Running time: 39 minutes
Rab Bennetts has always been concerned with the function of buildings, with the way buildings are put together, and with architectural space. He develops these three themes in some depth in his talk, illustrating them with three office buildings he has completed; though offices are by no means the only category of building he has worked on.
It was because of his interest in the relationship between space and structure and services that he worked for Arup Associates after leaving Heriot Watt University, staying for ten years, most of that time with Peter Foggo - whom he considered a "fantastic architect" - and in the company of engineers, quantity surveyors, and other architects. With them he learned how the concrete structure of a building, if exposed, had the effect of damping down the internal climate and radiating coolness at the time of great heat outside. Structure led to architectural expression.
In 1987, Bennetts set up his own firm in London and was immediately invited to work on a new building near Reading, the Imperium. This led, in 1991, to his being approached by Powergen to design their headquarters.
Bennetts' recent completed office building is for John Menzies in Edinburgh. Designed around an atrium it further develops his ideas for light and ventilation to suit the cooler northern climate.
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