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Library/Museum - Rugby

Part 2 Project 1999
John Boardman
Birmingham City University | UK
Greater London Assembly Building.

The Greater London Assembly Building attempts to address the democratic and co-operative existent values of the area of Coin Street. The building is concerned with dividing the site on a North/South orientation - the river and city to the North, the leisure of Bernie Spain Gardens to the South. Primary East to West pedestrian flow along the river beneath the Oxo Tower arcade is redirected via the GLA building and its foyer which acts as a meeting place for all. Further filtration from North to South is also encouraged via the foyer and through the punctuated spine wall at the higher levels.
The strong monolithic elements of the two ‘spine’ walls act as partial enclosures to the site and as democratic levellers - making a filter zone between the river and the city with the foyer acting as the linking mechanism to the political and leisure processes within the building. The GLA office accommodation, cafe, visitor centre and council chamber are treated as individual elements, both materialistically and in function combining the solid with the play of light- weight structure to layer the transition through the building. All functions of the building are therefore tied together and ‘locked in’ holistically via the spine walls.

John Boardman

John Boardman's work was chosen for one of this School's entries for the Silver Medal because it was an outstandingly neat and finished solution. John set himself a very clear agenda for his work, to develop an architectural vocabulary that had personal integrity. He combined his project work with a busy career in a design practice, and managed to give both a high level of involvement. While drawing on many sources, and subjecting decisons to a rational deductive gate, he still stretched his formal invention widely. His monastic self-critical attitude meant that he was never able to enjoy the thrills of luxurious creativity, but within the terms he set himself, John was able to weave a lyrical form which ably meets the needs of the complex brief, and comments on the new sort of government London deserves.

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