Developer Says Problems with Prefabricated Homes “Must Not Stop Innovation”

RSH+P’s Oxley Woods Development. Image © Flickr CC User Oxley Woods Photos

Developer Tom Bloxham has argued that problems with prefabricated homes or other unusual building techniques “must not stop innovation” in the UK housing sector. Bloxham, whose company Urban Splash was responsible for the Stirling Prize-nominated Park Hill regeneration and has worked with architects such as Norman Foster, FAT and Will Alsop, was speaking at an Archiboo event titled “Housebuilding is Ripe for Disruption.” Discussing the problems that have befallen RSH+P’s Oxley Woods project, he said “Whenever we innovate something inevitably goes wrong. There are risks and it is difficult. But somebody has to take these risks for the industry to move forward,” reports the Architects’ Journal.

World Architecture Festival Announces Day 1 Winners

The 2014 World Architecture Festival (WAF) officially kicked off in Singapore today, and the first group of award winners were unveiled, with Vo Trong Nghia Architects and AECOM among the 16 announced winners.

The winners of the remaining 11 categories will be announced tomorrow, and the festival will culminate on Friday with the World Building of the Year and Future Project of the Year awards, which will be selected by the festival’s ‘super-jury’: Richard RogersRocco YimJulie EizenbergEnric Ruiz Geli and Peter Rich.

The winners of day 1 were selected from a shortlist that included practices from over 50 countries, and among the judges was ArchDaily’s very own David Basulto.

This year’s festival is taking place from October 1-3, featuring three days of talks, key-note speakers and networking opportunities.  With “Architects and the City” as the overarching theme for this year’s main conference sessions, the festival will focus on the contributions architects can make to cities and how they affect – and are affected by – politics, infrastructure, planning communities and technology.

Click here to view the full shortlist and read on after the break for the full list of ’s day 1 winners.

Ten Top Designers Get the Products of Their Dreams With “The Wish List”

Tableware / Zaha Hadid + Gareth Neal. Image © Petr Krejčí

Terence Conran asked nine of his friends in the design world “What have you always wanted in your home, but have never been able to find?” The result is The Wish List, a set of ten projects dreamed up by big name designers such as Norman Foster, Zaha Hadid and Richard Rogers, but designed and crafted in collaboration with emerging designers.

Sponsored by the American Hardwood Export Council, the only restriction was that the product had to be made of wood, leading to designs ranging from Foster’s modest geometric pencil sharpeners to Paul Smith‘s dream garden shed.

As part of the 2014 London Design Festival, the resulting ten products will be on show at the V&A Museum until October 24th.

Richard Rogers Honored with Lifetime Achievement Medal

© 2013 Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners LLP

Richard Rogers has been honored with the for his “significant and fundamental contributions to the design industry,” an announcement made as part of the Design Festival in Rogers’ newly completed Leadenhall Building.

“He has played a leading role in designing buildings that made us think again about how we use them and how they function,” stated London Design Festival director Ben Evans. :His eminence is global, and he is part of a golden era of leading British architects who not only reshaped our city but also reshaped the world to some capacity.”

On Top of the City: Behind the Scenes at the Leadenhall Building

View of The Leadenhall Building from the East along Leadenhall Street . Image © Richard Bryant – Courtesy of British Land/Oxford Properties

Settled comfortably around a black conference table – the only item of furniture in an office space still lacking its carpet tiles – on the 40th floor of the new Leadenhall Building, I had the opportunity to discuss with lead designer Graham Stirk and his partner, practice co-founder Richard Rogers, the forces that shaped their new building and how they came to be working in the City of London once again.

Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners has a rich presence in the Square Mile, including the landmark Lloyd’s of London, standing directly opposite the Leadenhall Building. The firm has specialised in assured, sometimes assertive insertions within the City’s fine, historic urban grain, and so setting aside the sheer bravura of the 52-story, 225 meter skyscraper, with its sloping glass façade to the south (giving it the popular nickname of the Cheesegrater) the first question that arose was a simple one – how did the building come about?

Design With Empathy: An Exhibit Honoring Maggie’s Architecture of Cancer Care

Snohetta – Maggie’s Aberdeen, 2013. Image Courtesy of Carnegie Museum of Art

Organized by the New York School of Interior Design, and curated for CMOA by Raymund Ryan, curator of architecture, Carnegie Museum of Art is hosting a new exhibit: Maggie’s Centres: A Blueprint for Cancer Care. Opening September 13, the exhibit showcases the extraordinary Maggie’s Centres, works of integrated architecture designed to address essential human needs and the everyday challenges of cancer patients undergoing treatment. The work of Frank Gehry, Piers Gough, Steven Holl, Rem Koolhaas, and Richard Rogers have been selected to be included in the exhibition, and provide insight into how some of the most influential architects of our age have sought to positively alter the look, and more significantly, the feel, of healthcare facilities.

Richard Rogers Speaks Out Against Garden Cities Proposals

’s winning proposal for the Wolfson Economics Prize. Image Courtesy of

Reacting to URBED‘s winning proposal in the Wolfson Economics Prize, Richard Rogers has denounced the idea of creating new Garden Cities in the UK, saying that the “ridiculous concept” risks “emptying out existing cities and that is a ridiculous idea.”

The proposal by URBED demonstrates how as many as forty towns and cities in the UK, including Northampton, Norwich, Oxford, Rugby, Reading and Stafford could be expanded, using the fictional city of ‘Uxcester’ as a case study. However, speaking to the Guardian, Rogers claimed that there was enough brownfield land in Britain’s major cities to meet the needs of the current housing crisis, and the creation of new Garden cities would lead to increased car use and middle-class only towns.

Read on after the break for more of Rogers’ comments

Architect Lord Richard Rogers and the Making Of Scandicci City

City began as a suburb of Florence and was often described as a commuter town with a lack of a clear urban center. Having reached out to Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners to address this need, this short documentary created by scandiccibyrogers.com offers a look inside Rogers’ studio in London and the creation of a new urban master plan for Scandicci City.

In it, Rogers explains his belief that public places are crucial parts of cities, and discusses how urban areas can begin to develop from a dense core – an urban design strategy that responds to the rising popularity of city living in recent years, and utilizes public transportation rather than relying on cars.

Video: First Look Inside Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partner’s “Cheesegrater”

YouTube Preview Image

In a short film for The Guardian Lead Architect and Partner of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, , tours Robert Booth around the almost-complete Leadenhall Building. The building is referred to as a relative of it’s neighbour, Lloyds of London, which was completed by Richard Rogers‘s practice in 1986. Leadenhall, dubbed the “Cheesegrater” due to its angled façade, is twice the height of Lloyds and is considered to be the physical manifestation of the evolution of Rogers’ architectural and tectonic language. Although less “structurally showy” than its counterpart, the building is still unconventionally bold when it comes to structural expression.

3 of The New Yorker’s Best Architecture Reads

The National September 11 Memorial Museum by Snøhetta in New York. Image © Joe Woolhead

If you like magazines, then you’ll love this: the New Yorker, celebrating their recent redesign, have made their archive free for a limited period only. And, making up for their hiatus as they wait for a redesign of their own, Places Journal has gone to the effort of rounding up the best architecture reads from the last few years. Here are our top three:

Las Arenas / Richard Rogers + Alonso y Balaguer

Courtesy of

Architects: Richard Rogers, Alonso y Balaguer
Location: Gran Vía Corts Catalanes, 373 – 385, 08015 Barcelona, Barcelona,
Collaboration: Rogers, Stirk, Harbour and Partners.
Area: 105000.0 sqm
Year: 2011
Photographs: Courtesy of Alonso y Balaguer

Spotlight: Richard Rogers

© 2013 Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners LLP

Richard Rogers, one of the leading architects of the British High-Tech movement, turns 81 today. Rogers made his name in the 70s and 80s, with buildings such as the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and the Headquarters for Lloyd’s Bank in London, which utilized highly expressive structures that placed services on the exteriors.

Richard Rogers: “Forget About Greenfield Sites, Build In The Cities”

“London as it could be” / Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. Image © RSHP

In an article for The Guardian Richard Rogers questions why, with space still left in urban areas, we should build in the countryside? Lord Rogers, no stranger to political activism, chaired the ’s Urban Task Force in the 1990s, culminating in his report Towards an Urban Renaissance. Now, over fifteen years later, his plea for denser, better designed urban environments has been rekindled as he argues that: “We can’t go on like this. The housing shortage threatens both the economy and our quality of life.” Laying out a clear argument reinforced by his forty years of experience as an architect, you can read his article in full here.

Vive la France: A Round-Up of French AD Classics

© Flavio Bragaia

In honor of Bastille Day, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite AD Classics built in France. From Bernard Tschumi‘s Parc de la Villette to our most popular classic project, Le Corbusier‘s Villa Savoye, take a moment to revisit these renowned works.

Moshe Safdie, Richard Rogers & Rocco Yim to Deliver Keynotes at WAF

The Marina Bay Sands. Image Courtesy of Safdie Architects

Held annually in Singapore, the WAF annually recognizes the world’s most amazing architecture projects (you can learn more here). They have announced an impressive line-up of prominent architects who will speak at the World Architecture Festival in October, including:

  • Rocco Yim of Rocco Design Associates will be speaking about his involvement in the West Kowloon Cultural District, the largest arts and cultural project in Hong Kong to date
  • Richard Rogers will speak candidly about his life as one of the most influential global figures in architecture and his future agenda
  • Moshe Safdie will be closing the Festival, looking back over his extensive career to talk exclusively about the defining moments that shaped its path

The renowned speakers complement a list of notable projects that will soon be revealed in a shortlist. Registration for the event, which takes place from October 1-3, is open now. Sign up and stay tuned to ArchDaily for the latest coverage of the World Architecture Festival and the co-located event, the INSIDE Festival.

What Can We Learn from Lloyd’s?

© Flickr CC User Mark Kent

Following the news that Lloyd’s of London is planning to leave it’s Grade-I listed headquarters designed by Richard Rogers, Edwin Heathcote has written an interesting article asking whether the Lloyd’s Building - along with some other more spectacular failures of ‘iconic’ commercial architecture – can teach us anything about how we ought to design buildings. He argues that while high-profile design serves developers well, tenants seem to prefer bland yet functional corporate buildings, leading Heathcote to ask: shouldn’t we be seeking something in between? You can read the article in full here.

Lloyd’s Set to Leave Richard Rogers-Designed Headquarters

© Flickr CC User Mark Kent

Insurance firm Lloyd’s of London has indicated that it plans to leave its famous Richard Rogers-designed headquarters, which it has occupied since construction ended in 1986. Lloyd’s has recently been involved in talks with Henderson, the developer of Make Architects‘ Gotham City project which earlier this year gained planning permission for a site adjacent to their current headquarters.

More on the building’s uncertain future after the break

Bodegas Protos / Richard Rogers + Alonso y Balaguer

Courtesy of + Alonso y Balaguer

Architects: Richard Rogers, Alonso y Balaguer
Location: Peñafiel, Valladolid,
Area: 22,000 sqm
Year: 2008
Photographs: Courtesy of Richard Rogers + Alonso y Balaguer