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Title: The ziggurats
Author: Diem Nguyen
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Description: Location: The Ziggurats – University of East Anglia, Norwich I remember sitting on the massive meadow, infinite green horizon, looking at these ziggurat structures in a soft winter breeze, 2 months prior to the first lockdown. That moment was remarkable - the vibe that it had, the person whom I talked to, and the architecture that captivated me. As an architectural student, I have always been in love with Britain Brutalist movement in 20th century. These terraced buildings are one of student accommodations of University of East Anglia in Norwich, which was designed by so-called greatest English architect of early modern period - Sir Denys Lasdun in 1960s. The stepped form of the residences gives each room of residential buildings their own daylight and relaxing balconies. Whilst brutalism is usually referred as inhuman or it goes against the nature due to monolithic, “blocky” appearance with rigid geometry and rough materiality. The structure however embedded itself in the landscape surroundings by following natural topography as it was built within contour lines, characterised by the hierarchy of terraces. The palette of concrete and its interaction with light and shadow is embraced within the encompassing atmospheric surroundings, deliberately designed by Sir Denys Lasdun. Subtle diffusion sits alongside deep black. The ideals of the materials are amplified upon first experience and that still moment has deeply rooted in my mind.