At 6:20pm on the evening of October 16, 1834, a fire began in the old Palace of Westminster in London – the foremost seat of parliamentary governance for both the United Kingdom and the British Empire across the seas. The inferno, which burned until the early hours of the morning, destroyed so much of the medieval complex that neither restoration nor preservation were considered viable options – a new palace would have to rise from the ashes to surround the largely undamaged Westminster Hall. The fire gave the United Kingdom a chance not only to replace what was considered as an outdated, patchwork of government buildings, but to erect a Gothic Revival landmark to spiritually embody the pre-eminence of the United Kingdom across the world, and the roots of modern democracy.
For centuries, faith has been a source of immeasurable blessings as well as uncountable catastrophes. People, no matter how different, have always felt protected under the aegis of a common belief and united to accomplish the unthinkable. But its fruitful potentials are only equal to its destructive dangers. Faith can be the most untameable of fires, and with the promise for righteousness or virtue it can tear families apart, close down borders, promote genocide, foster war.
Wolfgang Buttress’ The Hive, a Gold Medal-winning UK Pavilion originally built for the 2015 Milan Expo, has been relocated to the Kew botanical gardens in central London. The striking (and photogenic) "beehive" was designed by the British practice to provide visitors with a glimpse into the life of a working bee; its 169,300 individual aluminium components—reaching 17-meters tall and fitted with hundreds of LED lights—created a multi-sensory experience that shed light on the importance of the pollinator. Following its relocation, photographer Laurian Ghinitoiu has turned his lens to this installation and its new home.
Thomas Heatherwick’s Garden Bridge project has been under fire since plans were announced in 2013, drawing skepticism of the fairness of the competition process, and even being called “nothing but a wasteful blight.” Last month, London's new mayor Sadiq Khan gave a lukewarm endorsement of the project, noting that since £37.7m of the £60m allocated by the government has already been spent, scrapping the project now would end up costing taxpayers more than going forward with it.
The current predicament has inspired architects Allies and Morrison to design an alternative option – one that could both save the taxpayers money and create a new greenway spanning the Thames. Many of the complaints directed toward the original design have been associated with the cost of building a new bridge that would serve limited transportation needs; Allies and Morrison eliminate this issue by simply placing a garden pathway onto an existing piece of infrastructure, the nearby Blackfriars Bridge.
After weeks of movement testing, the British Airways i360 observation pod has achieved its maximum height of 138 meters as the attraction enters final inspection phases in preparation for its opening this summer. As a part of “the world’s tallest moving observation tower,” the 18 meter diameter viewing pod will provide 360 degree views of the British seaside resort towns of Brighton and Hove, the Sussex coast and the English Channel, for to up to 200 passengers at a time.
Herzog & de Meuron's ten-storey extension to London's Tate Modern, which officially opens to the public this week, is the latest in a series of ambitious building projects pursued by the internally renowned gallery of contemporary art. Sitting above The Tanks, the world's first dedicated galleries for live art and film installations, the building's pyramidical form provides 60% more exhibition space for the institution. Two days before its doors welcome art-lovers from around the world, photographer Laurian Ghinitoiu has captured a collection of unique views on this highly anticipated addition to London's skyline.
Architecture competition organizers Bee Breeders have announced the winners of the London Internet Museum competition. This speculative project challenged architects to design a museum for “something historically profound and typologically unprecedented — the internet.” Given a site at the former Great Eastern Railway terminal station building, designers were tasked with creating a location that would “connect visitors to both the history of the internet and open them to the possibilities of the future.” Submissions took a wide variety of approaches, and prizes were awarded to projects that rejected the typical associations and precedents that the internet calls to mind.
Continue reading to see the winning entries with brief descriptions.
The political left has had a rough few decades; everything just seems to be going in the other direction. Instead of romanticizing what it would be like "only if," we’d better get to work on figuring out how to turn the engine of progress around. Volume spoke with Adrian Lahoud about the stakes of architectural research within the academy today and how it might contribute to moving towards the horizons of the left.
The Museum of London has released a shortlist and designs for the West Smithfield International Design Competition, organized by Malcolm Reading Consultants. The site, which will be the museum’s future home after outgrowing its place at the Barbican, is part of London’s Smithfield Market and includes the Smithfield General Market building, the Fish Market, the Red House and the Engine House. Welcoming over a million annual visitors at its current home, the museum’s new facility would allow attendance to double and enable the display of never-before-seen artifacts from the historic collection. The competition was funded by the Mayor of London through a £200,000 grant.
Foster + Partners' Craft + Manufacture: Industrial Design exhibition is currently on display at The Aram Gallery in London. It is the firm’s first exhibition dedicated to the industrial design work they have created over the past fifty years. It shows how “the science, art, and craft of making things” has been the foundation of the firm, and how the “collaborative nature of the design team pioneered by Norman Foster” has been translated into their architectural practice.
The Victoria and Albert Museum has unveiled its latest installation: the Elytra Filament Pavilion, a project displaying the culmination of four years of research on the integration of architecture, engineering, and biomimicry principles, in an exploration of how biological fiber systems can be transferred to architecture.
The 200-square-meter structure is inspired by lightweight construction principles found in nature, namely "the fibrous structures of the forewing shells of flying beetles known as elytra," states a press release.
LocationTate Modern, London SE1, United Kingdom
In their semester-long project at Zaha Hadid’s final studio course at the Yale School of Architecture, students Lisa Albaugh, Benjamin Bourgoin, Jamie Edindjiklian, Roberto Jenkins and Justin Oh envisioned a new a high density mixed-use project for London's Bishopsgate Goodsyard, the largest undeveloped piece of land still existing in central London.
Join us for this special live episode of The Urbanist at our Marylebone HQ, where Monocle editor Andrew Tuck hands over the floor to city-planners, policy-makers and urban leaders to discuss how to build a better London. How would you fix the capital? We’ll look at transport, culture, housing, business, the night-time economy and much more. Be part of the debate following the election of the city’s new mayor.
This week, OMA has unveiled their latest project in London, Holland Green. Working alongside Allies & Morrison, the firm has created three new luxury residential buildings on a site of significant cultural importance: the former home of the Commonwealth Institute, designed by Sir Robert Matthew, one of the founding partners of RMJM. As a result, OMA and Allies & Morrison’s Holland Green project involved much more than just adding fuel to the fire of London’s booming luxury residential market—it also involved an extensive conversion to the original 1962 Commonwealth Institute exhibition hall, funded through the scheme’s profitable residential offering, to prepare the heritage building for its new tenants the Design Museum.
ArchDaily spoke with Reinier de Graaf, the partner in charge of the project at OMA, to discuss the development’s social aspirations, the challenges of the London context, and the story behind the project.
Heathrow Airport is offering a first glimpse at commissioned expansion proposals by Zaha Hadid Architects, Grimshaw, HOK, and Benoy, that will shape the future of the global hub in London. The project brief called for "bold ideas to create a world-class sustainable airport that [will] deliver innovations in passenger service, integrate local communities, and showcase the best of British design." Challenging the architects to push the boundaries of what is the current airport typology, the proposals are meant to drive a step change in global airport design.
In Granary Square, located in London’s King’s Cross, there is a fragment of the poem Brill by Aidan Dunn set into the ground, which reads: “King’s Cross, dense with angels and histories. There are cities beneath your pavements, cities behind your skies.” Anchored by the converted granary building and a rejuvenated stretch of canal, Argent’s ongoing King’s Cross development is an appropriate setting for Building on the Built, an exhibition which presents the work of London-based practice Jonathan Tuckey Design.
Crossrail Limited has released new renderings of stations set to open on the Elizabeth Line in London. Notable features of the new stations include step-free access from train to street, and seamless integration into the existing Transport for London (TfL) network. Seating, signage and full-height platform screen doors emulate precedents within the system to promote ease and familiarity. The designs strive for simplicity and clarity with reduced visual clutter and clear sight lines along platforms. Additionally, there will be permanent artworks installed and fully-integrated in many of the central London stations. The stations depicted – Paddington, architect Weston Williamson, Bond Street, architect John McAslan + Partners, Tottenham Court Road, architect Hawkins\Brown, Farringdon, architect Aedas, Liverpool Street, architect Wilkinson Eyre, Whitechapel, architect BDP, and Woolwich, architect Weston Williamson – are scheduled to begin service in December of 2018.