Bill and Chris Sharples, twin brothers, co-founders and principals of SHoP Architects, the firm behind Atlantic Yards and Barclays Center in Brooklyn, will speak at Westtown School on Sunday, April 6 at 7:30pm in the Barton-Test Theater. Their illustrated lecture – entitled Out of Practice – is free and open to the public.
Their work at SHoP encompasses the Atlantic Yards development, which includes a 32-story residential tower that is set to be the world’s tallest modular building. The adjacent Barclays Center, a 19,000-seat indoor sports arena, opened to critical acclaim in 2012. The group is also designing Konza Techno City, a new “silicon” city located 40 miles from Nairobi, Kenya, as well as other American and international projects.
Bill and Chris Sharples, who graduated from Westtown in 1983, will visit the campus in conjunction with an exhibition of their work in the school’s Art Gallery. Their visit also coincides with the opening of Westtown’s new $13 million Science Center, a space dedicated not only to the traditional high school sciences of physics, chemistry and biology, but also to technology, robotics, engineering and design.
Westtown students in Design and Engineering, Digital Arts and other classes will have the opportunity to meet and work with the Sharples brothers. Bill and Chris will be proposing a problem that the students need to solve, and this will be part of their talk on Sunday. “The art of making is very much a part of our design space at SHoP,” says Chris. “I think a lot of the models and images we will be sharing in the gallery and talk will be reflective of this desire. It is important that the students understand that computers, software apps, virtual simulations, 3D printers, laser cutters etc, are tools in the service of realizing our vision. These tools help us in managing, in a very comprehensive way, the material, environmental, programmatic, economic and cultural complexities inherent in architecture.”
Bill and Chris Sharples’ visit to Westtown is part of the Shoemaker Visiting Lecturer Series, an endowed fund dedicated to bringing inspiring visitors to the school who represent excellence in a variety of fields.
Please join us on Sunday and stop by the Art Gallery to see the multi-media display of their work!