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OMA Selected to Design Manchester's 'Factory', Their First Public Project in the UK

Rotterdam-based Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) have been announced by the UK's Chancellor of the Exchequer as the winning team in the competition to design the city of Manchester's high-profile Factory art space. Following the announcement of the shortlist earlier this year, featuring practices including Rafael Viñoly, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Zaha Hadid and Mecanoo, it has since been reported by The Guardian that the British government's original pledge of £78million ($117million) to the cost of the building will be raised by a further £9million per year from around 2018.

Quarry Theatre at St Luke's / Foster 

  • Architects: Foster 
  • Location: 26 St Peters St, Bedford, Bedford MK40, UK
  • Project Year: 2015
  • Photographs: Philip Vile

© Philip Vile © Philip Vile © Philip Vile © Philip Vile

Westlegate Tower in Norwich / 5th Studio

  • Architects: 5th Studio
  • Location: Norwich, Norwich, Norfolk, UK
  • Project Architect: Nathan Jones / John Cain
  • Design Team: Ronan Watts, Lily Nicholls, Giles Smith, Mike Taylor
  • Area: 3530.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Timothy Soar

© Timothy Soar © Timothy Soar © Timothy Soar © Timothy Soar

Slough Aspire / Manalo & White

© Morgan O'Donovan © Morgan O'Donovan © Morgan O'Donovan © Morgan O'Donovan

Boldrewood Innovation Campus / Grimshaw

© Jim Stephenson © Diane Auckland - Fotohaus © Jim Stephenson © Jim Stephenson

Semi-detached / Delvendahl Martin Architects

© Tim Crocker © Tim Crocker © Tim Crocker © Tim Crocker

AL_A Submits Plans for Southampton Maggie's Center

Amanda Levete Architects (AL_A) has submitted plans for a new Maggie's Center in the English coastal city of Southampton. Sited at the Southampton General Hospital, the proposed center will provide free practical, emotional and social support for people with cancer and their family and friends. The new building aims to provide a warm and welcoming sanctuary within the built-up hospital environment. 

"Bringing a bit of magic to the place, the building emerges from this wild naturalistic landscape with an almost ethereal clarity," described AL_A. "Subtle, understated and imbued with light, it is designed to lift the weight from the shoulders of all who visit and work there."

The Cube / Hawkins\Brown

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

OMA, Zaha Hadid and Mecanoo Among 9 Shortlisted for New Art Space in Manchester

A competitive shortlist of 9 has been released for a new high-profile art space planned in Manchester. The £110 million project, known as "The Factory" (after the city's influential Factory Records), will feature an "ultra-flexible" arts venue that can transform from a 2,200-seat theater into an open 5,000-capacity space that will accommodate a wide range of art forms and performances. It will also serve as the new home of the Manchester International Festival (MIF). 

"The level of international interest reflects the city’s emerging status as an internationally-renowned city of culture. This is a landmark development that will place Manchester in the highest tier of arts worldwide," said Manchester City Council (MCC) executive member Rosa Battle. 

The 9 shortlisted practices are: 

Y-Cube / Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

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

Crowdfunding Campaign Begins for Homeless Shelter Pods

After winning the 6th annual Space for New Visions competition by FAKRO last month, James Furzer of Spatial Design Architects has begun a crowdfunding campaign on Indigogo for his project, “Homes for the Homeless”. The project proposes a series of modular pods which attach to existing buildings, providing a safe space for a night’s rest for the homeless. Extending beyond mere habitation, James Furzer hopes to change the way that the public sees the homeless – of which there are over 750 on any given night in London alone.

Own a Pied-à-Terre in the Heart of Middle Earth with the "Realise Minas Tirith" Campaign

Are you looking for the perfect walled city to lay down your roots? Look no further than Minas Tirith, J.R.R. Tolkien's fictional capital of Gondor, located in mountainous and remote Middle Earth. Except, if an ambitious group of British architects get their way, it might not be fictional for much longer. With their plans to construct a replica of Minas Tirith in the non-fictional hills of southern England, the Lord of the Rings-inspired community promises to be a bustling center of activity occupied by the most diehard Middle Earth supporters. This is only possible, of course, if the founders of Realise Minas Tirith are able to fundraise £1.85 Billion ($2.86bn USD) within 60 days on Indiegogo.

These Detachable Pods Aim to Provide Shelter for Britain’s Homeless

The 6th annual “Space for New Visions” competition has announced its winner: a project entitled “Homes for the Homeless,” by James Furzer of Spatial Design Architects. Hosted by FAKRO, a global manufacturer of roof windows and loft ladders, and A10 Magazine for European Architecture, the competition sought proposals that incorporated FAKRO products. With entries from around the world, projects were judged based on user comfort, environmental impact, functionality and natural light, among other things. Read about the winning entry after the break.

David Chipperfield's "Radical" English Country House Considered "World's Best"

The Architectural Review (AR) has crowned David Chipperfield's Fayland House winner of the 2015 AR House Awards, deeming it the world's best new house. Celebrating excellence and innovation in the design of a one-off house, the award highlights the Chipperfield-designed home for being a "radical new take on the English country house."

"To make a luxury home that isn’t pompous or a projection of the vanity of its inhabitants is a really difficult thing," said judge Adam Caruso of Caruso St John. "Fayland House places a very large house in a special landscape without disappearing. The domestic outdoor spaces, which have always been an issue in English country houses, are in courtyards, which is an innovation."

Shortlist Announced For 2015 RIBA South West Awards

A total of sixteen projects have been shortlisted for RIBA South West 2015 Awards, featuring buildings by Glenn Howells Architects, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, AHR, and Stonewood Design. All shortlisted buildings will now be assessed by a regional jury. Regional winners will then be considered for a RIBA National Award in recognition of their architectural excellence, the results of which will place some projects in the running for the 2015 RIBA Stirling Prize" href="" rel="tag">RIBA Stirling Prize.

See the complete list of shortlisted projects after the break.

RIBA Launches Centenery Square Regeneration Competition for Birmingham

The Royal Institute of British Architects have announced an international design competition to regenerate Centenary Square, one of Birmingham's largest public spaces, and neighbor to Birmingham's International Convention Centre, the Old Rep Theatre, and the the Library of Birmingham by Mecanoo which was shortlisted for the 2014 Stirling Prize