Students at the University of Reading’s new School of Architecture are to benefit from a large-scale physical model of Reading town centre as part of a new partnership with Broadway Malyan.
The 1.7-square-metre model covers two square miles of Reading town centre and the surrounding area and is the most up-to-date detailed model of Reading town centre.
The carefully crafted timber model has been built in sections so it can be taken apart and have new sections added to it as the town centre evolves. Strategic development sites in Reading can be removed and replaced with proposed schemes and seen in the context of the whole townscape.
It also enables the model to be used as a learning tool for the students as well as town planners who will have access to a new ‘urban room’ for discussions on the future development of Reading.
The wooden model, which was built across 16 separate bases and then bolted together, was built by the team led by Chris Davis in Weybridge and is one of the practice’s most ambitious with almost 1,000 pieces in total.
Broadway Malyan director David Anderson said the relationship with the new School of Architecture reflected a long-standing culture in the practice of supporting the next generation of architects.
He said: “Over the past 60 years Broadway Malyan has supported hundreds of young architects through their professional training with many of them continuing their careers at the practice - in fact there are a number of the current board who first joined the practice as trainees.
“Working closely with schools of architecture is an important virtuous circle for our practice in that it allows our colleagues to offer the kind of support to young architects that they once enjoyed while also building a positive reputation for Broadway Malyan in what is ultimately a highly competitive sector.
“Broadway Malyan is a well-established practice in the Reading area and it has been fantastic to have been able to contribute to the new school of architecture from its inception and we are very excited about being able to deliver this model, which will not just be aesthetically beautiful but also a significant tool for learning.”
Professor Lorraine Farrelly, Head of School and Foundation Professor of Architecture, said: “We are extremely grateful to Broadway Malyan for the generous donation of this model of Reading town centre. It will be a great learning tool for our students, and its flexible design will offer opportunities for our students to model future scenarios of Reading town centre. Their first year design projects have been based on sites in and around the town centre.
“Broadway Malyan has been an important part of an industry and practice group who have been very supportive to inform the curriculum for our new School of Architecture, which has a strong emphasis on links with industry and practice. I also appreciate their support offering our students valuable work experience in the course of their studies.
“With our founding cohort of students just about to proceed to their second year of study, the academic team in the School feel our first year of the new School of Architecture has been a real success. Receiving the model from Broadway Malyan is a positive ending to an exciting first year and the start of an ongoing relationship with the practice.”
The model was launched alongside a public lecture given by design director Jeff Brooks and associate Sean Cleary, both from Broadway Malyan’s London studio, which looked at the practice’s design philosophy as well as the scale of the projects that the architecture firm works on - from single buildings to large cities.