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Battle of Grosvenor Dock

Part 2 Project 2003
Rupert Willard
Charlotte Torck
London South Bank University London UK
A dialogue of wit, politics, and narrative coexist with a rigorous and pragmatic approach to architecture which investigates current and future conditions of the city. 'Battle of Grosvenor Dock', a bioterrorism rapid response unit, was initiated through a series of electro-mechanical sentinels which intuited motion and atmospheric environment, recoding inputs into a poetic as well as statistical manifestation. Urban paranoia reacting to the threat of bioterrorism has generated the need for an institution to facilitate a response to an attack on London. The proposal combines contemporary sensing and surveillance technologies with historic geometries to maintain sight lines through a multi-faceted architecture with appropriate defensive mass.
Rupert Willard
Charlotte Torck


The notion of the garrison as part of European urban fabric seemed quaint, archaic even, pre-911. However, with the realities of full scale 'terror alerts' now routinely enacted in London, this project takes on a new, topical resonance. Landmark buildings are being unsubtly modified to meet new, unprecedented demands. Yet the elegance of the footprint of this project, the satisfying resolution and beefy solidity of the perimeter and personnel block walls, and the dialogue the buildings establish with both interior and exterior landscapes speak of an assured and highly individual architecture away from the pragamatic agenda of defensive military construction. It is a 21st century castle for sure, but one with the (spectacular)homeliness and humanity of Lutyens' Castle Drogo, rather than an excluding coldness. The project is in our view exceptionally well considered, engaging with the city in a unique and beautifully composed way, and sufficiently optimistic in its conception to envisage a time when the soldiers leave and the architecture is host to more benign uses.

Tutor(s)


2003
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