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      Richard Layzell – Didcot      
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spacerarrow Introduction
spacerarrow The Window Wall
spacerarrow Perforated Panels

spacerarrow Love Handles
spacerarrow Everyday Jewels


The Window Wall

The Window Wall, as a structural feature, becomes integrated into the construction schedule. In the period of no progress there is no allocation to have meetings with the architects. When things suddenly start to move at a pace in early 2007, Jacqui and I are still waiting to have our contracts confirmed. Unbeknown to me, irreversible decisions are being made about The Window Wall, position of windows, spec of glass, depth, accessibility, lighting and quantity. It is in danger of reverting to a non-functional design feature, the very thing I'd been fighting against.

And so, when contracts are resolved and access agreed, in the summer of 2008 I go to look at the wall on site. It looks fine from the outside, but access is difficult, light fittings are almost as large as some of the window openings, the glass is reflective and slightly opaque, and there are four more windows than in the original plans.

Oh, the sense of disbelief that this is actually here and happening and under construction. Ah, the feeling of marginalisation as the details unfold. But who's complaining? Design and concept are finding a way to get along.

The curation of the first showing of The Window Wall is in the schedule, with the building opening in September. It's all speed when it's been all stasis for so long.

The challenge for me is to demonstrate a sense of how this interaction between the building and the community can function successfully. I curate into this first example: local artist commissions, work from community and school groups, a window from Style Acre and a low window, with an installation aimed at smaller people, which I'll make.

The lights are sent back and not replaced, so there's no lighting in the window spaces for the grand opening. Despite this, The Window Wall emerges vibrantly as the concept it was meant to be.

Click the images to see full size.
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