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V&A Christmas Tree / Studio Roso

Courtesy of Studio Roso
Courtesy of Studio Roso

To celebrate the festive period, the V&A has commissioned design duo Studio Roso to create a Christmas Tree for the Grand Entrance of the Museum until January 5th.  The handmade ‘tree’ is made up of 3.3 miles of elastic cord and will reach over 4 meters high. A total of 1500 individual strands have been combined to create the outline of a traditional Christmas Tree. Within these cords Studio Roso has created a number of geometric shapes, referencing both traditional Christmas ornaments and the crystalline structure of snowflakes and icicles, providing a decorative garland throughout the installation. The design for the tree was inspired by the intricate craft of bobbin lacing, a technique often used in traditional Christmas decorations. More images after the break.

Private House / Strom Architects

© Peter Guthrie
© Peter Guthrie

Strom Architects shared with us their design for a private house located in Suffolk, UK, which has been rendered with great quality by by Peter Guthrie. The client was aiming for country house – ‘a dream in a wood’, a peaceful place to relax, regenerate, and think of new ideas. So the architects created with a linear design that has picked up on the building form – the ‘long cottage’ found along Iken Common, and one can see the design as an evolution of the longitudinal cottage. More images and architects’ description after the break.

ARCHIZINES Exhibition

© Sue Barr
© Sue Barr

From photo-copied and print-on-demand newsletters such as Another Pamphlet, Scapegoat and Preston is My Paris, to magazines such as Mark, Spam and PIN-UP – ARCHIZINES is a new exhibition curated by Elias Redstone for the Architectural Association School of Architecture that celebrates and promotes the recent resurgence of alternative and independent architectural publishing from around the world. The exhibition runs until 14 December 2011 at the AA School, 36 Bedford Square, London, WC1B 3ES. More information on the exhibition after the break.

Films: Mur Murs + Get Out of the Car at the Barbican

Located at the heart of the city of London, the Barbican will be featuring the upcoming screening of Mur Murs (1981) and Get Out of the Car (2010) as part of their Architecture on Film season on November 29th at 7pm. More information on the films after the break.

UK Monument Preston Bus Station at Risk

The World Monuments Fund (WMF) is calling for international attention to the 1969 Preston Bus Station. Once the world’s largest bus station, the brutalist monument is scheduled for demolition as part of the city center’s redevelopment plan. The building is one of thirty UK “at risk” sites featured by WMF.

In Progress: Tate Modern Expansion / Herzog & de Meuron

© Herzog & de Meuron
© Herzog & de Meuron

Currently under construction, it has been announced that the Herzog & de Meuron designed first phase of the new development of Tate Modern will open in the summer of 2012. The launch will be part of the London 2012 Festival which will be the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad. Phase 1 of the development includes the opening of the former power station’s spectacular Oil Tanks – enormous circular spaces over thirty metres across and seven metres high. These massive industrial chambers have lain unused since the power station was decommissioned. They are now being transformed into what promise to be some of the most exciting new spaces for art in the world. A further series of neighbouring galleries will provide a range of new spaces for works from the Tate Collection, including two raw concrete galleries and a unique steel-lined gallery. The Oil Tanks will also act as innovative social and learning spaces, as well as being equipped for a diverse programme of live performances and events, including a crush bar and full back of house facilities.

P.E.A.R. (Paper for Emerging Architectural Research) Event

For one night only on October 26th from 7:00-8:30pm, P.E.A.R. (Paper for Emerging Architectural Research) will be performing live for an evening of readings, discussions and performances at The Architecture Foundation in London. P.E.A.R. is an exciting new architectural fanzine, presenting work from a variety of contemporary architectural practices, researchers and individuals working in Europe. P.E.A.R. aims to re-establish the fanzine as a primary medium for the dissemination of architectural ideas, musings, research and works. Through its presentation of a wide range of architectural discourses, P.E.A.R. seeks to present the complexity and variety of contemporary architectural practices

inmidtown Habitats New Design Competition

The Architecture Foundation is pleased to be running a new open and international competition that calls on design teams to submit proposals for urban beehives, bird/bat-boxes and planters. The competition is being organized by The AF on behalf of inmidtown, the business improvement district for the central London areas of Holborn, Bloomsbury and St. Giles. The competition calls for submissions that offer distinctive yet functional designs that help enhance biodiversity in this urban context. It is envisaged that the winning proposals will be mass-produced and installed in a variety of sites across the inmidtown area. More information on the competition after the break.

The Emirates Glass LEAF Awards 2011

Milanofori Housing Complex by OBR / © Mariela Apollonio
Milanofori Housing Complex by OBR / © Mariela Apollonio

The 9th Annual Emirates Glass LEAF Awards recently announced the winning projects and proved to be a huge success attracting a whole host of recognizable faces from the architectural community. This spectacular evening took place in the stunning surroundings of the Landmark hotel which was admired by the many guests that attended. The 2011 shortlist included some of the world’s most iconic buildings and designs. More information on the lucky winners of the evening after the break.

'Just the Flip Side of the Wall: Post Works at the AF' Exhibition

For their inaugural show, Just the Flip Side of the Wall, Melissa Appleton and Matthew Butcher (Post Works) will create a new environment within The Architecture Foundation’s Project Space that will act as a frame for a series of events that explore the relationship between architecture, the city and performance. The exhibition, which takes place from September 30th to October 29th, will be an extension of Post Works’ recent works Stage City (part of The Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition) and No Stop Statue Machine, a film that presents a world where buildings weep, infrastructures conduct people’s thoughts and staircases become machines for endless exercise, recently shown at the ICA, London. More information on the exhibition after the break.

In Progress: Library of Birmingham / Mecanoo architecten

© Mecanoo architects
© Mecanoo architects

Architect: Mecanoo architecten Location: Birmingham, England Photographs: Paul Reynolds, Mecanoo architects

LOFT London Farm Tower Competition Awards

AWR recently announced the winners of the LOFT London Farm Tower Competition. Population growth and urban centralization lead to increased demand for real estate market and for food. One possible solution is vertical farming. AWR therefore proposed the design of a new kind of skyscraper on the Thames waterfront, inserted into the new city skyline. The goals to achieve were to meet the requirements of the World Green Building Council, determine which materials are best suited for the construction of a vertical farm, identify resistant, light, transparent and long-term materials and experiment with innovative materials. Information on the competition winners after the break.

A Room for London Public Bookings

A Room for London
A Room for London

Public bookings to spend a night above the Thames in A Room for London, opened today (for nights January to June 2012) more information about a second stage of bookings (for nights July to December 2012) can be found here.  The one-bedroom installation perched on the roof of Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall was designed by David Kohn Architects and artist Fiona Banner. The design competition for A Room for London initiated by Living Architecture, and Artangel, in association with Southbank Center attracted 500 architects and artists entries from across the world. ArchDaily has previously showcased David Kohn Architects and Fiona Banner‘s winning entry as well as selected entries from the design competition.

University of Oxford Mathematical Institute / RVA

RVA Rafael Viñoly Architects have just announced the official groundbreaking of their Math Institute at the University of Oxford.  Prior to the project, Oxford’s mathematics department was scattered across the University in different locations.  RVA was commissioned to provide a design solution that provided a centralized building for the entire department, to create a balanced environment for academics’ need for privacy with the increasing importance of interdisciplinary collaboration.   More about the design after the break.

The Delicate Balance of Hosting the Olympic Games

Global events such as the Olympic Games have the potential to enrich the city in which they are held, both economically and socially. The Olympics in particular promote cultural and social development. However, the effort and economics that the city invests is only advantageous when the event leaves a lasting trace. It is a delicate balance, warns Richard Sennett. The balance rests in the sustainability of the economic and social development of the city at the conclusion of the global event. The investment and design and planning strategies should be thought of in regards to long-term development and flexibility for twenty years down the road when the grounds can be acquired for other uses by the city. In 2012, London will be hosting the Olympic Games and it seems promising that the development of the grounds will bring continued social and economic profit to the area at the end of the games.

More on this discussion after the break.

London Tube Map Sparks Debate: "Design" and the Multi-screen World

© Mark Noad
© Mark Noad

Soon after Mark Noad’s vision of the London Tube Map was viewed, debate ensued about whether the integrity of the original diagram was misused to create a hybrid between the original information as a concept of the underground train system and its pathways and the concept of a geographically accurate map.   With a slightly more condensed font style, the map is intended to be more legible, especially on mobile devices.  Eminent typographer and designer Erik Spiekermann headed the debate stating that Harry Beck original depiction of the Tube was not a map at all, “it’s a diagram. Not meant to show geographic relationships, but connections.” Therein lies the schism between the concept of depiction and illustration.  Fastco Design writer John Pavlus discusses the value of the designer’s intent – to produce something of use – rather than the initial concept of the first drawing.  Most users of the train system diagram are likely to call it a map.  The visual information implies that it will be used to guide travelers to particular destinations, thereby making it useful as a map.  The initial intent of the information becomes irrelevant when its use and usefulness comes into play.  Did Mark Noad achieve the clarification that the Beck’s original diagram was lacking by adding elements of a geographical map into it? The question that Pavlus concludes with is how does the designer extend his or her role beyond solving problems; how does a designed artifact continue to evolve with each iteration, engage the public and continue to develop new and better uses? (via Fastco Design)

A new vision for London's Tube Map

© Mark Noad
© Mark Noad

A new vision of the  map for London’s Tube has been posted to depict a more geographically accurate representation of the underground train system.  Navigate through the map for yourself here:  http://www.london-tubemap.com/. The original map was designed by Harry Beck; he compromised geographical accuracy for a rationalized system of connection, transfers and passages on a map that in 1931 only depicted 7 train lines.  While those principles remain in use today, the underground subway system has doubled in size.  The increased complexity of the system increased has amplified these inaccuracies and has received a lot of criticism for its diagrammatic quality and lack of correlation with London’s street level. This updated map attempts to keep some of the principles of clarity that Beck designed as part of the original map, such as fixed line angles – in this case 30 and 60 degrees instead of the original 45.  But the map attempts to establish a relationship between relative distances through the train and on the street, so that users can identify which routes are faster for walking or hopping on the Tube. For more on the discussion what design means, sparked by the new vision for London’s Tube Map, follow this link: London Tube Map Sparks Debate: “Design” and the Multi-screen World.