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Jonathan Woolf: The Latest Architecture and News

British Architect Jonathan Woolf Dies Aged 54

04:10 - 8 September, 2015
British Architect Jonathan Woolf Dies Aged 54, Painted House / Jonathan Woolf architects with Bharat Patel. Image © Helene Binet
Painted House / Jonathan Woolf architects with Bharat Patel. Image © Helene Binet

According to the Architects' Journal Jonathan Woolf, "the much-respected architect and academic" born and based in London, has died aged 54. His practice, Jonathan Woolf Architects, was established in 1990 and has completed more than thirty-five projects in Europe and Africa. Woolf was also a prolific educator, having taught at the British universities of Bath, Kingston (from which he received an honorary doctorate earlier this year), the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture, and the Architectural Association.

Reflections On Álvaro Siza's Seminal Quinta da Malagueira Housing Scheme

00:00 - 29 January, 2015

In an essay and accompanying mini-documentary film by Ellis Woodman for The Architectural Review, Siza's iconic Quinta da Malagueira housing estate (1973-1977) in Évora, Portugal, is comprehensively explored and examined with a refreshingly engaging critical weight. Rather than develop multi-story housing in the sensitive landscape around the city, Siza proposed "a plan that distributed the programme between two fields composed of low-rise terraced courtyard houses." As a result, the arrangement of these structures adjust to the "undulating topography ensuring that the narrow, cobbled streets along which the houses are distributed always follow the slope."

As is made clear in the film (above), one of the remarkable aspects about the Quinta da Malagueira estate is that it is "governed by a third layer of infrastructure" which takes the form of "an elevated network of conduits that distributes water and electricity [...] much in the manner of a miniature aqueduct." For Siza, this was a logical move as it provided the cheapest means of distributing utilities around the complex. Woodman ultimately concludes that "Siza’s work at Malagueira invites a reading less as a fixed artefact and rather as one episode in the site’s ongoing transformation."

Read extracts of what Pier Vittorio Aureli, Tony Fretton, and John Tuomey (among others) have said about Siza's œuvre and approach after the break.