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By Simon Grayson
One thing that's interesting about Dallas is it's Arts District, which has a surprisingly large number of "starchitect" designed museums, galleries and performance venues all clustered within a relatively small part of the city. Last week I visited the ongoing Heatherwick Studio exhibition at the Nasher Sculpture Gallery, discovered on a wander through the area when I started to wonder why I could see the 24 bus parked in the foyer.
Vlogging my experiences as an HKS Xchange Fellow in London.
By Simon Grayson
A bit of a touristy blog post for this week - firstly a trip to the Stockyards at Fort Worth to see some frontier history, and later a trip to the Dallas Heritage Village near the HKS apartment.
Spanning many dynasties, the northern Chinese capital city of Beijing has been the civic and cultural heart of this region throughout many millennia. Home to dozens of palaces, temples, artifacts, and monuments, exploring Beijing is an endless experience through China’s rich history and intricate cultural traditions. 1200km north of Shanghai, Beijing is markedly different than the southern metropolis, yet also experiences the same complex dichotomy between old-world tradition and modern-day economic growth. Recently, a collection of contemporary “temples” have been built in Beijing’s booming economic heartland by architectural giants including OMA, Herzog & De Meuron and Zaha Hadid. I made it my mission this past weekend to experience the full spectrum of Beijing – from ancient to modern.
Manchester Proton Beam Therapy Centre has been my first assignment in the London office. It will be the first Proton Treatment Center in the UK, located at the Christie Hospital Campus, one of the largest European cancer treatment centers of its kind. Proton Beam Therapy (PBT) is a type of radiotherapy that uses a high energy beam of protons rather than the more traditional high energy X-rays to deliver a dose of radiotherapy for patients with cancer. It is used to treat very rare cancers and can be a more effective form of therapy because it directs the all-important radiation treatment to precisely where it is needed with minimal damage to surrounding tissue. The treatment is therefore particularly suitable to pediatric patients with complex childhood cancers.
The Suzhou Museum is one of the last great works of Chinese-American master architect I. M. Pei, and honestly, one of the best contemporary pieces of architecture I’ve seen. Set among a backdrop of historic architecture and gardens within Suzhou, the museum is sensitive to its context, organized according to historic Chinese building principles, yet unapologetically bold in its contemporary simplicity. Only an hour from Shanghai by train, this great Chinese canal city was high on my list of places that deserved a weekend visit during my time here in China.
By Simon Grayson
Last weekend saw me trying out for the first time both cycling in Dallas and the "new" bike in order to see a bit more of the wider area surrounding Downtown. Rather than looking to the Trinity River trail I decided to head out in the opposite direction east, with an aim to use the Santa Fe railroad to head up to White Rock Lake" and back again.
With an exciting and eventful first week in London wrapped up, the opportunity to attend the England vs. San Marino soccer match with some colleagues from the office was the bow on top. Being a big fan of "football" my entire life, seeing England play was an amazing opportunity that I couldn't pass up. The game was played at the Wembley Stadium, a legendary football venue that made the entire experience that much more exciting. After getting off the tube, we followed a mass of football fans, all dressed in authentic England gear, toward the colossal stadium. With its iconic illuminated roof arch, the stadium appeared almost magical, reminding me of my first professional football match my dad took me to when I was four or five years old.
By Simon Grayson
Week two, and work and life have quickly settled down here largely unhindered by language (aside from the occasional confusion on both sides over the odd vernacular term...) Other than size and scope and terminology over work stages, the process that we’re going through of evolving a concept and presenting to Clients is all relatively familiar, and Revit skills have proved to be easily transferable between my experience in London and the work here in the States.
With a population of more than 23 million, Shanghai is a city with remarkable vibrancy and pace. Apart from the sporadic tai chi and dance groups dotted throughout the area, the streets are consistently packed with droves of people commuting within this city’s extensive urban network. It’s become part of my daily routine to dodge the many scooters and taxis in this city that unashamedly disregard any sort of pedestrian traffic. With so many millions on the streets, it seems that they’ve given up on pedestrian courtesy and opted for the “get there at any cost” strategy.