerem Tamiru, President of the Association of Ethiopian Architects.

This episode was recorded in Addis Ababa as part of a series of episodes we’re bringing you from East Africa to explore identity and architecture. Identity is the theme of this year’s London Festival of Architecture.

Meskerem studied architecture and town planning at the Addis Ababa University School of architecture where she graduated as an architect in 1993.  After graduation Meskerem initially worked as an architect on the expansion of the country’s University sector. In 2008 she established her own practice, Meskerem Tamiru Consulting Architects which now specialises in project management.

The Association of Ethiopian Architects was founded in 1991 and now has close to 2000 members.

Meskerem was elected in August 2017 at the organisation’s General Assembly to serve a three-year term. The association has a small staff based in Addis Ababa.

Continue reading “Association of Ethiopian Architects – Addis Ababa”