The London Festival of Architecture is a city-wide celebration of architecture and architectural talent in the UK capital. It brings architects and communities together to examine how we make London a better place. The theme of the 2012 Festival – ‘The Playful City’ – responds to the presence in London of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Everyone is invited to join the Festival; both Londoners and visitors are encouraged to be active participants in the city. From reinterpreting familiar places through new installations and animations, redesigning public spaces to encourage physical fitness in the spirit of the Olympic Games, to testing interactive forms of consultation and planning for future urban development, festival participants will be encouraged to play in, and play with, the city around them.
- City of London, Southwark and London Pleasure Gardens (23rd /24th June)
- Fitzrovia and Victoria (30th June / 1 July)
- King’s Cross and Hoxton (7th/8th July)
You won’t want to miss it! Find more information on the festival’s official website.
Ahead of the opening of this summer’s Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, Crane.tv gets an exclusive look at the specially commissioned structure designed by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron in collaboration with Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. The dream design team responsible for the Beijing National Stadium come together again to create the team’s first collaborative edifice in the UK. Here, Pierre de Meuron talks about the joys of working with Ai Weiwei, while the infamous artist makes a special cameo to share his interest in combining art, design and architecture to introduce new possibilities and social change.
Starting tomorrow, the 12th version of the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion will be open at the Hyde Park in London. As we announced some months ago, the design was commissioned to Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei. The final proposal was published just at the beginning of this month, showing an interesting ground work. This year’s pavilion is half sunk into the landscape, as if it were carved in the terrain and covered with a liquid layer, reflecting the the surrounding light and landscape.
More info and images after the break
Today we had the chance of attending the opening of this impressive exhibition. As we mentioned previously some weeks ago, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London prepared this event focused on the work of the British firm Heatherwick Studio, responsable for the last Shanghai 2010 British Pavilion, as well as the Rolling Bridge, or the New Bus for London that was just released in the 38 route. The exhibition comprises a large range of different scales of design, going from specific objects or furniture, to large infrastructural and urban projects. It will be open for the public from next Thursday 31st.
While the excitement builds for the Olympic Games this summer, London is also preparing for their Design Festival of mid-September. In a joint effort between Arup and Sound and Music, the installation at Trafalgar Square will focus on the idea of design you cannot see by creating a black rubberized portal that will transport visitors to inaccessible places and remote environments through a series of three-dimensional soundscapes created by leading musicians and sound designers. By isolating the sense of sound, visitors will be submerged in a completely new environment as they stand in one of the busiest squares in the world.
More about BE OPEN after the break.
‘SHIFTS: The Economic Crisis and its Consequences for Architecture’ is an exhibition currently on display until June 9 at The Architecture Foundation in London. Presented by Rotterdam/Copenhagen-based Powerhouse Company and critic and architectural historian Hans Ibelings (the Architecture Observer), the exhibit illustrates the far-reaching impacts of new economic circumstances on architecture’s recent past, troubled present and unknown future acknowledging the onset of an imminent housing crisis in London, and the continuing shrinkage of the architectural profession in the UK. More information on the exhibition after the break.
Architect: Jump Studios – Shaun Fernandes, Markus Nonn
Location: 4-5 Bonhill Street, London, England
Total Floor Area: 2,300 sqm
Project Cost: £ 2.2 M
Client: Google UK Ltd.
Furniture / Lighting: Hay, Modus, Very Good & Proper, Branch Studios, Moroso, Bene, MagisMuuto, Luxo, Erco Jump Studios
Photographs: Courtesy of Jump Studios
The exhibition dedicated to Bas Princen‘s work will be open at the Architectural Association in London until May 26. The photographer based in Rotterdam, who was previously trained as an architect, is particularly focused on the dialogues between architecture and the landscape, from dramatic contrasts to blurred merging typologies.
“The award-winning Dutch photographer’s work has become increasingly familiar: images that blur the artificial and natural, where the real and imagined are hard to separate. Less known – and never previously exhibited – are the A5 booklets Princen makes, consisting of a series of reference images. The booklets are between 24 and 32 pages long and contain images downloaded by Princen from the internet of famous or completely unknown or already long-forgotten scenes and objects involving landscape and architecture, their low resolution disallowing reproduction any larger than 6 x 9 cm.
HP, Apple, Google – they all found their success amongst the peach groves and Suburban houses of California. But why? What is it about Silicon Valley that makes it the site of technological innovation the world over?
It’s tempting to assume that the Valley’s success must be, at least in part, due to its design. But how does innovation prosper? What kind of environment does it require? In a recent interview with The Atlantic Cities, Jonah Lehrer, author of Imagine: How Creativity Works, suggests that creativity is sparked from casual exchanges, the mingling of diversity, the constant interaction with the strange and new. In short, and as a recent study corroborates, innovation flourishes in dense metropolises.
Seemingly then, Silicon Valley, a sprawl of highways and office parks, has become a hotspot of creativity in spite of its design. But let’s not write off design just yet.
As technology makes location more and more irrelevant, many are looking to distill the magic of Silicon Valley and transplant it elsewhere. The key will be to design environments that can recreate the Valley’s culture of collaboration. The future Valleys of the world will be microsystems of creativity that imitate and utilize the structure of the city.
Taking place at the Architectural Association (AA) on May 11, the ‘Translate the Intangible’ symposium addresses the challenges of communicating dynamic aspects of contemporary design methodologies through static mediums such as text and images. As current design-oriented fields have amplified the implementation of computational and generative tools for various motives, the process of documentation and representation of the design process has become more difficult to express.
As such, Translate the Intangible will bring together a multi-disciplinary group of leading practitioners from different fields to discuss the challenges involved in expressing the process involved in their work and propose new perspectives addressing this issue. Organized by the AA PhD in Architectural Design students as part of the AA Public Programme, the event will serve as a platform for the PhD in Architectural Design students to present and discuss their individual research. For more information on the event, please visit here.
Hosted by RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects), the ‘Towards a new re-construction after 311 tsunami in North-East Japan’ Symposium will take place in London on May 8, where they will present a culmination of over a year’s work by dedicated Japanese architects working closely with local communities in areas worst affected by the disaster. Ideas and proposals will be shared for building a safe and sustainable future for those whose lives and communities were devastated on 11th March 2011. For more detailed information on the event, please visit here.
RIBA Competitions recently announced the launch of a new Invited Design Competition on behalf of King’s College London. Expressions of Interest are sought from architects or architectural practices for the redevelopment of the Quadrangle and its associated buildings at the College’s historic Strand Campus in London WC2. This £20 million project to design and redevelop the Quad site will provide an additional 3,700 square meters of teaching space and student facilities. King’s is committed to appointing an architect based on their ability to bring innovative thinking to a significant historical site in order to revitalize a learning community. The deadline for receipt of Expressions of Interest is June 1. More information on the competition after the break.
Aerial photographer Jason Hawkes captures London’s hazy skyline in both day and night. Although still under construction, The Shard appears to already dwarf most to the city. The building is designed by Renzo Piano and is slated to become the tallest in Europe. In addition, Norman Foster’s infamous Gherkin, formally known as the Swiss Re Building, is instantly recognizable in nearly every frame as it is a landmark within the dense metropolis.
Join Crane.tv on a tour of the Rough Luxe Hotel with architect and designer Rabih Hage. Flawlessly balanced between the artistic and the functional, the hotel intricately merges contemporary and antique furnishings. This unique layering between the modern and the traditional features from the original building create an truly opulent and bespoke atmosphere for any guest.