Inspiration - Decor, Styling, Architecture, Basically What's On The Mind


'Building Tall - Home and Abroad' by Heidi Mergl

CIBC Square in Toronto, image via Wilkinson Eyre
CIBC Square in Toronto, image via Wilkinson Eyre

BUILDING TALL HOME AND ABROAD  Portsmouth  Architecture  School  Society


Heidi Mergl

Senior Architect/Associate

at Wilkinson Eyre

At WilkinsonEyre, Heidi has developed and coordinated the tower and envelope detailing of the first phase of CIBC Square in Toronto. And also led the design team  on 18 Blackfriars, London, which was granted planning permission in July this year. During this lecture Heidi will explore both projects in more detail. 


Thursday - 19th October 2017 - 5.00pm

1.10 Lecture Theatre Eldon Building

 


ABOUT HER

With more than ten years of experience, Heidi has led numerous schemes in the UK and abroad. from early feasibility studies through to completion. She is particularly passionate about construction detailing and maintaining the essence of the original concept of the scheme throughout the project's development.

Heidi studied architecture at the HafenCity University Hamburg and worked on a number of conservation and restoration projects in Germany. Before joining WilkinsonEyre in early 2014 she established her focus on large-scale mixed-use development in the urban fabric. Her experience includes Three Quays, 160 high end residential units next to the Tower of London and Phase 1 of the Battersea Power Station Development containing 750 apartments positioned above a communal podium.

18 Blackfriars, London, image via Wilkinson Eyre
18 Blackfriars, London, image via Wilkinson Eyre

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Event Poster Uni of Portsmouth's Architecture School
'Building Tall - Home and Abroad'
WILKINSON EYRE Heidi Mergli.pdf
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Ticket or Membership Required

Pass Members Free Entry
Non-Members £4 at the door
Refreshments served after the lecture

port.ac.uk



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Hello - my name is Heidi Mergl, I am a London based Architect and I am a guest blogger for pasinga.com. Antje and I go way back and we share my passion for modern design and architecture. We often feel inspired by the same things and we hope to inspire you too. My articles can be found within the blogs inspirations section or by searching below by my name.  


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Frank Lloyd Wright - Part 3

The Guggenheim, New York, photography by PASiNGA
The Guggenheim, New York, photography by PASiNGA

Let's dive right in but if you have missed part 1 or 2 click on the numbers to catch up. 

 

These first two parts showed that the  connectivity of spaces and their arrangement in plan is key to the user experience. When Wright got the opportunity to work on a museum for Guggenheim he proposed a fluid flow of exhibition spaces. These were arranged along one ascending spiral ramp around a central atrium. Visitors would take a lift to the top floor and experience the exhibits along a continuous journey without the need to retrace their steps to find the exit.


 

 

Fun fact - Wright was filled with dismay when the owners moved into their new home bringing along some of their old furniture which quite often didn't fit in so that Wright started taking matters in his own hands by not only providing the architecture but also the interior design, built-in furniture and free standing pieces. He also provided landscape proposal surrounding the house to achieve the desired unity of design.

 

Fallingwater, by many considered his masterpiece, is next on my list for a visit - hopefully soon...

Heidi


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Hello - my name is Heidi Mergl, I am a London based Architect and I am a guest blogger for pasinga.com. Antje and I go way back and we share my passion for modern design and architecture. We often feel inspired by the same things and we hope to inspire you too. 


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Frank Lloyd Wright - Part 2

The son of a minister and teacher Wright was brought up with literature by Emerson and Goethe and music by Bach and Beethoven. As a result he placed man in the centre of his buildings with human values always being the first consideration in his design process and the industrial revolution gave him the tools to realize his imaginations. Besides his well-known domestic architecture Wright had a great impact on building typologies for other uses including offices, factories, worship and exhibitions.

 

The Larkin Building was one of the first open plan office buildings where the employee was no longer separated from the employer creating a unique sense of family within a cooperation. This was partly achieved by the simple architecture without the need for any decoration and the arrangement in plan. All back of house areas including stairs were allocated in the corners of the building and structural supports were associated with internal or external screens. Therefore the internal space was free for use.

 

One more part to follow, join me for the grand finale!

 

Heidi

Illustration by Heidi Mergl, Frank Lloyd Wright Architect Blog PASiNGA.com


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Hello - my name is Heidi Mergl, I am a London based Architect and I am a guest blogger for pasinga.com. Antje and I go way back and we share my interest for modern design and architecture. We often feel inspired by the same things and we hope to inspire you too. 



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Frank Lloyd Wright - one of the greatest architects of all times

Since I visited some of his buildings in and around Chicago a couple of years ago I am especially touched by the Robie House in Chicagos Oak Park. Its horizontal emphasis, use of materials and custom design from tip to toe make it something very special. The main space is one open plan living area which was revolutionary at the time and Wright applied his previously established principle of using screens. Rather than creating a space as a box with walls all partitions are architectural features like the large fire place in the centre of the space. This way Wright achieved the "destruction of the box" and noted "now architecture could be free".

Illustration by Heidi Mergl, Frank Lloyd Wright Architect Blog PASiNGA.com

Wright designed numerous houses over his lifetime, first responsible for all residential commissions at Adler and Sullivan and from 1893 with his own firm. All of them applied or developed in one way or the other the above principles and were designed with the Midwest prairie around Chicago in mind. Influenced by his early childhood years which he spent working on his uncles farm in southwestern Wisconsin Wright developed a deep love and respect for nature. In his opinion all buildings should be connected to the earth and grow out of the ground using gently sloped roofs and horizontal planes. This also felt most appropriate for the beautiful landscape surrounding the buildings while his designs raised the ground floor level slightly to improve the view out into the prairie.

A little insight into the thinking of the big master...

See you soon for part two!

 

Inspirational day,

Heidi

 

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Hello - my name is Heidi Mergl, I am a London based Architect and I am a guest blogger for pasinga.com. Antje and I go way back and we share my interest for modern design and architecture. We often feel inspired by the same things and we hope to inspire you too. 



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Venice Biennale 2016 | Giardini | The Pavilions

It was an exciting 2nd day at the biennale. As you may know the main topic is how to cope with refugees as well as to make cities more flexible and therefore architecture and design. In my humble opinion there are only few really good starting points like giving people first of all a roof (Finland). It is basically the idea to provide a proper pitched roof structure for people rather than a tent and the other floors of the house are being built once the refugee feels to be at home. Others create opportunities by building a 'basic house structure' and the new owners fill it up, design and build the rest to their liking, .... One last interesting idea which stuck with me, maybe because I am an artist, is from Japan.  Imagine a cube like house, each corner has private rooms for at least a student but can be for a whole family. In the centre of the building at ground floor level is a common ground, community area if you like, to meet, explore and adventure together. 

 

Well, from regeneration of the traditional to new ideas only time will tell if any of these, or maybe all of them together, can make the difference. 

 

Enjoy the snappies and have a great Sunday.

 

See you back from London, Tuesday will be all back to normal!

 

Antje 

 


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The 'Making Of' | Venice Biennale | Arsenale

Arsenale - the making of
Arsenale - the making of

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Welcome to Venice, An Inspirational Break

Welcome to Venice in Italy where every other year architects from all over the world gather to exhibit theme specific works. This year's exhibition is curated by Alejandro Aravena under the title reporting from the front looking at some of the key challenges our society is faced today and how these can, at least partially, be addressed by architecture - housing, migration, recycling ... but that's it for now. More to follow in the coming days. 

 

Source, labiennale.org
Fly with me ....
Source, labiennale.org
Amazing atmosphere in Venice

 

After a wonderful long breakfast and writing this post we are on our way to the one and only train station in Venice. If wifi is a available I will be sharing live from Villa Capra "La Rotonda" in Vicenza. In any case have an amazing day and I will see you tomorrow, breakfast time, for my next post! 

 

x

Loving the hidden gems of Venice
Loving the hidden gems of Venice
Loving the hidden gems

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Venice, Venezia 2016

Our long bank holiday weekend is coming up and I will use the time not only to finish open orders and answer request but also to prepare my short trip to Venice, Italy.

The Biennale of Art and Architecture is taking place and I hope to visit Villa La Rotonda as well.

Source, labiennale.org
Source, labiennale.org
Source, labiennale.org
Source, labiennale.org

I can't wait to take it all in, feel the creativity, the energy and breath in the salty air while enjoying wonderful Italian ice cream.

 

I will be sharing some of the things I see and feel inspired by here and on Instagram!

 

 

Meanwhile in the Studio

The studio will be answered for mail and similar by my dear friend Andrea.
However emails and requests will be forwarded to me. Therefore please allow 48 hours for me to respond.


Thank you!

xx


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Wings of Inspiration

 'Wings of Inspiration' | images via PASiNGA and Pinterest

I just felt like gold after this exciting week. I got lots of inspirational input from other artists, worked on new designs, finished custom pieces and had most of the time black hands. Loving black pigments and all the shades of grey coming with it! So here we go.
 

 

This collection is curated with images found
via Pinterest and PASiNGA.
Find all images on my pin board but
the Concrete Diamond Push Pins are here as well!


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Top Ten Tallest Buildings in London

Top Ten Tallest Buildings In London 2015

Over centuries London’s Skyline was dominated by church spires and in particular St. Paul's Cathedral. However since the lifting of height restrictions in the 1960 a number of high rise developments have been realised across the city. Some of the first most notable ones are the Centre Point and Tower 42 followed by a number of towers in the docklands. 30 St Mary Axe – commonly referred to as the gherkin – is a globally well-known high rise development which – as you can see – is risking to drop out of the top ten tallest buildings in London soon. 


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Hello - my name is Heidi Mergl, I am a London based Architect and I am a guest blogger for pasinga.com. Antje and I go way back and we share my passion for modern design and architecture. We often feel inspired by the same things and we hope to inspire you too. My articles can be found within the blogs inspirations section or by searching below by my name.  


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Architecture | Skyscrapers, Part 2

A New Building Type Spreading Across The Globe By Heidi

please find PART 1 is available here 

Movements within the 70ies took the above one step further and concentrated on eye catching building forms and façades to create an individual appearance to maximise the rate of return for the owner. One typical skyscraper of this era is the 197 meter high American Telephone and Telegraph Building by Philip Johnson and John Burgee in New York.

 

Although skyscrapers have been discussed theoretically for quite some time within Europe they have only been realized relatively rarely. Furthermore high rise buildings existed in a completely different format on this side of the Atlantic. The preservation of the historic town scape had been the key criteria ever since and therefore moderate high buildings had been built only on a singular basis to create reference points in the growing city. But new opportunities arose after the destructive Second World War and high rise had been considered to alleviate the deficit of residential and office spaces.

Even a dense inner city cluster so typical for the urban centres in the States became viable if situated on the outskirts like La Defence in Paris. The Docklands in London is another good example and skyscrapers grow out of the ground in most metropolitan areas by 1960. Although European architects contributed to the evolution by emigration into the USA like Mies van der Rohe since the early 20th century Europe now officially participates in the development and the construction of high rise buildings.


Commerzbank, sketched by Heidi Mergl
Commerzbank, sketched by Heidi

The Commerzbank in Frankfurt am Main, Germany completed in 1997 is a first attempt to achieve this. Shops, a car park and residential units are allocated at ground floor level with the main entrance to the offices above via glazed stairs. A public route through the development provides access to the heart of the scheme - a public centre with restaurants, cafes and space for cultural events. The office floors above are also organised as villages, each with a four storey high garden reinforcing the sense of community. At 259 meters the Commerzbank was Europe’s tallest building until the completion of the Shard in London still not reaching the heights other parts in the world are aiming for.

But the European skyscraper still divides the public mind. Some feel a certain amount of pride while others are just horrified by the thought that a high rise building could be build next door. Their potential location, height and presence in the skyline need to be considered carefully as well as their impact on the community. European skyscrapers have to aim for a positive contribution to the neighbourhood and can’t limit their purpose on providing more density. This is usually quite difficult due to the fact that their use is generally restricted to either being an office, hotel or residential development which for example causes infrastructure problems and results in office quarters being empty during nights and weekends. Mixed use schemes creating a city in the city would be able to balance the social and public needs and diminish certain drawbacks. But this requests the general acceptance that apartments, offices, a school, theatre, church and cinema could all be situated under the same roof.

 

World Trade Centre, sketched by Heidi Mergl
World Trade Centre, sketched by Heidi

Therefore the race for the world’s tallest building went on without European input and every improvement within the construction industry was followed by an even taller building.

Better concrete and steel facilitate the 412 meter of the World Trade Centre completed in 1962 by Minoru Yamasaki + Roth & Sons, followed by the 443 meter high Willis Tower designed by SOM 1974. The speculative economic boom of the 1980s helped to realise a number of skyscrapers throughout the world including Asia and the Middle East. The Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia therefore took the crown in 1996 (Cesar Pelli, 452 meter) and are still the highest twin towers in the world.

Petronas Towers, sketched by Heidi Mergl
Petronas Towers, sketched by Heidi
Willis Tower, sketched by Heidi Mergl
Willis Tower, sketched by Heidi

The devastating events shocking the world on the 11th September in 2001 in New York brought the industry to a standstill and some projects to an end due to safety concerns. But the investigation into the collapse of the buildings has given instructive knowledge and amended standards together with new technologies intend to ensure maximum security for future projects. Therefore high rise buildings are part of the re-development of the site currently under construction and a memorial and museum will remember the people who lost their lives.

Recent developments indicate a focus on the technological aspects of the skyscrapers. The construction industry becomes more concerned with value engineered buildings that also make their contribution towards sustainability. Research and prototypes are underway to evolve the overall tower to become an independent ecological system.

The structure, external envelope and building services are the key players - the orientation of the façade, its layers and materials have a huge impact on the internal climate and the extent of the required building services. A variety of structural systems has been developed and can be altered to suit the particular project to ensure efficiency and excellent harmony with the façade and services.


30 St Mary Axe - sketched by Heidi Mergl
St Mary Axe - sketched by Heidi

30 St Mary Axe [London, UK] - also commonly known as the gherkin - owes its popularity to its particular shape which is in fact a result of efficient engineering. The aerodynamic design directs the wind along the façade cooling the internal spaces and minimising wind loads going back into the structure. Ventilation via external windows and shading are controlled centrally reducing the required energy to maintain the building by 40%.

Architects and engineers also experiment with renewable energies. The incorporation of photovoltaic and solar elements has been realised successfully throughout a number of projects. Three wind turbines at the top of a residential tower called Strata in South London generate enough energy to provide lighting for the whole building or electricity for 20 apartments.


Developments in other areas of the construction have also been made to suit particular local or client requirements. Taipei 101 for examplehas only been able to lead the tallest building table for seven years due to extra ordinary engineering. Heavy storms and earthquakes are potential threads to the 508 meter high building located in Taiwan. A massive metal sphere installed at level 88 to 92 acts as a tuned damper reducing potential shaking and vibrations caused by high winds and ground movement. High performance reinforced concrete made it possible to complete the current tallest building in the world - the Burj Khalifa measuring 828m in Dubai designed by the high rise specialist SOM (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill).

Taipei 101 & Burj Khalifa, sketched by Heidi Mergl
Taipei 101 & Burj Khalifa, sketched by Heidi

The building type skyscraper has clearly not reached its limits yet and whether the height, its shape or engineering is exceptional - they keep captivating the world. Even historical cities like London can’t resist their fascination and although their impact on the skyline competing with the traditional high points of churches and cathedrals is discussed controversially they still manage to change the way we live. They are an expression of power and wealth and their visual appearance quite often forms the corporate identity of one person, one company or even a whole city or region. High rise buildings also help to cope with the demands of urban growth and rural depopulation hence Skyscrapers are without doubt an essential part of the modern city - they are the new focal points of urban living.

The Shard in London By PASiNGA
The Shard in London

‘isms UNDERSTANDING ARCHITECTURE’ by J. Melvin, London 2008;
‘How to read a Building, Interpret a building’s character and style’ by T. Brittain-Catlin, London 2007;
‘Der Traum vom Turm, Hochhaeuser: Mythos – Ingenieurkunst – Baukultur’ by NRW Forum, Germany 2005;
‘Skyscrapers Before the New Millennium: A Question of Boom or Bust’ by J. Zukowsky in ‘Skyscarpers, The New Millennium’, Munich, London, New York The Art Institute of Chicago;
‘Geschichte der Architecture, Des 20.
Jahrhunderts’ by J. Tietz, Koeln 1998
‘HochhausAtlas’ [Hrsg. J. Eisele und E. Kloft], Germany 2002

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Hello - my name is Heidi Mergl, I am a London based Architect and I am a guest blogger for pasinga.com. Antje and I go way back and we share my passion for modern design and architecture. We often feel inspired by the same things and we hope to inspire you too. My articles can be found within the blogs inspirations section or by searching below by my name.  


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Architecture | Skyscraper

A New Building Type Spreading Across The Globe  | Part 1 by Heidi

The skyscraper is one of the icons to be found in each American city, they symbolise power and wealth and rule the skyline of the most famous cities in the USA. They have never lost their uniqueness and started to fascinate the whole world so that even historical cities like London could not escape their congeniality - but where did this building type come from and how did skyscrapers evolve. Even more importantly why are we so keen to go higher and is the skyscraper the building form of the future?

Building high as well as creating a long lasting and visible sign always appealed to human kind but the creation of high rise buildings required first of all the development of efficient materials and construction technologies. Another key aspect is building services. Invented during the industrial revolution the lift, telephone and electric lighting have not only been used for the first time in high rise constructions but also contributed to the realization of skyscrapers. They would not have been viable without the comfort of vertical travel in an elevator.

 

The first high rise buildings appeared in the United States where land owners tried to maximize the use of their inner city plots by piling usable space on top of each other. Going high also helped to cope with the demands of urban growth and rural depopulation. Two American economical centers - Chicago and New York - promoted the evolution of skyscrapers starting in the 1870s in Chicago where parts of the city had to be re-constructed due to a big fire.

 

Wainwright Building, sketched by Heidi
Wainwright Building, sketched by Heidi
Monadnock Building, sketched by Heidi Mergl
Monadnock Building, sketched by Heidi

But the first skyscraper was actually located in St Louis, Missouri where Louis Sullivan unveiled the design for the ten storey high Wainwright Building (45 meter) in 1890. It had been constructed in conventional brick work like most of the first high rise constructions. The 60 meter high Monadnock Building designed by Burnham and Root completed in Chicago in 1892 followed the same principle resulting in two meter thick ground floor walls. They had to carry the 16 storeys above and only allowed for small window openings.

 

An optimized construction soon overcame the insufficient daylight provision and the structural limits of brick work by separating the structure from the façade. A sophisticated skeleton made of steel replaced the thick load bearing walls releasing the façade from its structural purpose. This opened up new opportunities for architectural façade treatment and Chicago’s school of architecture developed the leitmotif that the appearance of a building should represent how it works internally.

appearance of a building should represent how it works internally.

Louis H. Sullivan famous for his architectural theories phrased the principle mentioned above as 'form follows function' and William Le Baron Jenney implemented this into the First Leiter Building in 1879 foreshadowing modernism. Timber girders and joists supported by cast iron columns cope with the internal loadings. The external brick piers only have to carry their own weight and the almost floor to ceiling high windows.

 

Europe witnessed the invention of this new building type with euphoria but quickly realised that it would not be easy to incorporate high rise into traditionally grown cities like London, Paris or Frankfurt. The Eiffel Tower built in 1889 was the only exception and due to be demolished directly after the international exhibition. Clerical symbols of power ruled the skylines of Europe and have been the criterion for urban development. Hence the highest building in London at this time was still St Paul’s Cathedral with 112 meter built in 1710.

 

First Leiter & Woolworth Building, sketched by Heidi Mergl
First Leiter & Woolworth Building, sketched by Heidi

Approaching the end of the 19th century architects in New York reclaimed historical styles of the past. This way the innovative inner structure of high rise had been hidden behind a decorative cladding until the mid 20ies. One of the key examples is at that time the gigantic 235 meter high Woolworth Building. It was designed in the neo-gothic style by Cass Gilbert using the formal vocabulary of a medieval French cathedral - a building completed in 1913 decorated with arches, turrets, flying buttresses and gargoyles.

In the meantime and especially after the First World War modern architectural movements in Europe saw the opportunity to experiment with new designs. They felt that the new building types and materials should be met with an appropriate style to suit the machine age. But most of them did not manage to berecognized in America or had only minimal impact on the design of high rise buildings in the first quarter of the 19th century.

One however spread across the Atlantic - art deco - named after the "exposition internationale des arts decoratifs et industriels modernes" in Paris 1925. It influenced not only fine arts but also everyday commodities like furniture, clothing and jewellery. Elegant cubic forms and the use of shiny materials quickly became the symbol of the roaring twenties and Walter P. Chrysler opted for exactly that when he employed William van Alen to create a landmark for his booming automobile company in 1930. The Chrysler Building is more than that - a world famous icon of art deco.


Over time presence through height became once again more important resulting in the 102 storey high Empire State Building by Shreve, Lamb and Harmon. A 60m long dirigible terminal for airships installed at roof level

ensured that the building remained the highest building for as long as possible. The use of standardised steel elements that had been prefabricated in an industrial manner also improved another key aspect of construction - it only took a little bit more than one year to complete the whole construction.

 

Prefabrication developed even further during the increased building period after the Second World War. The use of modern materials like aluminium and the perfect quality of workmanship generated huge glass elevations without any decoration. A new style was born - the international style - showcasing the characteristic of modernism with the commitment to the technical advancement and functionality as well as clean shapes.

 

From now on the high rise building envelope was formed by a light and independent skin - the highly standardised curtain wall. Unfortunately by using the same system buildings also appeared similar so that some architects tried to break the pattern. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe did so successfully. He designed a brass profile fixed to the external face of the façade which gives the Seagram Building in New York its particular elegance. The profile gives a vertical emphasis and creates different visual effects pending light and viewing angle.

Crysler & Empire State Building, sketched by Heidi
Crysler & Empire State Building, sketched by Heidi
Seagram Building, sketched by Heidi Mergl
Seagram Building, sketched by Heidi

Heidi 

 

If you enjoyed this one maybe this post is a good read for you too - PART 2 'Movements of the 70ies'


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Hello - my name is Heidi Mergl, I am a London based Architect and I am a guest blogger for pasinga.com. Antje and I go way back and we share my passion for modern design and architecture. We often feel inspired by the same things and we hope to inspire you too. My articles can be found within the blogs inspirations section or by searching below by my name.  


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