Installations by two Westminster graduates on display at BuroHappold Engineering’s London office

Architecture and Interiors 15 January 2018

After being selected to build interior installations for global firm BuroHappold Engineering’s London office under the supervision of Architecture tutors Arthur Mamou-Mani and Toby Burgess last year, the work of graduates from Design Studio 10 (DS10) is on display in the firm’s office.

Two graduates from the Master of Architecture (MArch)(RIBA Pt II) programme at the University of Westminster, Laura Nica and Irina Ghiuzan, were selected to exhibit their designs for a year at BuroHappold’s office at 17 Newman Street, as part of the firm’s drive to identify and support Emerging Architecture. The projects were shortlisted based on design quality, response to the WELL building standard, lighting strategy and the budget.

Speaking about the process of preparation, alumna Laura Nica said: “Arthur and Toby were fantastic mentors who showed us how to cost projects fairly and how to sell an idea to a client as any entrepreneur would do in the real world, as well as helping us link our digital experiments tested during University with the physical and fabrication rationale.

“I am very happy to be able to collaborate and work with BuroHappold. Having my installation displayed in their office represents a great achievement, which makes me even more motivated as a future professional in the building industry.”

Laura’s design, Wooden Rhythms, is a rigid curved installation that is made of horizontal wooden layers. The module, inspired from the Scherk’s minimal surface system represents a calming installation for the interior office space. The piece aspires to mimic the ‘cycles’ of our life – the spirit, the consciousness and the action, resonating with the harmony of the circadian rhythms.

Starlight by Irina Ghiuzan

Irina Ghiuzan, whose installation was also selected for production and implementation, described her project: “Starlight presents an innovative application of Hoberman's curved scissor, which evolved from the concept of flexible deployable envelopes and kinetic sculptures.”

She added: “The installation is based on my first semester research into deployable structures and is formed of ply triangulated elements arranged in octagonal loops which open and close to form a star-like canopy. Existing in a middle zone between architecture, sculpture and engineering, Starlight activates voids and dissolves into translucent layers, coming alive through movable elements.”

This is the second year of collaboration between BuroHappold Engineering and the University of Westminster’s Department of Architecture and Interiors to give a platform for up-and-coming architects to showcase their work in a real-life project. In 2015, Westminster students Garis Iu, Diana Raican, Joe Leach and Charlotte Yates were selected to display their designs in the BuroHappold office in London.

Learn more about studying on the Master of Architecture (MArch) (RIBA Pt II) programme.

Watch Irina Ghiuzan introduce her installation Starlight, now on display at BuroHappold.

Cover image: Wooden Rhythms by Laura Nica

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