Build Architecture Awards 2016

Build 2016 Architecture Awards 62 Company: Desitecture Name: Layton Reid Email: [email protected] Web Address: Address: esitecture specialises in tall buildings, high density, housing and multi-use buildings as well as the development of new typologies, set within a context of business and commercial investment imperatives integrated with the benefits of social responsibility and environmental resilience. Layton talks us through the firm’s latest project in China and how this has impacted on the wider knowledge of tall buildings. “Amongst recent projects Osteon Cumulus a high density tower for China, has received an honourable mention in this year’s Evolo Skyscrapers Com- petition, we have regularly been featured in the competition as it provides an interesting platform for an exchange of ideas which may ultimately inform the future of tall buildings and more importantly high density living. “The structural and material challenges of tall buildings are often outweighed by the circulation and access issues, and in this project we took a new approach that saw the building as a series of vertical communities, not just one entity, taking into account then climatic changes the building would encounter at differing heights, and what that would mean for its inhabitants.” The UK markets has been flourishing for the last 6 years with 150 tall build- ings in the planning stages for London, the city has come alive with a wish to re-create to a larger scale Sir Christopher Wrens’ vision of a city of 50 spires, which once defined London after the Great Fire. As academics and design- ers Desitecture are excited at these possibilities, but are also fully aware of the vagaries of the market. Layton explains how the firm strives to be unique when working in such a dynamic and competitive market. “This industry is extremely competitive, so having a USP is crucial. Because of our varied and rich skill set, covering not only architecture and design but also applied research into future scenario making and high level of inter- national experience in built projects, we are useful in providing a different perspective supported by academic research. This research means that we can involve a wide ranging constituency of expert advice and opinion, and involve the freshest minds in objective analysis, sometime areas of concern which are at the edge of recorded interaction with media sources, and be much more about what is happening or about to happen next. Clients that want to be with the zeitgeist of the times need this kind of thinking for projects which may be three or more years in development, so that they are not just current but leading the market. “We begin our projects from a different standpoint to most architecture, which is often theoretical or system based, but we instead begin with a survey of cultural patterns and an investigation of the nature of diverse community and stakeholder requirements to create a layered matrix of issues reading site and user type we look at the societal benefits which can be leveraged within a project and their relationship to commercial imperatives. Resilience is at the core of our notions of buildings as self-generating entities with the potential to contribute actively to energy production, and conservation.” Moving forward, Layton is excited about the firm’s expansion plans which will see it build upon its international following. “The future for us lies in exploring the partnerships we are building interna- tionally, with the east, China, India, and the newly emerging markets in Afri- ca and South America being our core focus. These markets share immense resource rich potential and are future investment attractors beyond the usual business ventures, the global nomadic trend suggests that population mobility will underpin the nature of communities and their needs. “Having noted then vagaries of the market and the uncertainty over BREXIT, it is really important to take a global view and look to the growing needs of countries like India with their 100 cities programme and the far east countries which are all reinventing both the idea of a new urbanism and alleviating the housing crisis ;and the changes that new transport scenarios such as driverless cars will create. “Finally, it is important to highlight that as academics working at Ra- vensbourne in a world class stimulating creative design education institution, we nurture the same cross discipline collaboration ethos to create a bridge between industry and academia. and key to this is Ravensbournes and Desitectures approach to talent and experiment.” Best Architectural Academic 2016 - UK Desitecture is an interdisciplinary research based architecture practice providing interna- tional output to support the wider industry. We invited Layton Reid to talk us through the company and its service offering. D AR160037