The Bartlett School of Architecture


Gruff-MSA wind tower highly commended at AR Awards

3 December 2014


'Structures on the Edge', a wind tower by Bartlett UG8 Tutor Rhys Cannon (Director of Gruff) in collaboration with Bartlett alumnus Matthew Springett (Director of MSA), has been awarded a commendation at this year's AR Emerging Architecture Awards.

Sited on a Lincolnshire beach, the tower explores the nature of the extreme environment of the site: the point at which land, sea and wind interface in a shifting and ever-changing marring landscape. It is designed to amplify the wind and to make connections to critical parts of the landscape.

Viewers approach the tower (pictured above) to find an internal yellow vessel with no view. As users enter, the whole interior chamber lowers to engage a controlled view of the horizon. This is accompanied by a resonant sound created by a striking 'gong' that announces the towers use to people on the beach, thereby attracting and encouraging further use. Furthermore the lowering chamber engages a wind channel that allows the whole tower to act as a wind funnel that amplifies the natural conditions of the site.

The AR Emerging Architecture Awards are the world's most popular and prestigious prize for young architects, giving emerging practices invaluable impetus on their trajectory to wider recognition and success. Judging the entries this year were: Will Alsop (aLL Design), Catherine Slessor (Editor, The Architectural Review), Tom De Moor (Robbrecht en Daem) and Li Xiaodong (Li Xiaodong Atelier).

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