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Piers Gough RA, Canada Water Library, Sourthwark, London

Canada Water Library, Sourthwark, London, 2009

Piers Gough RA (b. 1946)

RA Collection: Art

As his Diploma Work, the architect Piers Gough submitted drawings of three recent projects: the Canada Water Library in south London (2011), the Bling Bling Building in Liverpool (2006) and the 1001 Nights Hotel in Wembley. Gough belongs to the last generation of architects trained to draw by hand before the introduction of computer-aided design, enabling him to make presentation drawings such as these.

Gough has described his playful, postmodernist buildings as ‘celebratory’ and they are inventive while at the same time responsive to their environment. The humorously-named ‘Bling Bling Building’ in Liverpool incorporates sculpted bronze forms which provide the building’s ‘bling’, although these adornments are no mere novelty. Rather they provide a contemporary equivalent of the ornamentation on the adjacent Edwardian buildings.

The Bling Bling Building was long completed at the time Gough made his drawing of it, but Canada Water Library was years from completion. The inverted pyramid of the library made the most of a small plot, extending outwards over the adjacent docklands. The sparse background of the drawing may indicate this, although all three drawings are stripped back and empty of human interaction, lending them a ghostly atmosphere despite the intimacy of the architect’s drawing style. He has characterized his recent drawing style as ‘dark’ as opposed to the ‘sweeter dry style’ of his early drawings.

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Object details

Title
Canada Water Library, Sourthwark, London
Artist/designer
Piers Gough RA (b. 1946)
Date
2009
Object type
Architectural design
Copyright owner
Medium
Pencil on watercolour paper
Dimensions

560 mm x 760 mm

Collection
Royal Academy of Arts
Object number
09/2582
Acquisition
Diploma Work given by Piers Gough RA accepted 6 October 2009

Associated works of art

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