We thought it would be great to get an early insight into what inspires Julian and asked him what his current top ten buildings and places are in the world.
Sydney Opera House, 1973, Jorn Utzon
On family visits to Sydney I always make a point of spending time here. Ubiquitous it may be as a cultural and architectural icon, but the fusion of expressive form and stunning setting still electrifies the spirit. The building inspires at so many levels from the famously rationalised structure of the shells to the beams in the undercroft and the light-responsive tiled cladding.
(Photo by Vincent Lam)
Louisiana Museum, Denmark, 1958-91, Jorgen Bo & Vilhelm Wohlert
There is surely no more delightful a place to experience modern art with the framing of the natural world as part of the collection. The quiet understatement of the building, rich sequential experience, human scale, subtle modulation of space, use of materials and culmination at the sea made a profound impression when I visited a few years ago.
(Photo by Peter Lindberg @ Flickr. Licensed by Creative Commons)
Kings College Chapel, Cambridge, UK, 1515
As a choirboy, major churches were the first to capture my imagination with their symbiotic relationship between music and built form. King's College is the finest example with its simplicity of plan, elegance of structure, play of light and extravagant fan vaulted soffit. The scale, delicacy and transparency of the space create a sense of modernity that defies its 500-year vintage.
(Photo by Oliver Mallich@ Flickr. Licensed by Creative Commons)
Coventry Cathedral, UK, 1962, Sir Basil Spence
A poetic memorial to the destruction of war with the approach through the haunting bomb damaged original. On entry, the sombre power of the mass brickwork flanks contrasts brilliantly with the luminous stained glass that presents itself on exit. The thundering roof supported on the finest of pin joints is both magical in concept and exquisite in detail.
(Photo by Andrew Walker @ Wikipedia. Licensed by Creative Commons)
Marika-Alderton House, Northern Territory, Australia, 1994, Glenn Murcutt
I could have chosen any of Murcutt's work but I have opted for this house primarily because of its response to the environmental and logistical context. The harsh climate and remote location have led to a solution that is uniquely Australian. In particular, the way that the building touches the earth lightly is both elegant and respectful of the Aboriginal heritage of its owner.
Turn End, Haddenham, UK, 1967, Aldington, Craig & Collinge
This grouping of three houses in a small village speaks to my upbringing in the English countryside. They connect with the local vernacular but in a way that was deliberately radical at the time as a counterpoint to the creeping tide of sub urbanism. Clearly influenced by Aalto, they contain humane spaces and delightful walled gardens created by the architect himself.
Exeter Library, New Hampshire, USA, 1971, Louis Kahn
Unfortunately a building that I have only admired from the pages of a monograph and the testimony of colleagues who have visited. An essay in clarity, legibility, diversity, richness, materiality and crafted detail. The transition from the powerful communal spaces at the heart to the quietly iconic individual study carrels set into the facade gives particular pleasure.
(Photo by Pablo Sanchez @ Flickr. Licensed by Creative Commons)
St Catherine's College, Oxford, UK, 1962, Arne Jacobsen
A touchstone in the work of our practice and somewhere I have visited countless times.
The simplicity of overall form and extruded section are juxtaposed with a variety at detail level that creates great richness.
Spaces such as the refectory (or ‘Hall') and library have a timeless presence and everything is controlled by the same hand, all the way down to the cutlery.
Photo by Seier+Seier @ Flickr. Licensed by Creative Commons)
Cortona, Tuscany, Italy
One could have chosen any of the Tuscan hill towns but Cortona is a particular favourite. More than any other I have visited, it has the quality of being hewn out of the very rock on which it stands. The sequences of routes/spaces and the informal placing of public buildings resonate with the writings of Camillo Sitte that have informed much of our urban design work.
(Photo by Paul Denker @ Flickr. Licensed by Creative Commons)
Olympic Velodrome, London, UK, 2011, Hopkins & Partners
The undisputed star of London 2012. A great building at every level from its
distinctive form to the visitor experience and performance environment. Having reviewed the building for the New London Architecture awards, there is not one aspect that jars. The roof is a sublime exercise in structural efficiency and its sustainability credentials are impeccable.
(Photo by Alexander Kachkaev @ Flickr. Licensed by Creative Commons)