AD Interviews: Keith Griffiths, Chairman of Aedas, on Appoaching Densification in London

Keith Griffiths. Image Courtesy of

Following the recent announcement of Aedas’ demerger into two separate companies - one retaining the Aedas name and the other now known as AHR - we spoke to Keith Griffiths, Chairman of Aedas’ global board and a practicing architect for close to three decades. The company, which was recently ranked by the Architects’ Journal as the 5th largest and most influential practice in the world, have now moved their head office to London’s Chandos Place and are championing a new approach to urban in the UK’s capital. Alongside discussing how an international practice of Aedas’ scale successfully operates, Griffiths offered his insight into how the future looks for European cities based on a tried and tested Asian model of densification.

To find out how Aedas approach sustainability in flourishing Asian markets, as well as the significance of the ‘urban hub’ typology for London’s metropolitan future, read the interview in full after the break.

IULM_Milan / 5+1AA Alfonso Femia Gianluca Peluffo

© Ernesta Caviola

Architects: 5+1AA Alfonso Femia Gianluca Peluffo
Location: ,
Architect In Charge: Alfonso Femia, Gianluca Peluffo, Alessandro Schiesaro
High Supervision: Cesare Stevan, Angelo Bugatti, Simonetta Cenci
Desing Team: Gabriele Pulselli, Raffaella F. Pirrello, Daniele Marchetti, Domenica Laface, Alessandro Bellus, Lorenza Barabino, Luca Pozzi
Area: 23261.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Ernesta Caviola

A+U 526: Retreat – Primal Concept and Experimental Design

From the publisher. July issue of a+u is focused on retreats, in particular the places where people spend their free time. Retreats, where functional necessities are not the priority, portray the essential lifestyle that the residents desire. And, from there, an image of a house reflecting back the everyday emerges.

The sites abundant in nature present vast landscape to the residents. At the same time, they lack basic infrastructure, materials, or technology that would be readily available when designing a house in cities. Because of such shortages, architects are encouraged to put their experimental concepts into practice.

This issue explores how the ideal image of a house and architect’s experimental concept are unified and conceived as a when the situation is “missing” something.

WGTG – Residential building “Den Draad” / HUB

© Ilse Liekens

Architects: HUB
Location: Gentbrugge, , Belgium
Design Team: Grontmij
Area: 4,915 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Ilse Liekens

Video: Umbrellium At The Barbican

Umbrellium is a team of architects, designers, commercial experts, producers and creative technologists that create and commercialise participatory products and services that empower people to transform their cities. This video is about Assemblance, where Kinetic sensors and lasers allow for a truly interactive light experience.

Brasilia National Stadium / gmp architekten

© Marcus Bredt

Architects: gmp architekten
Location: Brasilia, Federal District,
Architect In Charge: Volkwin Marg and Hubert Nienhoff with Knut Göppert
Project Manager: Martin Glass
Project Manager Brazil: Robert Hormes
Director Of Gmp Do Brazil: Ralf Amann
Year: 2013
Photographs: Marcus Bredt

CJ5 House / Caramel Architekten

© Hertha Hurnaus

Architects: Caramel Architekten
Location: ,
Year: 2014
Photographs: Hertha Hurnaus, Courtesy of Caramel Architekten

Pedro House / VDV ARQ

© Curro Palacios Taberner

Architects: VDV ARQ
Location: Buenos Aires,
Architect In Charge: Victor Della Vecchia, Ariel Ascione
Area: 320.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Curro Palacios Taberner

Mino Nursery School 7 _ Atelier Zo / Atelier Zo

Courtesy of Kosei Kumoyama, Keiko Hirota, Sawazaki Kensetsu, Atelier ZO

Architects: Atelier Zo
Location: , Gifu Prefecture,
Area: 473.0 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Courtesy of Kosei Kumoyama, Keiko Hirota, Sawazaki Kensetsu, Atelier ZO

See ArchDaily's exclusive coverage of the 2014 Venice Biennale

Condemned to be Modern: Inside Mexico’s Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014

© Nico Saieh

’s pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale is centered on Octavio Paz’s reflections on the contraposition between tradition and modernity. Echoing the request from Rem Koolhaas that the national pavilions focus on the theme Absorbing Modernity 1914-2014, Paz’s writings establish that “…modernity, for the last one hundred years has been our style. It is the universal style. Wanting to be modern seems like madness, we are condemned to be modern.”

Architects Julio Gaeta and Luby Springall use this reflection as the starting point for their curatorial project, designing the pavilion to show two story paths: one traditional and one modern. This concept is executed through the selection of works emblematic of Mexican modernity juxtaposed with works, events and interviews that influence architecture.

Check out photos from the pavilion along with the official text from the curators after the break.

House 01, Hyde Park / Daffonchio & Associates Architects

© Adam Letch

Architects: Daffonchio & Associates Architects
Location: Hyde Park, ,
Project Team: Frances Joynt
Photographs: Adam Letch

Yardhouse / Assemble

Courtesy of Assemble

Architects: Assemble
Location: , London,
Area: 250 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Courtesy of Assemble, David Grandorge

Capturing Hong Kong’s Dizzying Vertical Density

© Romain Jacquet-Lagrèze

Romain Jacquet-Lagrèze is a French photographer who captures the dizzying heights and uncommon densities of . Inspired by “the geometry of the urban environment and the vivid lives it shelters,” Jacquet-Lagrèze has not only captured the verticality of Hong Kong’s built environment, but also compiled a new book, Vertical Horizon, “a photographic journey between the buildings of a relentlessly growing city.” See more of Jacquet-Lagrèze‘s images, and read an excerpt from Vertical Horizonafter the break.

Building Skin Developed That Could Cool Our Cities

© Harunori Noda

The urban heat island effect - the hot, overwhelming temperatures that a city’s concrete produces – has a huge impact on livability and comfort within the city. Now, an elegant cooling system has been designed that not only reduces energy usage, but – should it be installed on multiple buildings – could even lower the overall temperature of a city itself. Learn more, after the break.

Village Health Works Staff Housing / Louise Braverman

© Iwan Baan

Architects: Louise Braverman
Location: ,
Architect In Charge: Louise Braverman, FAIA
Area: 6,000 sqft
Photographs: Iwan Baan

Video: A 3-Minute History of Chicago’s Millenium Park

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Did you know Millenium Park in ChicagoIllinois was actually a desolate industrial wasteland until the turn of the century? The 24.5 acre public park, host to a state-of-the-art collection of architecture, landscape design, and art, is now a popular destination for residents and tourists alike — all thanks to an unprecedented public-private partnership pioneered by former Mayor Richard Daley. To learn more about how Daley made Millenium Park a reality, with the help of famous designers like Frank Gehry, check out the video above.

The House of the Infinite / Alberto Campo Baeza

© Javier Callejas Sevilla

Architects: Alberto Campo Baeza
Location: ,
Area: 900.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Javier Callejas Sevilla

Institute for Public Architecture exhibition on public and affordable housing in NYC, "Total Reset." Installation by IPA Fellow Quilian Riano: “Work with Me, Neighbor.”
Institute for Public Architecture exhibition on public and affordable housing in NYC, "Total Reset." Installation by IPA Fellow Quilian Riano: “Work with Me, Neighbor.”

Exhibition: Total Reset

In the spring, the IPA launched the “Total Reset” series with a Roundtable exploring ambitious, achievable ideas for public and affordable housing in New York. This summer, IPA Fellows respond to the roundtable discussion with housing proposals that connect design, policy, and community engagement.