Wilkinson Eyre is a global architecture firm founded in London, England. Chris Wilkinson started Wilkinson Architects in 1983 which was renamed Wilkinson Eyre in 1999 when Chris teamed with Jim Eyre. High-profile projects like the Cooled Conservatories Gardens by the Bay, Oxford Weston Library, and Guangzhou International Finance Center, have been completed by the firm. Wilkinson Eyre Architects stands for integrating dedication to the spirit of the new with a sense of context as well as intelligent use of techniques and equipment.
1. Twin Sails Bridge, UK
The Twin Sails Bridge, known as The Second Harbor Crossing, is a double-leaf bascule bridge in Poole, Dorset, England. The bridge connects Poole Town Center with Hamworthy with a second road link and enables the development of four significant sites; two in Poole Town Center and two in Hamworthy, including the former power plant, which shut down in 1988.
The bridge has a detailed horizontal shape in its static position, celebrating the interconnectedness of the sea, horizon, and sky. The lengthy span is accentuated by light, which calls attention to the structural ribs and creates lovely reflections on the water.
The bridge deck splits in two sail-like triangulated leaves on opening. This puts in motion a stunning illuminated shift when night falls. The white light of the pedestrian walkway turns red in an animated process beginning at the top of the “sail” and racing down like a live flow of energy, ultimately surrounding commuters in crimson light.
2. Royal Ballet School – Bridge of Aspiration, UK
A bridge was developed between the school and the Opera House, connecting the theater and the Royal Ballet Company studios. Wilkinson Eyre Architects received an architectural prize for its construction and is now known as the Bridge of Aspiration.
The skewed alignment and varying elevations of the landing spots define the geometric and structural simplicity. An aluminum spine beam supports a concertina of 23 square portals with glass gaps.
They spin in sequence to maintain the skew in place, completing a quarter-turn along the structure’s length. As a consequence, gliding over the pavement replicates the fluidity and delicacy of dance.
The primary goal was to demonstrate the influence of movement. Wilkinson Eyre Architects started with a simple box and twisted it till it touched the façade of the opposing structure.
3. Cooled Conservatories – Gardens by the Bay, Singapore
Wilkinson Eyre Architects developed the glass and steel-cooled conservatories, which bring the temperatures and plant life of the Mediterranean and Cloud Forest areas to tropical Singapore. A computer-controlled shading system and carbon-neutral cooling technology have been included into the fabric to properly regulate the environment within the structure. The cooled conservatories are over 20,000 square metres in size and tower 58 metres above the lake.
Bay South Garden is created on reclaimed soil in the lack of a natural environment, the conservatories serve as landmarks, addressing the bay and the skyscrapers of densely crowded neighborhoods that will surround it.
4. Dyson Institute of Engineering and Tech, UK
For the Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology, Wilkinson Eyre built an undergraduate village. The landscaped village of timber modular housing pods is located on the Dyson Malmesbury Campus in Wiltshire. It includes utilities as well as a central social and instructional core. The project establishes a new typology in student housing and pioneers the design, master planning, and precision engineering of genuinely modular prefabricated building technologies for quick construction.
The high-quality living pods are clustered in two- to three-story-high portions to provide a comfortable social area and a visually appealing addition to the campus alongside the industrial structures. To create warm and natural living environments, the timber has been left exposed throughout the interior portions of the pods, including the kitchens and bathrooms. Each pod boasts natural ventilation and large triple-glazed windows that are individually positioned to offer each occupant a panoramic view of the campus.
5. One Queensbridge, Australia
Wilkinson Eyre won the worldwide competition to design the 90-story One Queensbridge in Melbourne’s Southbank district in August 2015. The proposed building would include 700 apartments, a 388-room five-star hotel, and a public observation deck with a restaurant, bar, and garden patio.
The tapering shapes enable the tower to read as a beautiful item with a distinct personality, in contrast to the more rigid forms of the surrounding structures. The design includes a new pedestrian connection bridge that will allow hotel guests all weather access from the new lobby to the Crown Melbourne integrated resort.
6. RHS Hilltop – The Home of Gardening Science, UK
The Royal Horticultural Society commissioned the RHS Hilltop – The Home of Gardening Scientific for their Wisley location in Surrey and it is the UK’s first dedicated gardening science center. The groundbreaking new horticultural science and learning center exhibits the RHS’s previously unseen scientific work, provides specific facilities for ongoing research, assisting in inspiring the next generation of horticulturists and creating a greener future for the UK.
The 4750sqm unique complex located on a hilltop features state-of-the-art scientific labs, public exhibition space, teaching studios, an events hall, and new facilities for the RHS’s nationally significant Herbarium, science, and library collections.
7. City Law School, UK
The City Law School was formed in 2001 by the merger of the ICSL and the Centre for Legal Studies. Distance learning and Solicitor Apprentice Schemes, now part of the University of London (City), bolster the school’s position as a “full service” supplier of legal education.
The finished project, which includes the Goswell and Myddelton Buildings on the site, consists of a series of apartments grouped around a central atrium space. Each block has its own identity, which is formed by existing buildings or new designs that consider the context of the surrounding cityscape.
8. Yuexiu Fortune Centre, China
This 205,600m2 construction in the Qiaokou District along the Hanjiang River includes a 330m super high-rise grade A office tower, a 160m high apartment tower, and a 40,000m2 retail mall. The tower’s form is articulated as three linked pieces and references the Chinese symbol “川, which means water, which is fitting given the location’s proximity to the river and China’s idea of Wuhan as the city by the water.
The 69-story skyscraper has a standard and cost-effective design, tapering towards the river to enhance views. The simple plan form provides consistent, flexible office floorplates that repeat up the tower. The façades are articulated as part of the environmental plan, and employ a combination of different depth vertical fins and opaque banding for shading on the east and west façades, which are reminiscent of ocean waves.
9. Guangzhou International Finance Center
Wilkinson Eyre was selected to design this 440m skyscraper in Guangzhou after an international design competition. The 103-story skyscraper houses business space and a premium Four Seasons hotel, with a top-floor high-end restaurant and bar. The tower links to a huge podium complex at ground level that includes a premium brand retail mall, conference center, and high-quality serviced apartments.
Below ground, the tower and podium link to additional retail spaces and a transportation hub with a retail loop promoting connections beneath a landscaped central axis. The thin, crystalline form of the tower serves as a landmark along the vital axis of Guangzhou Zhujiang New Town, connecting the commercial sector in the north with the Pearl River in the south.
10. The Crystal, UK
Originally intended as an exposition center and think tank, the Crystal was commissioned by Siemens and designed by Wilkinson Eyre. It will reopen as London’s new City Hall and the home of the London Assembly in 2022. The all-glass structure defies conventional assumptions about sustainability by promoting the use of sophisticated technology to reduce energy use.
The structure has outstanding sustainability credentials having received BREEAM Outstanding and LEED Platinum ratings upon completion. As an example of sustainable design, it uses contemporary technologies to minimize energy use rather than depending exclusively on passive systems. A complex management system, in addition to its revolutionary thermal envelope, allows every aspect of this all-electric building to be monitored, benchmarked, and fine-tuned for comfort and minimal energy usage.
11. Emirates Air Line, UK
The Emirates Air Line cable car is one of the most exciting recent additions to London’s infrastructure. It is the first urban cable car system in the United Kingdom, and its line across the River Thames connects the O2 Arena and the Excel Exhibition and Conference Centre, two key landmark locations.
This new physical link provides a direct connection as well as a dramatic and unforgettable experience for residents and tourists, and it supports the Mayor’s goal of transforming this region into a thriving urban district with new companies, housing, and employment opportunities.
12. Splashpoint Leisure Centre, UK
Wilkinson Eyre was chosen to design this new swimming pool for Worthing Borough Council after winning a RIBA competition. The new facility includes a six-lane, 25-meter pool, a hybrid learner/diving pool, indoor leisure pools with rapids, flumes, and outdoor waters, a health and fitness center, a café, a crèche, and adaptable space for various events. The building culminates with a series of translucent façades that face the water directly. This technology generates a visually appealing indoor environment that is well-lit by natural light.
The copper and timber cladding was meant to offer a strong exterior for the building and will weather progressively as the structure settles into its surroundings.
13. Olympic Basketball Arena, UK
The arena was developed by the SKM/WilkinsonEyre/KSS design team, who devised a method in which two-thirds of the structure’s materials and features could be reused or recycled after the Games. The arena could hold 12,000 spectators for basketball and handball sports during the Olympic Games, but it was reduced to 10,000 for wheelchair basketball and rugby for the Paralympic Games.
Despite the simplicity of the design philosophy, the facade was very expressive throughout the day, with the play of sunlight over the crisply sculpted white membrane. The arena turned into a spectacular light display with dynamic color-changing effects over the surface during evening sessions.
14. Compton & Edrich Stands – Lord’s Cricket Ground, UK
The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) commissioned Wilkinson Eyre to rebuild Lord’s Cricket Ground’s Compton and Edrich stands. Their approach is to add to the site’s distinctive architecture, where ancient and contemporary structures of substantial quality compose the world’s Home of Cricket. The original stands at the eastern end had proven inadequate for modern spectators, with poor sightlines in the lower tiers and upper levels completely exposed to the elements. The reconstructed stands add 2,600 seats to the stadium’s capacity while also providing much-needed toilets and catering facilities.
15. Weston Library, UK
Wilkinson Eyre was commissioned to transform the Weston library into a new cultural and intellectual landmark. The plan was to open up the facility to allow more public access and participation in the events which included the development of new rooms for a series of exhibitions and seminars that would rely on the unique riches of the Bodleian’s holdings. The design complements Scott’s strong design, reinvigorating the space with an enhanced circulation diagram – for both book retrieval and user mobility – and introducing several modern interventions, including a stunning reading room on the roof.
While the project heavily focuses on increasing storage and research capabilities within the building, it also provides a chance to strengthen the library’s interaction with its urban location. The design integrates the library more intimately into its surroundings by extending the axis produced by the Radcliffe Camera, Old Schools Quadrangle, and Clarendon Building, a sensible step to entice the public inside.