Page 24

0602NSCFeb06

Profile firm is heavily A common interest in making things and in how oriented towards things are made seems to run through the practice. transportation, like rail Nick Grimshaw himself was once dubbed ‘High and airport terminals. Priest of High Tech’ because he liked his designs to Twenty years ago the show rather than conceal how the buildings were workload was mostly supported. Grimshaw architects are technically workplaces and this minded as opposed to the fashionable stylistic bent remains a key area, of many architects, which is seen in the practice’s although mostly large reputation for research and application of new office buildings rather materials and construction techniques. than factories. There Nash says the technical interest of architects goes is a strong presence in back to the craftsmen of the medieval days. With the the university sector, industrial revolution engineers became interested Fulton Street Transit with four projects currently underway in the UK, in finding new forms of building to house the new Center will house nine at University College London, London Southbank industrial processes. They had to ask themselves subway lines University and the London School of Economics. what a railway station should look like, for example. There is a specialisation in what Nash calls The first ones looked like country houses, but other ‘community buildings’ like the famous Eden Project answers came later. in Cornwall, and the conservation and visitor centre These are still questions architects like to ask for the Cutty Sark. In Spain the steel framed £22M today, he says, and their answers are what takes Fundacion Caixa Galicia art gallery has just been design forward. completed in La Corunna. The practice has been “Our architecture is about building, not theory,” appointed as architects for the Battersea Power says Nash. “Our buildings are bespoke and special; Station redevelopment in London, a major mixed- we like to think, listen, use scheme. “Our architecture challenge and collaborate One of the most impressive projects on the books is about building, to get to the core of the is the £436M ($750M) Fulton St Transit Center in problem. Our products downtown New York. The project will house for not theory.” come from the process the first time in a single concourse nine subway that forms them.” lines currently using six stations, using a 34m high Grimshaw is also interested in space and light and asymmetrical tapered triangulated steel structure how they interact in buildings. The Fulton St terminal supporting a central dome to take sunlight to the in New York is all about admitting light, sunshine lower levels. and air. “We are also very interested in how big In Melbourne, the Southern Cross railway station buildings fit into towns,” says Nash, “and in how is being covered by an undulating roof whose form large numbers of people use public buildings; Zurich was suggested by winds in the surrounding desert. airport terminal for example provides a comfortable “It is the biggest tubular steel job ever done at this space where people can choose to sit and look at the tolerance in Australia,” says Nash. aeroplanes.” What is it that sets Grimshaw designs apart? Buildability is another hallmark of Grimshaw Nash says they are characterised by a clearly legible designs, Nash says. “We work closely with the structure, innovation and a rigorous approach to builders on our projects. We are proud to have a detailing. ”The buildings need to have spatial and good reputation for that among contractors like organisational clarity, reflecting the activities to be Bovis and McAlpine. We also know the steelwork carried on within them, and be flexible enough to contractors well and like to get involved with them respond to changing needs,” he says. as early as we can in a project.” Left: The steel framed Fulton Street Transit Center has a 34m high central dome; Right: Inside the Center 24 NSC February 2006


0602NSCFeb06
To see the actual publication please follow the link above