Competition Seeks Ideas to Transform Preston Bus Station into Youth Center

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has launched an international design competition in search of ideas to transform Lancashire’s iconic Preston Bus Station into a new public hub and youth center. The anticipated £13 million plan hopes to not only provide a home for the new Preston Youth Zone Plus, but preserve the historic structure’s brutalist appearance.

, designed by BDP and completed in 1969, was previously slated for demolition. However, last year the success of an international preservation campaign saved it from destruction and helped the building achieve Grade-II listing.

The proposed program and competition details, after the break. 

Which Architect Could Restore The Glasgow School Of Art?

Glasgow School of Art, Eric De Mare. Image © RIBA Photographs Collection

With the Charles Rennie Mackintosh retrospective opening today at the Royal Institute of British Architects in Rowan Moore, writing for The Guardian, asks ”which architect could restore Mackintosh’s masterpiece [in Glasgow]?” The Glasgow School of Art, parts of which were devastated by fire in May of last year, is in the process of selecting a restoration architect from a shortlist of five. Yet for Moore ”there are examples of clumsiness and stodginess in some of the past projects of those included that should be allowed nowhere near the School of Art.”

XJTLU Becomes First Chinese Architecture Course with Unconditional RIBA Accreditation

XJTLU’s Administration Information Building, completed in 2013 by Aedas. Image Courtesy of Aedas

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has awarded unconditional RIBA Part 1 accreditation to the undergraduate program at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU) in Suzhou, making it the first Chinese architecture program to be certified by the UK architecture body. The accreditation marks another first for XJTLU’s partner university at Liverpool, which pioneered the RIBA accreditation system by becoming the first certified course in the world in 1906, and officially marks the program at XJTLU as on a par with other architecture schools around the world.

In Conversation With Sheila O’Donnell And John Tuomey, 2015 Royal Gold Medallists

John Tuomey and Sheila O’Donnell – recipients of the 2015 Royal Gold Medal. Image Courtesy of RIBA

When Sheila O’Donnell and John Tuomey, who practice in partnership as O’Donnell + Tuomey, were named as this year’s recipients of the RIBA Royal Gold Medal, a palpable collective satisfaction appeared to spread throughout the profession. No one could find criticism in Joseph Rykwert and Níall McLaughlin’s nomination, nor the ultimate choice of the RIBA Honours Committee, to bestow the award upon the Irish team. Their astonishingly rigourous body of work, compiled and constructed over the last twenty five years, has an appeal which extends beyond Irish and British shores. A robust stock of cultural, community and educational projects, alongside family homes and social housing projects, leaves little doubt about the quality, depth and breadth of their mutual capabilities and the skill of those that they choose to collaborate with.

Read the conversation with the Gold Medallists after the break.

UK Report Says Universities are Failing to Prepare Architecture Students for Practice

Cambridge University was ranked the UK’s #1 architecture school in 2014. Image © Flickr CC User Mark Fosh

UK universities are failing to properly equip graduates with the necessary skills required for practicing architecture, according to RIBA’s 2014 Skills Survey. Of the 149 employers and 580 architectural students or recent graduates who responded to the wide-spread , a large majority criticized for prioritizing “theoretical knowledge ahead of practical ability” and agreed that most graduates are ill-prepared for work after studying at the university.

“I can think of no other profession where new graduates must wait a decade or more to be given significant responsibility because they have not acquired basic skills in university,” says Yarema Ronish, RIBA client adviser and director at Richard Morton Architects.

A First Look at the Shortlisted Bristol Arena Proposals

Team A. Image Courtesy of

Grimshaw, IDOM, Populous, Feilden Clegg BradleyWhite Arkitekter and Wilkinson Eyre are among five international design teams who’ve been recently shortlisted in a RIBA-organized competition to design the £90 million Arena, a 12,000-seat indoor entertainment venue set to open by 2017. At this point, the proposals remain anonymous and the public is being asked for their opinion. A judging panel, that includes the Mayor of , will review the public commentary and designs before selecting a team in March. Take a look at the projects and share your thoughts, after the break.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Exhibition To Open Next Month In London

Design For A House For An Art Lover (1901). Image © RIBA Library

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) have announced that a new 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 , his wife.

RIBA Future Trends Survey Indicates Consistent Growth

Courtesy of RIBA

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)’s Future Trends Survey for December 2014 has revealed little month-on-month change in indexes with the acknowledgement of a growing level of optimism. After falling back slightly in November 2014, the workload index has remained consistent at +29 (from +37 in November). Workload forecast balance figures have remained extremely positive, with practices reporting +50 in Northern and up to +75 in . Furthermore, practices of all sizes have been responding with “optimistic” workload prospects heading into the next quarter. The percentage of respondents reporting that they had personally been under-employed fell to 9% from 12%.

Allies and Morrison to Masterplan New City District in Oman

Wadi Kabir, . Image © Flickr User MOHAMMED RAFIQUE2011

The competition to masterplan Muscat, Oman’s new district, Al-Irfan, is over. Organized by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), five teams were chosen to submit proposals for the development project. Of those five, international firm Allies and Morrison has been selected to oversee the design process. The firm will be working in with the Tourism Development Company SAOC (Omran) to develop a site of over 7.4 million square meters into a thriving urban center that will provide business and residential opportunities for the people of .

Sutherland Hussey Wins Competition to Design Sessay Community Hub

© Sutherland Hussey Architects, courtesy of RIBA

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced Sutherland Hussey Architects and Gross Max Landscape Architects as winners of a competition to design a new community hub for Sessay Village in North Yorkshire. The proposal, which jury chair Robin Snell believed to have “best expressed the client vision,” aims to become a well-used public destination that properly serves more than 20 local organizations, including a primary school, cricket club and the First Responders.

The narrow, single-story pavilion will stretch between two circular sports fields, connecting it’s inner halls directly to the outdoors. Continue after the break for more images of the project.

Call For Entries: RIBA Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship 2015

Call For Entries: 2015. Image Courtesy of RIBA

The 2015 RIBA Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship has launched and is inviting applications from schools of architecture around the world. A £6,000 grant will be awarded to one student by a panel of judges which will include Lord Foster and the current President of the , . First established in 2006, the scholarship is now in its eighth year and is designed to fund international research on a topic related to the survival of our towns and cities in a location of the student’s choice.

2015 London Festival Of Architecture To Explore ‘Work In Progress’

A changing skyline. Image Courtesy of CPAT / Hayes Davidson / Jason Hawkes

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 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 Architecture, and the RIBA’s 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’.

Four Shortlisted for Sessay Sports Pavilion

One of four shortlisted proposals (click to view them all). Image Courtesy of The Architects’ Journal

Sutherland Hussey, Faed Brown Architects, Daykin Marshall Studio, and Gibson Thornley Architects have been announced as finalists in the -backed competition for a new community hub and sports pavilion for the Sessay Cricket Club in North Yorkshire. The four shortlisted competitors, selected from over 80 entrants, will be reviewed by a judging panel on January 8. A winning team is expected to be announced shortly after.

RIBA To Open Chapter In India

Charles Correa, Indian architect and recipient of the Gold Medal (1984). Image © Charles Correa Associates

RIBA Future Trends Survey Reveals A Dip In UK Workloads

Courtesy of RIBA

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)’s Future Trends Survey for November showed that confidence in workload among UK architects fell back slightly with the workload index returning back to +29. This is compared to +37 in October, which was the second highest ever balance figure. The highest balance figures were in Northern (+50) and the North of England (+46), areas with the RIBA state “were initially the slowest to indicate a return to growth.” In addition, the percentage of respondents reporting that they had personally been under-employed remained at 12% for the second month running – the lowest figure since the began in January 2009. Practices report that they are currently employing 6% more year-out and post Part II students than they were twelve months ago.

RIBA Awards 2015: Call For Entries

Winner of the 2014 RIBA Stirling Prize: Everyman Theatre (Liverpool) / Haworth Tompkins. Image © Philip Vile

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) have today announced a call for entries to the 2015 RIBA Awards programme. The prestigious awards are designed to celebrate the best architecture projects that have been opened within the past two years. Projects of all sizes and budgets from across the (excluding those in Scotland) are eligible to be entered to the RIBA Regional Awards. Scottish projects can be entered into the . Those that are successful in the regional rounds are made eligible to be considered for the RIBA Stirling Prize, one of the most coveted awards in the architectural world. 

RIBA President Speaks Out Following Institute’s Controversial Diplomatic Efforts

Stephen Hodder. Image © Ed Tyler

Stephen Hodder, the current President of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), has spoken out about a “U-turn” following the proposal of March 19th (passed under past President Angela Brady) condemning the Israeli Association of United Architects (IAUA) for its failure to “resist projects on illegally-occupied land” in the West Bank and Gaza. According to BDOnline, the RIBA has “been forced to abandon its policy [...] after an internal report said it should never have been put to a vote in the first place.”

This highly controversial episode, which has overshadowed Hodder’s presidency, has also garnered criticism both in the UK and as far afield as the USA. Architects such as Richard Meier and Daniel Libeskind have stated that the RIBA’s actions have been “short-sighted and appear to be an attempt to simplify a very complex issue.” In the , Paul Finch writing in the AJ asked whether there would “be a rush to suspend the Russians because of what is happening in Ukraine? Were the Chinese suspended when they were destroying much of their magnificent built heritage, or invading Tibet?” “Certainly not”, he concluded.

2014 RIBA President’s Medals Winners Announced

Winner of the RIBA Silver Medal: Nick Elias of the Bartlett School of Architecture. Image Courtesy of RIBA

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 (two students) and the (one student).

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