Following news last week that four post-war buildings had been listed in the UK, the campaign to Save Preston Bus Station reached a victory today when it was announced that Ed Vaizey (Architecture and Heritage Minister) has listed the Brutalist icon, removing the threat of demolition. The campaign, which has garnered words of support from the likes of Richard Rogers and Rem Koolhaas, has been been underpinned by support from Angela Brady PRIBA, former President of the Royal Institute of British Architects.
The Rubens at the Palace Hotel in Victoria, London, has unveiled the city's largest "living wall" - a vertical landscape, composed of 16 tons of soil and 10,000 plants, designed to reduce urban flooding. Taking two months to construct and covering a 350 square foot area, the 21 meter high wall will beautify the cityscape year round with seasonal flowers such as strawberries, butter cups and winter geraniums.
Because of the lack of absorbent surfaces in the Victoria area of London, the Victoria Business Improvement District (BID) decided to step in with the design of this incredible wall that combats urban flooding with special water storage tanks. Designed by Gary Grant of Green Roof Consultancy, these tanks can store up to 10,000 liters of water that are then channeled back through the wall to nourish the plants. Not only will the wall do a great job of keeping the surrounding streets flood-free, it boosts the area's green appeal and attracts wildlife into the dense urban environment.
On September 28, 2013, Zaha Hadid Architects will be celebrating the completion of the Serpentine Sackler Gallery. An extension to London’s famous Serpentine Gallery, the new innovative arts venue will be housed in a 208-year-old, Grade II-listed building, formerly known as The Magazine, in Kensington Gardens just north of the main gallery.
Five London-based firms - AHMM, Allies & Morrison, Foster & Partners, Keith Williams Architects 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.
Shanghai-based developer ZhongRong Holdings is working with Arup on an ambitious proposal to reconstruct Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace in London. 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 London in 1854 where it was ultimately destroyed by fire in 1936.
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 has been selected to design a new “landmark” building for Durham 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.
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.
On the advice of English Heritage, architecture minister Ed Vaizey has listed Norman Foster’s first major public building: the 1977 Sainsbury Centre at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, in the United Kingdom. According to BDOnline, the popular public art museum, which houses the collection of Lord and Lady Sainsbury, was granted grade II* protection for its innovative engineering, fine design, historic association, flexibility and group value. Its revolutionary design features an innovative, prefabricated modular structure that is cleverly designed to allow for subsequent extension. Vaizey described: “Norman Foster’s design for the Sainsbury Centre is recognized around the world as a high point of the British ‘high-tech’ movement and, by any standards, a modern classic.” Read Foster’s response after the break.
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 Architecture.
In total, about 800,000 sq ft of office space, 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...
While the Eiffel Tower was negatively received at first for its utilitarian appearance, it soon became a major attraction for Paris, France in the late 19th century. It represented structural ingenuity and innovation and soon became a major feat, rising to 300 meters of7,500 tons of steel and iron. Just three years after its unveiling, London sponsored a competition for its own version of the tower in 1890. The Tower Company, Limited collected 68 designs, all variations of the design of the Eiffel Tower. Proposals were submitted from the United States, Canada, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Austria, Turkey and Australia. Many of the designs are bizarre interpretations of utilitarian structures, following the aesthetics of the Eiffel Tower, only bigger and taller. Join us after the break for more on the story of the Tower of London.