After winning a Transport for London (TfL) tender for ideas to improve pedestrian access across the River Thames, Thomas Heatherwick and Arup unveiled plans for a new, 367-meter long ‘Garden Bridge’ that will span the river from Temple to the Southbank. The lush pedestrian corridor, earmarked for opening in 2017, would be the first new crossing since the Millennium Bridge opened to the public in 2002.
More details and updated images after the break…
How does design change the nature and distribution of risk? In this, the first of four installments examining the Gherkin, the London office tower and urban icon designed by Foster + Partners, author Jonathan Massey introduces the concept of “risk design.” The series, originally published on Aggregate’s website, explains how the Gherkin leveraged perceptions of risk to generate profits, promote economic growth, and raise the currency of design expertise.
Back the Bid. Leap for London. Make Britain Proud. Emblazoned across photomontages of oversized athletes jumping over, diving off, and shooting for architectural landmarks old and new, these slogans appeared in 2004 on posters encouraging Londoners to support the city’s bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games. Featured twice in the series of six posters—along with Buckingham Palace, Nelson’s Column, the Tower Bridge, the London Eye, and the Thames Barrier—was 30 St Mary Axe, the office tower known colloquially as the Gherkin for its resemblance to a pickle, or as the Swiss Re building, after the Zurich-based reinsurance company that commissioned the building and remains its major tenant.
The Shed, a 225-seat auditorium designed by Haworth Tompkins, was completed earlier this year in London. It’s made of raw steel and plywood, while the rough sawn timber cladding refers to the National Theatre’s iconic board-marked concrete. You can see more photos of photographer Philip Vile after the break.
The Rogers House, designed by Richard and Su Rogers in 1968, is one of the lesser known architectural works from the master who went on to design the Centre Pompidou in Paris with Renzo Piano. The house, which represented British Architecture at the 1967 Paris Biennale, was commissioned by Rogers’ parents and was granted Grade II* Listing in February 2013 – a rare accolade for a building so recent - cementing its importance in the architectural heritage of the United Kingdom.
Described by Rogers as “the most successful small project I’ve been involved in”, the house carefully balances the openness of shear glass facades with the need to provide his parents with privacy and seclusion – a task made harder by the building’s location, just a short walk from Wimbledon Village in central London. Incorporated within the design is a separate flat and pottery studio which were positioned to provide a sound barrier between the house of the adjacent road. It is, essentially, “a transparent tube with solid boundary walls”.
Gehry Partners and Foster + Partners have been selected to design phase three of the Battersea Power Station redevelopment project in London. Together, the prestigious duo will design a retail pedestrian street that will link the power station to the new Northern Line extension. In addition to this, each practice will design a residential building along the avenue, which will be Gehry’s first residential project in London.
“Our goal is to help create a neighborhood and a place for people to live that respects the iconic Battersea Power Station while connecting it into the broader fabric of the city,” Gehry stated. “We hope to create a design that is uniquely London, that respects and celebrates the historical vernacular of the city.”
Following the news last month that the RIBA and the Mayor of London’s Office revealed the five shortlisted designs for the new Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) headquarters, it has been announced that Allford Hall Monaghan Morris‘s (AHMM) design has won. The competition attracted submissions from the likes of Foster + Partners, Allies & Morrison, Keith Williams Architects and Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands. AHMM’s proposal will be located in London’s Whitehall Conservation Area and is set for completion in 2015.
London’s King’s Cross has seen a surge of redevelopment in recent years, the most iconic of which – John McAslan + Partner’s new concourse for King’s Cross Station – was completed last year. The area has also been defined by the new Central Saint Martin’s campus, designed by Stirling Prize winner Stanton Williams, and Google’s new London headquarters. Plans have now been unveiled for Gridiron (One St. Pancras Square), a 50,000 square foot office building nestled between St. Pancras International and King’s Cross Stations, designed by David Chipperfield Architects and set for completion in the first half of 2014.
The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) have unveiled five shortlisted proposals for the new £90 million Global Centre for Social Sciences (GCSS) in London’s Aldwych. The competition, which has attracted designs from the likes of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and OMA, will be the school’s “biggest ever building project” and is set to “transform” the world-leading institution. Other entrants include Hopkins Architects, Grafton Architects, and Henegham Peng Architects. See the anonymous proposals after the break…
UPDATE: Following ongoing discussions, the city of London and the Chinese ZhongRong Group have finally unveiled plans for the Crystal Palace replica, announcing a competition to find the “the best not the biggest” architects to take on the project.
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: “Paxton’s stunning Crystal Palace was a beacon of innovation in the 19th century, encapsulating a spirit of invention which was to shape London and the world for generations to come. Since the iconic building was destroyed, the conundrum of what to do with the crumbling site has not been successfully resolved.” Until now.
Check out renderings and more information, after the break…
Five proposals for reconnecting Londoners with the River Thames have gone on display at London’s Royal Academy of Arts (RA). The competition, organised by the Architecture Foundation, “launched an open call for multidisciplinary design teams to put forward new ideas and visions for self-selected sites along the Tidal Thames” earlier this year. The five selected teams were shortlisted earlier this year and recently discussed their designs at a public design workshop. The schemes are now being exhibited as part of the Richard Rogers RA: Inside Out exhibition.
Read extracts of the proposals after the break…
Architects: Zaha Hadid Architects
Location: London, England, UK
Design: Zaha Hadid with Patrik Schumacher
Project Director: Charles Walker
Project Team: Ceyhun Baskin, Torsten Broeder, David Campos, Suryansh Chandra, Inanc Eray, Matthew Hardcastle, Dillon Lin, Elke Presser, Marina Duran Sancho, Timothy Schreiber, Jianghai Shen, Marcela Spadaro, Anat Stern, Laymon Thaung, Claudia Wulf
Area: 1,566 sqm
Photographs: Luke Hayes
Following the news that the 2013 RIBA Stirling Prize was been won by Witherford Watson Mann for Astley Castle at a ceremony in London last week, the critical response to the project has been extremely positive. Joseph Rykwert (who recently won the RIBA Gold Medal) said that “Witherford Watson Mann have been gentle surgeons, saving the essential, eliminating the incidental”. Check out the critical responses from The Financial Times’ Edwin Heathcote, The Guardian’s Oliver Wainwright, Building Design’s Ellis Woodman, and the Architects’ Journal’s Rory Olcayto after the break…