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Friday, 13 December 2013

Islington Group: End of term review

Our end of term review with the Islington History and Architecture Group took place this week. One of the group’s highlights this autumn was our recent visit to the offices of architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) which proved to be a fantastic learning experience. Inspiration for the visit came from an earlier tour of AHMM’s Angel Building where the group saw how a redundant office block has been transformed into a new landmark building. 


The tour of the AHMM office was led by their Events Coordinator Claire Pollock who had organised for the group to explore their offices located in the Morlelands Building on Old Street. The tour included a look at the model workshop where the group learnt about the practicalities of model making and a visit up to their recently extended upper floors and roof terrace with amazing panoramic views across London. During presentations from members of the AHMM team the group were given an introduction to the work of the practice and learnt about the process of designing and completing a building.

The group also met with an architect who had worked on the Angel Building which proved to be of particular interest to the group. They were fascinated to hear an in-depth description of the design and construction process of a building they knew as it helped them to see it through the eyes of an architect. This led them to understand the thinking behind features that they would have otherwise overlooked such as the building’s new curved façade which mirrors the curve in St John’s Street; the perfectly smooth concrete columns with their formwork holes purposefully left unfilled. This information helped to unlock the process of design, allowing them to make sense of the building and see it in a completely new light:

“I’ve never appreciated concrete before!”

When we spoke to the group about the visit their response was overwhelmingly positive. What they appreciated was being face to face with people who design buildings and having an opportunity to ask questions. 

“I enjoyed meeting highly knowledgeable people and seeing what they do” 

They agreed that this had given them insight into the world of architecture (which had no prior knowledge of) and it had also helped the them to better appreciate and value what architects do. The visit to AHMM highlighted that going to architecture practices can be a valuable learning experience – it has inspired our group to visit more in 2014.  

The Islington Architecture and History group is aimed at older people who live in Islington. The programme is funded by the Cripplegate Foundation, to whom we are very grateful for their support. For more information on this project and our work with older people please visit our website or call us on 0207 6080 775

1 comment:

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