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London Names RSHP's Leadenhall "Building of the Year 2015"

Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners' Leadenhall Building has been deemed the City of London's "Building of the Year 2015." The inaugural award, organized by the Worshipful Company of Chartered Architects (WCCA), aims to "recognize the extraordinary examples of contemporary architecture across the London cityscape." 

The award's jury, chaired by World Architecture Festival director Paul Finch, selected the Leadenhall Building over 15 other publicly nominated buildings. It was lauded for providing a "world-class working environment" and having a positive impact on the city street. 

Monocle 24 Examines Bilateral Inspiration Between Cities Across the World

For the latest episode of The UrbanistMonocle 24's weekly "guide to making better cities," the team explore the role of bilateral inspiration between metropolises across the world. Examples of cities relying on one another to draw lessons from and progress can be seen across the world: from the ways in which London and New York City tackle similar urban problems, to how a bike-sharing scheme in Paris has proven to be contagious. The show also visits Vienna, where its Imperial heritage is being imitated the world over, and the show ponders whether the fact that every continent "claiming to have its own Venice" is actually a good thing?

Grimshaw Reveal Vision for a High-Speed Concourse at London's Euston Station

Grimshaw Architects, in collaboration with Arup, have revealed renderings for their proposed 25,000 square metre High Speed Two (HS2) railway terminal at Euston Station, in north London. They have developed an "incremental staged design" that will allow for the construction of the new high speed station while maintaining all existing services. Fronted by a 38 metre glazed façade, the new entrances will transform the internal circulation spaces into a "light and airy destination with shops, restaurants, and cafés."

AD Classics: Royal National Theatre / Denys Lasdun

Prince Charles once described the structure as a “clever way of building a nuclear power station in the middle of London without anyone objecting.” Despite the criticisms and the thirteen years it took to realize, Denys Lasdun’s Royal National Theatre may be the most beloved Brutalist building in Britain, thanks to its generous public spaces, thoughtful massing, and respect for the surrounding city.

When it was completed in 1976, the National Theatre actually housed three separate theatre spaces: a so-called “Open Theatre,” a traditional proscenium theatre, and an experimental studio theatre. When Lasdun was hired for the project in 1963, the plan also called for an Opera House, with all four venues combined in a single complex along the Thames River, where the Jubilee Gardens are now located. However, in 1966 a new parliament eliminated funding for the Opera House component, and in 1967 the entire project moved to a new site downstream. The shift in location was pivotal in shaping the final form: at the new site Lasdun drew inspiration from the adjacent Waterloo Bridge, Somerset House across the river, and a view to St. Paul’s Cathedral in the distance.

RIBA Announces Shortlist for 2015 Stephen Lawrence Prize

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced the shortlist for the 2015 Stephen Lawrence Prize, which awards the best projects with a construction budget of less than £1 million.

The 2015 Stephen Lawrence Prize shortlist features:

Herzog & de Meuron Unveil Designs for Chelsea Stadium

Herzog & de Meuron has revealed their plans for a new £500 million stadium for Chelsea Football Club, intended to built in place of their existing stadium at Stamford Bridge. As reported by BD, the images and a model of the stadium were not officially released to the press but were presented in a public consultation meeting held by the club.

Herzog & de Meuron were appointed to work alongside the site's masterplanners Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands in January, and the recent public consultation and was the first opportunity to see the design for the 60,000-seat stadium in its entirety - however, partial renders were released in an earlier consultation in July receiving 92% approval from 1,250 respondents.

Firms from London and Israel Design a Domestic Abuse Shelter in Israel

London firm, Amos Goldreich Architecture and Israel firm Jacobs-Yaniv Architects have come together to design a new shelter for the No to Violence Against Women charity, which helps domestic abuse victims in Israel. This will be the charity’s first purpose-built shelter, replacing an overcrowded, makeshift building.

Located in a quiet neighbourhood, the site is surrounded by a mix of private homes and townhouses and is within reach of community resources like stores, jobs, clinics, schools, parks, counseling centres and recreational facilities. The shelter will include independent living quarters for up to 12 families, communal areas, a kindergarten, a computer room, laundry facilities, kitchens, a refectory as well as staff accommodation and office areas.

David Chipperfield Selected to Overhaul Saarinen's US Embassy in London

As reported by the Architects' Journal, David Chipperfield Architects has been selected in an invited competition to remodel the US Embassy in London, once the building's current occupants move into the new embassy building currently being constructed in the Nine Elms. The existing building, a Grade-II listed design by Eero Saarinen dating back to 1960, is set to become a hotel after developers Qatari Diar purchased it in 2009.

YO! Home Offers a Compact, Transformable Living Space

With the cost of space rising in city centres everywhere, YO! Home by Simon Woodroffe provides a possible solution – a transformable, modular living space. Acting as a reinvention of the traditional studio apartment, YO! Home is a 40 square metre living space with movable features to create the impression of a much bigger home. Read more about this London apartment project after the break.

Interior View. Image Courtesy of YO! Interior View. Image Courtesy of YO! Interior View. Image Courtesy of YO! Interior View. Image Courtesy of YO!

Good Food Matters / Geraghty Taylor Architects

© Gareth Gardner © Gareth Gardner © Gareth Gardner © Gareth Gardner

Exhibition: Childhood ReCollections

Zaha Hadid, Kengo Kuma, Daniel Libeskind, Nieto Sobejano, Denise Scott Brown and Philip Treacy reveal the childhood recollections that have shaped their outstanding visions and work.

Architects and designers are often asked whose work inspired them as students and influenced their thinking, but Roca London Gallery’s autumn show suggests that design inspiration actually goes back much further than this, into early childhood, and can take some unexpected forms. 

Rainham: The East London Village that Became an Urban Planning Exemplar

For the past century or so, the key to turning around the fortunes of a community was thought to be simple: large scale, infrastructural overhaul was capable of rethinking a place from the ground up, fixing any problems. The deficiencies with this sort of thinking are now well known, and in recent years small, surgical interventions which preserve the existing qualities of a town have gained traction. But how do you create large-scale change with such small-scale proposals?

The town of Rainham, at the far Eastern reaches of London, might hold an answer. Having preserved its village-like atmosphere despite being part of London's industrial hinterlands, since the turn of the millennium Rainham has been the subject of a series of small developments that have made a big overall change. Projects by Alison Brooks Architects, Maccreanor Lavington, Peter Beard LANDROOM, Studio Weave, Civic, and East have improved key spaces within Rainham while connecting it to the Thames and the nearby marshes - all by being respectful of the town's existing qualities and responsive to each others' interventions.

Exhibition: The Art of Architecture

On the 25th and 26th September The Gallery on the Corner in Battersea is opening its doors for the first solo exhibition of the Architectural Artist Minty Sainsbury.

Studying Architecture at Cambridge has not only influenced her choice of subject matter but has also taught her to draw with an eye for detail and a spatial understanding of composition.

Part of the exhibition will be a series of street views in which the building in focus is drawn in rich detail and the contextual surroundings are left as silhouettes. By concealing the focal building behind the faceless structures, Sainsbury references a visual experience that you would experience yourself walking in the city streets.

Crowdfunding Campaign Begins for Homeless Shelter Pods

After winning the 6th annual Space for New Visions competition by FAKRO last month, James Furzer of Spatial Design Architects has begun a crowdfunding campaign on Indigogo for his project, “Homes for the Homeless”. The project proposes a series of modular pods which attach to existing buildings, providing a safe space for a night’s rest for the homeless. Extending beyond mere habitation, James Furzer hopes to change the way that the public sees the homeless – of which there are over 750 on any given night in London alone.

Victoria Park, E9 / Scenario

© Matt Clayton © Matt Clayton © Matt Clayton © Matt Clayton

Open Call: Royal Exchange Design Competition for 2015 Graduates

London-based architects Aukett Swanke, in partnership with the Royal Exchange and Oxford Properties, has announced its new competition for recent graduates to design six new market barrows located at The Royal Exchange in London. The deadline is September 11, so act fast!

Arup Design a 'Sky Pool' Suspended 35 Metres Above London's Nine Elms

A twenty five metre long, ten storey high suspended swimming pool—dubbed the 'Sky Pool'—has been planned for the second phase of a new high-end residential development in the London district of Nine Elms, next to the new Embassy of the United States. The pool is part of two buildings, designed by London-based practice HAL and part of a complex of 2000 homes developed Ireland's Ballymore Group. The water will be held in suspension by just twenty centimetres of "structure free" transparent glass, and will connect two housing blocks together. Alongside a rooftop bar, orangery and spa, a second connection between the two is also planned in the form of a footbridge.