April 23rd, 2011 | Richard Almond
The termination of a route, the tower sits as a pin in the open water. Wind roars through its permeable facades, icy waters lash at those visitors who dare to scale it. This is enclosure in the faintest sense of the word, one must truly experience the raw power of Iceland’s elements to reap the reward of glorious views.
April 13th, 2011 | Richard Almond
Rather than a solid facade differentiating between inside and outside, the transition is eroded. A series of meshes mediate gradually between a sealed inner box and the world beyond, offering inhabitants intermittent glimpses of the elements. The connection to the water and the landscape is heightened, visitors experience a gusting wind, splashing waves and the sounds and smells of a working harbour as they move through the building. There is, however, a sense of enclosure and protection, a suitable level of containment which allows users a sense of safety whilst they inhabit a series of floating platforms in constant motion.
April 3rd, 2011 | Richard Almond
The issue of site has continued to crop up since I decided to move piers a few months back. Most recently in my penultimate review, critics felt unanimously that my site should be the more westerly pier on which I originally chose to work. Many of the reasons for which I decided to switch to Ingólfsgarður have proven to become somewhat redundant as the project has progressed, and therefore I am deciding to re-adjust back to my previous site.
Of course the beauty of a floating building is that it can simply be towed across the water, the move itself will require only minimal redesigning of the building and so will still be feasible at this late stage. The issue of access to the site across a public square will have to be considered, yet I do feel the problem could be solved elegantly. For a project aiming to extend the public realm into the water, it seems logical for its siting just off a public square, and completely illogical for it to be hidden away behind the most prominent building in Reykjavik. The issue of access to open water for the boats will be aided through cutting back Ingólfsgarður to a size more akin to the planned smaller marina piers along the southern edge of the harbour. All in all this is the correct decision and one I feel very confident about.
April 1st, 2011 | Richard Almond
These WWII sea forts were built in the Thames estuary to protect London from German attack. The forts comprise of 7 individual platforms, originally linked by bridges, in which specialist teams of Royal Navy personnel were stationed with the task of providing anti-aircraft fire and observation. Situated over 9 miles from nearest land, the cluster of towers were decommissioned in the 1950s and have been subsequently used as a base for pirate radio through the 60s and 70s. As of today the forts remain abandoned.
Their grungy, weather-beaten, violent functionality is gorgeously terrifying.
March 28th, 2011 | Richard Almond
March 19th, 2011 | Richard Almond
Elevational studies of the various components of the academy. Testing roof pitches and facade colouration in a play on Reykjavik’s vernacular.
March 17th, 2011 | Richard Almond
A problem I’ve been struggling with recently is in how to allow the various sections of my building to move, without allowing them to be entirely free-floating. Movement should be flexible yet defined. I entertained the idea of running railway style tracks along the sea bed and fixing runners to the base of the supporting legs of each element, and discovered the Brighton Electric Sea Railway. Local, slightly loopy entrepreneur Magnus Volk had intended to extend his successful Brighton Electric Railway in the late 1890s to nearby Rottingdean, but faced costly construction problems due to difficult terrain. His brainwave was to run an alternative through the sea.
2.8 miles of railway track were laid along the coastline at a distance of 60-100 yards from the shore, visible at low tide, they were completely submerged at high tide.