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Businessman Offers to Save Brutalist Landmark From Demolition

00:00 - 16 March, 2013
Businessman Offers to Save Brutalist Landmark From Demolition, © Wikimedia Commons
© 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

00:00 - 1 February, 2013
© Getty Images
© Getty Images

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.

Video: Rob Montgomery & Pernilla Ohrstedt, The Hot Seat

00:00 - 30 January, 2013

Norman Foster’s Sainsbury Centre Listed

13:00 - 27 December, 2012
© Xavier de Jauréguiberry
© Xavier de Jauréguiberry

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.

Video: Tom Dixon, Designer Profile

11:30 - 26 December, 2012

8 New Towers Proposed for London's South Bank

00:00 - 14 December, 2012
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

19:00 - 12 December, 2012
© 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

09:30 - 3 December, 2012
© 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

11:30 - 14 November, 2012

Disaster Ready Housing / Y/N Studio

15:00 - 7 November, 2012

RIBA Design Ideas Competition: Great Fen Visitor Centre

07:00 - 31 October, 2012
Courtesy of RIBA
Courtesy of RIBA

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

15:00 - 15 October, 2012
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.

BE OPEN Sound Portal / Arup

04:00 - 4 October, 2012
Courtesy of Be Open
Courtesy of Be Open

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.

Duggan Morris to Design the New Floating Cinema

12:59 - 27 September, 2012
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.

Southend Pier Cultural Centre / White Arkitekter + Sprunt

22:00 - 21 September, 2012
© Luke Hayes
© Luke Hayes

Architects: White Arkitekter + Sprunt Location: Southend Pier, United Kingdom Photographs: Luke Hayes

© Luke Hayes © Luke Hayes © Luke Hayes © Luke Hayes +15

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

04:00 - 5 September, 2012
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.

Green Incubator / Plus Three Architecture

22:00 - 22 August, 2012
© 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 © Available Light Photographic Studios © Steve Mayes © Steve Mayes +33

BMW Group Pavilion / Serie Architects

10:00 - 15 August, 2012
© Edmund Sumner
© Edmund Sumner

Architects: Serie Architects Location: London, UK Design Architects: Serie Architects Executive Architects: Franken Architekten Structural Engineering: AKT II Project Year: 2012 Photographs: Edmund Sumner

© Edmund Sumner © Edmund Sumner © Edmund Sumner © Edmund Sumner +19