On Tuesday 24th October, Angela Brady, the Co-Founder of Brady Mallalieu Architects, past president of RIBA (2011-2013) currently a Design Council CABE ‘Built Environment Expert’ as well as President of the Architects Benevolent Society, launched the Alumni Lecture Series organised by Westminster Architecture Society, and gave a talk titled “What it Takes to Design Great Social Spaces.”
Crista Popescu, MArch DS23 student and the president of the Westminster Architecture Society, reflected on Angela Brady’s visit in her recent blog post.
Read an excerpt from her blog below or the full text here.
Her talk focused on how to build “sociable” buildings, as in making sure that today’s high density housing and office buildings offer suitable opportunity for users to meet and socialise. BradyMallalieu designed buildings seem to do just that, with social spaces usually being decided on by consultations with community groups. Their buildings have an elegant appearance, despite using robust materials and detailing.
Some of the things that dwelt in my mind were related to their approach to practice. In Mastmaker Rd project, the practice offered the client an alternative brief that included tenure homes, having an obvious impact on the community that can now afford to buy and live in the new development. At Ivy Hall the architects brought the community together to consider the feasibility of a community centre integrated in the already planned rented social housing development. For the St. Catherine’s Foyer, they put forward the idea to Dublin City Council although it hasn’t been done yet in Ireland (see foyer.net to read more about the concept). In all these projects, the architects took initiative to improve on the brief as much as they could. It’s a skill to know how to approach the client and the community and understand the specific politics/circumstances of the situation and – most importantly – navigate around it so as to negotiate in your favor.
You can also watch the talk in full here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xx1crxO1V9c&feature=youtu.be