Trellick Tower, Kensal Rise / Notting Hill. Architect: Ernö Goldfinger Ernö Goldfinger gained notoriety as a Notting Hill architect due to his brutalist design of Trellick Tower, completed in 1972. At 31 stories, when built, Trellick Tower became the tallest public apartment building in the UK and its silhouette added a brutality to the skyline of Notting Hill. Architect and Council (at that time, the GLC) worked a couple of years previously to develop Balfron Tower in Poplar, East London (completed 1968). Both projects have much in common - both being part of wider council redevelopment projects that included other types of houses, community buildings and public open spaces. Trellick Tower has a mix of 9 different flats and maisonettes. Although widely recognised as a Notting Hill architect, Goldfinger actually lived in Hampstead. He was a passionate advocate of hi-rise living but in the early 1970's, as the tower was nearing completion,…
Office trip to Venice Architecture Biennale
Our 2010 office Christmas trip was to the Architecture Biennale in Venice. Ben, Sinisa, Charlotte, Yeevon, Wei Han and Paul. Link to 5th September 2010 Guardian review: Guardian Review
10 influential contemporary architects
We like lists and debates and so here is our opinion on the 10 most influential contemporary architects born between 1850 and 1950, ordered by date-of-birth. No 1 on our list of contemporary architects is Antoni Gaudí (25 June 1852 – 10 June 1926) Gaudi was a Catalan architect famed for his unique designs that went beyond the limitations of Modernism. He was a devoted Catholic and his most famous work is Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. He designed it to have 18 towers – 12 for the 12 apostles, 4 for the 4 evangelists, one for Mary and one for Jesus. The work on Sagrada Familia commenced in 1882 and is expected to be completed in 2026. The building is a combination of three styles – Spanish Late Gothic, Baroque and Art Nouveau. The plan of the building is complex: there are double aisles, three portals and three façades. The…
Houses in Multiple Occupation
Until the 2004 Housing Act there had been a lot of confusion and contradictory case law on the subject of what constituted a 'House in Multiple Occupation'. The new 2004 Housing Act tightened up the definition. The main element of the definition is that, in order for a house to be an HMO, there must be some sharing of facilities (baths, WCs and kitchens). On 6th April 2010, an amendment to the Use Classes Order introduced a definition of small-scale houses in multiple occupation (HMO) into the planning system. It split the previous Class C3 (dwellinghouses) into 2 seperate classes - Class C3 (dwellinghouses) and Class C4 (houses in multiple occupation). A change in April 2010 gave permitted development rights for changes of use from C4 to C3. and a further change later in the year (1st October 2010) made this permitted development reciprocal (i.e. C3 to C4 became Permitted Development). The effect of…
Summer Holiday in France and a visit to La Tourette
During a Davidson and Owers family holiday we visited the Dominican Monastery of La Tourette. Le Corbusier's last major work, it was built between 1953 and 1957. The monastery is a short distance outside the village of Eveux near Lyon. Its not particularly easy to find: To get there by car, take the A6 motorway north from Lyon, until the "Limonest" exit (33) Take the N6, then shortly turn left onto the D73 to cut across to the N7. Follow the N7 to L'Arbresle, then follow signposts to Eveux and to on to the Couvent de La Tourette.
The City: London Architects
The City of London has evolved organically and is not characterised by a particular architectural style. Very few structures predate the Great Fire of 1666. One of the most famous London architects was Sir Christopher Wren (1632 – 1723). He built prolifically in the late 17th Century - most notably St Paul's Cathedral. He is accorded responsibility for rebuilding 51 churches in the City of London. The City arguably holds the greatest diversity of buildings from different periods. There are a few surviving pre-1666 Tudor buildings and a rich seam of architectural styles from the years thereafter. Numerous London architects have built buildings in this area. Aside from Wren, other famous London architects from the period were Nicholas Hawksmoor (1661-1736), John Vanbrugh (1664-1726) and William Benson (1682-1754). The Royal Exchange was originally founded in 1565. Fire completely destroyed successive buildings in 1666 and 1838. A firm of London architects, led…
Skiing with THE Quantity Surveyors
Ben and Sinisa enjoyed a fantastic few days skiing with John and Gerard of Andrews and Boyd.
The Old Bookshop gets front page
Ben's restoration and extension to the Old Bookshop in Buckinghamshire has been published in Build It magazine. Download the article here
Punting in Cambridge
10 October 2009: An office day out punting in Cambridge. Ben, Sinisa, Maddy, Andrew and others.
Rodic Davidson: Residential Architects
Rodic Davidson Architects are award-winning residential architects. We specialise in creating meticulously designed contemporary homes. We are both residential architects and residential interior designers. The practice was established in 2006 by Ben Davidson RIBA. Since this time, the office has established a reputation as highly competent residential architects specialising in the contemporary extension and refurbishment of prime central London homes. We take considerable time to understand our client’s needs and then intelligently translate these into designs of the highest quality. The practice is not prescriptive and designs are created by intensive dialogue. As residential architects, we create contemporary, elegant and practical solutions of exceptional quality. The work of the practice is underpinned by a pragmatic, restrained, design approach. We are experienced residential architects and place high importance on budget and programme control and project management. The practice currently comprises 4 UK registered residential architects working alongside 3 technical staff, 1…
Christmas trip to Oslo
15th December 2009: an our office trip to Oslo. We enjoyed the snow and the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet building - which opened to the public in 2008. Charlotte, Sinisa, Ben, Andrew and Maddy.
Willow Road, Hampstead
Ernö Goldfinger and the Hampstead Architects Ernö Goldfinger settled in Hampstead, London in the late 1920’s and joined an increasingly large community of Hampstead architects, artists and intellectuals. Along with other well-known architects such as Water Gropius, Marcel Breuer and Bertold Lubetkin, he was instrumental in bringing Modern Architecture to London. Goldfinger was born in Budapest in 1902, moved westward with his family in the years following the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, finally settling in Paris in the early 1920’s. During this period the young architect was influenced by the work of Le Corbuiser, Walter Gropius, and Adolf Loos. Goldfinger was one of the first of the 'Hampstead Architects' - in 1933, he moved to Highpoint, the modernist apartments designed by Bertold Lubetkin and Tecton that had just been completed. Shortly afterwards, Goldfinger and his wife bought a beautiful site in a neighbourhood of Georgian residences that overlooked Hampstead…
A project disowned by Le Corbusier Initially Le Corbusier's contribution to the postwar Berlin cityscape was meant to be part of the Interbau Building Exhibition of 1957 on the borders of the Tiergarten. However, when he announced his intention to build a massive 17-story "residential factory" containing 557 living units, the city authorities decided that they had better find him a suitable location of his own. The site offered to Le Corbusier was at the top of a hill in Charlottenburg with views across the city and immediately next door to Werner March's imposing national socialist architecture of the 1934 Olympic Stadium. Le Corbusier's design was one of his limited edition, off-the-peg unités d'habitation. Number three from a total of five in this series of giant residential buildings following those of Marseille and Nantes. The design for the unités was the result of Corbusier's long-term considerations about modern urban living.…