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Medal Winner 2006
SOM Winner
Serjeant Award

House at Gallions Reach

Part 2 Project 2006
Gillian Lambert
University of Westminster London UK
Preliminary investigations explored the intangible ephemeral qualities of sky and atmosphere, and a series of experiments evolved in an intuitive mode of inquiry.

Sky_Ceiling : the installation physically re-imagines the upper surface of an internal space. A dynamic chandelier reacts against the monotony of the suspended ceiling grid, responding to internal weather conditions. Threads project into space cast through needles held in position with lead weights, the tile emits flickering light, casting shadows and reflections with shifting depths.

The Laboratory: a collection or living manual, the contents become a resource which formulates an approach, re-thinking at alternative scales addressing the architectural implications of the work.


Gillian Lambert


House at Gallions Reach: sat beyond the protection of the Tidal Barrier, the site is open to the mouth of the Thames Estuary. Part imaginary, dreamlike visions are drawn and tested evolving into spaces potent with atmosphere. The elements are considerd as plausible materials; spaces become blurred as rain falls from the ceiling into the well below, pockets of bright daylight hidden amongst the dark stormy shadows, and the light breeze in the air is filtered through the walls. The interiors celebrate the unpredictable and dynamic nature of the external conditions.
The stiudent has produced a remarkable project for a house that acts as a laboratory for an architect preoccupied with weather. Taking as her cue the tale of Turner in the nineteenth century lashing himself to the mast of a ship to experience first-hand a storm at sea, and looking at the careful manner in which John Soane built up the layered spaces of his Lincoln's Inn Field house-cum-office, Gill proposed a dark and leaky world in which the forces of nature would flood into the house beside the Thames.

The student started out by creating her own laboratory in the basement of Westminster University, experimenting with light and mirrors as part of an installation that framed the first part of her project. Building from these speculations she designed an experimental house that tests the limits of domesticity and that of enclosure. Reyner Banham described the Case Study houses in California as 'skinny weatherbreaks full of expensive services'; here the house has built in imperfections so there are no expensive services, and little to hold back the weather either.

2006
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