Five London Firms Shortlisted for Met Police HQ

Metropolitan Police Service Headquarters; Courtesy of RIBA Competitions

Five -based firms - AHMMAllies & MorrisonFoster & Partners and Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands - have been selected to compete for the “Scotland Yard” redevelopment of the abandoned Curtis Green MPS building on the Victoria Embankment. As reported by BDOnline, the shortlisted firms will each propose a “landmark building for London” that will provide a “modern and efficient working environment” for the new Metropolitan Police Service Headquarters. The judging panel, spearheaded by architect Bill Taylor and RIBA Adviser Taylor Snell, will review the proposals in September. 

Chinese Developer Plans to Build Crystal Palace Replica in London

The Crystal Palace at Sydenham Hill, 1854. Photo by Philip Henry Delamotte © Wikimedia Commons

Shanghai-based developer ZhongRong Holdings is working with on an ambitious proposal to reconstruct Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace in . Originally built to house the Great Exhibition of 1851, the 80,000 square-meter cast iron and glass structure was relocated from Hyde Park to south-east in 1854 where it was ultimately destroyed by fire in 1936.

RIBA Shortlist for Stirling Prize Announced

UPDATED: Out of 52 exemplars of UK architecture, RIBA has chosen the six buildings that will compete for the prestigious RIBA Stirling prize (awarded to the building that makes the greatest contribution to British architecture that year). See the six contenders, including a video of each, after the break…

Daniel Libeskind to Design Physics Building at Durham University

Castle Entrance © Flickr User Jean-Etienne Minh-Duy Poirrier

Daniel Libeskind has been selected to design a new “landmark” building for University’s Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics in England. The state-of-the-art facility, which will house the industry-leading Institute for Computational Cosmology and Institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology, is expected to “complement” the traditional buildings that surround it while serving as an exemplar for sustainable design. Completion is planned for December 2015, depending on planning permission.

Wimbledon Master Plan Proposal / Grimshaw + Grant Associates

Courtesy of

The All England Lawn Tennis Club has just unveiled this design proposal for the Wimbledon Master Plan developed by Grimshaw Architects, with top UK landscape architecture firm, Grant Associates.  Marking the first step in a consultation process, the vision reflects and reinforces the long history of The Championships while further enhancing Wimbledon’s position as the premier Grand Slam tennis event. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Canterbury Cathedral Landscape Design Competition

Site Plan

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.

Richard Rogers Joins Preservation Efforts for Preston Bus Station

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

As reported by BDOnline, Richard Rogers of Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners has announced his support in the long-standing battle to save ’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.”

In Residence: Claudio Silvestrin

Free of clutter but filled with light, shadow and sculptural forms, filmmaker Matthew Donaldson takes you inside the minimalist masterpiece that Italian architect 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 Approved for Mixed-Use Development on London’s Albert Embankment

Courtesy of

Foster + Partners have received the green light from the Lambeth Council for three 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…

Businessman Offers to Save Brutalist Landmark From Demolition

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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…

The Shard Opens to the Public

© Getty Images

Today, six months after the laser light extravaganza that marked the completion of The Shard in , the controversial glass tower celebrated its official opening to the public. Architecture enthusiasts and residents were welcomed to join the mayor of 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.

Video: Rob Montgomery & Pernilla Ohrstedt, The Hot Seat


Two leading creatives meet for a chat and a chop in an East End hair salon.

Brotherton Barn / The Anderson Orr Partnership

© David Stewart

Architects: The Anderson Orr Partnership
Location: , Oxfordshire,
Area: 300.0 sqm
Year: 2007
Photographs: David Stewart

Video: Tom Dixon, Designer Profile


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, , W10 5BU.

8 New Towers Proposed for London’s South Bank

Building 1 – office use; Squire and Partners. Image courtesy of The Canary Wharf and Qatari Diar Groups.

Images of the transformation of the Shell Centre Campus, which include 8 towers to be designed by six different architects in ’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…

The Silver Café / Arca Architects

© Tim Soar/Arca

Award-winning architectural firm Arca Architects is based in central Manchester, , and headed by architect John Lee. Arca’s Silver Café on the Morecambe Bay in 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.

Sponsored by Nemetschek Vectorworks, Inc.

UK Dethrones US As Greatest Cultural Influencer

Courtesy of AFP

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 HadidGlamour’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…

Video: 10×10 Drawing the City, Exhibition


The international development and disaster relief charity Article 25, named after the 25th article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, asked 100 of ’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.