Thursday, September 22, 2011

First Site, Colchester by Rafael Viñoly

There are many reasons not to like Rafael Viñoly’s Colchester Firstsite, which finally opens this week, four years late and, at £28 million, costing almost twice its original budget.
It is the epitome of the noughties icon project, a building more concerned with its outward image than its interior function. Its tilted walls are at odds with hanging artwork; its double-curved ceiling denies the basic possibility of lighting tracks.
As the silver-tongued architect admits: “It’s like a large corridor whose inner face can be used as an exhibition space” — its function almost accidental; a serendipitous by-product of the overriding architectural gesture.
Viñoly was chosen because he is an “expert masterplanner”, explains director Kath Wood, his stroke of genius being to build east of the allotted site so that the “ripples of regeneration could be cast further”...
Read the full article here
Originally published in BD, 22 September 2011