RIBA Competitions recently awarded Hall McKnight Architects as the winner in the competition to redevelop the Quadrangle at King’s College London’s historic Strand Campus, which was considered to be unique in playing to the strengths of the historic buildings surrounding the Quad. Ian Caldwell, Director of Estates & Facilities at King’s, said ‘Hall McKnight had undertaken an impressive analysis of the site and presented a clear philosophy. By uncovering layers of the past, the architects showed a real engagement with the history of the buildings surrounding the Quad. The competition jury panel was impressed with Hall McKnight’s passion, intelligence, strategic sense and communicative ability.’ More images and information after the break.
This year’s underground pavilion was designed by Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei as a kind of archaeological discovery of pavilions past. As they explain: “Like a team of archaeologists, we identify [the] physical fragments as remains of the eleven Pavilions built between 2000 and 2011. […] These remains testify to the existence of the former Pavilions and their greater or lesser intervention in the natural environment of the park.”
Although most of the public events that made up the Park Nights programme have already occurred (including a showing of the incredible documentary on Ai Weiwei and a talk by Herzog & de Meuron), you can still catch the culminating event of the Pavilion, the Memory Marathon (October 12-14), which kicks off with Lebanese sound artist Tarek Atoui performing La Suite. The three-day, multi-disciplinary festival will feature over 60 participants, including former REM vocalist Michael Stipe, filmmaker David Lynch (who will present a new film), and the Pavilion architects, Herzog and de Meuron themselves.
For more info, check out our past coverage on the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion.
Using state-of-the-art parametric design tools and digital fabrication, KREOD brings together some of the most talented designers, engineers and innovative materials to challenge current thinking and showcase sustainable and forward-thinking building methods. Designed by Chun Qing Li of Pavilion Architecture, KREOD will be located next to Peninsula Square, between Emirates Air Line and The O2 at Greenwich Peninsula now until January 2013 . More images and architects’ description after the break.
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.
Installed on Parliament Square, London, the ‘House of Flags’ is a flexible, demountable, and totally reconfigurable architectural intallation conceived as a gigantic ‘house of cards’ in the Eames’ spirit. The project was designed by AY Architects after an invited international design competition initiated by the Greater London Authority for the Mayor of London’s ‘Wonder Series of Incredible Installations’. 206 panels depict the flag icons of the nations and combined create a collaged image of the world. All together they make up a large building jigsaw, a united ‘house’ of symbols, shimmering colors and perforations. 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.
The results of the 9th Annual Emirates Glass LEAF Awards have been announced, honoring the architects designing the buildings and solutions that are setting the benchmark for the international architectural community.
The winners were selected from an impressive shortlist by an international jury of architects that included Irving Brauer (chairman, principal of Brauer Associates), Phil Holden (managing director of Pascall+Watson architects), Lucy Bullivant (architectural curator, critic, author), Paolo Brescia (partner of Open Building Research), and Kasia Fiutowska (founding partner of Sketch Design).
The 2012 award winners are:
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.
With a world plagued by the current economic crisis, David Chipperfield fears that the architects’ role is shrinking and the professions ability to influence the shape of our cities is diminishing.
Since the inauguration of this year’s Venice Biennale, Chipperfield has been amidst of a few heated debates, most notably debunking the harsh criticism of Coop Himmelb(lau)’s Wolf Prix – who claimed the “hollow” event was “no longer about lively discussion and criticism of topics in contemporary architecture” – by affirming Prix “hadn’t even visited Venice”.
Interestingly, Chipperfield has now initiated a debate, using similar rhetoric as Prix, that calls attention to the dwindling role of the architect and the impotence of contemporary architecture. The catch? He blames politicians.
Continue after the break for more.
The St. James’s Market development, designed by Make Architects, is a key area in central London that will be reinvigorated if the plans, on behalf of The Crown Estate, are approved. As one of The Crown Estate’s flagship sites, the St. James’s Market project entails the redevelopment of six buildings to the south of Piccadilly Circus bounded by Jermyn Street, Haymarket and Regent Street. With much of the newly configured site being ‘traffic free’, the site will be divided around significant public realm improvements to include a new public square. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Presented in an “interwoven tangle”, Japanese architect Akihisa Hirata has revealed his view of architecture and ecology, along with form and function, in his first ever international solo exhibition at the The Architecture Foundation in London. Now on view, the immersive 1:1 scale installation – “a contorted loop” – display’s over a hundred study models and conceptual sketches, an interview with the architect, and intimate films of based on his projects.
The exhibition opened shortly after Hirata’s receipt of the Golden Lion award at the 13th Venice Architecture Biennale for his contribution, with Kumiko Inui, Sou Fujimoto and Naoya Hatakeyama, to the Japanese Pavilion, curated by Toyo Ito.
Continue after the break for more.
When the Twin Towers came down 11 years ago (almost to the day), the world was struck numb. Even New Yorkers, who felt the trauma rumble through their veins, couldn’t get past the initial disbelief: how can this be happening? How can something so big, so invincible, actually be so vulnerable?
Hundreds of comments have been hurled at Renzo Piano’s “Shard,” the massive, reflective skyscraper that hulks over the London skyline – it’s big, no, huge; it’s out of the context of its Victorian neighborhood; its exclusive price tag could only be footed by Qatar royalty (as it is) – but few, beyond writing off the tower as a symbol of arrogance or hubris, have stopped to consider its impetus.
For that, we must look at the Shard in the context of 9/11. Only then can the Shard be understood for what it is: the amplification and perfection of the glass tower Piano began in post-9/11 New York, a utopian vision that stands defiantly in defense of the city itself.
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.
Undergoing the most significant change since the historic station was completed to Brunel’s design, the new Paddington Station, designed by Weston Williamson Architects, will provide a major new gateway for London. Serving local, national and international passengers, the Crossrail Station balances many design issues including heritage, conservation, transport integration, way-finding, orientation, servicing and security to create a world-class pedestrian space alongside the existing Network Rail buildings. More images and architects’ description after the break.