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"A Folly For London" Pokes Serious Fun at London's Architectural Troubles

08:00 - 17 October, 2015
"A Folly For London" Pokes Serious Fun at London's Architectural Troubles, The Green Fire of London. Image Courtesy of A Folly for London
The Green Fire of London. Image Courtesy of A Folly for London

London is in the throes of an architectural identity crisis, compounded by a severe shortage of housing. While politicians and public figures debate various solutions to the city's design dilemmas, a London-based artist has conceived of a "satirical competition for architecture of the absurd." Known as A Folly for London, the free open-call for solutions to London's architectural conundrums was created in response to Arup and Heatherwick Studio's proposal for the yet to be built, and highly controversial, Garden Bridge

Unlike traditional architectural competitions, A Folly for London sought to ignite debate on the current state of architecture in London. Presented with a distinctly British sense of humour, the competition received more than fifty entries. Winning proposals include the systematic burning of London's forests, construction of a massive inhabitable light bulb and the creation of a catacomb of submerged signature double-decker buses at the centre of the River Thames.

See the winners of "A Folly for London" after the break

The Bulb. Image Courtesy of A Folly for London The Green Fire of London. Image Courtesy of A Folly for London The Bulb. Image Courtesy of A Folly for London Floating Tidal Exploded Bus Maze. Image Courtesy of A Folly for London +7

NLA and Mayor of London Select 10 Winners in "London's Housing Crisis" Competition

12:00 - 13 October, 2015
NLA and Mayor of London Select 10 Winners in "London's Housing Crisis" Competition, Buoyant Starts / Floating Homes Ltd with Baca Architects. Image Courtesy of New London Architecture
Buoyant Starts / Floating Homes Ltd with Baca Architects. Image Courtesy of New London Architecture

Following their selection of 100 ideas to help solve London's housing crisis last month, New London Architecture (NLA) and the Mayor of London have narrowed down the entrants to ten winners which they believe offer exemplary models for the UK capital. The selected designs range from radical architectural solutions, such as Floating Homes and Baca Architects' proposal to create 7,500 new homes in a matter of mere months by floating small abodes in London's canals, to radical economic solutions such as David Kroll's recommendation to separate the value of properties from the value of the land they occupy.

In addition to being displayed alongside the 90 other proposals in an exhibition put on by NLA, these ten projects will be presented to the Greater London Authority to be assessed for their feasibility as real-world solutions to the crisis. Together, these ten designs provide insights into potential solutions - but also the many different causes - of London's housing crisis. Read on for images and descriptions of all ten designs.

Video: New Aerial Footage of London Shows Urban Progression

06:00 - 13 October, 2015

Since we looked at this aerial footage of London in 2012, some major changes in the architecture of the city have occurred. Shot by the same photographer, Jason Hawkes, this new footage of London travels over greenbelts, Piccadilly Circus, the Thames River, The Shard, and Canary Wharf, among other impressive views. Take a look at London’s changed landscape by watching the video above.

New Website Visualizes Human Activity in Cities Across the World

16:15 - 7 October, 2015
New Website Visualizes Human Activity in Cities Across the World, Screenshot of ManyCities, showing clusters of New York areas with similar timeline patterns. Image © ManyCities
Screenshot of ManyCities, showing clusters of New York areas with similar timeline patterns. Image © ManyCities

The SENSEable City Laboratory at MIT has developed a new tool with Ericsson to better understand human behavior. "ManyCities" is a new website that "explores the spatio-temporal patterns of mobile phone activity in cities across the world," including London, New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong. Taking complex data and organizing it in a intuitive way, the application allows users to quickly visualize patterns of human movement within the urban context down to the neighborhood scale. You can imagine how useful a tool like this can be for urban planners or even daily commuters, especially once real time analytics come into play. Take a look at ManyCities yourself, here

2015 Restaurant & Bar Design Award Winners Announced

07:00 - 6 October, 2015
2015 Restaurant & Bar Design Award Winners Announced, The Jane; Belgium / Studio Piet Boon. Image Courtesy of The Restaurant & Bar Design Awards
The Jane; Belgium / Studio Piet Boon. Image Courtesy of The Restaurant & Bar Design Awards

The winners of the seventh annual Restaurant & Bar Design Awards—the only awards in the world dedicated to the design of food and beverage spaces—have been announced in London. Out of over 860 entries from the United Kingdom and 70 other countries, 36 designs were awarded, with two grand prize winners.

The winners of the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards are:

Kickstarter Campaign Launches to Fund the Forthcoming 'Real Review'

11:25 - 29 September, 2015

The Real Estate Architecture Laboratory (REAL) have today announced a Kickstarter campaign in preparation for the launch of their flagship publication, the Real Review. Produced by an independent team of editors and designers, this bi-monthly magazine intends to "revive the review as a writing form" to a general readership within the architectural sphere and its orbital subjects.

The Real Review will be "a printed object of exceptional quality, featuring engaging texts by leading international commentators," alongside providing "a highly visible platform for emerging writers." Confirmed authors at this time include, among others, Assemble, Pier Vittorio Aureli (Dogma, AA), Reinier de Graaf (OMA), Sam Jacob (Sam Jacob Studio), and a rostra of journalists including the Financial Times' architecture critic Edwin Heathcote.

Construction Law Conference 2015

07:00 - 28 September, 2015
Construction Law Conference 2015

From a review of claims involving innovative design, new materials and value engineering through to the impact of the Insurance Act 2015 and an assessment of the particular difficulties associated with concurrent delay, this conference, chaired by Paul Reed of Hardwicke, examines a range of topical and tricky issues and will appeal to all those who need to keep up to date with all the latest hot topics and big issues.

The Cube / Hawkins\Brown

05:00 - 28 September, 2015
The Cube / Hawkins\Brown, © Jack Hobhouse
© Jack Hobhouse

© Jack Hobhouse © Jack Hobhouse © Jack Hobhouse © Jack Hobhouse +35

How London's Olympic Stadium Finally Transitioned to Legacy Mode

06:00 - 23 September, 2015

Before it was even completed, the legacy of the Populous-designed stadium for the London 2012 Olympics was a thorny issue. Originally designed to be largely dismantled after the games, a sudden interest in the future stadium from local football teams led to an about-face by the government, resulting in a renewed brief for a design that could be adapted to host football matches. What followed after the games was recently described by The Guardian's sports correspondent Owen Gibson as "a huge, expensive engineering puzzle" in which "to all intents and purposes, it has been completely rebuilt."

Herzog & de Meuron's Tate Modern Expansion to Officially Open in 2016

04:00 - 23 September, 2015
Herzog & de Meuron's Tate Modern Expansion to Officially Open in 2016, The new expansion to the Tate Modern. Image © Hayes Davidson and Herzog & de Meuron
The new expansion to the Tate Modern. Image © Hayes Davidson and Herzog & de Meuron

Earlier this week Sir Nicholas Serota, director of the Tate Modern, announced that Herzog & de Meuron's extension will officially open on Friday 17th June 2016. The gallery, which originally opened in 2000 housed within a former power station in London's Bankside, dramatically transformed the UK's relationship with modern and contemporary art. Since then, the Tate Modern has become a bastion of trend-setting and high-profile exhibitions, and has grown to be one of London's most visited cultural venues.

7 Buildings That Show Norman Foster's Architecture Has Always Been Ahead of the Curve

09:31 - 22 September, 2015
7 Buildings That Show Norman Foster's Architecture Has Always Been Ahead of the Curve, Aerial View of Spaceport America. Image © Nigel Young
Aerial View of Spaceport America. Image © Nigel Young

If Norman Foster were a household item, he would surely be a Swiss Army Knife. Foster, who turned 80 this year, is unrelenting in producing architectural solutions to problems that other architects can only theorize - just last Wednesday, for example, his firm released their design for a previously-unheard-of building typology, a droneport in Rwanda.

It is surprising then to find the man or his eponymous firm Foster + Partners absent from a list like Fast Company’s “The World's Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Architecture,” organized into superlatives: MMA Architects, “for thinking outside the big box,” Heatherwick Studio, “for reimagining green space,” or C.F. Møller Architects, “for rethinking high-rise living.” This is not to say that Foster or his firm should be substituted for any of these deserved accolades, but rather that for five decades Foster and his firm have ceaselessly worked to enhance and expand on the human experience with architectural solutions that are both inventive and practical - a fact that is perhaps lost as a result of his position within the architectural establishment.

With that in mind, we thought it was worth highlighting the many occasions over the decades where Foster + Partners has shown themselves to be among the world's most innovative practices. Read on for more.

Ground Level View of Lunar Habitation. Image Courtesy of Foster + Partners Interior Concourse of Chek Lap Kok Airport. Image Courtesy of Flickr CC user Jorge Láscar Hearst Tower. Image © Chuck Choi Aerial View of Willis Faber and Dumas Headquarters. Image © Wikimedia CC user Mato zilincik +14

Jonathan Tuckey Design Create Residential Interiors for Post-Industrial Gasholders

04:00 - 21 September, 2015
Jonathan Tuckey Design Create Residential Interiors for Post-Industrial Gasholders, Interior sketch. Image © Jonathan Tuckey Design
Interior sketch. Image © Jonathan Tuckey Design

London-based British practice Jonathan Tuckey Design (JTD) have created a series of residential interiors for the 'Gasholder Triplets' in London's formerly industrial King's Cross district. 145 individual apartments have been designed inside these mid-nineteenth century structures, within which Wilkinson Eyre Architects have created the "architectural insertions" (the buildings themselves).

100 Ideas for Solving London's Housing Crisis, According to New London Architecture

06:00 - 17 September, 2015
Innovation License by Baca Architects. Image Courtesy of New London Architecture
Innovation License by Baca Architects. Image Courtesy of New London Architecture

With ideas ranging from floating homes to new mega-cities, New London Architecture has revealed 100 proposals to address the housing crisis in London. The ideas will be on display as part of the New Ideas for Housing exhibition at the NLA Galleries in the Building Centre in London. After an open ideas competition announced June 2015, over 200 entries from 16 different countries were received. Of the 100 shortlisted projects 10 finalists will be selected and have the opportunity to work with the Greater London Authority to implement their ideas. Read more about the entries and exhibit after the break.

MODS by HAL Architects. Image Courtesy of New London Architecture Living Arteries by Benjamin Marks. Image Courtesy of New London Architecture Floatopolis by dRMM. Image Courtesy of New London Architecture The Streets by NBBJ. Image Courtesy of New London Architecture +14

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

14:00 - 16 September, 2015
London Names RSHP's Leadenhall "Building of the Year 2015", The Leadenhall Building / Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. Image © Richard Bryant – Courtesy of British Land/Oxford Properties
The Leadenhall Building / Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. Image © Richard Bryant – Courtesy of British Land/Oxford Properties

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

04:00 - 14 September, 2015
Monocle 24 Examines Bilateral Inspiration Between Cities Across the World, New York City. Image © Harold Navarro
New York City. Image © Harold Navarro

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

04:00 - 11 September, 2015
Grimshaw Reveal Vision for a High-Speed Concourse at London's Euston Station, HS2 Southern Entrance. Image © Grimshaw
HS2 Southern Entrance. Image © Grimshaw

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

13:01 - 8 September, 2015
AD Classics: Royal National Theatre / Denys Lasdun, Exterior terraces. Image © flickr user chumpolo
Exterior terraces. Image © flickr user chumpolo

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

06:00 - 8 September, 2015
RIBA Announces Shortlist for 2015 Stephen Lawrence Prize, Ancient Party Barn; Kent / Liddicoat & Goldhill LLP. Image © Keith Collie
Ancient Party Barn; Kent / Liddicoat & Goldhill LLP. Image © Keith Collie

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: