Alex Lifschutz, founder and principal of Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, talks to Peter Murray about major housing masterplans at Barking Riverside and Kidbrooke, the design and lighting of bridges over the Thames as well as the need for sustainable buildings that adapt to change.
Alex talks Peter through the history of their work on the river, and shares the current work with the Illuminated River Foundation and discusses an upcoming crossing at the Thames Barrier for bikes and pedestrians and explains the work at Hanover Square.
Conversation then moves on to the idea of buildings being 'long life, loose fit and low energy'. Lifschutz explains that 'architecture can provide very rapid social change' and says the pandemic is the greatest period of social change since the war. He considers:
How does architecture enfranchise and empower people rather than trap them in structures that don't allow them to alter their behaviour?
Working with the community has enabled this change more rapidly, 'we've moved out thinking over time, but they've [the community] moved it even further forward'
The imagination of local people is as fertile and as exciting as any single patron client that you can imagine.