In this essay by the British architect and academic Dr. Timothy Brittain-Catlin, the very notion of British postmodernism—today often referred to as intimately tied to the work of James Stirling and the the thinking of Charles Jencks—is held to the light. Its true origins, he argues, are more historically rooted.
I grew up in a beautiful late Victorian terrace with ornamental brickwork, shaped ‘Dutch’ gables and pretty arts and crafts stained glass windows – and so I didn’t think then, and I don’t think now, that I had much to learn from Las Vegas. It turns out that I wasn’t the only one. Of British architects who made their names as postmodernists in the 1980s, not a single one would say now that they owed much to Robert Venturi, the American architect widely considered to be a grandfather of movement.
Russian designer Konstantin Kolesov has created a collection of finely-crafted souvenirs celebrating iconic architectural landmarks from around the globe. The Jsouv Collection consists of 15 pieces, depicting landmarks from New York, London, Tokyo, Dubai and more. Crafted from solid aluminum, the souvenirs are accompanied by a natural walnut base engraved with a 2D emblem of the city in question. With the souvenirs currently being crowdfunded on Indiegogo, Jsouv is also offering a t-shirt collection with unique prints of each city and landmark.
The Barbican Centre in London is celebrating its 35th anniversary. Widely regarded as the pinnacle of the Brutalist movement, the mixed-use development is home to 4,000 residents, the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, and the London Symphony Orchestra. Located in the heart of London, the Barbican is just one example of how Brutalist architecture forms a central part of our cities. To celebrate this progressive, modernizing, sometimes controversial style, GoCompare has created an online gallery illustrating Brutalist icons from across the world.
In recent years, the architectural community has become heavily involved, in both positive and negative ways, with the chronic global issue of homelessness. In response, James Furzer of UK-based Spatial Design Architects has undertaken a photographic analysis exploring defensive forms of urban design. Using the typology of public benches in London, Furzer documents public fixtures which act as deterrents to rough sleepers, essentially denying a right to the city for those who ultimately have no choice but to be there.
The Leadenhall Building, designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, has been sold to a Chinese property magnate for a price of £1.15 billion, in what has become the second-biggest sale of a UK building in history, as well as one of China’s largest acquisitions of UK real estate. The transaction involved developer British Land and its partner Oxford Properties, who sold the tower to CC Land, a Hong Kong based company.
Tim Roberts, head of offices and residential at British Land, said: “British Land and Oxford Properties took a bold step at the early stages of the UK’s economic recovery to develop the Leadenhall Building to generate a high-quality, long-term income stream,” said Tim Roberts, head of offices and residential at British Land. “This sale shows continued investor appetite for best-in-class, well-located property in London.”
Earlier this month, Hong Kong-owned developer Knight Dragonrevealed plans for an billion-dollar urban-development scheme that will completely transform London’s Greenwich Peninsula. In this edition of Section D, Monocle 24's weekly review of design, architecture and craft, the team speak to Santiago Calatrava—who will be designing the core of this grand new project—about this and his public-spirited design philosophy. Why, they ask, has he’s always wanted to leave a mark on the "Big Smoke?"
http://www.archdaily.com/806495/santiago-calatrava-ground-zero-design-philosophy-greenwich-peninsula-project-monocleAD Editorial Team
A year since the passing of David Bowie, one of music and pop culture’s greatest icons, fans have launched a fundraising campaign to support the erection of a permanent memorial statue in London, in honor of the late musician.
“We’re taking the lightning flash from the cover of Aladdin Sane, and turning it into a three-storey tall sculpture,” explains Charlie Waterhouse of This Ain’t Rock ‘n’ Roll, one of the organizations behind the campaign, working in conjunction with David Bowie’s team.
It's common knowledge that China has "at least 10 White Houses, four Arcs de Triomphe, a couple of Great Sphinxes and at least one Eiffel Tower," report the New York Times. But now photographs of a copy of London’s famous Tower Bridge (a Victorian riparian gateway to the city) in the Chinese city of Suzhou have emerged – and it's been adapted to suit a five-lane highway. Almost identical—from a distance, at least—to its British counterpart the new structure, which was completed in 2012, has been doubled – a feat which has also required some spectacular architectural additions.
http://www.archdaily.com/806431/twice-as-nice-suzhou-china-architectural-homage-copies-copy-london-tower-bridgeAD Editorial Team
The Serpentine Galleries have announced that the 2017 Serpentine Pavilion will be designed by Diébédo Francis Kéré (Kéré Architecture), an African architect based between Berlin, Germany, and his home town of Gando in Burkino Faso. The design for the proposal, which will be built this summer in London's Kensington Gardens, comprises an expansive roof supported by a steel frame, mimicking the canopy of a tree. According to Kéré, the design for the roof stems from a tree that serves as the central meeting point for life in Gando. In line with the criteria for the selection of the Serpentine Pavilion architect Kéré has yet to have realised a permanent building in England.
http://www.archdaily.com/805780/francis-kere-to-design-2017-serpentine-pavilionAD Editorial Team
In the 1960s James Stirling asked Ludwig Mies van der Rohe why he didn’t design utopian visions for new societies, like those of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Broadacre City or Corbusier’s Cité Radieuse. Mies replied that he wasn’t interested in fantasies, but only in “making the existing city beautiful.” When Stirling recounted the conversation several decades later it was to the audience of a public enquiry convened in London – he was desperately trying to save Mies’ only UK design from being rejected in planning.
Amongst the rapid materializing of telecoms, media and tech companies within the Blackfriar’s Southbank region, PLP Architecture has been chosen for the design of a new office building with the challenge of successfully integrating into the ever-changing local fabric.
“Our proposal speculates on the nature of the contemporary office tower,” explained the firm. “What is the architectural expression of today’s high-density workplace? How does the building acquire an identity specific to its media/tech occupiers and how is that identity conveyed to the city?”
In a recent episiode of Section D, Monocle 24 visit a new exhibition at London's Serpentine Galleries presenting the paintings of Zaha Hadid. The show, first conceived with Hadid herself, "reveals her as an artist with drawing at the very heart of her work." According to the gallery, it "includes the architect’s calligraphic drawings and rarely seen private notebooks with sketches that reveal her complex thoughts about architectural forms and their relationships." This episode takes the listener on a tour of the display with commentary from the exhibition's curator.
http://www.archdaily.com/804667/zaha-hadid-explosive-paintings-drawings-sketches-on-display-london-serpentineAD Editorial Team
Santiago Calatrava has unveiled designs for a £1-billion mixed-use project in Greenwich Peninsula, East London. Named Peninsula Place, the 1.4-million-square-foot (130,000-square-meter) project will be located adjacent to the Roger Stirk Harbour + Partners-designed O2 Arena (formerly known as the Millennium Dome). It will include a new tube and bus station, a theater, cinema and performance venue, bars, shops and a wellbeing hub on the lower levels, with three towers rising above featuring offices, hotels, and apartments. The scheme will also be served by a new land bridge, also designed by Calatrava.