Lucy Roper’s weekly Built Environment blog: Iconic buildings, structures and landmarks

Posted on: 1 May, 2019

Each week, UCEM Information Governance Manager, Lucy Roper points us in the direction of interesting stories from the Built Environment.

This week, Lucy brings us stories relating to one of UCEM’s centenary themes – namely, iconic buildings, structures and landmarks. The stories take us to Qatar, France and China as well as news of two new Built Environment designs in London.

Desert Rose

I work with some fantastic colleagues and you can sometimes forget that many of our academics had glittering careers within industry before turning their attentions to teaching.

The National Museum of Qatar has got plenty of people talking with its mind-bogglingly intricate design and it was great to find out that UCEM’s MSc Quantity Surveying Programme Leader, Malcolm Kirkpatrick, worked on it.

Malcolm shared his experience of working on the museum – known and based upon a desert rose.

From roof to greenhouse

Last week, I wrote on the theme of rebuilding with a very large emphasis placed on the recent Notre-Dame fire. It was with some horror that Parisians learned of President Macron’s plans to open the redesign of the cathedral’s roof to architects.

A week later and proposals have been published detailing architects, Studio NAB’s plans to redesign the roof as a greenhouse. As controversial as Macron’s announcement was at the time, the plans are certainly impressive and suggest something very positive can come out of the trauma invoked by the fire.

‘Because of Stephen we can’

Good can come from tragedy too. The death of Stephen Lawrence shocked and saddened Britain but it also inspired people to make a positive difference to try and stop similar attacks taking place in future through the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust.

In recognition of this, a competition was run to design a marker at mile 18 of the London Marathon course. Mile 18 is considered the toughest part of the marathon and the winning design was called ‘Because of Stephen We Can’. The marker incorporated plaques and quotes from young people describing the personal impact Stephen’s life and legacy had on them.

The runners last weekend would have seen some impressive landmarks during the 26.2-mile circuit, such as Canary Wharf and Buckingham Palace, but somehow I can’t think of anything more inspiring than this new landmark during the toughest part of the race.

To the future!

All the above stories are pursuits of making things better through physical landmarks and the ability of Built Environment professionals to produce stunning architecture is truly inspirational.

China recently opened a futuristic library which contains 1.2 million books! Feast your eyes on its design. Its usage is a cause very close to my heart too so it’s a thumbs-up from me!

Back in London, we have the Gherkin and planning approval has been given to build a 42-storey tower which is being dubbed the ‘Cucumber’ tower! I await news of designs of the Pepper and the Tomato imminently…

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For more from Lucy, take a look at the latest edition of Knowledge Foundations.