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Harvard GSD unveils restored version of Wimbledon House in London

United Kingdom Architecture News - Jul 18, 2017 - 16:07   15001 views

Harvard GSD unveils restored version of Wimbledon House in London

The Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) has unveiled the restored version of Richard Rogers’ Wimbledon House in London, formerly known as "Wimbledon House" or also known as "22 Parkside".

22 Parkside has now reopened as the Harvard GSD's primary residence and London venue for the Richard Rogers Fellowship. The house was first built by acclaimed British architect Richard Rogers in 1968 as a home for his parents and a blueprint for industrialised housing. 

Harvard GSD unveils restored version of Wimbledon House in London

Then, the house was gifted to Harvard GSD in 2015 by Lord Rogers and his wife Ruth Rogers to ensure the Heritage-listed property’s continued use as a residence, and to provide a unique research opportunity for future generations of professionals and scholars - from across fields and disciplines - whose work is focused on the built environment.

Harvard GSD unveils restored version of Wimbledon House in London

After extensive renovations started in 2015, the Wimbledon House has now taken a fresh look with colourful interior and new furnitures to this iconic modernist urban prototype. 

All renovation processes were led by British architect Philip Gumuchdjian and landscape architect Todd Longstaffe-Gowan by maintaining its own arrangement like in the 1990s and by integrating advanced modern materials where possible.

Harvard GSD unveils restored version of Wimbledon House in London

The architects made replacement of three quarters of its envelope (the entire roof and all of its asbestos-filled external walls), starting with the demolition of recently-added buildings, the removal of new internal partitions and the replacement of its servicing system - the team also refurbished all joinery and furniture and the re-designed of its entire garden context from the street front to the rear of the property. 

Harvard GSD unveils restored version of Wimbledon House in London

"The resulting design regained much of its earlier transparency and created subtle new vistas," said Philip Gumuchdjian and Todd Longstaffe-Gowan. 

"The house was conceived as a kit of parts in an age before such concepts were commonplace. Key to this was the idea of a permanent armature (structure) that was cad with shorter life elements such as the panels, glazing etc.."

"Our approach raised significant conservation dilemmas as orthodox conservation generally requires the preservation or like-for-like replacement of historic fabric," added the architects.

Harvard GSD unveils restored version of Wimbledon House in London

The Wimbledon House - or 22 Parkside - will serve as the residence for the Richard Rogers Fellowship, as well as a new GSD venue for lectures, symposia, and other events bringing together scholars and practitioners from London, Europe, and around the world. 

Harvard GSD unveils restored version of Wimbledon House in London

The first class of fellows has taken residence at the House and commenced research; they hail from Austria, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, and the United States, and were chosen from more than 200 applicants. Public programming at the House will begin this fall with a conversation themed around the topic of food and the city.

Harvard GSD unveils restored version of Wimbledon House in London

"Parkside is not just an iconic, flexible machine for living, nor simply a historic experimental building that foretold the architect’s future work; it was also a home with a unique memory, patina, and aura. Conserving these qualities within a wholly refurbished 21st century building tailored to Harvard’s new use was our aim and hopefully the achievement of the team’s work," stated Philip Gumuchdjian, Founding Director of Gumuchdjian Architects.

Harvard GSD unveils restored version of Wimbledon House in London

"Parkside is a total work of art, where the house, gardens, and interiors were conceived in concert to form a unified whole. The alternating rhythm of pavilions and garden courts contribute considerably to the striking theatricality and luminosity of the ensemble; the outdoor rooms are at once boundless and enveloping," said Todd Longstaffe-Gowan, Founding Director of Todd Longstaffe-Gowan Landscape Design.

Our aim has been to restore the original balance of the 1960s composition to better reflect the architect’s original intentions, and to recover the richness, rhythm, and textures of the landscape that give Parkside its particular charm," he added.

Harvard GSD unveils restored version of Wimbledon House in London

"Located near some of the world’s finest resources for research in urbanism, the Richard Rogers Fellowship program represents both an international extension of the GSD’s physical footprint and the School’s commitment to engaging issues faced by cities globally," aded Mohsen Mostafavi, Dean and Alexander and Victoria Wiley Professor of Design at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. 

"We are thrilled with the gift of the Wimbledon House and know that it will serve as the foundation for meaningful progress in addressing international urban issues."

Harvard GSD unveils restored version of Wimbledon House in London

Harvard GSD unveils restored version of Wimbledon House in London

Harvard GSD unveils restored version of Wimbledon House in London

Harvard GSD unveils restored version of Wimbledon House in London

Harvard GSD unveils restored version of Wimbledon House in London

The Richard Rogers Fellowship is an open international competition that encourages in-depth, original forms of investigation as a way to expand both practice and scholarship. 

Interested applicants from any field or background are encouraged to apply for the fellowship during the next application cycle, which will open in October 2017 with a deadline of late November.

All images © Iwan Baan 

All drawings © Philip Gumuchdjian & Todd Longstaffe-Gowan

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