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London Exchange - Greater London Assembly

Part 2 Project 1999
David Greenhill
Birmingham City University Birmingham UK
The London Exchange, Greater London Assembly

My design intention was not just to provide a building, but a piece of the city.

London is made up of an infinite number of elements, activities and experiences, therefore I propose a number of separate buildings rather than a single building, that work both individually and when combined form a larger microcosm, communicating with the surrounding public spaces and routes.

The design reinforces the current park and diffuses the structure in to the existing urban matrix. Strategically city-wide located satellite interventions in each of the districts provide remote viewing and sensing to the events at the GLA.

The design intention is that the building should not only be the political seat of government but also a centre for free debates in the public chamber. Anyone can participate in the open forums and register their opinions openly or privately.

In exploring both journey and evolution of the city, it represents the fragmentation of the city as a living entity, tracing its birth, growth, death and rebirth through time.

Both phased construction and demolition interact with the changing city environment, providing a framework for future site explorations and interventions. Only remnants and traces of the original structure will remain as a permanent reminder.

The serial vision when meandering through the site will be one of personal decisions, guesses, joys, fragmented views, suggestions, with the intermingling of solid and void and route and destination.

David Greenhill

David Greenhill's work was outstanding, during the year in which he made this project, for its muscular approach to the rebuilding of a sparse corner of the South Bank riverside. He showed a real concern to re-make the city in its three dimensional complexity, using the components both as functional contributors to the whole and as metaphoric elements in a matrix of relationships within the urban context. His work combines an adventurous impatience with the accepted forms of the recent past with the maturity to hook his concepts to the laws of real building. His wide-ranging enquiry drew from a broad swathe of references, to inform his adoption of suitable vectors in the form-building, always accompanied by a rigorous self-criticism.

Overall, he took a project brief that was testing and complex, on a site with considerable contraints, and made a lyrical proposition for the new government of London.

• Page Hits: 1141         • Entry Date: 08 January 1999         • Last Update: 10 May 2001