Responding to Director Rem Koolhaas’ theme “Absorbing Modernity: 1914-2014” for the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, titled “Fundamentals”, the British Council has launched an open call for exhibition proposals that investigate how an aspect of British architecture has adapted to the condition of modernity during this era.
Britain’s Education Secretary Michael Gove and the Department for Education have released blueprints for the baseline design for schools that they believe “demonstrate good practice that can be achieved within [a] set cost and area allowances.” The government’s goal is to reduce the cost of new school buildings from the previous £21m to less than £14m each for the replacement of 261 of the most run-down schools in the country.
These new schools, however, will be 15% smaller than the ones designed originally under the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) program, potentially compromising important spaces such as corridors, assembly halls, canteens and atriums. Many teachers have expressed concern for these changes, as they could lead to congestion, bad behavior among students and would “undermine attempts to maximize the value for money of school buildings by making them available for community functions after hours.”
Architects and the architecture community at large are also worried about the design implications of such a standardized school building prototype – how will it interact with the existing school buildings and how could restricted design affect Britain’s educational system?
More after the break…
Foster + Partners have confirmed that they will submit their proposal for a new hub airport in the Thames Estuary to the Airports Commission, an organisation investigating airport capacity in the UK, by mid-July. The submission will be an important step towards getting government approval of the plan.
The airport, which will have four runways (the potential to expand to six) and capacity for 150 million passengers, is part of Foster + Partners’ Thames Hub proposal. The hub would be built on a platform on the Isle of Grain in the Thames Estuary and be connected to London via a spur linking directly to the existing high-speed rail line; in this way, Foster + Partners hope that it would eliminate the environmental, noise and security problems that come with the UK’s dependence on Heathrow Airport.
The self-funded Thames Hub vision was first made public in 2011. See our previous coverage: here.
Story via Foster + Partners
The British Pavilion presents the work of ten architectural teams who travelled the world in search of imaginative responses to universal issues. Venice Takeaway charts their course in Argentina, Brazil, China, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Thailand, and the USA, and demonstrates the creative potential of sharing ideas across borders.
The exhibition presents the work of more than twenty-six practicing architects, curators, academics, filmmakers, and writers who were selected by a scientific committee following an open call for ideas.
Foster + Partners, Halcrow and Volterra, the team behind the Thames Hub proposal, welcomed reports yesterday that the government will be considering a Thames Estuary Airport when it launches its consultation to discuss options for retaining the UK’s aviation hub status. The proposal, which includes a comprehensive environmental management strategy, is capable of being privately funded and built within 16 years. Estimations for the capital costs include: a new £20 billion, 150 million passenger estuary airport; £20 billion, four track orbital rail line and utilities spine; £6 billion barrier crossing and tidal power generation that will power the airport with green energy; and an additional £4 billion for improving infrastructure.
On behalf of the team, Norman Foster stated, “We welcome reports that the government is considering the case for an estuary airport, and the extra airport capacity that it can provide, when it consults in March on options for retaining the UK’s aviation hub status as part of the nation’s aviation strategy.”
Continue reading for more on this update.
Thames Hub continues to make progress since Foster + Partners revealed the proposal in early November. The £50bn project includes a £20bn high-speed Orbital Rail line around London; a new £6bn Thames Barrier and crossing; and a £20bn international Estuary Airport, with annual capacity for 150 million passengers. Comprehensive environmental management strategies have been made in order to minimize the impact of development and create significant opportunities for new wildlife habitats.
Continue reading for more details.
Norman Foster has launched proposals for the Thames Hub as “An Integrated Vision for Britain”. The self-funded collaboration between Foster + Partners, Halcrow and Volterra has produced a detailed, holistic vision for Britain’s future development of infrastructure.
The rapidly population growth and evolving global economy has put pressure on UK’s aged infrastructure. The study describes the Spine, which will combine rail, energy, communications and data throughout the entire length of the UK. The Spine is supported by the proposed Thames Hub, introducing a new river barrier and crossing, an international airport, and a shipping and rail complex.
The Thames Hub plans to maximize Britain trade links with the rest of world, stimulate job creation, and boost the economies of the Midlands and the North by providing direct connections to the cities and markets of Europe.
Continue reading for more detailed information and images.
We’ve been covering the Shanghai 2010 Expo a lot on ArchDaily, and our reader Seppe shared some videos of the pavilions with us. Today, we’re featuring a cool video on one of our favorites, the UK Pavilion (be sure to read about the project featured previously on AD) and be on the look out for more videos contributed by Seppe this week.
The Pavilion of Ideas, designed by Heatherwick Studio, beat five other short-listed designs, including plans put forward by the creators of the London Eye – the largest Ferris wheel in the world – to becomes the winner. The pavilion looks like a box with thousands of spines that hover without visible support above a public square.
All the spines, which can swing in the breeze, are tipped with tiny colored light sources which can display a variety of images together.
Inside the pavilion, visitors will see an enormous digital screen showing various contents. The outside area of the pavilion will be an exhibition space and auditorium as well as a cafe and shops surrounded by two strips of grass. The pavilion will be as ecological as possible and the designers are trying to make all the aspects recyclable and carbon-neutral. It is light, without heavy concrete foundations and will “touch the ground softly,” according to the introduction by Heatherwich.
Seen at Archtracker. More images after the break.