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AIA Elevates 149 Members to College of Fellows

16:00 - 15 February, 2016
AIA Elevates 149 Members to College of Fellows, 35XV Residences. Image Courtesy of FXFOWLE
35XV Residences. Image Courtesy of FXFOWLE

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2016 Jury of Fellows has elevated 149 AIA members and eight international architects to its prestigious College of fellows, an honor awarded to members who have made significant contributions to the profession.

“The Fellowship program was developed to elevate those architects who have made a significant contribution to architecture and society and who have achieved a standard of excellence in the profession. Election to fellowship not only recognizes the achievements of architects as individuals, but also their significant contribution to architecture and society on a national level.”

Some of the elevated members are:

Call for Entries: Museum of London West Smithfield International Design Competition

12:00 - 11 February, 2016
Call for Entries: Museum of London West Smithfield International Design Competition

The Museum of London and Malcolm Reading Consultants have launched an international search for an outstanding architect or team of architects to create a new building for the museum at West Smithfield in the City of London. The project at the heart of the two-stage design competition has a £130-150m construction budget, and is focused on regenerating a nationally-significant landmark and creating new contemporary galleries within a group of historic buildings on the West Smithfield site. The Museum of London is one of the top ten museums and galleries in the UK capital and responsible for the world’s largest archaeological archive, which currently holds six million artefacts.

Damien Hirst is Extending His Historic London Home – Downwards

04:00 - 11 February, 2016
Damien Hirst is Extending His Historic London Home – Downwards, Hanover Terrace, London (designed by Sir John Nash) of which Hirst owns a portion
Hanover Terrace, London (designed by Sir John Nash) of which Hirst owns a portion

Damien Hirst has outgrown his 14-bedroom, nineteenth century London home. As reported by Hyperallergic, Hirst is in the process of enlarging his villa – downwards. In the spirit of the London 'super-basement' trend, for which the Royal Boroughs of Kensington and Chelsea first took opposition to in 2014, the Turner Prize-winning artist's plans appear to be some of the most ambitious yet. The proposed subterranean warren of rooms—including a sauna, a steam room, a cargo elevator leading to a double height "art room", and an 82-foot long swimming pool—will all be excavated from his half-acre back garden. Although the plans have faced local opposition the artist's "lair", designed by Purcell, is now set for construction.

BIG to Design 2016 Serpentine Pavilion While Four New 'Summer House' Architects are Announced

06:22 - 10 February, 2016
BIG to Design 2016 Serpentine Pavilion While Four New 'Summer House' Architects are Announced, The Mountain, Copenhagen / BIG. Image Courtesy of Serpentine Galleries
The Mountain, Copenhagen / BIG. Image Courtesy of Serpentine Galleries

The Serpentine Galleries have revealed that the 2016 Serpentine Pavilion will be designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), alongside a surprise announcement that four "Summer Houses" will also be built by internationally acclaimed practices. Kunlé Adeyemi – NLÉ (Amsterdam/Lagos), Barkow Leibinger (Berlin/New York), Yona Friedman (Paris), and Asif Khan (London) will each design a 25sqm structure inspired by the nearby Queen Caroline’s Temple, a neo-Classical summer house built in 1734 and "a stone’s throw from the Serpentine Gallery." In line with the criteria for the selection of the Serpentine Pavilion architect, each chosen to design a Summer House has yet to realise a permanent building in England.

AD Classics: Sainsbury Wing, National Gallery London / Venturi Scott Brown

04:00 - 10 February, 2016
AD Classics: Sainsbury Wing, National Gallery London / Venturi Scott Brown, The Sainsbury Wing as seen from Trafalgar Square. Image © Valentino Danilo Matteis
The Sainsbury Wing as seen from Trafalgar Square. Image © Valentino Danilo Matteis

Venturi Scott-Brown’s National Gallery Sainsbury Wing extension (1991) was born into a precarious no-man’s land between the warring camps of neo-Modernists and traditionalists who had been tussling over the direction of Britain’s cities for much of the prior decade. The site of the extension had come to be one of the most symbolic battlefields in British architecture since a campaign to halt its redevelopment with a Hi-Tech scheme by Ahrends Burton Koralek had led to that project’s refusal at planning in 1984.

The 'Echo Façade'. Image © Valentino Danilo Matteis Ground floor lobby with rustication. Image © Valentino Danilo Matteis © Valentino Danilo Matteis Stairway. Image © Valentino Danilo Matteis +17

Haworth Tompkins Selected for Robin Hood Gardens Regeneration

04:00 - 9 February, 2016
Haworth Tompkins Selected for Robin Hood Gardens Regeneration, Soon to be demolished: Robin Hood Gardens. Image © Luke Hayes
Soon to be demolished: Robin Hood Gardens. Image © Luke Hayes

Following the news in 2015 that Alison and Peter Smithson's Robin Hood Gardens was committed to demolition, Stirling-Prize winning practice Haworth Tompkins have been selected to work on the buildings' replacement. Alongside Metropolitan Workshop Architects existing master plan—entitled the Blackwall Reach Regeneration Project—the second phase of the regeneration will see the west block razed to make way for approximately 200 homes. The east wing will not be demolished until the third phase of the regeneration begins.

London's Silver Forest Redefines the Concrete Jungle

04:00 - 5 February, 2016
London's Silver Forest Redefines the Concrete Jungle, The textured surface of the frieze changes according to ambient light, creating a perplexing effect in the image from day to night. Image Courtesy of Lynch Architects
The textured surface of the frieze changes according to ambient light, creating a perplexing effect in the image from day to night. Image Courtesy of Lynch Architects

A new type of greenery has arrived in central London. Placed along the western façade of Westminster City Hall (known as Kingsgate Walk), a sprawling concrete frieze in relief depicts shimmering nocturnal birch trees photographed in forests from Beijing to London. Created using emerging technology, the relief was rendered through the concrete casting of a photograph by artist Rut Blees Luxemburg, a photographic artist and a reader in Urban Aesthetics at London's Royal College of Art. The textured surface of the frieze changes according to ambient light, creating a perplexing effect in the image from day to night. 

Realized through a unique collaboration between artist Blees Luxemburg, London-based Lynch Architects and developer Land Securities as a part of Kingsgate, Silver Forest completes the major urban regeneration project for London Victoria in its new home in a public square adjacent to Westminster City Hall.

Find out more about the interdisciplinary partnership formed for Silver Forest after the break.

ASF-UK Symposium: Designing In Uncertain Global Times

16:30 - 4 February, 2016
ASF-UK Symposium:  Designing In Uncertain Global Times

Join ASF-UK for a one day symposium to explore how built environment practitioners can respond to emerging global challenges in cities. With highly interactive sessions throughout the day, we will test and discuss different skills, approaches and knowledge that can ‘challenge practice’ in order to design in uncertain global times. The day will be a great opportunity to expand your knowledge of working in this sector, to network with others in this field and a chance to discover ways in which to engage with ASF-UK. The event will end with a reflection by practitioners involved in innovative forms of practice in the UK and around the world.

Zaha Hadid Receives the RIBA Royal Gold Medal at a Ceremony in London

04:00 - 4 February, 2016

Congratulations to Dame Zaha Hadid who has tonight received the #RoyalGoldMedal for architecture.

Posted by RIBA on Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Zaha Hadid, who was named as the the first sole woman to be awarded the UK's highest honour for architects in her own right in 2015, received the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) 2016 Royal Gold Medal at a ceremony in London yesterday. Hadid, who was appointed a Dame of the British Empire in 2012, received the Pritzker Prize in 2004. Her practice also took both the 2010 and 2011 RIBA Stirling Prizes.

Achim Menges to Create Robotic Pavilion for V&A

14:00 - 3 February, 2016
Achim Menges to Create Robotic Pavilion for V&A , Elytra Filament Pavilion, render, V&A John Madejski Garden 2016. Image © ICD/ITKE University of Stuttgart
Elytra Filament Pavilion, render, V&A John Madejski Garden 2016. Image © ICD/ITKE University of Stuttgart

Stuttgart experimental architect Achim Menges has been commissioned to kickstart the V&A's first ever Engineering Season with a site specific, nature-inspired installation fabricated by robots. Complemented by Ove Arup's first major retrospective, Engineering the World: Ove Arup and the Philosophy of Total Design, the Elytra Filament Pavilion will be Menges' first public commission in the UK. He will work with Moritz Dörstelmann, structural engineer Jan Knippers and climate engineer Thomas Auer to complete the project. 

"Elytra Filament Pavilion will explore the impact of emerging robotic technologies on architectural design, engineering and making," says the V&A. "Inspired by a lightweight construction principle found in nature, the fibrous structures of the forewing shells of flying beetles known as elytra, the Pavilion will be an undulating canopy of tightly-woven carbon fibre cells created using a novel robotic production process."

Developer Pulls Planning on Renzo Piano's Controversial Paddington Tower

12:00 - 1 February, 2016
Developer Pulls Planning on Renzo Piano's Controversial Paddington Tower, Rendering of the scrapped Paddington tower. Image © RPBW
Rendering of the scrapped Paddington tower. Image © RPBW

Protestors have prompted developer Sellar Property Group to pull plans on the Renzo Piano-designed skyscraper sited in London's Paddington area. The 72-story "skinny Shard" has been harshly criticized by locals and Historic England for "blighting views" of the capital and being out-of-place, hence its popular nickname - the "Paddington Pole."

“London’s skyline is unique, iconic and loved. It has to be managed sensitively and with proper planning,” Historic England chief executive Duncan Wilson told The Guardian. “Tall buildings can be exciting and useful, but if they are poorly designed, or in the wrong place, they can really harm our cities. We trust that the revised plans for Paddington Place will take the area’s unique character into account.”

Form Follows Fiction: Ole Scheeren’s TED Talk on Why Architecture Should Tell a Story

08:00 - 28 January, 2016

In his TED Talk filmed at TEDGlobal London in September 2015, Ole Scheeren eschews what he describes as the “detrimental straightjacket” of the modernist mantra “form follows function” in favor a phrase he attributes to Bernard Tschumi, “form follows fiction.” While Tschumi was referencing how cultural artifacts, such as literature, impact architecture, Scheeren reinterprets the phrase, imagining the stories of building users in order to inform the design process. Scheeren recounts, for example, how the daily activities of CCTV employees, the lifestyles of residents of a Singapore housing block, or the traditional tools of Thai fishermen have informed his various designs for OMA and Büro Ole Scheeren.

Of course, this “fiction” that Scheeren describes, these stories, are not really fictions at all, but the real experiences of the people who live or work in his buildings. In that sense, the fiction that drives his forms is really just another type of function, albeit a more human approach to function. Nevertheless, for Scheeren the stories of these designs goes beyond just the users, also encompassing the stories of the hundreds of people it takes to make such buildings a reality, and even how architecture can become a character in the narratives of our own lives.

How Driverless Cars Could, Should - and Shouldn't - Reshape Our Cities

10:00 - 22 January, 2016
How Driverless Cars Could, Should - and Shouldn't - Reshape Our Cities

In the race to bring driverless cars from a futuristic fantasy to a present-day reality, developers have touted a plethora of advantages, from reduced traffic congestion on roads to improved safety thanks to the elimination of human error. But the potential widespread implementation of driverless cars could also have profound impacts on the form of our urban environments, fundamentally reshaping infrastructure and land use. As recently as a year ago, this new technology was seen as decades away; however, recently Elon Musk, CEO of electric car maker Tesla, predicted that driverless cars will be capable of making cross-country treks within about two years, and a pilot program in the United Kingdom city of Milton Keynes plans to launch a fleet of driverless pod-taxis by 2018, matching Musk’s timeline.

The driverless car future could be just around the corner, and the normally slow-changing infrastructure of cities could be forced to apply quick fixes to adapt. At the same time, the full potential of driverless cars cannot be realized without implementing significant changes to the urban fabric. So how will driverless cars change how our cities work, and how will our cities adapt to accommodate them?

Witherford Watson Mann’s Central London Almshouse Promotes Sociability for the Elderly

04:00 - 22 January, 2016
Witherford Watson Mann’s Central London Almshouse Promotes Sociability for the Elderly, Courtesy of Witherford Watson Mann Architects
Courtesy of Witherford Watson Mann Architects

Witherford Watson Mann Architects, in collaboration with writer Ken Worpole, has unveiled their design for an almshouse for the elderly in Bermondsey, London. Located on the site of a vacant, post-war nursing home, the 6,152 square meter space will serve the United St Saviour’s Charity, as an independent living accommodation for around 90 residents.

Courtesy of Witherford Watson Mann Architects Courtesy of Witherford Watson Mann Architects Courtesy of Witherford Watson Mann Architects Courtesy of Witherford Watson Mann Architects +7

Clock House / Archmongers

15:00 - 18 January, 2016
Clock House / Archmongers, © French & Tye
© French & Tye

© French & Tye © French & Tye © French & Tye © French & Tye +23

Monocle 24's 'The Urbanist' Speaks to Those Who Are "Fighting the Establishment"

08:00 - 17 January, 2016

In the latest episode of The UrbanistMonocle 24's weekly "guide to making better cities," the team tackle the 'establishment'. From small businesses to citizen collectives, the show discovers how "championing transformative change from the ground up can be the best way to alter the status quo in our cities." Investigating how the Ministry of Space is reclaiming public spaces in Belgrade, how ordinary citizens in Vienna are welcoming refugees, and how a collective in Rio de Janeiro wants to reshape the politics of the city, the episode also explores how small businesses in London’s West End are fighting against increasing rent.

Janet Echelman Suspends Net Sculpture Over London's Oxford Circus

12:00 - 15 January, 2016
Janet Echelman Suspends Net Sculpture Over London's Oxford Circus, 1.8 London, Janet Echelman, Lumiere London 2016, produced by Artichoke, supported by the Mayor of London. Image © Ema Peter
1.8 London, Janet Echelman, Lumiere London 2016, produced by Artichoke, supported by the Mayor of London. Image © Ema Peter

London is the latest city to host one of Janet Echelman's stunning net sculptures. Suspended 180 feet above Oxford Circus, the city's busiest intersections, the colorful floating form was inspired by 1.8 - "the length of time in microseconds that the earth’s day was shortened" as a result of Japan's devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami. 

"The sculpture’s form was inspired by data sets of the tsunami’s wave heights rippling across the entire Pacific Ocean," says the studio. "The artwork delves into content related to our complex interdependencies with larger cycles of time and our physical world. The sculpture’s net structure is a physical manifestation of interconnectedness – when any one element moves, every other element is affected."

Carmody Groarke to Design New Members' Room for V&A Museum in London

12:38 - 7 January, 2016
Carmody Groarke to Design New Members' Room for V&A Museum in London, Sketch showing overlapping activities within the Members’ Room. Image © Carmody Groarke
Sketch showing overlapping activities within the Members’ Room. Image © Carmody Groarke

Carmody Groarke has won a competition to design the Victoria & Albert (V&A) Museum's new £1.3 million members' room in London. The practice, selected over a shortlist that included David Kohn Architects, Ordinary Architecture, SHH and Universal Design Studio, is offering a design that is "loose, relaxed" and "conversational" for members in a new space on the museum's fourth floor that overlooks the courtyard.

“We are delighted with the quality of the architects’ submissions," said V&A senior staff member David Bickle. "Carmody Groarke’s proposal created a stage not the performance, responding to our brief and the heritage of the Museum in a loose, relaxed, conversational way, creating a comfortable room for the Museum’s broad member constituencies and a framework for creative programming."