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Fellowship and Debate; The Inns of Court

Part 1 Project 2000
Robert Scott
De Montfort University, UK
My architecture is 'alternative organic'. Many architects find interest in the order provided by nature which they use as a concept for shapes,spaces, and colour schemes. The chaos of the living world is my inspiration. Under the microscope, nature has a amazing symmetry and simplicity. At a larger scale, asymmetry and complexity is revealed.
This theory cannot be fully described in a limited space but the project provided the opportunity to test these ideas with a complex brief.
The building provides accommodation for trainee barristers, a debate hall, and reading room. The design is arranged into two distinct parts arranged vertically.
Lower levels are designed following the notion of a split piece of wood. There is a definite 'grain' that many elements follow but at the point of 'fracture' the elements split and spray away from the grain.
Accommodation occurs on upper levels and comprises double height communal spaces attached to living rooms. Each room is factory made and thus identical but achieves individuality by the 'alternate organic' arrangement.
Services run through a dividing scuptural form which separtates the design vertically into east and west parts.

Robert Scott

Rob Scott's project for the Inns of Court area, in this case Middle Temple adjacent to the Thames, was in part an attempt to answer complex contextual problems. He has drawn upon the formal elements of the site particularly in terms of axial geometry in planning in a conceptual manner.
At first sight the scheme is composed of a structural grid with prefabricated room size units and to that extent some provision is made for flexibility and change in the design. To an extent the scheme is a development from ideas of earlier generations on industrialisation and flexibility but this scheme contains contemporary thinking both in terms of the use of computer generated design work and of the materiality of the proposal.
There is also an expressive quality to the design , possibly due to the geometries of the proposals but also to the formation of public spaces almost in a Scharoun or Behnisch manner. This is also reflected in the creative planning of communal spaces in the various levels. To an extent the design draws upon precedent in order to achieve a faceted overall appearance which forms a contemporary solution in a context of traditional values.

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