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Robin Hood Gardens, Once Again, Looks Set to be Demolished

The announcement in 2012 that London's Robin Hood Gardens — Alison and Peter Smithson's world-famous Brutalist housing estate — was set to be demolished was, on the whole, met with outrage among the architectural community. Since that time, many called for the profession to act in order to protect "one of Britain’s most important post-war housing projects," which led to a fresh bid to save the scheme in March of this year. Richard Rogers, Simon Smithson (a partner at RSHP and son of Alison and Peter Smithson), and academic Dirk van den Heuvel recently called upon members of the public to voice their concerns to the UK Ministry for Culture, Media and Sport.

In spite of this, it has now been announced that the UK Heritage Minister, Tracey Crouch, "is minded to approve the Certificate of Immunity for Robin Hood Gardens" meaning that the decision not to list the residential complex in Tower Hamlets will be upheld, giving a "legal guarantee that the building or buildings named in the certificate will not be considered for listing for five years."  This will be the second certificate of this type to have been issued for this complex. According to Historic England, "a period of 28 days [beginning on the 4th August 2015] is now allowed for review before the certificate is issued."

Great British Buildings: Pear Tree House, London

An exclusive architect-led, behind the scenes talk and tour of this RIBA London Award winning family home by Edgley Design. Discover the stories behind the building, what inspired the architect and what it means to have won this prize.

10 New Burlington Street / Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

© Rob Parrish © Timothy Soar © Rob Parrish © Timothy Soar

Monocle 24 Explore Architectural Competitions and 'Failed Bids'

For this week's edition of The Urbanist, Monocle's weekly "guide to making better cities," the team discuss urbanism projects that were planned and never realised, what 'paper architecture' really is, and the importance of the architectural competition.

In The Urbanist, Andrew Tuck explores how a terrace of old town houses in central London (152-158 The Strand, near Somerset House) have been recently saved from demolition by the efforts of campaigning journalists and a sympathetic public. In Brazil, the yet to be seen high-speed train link between Rio di Janeiro and São Paulo meets scrutiny while in Toronto, five unsuccessful architectural bids are examined. Finally, ArchDaily Editor James Taylor-Foster visits their London studio to talk about the architectural competition, from Brunelleschi to Guggenheim and Den Bosch.

Burntwood School / Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

© Timothy Soar © Timothy Soar © Timothy Soar © Timothy Soar

Heatherwick Wins Planning for New Maggie’s Centre in Leeds

Heatherwick Studio has received planning permission to build a new Maggie's center on the St James' University Hospital grounds in Leeds. Aiming to harness the therapeutic effect of plants for the benefit of the center's cancer patients, the building was designed as a series of stepped "planters" that intertwine to form a unique and restorative layout of inside, outside, private and public space. 

"The site is a small patch of green surrounded by the huge volumes of the existing hospital buildings. Instead of taking away the open space we wanted to make a whole building out of a garden," said Thomas Heatherwick in a press release. 

London's Brutalist British Library Given 'Listed' Status

The British Library in London's St. Pancras is often hailed as the only major public building to be built in Great Britain in the twentieth century. "No other project, since the building of St. Paul’s Cathedral over 400 years ago, took so long to construct or was surrounded by so much controversy." Begun in 1962, completed in 1997, and opened to the public in 1998, the Brutalist building is a world-class a repository of artistic, scholarly and literary treasures. It has now, along with seven other post-war libraries, been given Grade I Listed status for "its soaring and stimulating spaces" which, according to Historic England, have become "much-loved and well-used by scholars and members of the public alike."

Rafael Viñoly's “Walkie Talkie” Tower in London Leveled with Even More Complaints

Following the controversy over its curved façade, which focused the sun’s rays into dangerous beams, Rafael Viñoly Architects20 Fenchurch Street (dubbed the Walkie Talkie) has now been hit with more accusations -- this time of increasing the wind in the area, and of breaking agreements on its public sky garden, local press have reported

24 Savile Row / EPR Architects

  • Architects: EPR Architects
  • Location: Savile Row, Mayfair, London W1S, UK
  • Area: 2906.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2015
  • Photographs: Courtesy of EPR Architects

Courtesy of EPR Architects Courtesy of EPR Architects Courtesy of EPR Architects Courtesy of EPR Architects

Conservationists Speak Out Against David Chipperfield's London House for Tracey Emin

When news spread of Tracey Emin's plans to demolish a disused 1920s building in London's East End neighborhood, residents immediately objected. The artist, known for her conservation work in the area, has commissioned David Chipperfield to design a minimalist flat and studio on the site. However, despite the planning application's claim that the design will "greatly contribute to the character and appearance of the conservation area," the opposition isn't convinced.  

“Tracey Emin is at present the owner of a locally listed building that is part of a historic streetscape of variety and charm,” said Save Britain's Heritage director Clem Cecil, who labeled Chipperfield's design "angular and blank." “She has done great conservation work with her other buildings nearby and this building deserves the same treatment.

Selgascano's Serpentine and the ArchDaily Comments Section

Photographer Nikhilesh Haval of nikreations has shared with us this virtual tour of the 2015 Serpentine Pavilion. Taking viewers through a series of 360-degree panoramas shot on a mercifully sunny day, the tour shows off the pavilion's striking colors to good effect and gives some indication of the complex and dynamic arrangement of the design's double skin.

For those won't get the opportunity to visit for themselves, Haval's virtual tour is a great way to experience SelgasCano's psychedelic space as it gives a reasonable impression of what it feels like to actually be there. I can say that with some authority because, since I last wrote about the pavilion, I got the chance to visit it myself - and what I found was completely different to the pavilion I might have expected had I been taking cues from our comments section. I'd like to talk to our readers about that directly, if I may.

2015 London Design Festival to Open in September

The 2015 London Design Festival, an annual event held to celebrate and promote London as "the design capital of the world," will run this year between the 19th and 27th September. As a platform for some of the capital's major trade shows, the city-wide event aims to showcase exhibitors from across the world at a series of 'Design Destinations' — places at which established and emerging designers, manufacturers and brands can present their products and innovations.

London's ArcelorMittal Orbit Tower Will Soon Be the World's Tallest Slide

Anish Kapoor’s ArcelorMittal Orbit Tower in London will soon host the world's tallest and longest tunnel slide. The 114-meter-tall tower, already the UK's tallest sculpture, was originally built for the 2012 London Olympics. As the Metro reports, the semi-transparent stainless steel tube slide will start its descent 80-meters above ground within the structure's infamous lattice work, spiraling five times before embarking on a final 50-meter drop. Rides will last 37 seconds and cost just £5 a ride. 

22 Bishopsgate Set to be London's Tallest Skyscraper

PLP Architecture has released their new design for a skyscraper at 22 Bishopsgate. Set to be 278m tall, it will be the tallest building in the City of London, second only to the Shard in the UK. The site was originally home to the Pinnacle, a slightly taller proposal that stopped work in 2012 due to economic restraints. Located in the midst of the city’s cluster of tall buildings, the new design will pick up where the Pinnacle left off, reusing the already built foundations and basements. Read more about this new development in London after the break.

SelgasCano in Conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist, Smiljan Radić and Sou Fujimoto

Last month, as part of their Park Nights event series, COS assembled Spanish architects José Selgas and Lucía Cano (SelgasCano) at their new pavilion for the Serpentine Gallery in London's Hyde Park to discuss the concepts behind their design and the history of the Pavilion Commission with Serpentine directors Julia Peyton-Jones and Hans Ulrich Obrist. They were joined by Chilean architect Smiljan Radić, designer of the 2014 pavilion, and Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto, designer of 2013's, in an hour long conversation moderated by Sarah Ichioka.

Ampersand Building / Darling Associates

© Peter Landers Photography © Peter Landers Photography © Peter Landers Photography © Peter Landers Photography

Solstice Point / Nick Baker Architects

  • Architects: Nick Baker Architects
  • Location: London NW1 7SA, UK
  • Area: 2790.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Hamish Park

© Hamish Park © Hamish Park © Hamish Park © Hamish Park

Kamvari Architects Design Mixed-Use Development for Tehran

The winner of a competition for a mixed-use building scheme, London-based Kamvari Architects has unveiled the design for Zartosht, a 300,000 square-foot retail and office building in Tehran, Iran. The building's design is based largely on local cultural contexts, like the region’s reputation for renowned fabric and textile shops, and environmentalism, particularly with respect to solar energy.