Rear House Extension, Garden Design / LBMV Architects

Courtesy of

Architects: LBMV ArchitectsLuigi Montefusco
Location: Wolseley Rd, Borough of Haringey, England
Architect In Charge: Luigi Montefusco
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: LBMV Architects

Video: New V&A Project / Amanda Levete


Planning permission for a new extension to the Victoria & Albert Museum has officially been granted today. The £41 million project will be the biggest new art space in London since the Tate Modern.The bid to design a 1,500 square metre underground gallery for temporary exhibitions, courtyard and entrance on Exhibition Road was won by architecture firm, AL_A, in March 2011. We interview , founder and director of the firm, about the specifics of the plans and her thoughts on the government’s support of British architecture. is one of the most successful women in architecture and is married to Ben Evans, director of The London Design Festival. She regularly collaborates with artists such as Anish Kapoor and has previously worked on projects such as the Selfridges department store in Birmingham, the media centre at Lord’s cricket ground and, with her own firm, installing ‘The Timber Wave’ in the entrance to the V&A.

London 2012 Velodrome / Hopkins Architects

© Anthony Palmer

Architects: Hopkins Architects
Location: Velodrome, London Borough of Newham, London E15,
Project Year: 2012
Photographs: Richard Davies, David Poultney, Anthony Charlton, , Anthony Palmer

Does the Shard Need Time?

Getty Images

The disappointment generated by the Shard’s opening laser light show is not so surprising for a project that has been grounded in controversy for over a decade.  Since 2000, when Piano sketched his initial vision upon meeting developer Irvine Sellar, the project has consistently met obstacles such as English Heritage and the financial crash of 2007.   But, the biggest opposition of the tower has been its height.  English Heritage claimed that the tower, formerly known as London Bridge Tower, would “tear through historic London like a shard of glass” (ironically, coining the new name of the tower), and Piano counters that, “The best architecture takes time to be understood…I would prefer people to judge it not now. Judge it in 10 years’ time.”

Leading us to wonder…does simply need time to be fully appreciated?

The Cube in London / Park Associati

© Andrea Martiradonna

The Cube, a nomadic, stateless and cosmopolitan piece of architecture designed by Park Associati, is a pavilion designed to host a small, temporary restaurant. Originating from Electrolux’s concept of an itinerant restaurant, The Cube has been conceived and organized by the Belgian event agency Absolute Blue with the logo and texture design by Studio FM Milano. Their architectural project has been conceived as a module that can be assembled and disassembled relatively easily. The structure, which will be on exhibit in until September 30, is suitable for all climatic conditions, even the most extreme, while always providing the maximum in living comfort with its refined aesthetics and use of high-quality materials. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Southbank Centre Shortlist Announced!

Queen Elizabeth Hall and Hayward Gallery © Morley von Sternberg

The ’s largest arts centre, occupying an 21-acre site that sits in the midst of London’s most vibrant cultural quarter on the South Bank of the Thames, has announced the shortlist of architects competing to head the refurbishment and renewal of the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Hayward Gallery complex. According to a statement released by the , the project plans to bring the performance spaces and galleries in the complex up to the standard of the recently transformed Royal Festival Hall and will address current urgent problems including poor access to and the upgrading of the stages and galleries; sub-standard back stage areas; and worn out services.

The eight shortlisted practices are:

Videos: London Olympics 2012 Time Lapse

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This post features time lapses of the construction of various venues that will be hosting the 2012 London Olympics. With the opening ceremony Friday, July 27, these construction time lapses give you an inside look to all of the effort put into the games. If you get a chance to watch the games, you will now have a new found appreciation for the amount of work it takes to hold a major event such as this. More videos after the break.

The Shard’s Opening Celebration

Opening Celebration / Tonight at 10.15

Tonight, Renzo Piano’s Shard will officially celebrate its opening complete with an amazing light show.  A dozen lasers and thirty searchlights will beam streams of light across the city, creating a network between 15 other significant landmarks in London, such as the Gherkin, London Eye, Tate Modern, and Tower Bridge.  (So, if you are in London, don’t miss the event at 10.15 this evening, and be sure to share some photos with us!)

Capping out at 310 meters, has become the tallest building in London, as well as the entire European Union.  We have been following the history of Renzo Piano’s creation, and although laden with financial troubles, a change in developers,  and criticism from Londoners, the project has finally reached completion.

More about the history of the tower after the break.

Amhurst Road / Edgley Design

© Edgley Design

Architects: Edgley Design
Location: ,
Client: Laura Hamilton
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Edgley Design

Shortlist Announced for the Redevelopment of the Quadrangle at Strand Campus

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RIBA Competitions recently announced that six teams have now been selected to take part in the design stage of the competition for King’s College to redevelop the Quadrangle at the historic Strand Campus in London. The shortlisted teams include: Barozzi Veiga Studio, Carme Pinos Studio, Eric Parry Architects, Hall McKnight, Henley Halebrown Rorrison, and Zaha Hadid Architects. Ian Caldwell, Director of Estates & Facilities at King’s, said: ‘We are very pleased with the variety and high standard of submissions and look forward to the development of an innovative, landmark design that will enhance the surrounding historic architecture’. More information on the competition after the break.

Canada Water Library / CZWG Architects

© Tim Crocker

Architects: CZWG Architects
Location: 21 Surrey Quays Rd, London Borough of Southwark,
Project Year: 2011
Project Area: 2,900 sqm
Photographs: Tim Crocker

Video: W London Hotel


W Hotels opens its latest flagship in Leicester Square, . With a rock and roll-inspired bar, a 38-seat 3D screening room and a restaurant run by three-Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, it stays true to its design and luxury roots.

Emirates Air Line / Wilkinson Eyre Architects

Courtesy of Wilkinson Eyre Architects

Architects: Wilkinson Eyre Architects
Location: A Royal Docks, 23 E Ham Manor Way, , Greater E6 5NA,
Project Director: Oliver Tyler
Project Architect: Alex Kyriakides
Project Year: 2012
Photographs: Wilkinson Eyre Architects

Steven Holl reveals Design Concept for Maggie’s Barts

Courtesy of

As we announced earlier, Steven Holl Architects has been selected to design the Maggie’s Center at St. Bartholomew’s (Barts) Hospital in London. Situated at the periphery of the square, Maggie’s Barts will replace an existing 1960s block that was once used for offices. An average of 3,100 new cancer patients is expected to use the facility each year.

said: “It is a great honor to design a Maggie’s Centre and a very special challenge to be given such an important central site in London. The hospital has been at the forefront of medical understanding for centuries. We are inspired by the deep history of the area, and particularly the nearby St. Bartholomew the Great church which has been in continuous use with marvelous music since 1143. Our proposal is like a vessel within a vessel within a vessel. In the spirit of music, architecture can be a vessel of transcendence.”

Continue after the break to learn more.

The ArcelorMittal Orbit / London Olympics / Kapoor + Balmond

/ Anish Kapoor + Cecil Balmond

Is it the perfect blend of sculpture and engineering, or it is a twisted form of nonsense?  Opinions are quite varied on the subject of Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond’s observation tower, ArcelorMittal Orbit, which will serve as a permanent reminder of ’s hosting of the 2012 Olympic Games.  The red steel structure will rise close to 400 feet – taller than New York’s Statue of Liberty and ’s Big Ben – to be Britain’s largest piece of public art.  Criticized for undertaking such a massively expensive project during the country’s recession, Mayor Boris Johnson has claimed that the Orbit will not only enhance visitors’ experiences at the Olympic Games but will also be “the right thing for the Stratford site” beyond the summer time, calling on its potential to become ”the perfect iconic cultural legacy”.

More about the Observation Tower after the break.

Video: Three Little Worlds


Chicago-based architecture practice Bureau Spectacular has converted The Architecture Foundation’s Project Space into a pop-up living space and installation made up of a graphic sequence of imaginary worlds entitled Three Little Worlds (we featured the project as a kickstarter). Jimenez Lai, the architecture practice’s founder, shows us around the space, where he has set camp, something which he has done before having lived and worked in a desert shelter in Taliesen and resided in a shipping container at Atelier Van Lieshout on the piers of Rotterdam. Here, he tells Crane.tv about his love of comics and cartoon, which is apparent in his installation and the interchangeable realities of the spectator and the performer, and demonstrates how to navigate his “giant comic book.” Three Little Worlds runs till 25 August at The Architecture Foundation.

Manhattan Loft Gardens / SOM

I © Hayes Davidson

A triple height entrance lobby will welcome visitors to a world-class hotel, two restaurants, three sky gardens and a 248 unit residential tower, all with stunning views over Olympic Park. These are some of the key features offered in the newly unveiled plan for the 42-storey Manhattan Loft Gardens in , designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM). It is planned to be built near the Stratford International Station – the gateway to the 2012 London Olympics. Completion is scheduled for 2014.

Continue after the break to learn more.

London Olympic Stadium / Populous

© Morley von Sternberg

Architects: Populous
Location: ,
Completion: 2011
Photo credits: Morley von Sternberg, ODA