Nouvel, Gehry and Elemental Among 15 Shortlisted for “Design of the Year 2015”

One Central Park / Ateliers Jean Nouvel © Murray Fredericks

’s Design Museum has released 15 shortlisted projects that are being considered for the prestigious “Design of the Year” award. From Wendell Burnette’s Desert Courtyard House to Jean Nouvel’s One Central Park skyscraper, the wide-ranging list spans all scales, showcasing some of the best newly completed projects from across the globe.

The award, now in its eighth year, “celebrates design that promotes or delivers change, enables access, extends design practice or captures the spirit of the year.” 76 nominees over six categories have been selected. The jury, chaired by artist Anish Kapoor and includes architect Farshid Moussavi, will choose category winners on May 4. An overall winner will be revealed June 4.

Last year, Zaha Hadid’s Heydar Aliyev Centre in Azerbaijan was the first building in the award’s history to win the overall prize.

View all the shortlisted buildings, after the break. 

Arup Reveals Image Of Heatherwick’s Garden Bridge ‘Cupro-Nickel’ Cladding

New image showing the copper-nickel (cupronickel) cladding. Image Courtesy of

Arup have released a new image of the proposed copper-nickel alloy cladding that will adorn Heatherwick Studio’s Garden Bridge in London. According to a report by the Architects’ Journal, the “concrete structure will be coated in ‘cupro-nickel‘, from its feet on the riverbed up to the base of the balustrades on the bridge deck.” The copper will be donated from Glencore, a multi-national mining company, forming ”a protective skin to the carbon steel structure giving it a maintenance free 120-year life, protecting the bridge from river and environmental corrosion.” More than 240 tonnes of the metal alloy, which often finds use in medical equipment and ship propellers, will be used.

HHbR Develop A “Palladian Model” For Contemporary Affordable Housing

Courtesy of HHbR

London based practice Henley Halebrown Rorrison’s (HHbR) have unveiled a scheme for based on a model inspired by Andrea Palladio’s Villa Capra (1566-1571) near Vicenza. The Pocket Rotunda model hinges around their developer’s ambition to offer new two-bedroom accommodation that will help open up home ownership to couples with young children, joint buyers, and single parent families who earn too much to qualify for social but are, nevertheless, priced out of the UK market.

In Conversation With Sheila O’Donnell And John Tuomey, 2015 Royal Gold Medallists

John Tuomey and Sheila O’Donnell – recipients of the 2015 Royal Gold Medal. Image Courtesy of RIBA

When Sheila O’Donnell and John Tuomey, who practice in partnership as O’Donnell + Tuomey, were named as this year’s recipients of the RIBA Royal Gold Medal, a palpable collective satisfaction appeared to spread throughout the profession. No one could find criticism in Joseph Rykwert and Níall McLaughlin’s nomination, nor the ultimate choice of the RIBA Honours Committee, to bestow the award upon the Irish team. Their astonishingly rigourous body of work, compiled and constructed over the last twenty five years, has an appeal which extends beyond Irish and British shores. A robust stock of cultural, community and educational projects, alongside family homes and social projects, leaves little doubt about the quality, depth and breadth of their mutual capabilities and the skill of those that they choose to collaborate with.

Read the conversation with the Gold Medallists after the break.

London Underline: Gensler Envisions Subterranean Transportation Network for London

Bicycle Tunnel. Image Courtesy of Gensler

Last night, international design firm Gensler received the Planning Award for Best Conceptual Project for its latest vision: Underline. The proposal explores the potential of an underground bicycle and pedestrian park beneath the streets of London. Not only does this public interest design utilize existing abandoned space, but also generates the electricity to support itself simply by being used. 

Zupagrafika Honors London’s Brutalist Architecture with Paper Models

© Zupagrafika

Polish studio Zupagrafika has released a collection of five paper cut-out representing ’s brutalist architecture from 1960s and 70s. Scattered around the districts of Camden, Southwark and Tower Hamlet, the “raw concrete (paper) tour begins with iconic tower blocks (Balfron Tower and Space House), leads through council estates doomed to premature demolition (Robin Hood Gardens and Aylesbury Estate) and concludes with a classic prefab panel block (Ledbury Estate).”

The series, ”Brutal London” is Zupagrafika’s unique way of cataloging London’s modernist architecture at risk of demolition.

Mayor Of London Supports Plans For Europe’s Longest Segregated Cycle Lane

YouTube Preview Image

According to a document published last month, ’s aspiration to become “a great cycling city” has taken one step closer to reality. The office of the Mayor of has approved plans to develop Europe’s longest segregated bicycle lane through the centre of the city following modifications to an original plan that drew sharp criticism from residents and commuters. The new plans, which have been supported by a number of private companies and public bodies, aims to maintain vehicular traffic capacity whilst allowing the segregated cycle lanes to cater for a large capacity of cyclists.

The Building Centre Presents “Rethinking the Urban Landscape”

Bradford City Park. Image © Gillespies

Rethinking the Urban Landscape, a (free!) curated by The Building Centre and Landscape Institute, presents a case for a landscape-first approach to city design and regeneration. The show, which is on view at The Building Centre in London until end of February and then tours, focuses on six problematic areas – from environmental issues to financial planning – and shows international projects that, due to the early procurement of landscape architects, deliver unique solutions.

London’s “Olympicopolis” Aims to Host Smithsonian’s First International Venue

© Kevin Allen/ Legacy Development Corp

The Smithsonian is considering opening its first international space in “Olympicopolis” – London’s former Olympic park that is to be transformed into a world-class cultural hub by 2021. Should the self-financed proposal be approved, it will be the first time in the institution’s 168-year history to build a public venue outside of the United States.

“We see this as an unprecedented opportunity to show the breadth of the Smithsonian in one of the most diverse cities in the world,” stated Smithsonian acting secretary Al Horvath.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Exhibition To Open Next Month In London

Design For A House For An Art Lover (1901). Image © Library

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) have announced that a new exploring the Scottish designer and artist’s celebrated, but difficult, career is to open next month in London. Mackintosh Architecture will be the first exhibition solely devoted to his architecture, offering the opportunity to view over sixty original drawings, watercolours and perspectives spanning the entirety of his working life. Seen together, they “reveal the evolution of his style from his early apprenticeship to his later projects as an individual architect and designer.” Drawings on display will also show his collaboration with the accomplished artist and designer Margaret Macdonald, his wife.

T2 Shoreditch / Landini Associates

© Andrew Meredith

Architects: Landini Associates
Location: 48 Redchurch Street, London E2 7DP,
Year: 2014
Photographs: Andrew Meredith

RSHP Reveals Plans for the “Ladywell Pop-Up Village” in Lewisham

Courtesy of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

Addressing increasing demands in the London Borough of Lewisham, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP) has unveiled their plans for the “Ladywell Pop-Up Village,” which is to become one of the UK’s first temporary housing villages.

The short term housing will provide accommodation for 24 families, alongside community and commercial spaces at street level. Drawing its name from the site of the former Ladywell Leisure Centre upon which it is to be located, the Ladywell Pop-Up Village is fully demountable, thanks to its volumetric construction technology. It is envisioned that the housing units will remain at the Ladywell site for up to four years, after which point they can be relocated throughout the Borough as needed.

Avery Associates Reveals Design for 270-Metre Tower Next to London’s Cheesegrater

Courtesy of Avery Associates Architects

London practice Avery Associates Architects has unveiled their designs for No.1 Undershaft, a 270-metre tall office tower directly adjacent to Rogers Stirk Harbour + PartnersCheesegrater in the City of ’s central skyscraper cluster. The building is currently planned to be the tallest in this cluster and the second-tallest in (after the Shard) – notwithstanding an as-yet-unrevealed plan for the site of the scrapped Pinnacle project which could potentially supersede it.

Explore the Land of the Upright People in Grant Smith’s “Upright and Educated”

© Grant Smith

Through January 31, The Building Centre is hosting Upright and Educated, a photographic documenting the work of UK charitable organization Article 25 in Burkina Faso. Captured by award-winning photographer Grant Smith, the images chart the construction and use of a school in Gourcy, in the country’s north.

Founded in 2006, Article 25 worked with local builders, craftspeople, and fellow UK charity Giving Africa to construct Bethel Secondary School, allowing up to 1100 children access to enhanced education and vocational training facilities. Learn more about the project and view selected images from the exhibition after the break.

Video: Hawkins\Brown Go Underground with Crossrail

After more than two decades of planning and development, the design for London’s Tottenham Court Road tube station by Hawkins\Brown has been revealed. Part of the Crossrail project and described as a “dream project” for the firm, the £375m upgrade will see a complete overhaul of the station’s interior and accessibility points.

In this video from Crane.tv, Roger Hawkins explains Hawkins\Brown’s collaborative design approach, identifying the project as an “opportunity to rework the space…as a plaza, as a public space, but fundamentally [as] an access site.” Hawkins\Brown has since been commissioned to upgrade the Liverpool Street and Bond Street tube stations.

New Documentary Chronicles the Rise and Fall of Brazil’s Sérgio Bernardes

Few remember the name Sérgio Bernardes. A prominent Brazilian architect in the 1960s, Bernardes was a contemporary of Oscar Niemeyer, renowned for his elegant upper-class houses, as well as his fondness for car-racing and womanizing. In the latter half of his career, Bernardes turned away from the decadence of high society, devoting himself to solving the world’s problems through his progressive strain of architecture. This devotion led him to partner with the Brazilian dictatorship, believing that he could reform the government from within. The result was a series of unsuccessful projects that left him unpopular and eventually ignored by the public. Now, a documentary about the rise and fall of this once-iconic architect has premiered this week in London. Titled Bernardes, and directed by Paulo de Barros and Gustavo Gama Rodrigues, the film explores the series of that led Bernardes to anonymity.

Video: The Making of RSHP’s Leadenhall Building

In celebration of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners’ relocation to their newly constructed Leadenhall Building, the -based practiced has released a short film that captures the “making of” the 52-story, 225-meter skyscraper. RSHP, now occupying the building’s 14th floor, is said to be proud to be Leadenhall’s latest tenants: 

“After 30 years at Wharf Studios, it is important for us to be moving into a building that reflects the ethos and evolution of our design practice, clearly stated in its urban relationship with the Lloyd’s building opposite,” says the partners of RSHP. “We will begin this new phase of our history in a building that already feels like home but allows us the advantages of a contemporary, flexible office space in a prime location in the increasingly vibrant and exciting City of London.”

The building, popularly referred to as the “Cheesegrater,” was completed in September of last year. 

Sto Werkstatt to Showcase World’s Best “Building Images”

Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center / Hufton and Crow. Image © Hufton and Crow

Modern times have seen the rise and proliferation of architectural media, allowing people to remotely experience spaces and buildings without ever physically entering them. As such, the importance of the architectural image has never been greater.

Opening on January 15 at ’s Sto Werkstatt and organized in conjunction with Arcaid Images, Building Images celebrates the “power and impact of on the way we sense and experience spaces.” Described by Arcaid Images co-founder Lynne Bryant as having “long been the means of communicating architecture,” is a medium that has grown inseparable from the notion and creation of the architectural image. Learn more and view selected images from the exhibition, after the break.