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London Gliding Club

Part 2 Project 2008
Elliott Wingfield
Oxford Brookes University, UK
Here I propose the briefing rooms and concourse, in which visitors are introduced to the phenomenon of flight at the London Gliding Club, Dunstable. My architecture is inspired by observations of the busy aerodrome, it's powerful wind currents and the dynamics of glider flight; the form evolves from the weightless, but energised movement of gliders interweaving through the skies.

An array of structurally integrated wind cowls, resolved through parametric scripting procedures, are programmed to face the prevailing wind direction on site; these provide both continual ventilation and a natural patch of texture, nestling into the foot of the hill.

Elliott Wingfield

The project focused on the theme of wind, from the design and fabrication of a site installation to record the mystery of the wind, to a mobile control tower to communicate this wind effect and finally to a proposal for the resettlement of the London Gliding Club.

Elliott and his colleagues designed and made a ‘windicator’, which was transported about the site to record the nuances of the wind patterns and its direction and power. These measurements were then translated into a strong graphic representation illustrating the wind movement and revealing a unique reading of the site.

For the control tower, Elliott proposed an elegant and innovative mobile structure. The structure encapsulated the in between world between the promise of flight and communication with the ground.

These explorations lead to an imaginative and fluid resettlement of the gliding facilities, with the hangers nestling into the protected base of the escarpment and the main club facilities acting as a marker in the landscape. The clubhouse manages to act both as an anchor and indicator to the movement patterns across the site and through the representation of the main wind flows, reflects the skyward aspirations of the visitors.

Elliott’s work is distinguished by clarity of concept with a real feel for refinement and elegance. The projects reveal a high level of technical exploration and innovation communicated through excellent physical models and evocative graphic images.

Mr David Grindley
Ms Sarah Stevens
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