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APRIL 2017

Balliol Facade Trip

We are working on new student residential buildings for Balliol College, Oxford. As part of the detailed design development we have been working with a façade sub-contractor based in Belgium, and recently made a visit to their manufacturing factories. The itinerary for the day – a design workshop, a factory tour and a review of samples. Lots of coffee after an early Eurostar, and a good lunch.

There had been several similar design workshops before; where gathered around the meeting table, sketches were scattered as we questioned the architectural intent and the construction details equally. Brick samples sat in front of us, books piled up with precedents opened, past project drawings and models pulled out for reference. How to compose the language to create a calm and unified façade across the site. The engineers, the architects, the craftsmen who will build the façade.

These sorts of discussion are an aspect of everyday practice, and incredibly valuable part of the process – marrying the conversations of design aspiration with the actual making of. The bricks and mortar that see the architecture delivered from the paper to the physical form.


MARCH 2017

Munich Lecture

On the 27th April Niall will be a guest speaker for the main lecture series at the architecture faculty of the University of Applied Sciences in Munich.


MARCH 2017

Natural History Museum Progress

Below are some from the Natural History Museum site showing the scaffold ‘tunnel’ going up at the Museum. This is the framework required to lift, manipulate, and move the blue whale skull into position in a few weeks.

Though the main hall has had a sperm whale in it before, this was only around 15m long. In contrast, the blue whale, the largest known animal to have ever existed, is about 30m long once assembled.

Unfortunately, due to the various extensions and alterations to the Museum over time, the skull can only come in via the front doors. And – much like a very large, very heavy, very valuable sofa – it’s a case of squeezing it in at strange angles.