The Smithsonian is considering opening its first international exhibition space in “Olympicopolis” – London’s former Olympic park that is to be transformed into a world-class cultural hub by 2021. Should the self-financed proposal be approved, it will be the first time in the institution’s 168-year history to build a public venue outside of the United States.
“We see this as an unprecedented opportunity to show the breadth of the Smithsonian in one of the most diverse cities in the world,” stated Smithsonian acting secretary Al Horvath.
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) have announced that a new exhibition exploring the Scottish designer and artist’s celebrated, but difficult, career is to open next month in London. Mackintosh Architecture will be the first exhibition solely devoted to his architecture, offering the opportunity to view over sixty original drawings, watercolours and perspectives spanning the entirety of his working life. Seen together, they “reveal the evolution of his style from his early apprenticeship to his later projects as an individual architect and designer.” Drawings on display will also show his collaboration with the accomplished artist and designer Margaret Macdonald, his wife.
Addressing increasing housing demands in the London Borough of Lewisham, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP) has unveiled their plans for the “Ladywell Pop-Up Village,” which is to become one of the UK’s first temporary housing villages.
The short term housing will provide accommodation for 24 families, alongside community and commercial spaces at street level. Drawing its name from the site of the former Ladywell Leisure Centre upon which it is to be located, the Ladywell Pop-Up Village is fully demountable, thanks to its volumetric construction technology. It is envisioned that the housing units will remain at the Ladywell site for up to four years, after which point they can be relocated throughout the Borough as needed.
London practice Avery Associates Architects has unveiled their designs for No.1 Undershaft, a 270-metre tall office tower directly adjacent to Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners‘ Cheesegrater in the City of London’s central skyscraper cluster. The building is currently planned to be the tallest in this cluster and the second-tallest in London (after the Shard) – notwithstanding an as-yet-unrevealed plan for the site of the scrapped Pinnacle project which could potentially supersede it.
Through January 31, The Building Centre is hosting Upright and Educated, a photographic exhibition documenting the work of UK charitable organization Article 25 in Burkina Faso. Captured by award-winning photographer Grant Smith, the images chart the construction and use of a school in Gourcy, in the country’s north.
Founded in 2006, Article 25 worked with local builders, craftspeople, and fellow UK charity Giving Africa to construct Bethel Secondary School, allowing up to 1100 children access to enhanced education and vocational training facilities. Learn more about the project and view selected images from the exhibition after the break.
After more than two decades of planning and development, the design for London’s Tottenham Court Road tube station by Hawkins\Brown has been revealed. Part of the Crossrail project and described as a “dream project” for the firm, the £375m upgrade will see a complete overhaul of the station’s interior and accessibility points.
In this video from Crane.tv, Roger Hawkins explains Hawkins\Brown’s collaborative design approach, identifying the project as an “opportunity to rework the space…as a plaza, as a public space, but fundamentally [as] an access site.” Hawkins\Brown has since been commissioned to upgrade the Liverpool Street and Bond Street tube stations.
Few remember the name Sérgio Bernardes. A prominent Brazilian architect in the 1960s, Bernardes was a contemporary of Oscar Niemeyer, renowned for his elegant upper-class houses, as well as his fondness for car-racing and womanizing. In the latter half of his career, Bernardes turned away from the decadence of high society, devoting himself to solving the world’s problems through his progressive strain of architecture. This devotion led him to partner with the Brazilian dictatorship, believing that he could reform the government from within. The result was a series of unsuccessful projects that left him unpopular and eventually ignored by the public. Now, a documentary about the rise and fall of this once-iconic architect has premiered this week in London. Titled Bernardes, and directed by Paulo de Barros and Gustavo Gama Rodrigues, the film explores the series of events that led Bernardes to anonymity.
In celebration of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners’ relocation to their newly constructed Leadenhall Building, the London-based practiced has released a short film that captures the “making of” the 52-story, 225-meter skyscraper. RSHP, now occupying the building’s 14th floor, is said to be proud to be Leadenhall’s latest tenants:
“After 30 years at Thames Wharf Studios, it is important for us to be moving into a building that reflects the ethos and evolution of our design practice, clearly stated in its urban relationship with the Lloyd’s building opposite,” says the partners of RSHP. “We will begin this new phase of our history in a building that already feels like home but allows us the advantages of a contemporary, flexible office space in a prime location in the increasingly vibrant and exciting City of London.”
Modern times have seen the rise and proliferation of architectural media, allowing people to remotely experience spaces and buildings without ever physically entering them. As such, the importance of the architectural image has never been greater.
Opening on January 15 at London’s Sto Werkstatt and organized in conjunction with Arcaid Images, Building Images celebrates the “power and impact of photography on the way we sense and experience spaces.” Described by Arcaid Images co-founder Lynne Bryant as having “long been the means of communicating architecture,” photography is a medium that has grown inseparable from the notion and creation of the architectural image. Learn more and view selected images from the exhibition, after the break.
Five consortiums have been shortlisted to envision the University College London’s (UCL) new 125,000-square-meter campus on a key section of London’s Olympicopolis. Planned for the site’s cultural and educational district, nearby the future homes of Victoria & Albert Museum, University of the Arts London and Sadler’s Wells, the campus’ first phase will include the university’s first School of Design, a “Museum of the Future,” and the UCL Center for Experimental Engineering.
The complete shortlist, including Aecom, Gehl Architects and Stanton Williams, after the break.
London’s National Maritime Museum is looking for an architect to revamp its West Central Wing building. As the Architects’ Journal first reported, the 1807 Daniel Asher Alexander-designed structure will be given £2 million to upgrade its facilities and establish new galleries, as well as connect the West Central Wing to the museum’s BDP and Rick Mather-designed Neptune Court podium via a bridge. All requests to participate are due January 20, 2015. Find more details, here.
It has been revealed that the theme for the 2015 London Festival of Architecture (LFA) will centre around ‘Work In Progress’. The festival, which is comprised of a series of events in and around the UK capital, seeks to “highlight the key role architecture plays in social, urban and cultural development.” The annual celebration, which will run between the 1st and 30th June, will be jointly delivered by the Architecture Foundation, the British Council, New London Architecture, and the RIBA’s London branch. Last year’s 10th anniversary festival saw over 200 events ranging from walking tours and cycle rides, to exhibitions, talks, debates and films all addressing the theme of ’Capital’.
Herzog & de Meuron is said to be collaborating with Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands to explore options for expanding the Chelsea Football Club’s Stamford Bridge home stadium in west London. According to a report by the Architects’ Journal, news of the possible expansion first broke last June, after considerations of relocating the stadium were heavily criticized by the public.
The stadium, originally designed by Scottish architect Archibald Leitch and built in 1876, has already undergone several renovations. Chelsea FC hopes to increase its capacity from 41,837 to 60,000, as well as provide a new decking over the railway line on the east and north sides of the building.
More from Chelsea FC regarding the expansion, after the break.
In a review of Rafael Viñoly Architects’ 20 Fenchurch Street, which is also known as the ‘Walkie-Talkie’ or ‘Walkie Scorchie’ after it emerged that its façade created a heat-focusing ray strong enough to melt cars, Rowan Moore questions London’s preoccupation with iconic buildings and its money-driven planning schemes. Using 20 Fenchurch Street as a key example, Moore argues that not only does the building seem “to bear no meaningful relationship to its surroundings,” but its Sky Garden - a terrace at the top of the building which claims to be “the UK’s tallest public park” – is a symbol of a bewilderingly unbalanced economy.