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Puddle-Free Parking: New Absorbent Surface Swallows Water Instantly

Perhaps the only material on the architectural market known for its "thirst," ultra-porous concrete is being hailed as the future of urban water runoff management for warm climates. The emerging material reached mainstream popularity in recent weeks thanks to a viral video depicting an apparently ordinary car park absorbing an inordinate amount of water; 1.2 million views later, the video has ignited debate on viability and possible uses for water-absorbent concrete. 

Ultra-porous concrete is gaining a foothold thanks to extensive research being conducted by architects and engineers around the world. Known for its rainy climate, daring use of innovative materials and unorthodox architecture, it comes as no surprise that the Dutch city of Rotterdam has embraced water-absorbent concrete for testing.

Courtesy of Rainaway Courtesy of Rainaway Courtesy of Rainaway Courtesy of Rainaway

2015 Restaurant & Bar Design Award Winners Announced

The winners of the seventh annual Restaurant & Bar Design Awards—the only awards in the world dedicated to the design of food and beverage spaces—have been announced in London. Out of over 860 entries from the United Kingdom and 70 other countries, 36 designs were awarded, with two grand prize winners.

The winners of the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards are:


RIBA Bookshop presents the book launch of 'REGENERATION! Conversations, Drawings, Archives & Photographs from Robin Hood Gardens' by Jessie Brennan. The publication contains Brennan’s two series of drawings Conversation Pieces and A Fall of Ordinariness and Light, among other research – including contributions by authors Owen Hatherley and Richard Martin – from Robin Hood Gardens estate in east London.

Call for Entries: LSE Launches Third Major Competition for £100m Facility

London School of Economics (LSE) has launched a call for expressions of interest for its next major building project; the redevelopment of 44 Lincoln's Inn Fields (44LIF), which will be known as the Paul Marshall Building. 

Following its redevelopment, the new building on the site of 44LIF will house a number of academic and research departments including the Marshall Institute for Philanthropy and Social Entrepreneurship. Paul Marshall is a major benefactor of the School and the Marshall Institute will make its permanent home in the new building at 44 Lincoln's Inn Fields which will take his name.

Construction Law Conference 2015

From a review of claims involving innovative design, new materials and value engineering through to the impact of the Insurance Act 2015 and an assessment of the particular difficulties associated with concurrent delay, this conference, chaired by Paul Reed of Hardwicke, examines a range of topical and tricky issues and will appeal to all those who need to keep up to date with all the latest hot topics and big issues.

The Cube / Hawkins\Brown

© Jack Hobhouse © Jack Hobhouse © Jack Hobhouse © Jack Hobhouse

Split House / Alma-nac

© Jack Hobhouse © Jack Hobhouse © Jack Hobhouse © Jack Hobhouse

Call for Papers: Parallelism in Architecture and Computing Techniques (PACT)

The theme of Parallelism in Architecture and Computing Techniques (PACT) 2016 explores the relations between computational design software in architecture, organizational and global, ever-changing and pervasive contexts. This conference looks at how the new trends of architectural technologies and computational thinking can adapt to increase the ability in finding a complex digital fabrication, augmented reality, and intelligent environment. PACT 2016 is organized by The University of East London (UEL), in collaboration with the International Experts for Research Enrichment and Knowledge Exchange (IEREK) institution.

Jonathan Tuckey Design Create Residential Interiors for Post-Industrial Gasholders

London-based British practice Jonathan Tuckey Design (JTD) have created a series of residential interiors for the 'Gasholder Triplets' in London's formerly industrial King's Cross district. 145 individual apartments have been designed inside these mid-nineteenth century structures, within which Wilkinson Eyre Architects have created the "architectural insertions" (the buildings themselves).

100 Ideas for Solving London's Housing Crisis, According to New London Architecture

Innovation License by Baca Architects. Image Courtesy of New London Architecture
Innovation License by Baca Architects. Image Courtesy of New London Architecture

With ideas ranging from floating homes to new mega-cities, New London Architecture has revealed 100 proposals to address the housing crisis in London. The ideas will be on display as part of the New Ideas for Housing exhibition at the NLA Galleries in the Building Centre in London. After an open ideas competition announced June 2015, over 200 entries from 16 different countries were received. Of the 100 shortlisted projects 10 finalists will be selected and have the opportunity to work with the Greater London Authority to implement their ideas. Read more about the entries and exhibit after the break.

MODS by HAL Architects. Image Courtesy of New London Architecture Living Arteries by Benjamin Marks. Image Courtesy of New London Architecture Floatopolis by dRMM. Image Courtesy of New London Architecture The Streets by NBBJ. Image Courtesy of New London Architecture

London Names RSHP's Leadenhall "Building of the Year 2015"

Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners' Leadenhall Building has been deemed the City of London's "Building of the Year 2015." The inaugural award, organized by the Worshipful Company of Chartered Architects (WCCA), aims to "recognize the extraordinary examples of contemporary architecture across the London cityscape." 

The award's jury, chaired by World Architecture Festival director Paul Finch, selected the Leadenhall Building over 15 other publicly nominated buildings. It was lauded for providing a "world-class working environment" and having a positive impact on the city street. 

Technology and Innovation Centre / BDP

  • Architects: BDP
  • Location: University of Strathclyde, 16 Richmond St, Glasgow, Glasgow City G1 1XQ, UK
  • Area: 25000.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2015
  • Photographs: David Barbour

© David Barbour © David Barbour © David Barbour © David Barbour

The Alpine Place / Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt

© Hufton+Crow © Hufton+Crow © Hufton+Crow © Hufton+Crow

Brutal Utopias: A National Trust Celebration of Brutalist Architecture: Brutalist Britain by Routemaster

A tour of Brutalist architecture in London aboard the National Trust’s 1962 Routemaster Coach. Led by architectural and cultural experts Tom Cordell and Joe Kerr, the tours explore the emergence and development of Brutalism in the city.

Mecanoo Designs New Engineering Campus for University of Manchester

Mecanoo has unveiled plans for a new £350 million engineering campus for the University of Manchester. Known as the "Manchester Engineering Campus Development (MECD)," the project will be the UK's largest, single construction endeavors ever conducted by a higher education institution. 

"The campus will help demonstrate how UK engineering is one of the most creative industries in the world – a key feature on the ground floor of the main hall will be a dedicated ‘maker space’ which will provide dynamic workshops for students and academics to share ideas and innovate," says Mecanoo.

Making Space for Making Art / Sutherland Hussey Harris

© Sam Proctor Courtesy of Sutherland Hussey Harris Courtesy of Sutherland Hussey Harris © Keith Hunter

Y-Cube / Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

© Grant Smith © Grant Smith Courtesy of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners © Grant Smith