This was my Isover competition jury day. I was hidden away in one of the mezzanine rooms with other members of the jury for most of the day and then we presented the awards on the Isover stand at 3 pm. One of the best things about this competition is that the shortlisted students have the opportunity to present their schemes in person. It was disappointing to see a surprising number of teams succumb to the current trend for whizzy powerpoints with a musical background. While this certainly facilitates presentations for non-native English speakers, it is a poor use of a precious 15 minute slot in front of a jury.
It’s well worth having a look at the student models on the Isover stand (near door N1) if you haven’t already. The brief called for Passivhaus housing and a regeneration proposal for a post-industrial site on the River Trent in Nottingham, quite a contrast with last year’s lower Manhattan tower. It was great to meet architect Julian Marsh and Nick Ebbs of Igloo; they both know Nottingham and the site well. Igloo will be developing the site in partnership with the HCA; Nick was off to sign the final legal papers yesterday. So the students, unbeknownst to them, were presenting to a ‘real’ client. This competition is a fantastic way for students to get to grips with sustainable design. The winning teams will go on to present in Bratislava in May. More on the winning schemes as soon as the images are in.
After a quick catch up with Lynne Sullivan on her RIBA Guide to Sustainability in Practice released Tuesday, I rushed off to join the queue for the UK-GBC’s fifth birthday boat party aboard the Dixie Queen sponsored by Aggregate Industries, along with 500 others. Surprising number of architects on board, including lots of Footprint regulars: Denise Bennetts and Peter Fisher, Simon Sturgis, good catch up with PRP including fellow blogger Mel Starrs, and quite a few more. Lots of fizzy but the food was VERY slow to percolate through the crowd. Finally parked myself with PRP at a table near the kitchen.
Great views of the Shard by night and magical moment when Tower Bridge opened just for us.
Then back to north London with Bill Bordass, whose ever cogent ruminations on the challenges of obtaining actual performance data on buildings included the lowdown on his current monitoring of FCBS’s Woodland Trust - which I unfortunately can’t reveal as yet here.
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