The keys to the new Plymouth Theatre Royal Production Centre will be handed over at an official ceremony on Thursday 5th December 2002. Plans are already under way to use the facility very soon to prepare the travelling production of the musical CATS. A day of celebration is also being planned by the Theatre Royal for May 1st 2003.
Ian Ritchie has been appointed an advisor to the Foundation, representing The Royal Academy of Arts. The Trustees of the Foundation are: Richard Haryott (Chairman), Povl Ahm, Philip Dowson, Bob Emmerson, Duncan Michael, Brian Perry and Mike Shears. The other advisors are Sir Eric Ash for The Royal Academy of Engineers, Tony Flint for The Institute of Structural Engineers, Max Fordham for The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers, Sir Alan Muir Wood for Institute of Civil Engineers, and Gordon Benson for Royal Institute of British Architects. The Ove Arup Foundation give funds to worthy causes within the field of the built environment. It is focussed primarily upon supporting education projects from primary school level to University and beyond.
A public exhibition was held at Lambeth College on 24th, 25th and 26th October 2002 showing a new scheme on a site adjacent to Tower Bridge and the GLA City Hall. The designs show a mixed development consisting principally of ground level cultural spaces and housing. Set in a new landscape which extends Potters Fields, the urban composition consists of eight mini-towers which mediate between More London office development to the west and the smaller grain and scale of 19th century development to the south and east. Each mini-tower has a tapering elliptical form, and they are of varying heights and orientation. They are clad largely in colourless glass. The public’s views were gathered, assessed and the scheme adapted to respond to the creative and positive suggestions made. A planning application is to be made later this year.
This year’s week-end trip is to Plymouth in October to visit the completed, but as yet unoccupied, new Production Centre for the Plymouth Theatre Royal. Special material features of this new design include the soft woven phosphor bronze wire cladding of the ‘driftwood’ elements - rehearsal, music and education spaces - set in a landscape of rocks; and the low-iron cast glass cladding of the main assembly hall. Project architect Toby Smith, a graduate of the Bartlett and Phil Coffey, a graduate of the ‘Mac’ Glasgow will be explaining the subtleties!
Lucy Francis who joined us upon graduating from Oxford University with a language degree is leaving to join the National Theatre at the beginning of October. Lucy has worked as Ian Ritchie’s PA for the last three years and is currently completing an Arts Management degree at Birbeck College, University of London. She leaves with the very best wishes from everyone to pursue her passion in the arts. Katie Field, also a language graduate, with a first, has joined us and will take over Lucy’s responsibilities.
The successful contractors for the Spire of Dublin in O’Connell Street are SIAC and Radley Engineering. Both are Irish companies, and were successful against strong tender submissions from companies and other joint ventures in mainland Europe and the UK. SIAC is managing the joint venture and undertaking the site groundworks and services installations. Radley Engineering based in Dungarven, Co. Waterford in Southern Ireland, promotes itself as Ireland’s foremost engineering company specialising in quality stainless steel fabrications including pressure vessels, reactors, heat exchangers, and storage tanks in a variety of materials including titanium and 316L stainless steel. 316L is the specified alloy for the Spire. The stainless steel plate in thicknesses from 10 to 35mm is being produced and polished in France, rolled in Scotland, and all the workshop fabrication of the Spire carried out by Radley.
Ian Ritchie Architects with Schlaich Bergermann und Partner, engineers and Allen Jones artist are one of four teams selected to proceed to the first stage of the competition. Concept ideas for the 140m long bridge with a 19m long fully opening section will be submitted by 16th October. The opening section will be designed to operate up to 3,000 times a year and to be operational in winds up to 70mph.
The first ‘fougère’ pylons designed by Ian Ritchie Architects with RFR and Kathryn Gustafson, have been erected by Electricité de France, (RTE - Réseau Transmission Electricité), either side of the Rhone as part of the new Tricastin - Tavel 400kV high voltage line. The installation includes one pair of ‘S’ type and one pair of ‘N’ type. The pylons have been painted in contrasting blue and yellow as they lie within a military flight path along the Rhone valley. The painted design resulted from a competition among French art students in 2001.
Following presentations from Richard Rogers Partneship, Pringle Richards & Sharratt and Denton Corker Marshall, the jury has made its recommendation to the Lord Chancellor. A formal announcement is anticipated at the end of July. The jury was chaired by Professor Sir Christopher Frayling - Rector & Vice-Provost of the Royal College of Art, and the following members: Sir Hayden Phillips - Permanent Secretary to the Lord Chancellor Mr. Justice Penry Davey - Senior Presiding Judge, Northern Circuit Sir Richard MacCormac - Independent Architectural Adviser Ian Ritchie - Architectural Adviser to the Lord Chancellor Christine Mayer - Circuit Administrator, Northern Circuit Dr. Alexi Marmot - CABE Enabler Councillor Richard Leese - Leader of Manchester City Council Robert Angel - Project Sponsor, The Court Service.
Milan City Council have confirmed that they will be dismantling Alba di Milano from Piazza Duca d’Aosta in front of Milan’s main railway station. The reason given is that they did not expect the sculpture to mask so much of the station facade. The City Council has accepted full responsibility for the competition site. A new location will be chosen following a meeting of the Monuments Commission in Milan in February 2002.
Ian Ritchie will be giving a paper on February 25th at the second of the two forums examining how architects and artists are increasingly working together and exploring the different sensibilities they bring to creating urban environments.
“Cities are a combination of design and accident where the visions of sculptors and architects interweave with necessary infrastructure, the ambitions of politicians, and the commercial aims of developers” (Royal Academy of Arts)
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The London Regatta Centre located at the Royal Albert Dock in London’s east end, and the Scotland’s Homes of Tomorrow in Glasgow’s east end both received awards at the Civic Trust Awards Ceremony held on 18th April at the beautiful Royal College of Physicians building designed by the late Sir Denys Lasdun.
A formal presentation of the plaque for each project will be made later in the year at the respective buildings.
This month we will be recommending our design team’s choice of contractor to fabricate and erect the Dublin Spire to our client, Dublin City Council. The final selection includes visits led by Robin Cross, project architect, along with Cormac Deavy of Arup, and senior personnel from Dublin City Council to mainland Europe and Ireland.
The chosen contractor will be expected to complete the Dublin Spire in O’Connell Street this autumn.
A 1/10th scale maquette of Alba di Milano made of stainless steel and fractured optic fibre/stainless steel wire woven light fabric and a 1/50 scale model of the Spire of Dublin, 2.4m high, made of polished aluminiumm, will be exhibited Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2002. The exhibition opens to the public on 11th June.
Final Year design projects for a Leeds Ice Rink, by graduating M Eng Architectural Engineering and Civil Engineering with Architecture students from the University of Leeds. The exhibition is sponsored by the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society.
Details: 13th June to 19th June 2002 at the SITE Gallery, RIBA Centre for Design, 8 Woodhouse Square, Leeds LS3 1AD
Tel: 0113 245 6250/0113 243 1420
Fax: 0113 242 6791
The jury awarded prizes and commendations in each of 9 European regions and selected an overall winner from these. The awards will be presented at a gala evening on October 31st during the Glasstec Exhibition in Dusseldorf. The jury consisted of: Pekka Helin (Finland) Sergey Kisselev (Russia) Ian Ritchie (UK) Matthias Sauerbruch (Germany) Elias Torres (Spain) Klus-Peter Schulz (Pilkington Germany) Dr Mark Swenarton (Publishing Editor Architecture Today).
The Plymouth Theatre Royal’s new £5.8m Production Centre on reclaimed land in the Plym estuary is now approaching completion. The project’s unique ‘soft’ woven phosphor bronze cladding to the rehearsal rooms is now being installed. The material was specially woven for the project in Liverpool.
After delays through the Irish courts, the Spire of Dublin, the new monument in O’Connell Street, Dublin, will be prefabricated between now and September, and transported and installed in the autumn of 2002.
Bertie Aherne, Ireland’s Prime Minister (an Taoiseach) together with the Lord Mayor of Dublin officially launched the beginning of the construction of the Spire of Dublin at a press briefing in O’Connell Street on 6th April. The regeneration of the area and the renewal of O’Connell Street, Dublin and Ireland’s main street in which the Spire is the centrepiece, is an ambitious project costing more than 300 million euros.
The 1000 tonne lifting crane is now in position in O’Connell Street and the delivery of the first Spire elements is expected in the early part of December. The final shot peening finishing of the stainless steel Spire elements by MIC at Radley Engineering has begun in Dungarven and final inspections begin on 2nd December. The final factory test assembly of the cast and machined spiral base elements will be inspected on 2nd December at Westley Engineering, Cradley Heath, West Midlands, near Birmingham.