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A
Z
“Tall buildings mesmerise me.”
Current
2020
list Article list

“Tall buildings mesmerise me.”

On 1 June 2021, Make hosted five students from the inaugural People’s Pavilion competition, helping them make models to further develop their shortlisted designs. The initiative, run by Beyond the Box consultants, engages East Londoners aged 14–19 in a competition to design a pavilion that will be built at Here East in the Olympic Park and host a 10-day arts festival.

The two teams spent all day in the studio, working with architect David Patterson and modelmaker Susie Cole, and having a chat with writer and editor Emily Lauffer. Here, she talks to 17-year-old Ferdos from Havering Sixth Form College.

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How did you first become interested in architecture?

At the beginning I really liked drawing. When I look at buildings, it’s really interesting how tall they are, the different structures. Every time I go through central London and see all the nice tall buildings, they just mesmerise me. First, I liked the idea of being a fashion designer, because I like clothes, but I somehow liked buildings and drawing them, and I found out that Havering does sixth form architecture as an A Level, so I chose that. Also, I love model-making – at home I’ve made a little house. It’s so cool.

What GCSEs did you do?

I did product design and art, so I know how to draw and have skills from product design, which has helped me in A Levels.

How have you found your first year of A Levels?

It’s quite interesting, and I’m on track. I’m doing good. It’s really nice, but there’s a lot of deadlines!

Do you have any favourite architects or buildings?

My favourite architect is Zaha Hadid. The fact that she’s a woman and an architect is really cool, because there’s not a lot of architects that are women. I’ve looked at her work, and it’s really nice. But there’s this building – it’s a colourful church with spirals, I think it’s in Moscow.

St Basil’s! It’s super cool, isn’t it? It’s like a fairy tale building.

Yeah, it is. It’s so cool how they structured all of that and put it together.

drag

My favourite architect is Zaha Hadid. The fact that she’s a woman and an architect is really cool, because there’s not a lot of architects that are women.

 

Can you tell me about your pavilion concept?

First, we had some initial ideas that we wanted a calm and peaceful space, so that when people come, they enjoy their time there, with little activities for children. When people go into a space, you just want to relax and spend time with friends, family. When you look around, you want to see something interesting, not just four walls. You want to see interesting structures.

Can you describe the form?

It’s rectangular, like a Rubix cube. Not really, but it has that feeling, where it goes into itself. I don’t know how to describe it! It’s really sharp and goes around and up and down. It’s open so that air can go through. It’s [on display] in the summer, so it’s really nice when somewhere’s open. It’s going to have seating areas, and the sun’s going to come through.

What kind of materials do you want to use?

We want to use wood, because it’s a natural element. It could be a light timber.

What are your thoughts on involving young people in projects like this?

It’s really interesting to have knowledge at a young age about the architecture industry. Because sometimes you don’t have architecture in college or sixth form, and when you go to uni, it’s a bit hard, because you’re starting from scratch. But, apart from school, it’s really nice to have other programmes to go to about architecture, your future career. Because school doesn’t always teach you everything, but when you go to other programmes and workshops, you learn more about teamwork. Teamwork is really important.

Why do you think architecture is important?

Architecture is important because when you go some places, they’re just normal houses. It’s really interesting to come up with interesting ideas. Not weird, but unusual. Unusual shapes and structures, and when you add that to a building, it makes it look more intriguing. That’s why architecture is really important, because it just makes the whole space so much nicer.

What do you think architecture should do for people?

There are a lot of types of buildings where, if someone wants to go out, it can be an open building, and that person would want to feel nature. But some buildings are really closed up, and when someone with a disability goes in, it doesn’t feel nice. When you think about designing, you have to think about everyone – what they would feel. It’s really interesting to think of all the elements, the materials, is it going to have open space, to make that person happy.

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Read our Q&A with Ferdos’s teammates, Michael and Zarin.

The People’s Pavilion open-air exhibition – developed specially for the London Festival of Architecture – launches today at Here East. All shortlisted designs will be on display, and the public is invited to vote for the winner. Register here to attend.