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The Crystal

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An investigation into the communicative, and visual function and communication of the building, it fits into Its social, economical and functional context.
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  • The Crystal; Siemen’s Urban Sustainability Centre

    Architects: Wilkinson Eyre 2012

    ‘The concept of the Crystal was driven by a vision of a multi-faceted urban
    world. Its crystalline shape represents the many facets of sustainability and
    the complexity of urban life. For London, the Crystal has an historical and
    cultural reference, drawing inspiration from the Crystal Palace, which in
    1851 dazzled visitors at London's Great Exhibition showcasing innovation
    and the latest technology from the Industrial Revolution. It was housed in a
    magnificent structure of shimmering glass and iron - an engineering marvel
    of its time. Today the Crystal takes that iconic name to a new level,
    symbolising the dawn of a new, sustainable, age.’
  • The Crystal cuts a striking figure in Royal Victoria Dock, a much needed addition to this sparse straight landscape.
  • Areial view of the Crystal shows the fragmented theme running through the paving and garden area.
  • A close up of the buildings clever sustainable cooling system with remote controlled trap doors that open and circulates air in the summer. The buildings glass skin acts as a glass oven so can over heat in the sunshine so this is a perfect green sustainable  solution. 
  • The Emerates cable car
  • The Emerates cable car station sits opposite the Crystal building, the surrounding context is a mixture of new build apartments and office blocks and convenient stores service the residents. The area is all about business with the Excel centre up the lock.
  • Current exhibition on sustainable energy which is a theme that runs throughout the building.

  • Angular fragmented forms are echoed in the interior and exterior of the building   
  • Air vents for heating round around the the circumference of the building with the trap door events sit comfortably in the large angular windows that make good use of natural  light for the building.  
  • The triangular theme is mirrored in the steel frame structure and sky light windows adds to the fragmented aesthetic of the Crystal. 
  • Entrance to the Siemens office flooded by natural light also heats the building.
  • Green exhibition currently on at the Crystal.
  • The Crystal's exposed sustainable heating system is on show in the exhibition for the public to see.
  • The Crystal is divided into two separated by the foyer is shared with serviced office housed behind  a glass curtain wall. 
  • Series 5 minute observational sketches looking at the exterior
  • Series 5 minute observational sketches looking at the exterior
  • Series 5 minute observational sketches looking at the detail of cladding fixing.
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