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Concrete Elegance: Texture and Context

Tue 12 Jun 2018


This evening's lecture features two buildings where the design and use of concrete is strongly influenced by the context of their location.Templeman Library, by Penoyre & Prasad Architects and structural engineers Price & Myers, is the refurbishment and extension to an existing brutalist building, using exposed cast in-situ concrete and external architectural precast concrete fins. The Yorkshire Sculpture Park Visitor Centre, by Feilden Fowles Architects and engineersHRW, employs heavily textured and layered concrete walls to reflect its emergence from the earth in this rural setting.

Each project will be presented by their architect and structural engineering team, sharing design development and their construction experiences of creating fine examples of contemporary concrete architecture.


6.30pm - 6.35pm  Welcome 
 – Chair: Elaine Toogood, senior architect at The Concrete Centre

6.35pm - 7.15pm Yorkshire Sculpture Park Visitors Centre
– Fergus Feilden, director and founder of Feilden Fowles
– Greg Nordberg, structural engineer at engineersHRW

7.20pm - 8.00pm  Templeman Library, University of Kent  
– Suzi Winstanley, partner at Penoyre & Prasad
– Andy Toohey, partner at Price & Myers

The evening will conclude with a Q&A and drinks reception until 8.45pm.

Registration will begin at 6.00pm for a 6.30pm start.

The event is free but booking is essential. As this is a joint event between The Concrete Centre and The Built Environment Trust, your booking details for this event will be provided to both parties.


Yorkshire Sculpture Park Visitor Centre, presented by Feilden Fowles Architects and engineersHRW

The new Visitor Centre at The Yorkshire Sculpture Park is set into the hillside of a former quarry, a location that has informed and inspired the construction and appearance of its enclosing walls. Layers of concrete, with different pigments and aggregates were treated to create a heavily textured surface, reminiscent of geological strata. Inside smooth cast in situ concrete walls support a saw tooth roof, with a board-marked surface.  The building will accommodate a restaurant, shop, public foyer and gallery space and is due to open in September 2018.

© Feilden Fowles Architects

Templeman Library, University of Kent, presented by Penoyre & Prasad Architects and Price & Myers engineers

The University of Kent’s library was designed and constructed by Lord Holford in 1965. For its recent major extension and renovation Penoyre & Prasad Architects drew on ideas inherent in the Brutalist architecture – honesty of materials and the display of structural concrete as an architectural element.  External precast concrete fins on the façade pick up the vertical rhythm of the original buildings piers and internally the cast-in-situ, structural concrete frame is  exposed. The use of concrete provides the structure for long spans, creating flexible internal spaces and is also an important component of the building’s sustainability measures, teaming high thermal mass with ground air-cooling and natural ventilation to avoid the need for air-conditioning.

© Tim Crocker

The Concrete Elegance series is produced by The Concrete Centre and The Built Environment Trust. 


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Concrete Elegance Series