the world's most visited architecture website

Exhibition: Drawn to the Future

Head-spinning funfair rides are part of the attraction of Drawn To The Future, an exhibition of new approaches to architectural visualisations at The Building Centre in London.

“We explore how digital media is changing the way we create built forms,” says the show curator, Lewis Blackwell, executive director of strategy at The Building Centre.

The most popular exhibit looks likely to be the virtual rollercoaster developed at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at the Bartlett School of Architecture. Viewed on an Oculus Rift headset, it simulates a rollercoaster journey around the skyscrapers of a fantasy city.

Event: Celebrating Segal in Walters Way, South London

Residents of a unique south London housing scheme are hosting a free event to celebrate the work of the architect who designed their street. Walter Segal, who died 30 years ago, will be remembered at a special Celebrating Segal day on Saturday 19th September 2015, 11am-3pm.

The day of talks, films, art and tours will take place in Walters Way, South London, which was designed by Segal, built by residents, and is one of two streets named after him (the other being Segal close). The event, which is part of Open House London, will highlight Segal’s achievements and his

SimpsonHaugh and Partners Begins Construction on Dollar Bay Residential Tower in London

SimpsonHaugh and Partners has announced the construction of its new premier residential tower, called Dollar Bay, at the East India Dock overlooking Canary Wharf in London.

Named for the site’s World War Two heritage—“when dockworkers would tow American naval ships to their moorings for the cost of one dollar”—the building will provide unparalleled views of the River Thames from where it sits across from the O2 Arena.

Courtesy of SimpsonHaugh and Partners Courtesy of SimpsonHaugh and Partners Courtesy of SimpsonHaugh and Partners Courtesy of SimpsonHaugh and Partners

How Walter Segal's 1970s DIY Community Could Help Solve Today's Housing Crisis

In recent years, DIY approaches to building houses have become increasingly popular, as increasing cost and decreasing availability have caused some prospective house-buyers to embrace simple methods of fabrication and the sweat of their own brow, as discussed in this recent article. However, this trend has much earlier precedents: in 1979, self-build pioneer Walter Segal had already embraced these progressive concepts in a development known as "Walter's Way," an enclave of self-built social housing in southeast London. According to Dave Dayes, a Walter's Way resident and an original builder on the project, Segal believed that "anybody can build a house. All you need to do is cut a straight line and drill a straight hole." The houses were built entirely of standard wood units assembled onsite in Lewisham.

In this video, London based non-profit The Architecture Foundation steps into the utopia of Walter's Way, a micro-neighborhood founded on principals of communal living for people of all backgrounds. The film has been released in connection with Doughnut: The Outer London Festival taking place September 5th, which will bring together writers, historians, architects and economists for "an adventurous celebration of all things Outer London and a critical reflection on the rapid transformation that the city's periphery is currently experiencing." The Architecture Foundation aims to introduce central Londoners (and the world) to the radically functional housing concepts in practice at Walter's way.

Winkley Workshop / Kirkwood McCarthy

© David Butler © Tim Crocker © David Butler © David Butler

99% Invisible Explores Brutalism, From London to Boston

In the latest episode of 99% Invisible, Hard to Love a Brute, Roman Mars and Avery Trufelman take a look at the potted history of the "hulking concrete brutes" of post-war Europe, centring on the UK, and the US east coast. Exploring Ernö Goldfinger's Balfron and Trellick towers, while making a pitstop in Boston, MA, this twenty minute podcast examines why people "love to hate" Brutalism and why, "as harsh as it looks, concrete is an utterly optimistic building material."

Justin McGuirk Appointed as Chief Curator of London's Design Museum

British writer and curator Justin McGuirk has joined London's Design Museum as their new chief curator. The former editor of Icon, design critic of The Guardian and director of Strelka Press was also named head of Design Curating & Writing at Design Academy Eindhoven earlier this year. As you may remember, McGuirk was awarded the Golden Lion at the 2012 Venice Biennale for an exhibition he curated with Urban Think Tank. He is also the author of Radical Cities: Across Latin America in Search of a New Architecture

McGuirk will be responsible for coordinating the museum's new program after its relocation to Kensington in 2016. 

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.