Witherford Watson Mann started off their collaboration nearly twenty years ago, with a series of walks through the edges of London; since then, they have approached every project as an open-ended enquiry. They have no stock answers for how the change that their clients seek will translate into building; instead they find out through dialogue and adaptive design, helping progressive institutions realise their ambitions and reinforce their values. They distil the complexities of contemporary collectives, of urban sites and public processes into durable, economical solutions that remain open to future change.

Whether adapting an old furniture factory for Amnesty or shaping the city plan for London’s Olympic quarter, they have always made the most of what is already there, adding judiciously to maintain the distinctiveness of each place but transform its capacity. Their best known building, Astley Castle for the Landmark Trust, won the 2013 RIBA Stirling Prize for its distinctive entwining of past and present. A minimal new structure salvages the historic remains of the castle, and makes rooms enriched by eight centuries of change.

William Mann is a founding director of the studio. He studied architecture at Cambridge and Harvard. After working on archaeological sites in Rome and Egypt, he gained professional experience in London and Flanders, where he worked for Robbrecht en Daem Architecten, Ghent. William has written on London’s edge landscapes, social engineering, self-build, buildings’ nicknames, and the hybrid urbanism of Flanders for Archis, Oase and other magazines, as well as contributing chapters to several books on the relation between urban regeneration and social change. He was visiting professor at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen in 2014. 

Ort: Raum 1180 - 1.OG, Hauptgebäude, Treppenhaus Süd
Zeit: 19 Uhr