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London Calling: British Modernism's Watershed Moment - The Churchill College Competition

01:00 - 30 June, 2014
London Calling: British Modernism's Watershed Moment - The Churchill College Competition, Courtesy of Churchill College
Courtesy of Churchill College

Fifty years ago Churchill College Cambridge opened its doors. In contrast to the historic Colleges, with their medieval Gothic and Neo-Classical buildings corralled behind high walls, this was in an almost rural setting on the outskirts of the city, modern in design, and Brutalist in detail. 

The 1959 competition that brought the College into being is considered by many to be a watershed moment in British Post War architectural history. It brought together 20 names, young and old, all practicing in Britain, all working in the Modernist and more specifically the nascent Brutalist style. It was a “who’s who” of British architecture at the time, including the Smithsons, Hungarian-born Erno Goldfinger, Lasdun (then in partnership with Maxwell Fry, Jane Drew & Lindsay Drake, and formerly with Russian émigré Lubetkin), Lyons Israel Ellis and Robert Matthew (one half of the Royal Festival Hall team, who teamed up with Johnson Marshall). None of these made the shortlist of four.

Proposal: Stirling & Gowan. Image Courtesy of James Gowan and the Canadian Centre for Architecture, via e-architect Proposal: Richard Sheppard, Robson & Partners. Image Courtesy of Sheppard Robson, via e-architect Proposal: Chamberlin, Powell & Bon. Image Courtesy of Frank Woods, via e-architect The library from Stirling and Gowan’s entry to the Churchill College, Cambridge competition (1958). Image Courtesy of BD Online +19

How Can We Hold On To Heritage Skills?

00:00 - 30 June, 2014
How Can We Hold On To Heritage Skills?, © James Taylor-Foster
© James Taylor-Foster

In an age when 1:1 3D printed buildings are becoming ever more commonplace from the Netherlands to China, it's important to pause and assess the existing built fabric of our cities, towns and villages. If we want to maintain and preserve them whilst protecting the inherent craft imbued in their construction, the importance of nurturing and promoting these skills should be recognised.

In the UK, the Heritage Skills Hub (HSH) push to see "traditional building skills, conservation, restoration and responsible retrofit" included within all mainstream built environment courses. In a recent conversation with Cathie Clarke, CEO of the HSH, we discussed the obstacles faced by an organisation dedicated to conserving and teaching skills like stonemasonry, roof thatching, glass making, traditional brick construction to a new generation.

Boris Johnson Speech Reignites Row Over Mount Pleasant Development

00:00 - 30 June, 2014
Boris Johnson Speech Reignites Row Over Mount Pleasant Development , Courtesy of Cityscape
Courtesy of Cityscape

The controversial Mount Pleasant development in London has sparked another row this week, as campaigners accused Mayor Boris Johnson of "compromising his neutrality" over the 681-home scheme which he has called in to review personally. Though he is supposed to remain neutral until the hearing, last week Johnson remarked in a speech that the development "will be a wonderful place to live." However many have expressed concern over the design, including Thomas Heatherwick, who lives locally and called the scheme "empty, cynical and vacuous." Read all the details at BD Online.

Smiljan Radic's Serpentine Pavilion / Images by Danica O. Kus

01:00 - 30 June, 2014
Smiljan Radic's Serpentine Pavilion / Images by Danica O. Kus, © Danica O. Kus
© Danica O. Kus

Architecture photographer Danica O. Kus has shared with us images of the 2014 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, designed by Chilean architect Smiljan Radić. For a closer look at this unusual pavilion, inspired by Oscar Wilde's short story The Selfish Giant, check out all of Ms. Kus' images after the break.

© Danica O. Kus © Danica O. Kus © Danica O. Kus © Danica O. Kus +20

Washington D.C. - The Most Walkable City in the US?

00:00 - 29 June, 2014
Chicago is the fifth most walkable city. Image © Vincent Desjardins via Flickr
Chicago is the fifth most walkable city. Image © Vincent Desjardins via Flickr

new report from Christopher Leinberger and Patrick Lynch at The George Washington University School of Business has unexpectedly named Washington D.C. the most walkable city in the U.S., trumping expected favorites like New York, which ranked second.

Respectively rounding out the top five were Boston, San Francisco, and Chicago. Although a mere 2.8 percent of the population is estimated to walk to work, the report's authors believe the results are indicative of urban development moving away from automobile dependency and sprawl - an event they consider as significant as Frederick Jackson Turner declaring the "closing of the frontier" in 1893.

Alcohol and Urbanism, a Case Study: Breaking New York City’s Open Container Law

00:00 - 29 June, 2014
Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. Image © Rennie Jones
Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. Image © Rennie Jones

If there is one thing to be learned from the unsuccessful prohibition period of the 1920s, it is that we, the people, will go to great lengths to exercise our right to drink alcohol in the company of others. Our determined forefathers could have simply enjoyed a small-batch bathtub brew in the comfort of their own homes, but instead they established a system of secret places to congregate and consume collectively, even under threat of federal prosecution. Though it is no longer a felony to consume alcohol, New Yorkers are still pushing the legal limits of drinking with others, challenging the open container laws that prohibit public drinking.

Drinking is a recreational activity. It is a means of stepping beyond the realm of normal perception and seeing things differently, in the metaphorical sense (though sometimes a literal one). It is an act of recreation and repose, the parallel of peering at passerby from a park bench. In New York City, as in most of the United States, it is illegal for any person to possess an open container of an alcoholic beverage in any public place, “except at a block party, feast or similar function for which a permit has been obtained." Rarely do individuals have the resources for a block party or occasion for a full-scale public feast. More likely, they simply seek to crack open a can with neighbors on their front steps or with friends in Central Park, thereby enjoying a beverage in one of the country’s most vibrant and diverse public spheres for a mere penance. Unfortunately, that is not a legal option. Even the outdoor space we own is not completely open to our discretionary use: a resident cannot drink on his own stoop because it is “a place to which the public or a substantial group of persons has access."

Easterbrook House / Dorrington Atcheson Architects

01:00 - 29 June, 2014
Easterbrook House / Dorrington Atcheson Architects, © Emma-Jane Hetherington
© Emma-Jane Hetherington

© Emma-Jane Hetherington © Emma-Jane Hetherington © Emma-Jane Hetherington © Emma-Jane Hetherington +16

Forest Retreat / Uhlik architekti

01:00 - 29 June, 2014
Forest Retreat / Uhlik architekti, © Jan Kudej
© Jan Kudej

© Jan Kudej © Jan Kudej © Jan Kudej © Jan Kudej +14

  • Architects

  • Location

    Central Bohemian Region, Czech Republic
  • Area

    16.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs

Green Cascade / Atelier de la Passerelle

01:00 - 29 June, 2014
Green Cascade / Atelier de la Passerelle, © Jérôme Ricolleau
© Jérôme Ricolleau

© Jérôme Ricolleau © Jérôme Ricolleau © Jérôme Ricolleau Courtesy of Atelier de la Passerelle +15

Open and Transparent to The City / Pitsou Kedem Architects

01:00 - 29 June, 2014
Open and Transparent to The City / Pitsou Kedem Architects, © Amit Geron
© Amit Geron

© Amit Geron © Amit Geron © Amit Geron © Amit Geron +34

  • Architects

  • Location

    Tel Aviv, Israel
  • Architect in Charge

    Ran M. Broides
  • Design Team

    Pitsou Kedem, Ran M. Broides , Nurit Ben Yosef and Irene Goldberg
  • Area

    680.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2014
  • Photographs

Vo Trong Nghia Wins ARCASIA Building of the Year

01:00 - 29 June, 2014
Vo Trong Nghia Wins ARCASIA Building of the Year, Bamboo Wing / Vo Trong Nghia Architects. Image © Hiroyuki Oki
Bamboo Wing / Vo Trong Nghia Architects. Image © Hiroyuki Oki

Vietnamese Practice Vo Trong Nghia Architects has taken home the top honor at the Architects Regional Council Asia (ARCASIA) 2014 awards. The Dailai Bamboo Complex, consisting of the 2009 Bamboo Wing and the 2012 Dailai Conference Hall, was selected out of 276 entries to win Building of the Year Award, one of the most prestigious prizes in Asian architecture.

The award adds to the recent success for Vo Trong Nghia, who recently won the top prize in the AR House Awards for their House for Trees.

More on the Dailai Bamboo Complex after the break

Bamboo Wing / Vo Trong Nghia Architects. Image © Hiroyuki Oki Dailai Conference Hall / Vo Trong Nghia Architects. Image © Hiroyuki Oki Dailai Conference Hall / Vo Trong Nghia Architects. Image © Hiroyuki Oki Bamboo Wing / Vo Trong Nghia Architects. Image © Hiroyuki Oki +23

Barcelona Commemorates 300 Years of Catalan Spirit With 7 Public Installations

01:00 - 29 June, 2014
Barcelona Commemorates 300 Years of Catalan Spirit With 7 Public Installations, Identity / URBANUS. Image © Marcela Grassi
Identity / URBANUS. Image © Marcela Grassi

Every year, citizens of Catalonia commemorate the events of September 11th 1714, a key date in the War of the Spanish Succession that has come to symbolize what Voltaire called "the Barcelonans' extreme love of freedom." With this year marking the 300th anniversary of these events, Barcelona Cultura enlisted the Fundació Enric Miralles to curate 7 public installations around the city as part of its Tricentenari BCN program.

The result is BCN RE.SET, organized by Benedetta Tagliabue of the Fundació Enric Miralles and stage director Àlex Ollé, which invited guest architects from countries all over the world to colloborate with local universities and create installations symbolizing 6 political and ideological concepts: identity, freedom, Europe, diversity, democracy and memory. These installations will be in place until September 11th. Read on after the break for descriptions of all 6 installations.

Europe / ETH Zürich + Urban–Think Tank. Image © Marcela Grassi Diversity / Yael Reisner + Peter Cook. Image © Marcela Grassi Freedom / Anupama Kundoo. Image © Marcela Grassi Memory / Grafton Architects. Image © Marcela Grassi +15

India’s Most Successful Architect: Improving India's Slums or Exacerbating Social Gaps?

00:00 - 29 June, 2014
India’s Most Successful Architect: Improving India's Slums or Exacerbating Social Gaps?, On what used to be a shantytown, Hafeez Contractor's the Imperial Towers now loom over low-income apartments. Image © Mahesh Shantaram for The New York Times
On what used to be a shantytown, Hafeez Contractor's the Imperial Towers now loom over low-income apartments. Image © Mahesh Shantaram for The New York Times

"The Indian poor live in perpetual darkness, while the Indian rich live in perpetual light." This fact is obviously embedded in Mumbai, where luxury condominiums rise in the middle of slums. Many of these extravagant buildings were designed by India's most commercially successful architect, Hafeez Contractor, who believes his arrestive work is the beginning of slum redevelopment. Learn about his crusade and how he's been criticized in this New York Times article by Daniel Brook.

Gleason House Building / Trama Arquitectos

00:00 - 29 June, 2014
Gleason House Building / Trama Arquitectos, © Mito Covarrubias
© Mito Covarrubias

© Mito Covarrubias © Mito Covarrubias © Mito Covarrubias © Mito Covarrubias +25

  • Architects

  • Location

    Americana, Guadalajara, JAL, Mexico
  • Architectural Project

    Jaime Castiello Chávez, Héctor Santana, Edgardo Sandoval, Carlos Haro, Jorge Ignacio Gutiérrez, Livier Miramontes, Héctor Lozano, Mario Rodríguez, Beatriz Orozco, Carmen Espinosa, Manuel Haro, Jaime Castiello Gómez Verea, Fernando Castiello, Miguel Martínez, Hugo Yáñez Ochoa, Susana Cortés, Juan Carlos Barriga
  • Area

    875.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2012
  • Photographs

    Mito Covarrubias, Courtesy of Trama Arquitectos

Under Construction: Apartments with perimeter gardens in Madrid / SUMA

00:00 - 29 June, 2014
Under Construction: Apartments with perimeter gardens in Madrid / SUMA, © Jesús Granada
© Jesús Granada

Architects: Elena Orte y Guillermo Sevillano (SUMA)
Location: c/ Fernández Caro, 35, Madrid, Spain
Client: Private 2011
Project Date: 2013-
Construction: Diezma Rosell Construcciones s.l.
Structure: SANDO-COMEUT
Photography: Jesús Granada

The Chapel / a21 studio

01:00 - 28 June, 2014
The Chapel / a21 studio, Courtesy of a21 studio
Courtesy of a21 studio

Courtesy of a21 studio Courtesy of a21 studio Courtesy of a21 studio Courtesy of a21 studio +15

  • Architects

  • Location

    Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  • Area

    140.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2014
  • Photographs

    Courtesy of a21 studio

Feisteinveien / Rever & Drage Architects

01:00 - 28 June, 2014
© Tom Auger
© Tom Auger

© Tom Auger © Tom Auger © Tom Auger © Tom Auger +23

Kadare Cultural Centre / Chiaki Arai Urban and Architecture Design

01:00 - 28 June, 2014
Kadare Cultural Centre / Chiaki Arai Urban and Architecture Design, © Taisuke Ogawa
© Taisuke Ogawa

© Taisuke Ogawa © Taisuke Ogawa © Taisuke Ogawa © Taisuke Ogawa +31