Diss U3A May Meeting

The guest speaker at the May meeting was Alan Wilkinson, Managing Director of the successful East Anglian based WPP Architects, who gave a fascinating illustrated tour of contemporary architecture in Suffolk. As well as being a general practitioner, Alan has been a part time tutor at Oxford Brookes and a part time lecturer at Suffolk College.

The next meeting of Diss U3A will be on Thursday 5th June, commencing at 10.30, at Diss United Reform Church.

The guest speaker, Pip Wright will talk on the subject  ‘’Frolic, Fervour and Fornication”.

For further information on Diss U3A please visit the website.

Diversity in design was reflected in buildings such as Heron House in Aldeburgh, the interior of Lowestoft College, social housing in Ipswich, the Dune House at Thorpe Ness and the ‘Balancing Barn’ (reminiscent of the bus in ‘The Italian Job’).

Alan explained the principles of modern architecture such as ‘form follows function’, lifestyle, context and environmental impact. One example of green building is Bradfield Woods Visitors’ Centre, a timber framed building with extremely low carbon emissions.

Alan worked for Birkin Haward in 1971 and was inspired by his H design for Ipswich College and the ‘brise soleil’ effect as seen in Rushmere Hall School.

In modern architecture, Alan quotes Vitruvius’s motto: ‘firmitas, utilitas et venustas”, translated as “commodity, firmness and delight”. He believes these are the essential ingredients of modern architectural design. For example, the EACH Hospice in Ipswich is a serene, elegant and non-institutional building whilst the originality and humour of the ‘Sliding House’ cannot fail to delight.


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