Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Semi-detached, postwar ... and sustainable?

Yes! erect architecture have just been commissioned to transform a postwar semi-detached house in East London into a low carbon, sustainable home.

Cast-aways set different scene

Just after the stranding on the island the cast-aways had to discover they were not the only ones there. A travel agent already flogged low carbon holidays on the undiscovered paradise island and was not amused by the arrival of the shipwrecked. For the stranded however, island survival life kicked in. A shelter was quickly erected, animals fended off (immediately marketed by the canny agent as the paradise island safari park). Messages in bottles were sent via passers-by, enticing people outside venues on the surrounding mainland to take up different forms of communication with the island. The call for rescue culminated in a SOS dance, which proved successful as all returned safely to erect architecture's studio for rum punch to discuss the event.

For many (including ourselves) it was a brave thing to do, using this public space (a traffic island) in such a deliberately different way, interacting and provoking, re-imagining space. We were astonished by the numbers of people happy to join in, some even inventing their own roles and takes (such as the travel agent) to the event.
Not only did the event inspire very curious moments, it also made some others, who could not attend the event (so we got told), spend time on the island afterwards imagining what the inhabitation of this space could be like. Intriguing and almost tempting not to go through with the actual event next time (after much noise about it happening beforehand to get the imagination spinning) - only to keep the imagination open and not limit the possibilities by creating closure through the event itself. But then, we are architects, not nihilists...and we do like a bit of strangeness and fun.

Cast-away was erect architecture's contribution the London Open House's GreenSkyStudios programme.

Friday, 19 September 2008


erect architecture has revealed the theme for the GreenSkyStudio exploration: Cast-away.
Cast-away is an impromptu play exploring the drama of public space. Set on a traffic island in Shoreditch cast-away scenes are played out - responsive to the environment and its people. Cast-away inspires a different experience and inhabitation of the existing public space.

Colourful thank-you

Shortly after our new playground opened at Old Ford Primary School a fat envelope arrived at erect architecture's studio filled with the most colourful self-made thank you cards from the pupils......very touching. Some children had immediately incorporated the new play experience into their card designs. The cross threw us - did the climbing experience feel rather challenging or was it inspired by the tall mounds? The teachers assured us of the latter.

Upcoming lectures

erect architecture will give talks at
University of Bath on January 29th, 2009 (Barbara Kaucky and Susanne Tutsch)
Plymouth University on February 12th, 2009 (Susanne Tutsch)

Friday, 12 September 2008


erect architecture will be part of the London Open House's Green Sky Studio programme on sustainability: 'From 24. to 26. September London's up-and-coming and established architects will be inviting you into their studios to reveal how they are helping to design a greener world.'

Sustainability for us goes beyond green credentials. It is about engaging users in a meaningful and challenging way...whilst having fun.
During the day, our recent work will be on display in our studio. But then....
.....we will all go out for an impromptu play exploring drama of public space.
Refreshments as well as accessories will be available in our studio.

Do you dare? Friday, 26. September 2008. Studio open from 4pm to 6pm, leave for the exploration at 6pm. Bring enthusiasm.

Friday, 22 August 2008

Forest Playground nearing completion

erect architecture's Forest Playground, phase 1 of a series of new playgrounds and structures for Old Ford Primary School in Tower Hamlets, is nearing completion. Activities, light, geometries and materials pick up on qualities of playing and being in the woods. One by one different landscapes and play experiences will transform the remaining playgrounds. Seeing it all coming together in quality, too, we are proud of our contractor! And...the guys on site seem to have developed an affection for it. We are now all looking forward to see the kids coming back to school and exploring this transformed space!

Friday, 11 July 2008

Studio in the Woods 2008

All of us spent the weekend in the woods in Gloucestershire to … build things. Studio in the Woods is a weekend workshop for students and architects to construct experimental architectural installations designed to reveal an aspect of place.

Gianni Botsford and Kate Darby’s group spent the weekend in a large ditch surrounded by nosy cows. Grappling with the scale of the landscape, the group built a huge wooden truss formed by the topography of the ditch. On the final day all participants and tutors lifted, turned and placed the truss as a positive ‘cast’ further down the field. It was an awe inspiring experience of landscape and scale. See the video here
Piers Taylor and Meredith Bowles’ group cracked complex geometries stacking planks - without any mechanical fixing - to build a bird hide with exclusive views of the sky. Powerful and calm within the natural surroundings it now sits on a peninsula in the lake.
Toby Lewis’ group dived into the lake to ground their jetty. Beautifully detailed with seductive geometries, the installation connects the flatness of the lake with the vertical forest edge. It rises up high to offer a look-out seat in the trees. Not even put off by the prospect of having to lift (with bare hands) the final part into the trees at 4m height the group even carried on after most people had left.
And our group, we built a badger and sky (the badgers are rarely spotted) watching platform in a clearing in the woods….some called it positively ‘anarchic and pleasure driven’ – and so it was! (see: homepage > projects > participation > studio in the woods)
Talks and crits with Ted Cullinan, Peter Clegg and Charlie Brentnall were woven into the programme throughout the weekend, enthusing and inspiring.

Do we sound pathetically enthusiastic? Well those who were there know what a great experience it was.

Studio in the Woods is an annual event organized by Mitchell Taylor Workshop, see Mitchell Taylor Workshop's website for more pictures.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Studio In The Woods 2008

erect architecture has been invited to participate in the Studio in the Woods, organized by Mitchell Taylor Workshop. The studio is a three day educational programme to encourage the development of an architectural agenda through the direct experience of construction. Students and tutors will, in the woods in Gloucestershire, construct experimental architectural installations designed to reveal an aspect of place…….We are very excited! All students (and architects) interested in roaming the woods for a few days discussing and making things, meeting people should sign up on the link above.