Who Should Win the Stirling Prize? The BBC Invites You to Cast Your Vote

The RIBA and the have partnered to screen a series of interactive online films in the final week leading up to the announcement of the 18th RIBA Stirling Prize. As the UK’s most prestigious architecture award, given annually to “the architects of the building that has made the greatest contribution to the evolution of architecture over the past year,” the shortlist has garnered worldwide attention. Although the ultimate decision lies in the hands of a jury, headed by British architect Spencer de Grey, the BBC will host a public vote which is available as of today.

London Mayor Rules in Favour of Controversial Mount Pleasant Scheme

Courtesy of Cityscape

London Mayor Boris Johnson has ruled in favour of the controversial Mount Pleasant scheme in North at a public hearing held earlier today. The scheme was called in for a hearing at the request of the site’s owner Royal Mail who claimed that Islington and Camden councils (who are both responsible for parts of the huge site) were taking too long over the planning application, but has been criticized heavily by locals who feel that the scheme is not appropriate for the site, and by the councils who feel that the scheme’s 24% affordable housing is unacceptably low. However, Johnson drew criticism in June for apparently “compromising his neutrality” in advance of the hearing when he stated that the redeveloped Mount Pleasant “will be a wonderful place to live.”

Johnson approved the scheme after a heated hearing attended by over 100 members of the public and press, with many in attendance booing and heckling the mayor and representatives of the Royal Mail.

More on the hearing after the break

The Future of London’s Historic Alexandra Palace Revealed in New Exhibition

Proposed design of eastern end. Image Courtesy of Alexandra Palace

The soaring glass roofs of London‘s Alexandra Palace are about to receive a major overhaul thanks to a £23.8m ($38.6m USD) fundraising project focused on the revitalization of the 139 year old palace. Images of Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios 2014 revitalization are on display for the first time in an exhibition showcasing the upcoming changes to the public palace, including extensive renovations to reopen derelict sections of the building. Find out more about the exhibition after the break.

Skaters Win Battle Against Southbank Centre

© Miller Hare

London‘s  announced yesterday that it has reached an agreement with skateboarding group Long Live Southbank, and is dropping plans to move the famous skatepark to a new site underneath Hungerford Bridge nearby. The decision, which is ensured by a binding planning agreement with Lambeth Council, brings a close to a dispute that has lasted almost a year and a half – ever since the Southbank Centre unveiled redevelopment plans by Feilden Clegg Bradley which included the removal of the skatepark in favour of retail space in the Southbank’s undercroft.

The agreement also involves both sides dropping a series of legal challenges initiated during the dispute, including the Southbank’s challenge over the registration of the skatepark as an ‘asset of community value,’ an attempt by Long Live Southbank to have the skatepark listed as a village green, and a judicial review of Lambeth Council’s decision to reject the village green application.

Critical Round-Up: The 2014 RIBA Stirling Prize Shortlist

Though O’Donnell + Tuomey’s Building for the LSE is not the bookie’s favourite, many critics feel it is most deserving of the . Image © Dennis Gilbert

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has now announced the six projects that form this year’s Stirling Prize Shortlist, the award that is the ultimate prize for any British building. As the ’s most publicly prominent award, the Stirling Prize is often a prime demonstration of the tension between architecture that is widely appreciated by the general populace, and that which is lauded by architectural critics and practitioners.

This year is no exception, with perhaps the country’s highest-profile project in years – the Shard - just part of the controversy. What did the critics make of the RIBA’s selection? Find out after the break.

RIBA Announces 2014 Stirling Prize Shortlist

The RIBA has announced the six projects that will compete for the 2014 Stirling Prize, the award for the building that has made the greatest contribution to British architecture in the past year. The six nominees will now be judged head to head for British architecture’s highest honour, based on “their design excellence and their significance in the evolution of architecture and the built environment,” with a winner announced on October 16th. See the full shortlist after the break.

Boris Johnson Speech Reignites Row Over Mount Pleasant Development

Courtesy of Cityscape

The controversial Mount Pleasant development in London has sparked another row this week, as campaigners accused Mayor Boris Johnson of “compromising his neutrality” over the 681-home scheme which he has called in to review personally. Though he is supposed to remain neutral until the hearing, last week Johnson remarked in a speech that the development “will be a wonderful place to live.” However many have expressed concern over the design, including Thomas Heatherwick, who lives locally and called the scheme “empty, cynical and vacuous.” Read all the details at BD Online.

Feilden Clegg Bradley to Design Biological Research Labs in Scotland

Courtesy of

Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios (FCBS) has been awarded first prize in a competition to design a new facility hub and two laboratory buildings at the University of ’s School of Biological Sciences. The commission, FCBS’ first in Scotland, will also include the modernization of an existing 10-story laboratory tower which was built in the 1960s at the University’s Kings Building Campus.

Designs Unveiled for London’s Natural History Museum Urban Redevelopment

Team 1. Image Courtesy of Natural History Museum

Following the news last year that five teams had been shortlisted to redesign and reimagine the grounds of ’s iconic Natural History Museum (NHM), five anonymous concept images have been unveiled. The brief called for proposals to “reshape the Museum’s grounds and reinvigorate its public setting” with an aim to creating “an innovative exterior setting that matches Alfred Waterhouse’s Grade I listed building and the award-winning Darwin Centre for architectural excellence, whilst also improving access and engaging visitors.”

Read on to see the competing teams, including individual concept images from , Stanton Williams and Feilden Clegg Bradley.

Gillespies and Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios Win “Park Russia” Masterplan

© Gillespies LLP

A team led by London-based masterplanners Gillespies has been announced as the winner of an international competition to design the largest theme park in Europe. Planned for a 1,000-hectare site in the Domodevdovo district of Moscow, “Park Russia” aims to merge concepts of healthy living, entertainment and education into one commercially attractive tourist destination.

The winning Cushman & Wakefield-led consortium includes architectural design firm Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, engineer Buro Happold, cost consultant Rider Levett Bucknall and place makers Fourth Street.

Detailed New Rendering of Southbank Released

© Miller Hare

Earlier this month, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios released new images of the Southbank Centre, the most detailed renderings yet of the highly controversial redevelopment. Among the most significant alterations are a change to the exterior of the crowning glass box, a slight reduction in the size of the “liner” building (to preserve views of the Houses of Parliament from the neighboring National Theatre), and adjustments to various columns to preserve routes through the site.

Read on to find out more about the changes to the design..

Manchester School of Art / Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

© Hufton + Crow

Architects: Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
Location: Cavendish Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester M15,
Architect In Charge:
Area: 17320.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Hufton + Crow

Controversy Reigns Over Southbank Centre

© Feilden Clegg Bradley

The Southbank Centre and Feilden Clegg Bradley have taken their designs back to the drawing board, deciding to delay their planning application in order to resolve the mounting issues surrounding the proposal.

The designs to update the brutalist cultural centre have divided people from the start; however, the tide of opinion seems to have definitively shifted away from the design due to a sustained campaign by skateboarders (who make use of the undercroft) and now criticism from the neighboring National Theatre and the design council CABE.

Read more about the controversy surrounding the after the break…

Skaters Object to Southbank Centre Proposals

© Feilden Clegg Bradley

The saga of the Southbank Centre redevelopment in London heated up recently, after the scheme for the new ‘Festival Wing‘ was formally submitted to Lambeth’s planning department. The scheme, which has been well received by some of the architecture community, including the centre’s original architects Norman Engleback and Dennis Crompton, has run afoul of the skateboarding community, which opposes the plan to infill the undercroft that has been their home for almost 40 years.

After a petition to save the skatepark garnered over 40,000 signatures, the skating community has mobilized once again to object to the planning application en masse. The campaign to save the skatepark has even garnered the attention of skateboarding legend Tony Hawk, who wrote to the Southbank Centre’s director of partnership and policy Mike McCart to explain that:

“It’s truly an historic feature of London street culture, and is as well known to skateboarders around the world as Big Ben or Buckingham Palace. Honestly.”

Public Realm Plan Proposal / Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios + Grant Associates

Courtesy of + Grant Associates

Westminster City Council has just announced Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, urban designers and architects and Grant Associates, landscape architects, as part of a multidisciplinary team to devise a twenty-year infrastructure and public realm plan for Church Street, London, to support the council’s housing renewal strategy. Residents have just voted in favor of proceeding with the first phase of regeneration plans for Church Street in a ward-wide referendum. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Why Skaters Need the Southbank Centre

© joannapoe via Flickr

Among the extensive discussion of Feilden Clegg Bradley‘s scheme to redesign the Southbank Centre in London, one issue which has sometimes been ignored by the architectural media has been the proposal to relocate the skate park in the under-croft of the Queen Elizabeth Hall to a space beneath the nearby Hungerford bridge.

Unsurprisingly, this decision has sparked a petition, which has collected nearly 40,000 signatures to save one of the ’s most famous skating hotspots. We’ve talked about how skaters can teach architects about understanding space before; however, in this instance I would like to examine how skaters as a (sub)cultural entity interact with the city, and how the city can cater to their needs. Though many architects are already in favor of accepting skaters, I hope to explore why the wider community tends to see skating as a problem to be solved, and what this can reveal about the proposal at the .

Read on to find out more about the peculiar way skaters experience cities…

University of Ulster’s Belfast City Campus Proposal / Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

Courtesy of

Designed by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, their proposal for the University of Ulster’s City Campus has recently received planning permission upon winning the competition in January 2012. The campus is part of a £250m higher education project to provide 70,000 sqm of central teaching, faculty and social learning accommodation across three linked sites in the Cathedral Quarter of Belfast city center.  This high density urban university campus blurs the boundaries between the University environments and the city by providing publicly accessible thoroughfares and facilities across the lower three floors. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Feilden Clegg Bradley selected to renew Southbank Centre

Queen Elizabeth Hall and Hayward Gallery © Morley von Sternberg

Today, the Southbank Centre announced its appointment of Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios (FCBS) as lead architect to refurbish and renew the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Hayward Gallery complex. The -practice beat OMA, Heneghan Peng, Allies & Morrison, Eric Parry, van Heyningen & Haward and Grimshaw Architects to the job (see shortlist here). A formal appointment will be made after the statutory 10-day standstill period in accordance with EU regulations.

Rick Mather, Southbank Centre’s Masterplan Architect and a member of the selection panel, said: “We heard a huge amount of high quality and serious thinking demonstrating six quite different approaches to this part of the site. Feilden Clegg Bradley Studio’s proposals won because they best understood the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Hayward Gallery complex and how it can be enjoyed and used more effectively. I look forward to seeing their designs develop over the coming months.”

Learn more after the break.