Assemble Architects and the Coming-of-Age of the Pop-Up Project

The Cineroleum, a temporary cinema in a disused petrol station. Image © Flickr CC User John Gordy

In his interesting profile of the young London-based practice Assemble, of the Observer investigates the work of arguably the best collective of designers to emerge from 2010′s “Autumn of Pop-Ups” – examining how they have stayed true to the more noble aspects of pop-up architecture despite the concept’s increasing commercialization. From their first project, a temporary cinema in a petrol station, to their recent Yardhouse project in Stratford, Moore finds an architecture that values exuberance and fun, yet is mature and refined. You can read his article in full here.

Hawkins\Brown Designs Housing Scheme in Rotherhithe

© Forbes Massie

Hawkins\Brown have gained planning permission for a development of 103 new homes in Rotherhithe, South-East London. Consisting of two terraces of 3-storey family homes and a series of four-storey ‘mansion blocks’ containing maisonettes with apartments above, the scheme will be built on the site of the former Fisher FC football ground on Salter Road, with the playing surface redeveloped to form a new public park.

More on the design after the break

Design Contest Announced for New Thames Bridge at Nine Elms

The area of Nine Elms in . Image Courtesy of Battersea Power Station Development Company

Wandsworth Council has announced that it plans to hold an international design competition for a new pedestrian and cylist bridge across the , connecting Nine Elms on the South of the river to Pimlico on the North. The announcement comes in response to a feasibility study by Transport for London which concluded that a bridge at this location could handle around 9,000 walkers and 9,000 cyclists a day at a construction cost of £40 million.

More on the competition after the break

Exhibition / Designing a Moment: The London 2012 Cauldron

©

The Cauldron, designed by the internationally renowned Heatherwick Studio, is one of the most enduring and creative symbols of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. 204 unique copper elements, each alight and representing every competing nation, were arranged in sublime concentric formation at the tips of slender mechanised steel stems. Slowly pivoting sequentially, they converged to form the Cauldron, in which the Olympic, and later Paralympic flame, would burn brightly for the duration of London’s summer of sport.

Designing a Moment: The London 2012 Cauldron, a new gallery at the Museum of London, tells the story of this moment, and celebrates the London 2012 Cauldron.

In the courtyard of the museum, a bespoke new pavilion to house the has been specially designed and built by Stage One – the creative engineers behind the London 2012 Cauldron. The permanent addition is the first new gallery in the museum since 2010, coinciding with the two year anniversary of the Olympic opening ceremony, when an audience of over one billion people first set eyes on the Cauldron.

Title: Exhibition / Designing a Moment: The London 2012 Cauldron
Website: http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/london-wall/whats-on/exhibitions-displays/the-london-2012-cauldron-designing-moment/
From: Fri, 25 Jul 2014
Until: Sun, 28 Sep 2014
Venue: Museum of London
Address: 150 London Wall, London EC2Y 5HN, UK

Organic London Skyscraper Grows as Residents Recycle

Exterior View. Image Courtesy of Chartier Corbassons architectes

Inspired by vegetative growth and the bamboo scaffolding of Asia, Thomas Corbasson and VS-A have proposed a conceptual project for an organic skyscraper for London that will incorporate waste produced by its occupants. The building will rise vertically as more and more of the glass and paper needed for construction is discarded by building residents. It is estimated that enough recycled material for the building’s façade could be produced within a year. The project earned a special mention in a recent Skyscapers and SuperSkyscapers Competition.

Four Freedoms Park: Louis Kahn’s “Ancient Temple Precinct” in NYC

Aerial Rendering Prior to Completion. Image Courtesy of Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park, LLC

Built four decades after Louis Kahn’s death, New York City’s Four Freedoms Park - the architect’s posthumous memorial to Franklin D. Roosevelt and his policies – is becoming one of the architect’s most popular urban spaces. In a recent article for the GuardianOliver Wainwright investigates what he describes as perhaps Kahn’s ”best project”. Wainwright’s spatial description of the monument is interweaved by fragments of Kahn’s personal history, building up a picture of a space with “the feel of an ancient temple precinct” and “a finely nuanced landscape”. Although Gina Pollara, who ultimately realised the plans in 2005, argues that Four Freedoms Park ”stands as a memorial not only to and the New Deal, but to Kahn himself”, can a posthumous project ever be considered as an architect’s best? Read the article in full here.

Critical Round-Up: 2014 Serpentine Pavilion / Smiljan Radic

© Iwan Baan

Last week, the 2014 Serpentine Pavilion opened in London‘s . The Serpentine Pavilion program invites architects who are yet to work in the to create a temporary installation at the gallery’s grounds for one summer, and this year it was the turn of Chilean architect Smiljan Radic, who rarely builds outside his native country and is arguably the least well-known architect in the Pavilion’s 14 year history.

Always a highlight in London’s architectural calender, critics almost line up to write their reviews. This year, they are almost entirely unanimous: Radic’s pavilion is, unquestionably, weird. But they’re also unanimous on another judgement: it may be one of the best Serpentine Pavilions yet.

Read on after the break to find out what the critics said about this year’s design

RIBA Report Aims to Put Architecture at the Heart of Next Government’s Agenda

One proposal made by the report is to funnel transport money into ‘active transport’ routes, such as the Hackney Greenway which was created as part of the London Olympic Legacy. Image © Flickr CC User Andy Wilkes

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has published a report which it hopes will influence government policy writers in time for the general election next year. The report outlines the ’s stance on a wide variety of architectural issues, from planning policy, to school building, to designing healthy cities.

The report hopes to build on the recommendations made by the Farrell Review, which among many other things recommended the appointment of a chief architect to advise the government, as well as an overhaul of the current planning system. However, in one sense the RIBA report goes further than the Farrell Report by saying that the government should implement a defined architecture policy, pointing to the success of such policies in countries such as Denmark.

Read on after the break for more on the report’s recommendations

Video: drMM

The latest video from Crane.tv involves the -based drMM architecture studio. An eclectic mix of architectural know-how puts this practice at the forefront of innovative and sustainable design.

HOK Proposes East London Thames Crossing

© /Arup

Nearly half of London’s population lives east of Tower Bridge yet they are served by only two fixed road river crossings,” says Colin Stanbridge, Chief Executive of London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI). This is the infrastructural predicament which has sparked the LCCI’s “Bridge East London” campaign, a proposal for bridge linking Beckton and Thamesmead at Gallions Reach, which is aided by a design by HOK.

The proposal was unveiled on Monday, the 120th anniversary of the opening of Tower Bridge. Designed to allow clear passage for both ships underneath and aircraft taking off or landing at City Airport above, the bridge also features a segregated cycle path, adding a much needed - and entirely safe – river crossing for London’s growing number of cyclists.

More on the bridge after the break

Has London’s British Museum Become a “Mall”?

The Great Court / Fosters + Partners. Image © janis.photo

“They’ve got the mall. They’ve got the food court. Now they’ve got the multiplex.” Rowan Moore’s latest piece for the Guardian discusses the collaged plight of London’s British Museum as Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP) complete a large extension of exhibition spaces. Describing it as a “composite Foster-Rogers” building, Moore argues that “a strange distribution of space” coupled with “an inattention to the cultural complexities of the modern museum” have led to “a void, wrapped in a void, with another void to the side.” Although he states that “there are many things to like about RSHP’s building”, the total compilation of spaces, extensions and interventions have led to a museum more like a mall than a house of culture.

Luker House in Barnes / Jamie Fobert Architects

Courtesy of

Architects: Jamie Fobert Architects
Location: Barnes, SW13, UK
Year: 2014
Photographs: Courtesy of Jamie Fobert Architects

Boris Johnson Speech Reignites Row Over Mount Pleasant Development

Courtesy of Cityscape

The controversial Mount Pleasant development in London has sparked another row this week, as campaigners accused Mayor Boris Johnson of “compromising his neutrality” over the 681-home scheme which he has called in to review personally. Though he is supposed to remain neutral until the hearing, last week Johnson remarked in a speech that the development “will be a wonderful place to live.” However many have expressed concern over the design, including Thomas Heatherwick, who lives locally and called the scheme “empty, cynical and vacuous.” Read all the details at BD Online.

London Science Museum Announces Shortlist for New Galleries

© Flickr CC User Science Museum

The Science Museum in London has announced two shortlists of high-profile architects in its competitions to design new Mathematics and Medicine galleries. Due to open by 2018, the new galleries will double the space inside the museum. Among the shortlisted practices are Zaha Hadid Architects, Amanda Levete Architects, Wilkinson Eyre and Caruso St John. Winners for both galleries are expected to be announced in early August.

Read on after the break for the full shortlists

Does London Really Need the Garden Bridge?

© Arup

In an interesting analysis in the Guardian, Olly Wainwright draws attention to the questionable process by which of Thomas Heatherwick‘s Garden Bridge proposal has gained such strong support from the British government. It is, according to Wainwright, the product of “one voguish designer, one national treasure and one icon-hungry mayor” – however he contends that compared to other more needed potential bridges over the Thames, the Garden may just be ”a spectacular solution to a problem that doesn’t really exist,” and a terrific waste of infrastructure funds. You can read the article in full here.

Beachfront Observation Tower Confirmed for the British City of Brighton

Visualisation. Image Courtesy of Marks Barfield Architects / i360 Brighton

British practice Marks Barfield Architects, famous for designing the London Eye, are a step closer to realising their latest urban observation structure: the i360 Brighton. This week the international team who created the London landmark were reunited on Brighton beach as as loans of more than £40 million have been agreed to begin the tower’s construction. Bringing together companies from the UK, France (Poma), the USA (Jacobs Enginneering) and the Netherlands (), the project has been described as “truly unique.”

Leading Architects Come Together for London’s Summer Exhibition

The Architecture Room. Image Courtesy of Royal Academy of Arts

The Royal Academy of Arts’ annual Summer Exhibition is the world’s largest open submission exhibition providing “a unique platform for emerging and established artists to showcase their works to an international audience.” From 12,000 total works of art, spanning a complete range of disciplines, 140 architectural works have been selected and hung by Royal Academician and Architect Eric Parry, after some early dialogue with former RIBA President Sir Richard MacCormac. Work featured this year includes a model by Thomas Heatherwick and prints by of Sauerbruch Hutton, alongside Norman Foster, Zaha Hadid, Nicholas Grimshaw, Richard Rogers and Eva Jiřičná.

Smiljan Radic’s Serpentine Pavilion Opens

© 2014 Iwan Baan

UPDATE: Check out video from today’s press conference at the Serpentine Pavilion! 

The 2014 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, designed by Chilean architect Smiljan Radic, opened this morning in London‘s Hyde Park. The pavilion, a glass-fibre reinforced plastic shell resting on large quarry stones, was inspired by a papier mâché model which Radic created four years ago as a response to the Oscar Wilde story ‘The Selfish Giant‘.

© Daniel Portilla

More images after the break