CAR at UEA

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Tatlin and SCVA 11-1-18 copy.jpeg

The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts by Lord Foster's practice was completed in 1978 and listed at Grade II* in 2012. Its neighbour is the 10m high scale model of the Tatlin Tower engineered by CAR Director Phil Cooper.

CAR currently has a double connection with UEA.

First, the one-fortieth scale model of the Tatlin Tower engineered by CAR director Phil Cooper has been re-erected at UEA next to the iconic Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts. Tatlin's magnificent design dates from 1919 and is the architectural high-point of the Constructivist movement in post-revolutionary Soviet Union. The original Tatlin Tower would have been 400 metres high but was unbuilt - and unbuildable. The scale model is itself 10 metres high. It was first installed in the courtyard of the Royal Academy in London in 2011 in connection with the exhibition ‘Building the Revolution: Soviet Art and Architecture 1915-1935’. It was given to UEA by the Royal Academy and now forms part of the University’s new Sculpture Park. The installation coincides with the Sainsbury Centre's ‘Radical Russia’ exhibition marking the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution.

Second, CAR has been appointed to update the 2006 conservation plan for the UEA campus, known as the Conservation Development Strategy. The original was also written by CAR. The update is needed because the on-going growth of the University has led to many new buildings on the campus, including the Enterprise Centre with its innovative use of thatch. The Conservation Development Strategy covers the whole campus but focuses on the University’s listed buildings which include the photogenic Ziggurat student residences by Sir Denys Lasdun (listed at Grade II*) and the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts by Lord Foster's practice which was listed in 2012 (also at Grade II*). The revision to the Conservation Development Strategy involves extensive consultation with stakeholders and interested parties. It will be competed in February 2019.

Phil Cooper describes the imaginative brilliance but structural weakness of Tatlin’s concept here.

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