The project is born out of the existing piers and buildings. Like a naval vessel, a curved basement embraces the diverse elements of Birnbeck Island.
Constructed five metres beneath the main pier, the basement is accessible from a ramp near the main gate of the small island. Its sequence of flexible spaces links all the buildings on the island from below. The vessel design counterpoints the new tall buildings, in plan strategically oriented following the double orthogonal reference system created through existing signs. Two different materials divide these building surfaces: warm concrete at the bottom and planking at the top. The method of occupying the void synthesizes diverse traditional architectural layouts: tower, linear, cantilever and gate. In each of their narrow frontages, at the top, a big window marks the seascape creating a panorama like multitude of lighthouses. Moreover, these primary volumes are written through several unconventional signs that communicate to the outside the different spatial situation of the interiors, according to an urban poetry that makes a complex stratification of meaning.
Entry for a RIBA / Urban Splash competition.
Time: October 2007
Place: Birnbeck Rd, Weston-Super-Mare, North Somerset BS23 2EF, U.K.
Architect: Antonino Cardillo
The Masterplan, Sternberg Press, London.
«build», May 2011, Wuppertal.
«Landscape Design», May 2011, Beijing.
«El Beit», Cairo.
«L’Arca», no.235, Milan.
Artindex 2008 exhibition, May 2008, St-Petersburg.
Birnbeck Island © Antonino Cardillo