Does Devolution Hold The Key To Greater Investment In The Built Environment?

Manchester Town Hall (Alfred Waterhouse)

The British city of Manchester, often seen as the ’s second city alongside Birmingham, will become the first metropolis outside of to be given greater local autonomy over budgets and city planning. The devolution deal, which will also see the city receive the right to directly elect a Mayor (in line with large cities in the US, for example), will furnish the city with “a new housing investment fund worth up to £300million.” As it is understood that the first Mayor of Greater Manchester will be elected in 2017, there’s time to discuss how this new political environment in the UK might help boost building in what has described as a “Northern Powerhouse.”

‘Departed’: An Exploration of 20th Century Modernism

The Modernist – Issue 12: Departed. Image Courtesy of The Modernist

The Modernist is a quarterly dedicated to 20th century modernist architecture and design. Published in Manchester – one of the cultural capitals of the North of England – and featuring an esteemed roster of writers and contributors from across the , the has been described by James Pallister of the Architects’ Journal as, in spite of its subject matter, “free from the strait-laced rigour of classic graphic design modernism.” Twelve issues later and the liberal, playfully academic tone of this digestible journal has been maintained in this latest incarnation, Departed.

URBED’s Bold Proposal to Reinvigorate the Garden City Movement

Courtesy of URBED

British urban design consultancy URBED (Urbanism, Environment, Design) have been announced as the winners of the 2014 Wolfson Economics Prize for their proposal to reenergise the Garden City (GC) movement, first conceived by Sir Ebenezer Howard in 1898. and Nicholas Falk’s submission argues that forty cities in England, including Northampton, Norwich, Oxford, Rugby, Reading and Stafford, could benefit from ‘GC status’. The award comes in the wake of polling conducted for the prize showing that 68% of the 6,166 Britons polled thought that garden cities would protect more countryside than the alternatives for delivering the housing we need.

Read about URBED’s submission, and the fictional town of Uxcester, after the break.

Sam Jacob & Wouter Vanstiphout on Curating “A Clockwork Jerusalem”

The Mound. Image © James Taylor-Foster

The British Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale takes the large scale projects of the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s and explores the “mature flowering of British at the moment it was at its most socially, politically and architecturally ambitious but also the moment that witnessed its collapse.” The exhibition tells the story of how British modernity emerged out of an unlikely combination of interests and how “these modern visions continue to create our physical and imaginative landscapes.” To those who know the UK‘s architectural heritage, this cultural and social history is delivered in a way which feels strangely familiar, whilst uncovering fascinating hidden histories of British modernity that continue to resonate in the 21st century.

We caught up with Sam Jacob, co-founder of FAT Architecture (of which this exhibition is their final project), and Wouter Vanstiphout, partner at Rotterdam-based Crimson Architectural Historians, outside the British Pavilion to discuss the ideas behind, and significance of, A Clockwork Jerusalem.

© James Taylor-Foster

How Will Architecture Respond to a “Boom” in UK University Spending?

Courtesy of University of Manchester

With the recent news that Dutch practice Mecanoo, along with Penoyre & Prasad, have been selected for a £200 million new engineering campus at the University of ManchesterAmanda Baillieu of BDOnline argues that they ”need to set their ambitions a whole lot higher.” Alongside’s Manchester’s announcement, universities in , Newcastle and Oxford also recently announced a big investment in their campuses. The trick, Baillieu suggests, will be in ensuring the architecture is not “safe and office-like” (which fits universities’ “business-like” mindset). As we enter a “golden age” in university capital investment, educational architecture will be playing a central role. Read the article in full here.

Mecanoo Selected for New Manchester University Building

The University’s existing Technology building, located at Sackville Street. Image © Flickr CC User Pete Birkinshaw

Mecanoo has been selected to design the new Engineering campus at the University of Manchester. At a value of £200 million, the project will be the largest ever completed by the Dutch Practice in the UK - slightly larger than the popular Library of Birmingham which they completed last year – and will involve both new build elements and a renovation of the University’s Grade-II Listed Oddfellows Hall. The new technology building is part of a larger £1 billion overhaul which the university aims to complete by 2020. You can find out more details at the Architects’ Journal.

Norman Foster Wins Planning for Manchester Maggie’s Centre

© Foster + Partners

UPDATE: Foster + Partners have been granted planning permission for The Chirstie. The new Centre is due to open in 2016.

Norman Foster has applied for planning permission for a new ’s Cancer Centre in his hometown of . Planned to be built at The Christie, one of Europe’s leading cancer centres and the largest single-site centre in Europe, the new Centre intends to “provide free practical, emotional and social support for anyone living with cancer as well as their family and friends.”

“I believe in the power of architecture to lift the spirits and help in the process of therapy,” Foster explains. “Within the Centre, there is a variety of spaces – visitors can gather around a big kitchen table, find a peaceful place to think or they can work with their hands in the greenhouse. Throughout, there is a focus on natural light and contact with the gardens. The timber frame, with its planted lattice helps to dissolve the architecture into the surrounding greenery.”

Contextualism: Dead or Alive?

Courtesy of Manchester School of Architecture

In a to be held this week at the Manchester School of Architecture, : Dead or Alive? will explore the importance of contextualism in contemporary architecture. Five key speakers will be featured, presenting papers discussing context both in its purest theoretical form and how it might be addressed in practice. From debating the significance of building traditions (Jonathan Foyle) to how Mecanoo, who recently completed the Library of Birmingham, have approached contextualism in the UK (Ernst ter Horst), the symposium will endeavor to uncover the ties between architecture and the wider urban realm.

Emirates Old Trafford / BDP

© Daniel Hopkinson

Architects: BDP
Location: , UK
Main Contractor: Morgan Sindall
Area: 32.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Daniel Hopkinson

Roger Stephenson: “Using Craft in a Contemporary Way”

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Mies. UK recently spoke to Roger Stephenson OBE, Managing Partner at based stephenson:ISA Studio, about his award winning practice’s approach to “using craft in a contemporary way”. The office most recently completed an addition to Chetham’s School of Music, winning the 2013 RIBA Regional Building of the Year Award,  National Award, and the  Regional Award. This project is the latest in a long list of innovative buildings that are part of a ”rigorously coherent, contextually progressive architecture” that has made the practice one of best known regionalist design offices in the UK. 

Read the interview in full, and watch a three minute tour of Chetham’s School of Music, after the break.

Manchester School of Art / Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

© Hufton + Crow

Architects: Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
Location: Cavendish Street, , Greater M15, UK
Architect In Charge:
Area: 17320.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Hufton + Crow

AD Interviews: Stephen Hodder, RIBA President

Courtesy of Mies. UK

ArchDaily recently got the chance to speak to , current President of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) at his practice in Manchester. Best known as the recipient of the inaugural RIBA Stirling Prize in 1996 (for the Centenary Building), Hodder was educated at the University of Manchester’s School of Architecture, he’s perhaps best known as the recipient of the inaugural RIBA Stirling Prize in 1996 for the Centenary Building and was awarded an MBE for services to architecture in 1998.

Having been officially in the role for only two months, Hodder spent some time with us discussing his hopes for the next two years. Find out why he described himself as a fan of Scandinavians and prog-rock after the break…

Preston Bus Station Listed, Escapes Demolition

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Following news last week that four post-war buildings had been listed in the UK, the campaign to Save Bus Station reached a victory today when it was announced that Ed Vaizey (Architecture and Heritage Minister) has listed the Brutalist icon, removing the threat of demolition. The campaign, which has garnered words of support from the likes of Richard Rogers and Rem Koolhaas, has been been underpinned by support from Angela Brady PRIBA, former President of the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Seven Architectural Sins Committed Around the World

, or the “” / Rafael Viñoly Architects.. Image © Flickr User pembridge2

With the recent news that Rafael Viñoly Architects’ 20 Fenchurch Street (or the “Walkie Talkie“) in London has been producing an unusually hot solar reflection, dubbed the “Death Ray,” we’ve put together a list of seven architectural blunders around the world – from the worrying to the downright absurd.

Stephen Hodder Inaugurated as 75th President of the RIBA

Stephen Hodder, the newly inaugurated President of . Image © Ed Tyler, www.edtyler.com

Following Angela Brady’s two year tenure as head of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), Stephen Hodder MBE was officially inaugurated as the 75th President of the ’s largest architectural body yesterday. Hodder, perhaps best known as the recipient of the first RIBA Stirling Prize in 1996 for the Centenary Building (University of Salford, UK), is chairman of the award-winning practice Hodder + Partners in Manchester (UK).

Chetham’s School of Music / Stephenson ISA Studio

© Daniel Hopkinson

Architects: Stephenson ISA Studio
Location: , England,
Area: 10,600 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Daniel Hopkinson

House 780 / Stephenson ISA Studio

Courtesy of Stephenson ISA Studio

Architects: Stephenson ISA Studio
Location: , England,
Area: 465 sqm
Photographs: Courtesy of Stephenson ISA Studio

House 1005 / Stephenson ISA Studio

Courtesy of

Architects: Stephenson ISA Studio
Location: Worsley, , UK
Area: 465 sqm
Year: 2008
Photographs: Courtesy of Stephenson ISA Studio