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Palate’s Palace [designing for uncertainty] by Philip Turner

November 24, 2009

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is one of the oldest and most influential architectural institution in the world and has been awarding the President’s Medals for students projects since the 1850s and the awards were established in their current format in 1984. 2009 Winners will be announced on the 2 December 2009, but in the meanwhile, we’ll be presenting here some of the most interesting projects.

This project was presented by the student Philip Turner from the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne Newcastle-Upon-Tyne UK

From the student statement:

“The project is situated within the uneasy and abrasive concrete fabric of Gateshead, in an anxious time of government redevelopment and public uncertainty; the infamous and centrally located ‘Get Carter’ car park that defines the skyline is currently being demolished, making way for a contemporary multi-use sprawl in an attempt to re-address the community’s burgeoning recreational needs. The focus of the project is to address this particularly ambiguous and lengthy time period to provide a new socially responsive public realm as a counter balance.

Using the annual Gateshead Food Festival as a recognised catalyst for social exchange in the area the project looks to expand upon this to create a permanent venue for the festival located upon an existing supermarket car park. The initial phase of the scheme involves the reallocation of car parking space and the reinterpretation of disused sites within Gateshead as social platforms, allowing festival activities to emerge.”

“The aesthetic principles of the venue construction are closely integrated with the context of uncertainty. A wild, dense growing wall shrouds the external envelope, this is not only an attempt to soften the impact of the stern surroundings but acts as an indicator of time; as the context is demolished the aesthetics progress, with colour, density and form. The horizontal inner-environment is similarly progressive; a non-hierarchical approach was sought to encourage programmatic merging, allowing functions to swell, producing an exciting, kinetic environment that can be physically reinterpreted by an individual.”

At the tutor’s [Daniel Mallo] statement we can also read: “Palate’s Palace project proposes to activate the heart of Gateshead centre through a temporary community-based food festival. Temporary infrastructures for this festival which are precisely located throughout the city centre will encourage social exchange and transform misused, underused and disused spaces into moments of delight, fun and encounter. More than just a temporary festival, Palate’s Palace project includes a fixed base, a permanent structure, which supports the festival and widens its scope throughout the year whilst carrying out activities that celebrate food.”

We will keep you updated about the winners and will be posting 2 or 3 projects during the week. or more info about all entries you can go here.

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