Concrete Elegance: Plasticity & Form


Speakers: John Docherty, Elder and Cannon Architects and Carol Costello, Edward Cullinan Architects.

The Jesuit Residence and Spirituality Centre, Glasgow

Situated next to the Glasgow School of Art, this building combines two related facilities. The ground floor Spirituality Centre caters for the neighbouring college and community, providing religious education and counselling services. The Residence, a large house for up to ten priests and their guests occupies the upper three floors. The building ‘book-ends’ the tenements with a precast concrete gable that responds to the stonework of its illustrious neighbours and reinforces the hard edge of the Glasgow grid.

The Kew Herbarium and Library Wing, Kew

The new building will provide additional archive space for Kew´s priceless collection of dried plant specimens, botanic books and illustrations. The concept for the building is generated by juxtaposing the vault-like, climate-controlled archive (that keeps the specimens at a constant 15°C) with airy, day-lit research spaces. These glass and timber research areas undulate around the three storied exposed concrete frame and vaulted roof, enabling scientists to work in close proximity to the collection.

The new wing is linked to the existing herbarium by a timber and glass drum. This houses a circular reading room and ground floor reception that opens on to a newly created south facing courtyard with a feature spiral staircase and lift shaft in finely formed in-situ concrete.