Category Archives: Articles

5 FINALISTS 2018

THANK YOU and CONGRATULATIONS to 4 ESO Students of Instituto Vicente Cañada Blanch in Portobello. They must be very proud of their work.

Next Friday 14th December XTid Associates will analyse along with the participants the cards designs in a presentation of the finalist works. XTid Associates will discover the winner during the yearly event at Vicente Cañada Blanch School.

We are very happy about the art, design and technology knowledge displayed in the contest and very grateful that the students of 4ESO have shared it with such enthusiasm with XTid Associates.

Here are the five finalist selected by you. Good luck to the finalists.

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XTid Associates Architects & Consultants

17th March 2017

Calatrava’s new development in Greenwich Peninsula.

Greenwich Peninsula is evolving day to day and this major development will give it a new look. which make it look like a Open Sculpture Museum in London. We have the O2, Optic Cloak, Liberty Grip, The Quantum Cloud and now Calatrava´s Glass Towers.

XTid Associates Architects & Consultants

14th December 2016

Open Day – Master of Architecture Course

On the last 30th of November, Westminster University held their information evening to all prospective students of the Master of Architecture course.

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For maximum attendance, the presentation was set for 6pm in order to not intrude with applicant’s working hours, as prospective students are expected to have a work experience.

The presentation of the course was succinct and to the point, and applicants were given printed documents of all that was discussed for later analysis. Two students, from each year presented their work and the extracurricular activities available.

A tour of the facilities followed the very vague Q&A. The newly refurbished spaces were astonishing and the wood workshop space, besides been spacious was extraordinary. The fabrication lab also has two impressive robotic arms, but as we were told, only this coming year will someone who actually knows how to use them be employed. The university also has a laser cutting room and a metal workshop.

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Westminster’s reputation pursues it, and I am not sure if it was because of the vague answers and the robotic arm comment, but it made me wonder if this university was just another big name. What are your opinions?

                                                                     Iara Silva

XTid Associates Architects & Consultants

30th November 2016

Architectural Exhibition at The Palace of the Condestable, Pamplona

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Every three years the Basque-Navarre architect registration board (COAVN) celebrates projects, from the 4 delegations belonging to the COAVN, from the fields of architecture, refurbishment urban and interior design, with the best design award.

In this edition, the juries have to choose from 121 design projects.

The exhibition of the works in the delegations of Vizcaya, Guipuzcua and Alava have terminated, but the one in Navarra is still taking place on the second floor of the Palaceo the Condestable.

This renaissance building, located in the junction of the roads Mayor and Jarauta, hosts the 30 winning and finalist projects. The entrance is free and until the 1st December.

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To better understand the origin of the palace, we need to go back to 1548, when Luis de Beaumont, Condestable of Navarra, bought four semidetached houses to extend his property, which was situated at the corner of Mayor road, The title of Condestable of Navarra was originated from the third of XV century. This title was used to designate nobles who were able to bear the Royal Banner. Throughout its history, the property served the city of Pamplona as an Episcopal headquarters and as a sort of Council office. In the XXI Century, after huge refurbishment works, the palace opened its doors to the local residents as a civic centre. The refurbishment returned the building, its original appearance.

In past 15th of November, the 2016 edition winners were announced, being 7 projects owned by Navarra firms.

Among the participants, we would like to highlight the refurbishment done in a building between two properties, on Nueva road, in the historical centre of Pamplona. On the account that refurbishment solutions are already complicated to achieve, we would like to congratulate Alfonso Alzugaray Los Arcos and Carlos Urzainqui Dominguez for successfully accomplishing an attractive design that plays with its constraints, which is always difficult to do.

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The Architect managed to obtain more natural light for the dark central part of the building by combining a light structural design for the staircase with a skylight that bathes the steps through its glassy landing floors, which become permeable to light.

The layout brilliantly overcomes the complications that a narrow house carries.

Under our point of view we believe this is one of the best projects. If you have the opportunity to visit exhibition in Pamplona, I would recommend you to carefully analyse the details of this amazing project.

                                                          Anne Gomez/Jose Aizcorbe

XTid Associates Architects & Consultants

18th November 2016

Antony Gormley – FIT

Gormley is a highly acclaimed British sculptor, winner of the 1994 Turner Prize and well known for his use of the human body as his subjects.

The FIT exhibition comes as a succession to the MODEL exhibition, presented four years prior in the same gallery, which revolved around the relationship of the viewer with the built environment, manipulated spaces and displacement. FIT, however, presented the question of what determines inclusion or exclusion from the built or natural environment.

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Confronted with dramatic sculptures, the viewer is welcomed to 15 chambers in which the work is displayed. The first room sets the tone for the exhibition: perception – the vertical sculpture of intersecting lines, would become more condensed as the viewer rotated around it.

Most chambers provoked the sensation of inclusion or exclusion, as intended by the artist. The sleeping Field, 500 iron sculptures of a condensed landscape of sleeping people, described by some as representing desperation, did not make me feel excluded nor included but as an almighty being, overlooking everything.

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However, the feeling of power and control did not last long and was soon crushed by the following chamber, suddenly I would feel ostracized by the large iron or concrete blocks that would either form humanoid or brutalist sculptures.

Throughout the maze the viewer would shift from feeling exalted to feeling belittled, to feeling confused by what was presented, until the Passage was reached. The 12 meter-long tunnel, modelled after the human form, invited the viewer into a journey into the unknown and sensory deprivation – complete relaxation if the viewer was not filled with the fear of tripping or crashing into the end wall.

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If you had not read the program before entering, like I conveniently forgot to do so, you would have most likely have perceived the exhibition as a simple celebration of materials and geometric shapes, but as soon as you became aware of the artist’s intentions, you would re-examine your visit and attribute the aforementioned sensations to each room. Making me wonder how much an artist’s written intentions dictates the visitor’s experience, how much improves it and how much tarnishes it.

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 XTid Location                                              Iara Silva/ Anne Gómez

XTid Associates Architects & Consultants

18th October 2016

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As every year in September, the London Design Festival is live. The event gathers multitude of individuals, companies, organisations and nations to showcase their latest developments.

There are a wide range of different creations from office supplies, lamps, furniture to buildings.
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Keybridge SW8

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XTid Associates were invited to the launch of Keybridge building in the area of Vauxhall, London. One of the tallest buildings in brick façade emulating the history of architecture in London.

This building was designed by award-winning architects Allies and Morrison, development includes 8 floors and 37 floors Keybridge House Keybridge Lofts.

Case Furniture showcases Architect’s Contemporary visions for London

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This exhibition examines how Architecture Practices impact in modern opportunities to rebuild the city.
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XTid Associates Architects & Consultants

18th October 2016

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The RIBA award winning buildings of the year are available to enjoy from inside this annual appointment coordinated with the design Architects will reveal stories and their design inspirations.

XTid Associates joined the talk and tour with the principal architect of the firm which designed High School Graveney in an event held at Graveney’s facilities and discovered stories and the ideas that inspired the construction of this uncommon building.
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Graveney School

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This new building is enclosed in a site surrounded by listed buildings of a traditional style, which makes a great contrast with the proposed design.

The project constitutes a good example of how the implication of the architect can achieve a conformable, sustainable and spacious place for students and teachers within a very limited budget

The client´s commitment and confidence with the architect allowed to seek solutions in a positive way. The result was a building which responded to the end users demand in connection without compromising design.

This cross laminated timber structure and translucent façade building is even more impressive at night while the internal illumination flows through the double skin polycarbonate. During the day the flow reverses granting the classrooms and communal areas with generous amounts of natural light.

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XTid Associates Architects & Consultants

26th September 2016

London or León

As part of my open house yearly tour, I went to visit Burntwood School. I always enjoy spending a day out with friends visiting new architecture from then inside.

Burntwood School was not in my list. I am more into residential, especially private developments, however this year one of my friends was volunteering in this place and he convinced us with his offer of a one-hour visit round the secondary school.

The proposal was accepted, why not? It was AHMM design and awarded 2015 RIBA Stirling Prize.

There we were, contemplating that contemporary design which its facades reminded me to Ciudad de León Auditorium, borough community hall of León.

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Burntwood School                                                   Ciudad de León Auditorium

Ciudad de León Auditorium was designed by Mansilla and Tuñón Architects. An architectural practice from Madrid. It was inaugurated back in 2002 and awarded with the Premio de Architectura Española in 2003 (Spanish Architecture Prize). That year, it was also shortlisted among the finalist of the Mies van der Rohe European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture and VII Bienal Architectura Española (Spanish Architecture Biennale).

Don’t you think that they are like two drops of water? Was this building the inspiration to AHMM architects to design Burntwood School or it is just a burntdesign?

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By A.G

XTid Associates Architects & Consultants

9th September 2016

St. Paul’s Cathedral: Some things should Never Change

St. Paul’s Cathedral is widely recognized as a national symbol standing in the highest point and centre of the cithy’s financial district. This Icon defines the heights and skyline views of the city of London in order to prevent new constructions or structures from interfering with its protected views- but have all buildings complied with these regulations?

To be simply understood the Heights or Protected Vistas are a set of regulations, which limit building’s heights in order to protect St. Paul’s views and immediate vicinity. Where two policies are in conflict, the most restrictive one should prevail.

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The materiality and architectural form of any new constructions has to respect the historic significance of the Cathedral and its settings. New projects are providing creative design solutions to aid in the promotion of a better-articulated and interesting roof scape to counteract the strict regulations and policies in place.

Conflicting Policies

In the City Culture and Heritage chapter of the City of London LDF Core Strategy 2011, it is stated that some policies are to have a greater influence on the ‘bulk and massing’ of new developments over the height limitations regulations. But, on the 2012 LVMF it is clearly stated that any proposal, which is not consistent with the heights policies, is to be refused.

Some zig-zag their way through the policies, such as the Cheese Grater with its inclined façade.

However, the overlapping of regulations enables the creation of the bureaucratic maize in which one can easily bend rules as desired, and someone certainly has.

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On Shoe Lane, the already underway demolition of several buildings is to give place to the new 10-storey high headquarters of the American Multinational banking Frim, Goldman Sachs.

Heights vary from 55m to 66m on its south corner exceed by 12m to 23m the permitted height, bluntly and unapologetically surpass the development threshold plane of three of the protected views: Primrose, Greenwich Park and Black heath Point.

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Solely the Camden Council raised an objection to its construction during its planning application, stating that ‘there were not sufficient public benefits to outweigh harm caused to the setting of St. Paul’s Cathedral’. The remaining councils contacted did not share the same concern, as the building would only interfere with the backdrop view of their boroughs.

Permission was granted by officers based on visualizations submitted that it would ‘not harm the setting of the neighbouring listed buildings or adversely affect the character of the surrounding conservation areas’ – though it was only in 2013 that a discussion on effects of renders rose, and it was argued that such images would wrongly lead the clients and the general public into having an unrealistic idea of what would be built.

The current Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has described his predecessor as being too ‘passive’ in regards to tall buildings and is to revise the London Plan. An alteration to the Heights is due to be made, as the preservation of London’s historic vistas seems to be challenged and ignored even more often, but will the new regulations allow for more skyscrapers to slip through bureaucratic loopholes?

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(You will probably find it difficult to locate St. Paul in the most recent skyline of London, right picture)

Or will St. Paul’s remain as London’s focal point but solely to become a privatized view for the new comers?

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If buildings to come must to be in accordance with the London Plan, will the infringing existing ones be forced to be demolished in order to comply with the Plan?

Iara Silva/Jose Aizcorbe