Each year the newest graduates (well that’s the plan anyway) from across all the offices in the UK go on a Graduate trip together and this year was no different. As you may know Ramboll is a Danish company so the destination for the 20 something Ramboll graduates who congregated at Gatwick departures was company HQ, København (Copenhagen). On the itinerary was a mix of engineering related activities and social events.
The trip started with a visit to the head office which included presentations on various work and charity projects along with a tour round the office, designed by Ramboll, the highlight of which for many graduates seemed to be the giant wind tunnel used as part of the natural ventilation system! The office visit concluded in the Ram-bar where there was a chance to chat with our Danish colleagues and challenge them to table football or pool. The next day was an early start with a boat trip out to one of the many offshore wind farms around Copenhagen; not such a surprising choice considering the whole trip was organised by two graduates in the Offshore Wind department. It was a very interesting excursion for everyone and particularly relevant to the UK given the increasing emergence of wind power in our energy sector, as well as a great chance to get a different view of the city than usual.
In the afternoon there was an architecture tour around part of the city followed by some time to explore other parts of the city as took people’s interests. Or in the case of a few a chance to catch up on much needed sleep (!) in preparation for the last evening. The final morning brought with it another sunny day and a last chance to pack in a bit of sightseeing. Some went for the leisurely option of a guided boat trip around the cities canals whilst others chose to walk or cycle. That brought to close what turned out to be a brilliant Graduate Trip, until the next lucky newcomers organise theirs!
As part of London Festival of Architecture 2013 Ramboll engineers conceived the Fitzrovia Chalkboard for the Great Titchfield Street Festival. One of a number of events planned for the month long festival, the inaugural street project aimed to promote positive change in the area, transforming Great Titchfield Street – from Mortimer Street up to Langham and Foley Street – into a pedestrianised haven for the day. The street festival commenced at 12.00pm and ran until 6.00pm, as part of the Fitzrovia Trail – a day co-ordinated by RIBA London with local architects, designers and engineers.
Fitzrovia Chalkboard was a temporary installation that created a single point of display for collective messages in the local community – a structure that in of itself was a massive writing surface for all to contribute. Inspired by how local, independent businesses rely on the traditional chalkboard as a means to advertise and mark their place on the street, in a time when technology offers many alternatives, Fitzrovia Chalkboard was designed using such recent advances and the public were invited inside the structure to view its innovative construction. It was greatly enjoyed by all ages with the boards quickly covered in chalk and much admired both in use and for its design.
Inspired by Ramboll’s recent Trada Pavilion, the structure comprised of 47 birch plywood panels joined together by steel hinges. It was designed using methods developed by Ramboll Computational Design to produce exact cutting patterns for digital fabrication. All panels are numbered sequentially and this approach ensures that all panels fit together to create the form in a quick assembly process.
Local restaurants and cafes made the most of the traffic-free street, to create a true street party atmosphere providing outdoor seating areas and entertainment. In addition, there was free ice cream and face painting for children and visitors enjoyed live music from the swing band ‘Valentino’ and cabaret singer Kai Hoffman.
The street festival, conceived by Morrow + Lorraine Architects, was made possible by the collaborative efforts of the local community, including the main sponsor Fitzroy Place and the contributions of Exemplar, developer of Fitzroy Place, Savills, Gleeds and Sir Robert McAlpine.
Find out more about the Great Titchfield Street Festival by visiting www.londonfestivalofarchitecture.org.