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8 New Towers Proposed for London's South Bank

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

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...

Tower of London Competition 1890

© Descriptive illustrated catalogue of the sixty-eight competitive designs for the great tower for London compiled and edited by Fred. C. Lynde
© Descriptive illustrated catalogue of the sixty-eight competitive designs for the great tower for London compiled and edited by Fred. C. Lynde

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.

The Silver Café / Arca Architects

© Tim Soar/Arca
© Tim Soar/Arca

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. Sponsored by Nemetschek Vectorworks, Inc.

Video: 10x10 Drawing the City, Exhibition

Disaster Ready Housing / Y/N Studio

“What defines city living for an up‐market, but paranoid generation bombarded by iconic images of disaster? Inspired by American studies where, post 9/11, 80% of adults said that they had an “increased appreciation for their families” while others suddenly had the urge for intimate physical contact…” says Studio.

RIBA Design Ideas Competition: Great Fen Visitor Centre

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.

Fumihiko Maki to design Cultural Center and University in London

Fumihiko Maki © Imogene Tudor
Fumihiko Maki © Imogene Tudor

Japanese modernist Fumihiko Maki has been chosen to design a cultural and university complex on a 67-acre Kings Cross development in London. As reported by the Evening Standard, the 84-year-old, Pritzker Prize-winning architect will design two buildings for the Aga Khan Development Network – an organization who leads the world’s 15 million Ismaili Muslims. The two projects are among five, totaling a half million square feet, that are being commissioned by the Network at Kings Cross. It is unsaid of who will design the other three buildings. However, preliminary designs studies are under way and formal appointments will be announced shortly.

The London 'LidoLine' - Swim to Work on Y/N Studio's Proposal

Courtesy of [Y/N] Studio
Courtesy of [Y/N] Studio

Join us after the break for more.

Redevelopment of the Quadrangle at the Strand Campus Competition Winner / Hall McKnight Architects

Courtesy of Hall McKnight Architects
Courtesy of Hall McKnight Architects

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.

Design of New Luxury Hotel in the North West Competition Winner / Allies & Morrison

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.

BE OPEN Sound Portal / Arup

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.

The Emirates Glass LEAF Awards 2012

Musashino Art University Museum & Library, Tokyo / Sou Fujimoto Architects
Musashino Art University Museum & Library, Tokyo / Sou Fujimoto Architects

The results of the 9th Annual Emirates Glass LEAF Awards have been announced, honoring the architects designing the buildings and solutions that are setting the benchmark for the international architectural community. The winners were selected from an impressive shortlist by an international jury of architects that included Irving Brauer (chairman, principal of Brauer Associates), Phil Holden (managing director of Pascall+Watson architects), Lucy Bullivant (architectural curator, critic, author), Paolo Brescia (partner of Open Building Research), and Kasia Fiutowska (founding partner of Sketch Design). The 2012 award winners are:

Duggan Morris to Design the New Floating Cinema

Duggan Morris Architects, Winning design for the Floating Cinema Competition, A Strange Cargo of Extra-Ordinary Objects, 2012
Duggan Morris Architects, Winning design for the Floating Cinema Competition, A Strange Cargo of Extra-Ordinary Objects, 2012

UP Projects and The Architecture Foundation has announced Duggan Morris Architects as winner of the Open Architecture Challenge to design the next phase of the acclaimed Floating Cinema project. This project has been commissioned by the Legacy List with corporate partner Bloomberg as part of the Bloomberg East series of artist-led programs to animate the waterways in East London working in partnership with the Canal and River Trust. Continue after the break to learn more.

BLOOM - A Crowd Sourced Garden / Alisa Andrasek and Jose Sanchez

Courtesy of Alisa Andrasek and Jose Sanchez
Courtesy of Alisa Andrasek and Jose Sanchez

Commissioned by the Greater London Authority as part of the Wonder series to celebrate the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, BLOOM, designed and developed by Alisa Andrasek and Jose Sanchez from The Bartlett School of Architecture at UCL, is a crowd sourced garden. Designed in neon pink, which is the official Olympics color, BLOOM is conceptualised as an urban toy, a distributed social game and collective “gardening” experience that seeks the engagement of people in order to construct fuzzy BLOOM formations. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Paddington Crossrail / Weston Williamson Architects

view down Departures Road towards Praed Street
view down Departures Road towards Praed Street

Undergoing the most significant change since the historic station was completed to Brunel’s design, the new Paddington Station, designed by Weston Williamson Architects, will provide a major new gateway for London. Serving local, national and international passengers, the Crossrail Station balances many design issues including heritage, conservation, transport integration, way-finding, orientation, servicing and security to create a world-class pedestrian space alongside the existing Network Rail buildings. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Green Incubator / Plus Three Architecture

© Available Light Photographic Studios
© Available Light Photographic Studios

Architects: Plus Three Architecture Location: South Shields, UK Project Year: 2012 Photographs: Steve Mayes, Available Light Photographic Studios

© Steve Mayes
© Steve Mayes
© Available Light Photographic Studios
© Available Light Photographic Studios
© Steve Mayes
© Steve Mayes
© Steve Mayes
© Steve Mayes

Zaha’s Aquatics Center wins public approval

© Hufton + Crow
© Hufton + Crow

After controversy struck when critics blamed “bad design” for inconvenient ticket refunds, the success of Zaha Hadid’s design for the London Olympic’s Aquatics Center was validated by the overwhelming approval from spectators. According to a survey conducted by the University of Westminster, 95% of the Aquatics Center spectators were satisfied with their experience and 85% thought the venue captured the “true spirit” of the Olympics. Researchers from Westminster and University of South Australia surveyed spectators about their experiences at the Aquatics Centre, Greenwich Park and Wimbledon. Greenwick Park received a 92% approval and Wimbledon received 88%, while 88% of those surveyed believed the events could not have been staged in a better venue. “Our preliminary analysis suggests positive outcomes for London 2012 organisers. Those attending the events were very satisfied with their experiences and impressed with the venues,” stated Andrew Smith, city tourism lecturer at the University of Westminster. But he added, “We should remember that these results were derived from research undertaken in the positive afterglow of an event.” Where you at the 2012 London Olympics? Tell us about your experience in the comment section. via bdonline