Canterbury Cathedral is delighted to announce a design competition to find an outstanding team to revitalise the landscape immediately in front of the main Cathedral entrance. The competition is an opportunity for designers to reconsider the way visitors first encounter England’s leading Cathedral and Mother Church.
As reported by BDOnline, Richard Rogers of Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners has announced his support in the long-standing battle to save England’s Preston Bus Station from demolition. In a letter to the English Heritage, Rogers described the 1969 brutalist landmark as “truly a major modern building and an outstanding piece of 20th century architecture” that is in dire need of refurbishment.
“Preston Bus Station is not only admired internationally, but it also continues to be fully functioning. It is a critical transport hub,” he stated. “I would encourage you to consider listing the bus station and support a much-needed refurbishment.”
Free of clutter but filled with light, shadow and sculptural forms, filmmaker Matthew Donaldson takes you inside the minimalist masterpiece that Italian architect Claudio Silvestrin calls home. As part of NOWNESS’ In Residence series, this video sheds light Silvestrin’s “reductive, contemplative, near-ecclesiastical spaces” that can be found across the globe – from Moscow to Majorca, and soon-to-be in Miami, where Silvestrin is currently designing a home from Kanye West that will undoubtedly exhibit many of his signature components.
Foster + Partners have received the green light from the Lambeth Council for three mixed use towers on the 20-21 Albert Embankment in London. Ranging from 15 to 27 stories, the curved steel and glass structures will provide the area with 253 apartments, including affordable homes for senior living, along with offices, restaurants and a residents’ bar, gym, pool and spa.
Grant Brooker, Senior Partner at Foster + Partners: “We are absolutely delighted that 20-21 Albert Embankment has received planning permission – working alongside our clients at St. James and with great support from Lambeth and the GLA, we hope to transform this important and highly visible site into a vibrant riverside community that sets a benchmark for the regeneration of this part of the river.”
More after the break…
Divisive concrete behemoth Preston Bus Station may yet be saved from its planned demolition. On the heels of a well co-ordinated campaign to save the brutalist monument, local businessman Simon Rigby has stepped in and offered to relieve the council of the building planning refurbish and operate the bus station himself.
Read more about the controversy and Rigby’s plan after the break…
Today, six months after the laser light extravaganza that marked the completion of The Shard in London, the controversial glass tower celebrated its official opening to the public. Architecture enthusiasts and residents were welcomed to join the mayor of London 244 meters above the capital on the 72 floor observation deck for the official ribbon cutting.
Designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, the 310 meter needle-point structure is currently the tallest in Western Europe. The two million square meter mixed-use development offers ample office space, restaurants, a five-star shangri-la hotel and residences.
Two leading London creatives meet for a chat and a chop in an East End hair salon.
Crane.tv visits British designer Tom Dixon in his shop in Portobello Dock. The designer of the iconic S-bend chair and Mirrorball light shares his disappointment at not becoming the next king of disco, and tells us what he’s learned about design from the chef of his restaurant, Dock Kitchen. Address: Wharf Building, Portobello Dock, 344 Ladbroke Grove, London, W10 5BU.
Images of the transformation of the Shell Centre Campus, which include 8 towers to be designed by six different architects in London’s South Bank, have been released and submitted for approval by the local authority, Lambeth Council.
The project, under a Masterplan by Squire and Partners and co-developed by Canary Wharf Group and Qatari Diar, is a 5.25-acre mixed-use scheme between Waterloo Station and Hungerford Bridge. While the famous 27-story Shell Tower will be preserved, the plans show eight new residential and office buildings will be constructed by six architectural firms: an office and two residential towers by Squire and Partners, one office tower by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF); a residential block by Patel Taylor; another by Stanton Williams; and two more residential towers by GRID Architects.
In total, about 800,000 sq ft of office space (which includes the existing Shell Tower), 800,000 sq ft of residential space (translating to 790 new homes, including affordable housing), and 80,000 sq ft of new retail units/restaurants/cafés will be created. As Michael Squire of Squire and Partners told The Architect’s Journal: “We make no apology, this is a dense development, it sits next to one of the busiest train stations in Europe. This is a massive sustainable move that will allow people to live and work in the same area.”
More on the proposed plan for London’s South Bank, after the break…
Award-winning architectural firm Arca Architects is based in central Manchester, England, and headed by architect John Lee. Arca’s Silver Café on the Morecambe Bay in England transformed the face of a quiet seaside town with a space that is both visually appealing and tactilely exciting.
The Silver Café won the 2009 Small Scale Commercial Award from the Manchester Society of Architects (MSA), and it was a finalist for two coveted Young Architect of the Year Awards in 2000.
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According to the global affairs magazine Monocle, Britain’s cultural cache is at an all-time high.
The magazine’s latest annual Soft Power Survey (which measures the “Soft Power” of a country, or “the ways in which a nation can shape the world without relying on financial muscle and overwhelming force”) placed the UK as the world’s greatest cultural influencer, dethroning the US for the first time.
The magazine cites the UK’s action-packed year, which included the Queen’s Jubilee, the success of pop-culture phenomena (like Adele and James Bond), and the Summer Olympic Games, as the catalyst which put them on top.
But let’s not underestimate the role that architecture has played as a symbol of Britain’s cultural import. Despite financial difficulties (which have put London’s burgeoning skyline in doubt), the year was nevertheless a good one for Britain’s architecture and architects - Renzo Piano‘s controversial Shard hogged the spotlight in London’s Olympic coverage; Dame Zaha Hadid, Glamour’s Woman of the Year, has been non-stop in the media thanks to her Aquatics Centre and Galaxy Soho; and, to top it off, British megafirm Foster + Partners will soon be responsible for many of New York’s latest skyscrapers. Talk about the Empire striking back.
Find out who else made the list of most influential countries, after the break…
The international development and disaster relief charity Article 25, named after the 25th article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, asked 100 of London’s artists and architects to take part in ‘10×10 Drawing the City‘. Zaha Hadid, Will Alsop, Eric Parry and Tim Makower have all created artwork inspired by an individually allocated 10×10 squared section of London’s urban landscape. The one-off pieces, which together are an impressive showcase of British architectural heritage, will be exhibited at the newly revamped West Wing of Somerset House on 14 November before all work is auctioned to the public.
RIBA Competitions recently announced their two-stage design ideas competition for the Great Fen Visitor Centre in Cambridgeshire. Great Fen is an internationally acclaimed vision, one of sweeping scale and ambition. Over the next 50-100 years, more than 3,000ha of largely arable land will be transformed into a mosaic of habitat: open water, lakes, ponds and ditches; reedbed; fen, bog and marsh; wet grassland; dry grassland; woodland and scrub. The competition seeks to to create around and between a restored fenland landscape which provides a living landscape for wildlife and people. Registrations will close on December 19. The deadline for Stage 1 design submissions is 2pm on January 10. To register, and for more information, please visit here.
RIBA Competitions recently awarded Hall McKnight Architects as the winner in the competition to redevelop the Quadrangle at King’s College London’s historic Strand Campus, which was considered to be unique in playing to the strengths of the historic buildings surrounding the Quad. Ian Caldwell, Director of Estates & Facilities at King’s, said ‘Hall McKnight had undertaken an impressive analysis of the site and presented a clear philosophy. By uncovering layers of the past, the architects showed a real engagement with the history of the buildings surrounding the Quad. The competition jury panel was impressed with Hall McKnight’s passion, intelligence, strategic sense and communicative ability.’ More images and information after the break.
Peel, one of the leading infrastructure, real estate and investment enterprises in the UK, recently awarded Allies & Morrison as the winner of their RIBA Competition for a new world class luxury hotel. Allies & Morrison fought off strong competition from Edward Cullinan Architects, Feilden Clegg Bradley, Henning Larsen Architects, Hopkins and Ian Simpson Architects but were selected unanimously by the Panel. Bob Allies, Partner at Allies & Morrison commented: “Allies and Morrison are really delighted to have been selected for this project, an ambitious building on a very important site, an opportunity to integrate a modern hotel into the surviving fragments of a significant Victorian landscape.” More images and information after the break.
Located in Trafalgar Square in London, the BE OPEN Sound Portal focuses on an experience that would be all about the sound. Designed by Arup, they thought it would be great if people could really concentrate on sound in Trafalgar Square, which would take people away form hustle and bustle into a space where they can concentrate and immerse themselves in sound. The original idea was that they would be able to take people away from London to another place, to hear the sound of a melting glacier or an acoustic model of the big bang. The plan is effectively two concentric circles: the inner circle for the sound and the outer circle forms the entrances. Both pieces mask the background noise. They are shells to shield the noise. More images and architects’ description after the break.