Andrew Waugh, founding director at architects Waugh Thistleton is in emboldened mood. “When you build anything, it’s about efficiency and humanity.”
Waugh is speaking ahead of his appearance at the seminar at this year’s UK Construction Week entitled, “Why Can’t We Build a Skyscraper in 14 days”.
If you go beyond the headline-grabbing title, the debate actually highlights the need for co-operation between stakeholders in the process of designing and building.
Are we pursuing ‘standards’ at the expense of creativity, efficiency, safety and responsibility? And have innovative financing and investment models reduced enthusiasm for new construction methods and technology? These are just two of the issues that will be raised at the event, which takes place on Wednesday 7th October on the main stage of the seminar programme.
Instead of a fortnight build schedule, Waugh talks of providing ample time for designing so that clients, contractors, manufacturers and architects can work together.
Past Waugh Thistleton projects include Whitmore Road, a mixed use, seven-storey building overlooking the Regent’s Canal, including two floors of office space and Mark Hix’s Tramshed restaurant.
Sustainability is at the top of his list, with building in pre-fabricated timber a particular passion. “Architects need to understand the implications of what buildings are made of. Timber is a very solid, robust building material. I’ve been banging the drum about this for a long time. No more glass!”
As proof of this, a 20,000sq m office project in Shoreditch featuring a timber frame and designed by Waugh Thistleton, is currently going through planning. “It’s a real timber gem,” Waugh adds finally.