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City’s presence looms large at 2015 Clerkenwell Design Week

On 19th May, almost 200 people attended the University’s first ever foray into the annual three-day festival, staged by the School of Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering.
by John Stevenson (Senior Communications Officer)

Jane Richards 

On 19th May, City University London staged the Clerkenwell Design Week Fringe event titled, “Stories About the Z-Axis: The Art and Science of Extraordinary Structures”. The Clerkenwell Design Week, which was held from 19th to 21st May, celebrates the innovative design work coming out of the historic Clerkenwell design quarter. 

Facilitated by the School of Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering, the event showcased an exhibition of leading-edge architectural models of buildings and structures in the Oliver Thompson Lecture Theatre foyer. This exhibition garnered significant interest from guests.

Admiring displaysAn accomplished panel of engineers and architects was also on hand to explore the concept of the Z-Axis and the design concepts around some of the most extraordinary structures currently built and under construction. Sergio De Gaetano, principal, UK Director and Façade Engineering Practice Leader at Thornton Tomasetti, gave the attentive audience a glimpse into his practice’s fascinating design work in China and the USA. He also drew attention to Tilt, an operable steel and glass structure on the 94th floor of the John Hancock Centre in Chicago which allows visitors to hover 305m over the Windy City. Architect David Evans, Director of Lynch Architects, showcased the innovative ‘Zig Zag’ building design planned as part of the redevelopment of Victoria Street in the City of Westminster.

MustasshioTim Gledstone, an architect partner at Squire and Partners influenced by Japanese culture, shared novel approaches to design including the leaf tower. This is a speculative research project based on the premise that a tower can generate enough energy by harnessing available sunlight to supply 100 percent of the building’s electricity needs. Dr Jane Richards, a City engineering alumna and Director for Building Structures at WSP looked at some of the challenges peculiar to tall building design in London and other parts of the world. City’s close connection to Clerkenwell stretches back to 1894 in the University’s previous incarnation as the Northampton Institute, when it offered classes in horology, metal trades, and artistic crafts for industry.

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