UK Politicians Invited to Workshop to Learn About Architecture

One possible activity for the workshop includes guided tours of London from the Thames. Image © Flickr CC User Donna Rutherford

Oliver Colvile, chairman of the UK‘s All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Excellence in the Built Environment, has proposed that Members of Parliament should be invited to an architecture workshop to improve their understanding of the built environment. The workshop would be jointly run by the APPG and the Farrell Review, and could include activities such as designing a virtual town or an architectural sightseeing tour along the Thames. More on the proposal after the break.

Guangzhou Announces Shortlists for Two Museum Projects

© Flickr CC User jo.sau

The Guangzhou Bureau of Science and IT has announced the shortlists for two major projects in Guangzhou. The two museum projects – the Guangzhou Museum and the Guangzhou Science Museum, each worth over $160 million – will be the latest in a host of high profile projects in China‘s third-largest city, a list which includes Zaha Hadid‘s Guangzhou Opera House, the 600m tall Canton Tower, IFC Guangzhou by Wilkinson Eyre Architects and the Guangzhou Circle, among others.

The Guangzhou Museum will be located to the West of Lingnan Square near the Canton Tower, while the Guangzhou Science museum will be located to the East. Practices making the two lists include Bjark Ingels Group, Miralles Tagliabue EMBT, TFP Farrells, MAD Architects and Steven Holl Architects. Read on after the break for the complete shortlists.

UK Ministers to Consider Key Recommendation of Farrell Review

Sir Terry Farrell. Image © Agnese Sanvito, via Facebook Page

The House of Lords has announced that the proposal to appoint a ‘Chief Architect’ in the UK, one of the major recommendations of this year’s report by Terry Farrell, will be discussed by the ’s minister for architecture Ed Vaizey and Housing and Planning minister Brandon Lewis. The proposal was among 60 recommendations made by the Farrell Review at the end of March. Other proposals due to be discussed by ministers are a the idea of establishing a Place Leadership Council and design review panels for infrastructure projects. More after the break…

Farrell’s Architecture Review: 60 Ways to Improve the UK

Farrell believes that planning needs to be more proactive: “You could buy a plot of land, get lucky, and have a Shard built in your back garden. The tallest building in Europe was never on anyone’s plan, yet it stands there today”. Image © Renzo Piano

After a year of gathering evidence and consultation, Sir Terry Farrell’s review of UK architecture has finally been released. The review, commissioned by Culture Minister Ed Vaizey, includes 60 proposals to improve the quality of the UK‘s built environment, targeting a wide range of groups including education, planning, and developers.

Vaizey has urged everyone involved in the construction industry to get behind the report, saying that it “needs to kick-start a national debate” in order to achieve its aims.

Read on for some of the recommendations from the report

Farrells Selected to Masterplan Two Sites in Shenzhen’s Qianhai Financial District

© Farrells

Farrells has been announced as winner of an international competition to masterplan two prominent commercial zones in Shenzhen’s Qianhai financial district. Adjacent to the district’s Qianhaiwan metro station, the two districts are expected to boost cross-border trade between Shenzhen and . The first, 460,000-square-meter masterplan will feature a 320-meter-tall skyscraper and two 185-meter gateway towers, providing high-end office, residential and retail space, as well as serviced apartments.

Sir Terry Farrell on UK Architecture & the “Urbi-Cultural Revolution”

Beijing South Station / TFP Farrells. Image © Fu Xing

In this intriguing and often insightful two-part interview with Section D, Monocle‘s weekly design radio show, Sir Terry Farrell discusses at length the findings of his review into UK architecture as well as his views on the current state of architecture in the UK and the world. Looking to the future of the profession, Farrell says he sees architects as one of the key contributors to the world’s social future: ”We live in what we’ve built, we’re an urban-building creature… I call it the urbi-cultural revolution.”

Read more about the interview, and listen to both parts of the interview, after the break

Herzog & de Meuron Win Competition to Design Hong Kong Museum

Courtesy of Herzog & de Meuron

West Kowloon Cultural District Authority has appointed Herzog & de Meuron and TFP to design a new museum for visual culture on the edge of a reclaimed, 14-hectare park in ’s Victoria Harbour. Focusing on 20th and 21st century art, design, architecture and moving image, M+ will be one of the first projects to be completed in the West Kowloon Cultural District, and a key venue in creating interdisciplinary exchange between the visual arts and the performing arts in Asia. 

Does the Cost of Architectural Education Create a Barrier to the Profession?

© Rory MacLeod

A recent report by the Architectural Education Review Group has highlighted the high cost of education as a barrier which prevents less wealthy students from accessing the profession, reveals BDonline. Among a number of concerns raised about the current state of architectural education, it says that the cost to study architecture in the UK could “create an artificial barrier to the profession based solely on a student’s willingness to accept high levels of personal debt”.

Architecture has long been seen as a pastime of the wealthy, as evidenced by Philip Johnson‘s claim that “the first rule of architecture is be born rich, the second rule is, failing that, to marry wealthy”. However, the report acknowledges the fact that making the profession open to people of all backgrounds is not only a moral imperative, but will be vital to bring the best talent into the field.

Read more about the barriers surrounding the profession of architecture after the break…

4 Lessons the UK Should Take from Denmark

Superkilen masterplan designed by BIG + Topotek1 + Superflex. Image © Iwan Baan

Last week the UK’s Culture Minister Ed Vaizey announced that he was commissioning a review of the country’s architecture policy, to be led by Sir Terry Farrell along with a number of high profile advisors, including Thomas HeatherwickAlison Brooks and Alain de Botton. According to Vaizey, the review, expected to be complete by the end of the year, “will be a rallying point for the profession.”

In his article in The Guardian, Olly Wainwright rather hopefully questioned: “might this year-long study result in an innovative new piece of legislative guidance – perhaps along the lines of Denmark’s architecture policy, introduced in 2007?” While Wainwright somewhat flatly concludes, “somehow, that seems unlikely,” there’s no doubt that the UK could only stand to gain from learning from ’s innovative policy.

So what lessons could the UK (and the world) learn from the Danes? Read on after the break…

Beijing South Station / TFP Farrells

© Fu Xing

Architects: TFP Farrells
Location: Beijing,
Project Year: 2008
Photographs: Zhou Ruogu, Fu Xing, Oak Taylor Smith

Guangzhou South Railway Station / TFP Farrells

© Nick Hufton

Architects: TFP Farrells
Location: , China
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Courtesy of TFP , Nick Hufton

Kennedy Town Swimming Pool / TFP Farrells

© Marcel Lam

Architects: TFP Farrells
Location: Kennedy Town Praya, , Hong Kong
Photographs: , Marcel Lam

KK100 / TFP Farrells

© Carsten Schael

Architects: TFP Farrells
Location: Shenzhen,
Client: Kingkey Group
Interior Design: Laguarda.Low
Structural Engineer: Ove Arup & Partners
Tower height: 441.8 m
GFA: 210,000 sqm
Completed: September 2011
Photographs: Carsten Schael, Fu Xing, Jonathan Leijonhufvud