The VAi is based in Antwerp – across two buildings – with gallery space and public programmes taking place in the International Arts Campus deSingel.
As well as their extensive public programme, every two years the institute produces the Flanders Architecture Review, a major publication presenting a generous selection of recently completed projects across Flanders and Brussels. Now in its 14th edition the review presents as snapshot of the architecture of a certain place and time, with an analysis of the trends and successes.
I spoke to Sofie last week down the line from Antwerp, where the VAi’s offices are slowly starting to re-open.
Giovanna joined the CCA in 2005 as the Curator for Contemporary Architecture, going on to become Chief Curator in 2014 and then Director of the Centre at the beginning of this year.
Having first trained as an architect in Milan, in her native Italy, she went on to work as editor of the Italian architecture magazine Lotus International.
Giovanna has an impressive track record of exhibitions, but it was her highly acclaimed 2011 CCA exhibition, Imperfect Health: The Medicalisation of Architecture, co-curated with the Centre’s previous Director Mirko Zardini, that rather presciently explored projects and research in relation to health issues including disease and epidemics.
Indeed, as well as its strong exhibitions and curatorial programme, research is central to the CCA’s mission of making architecture a public concern.
The CCA was founded in 1979 by the Canadian Architect and philanthropist Phyllis Lambert, consciously as an international centre for architecture, rather than say, a museum of architecture or an institute for architects.
Her family’s business interests included the Seagram Company. In 1954 Phyllis Lambert, whilst still in her 20s was instrumental in persuading the company to change architects and commission Mies Van De Rohe to design the firms US headquarters – resulting in the iconic Seagram Building in Midtown Manhattan
While the CCA’s building in Montreal is temporarily closed -including its museum galleries, bookstore, and study room – the CCA continues its public programme, holding conversations, and actively publishes the research and discussions it is involved with.
On this week’s Architecture Masters at Home we’re joined by Roger Hawkins, co-founder of Hawkins\Brown.
Russel Brown and Roger Hawkins founded the firm in 1988 after having worked together at Rock Townsend in the 1980s.
The two partners started the firm with an initial determination, as they saw it, not to get trapped working on smaller residential projects.
The strategy paid off. The firm is now one of the ten largest architecture practices in the UK according to the AJ100 list, and they continue to work on large scale projects – including three key stations for London’s huge Crossrail project.
The firm is also working on the Thames Tideway – now one of Britain’s biggest infrastructure projects – to modernise the 150-year old Bazalgette-designed network of underground sewers.
Over the last few weeks many of us have been getting used to the new normal of remote working. But for many global architecture firms like KPF, working on international projects with clients and design teams based across the world, remote working – at least between offices – is nothing new.
For this episode also wanted to discuss some of the broader communications issues related to remote working – and how international experience might help equip you for the challenges we’re all now facing.
For our seventh episode of Architecture Masters at Home we’re joined by the artist-designer Yinka Ilori – described by The Financial Times as one of the world’s most in demand designers.
Born in London, much of his work references his West African heritage.
Yinka established his studio in 2017 with a loan from the Prince’s Trust, producing up-cycled furniture that were as much furniture as works of art.
In 2018 he won the LFA’s competition with Wandsworth Council to improve a gloomy underpass of the Thessaly Road Railway Bridge in Battersea. The competition called for designs to improve the experience for pedestrians and cyclists. His winning concept Happy Streets was designed and delivered for the 2019 LFA and transformed the underpass into a riot of colour.
Yinka together with architects Pricegore also won the LFA’s 2019 competition for the LFA’s second Dulwich Pavilion to be placed in the grounds of the John Soane-designed gallery for the duration the festival.
Their winning entry – the Colour Palace – proved a huge success attracting nearly 100,000 visitors to the south London gallery. The pavilion’s lattice structure and geometric patterns were described as mesmerising by The Guardian.
Yinka is now in huge demand from companies around the world from fashion brands to television stations.
With his studios space now closed, we joined Yinka down the line from his London home.
For the sixth episode of Architecture Masters at Home, we’re joined by Maria Louise Long, Senior Associate at Chris Dyson Architects.
Maria Louise grew up in South West Ireland and went on to study architecture at the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture in Aberdeen before moving to London some 10 years ago in search of work during the global financial crisis.
She joined Chris Dyson Architects after a short period working on a construction site – and then worked her way up from Part 2 student to Senior Associate – now leading many of the practices projects
The practice, founded in 2004, has won great acclaim for its conservation and restoration work, and is increasingly working on larger commercial schemes. We spoke to Chris in episode 5, back in 2017.
Having outgrown their original studio, in 2014 the studios moved to a former pub – The Queen’s Head – on the corner of Commercial Street and Fashion Street in London’s Spitalfields. The practice proceeded to completely re-design, overhaul and restore the building whilst working from it.
Like many organisations trying to adapt to these challenging and quickly changing circumstances, at the LFA we’ve naturally been re-examining our core purpose and thinking about how we can continue to support the profession and the wider city.
The LFA was founded by Peter Murray in 2004, and New London Architecture co-founded in 2005 by Peter and Nick McKeogh. Since those early days the NLA as supported the festival. But more recently the two have more formally joined forces.
For this episode we wanted to speak to Nick and Peter, about the early days of NLA and the festival, and what we and the wider profession can learn from the challenges of the past.
In Episode 4 of Architecture Masters at Home we’re joined by the Managing Editor of the Architects’ Journal, Will Hurst. Founded in 1895, the AJ remains the journal of record for the architecture profession in the UK.
We talk about the role of a Managing Editor, about producing an entire issue from home, and balancing the resources of investigative journalism with running a profitable magazine.
And then we talk about Will’s investigative reporting into the Garden Bridge, as well as some of the AJ’s recent campaigns.
For the third episode of Architecture Masters at Home we’re joined by Steven Harding, founder of Goodfellow Communications. Goodfellow run the press and PR for the LFA, helping the festival and our partners reach new audiences, both during the festival and throughout the year.
Tamsie and Owen talk to Steven about the importance of good communications in architecture, starting your own business from your dining room table – and being back there. Listen Now