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London Launches Call for Architects to Design Second Pedestrian Bridge

The London Borough of Wandsworth has launched an international call for architects and engineers interested in envisioning what could be the second pedestrian bridge to rise near the Battersea Power Station development. The two-stage ideas competition, whose announcement comes shortly after the recent approval of Thomas Heatherwick’s Garden Bridge, believes that the bridge could potentially become “one of the most expressive and visible landmarks in London.”

Though the competition cannot guarantee that the winning design will be built, partial funding has already been budgeted for the bridge’s future construction and it is hoped that the winning design can be used to attract further interest and funding. Continue reading to learn more. 

Legal Challenge Dropped After Maggie's Agrees Changes to Holl's St Bart's Design

A legal challenge against Steven Holl's design for the new Maggie's Centre at St Bart's Hospital in London has been dropped, after Holl and Maggie's agreed to change the design. The challenge was brought by the Friends of the Great Hall, a group that has been campaigning against Holl's design and arguing that it would have a detrimental effect on the adjacent Great Hall designed by James Gibb in the 18th century.

Holl's design narrowly won planning permission in July, however the Friends of the great hall launched the judicial review a month later as a final attempt to block the scheme.

Synopsis / ansham architects

  • Architects: ansham architects
  • Location: 64 Westbourne Drive, Forest Hill, London SE23, UK
  • Area: 240.0 sqm
  • Photographs: Ashley Gendek

© Ashley Gendek © Ashley Gendek © Ashley Gendek © Ashley Gendek

London's Olympicopolis Site to Receive Government Funding

The UK Government has announced £140 million in public funds will be granted to the planned "Olympicopolis" cultural quarter in East London, in the former 2012 Olympic Park. The museum and educational district is planned to feature a new outpost for the Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum and Sadler’s Wells theatre, and a new campus for the University of the Arts London.

SelgasCano to Design 2015 Serpentine Pavilion

Spanish architects SelgasCano have been selected to design the 2015 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, which has become one of the top-ten most visited architectural and design exhibitions in the world. The Pavilion will stand in Kensington Gardens during the summer and serving as a multi-purpose social space.

The award-winning studio is led by José Selgas and Lucía Cano and will be the first Spanish architecture practice to design a Serpentine Pavilion, with AECOM once again providing the engineering and technical design services. Although designs will not be revealed until February 2015, SelgasCano had this to say about designing the pavilion:

"This is an amazing and unique opportunity to work in a Royal Garden in the centre of London. Both aspects, ‘Garden’ and ‘London’, are very important for us in the development of this project. We are in the middle of a garden, a ‘Royal’ garden indeed, once divided in two and separated by a Serpentine. That garden clings in the middle of London. Garden and London (which best defines London?) will be the elements to show and develop in the Pavilion. For that we are going to use only one material as a canvas for both: the Transparency. That ‘material’ has to be explored in all its structural possibilities, avoiding any other secondary material that supports it, and the most advanced technologies will be needed to be employed to accomplish that transparency. A good definition for the pavilion can be taken from J. M. Barrie: it aims to be as a ‘Betwixt-and-Between’."

2014 RIBA President's Medals Winners Announced

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) have announced the President’s Medals Student Awards at a special event today in London. The awards, recognised as the world’s most prestigious set of awards in architectural education, were inaugurated in 1836 (making them the institutes oldest award, including the RIBA Gold Medal). Three medals in particular – the Bronze for a Part I student, the Silver for a Part II student, and the Dissertation Medal – are awarded to “promote excellence in the study of architecture [and] to reward talent and to encourage architectural debate worldwide.” In addition to these, the winners of the Serjeant Award for Excellence in Drawing and the SOM Foundation Fellowships are also announced.

317 schools of architecture from over 61 countries were invited to nominate design projects and dissertations by their students. This year saw the majority of winners come from London schools, including the Bartlett School of Architecture (UCL), Kingston University, the University of Westminster, London Metropolitan University (the CASS), the Royal College of Art, the University of East London, and the University of Greenwich. University College Dublin (Ireland) and the University of Brighton (UK) also saw their students commended, alongside the University of Sydney (two students) and the University of Hong Kong (one student).

See drawings from all the winning and commended students after the break.

RIBA Silver Medal: Nick Elias (Bartlett School of Architecture). Image Courtesy of RIBA RIBA Bronze Medal: Simon Dean (Kingston University). Image Courtesy of RIBA Silver Medal High Commendation: Justin Cawley (University of Sydney). Image Courtesy of RIBA Silver Medal Commendation: Yannis Halkiopoulos (University of Westminster). Image Courtesy of RIBA Bronze Medal Commendation: Emily Priest (Bartlett School of Architecture). Image Courtesy of RIBA Bronze Medal Commendation: Ho Yeung (Howell) Tsang (University of Hong Kong). Image Courtesy of RIBA Bronze Medal Commendation: Samuel Little (London Metropolitan University). Image Courtesy of RIBA Sergeant Award (Part Two Student): Adam Bell (University of Greenwich). Image Courtesy of RIBA

Chipperfield On London's "Success-Based Culture"

Speaking to The Guardian, David Chipperfield has stated that he regards the hold of private investment over new architecture in London as an "absolutely terrible" means of building a city. He argues that Berlin - where he spends considerable amounts of time and runs a large office - "is a much more reflective society than ours" because the UK has sunk into "a success-based culture."

Westminster Council Approves Heatherwick's Garden Bridge Plans

Update: Today Westminster Council approved the Garden Bridge proposals - the second of three required approvals - with councillors voting 3-1 in favour of the bridge. Though London Mayor Boris Johnson still has to officially rule on the plans, it is almost certain that he will ultimately give the go-ahead to the project as he has previously voiced his support for the idea. The following article was originally published on November 13th, after Lambeth Council granted the bridge its first approval.

Lambeth Council has awarded planning permission for the Garden Bridge, Thomas Heatherwick and Arup's planned crossing of the Thames which has been proposed and supported by actress Joanna Lumley. The approval is the first in a series that the bridge needs to become a reality, with Westminster City Council and London mayor Boris Johnson still needing to sign off on the project, according to the Architects' Journal.

RIBA Announces Charles Rennie Mackintosh Retrospective for 2015

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced a major retrospective of the work of celebrated Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh, with an exhibition to be held at the RIBA's Headquarters in London from February to May 2015. Having shown talent as a draughtsman from a young age, Mackintosh started his architectural apprenticeship at the age of just 16, and the exhibition features over 60 original drawings, watercolours and perspectives spanning his entire career from the late 19th century until his death in 1928.

Read on after the break for more on the contents of the exhibition

Design for a house for an art lover, 1901. Image © RIBA Library Glasgow School of Art. Image © Eric De Mare - RIBA Library Photographs Collection Windy Hill, perspective drawing in ink, 1900, by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Image © Glasgow School of Art Daily Record, ink and watercolour by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Image © Hunterian, University of Glasgow

BIG Unveils Design For Battersea Power Station Square

BIG has unveiled the design for their addition to the development at Battersea Power Station, a public square that will link the power station itself with the Electric Boulevard development designed by Norman Foster and Frank Gehry. Called Malaysia Square after the Malaysian development consortium behind the plans, the design features cascading steps that link the main public space at the lower level with the entrance to the power station above. The split-level design also provides for two pedestrian bridges and a road bridge that cross above the "urban canyon" of the public square.

House in Hampstead / Cullinan Studio

  • Architects: Cullinan Studio
  • Location: Hampstead, London NW3, UK
  • Project Architect: Kevin Goh
  • Project Director: Carol Costello
  • Area: 100.0 sqm
  • Photographs: Paul Raftery

© Paul Raftery © Paul Raftery © Paul Raftery © Paul Raftery

The 9 Most Controversial Buildings of All Time

It is now just over a year since the unveiling of Zaha Hadid's Al-Wakrah Stadium in Doha, Qatar, and in the intervening twelve months, it seems like the building has never been out of the news. Most recently, remarks made by Hadid concerning the deaths of construction workers under Qatar’s questionable working conditions created a media firestorm of legal proportions. Hadid’s stadium has been widely mocked for its ‘biological’ appearance, not to mention the fact that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, for which the stadium will be built, has encountered a storm of controversy all of its own.

The criticism surrounding Al Wakrah has prompted us to look far and wide for the world’s most debated buildings. Could Al Wakrah be the most controversial building of all time? Check out ArchDaily’s roundup of nine contenders after the break.

Find out which buildings top our controversial list after the break

Is Heatherwick's Garden Bridge "Nothing But A Wasteful Blight"?

After a fortnight of highs and lows for Thomas Heatherwick and British celebrity Joanna Lumley's campaign for a garden bridge stretching across London's River Thames, Rowan Moore of The Observer has meticulously described the project as "nothing but a wasteful blight." Although he acknowledges that support for the bridge "has been overwhelming," he argues that Heatherwick - though an "inventive and talented product designer" - has a past record in large scale design which "raises reasonable doubts about whether his bridge will be everything now promised."

Garden Bridge Plans Face Fresh Attack After Initial Planning Permission

After gaining the first in a series of required planning approvals last week, Thomas Heatherwick's highly controversial Garden Bridge proposal has once again come under fire from a variety of opponents, with campaign group Thames Central Open Space (TCOS) dubbing it a "luvvies' folly," and the Guardian's architecture critic Oliver Wainwright saying that it is "not in fact a bridge – in the sense of being a public right of way across the river – but another privately managed tourist attraction, on which £60m of public money is to be lavished."

Much of this new assault is the result of the 46 conditions which came with Lambeth Council's recommendation to grant the bridge planning approval, which as BD Online uncovered, include closing the bridge between 12 and 6am, a ban on cycling, and a restriction of group sizes to 8 people or fewer, unless booked in advance.

BIG Tapped to Design Public Square for Battersea Power Station

BIG is set to make its UK debut. As reported by the Architect’s Journal, the Danish practice has been selected from an international shortlist to design a public square for Battersea Power Station. Though no formal announcement has been made, the “Malaysia Square” scheme will be a key element in the Wilkinson Eyre-designed masterplan, serving as the development’s “front door.” It will connect the masterplan’s first three phases, just south of the listed landmark, which include Frank Gehry and Foster + Partners’ proposed “Electric Boulevard.”

Are Monuments And Memorials Intrinsically Introverted?

The Observer's Rowan Moore "accidentally got swept into a tide of humanity at the weekend, or to put it another way, couldn’t move for crowds." In memorial of the start of the centenary of World War One, of which today marks the anniversary of the armistice (11.11.1918), the Tower of London have installed a sea of 888,246 ceramic poppies in the former moat. The artwork, created by Paul Cummins and Tom Piper, and entitled Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, "has caught the national imagination." For Moore, however, "it is deeply disturbing that a hundred years on from 1914, [the UK] can only mark this terrible war as a national tragedy." He argues that "the spectacle of all these red poppies is emptier than that. [...] It is a deeply aestheticised, prettified and toothless war memorial." Read the article in full here.

Renzo Piano Gains Planning Permission for Shard-Adjacent Residential Tower

Renzo Piano Building Workshop has been awarded planning approval for Feilden House, a 26-storey residential building at London Bridge Quarter, directly adjacent to the Shard. Designed to complement the Shard and Place Buildings, the third piece of Piano's London Bridge Developments will add "generous public realm amenities" to the area at ground level.

North-South Section. Image Courtesy of RPBW Courtesy of RPBW Typical Floor Plan Lower Levels. Image Courtesy of RPBW View from Thomas Street looking East. Image Courtesy of RPBW

Sheppard Robson Designs Rooftop Pavilion for Aldwych House

The Westminster City Council has granted planning permission to Sheppard Robson for a “dramatic” rooftop extension to London’s Aldwych House. The £15m project - situated within the Westminster Conservation Area - will add 8,500 square feet of high-quality office and reception space by installing a series of geometrical-folded forms on top of the landmark Midtown office building.