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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="http://www.archdaily.com/tag/riba-stirling-prize/" 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

Spotlight: Sir Christopher Wren

Sir Christopher Wren (20 October 1632 - 25 February 1723) is one the most significant architects in England's history, and was a recognized astronomer, scholar, and physicist-mathematician. Wren was classically trained at University of Oxford in physics and engineering where he developed his interest in architecture. He is perhaps most famous for designing London's iconic St. Paul's Cathedral, however he is credited with the design of dozens of other churches, government buildings, and hospitals in England. Wren was knighted in 1673.

Hampton Court Palace, London. Image © Flickr CC User Pembleton Old Royal Navy College, Greenwich. Image © Flickr CC User Nicholas Schooley Trinity College Library, Cambridge. Image © Flickr CC User bethmoon527 St. Paul's Cathedral, London. Image © Flickr CC User locosteve

Five Shortlisted for Marlborough College Science Building

Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Nicholas Hare Architects, Orms, Sarah Wigglesworth Architects and Tim Ronalds Architects have been shortlisted in a competition to expand and develop the Marlborough College science building in Wiltshire, England. “The current Science Block has a fascinating heritage but needs a new life to accommodate new teaching methods,” explained Malcolm Reading, the competition’s organizer. “The competition is all about finding a balance between the architectural grain of the existing eclectic campus and a confident and exciting piece of contemporary architecture.” The teams will now develop proposals. A winner will be announced in December. 

Are Playable Cities the Future of Urbanism?

Who says that playing is just for kids? Bristol, in the United Kingdom, is just one of the many cities around the world experimenting with urban play, creating opportunities to eliminate urban solitude in favour of having fun. In a recent article in The Guardian, Julian Baggini dives head first into Bristol's playful new initiatives including a 300-foot water slide on the city's high street, post boxes that converse using text messaging, and city-wide zombie chases. Bristol is leading the way with urban play worldwide, hosting a conference this month entitled Making the City Playable, an opportunity for planners to convene with the creative minds behind the new form of entertainment. Find out more about urban play and the benefits it brings to cities here

Make Architects Reveal Big Data Institute for University of Oxford

Make Architects have just received planning permission to build a world-class institute devoted to research and processing of health-related data on Oxford University's Old Road Campus. The Big Data Institute (BDI) will be built adjacent to two other Make-designed buildings: The Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology and the NDM Research Building. The BDI will be London-based Make Architects' fifth building on Oxford's Old Road Campus.

Wondering what's inside? Find out more after the break.

Beachfront Observation Tower Confirmed for the British City of Brighton

British practice Marks Barfield Architects, famous for designing the London Eye, are a step closer to realising their latest urban observation structure: the i360 Brighton. This week the international team who created the London landmark were reunited on Brighton beach as as loans of more than £40 million have been agreed to begin the tower's construction. Bringing together companies from the UK, France (Poma), the USA (Jacobs Enginneering) and the Netherlands (Hollandia), the project has been described as "truly unique."

Renzo Piano-Designed Residential Tower Planned to Neighbor the Shard

Sellar Property Group has announced plans to commission yet another Renzo Piano-designed tower in London at the base of The Shard. Replacing the current Fielden House, a 1970s office building located on London Bridge Street, the new 27-story residential tower plans to provide 150 apartments, retail space and roof garden. As part of the area’s regeneration plan, the project will be the third Piano-designed building on the block.  

Critical Round-Up: Tate Britain Renovation, Caruso St. John

 Lower level rotunda, Tate Britain - Courtesy Caruso St. John and Tate. Image © Helene Binet
Lower level rotunda, Tate Britain - Courtesy Caruso St. John and Tate. Image © Helene Binet

London's Tate Britain, a partner gallery to the Tate Modern (who recently appointed Herzog & de Meuron to design a new extension), recently unveiled Caruso St. John's transformation of the oldest part of the iconic Grade II* listed Millbank building. The £45 million project to restore, renovate and reinterpret one of the UK's most important galleries has been met with a largely positive critical response; read the conclusions of The Financial Times’ Edwin Heathcote, The Guardian’s Oliver Wainwright,  The Independent's Jay Merrick, the RIBA Journal's Hugh Pearman, and the Architects’ Journal’s Rory Olcayto, after the break…

LSE Asks for 'Further Work' To Be Done on Shortlisted Designs

Following the announcement last month that the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) had shortlisted five designs for their new Global Centre for Social Sciences (GCSS) in London's Aldwych, they have now revealed that "there’s not one really outstanding scheme" and "there’s some further work to do by the practices and the LSE." Therefore contestants Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, OMAHopkins ArchitectsGrafton Architects, and Henegham Peng Architects must reconsider their proposed designs

AD Classics: Rogers House / Richard & Su Rogers

The Rogers House, designed by Richard and Su Rogers in 1968, is one of the lesser known architectural works from the master who went on to design the Centre Pompidou in Paris with Renzo Piano. The house, which represented British Architecture at the 1967 Paris Biennale, was commissioned by Rogers' parents and was granted Grade II* Listing in February 2013 - a rare accolade for a building so recent - cementing its importance in the architectural heritage of the United Kingdom.

Described by Rogers as "the most successful small project I've been involved in", the house carefully balances the openness of shear glass facades with the need to provide his parents with privacy and seclusion - a task made harder by the building's location, just a short walk from Wimbledon Village in central London. Incorporated within the design is a separate flat and pottery studio which were positioned to provide a sound barrier between the house of the adjacent road. It is, essentially, "a transparent tube with solid boundary walls".

© Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners LLP © Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners LLP © Tim Crocker © Tim Crocker

AHMM to Design London's New Metropolitan Police HQ

Following the news last month that the RIBA and the Mayor of London’s Office revealed the five shortlisted designs for the new Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) headquarters, it has been announced that Allford Hall Monaghan Morris's (AHMM) design has won. The competition attracted submissions from the likes of Foster + PartnersAllies & MorrisonKeith Williams Architects and Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands. AHMM's proposal will be located in London's Whitehall Conservation Area and is set for completion in 2015.

Elliptical Bridge Proposal / Penda

Architecture firm, penda design house, led by Chris Precht and in collaboration with Alex Daxböck, submitted designs of a pedestrian bridge for the RIBA-sponsored Salford Meadows Bridge Competition in England.

The "O" is an elegantly simple concept, manifesting itself as a striking reinterpretation of a traditional pedestrian bridge. The multifaceted bridge offers unique and evolving perspectives to approaching pedestrians, culminating in a mesmerizing ellipse that engulfs those crossing the Irwell River. "Creating an inviting gesture for the Salford meadows was a main goal," says Precht, we envisioned "a transition space, where the structure almost hugs you."

Courtesy of Chris Precht and Alex Daxböck Courtesy of Chris Precht and Alex Daxböck Courtesy of Chris Precht and Alex Daxböck Courtesy of Chris Precht and Alex Daxböck

Shortlist Announced for LSE Global Centre for Social Sciences

The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) have unveiled five shortlisted proposals for the new £90 million Global Centre for Social Sciences (GCSS) in London's Aldwych. The competition, which has attracted designs from the likes of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and OMA, will be the school's "biggest ever building project" and is set to "transform" the world-leading institution. Other entrants include Hopkins Architects, Grafton Architects, and Henegham Peng Architects. See the anonymous proposals after the break...