Tag: Architecture

Wirral Met College by Glenn Howells Architects

Just down the road from me is the new Wirral Met College on Wirral Waters. It’s been there a year now and there’s a few things I really like. First up is the design. It reminds me of Icelandic architecture. I like the big windows so people can see in and out. Turns out there’s a reason for this. It’s so people passing can understand the use of the building and also invite people in. The idea is that you can see people learning a skill and maybe think you could try it too. Clever. On the flip side it the view inspires the students. They’ll see the area develop over time and how the skills they’re learning can be put to real world use. Again, clever.

Last thing I like is that there’s nothing obscuring the view. No railings. No health and safety. There’s no railings in Amsterdam by the canals and there’s bars by the water. Turns out its not as big as an issue as you think. So they left the view uncluttered. I like that.

We went on a tour and they said that inside everything is left exposed. This is so that while the students are learning about buildings the teacher can actually point to a working example right above them. It’s good stuff.

Nice architecture. Inspiring and educating while also fitting in with the area. Hopefully the start of good things to come with Wirral Waters.

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Pezo von Ellrichshausen in London

As part of the Sensing Spaces exhibition at the Royal Academy in London the Chilean company Pezo von Ellrichshausen created a beautiful wooden installation that you could climb up to get closer to the wonderful ceiling. It was huge and really had presence in that room but when you were on top it’s all about enjoying the details in the room its taken over.

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Iceland Architecture

I found the architecture in Iceland quite interesting. Reykjavik had some taller modern buildings going up by the ports but the traditional style seemed to be corrugated boxes with pointy roofs. I really liked the look. The cathedral was of course stunning. Iceland has a very Nordic feel to it with all the churches on the hillsides.

When you got out of Reykjavik the smaller towns felt quite American / Alaskan. There was no McDonalds but they had a Taco Bell. It’s a European country but it really felt American at times, in the smaller towns anyway.

Once you got away from the towns it was just vast landscape and farms. Tiny buildings. Epic vistas. Out of the city on the side of a mountain and the buildings were not very tall but quite wide to compensate. I guess they’re low to allow the wind to pass over them as efficiently as possible.

Oh and wheelie bins. Surreal seeing them.

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Architecture in Amsterdam

Amsterdam has an interesting range of architecture. The older traditional looks the way it does for a variety of reasons. Houses are thin and tall because of cost. If you had a wide house you were quite rich to afford the land. So most are thin and tall. The buildings lean over the street a little. That’s not a structural issue it’s a design choice. It helps with the cranes on the top of each building and lifting goods in. They have to do this because houses are thin and tall and the stair cases are useless for pivoting a couch around. Pivot! PIVOT!

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There’s some lovely modern architecture in the form of the Eye Film Institute (pictured above and below). Lovely lines.

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The Barbican in London

I’ve been to the Barbican once or twice over the years. It’s a hugely fascinating place. It feels like you step out of London and into something else completely different. A brutalist self contained city. It’s a strangely beautiful arrangement of concrete, trees and random humans. I imagine you could spend days there taking photos.Read More