Posts tagged with "Marks Barfield Architects":

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This British mosque is structured with a flowering wooden lattice

In Cambridge, England, Marks Barfield Architects (MBA) is erecting a timber-structured mosque inspired by geometric design and landscaping found throughout the Islamic world.

The Cambridge Mosque Project, founded by Dr. Timothy Winter in 2008, purchased the one-acre site in 2009. Allées of cypress and linden trees ring the mosque, which occupies a symmetrical 27-feet-by-27-feet grid. The new house of worship will be able to accommodate approximately 1,000 worshippers.

In a statement to The Guardian, the deceased architect David Marks viewed the project as a shift from the “preponderance of Ottoman mosques” found throughout the United Kingdom. MBA saw an opportunity to design an Islamic center unique to the British community, with a massing similar to the surrounding Georgian terraces, featuring a height of three stories, brick elevations, and a subtle dome rather than a towering minaret.

For the project, MBA reached out to Swiss timber-construction specialist Blumer–Lehmann AG (BLA). Thirty free-form timber columns, built of curved glue-laminated beams, form the primary support structure of the Cambridge mosque. Each column flowers into a network of latticed arches and beams that is topped with a lightweight, 20,000 square-foot timber roof. Rows of circular skylights are embedded above the supporting columns, allowing for the significant diffusion of natural light throughout the prayer space.

Design-to-Production (DP), a Zurich-based firm at the forefront of building information modeling, was commissioned by BLA to optimize the timber structural system’s geometry, establish a pre-fabrication and assembly strategy, and develop a comprehensive 3-D model of the project.

Through parametric design, DP whittled down the project’s 6,000 structural joints to just 145 different timber parts. Then the firm plugged in their digital fabrication data to a 5-axis CNC milling machine to mass-produce the timber components along with pre-assembly instructions and drawings. After being transported 900 miles over land and sea to the United Kingdom, the components were assembled in under a month.

The onion-dome, with a base of arched clerestory windows, reaches a height of 30 feet and is placed atop the truss system made of glue-laminated beams.

Construction for the project should wrap up in 2018 and will open in January 2019.

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David Marks of Marks Barfield Architects has passed away

Like Paris' Eiffel Tower, the London Eye was only meant to be a temporary structure. However, 17 years after its opening in March 2000, after it had been dramatically hoisted up into place after hanging over the River Thames and unveiled as the "Millennium Wheel," the structure is now an indelible icon on London's skyline. Designed by Marks Barfield Architects, the Eye has now outlived one of its creators, David Marks, who passed away on October 6 at the age of 64. According to his firm, Marks had been ill for sometime. Born in Stockholm, Sweden, Marks grew up in Geneva, Switzerland before moving to London to study at the Architectural Association School (AA) in 1972. There, he met another student, Julia Barfield, who he married in 1981. The couple went on to form Marks Barfield Architects in 1989 and together they have contributed some of the U.K.'s best elevated views over the past two decades. The 1990s was a somewhat bombastic time for London architecture. The impending millennium gave rise to Britain's architectural heavyweights—though not quite household names at the time—to design monuments for the occasion: Richard Rogers, who once employed a young David Marks, provided the Millennium Dome (now the O2 Arena) and Norman Foster the Millennium Bridge. Both structures were swiftly derided after their opening. The Dome was costing the government $42 million a year and couldn't be sold, while Foster's bridge, nicknamed the "Wobbly Bridge" was in fact so wobbly in the wind that it had to be temporarily closed down and fixed. One other millennium-based addition to London's skyline, however, endured no such tumult. As you might have guessed, this is the London Eye. David Marks and Julia Barfield's design dates back to 1993 when it was submitted to a competition organized by the Sunday Times newspaper and The Architecture Foundation which called for a millennium landmark. The Millennium Wheel, along with every other submission, was rejected. Undeterred, Marks and Barfield remained intent on spinning the wheel into motion. Their efforts paid off when the Evening Standard told the story of the wheel's plight and just over a year later, British Airways contacted the firm about getting the project underway. Now, the London Eye is the U.K.'s most popular paid-for attraction with approximately 15,000 daily visitors embarking on the 1,392-foot-journey around the Eye's circumference at a steady 0.6 miles-per-hour. At the turn of the millennium, David Marks was awarded an MBE and a Special Commendation for Outstanding Achievement in Design for Business and Society by the Prince Philip Designers Prize. Marks Barfield's partnership with British Airways has born other fruit too. The firm's most recently completed work, the i360 in Brighton, is a rotating observation tower that rises to 531 feet along the South Coast. Opened in 2016, the structure lifts and revolves a pod, reminiscent of the London Eye's 32 pods, up and around a pole. Another elevated viewing platform the firm provided is the Kew Gardens Treetop walkway. Situated 60 feet above ground, the 650-foot-long path made from weathered steel looks over some of the world's best horticulture. The project was completed in 2008.  Last year, the firm collaborated with New York studio, Davis Brody Bond, to propose a gondola system for Chicago https://vimeo.com/165363195 Currently, Marks Barfield Architects is working on a new Mosque in Cambridge with Keith Critchlow, a professor of architecture at Cambridge University who taught David Marks at the AA.  Due for completion in 2018, the project will accommodate up to 1,000 men and women.   
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Marks Barfield Architects building 530-foot-tall observation tower in Brighton, England

The husband-and-wife team behind the London Eye observation wheel plans to one-up themselves with an observation tower in Brighton, UK that's about 100 feet taller. For the seaside town, David Marks and Julia Barfield of Marks Barfield Architects have created Brighton i360, a 531-foot-tall, futuristic-structure that lifts visitors up high above the English Channel. The project—currently under construction and described as the first "vertical cable car"—is defined by its glass “observation pod” that rises up a main tower and accommodates up to 200 people. “We wanted to create a similar sort of visitor experience with a view that slowly unfolds as you gradually ascend, but with an enhanced more spacious pod enabling guests to walk around to enjoy the 360 degree views,” David Marks said in a statement on his firm's website. That glass pod also serves as a pretty slick party space as it is decked out with a sound and entertainment systems and a bar. At the base of the tower is a one-story glass podium and patio that includes a café, shops, restrooms, and an exhibition space for local artists. Brighton i360 is expected to open in 2016 and attract 7,000,000 visitors a year.   [h/t Gizmag]