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AD Classics: V&A Spiral / Daniel Libeskind + Cecil Balmond

The violent insertion of Daniel Libeskind’s Spiral into the Victorian neighborhood of South Kensington renders a cataclysmic disruption into a landscape of order and propriety. It envisions a rupture in the fabric of space and time, aggressively anachronistic from the building it adjoins, unapologetically appealing not to cultured humanism but to the mathematical logic of complexity and chaos. What is now textbook "Libeskind" was in 1996 a shocking non-starter for the London establishment, an unacceptable risk for a city perpetually torn between its agitated cosmopolitan energies and its quintessential impulse toward nostalgia and restraint. Nearly twenty years after the Spiral was selected as the winner of a distinguished international competition, this controversial extension proposal for the Victoria and Albert Museum remains unbuilt.

Courtesy of Balmond Studio & Studio Libeskind Courtesy of Balmond Studio & Studio Libeskind Courtesy of Balmond Studio & Studio Libeskind Courtesy of Balmond Studio & Studio Libeskind

Quinlan Terry Among Four to Receive "New Year Honours" for Services in UK Architecture

John Quinlan Terry, one of Prince Charles' preferred architects, is being recognized on the UK’s 2015 New Year Honours list and awarded the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his services in classical architecture. The Queen’s annual awards will also be honoring architect Cecil Balmond, former deputy chairman of UK Arup, with the Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE). Former City Planning Officer and professor Peter Wynne Rees, who oversaw the realization of the Gherkin and highly disputed Walkie Talkie, will also receive a CBE for his services. Katharine Heron, professor of Architecture University of Westminster, has been selected to receive a Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for her services to architecture and higher education. 

Video: Cecil Balmond's Special Lecture at reSITE 2013

A couple of months ago we told you about reSITE Conference 2013, the largest event of its kind in Central and Eastern Europe. During the conference, the reSITE dPAV Competition Workshop also took place. Led by Cecil Balmond, formerly of Arup Engineers and currently leading Balmond Studio in London, and Tyson Hosmer, Lead Designer, Balmond Studio, dPAV: 2.5 Days in Prague competition workshop was a 2.5 days intensive and collaborative investigation to compete to design the future reSITE pavilion to be used in urban design festivals around Central and Eastern Europe.

Star of Calendonia / Cecil Balmond and Charles Jencks

Courtesy of Balmond Studio
Courtesy of Balmond Studio

Cecil Balmond of Balmond Studio and Charles Jencks have developed the winning design, Star of Caledonia, for the border crossing between England and Scotland at Gretna.  Aiming for a 2014 completion date (just in time for the Commonwealth Games hosted in Glasgow) the design of this contemporary landmark sculpture will draw inspiration from Scotland’s scientific heritage and will feature a series of S-curves marking the cross of St. Andrew.

IN-SITE / Cecil Balmond: Exhibition at Casa da Arquitectura

© Adriana Oliveira
© Adriana Oliveira

IN-SITE brings Cecil Balmond’s workshop to life. Featuring never-before seen material, the show covers Balmond’s work and collaborations, featuring over 100 original sketches and models. Included are Weave bridge for University of Pennsylvania (2010), the Pedro e Ines footbridge in Coimbra (2006), art installations, such as H_edge and Danzer, and Orbit, the 120m high sculpture designed with Anish Kapoor for London’s 2012 Olympics. IN-SITE is scheduled to tour other galleries worldwide this autumn and is currently on show at the Casa da Arquitectura as part of Porto’s Open Source architectural event. The exhibition will continue until September 10. Some images after the break.