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 UK design council CABE.
Read more about the controversy surrounding the Southbank Centre after the break…
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.”
Westminster City Council has just announced Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, urban designers and architects and Grant Associates, UK 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.
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 UK’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 Southbank Centre.
Read on to find out more about the peculiar way skaters experience cities…
Designed by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, their proposal for the University of Ulster’s Belfast 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.
Known for their conservation and creative re-use of historic buildings, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios has been appointed to develop the Farmiloe Building, a landmark Victorian building in the heart of London’s Clerkenwell. They will now draw up plans to transform the 40,000 sq ft building into a commercial development that is in keeping with one of the capital’s most vibrant areas, which also includes a new building that will substantially increase the amount of commercial space. These changes will help in making a significant architectural addition to St. John Street. More images and architects’ description after the break.
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 UK-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.
Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, in collaboration with Buro Happold are hosting an international conference this autumn and have invited an exciting range of speakers all of whom have great experience transforming old buildings for use in contemporary culture and performance.
Speakers include – from architects: Eric Parry, Steve Tompkins, Liza Fior; from project directors from the Tate, the RST and the V&A Futureplan; from international guests working in Versailles and Venice. And of course we have Peter Clegg from FCBS and Mike Cook from Buro Happold talking about the transformative power of space.
The early bird rate for tickets runs until September 20th. For more information, visit there website here.
Often the past is preserved but not necessarily made part of our future. We asked ourselves at the beginning of this project – how can Blackfriars Priory be rediscovered so that it becomes a relevant and vibrant place in Gloucester today? The Priory had lain dormant for almost 70 years with only occasional public access and little use. The brief was to transform the North and East Range of Blackfriars Priory into a flexible multi-function venue to allow the Priory to be used by the local community and businesses.