block_info: cstarchello_detailpages, Detail title
block_info: cstarchello_detailpages, Stories Authors
block_info: cstarchello_detailpages, Header App Detailpages
Changes have been saved.
block_info: cstarchello_detailpages, Stories Main

The is probably no other period to which contemporary architecture is more indebted than the 1960’s – a period of structural invention that finally allowed modern architecture to break free from the formalist geometries through which it had manifested itself. In the constect of archtecture’s present quest for the iconic, the 60’s experiments form a rich reservoir of precedents. It is unfortunate that the 1960’s is a period now threatedned with exensive demolition. We are very happy to be given the opportunity to conceive a new future for this building and to ultimately rehabilitate a period that continues to inform architecture.


In December 2007, alongside 5 other competitors, OMA were invited by Chelsfield deputy chairman Sir Stuart Lipton, to consider the potential of the Commonwealth Institute site.

Two years ago the grade II* listed building, one of the highest protection ratings possible in the UK, was threatened with demolition following a UK government proposal to delist it. This collaboration seeks to save the building by re-injecting life into the modernist monument whilst retaining its distinctive copper roof and parabolic form. New residential accommodation will integrate into the existing fabric, regenerating that end of Kensington High Street.

OMA will explore a number of uses appropriate to the existing design, capitalizing on the building’s dynamic interior spaces. Careful consideration will be given to the relationship with Holland Park, possibly extending the park condition across the site connecting to the street. Any new residential development should serve to complement the qualities of the existing building.

The greatest challenge facing the project will be acknowledging the architectural quality of the Commonwealth Institute whilst simultaneously creating a distinct and contemporary project.

The site is complex: to the north it is separated by a wall from Holland Park and to the south it causes a disruption in the continuous frontage of Kensington High Street. The project will have to find inventive solutions to address these conditions.

OMA was selected by the site owners from a shortlist of six international architects which included Rafael Moneo, Rafael Viñoly Architects, Eric Parry Associates, Caruso St John, and Make Architects.

The original building by Robert Matthew, Johnson-Marshall and Partners, completed in 1962 marks the transition from British Empire to Commonwealth and is regarded by English Heritage, the UK government's statutory adviser on the historic environment, as an important modern building.

block_info: cstarchello_detailpages, Relates links
block_info: cstarchello_detailpages, Connected

Connected Products

block_info: cstarchello_detailpages, Add comment form block

Your Opinion

Join

to share your opinion. Already joined?

block_info: cstarchello_detailpages, Detailpages leaderboard banner
block_info: cstarchello_detailpages, Detailpages listing block

Discover more Memorials