Sunday Times of Malta, 14th September 2008 –

The third edition of Architecture Nights will reach its climax next month with a lecture by British architect Edward Cullinan, who was awarded the 2008 Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Gold Medal for Architecture in February.

Mr Cullinan, a great contemporary architect, is an inquisitive, inventive and passionate composer and maker of buildings. He has taught and examined extensively in the UK and abroad, being awarded five professorships: Banister Fletcher Professor at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, Graham Willis Visiting Professor at Sheffield, George Simpson Visiting Professor at Edinburgh and Visiting Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston.

Currently a visiting professor at the University of Nottingham, he was also awarded honorary doctorates at the Universities of Lincolnshire and Humberside, East London and Sheffield.

In addition, he was named a Commander of the British Empire in 1987 for services to architecture, elected a Royal Academician in 1989 and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland in 1995.

In 2005, he was awarded a special commendation at the Prince Philip Designers Prize, for outstanding lifetime achievement in design. He has been an active trustee of Sir John Soane’s Museum, the Construction Industry for Youth Trust, the Building Experiences Trust and the Koestler Award Trust for art in prisons.

After the presentation of the RIBA award, Mr Cullinan said: “I’ve been practising architecture for 55 years; now you’re going to give me the real (gold) thing. Thank you fellow architects for appreciating the value of a general practitioner.”

Since its foundation in 1965, Edward Cullinan Architects (ECA) have been designing carefully composed, award-winning, innovative buildings. The firm is committed to the idea that a successful building is one that responds thoughtfully and gracefully to clients’ needs and to its local context. The firm has adopted a strong interest in changing patterns of use, satisfying the needs of the users, responding to the context and conserving energy.

The firm has been involved in a multitude of projects, producing different solutions within commercial, cultural, housing, health, primary and secondary education sectors, in the university sector and in urban regeneration and master planning.

The protection of the environment is at the heart of its approach to architectural design.

The best example of this commitment is the re-development of the firm’s office in Islington, which will exceed the London mayor’s new target of 20 per cent of energy from renewable sources.

Among the green measures are five roof-mounted turbines. A single, three-metre, horizontal axis turbine will provide 30 per cent of the annual energy consumption for the office and four two-metre vertical axis turbines will provide enough electricity to power the spaces.

Some of the major projects to date by ECA include the New Music Centre, Purcell School of Music in Hertfordshire; the Singapore Management University at Bras Basah; the University of East London’s Docklands Campus; and the RMC International Headquarters in Egham, Surrey.

Current projects include Clink Street, a mixed-use development in Southwark, London; Stonebridge Hillside Hub, a mixed-use building in northwest London; a new herbarium and library wing at the Royal Botanic Kew Gardens; a low-energy site-responsive office block with ground floor retail at the Masshouse, Birmingham; and the Warwick Digital Laboratory at the University of Warwick.

The Architecture Nights lecture on October 11 at the Robert Samut Hall, Floriana at 7.30 p.m., organised by the Chamber of Architects, will focus mainly on sustainable and low-energy architecture. It is being held under the patronage of the British High Commission in Malta.