Between March of 2013 and December of 2014, Simon Henley of London-based practice Henley Halebrown wrote a regular column for ArchDaily titled “London Calling,” covering architectural topics of note in the UK's capital. Now, Henley is returning to his column – but in the wake of 2016's shock political developments, his column is re-branding. Thus, here he presents the first of his column “Beyond London” – a look at architectural topics around the UK. Here, Henley presents his opinion on those political developments, and the role architects should play as the UK embarks on a new period in its history.
Post-Brexit, British architects need to think hard about the profession’s London-centric position. There has been a policy of inclusion of non-London architects on panels, their work in magazines and on awards shortlists, but this is not enough. It was quite clear on June 24th when the London design community awoke to the realization that Britain will leave the European Union, that a “Remain”-minded bubble had formed within the capital. The same may be true of the other large cities around the country which voted largely in favour of “Remain.”
Architectural firm AL_A has unveiled its design for Pitch/Pitch, a series of 5-a-side soccer pitches designed for unused or temporarily vacant lots across London, as well as in other cities internationally.
Created as a response to shortage of sport space in inner cities, the project is meant to be fast and easy to construct, “meaning it could be set up for a fortnight to coincide with a World Cup tournament, or last for a year, bringing use to vacant sites that might otherwise lie dormant.”
After working with Arup, the practice developed a modular system that utilizes a lightweight carbon-fiber structure, a material generally associated with the aerospace industry, but that is emerging architecturally at larger scales.
Adjaye Associates, alongside development manager Alchemi Group, have submitted a planning application for 5 Strand, a mixed-use scheme adjacent to London's iconic Trafalgar Square. Inspired and informed by the surrounding historic buildings, the new 5 Strand will include 62,000 square feet (5,760 square meters) of office space, 26 apartments, and two ground-level retail units.