Pentagram Design- Alexander McQueen

Architype Dialogue presents

William Russell

What was the most difficult issue about working within this building type or the most unexpected challenge that may have influenced new thought in your project?

The most difficult issue about working with this building was the integration of the sculpture.

Did this project expand or evolve your role as an architect in any way? In general, do you feel that the role of the architect is changing on current projects?

On this project I operated as lead designer in collaboration with McQueen himself and two local architects. Due to the global nature of the projects that I take on it is frequently the case that I act as lead designer rather than architect of record and this was the case here. This was a complex job but it didn’t expand my role.

How is your building possible today in a way that it may not have been before and how have trends in technology and society inspired new thought and solutions?

This building would be possible in any age indeed the degree of hand-crafting used to form the vaulted shapes is a technique used since Mediaeval times.

In the context of this project, how is your office and design process being influenced by current trends in academic curricula and incoming young architects? In turn, how are current projects and processes guiding the ongoing reformulation and development of academic curricula?

I don’t believe that we are being influenced by current trends in academic curricula. I know that the enquiries that Nigel Coates has been making at the Royal College of Art in London into the way global brands affect architecture has in part been driven by the global nature of the fashion industry. In terms of young architects joining my team each bring their own skills and I can’t say that I have noticed any general trends.

Architype Review thanks William Russell for his interview and for contributing to this collection of Architype Dialogue.

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