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Architecture’s perfect storm… 建筑完美风暴……

August 21, 2011

Why don’t our workspaces work?, London, United Kingdom

Monday 15 Aug 2011

Origin from WAN(原文来自WAN)

Dismay for British Architecture as Foster defends London Icon: “Gherkin was not a disaster…”


UK architecture came under fire on UK TV this week when Norman Foster was asked by Channel 4 presenter, Tom Dyckhoff to explain why the innovative ideas he had pioneered in the Willis Building (Ipswich 1975) seemed to have been lost in London’s Gherkin some thirty years on. If a picture can paint a thousand words, Lord Foster’s expression on being asked this question in front of the TV cameras seemed to generate at least a thousand expletives.

本周英国电视台上英国建筑遭遇激烈讨论,Channel 4节目主持人Tom Dyckhoff要求诺曼·福斯特解释,为什么他在威利斯大厦(1975年伊普斯维奇)的设计中所倡导的革新主意,在伦敦小黄瓜身上,看上去像慢了大约三十年。如果一幅画能够表达千言万语,那么在电视摄影机前,福斯特勋爵在这个问题上的表达看上去像产生了成千上万的感叹。

It was a perfect twist in the long running saga of the ownership battle for the credit of London’s flagship tower, between Foster whose firm designed the building and team member Ken Shuttleworth who produced the original concepts and subsequently left the firm in 2003. The feud was re-ignited in 2004 when the building was awarded the Stirling Prize, the UK’s most prestigious architectural prize.

在福斯特(他的公司设计了这幢大厦)和团队成员Ken Shuttleworth(设计了概念雏形,随后于2003年离开了公司)之间,为了伦敦旗舰级大楼信誉的所有权,展开了完全扭曲的长跑式争论。在2004年斯特林奖(英国最有声望的建筑大奖)颁发到这栋建筑的时候,这段争吵再次引发。

For nearly a decade, both parties had been claiming the accolades, when out of the blue the jewel in London’s architectural crown came under fire for having a bland and unimaginative working environment, it landed squarely back in Lord Fosters’ lap. Clearly caught on the hop, he defended the interior space with a, “well it’s not a disaster…”


They say it’s tough at the top and when you have built an empire as successful as Foster and Partners, detractors can be found on every street corner and many of these would have relished at seeing Lord Foster taking the heat on mainstream TV.

他们说在顶端是艰难的,当你建立了一个像Foster and Partners一样成功的帝国的时候,到处都能找到恶意批评者,大部分恶意批评者享受着观看福斯特勋爵在主流电视上备受质疑。

It was a killer question, both hugely important in the wider context of effective office environments but also grossly unfair for at least two reasons, one, it assumed today’s architect has free reign over their designs and commercially driven clients and two, the Willis Building was designed for one client whereas the Gherkin was multi-tenancy.


Dyckhoff’s charge was that architects today are only interested in glamorous exteriors and ignore the internal working environment. Both are true to some extent but for good reason; the remit behind most new office buildings today are not developed to create a productive environment, the brief is all about maximising floor space, value engineering, commercial returns… creating an icon increases a building’s value. Fact. The interior is ultimately expressed in square metres.


Dyckhoff’s dismay was evident when he mused: “If the likes of Norman Foster cannot influence the direction of office design, what hope anyone else?”


Who better to ask than Make? Katy Ghahremani and Tracey Wiles, Partners at Make; ” There is a growing awareness within the UK design community of the development of the role of the workplace in our society, moving away from the monotone, one-size fits all trend of the early 90s towards more inspiring, task-oriented ‘club’ type environments where users are provided with a diversity of spaces which support their specific tasks. Educating clients in this new thinking is a key part of the designer’s role. However, this relies on the designer working with the end-user rather than with a speculative developer. How can we create environments to support key activities when we don’t know who the users are and what those activities might be?”

谁比Make(建筑师事务所)更适合去问?Katy Ghahremani和Tracey Wiles(Make的合伙人);“在我们的社会中,对工作场所这个角色的发展的英国设计社区的意识不断提高,逐渐远离单调,九十年代初期的一个尺寸满足一切的趋势,转向更激发灵感的、任务导向型的“俱乐部”模式环境,提供给使用者一个多样的空间,支持他们特定的任务。在这个新的想法中教育客户是设计师角色中的重要一部分。然而这有赖于设计师与终端用户一起工作,而不是投机的开发商。在我们不清楚用户是谁和可能的活动是什么的时候,如何去创造一个支持主要活动的环境。”

But if architects’ hands are tied and clients are not motivated to push the boundaries (show me the money) who is? Richard Kauntze, Chief Executive, British Council for Offices gave his reaction to WAN: “In recent years we’ve seen a growing trend for organisations to reconfigure the functionality of their work spaces.

但如果建筑师的手被绑住,客户也不积极地去突破(给我展示其价值),究竟谁是?Richard Kauntze(英国办公室委员会首席执行者)给了WAN这样的回应:“在最近几年,我们发现组织重新设定其办公空间设计功能的趋势在增长。”

“One of the BCO’s primary objectives is to define excellence in office space, which we do through our annual Awards programme. Through this we have a clear snapshot of how office fit-outs in the UK are constantly evolving to provide tangible benefits in terms of the well-being and productivity of the workforce. Past winners such as PwC’s fit-out in Glasgow, Microsoft Building 5 in Reading, or Kings Place in London, have all demonstrated innovation in delivering workplaces which have in some cases transformed the way these occupiers do business.”

“BCO(英国办公室委员会)的一个主要目的是通过年度嘉奖项目的方式定义办公空间的优秀。透过这个项目,我们有了一个清晰的画面,关于英国的办公室设备是如何不断演变至用劳动力的康乐和生产效率的方式来提供实际的好处。过去的获奖者,如位于Glasgow的普华永道的设备、位于Reading微软大楼5号、或者位于伦敦的Kings Place(艺术文化中心),都在交付工作场所时展示了革新,这些工作场所有时改变了这些拥有者做生意的方式。”

What is increasingly apparent is that buildings have a direct influence on the humans who live and work in them, and maybe architects have instinctively understood this relationship but just as an engineer must know the breaking point of steel to design a cost effective structure, so the modern architect should be armed with quantifiable data on the effects of spacial changes, human interaction, clustering, light, colour, acoustics and so on to be able to design an effective working space.


Striving towards this end, Gensler created a Workplace Performance Index to help their clients understand specifically what comprises space effectiveness in their workplaces so that design solutions can be highly targeted. (read full article)


The irony of this issue is that creating a more effective workplace may not actually cost any more to construct and would certainly add to a building’s value if a standard method of measurement could be adopted.


What is extraordinary is that in this world dominated by offices, you are probably reading this in one, this connected world of data overload and real-time analysis there is no central repository of evidence readily available to architects from which they can build on.


Michael Hammond

Editor in Chief at WAN

翻译:George Lam

FYI(the following infomation is came from Wikipedia)

Make Architects is an architectural practice based in the United Kingdom founded by Ken Shuttleworth after he left Foster and Partners in 2003. They have offices in London, Birmingham, Beijing, Abu Dhabi and Dubai and the practice is currently engaged in projects worldwide ranging from high rise offices to urban masterplans, residential and office developments, civic buildings, private and social housing, education buildings and interior design.


British Council for Offices

PwC 普华永道(officially PricewaterhouseCoopers) is a global professional services firm headquartered in London, United Kingdom.It is the world’s second-largest professional services firm (after Deloitte) and one of the “Big Four” accountancy firms.

It has offices in 757 cities across 154 countries and employs over 175,000 people. It had total revenues of $26.6 billion in 2010, of which $13 billion was generated by its Assurance practice, $7 billion by its Tax practice and $6 billion by its Advisory practice.

The firm was formed in 1998 by a merger between Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand.The trading name was shortened to PwC in September 2010 as part of a major rebranding exercise.

As of 2010 it was the seventh-largest privately-owned organisation in the United States.

伦敦艺术文化中心 Kings Placeis a building in London’s Kings Cross area, providing music and visual arts venues combined with seven floors of office space, now home to The Guardian newspaper and the headquarters of Network Rail. Kings Place is also the London base office of Logica, the global IT and management consultancy company.

Gensler  美国第二大建筑事务所

Gensler is a global design and architecture firm headquartered in San Francisco with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Washington, Chicago, London, Dubai, Shanghai and other cities. The firm was founded by Art Gensler, James Follett, and Drue Gensler in 1965 originally focusing on corporate interiors. Gensler is credited for establishing the profession of corporate office design as distinct from the practice of architecture and interior design.

Today, Gensler is the second largest architecture firm in the United States. In October 2008 it had employed almost 3,300 people in 34 offices worldwide. Due to the economic downturn started in October 2008, the number of employees fell to 2,100 in 2009 and stands today at 2,300.

The firm specializes in multiple practices including: commercial office buildings, workplace, retail, airports, hospitality, education, mixed-use & entertainment, planning and urban design, brand strategy, environmental graphic design, mission critical facilities,sustainable design consulting, sports and others.


From → Arc. News

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