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Are Part-Pedestrianized Zones In Dense Urban Environments Dangerous?

04:00 - 12 October, 2017
Are Part-Pedestrianized Zones In Dense Urban Environments Dangerous?, V&A Museum Entrance / AL_A. Image © Hufton + Crow
V&A Museum Entrance / AL_A. Image © Hufton + Crow

Tristram Hunt—director of London's Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A)—has expressed concern about one of the city's most successful semi-pedestrianized zones: Exhibition Road in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. As reported by The Art Newspaper, Hunt has argued that the traffic arrangements are “confusing, dangerous and unsatisfactory”. His answer, following a traffic collision on October 7, 2017, which injured 11 people, is to fully pedestrianize the area.

Bloomberg’s New European Headquarters Rated World's Most Sustainable Office Building

04:00 - 10 October, 2017
Bloomberg’s New European Headquarters Rated World's Most Sustainable Office Building, © Bloomberg
© Bloomberg

Bloomberg’s new European HQ, which is located in the heart of the City of London, has been rated the world’s most sustainable office building. Designed by Foster + Partners, the office complex has been awarded an Outstanding BREEAM rating, attaining a 98.5% score – the highest design-stage score ever achieved by any major office development.

© Bloomberg © Bloomberg © Bloomberg © Bloomberg + 9

David Marks, Architect of London Eye and i360 Tower, Dies Aged 64

16:00 - 9 October, 2017
David Marks, Architect of London Eye and i360 Tower, Dies Aged 64, The London Eye © <a href='http://https://www.flickr.com/photos/garymacfadyen/6817452334/in/photolist-bore4C-e6VT4P-2VQC5B-8RTJY-dwLT3K-226Bj-qUPy7p-7EFLwM-62t9N-8RTKu-6kstyR-cyTSWf-gq5LC-8U6cM-ahfwvb-8U6cN-j5JjP-fKsNSs-aLwoa4-8RTHL-GLUVo-bnfJaV-fKsQbq-bore75-8RTG3-8oyze-fKbdui-8RTJE-avbb5t-fKbcg6-qfaVwM-dwLT5P-8U5wX-j5JkD-8U5x2-6MWis-f3de5n-gJUEXj-fKsPPo-fKsRMU-9jLQpU-pXw4V-58GUKf-kduVmn-8RTE2-4VRbWN-4KQcXY-fKbeiX-hxtdNH-8RTCa'>Flickr user garymacfadyen</a>. Licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
The London Eye © Flickr user garymacfadyen. Licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

David Marks, architect of iconic British structures including the London Eye and the British Airways i360 tower, has passed away at the age of 64 following a long illness.

Co-founder of the London-based practice Marks Barfield Architects with his wife Julia Barfield, Marks was known for his visionary designs for the public realm and entrepreneurial spirit. In proposing both the Eye and the i360 tower, the husband-wife team took considerable financial responsibility for the project’s success. This forward-thinking lead to the replication of the firm’s ideas in cities around the globe.

RIBA Criticizes UK Government's Housing Promise: "It Just Won’t Meet the Scale of Investment Needed"

11:20 - 4 October, 2017
RIBA Criticizes UK Government's Housing Promise: "It Just Won’t Meet the Scale of Investment Needed", Last week, the RIBA awarded Neave Brown the 2018 RIBA Gold Medal. Brown is known for his work on progressive social housing projects, including the Alexandra Road Estate, shown here. Image © RIBA Collections
Last week, the RIBA awarded Neave Brown the 2018 RIBA Gold Medal. Brown is known for his work on progressive social housing projects, including the Alexandra Road Estate, shown here. Image © RIBA Collections

Earlier today, the UK Prime Minister Theresa May made her closing speech at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester. In a speech which focused on the fallout of Brexit and the economy, May devoted considerable attention to the issue of the UK housing market, announcing a plan to add £2 billion to the government's existing £7 billion affordable housing fund—a fund which local governments, private housebuilders, and housing associations can apply to for grants to subsidize construction of affordable housing.

However, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has strongly criticized the government's proposal, arguing that £2 billion will not be nearly enough to address the scale of the problem—by most estimates, the country is falling short of housing demand by hundreds of thousands of units annually, and house prices are increasingly out of reach for the young and the poor. In response, the RIBA argues for a much greater investment in social housing, highlighting its recent decision to award its Gold Medal to 20th Century social housing architect Neave Brown and stating that "we need a concerted program of public investment in new social housing across the country and that means spending a lot more than was announced today." Read on for RIBA President Ben Derbyshire's full statement:

Pezo von Ellrichshausen and Felice Varini's Urban Room Forges New Civic Space in Hull

04:00 - 4 October, 2017
Pezo von Ellrichshausen and Felice Varini's Urban Room Forges New Civic Space in Hull, © Anna Gowthorpe
© Anna Gowthorpe

A Hall for Hull with "Trois Points de Vue" by Chilean practice Pezo von Ellrichshausen and Swiss artist Felice Varini has been unveiled in the British city of Hull. Jointly commissioned by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and Hull UK City of Culture 2017, the "monumental" outdoor installation has "transformed" Trinity Square [Hull] with sixteen galvanized-steel columns, arranged in a grid formation in front of Hull Minster, to form a new civic room for the city.

© Octovision Media © Thomas Arran © Thomas Arran © Thomas Arran + 9

Caruso St. John to Transform the British Pavilion Into a Politically Charged Meeting Space at 2018 Venice Biennale

04:00 - 29 September, 2017
Caruso St. John to Transform the British Pavilion Into a Politically Charged Meeting Space at 2018 Venice Biennale, The shipwreck in Act I, Scene 1 in a 1797 engraving by Benjamin Smith after a painting by George Romney. Via <a href=“https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tempest#/media/File:George_Romney_-_William_Shakespeare_-_The_Tempest_Act_I,_Scene_1.jpg”>Wikimedia Commons</a> licensed under <a href=“https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/deed.en“>CC0 1.0 (Public Domain)</a>. Image © Benjamin Smith
The shipwreck in Act I, Scene 1 in a 1797 engraving by Benjamin Smith after a painting by George Romney. Via Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC0 1.0 (Public Domain). Image © Benjamin Smith

The British Council have revealed Island as the theme of the British Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale. In the exhibition, Adam Caruso, Peter St. John (Caruso St. John), and Marcus Taylor will engage "with current political themes," and was submitted by means of an open call with reference to Shakespeare’s The Tempest:

Be not afeard; the isle is full of noises; Sounds and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not.

RIBA Awards 2018 Royal Gold Medal to Innovative Housing Architect Neave Brown

06:10 - 28 September, 2017
RIBA Awards 2018 Royal Gold Medal to Innovative Housing Architect Neave Brown, Designed in 1968 by Neave Brown of Camden Council's Architects Department, this multi-family, 8-storey council housing estate, properly known as the Alexandra and Ainsworth estate, was built between 1972 and 1979. Image © Martin Charles / RIBA Collections
Designed in 1968 by Neave Brown of Camden Council's Architects Department, this multi-family, 8-storey council housing estate, properly known as the Alexandra and Ainsworth estate, was built between 1972 and 1979. Image © Martin Charles / RIBA Collections

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has awarded its 2018 Royal Gold Medal to London-based artist and architect Neave Brown, a revered Modernist architect best known for his visionary Alexandra Road housing estate. Built by London's Camden Council in the 1970s the 500-home estate is, in Brown's own words, a "piece of city" containing shops, workshops, a community centre, a special needs school and children’s centre, a care home for young people with learning difficulties, and a 16,000sqm public park.

The medal is awarded in recognition of a lifetime’s work and is approved personally by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. It is given to a person, or group of people, who have had a significant influence "either directly or indirectly on the advancement of architecture." The medal is being presented earlier than usual—in 2017 rather than 2018—owing to Brown's poor health.

© Martin Charles / RIBA Collections Designed in 1968 by Neave Brown of Camden Council's Architects Department, this multi-family, 8-storey council housing estate, properly known as the Alexandra and Ainsworth estate, was built between 1972 and 1979. Image © Martin Charles / RIBA Collections Designed in 1968 by Neave Brown of Camden Council's Architects Department, this multi-family, 8-storey council housing estate, properly known as the Alexandra and Ainsworth estate, was built between 1972 and 1979. Image © Martin Charles / RIBA Collections Designed in 1968 by Neave Brown of Camden Council's Architects Department, this multi-family, 8-storey council housing estate, properly known as the Alexandra and Ainsworth estate, was built between 1972 and 1979. Image © RIBA Collections + 6

Towards an Architecture of Light, Color, and Virtual Experiences

12:00 - 25 September, 2017

This essay by Space Popular references an installation currently on display at Sto Werkstatt, in London. You can experience it in virtual reality, here.

The Glass House has no purpose other than to be beautiful. It is intended purely as a structure for exhibition and should be a beautiful source of ideas for “lasting” architecture but is not intended as such. According to the poet Paul Scheerbart, to whom it is dedicated, the Glass House should inspire the disillusion of current architecture’s far-too-restricted understanding of space and should introduce the effects and possibilities of glass into the world of architecture.

Bruno Taut [above] described his Glashaus for the 1914 Werkbund Exhibition in Cologne, Germany, as a "little temple of beauty"; as "reflections of light whose colors began at the base with a dark blue and rose up through moss green and golden yellow to culminate at the top in a luminous pale yellow.”[1] The Glass Pavilion, designed based on its potential effects on those who perceived it, was supposed to create vivid experiences. The site was the human mind.

The Glass Chain / Space Popular (Sto Werkstatt, London). Image © Space Popular The Glass Chain / Space Popular (Sto Werkstatt, London). Image © Space Popular The Glass Chain / Space Popular (Sto Werkstatt, London). Image © Space Popular The Glass Chain / Space Popular (Sto Werkstatt, London). Image © Space Popular + 15

How Narinder Sagoo And Foster + Partners Are Turning Architectural Preconceptions On Their Head (With A Pencil)

14:45 - 22 September, 2017
How Narinder Sagoo And Foster + Partners Are Turning Architectural Preconceptions On Their Head (With A Pencil), © Foster + Partners
© Foster + Partners

This short article, written by the author and critic Jonathan Glancey, coincides with the launch of the inaugural Architecture Drawing Prize – a competition curated by the World Architecture Festival, the Sir John Soane's Museum, and Make. The deadline for the award has been extended to September 25, 2017, and successful entries will be exhibited in both London and Berlin.

For architects, says Narinder Sagoo, Head of Design Communications at Foster + Partners, drawings are about story telling. They are also a highly effective way of raising questions about design projects. Although the history of architecture—certainly since the Italian Renaissance—has been mapped by compelling drawings asserting the primacy, and reflecting the glory, of fully resolved buildings, there is another strain of visualisation that has allowed architects to think through projects free of preconceptions.

© Foster + Partners © Foster + Partners © Foster + Partners © Foster + Partners + 8

Space Popular Reignite the Concerns of "The Glass Chain" Letters By Way of Virtual Reality

16:45 - 17 September, 2017

"The Glass Chain" (Die Gläserne Kette in its native German) was an exchange of written letters initiated by Bruno Taut in November 1919. The correspondence lasted only a year, and included the likes of Walter Gropius, Hans Scharoun, and Paul Gösch. In the letters, the penfriends—thirteen in all—speculated and fantasized about the possibilities of glass, imagining, in the words of Fredrik Hellberg and Lara Lesmes (Space Popular), "fluid and organic glass follies and colourful crystal cathedrals covering entire mountain chains and even reaching into space."

© Ben Blossom © Ben Blossom © Ben Blossom © Ben Blossom + 18

10 Teams Selected as Winners of Hyperloop One Global Challenge

14:30 - 15 September, 2017
10 Teams Selected as Winners of Hyperloop One Global Challenge, Screenshot via Mexloop
Screenshot via Mexloop

Hyperloop One has announced the 10 winners of its Hyperloop One Global Challenge, which sought to identify the most impactful potential Hyperloop routes across the globe. From hundreds of applicants, 10 systems located in 5 different countries were selected by a panel of experts from fields of infrastructure, technology and transportation as the strongest.

Foster + Partners Gains Planning Permission for Snowdon Aviary Transformation at the London Zoo

16:00 - 13 September, 2017
Foster + Partners Gains Planning Permission for Snowdon Aviary Transformation at the London Zoo, © Foster + Partners
© Foster + Partners

The Westminster Council has approved plans for the Foster + Partners-led transformation of the Snowdon Aviary at ZSL London Zoo. Designed by English architect and theorist Cedric Price in collaboration with Frank Newby and Lord Snowdon, the Grade II-listed structure became the first aviary in the UK to allow visitors to walk through a natural bird habitat when it opened to the public in 1962.

The revamp will preserve many of the original design qualities from the original structure, while updating safety and viewing strategies for its new inhabitants: a family of colobus monkeys and parrots. To make the monkeys feel at home, the design features a series of platforms and vertical elements, allowing visitors to learn about the animals as they swing, jump and explore their surroundings.

Demolition is Underway on Alison and Peter Smithson's Robin Hood Gardens in London

15:05 - 29 August, 2017
Demolition is Underway on Alison and Peter Smithson's Robin Hood Gardens in London, via <a href='http://https://twitter.com/saverobinhood/status/900359306658369536'>Twitter user @saverobinhood</a>
via Twitter user @saverobinhood

Demolition has officially commenced on East London housing development Robin Hood Gardens, bringing to an end any chance of a last-minute preservation effort for the Brutalist icon. Designed by British architects Alison and Peter Smithson and completed in 1972, plans for the site’s clearing and redevelopment have been in the works for more than five years, before government indecision and a spirited protest campaign led by architects including Richard Rogers, Zaha Hadid, Robert Venturi, and Toyo Ito put those plans in doubt.

Mecanoo Selected to Transform Perth City Hall in Scotland into New Cultural Center

12:00 - 23 August, 2017
Mecanoo Selected to Transform Perth City Hall in Scotland into New Cultural Center , Main Space. Image © Mecanoo Architecten
Main Space. Image © Mecanoo Architecten

Mecanoo has been selected to design the renovation of the historically landmarked Perth City Hall in Scotland, transforming the building into a new cultural facility through a series of sensitive interventions and a reimagined space flow. Envisioned as a new gateway to Perth, the scheme will pull from the city’s history and culture to create a place that is accessible to all.

Cafe. Image © Mecanoo Architecten Aerial View. Image © Mecanoo Architecten Learning Center. Image © Mecanoo Architecten © <a href='http://https://www.flickr.com/photos/ninian_reid/21767259146/in/photolist-zauTMu-9Qs2tp-d4Fmpy-d4FjcL-9QuQJd-d4FhDW-d4EZ17-9QuQSY-ed34J3-X1CA4S-9QuR9W-9Qs2cc-s8snXL-9QuRbQ-d4F2GU-9QuQFU-9QuQVd-fDW28n-s8reEJ-T1PJh7-cosyCC-hhAoPj-9Qs2re-9QuQEf-9QuQXb-8CKAqT-pdAt2S-fSbRmh-UezWwG-VZMpkq-pdAyV5-fDVZ3Z-rtdLsp-puNBvX-pwCro4-pb5sgT-X1CB61-d4FaXj-d4EWLY-d4F54A-cosBk1-d4F7Do-9JmUh1-nFzoL3-9pYwWY-yuQxQ-v5M5eB-cotc3w-brazGr-d4FeJ3'>Flickr user ninian_reid</a>. Licensed under CC BY 2.0. ImagePerth City Hall today + 5

AL_A, DS+R, Selldorf Among 6 Teams Shortlisted for Renovation of 18th Century Palladian House in Surrey

13:30 - 21 August, 2017
AL_A, DS+R, Selldorf Among 6 Teams Shortlisted for Renovation of 18th Century Palladian House in Surrey

Six teams have been shortlisted in a competition to restore and renovate the historic Clandon Park mansion in the county of Surrey, England, after the National Park property received heavy damage from a fire in 2015.

Organized by Malcolm Reading Consultants, the competition tasked teams with restoring and updating the interiors of the 18th-century Palladian house, as well as designing new flexible event spaces and visitor facilities within the existing building footprint.

London's Garden Bridge Project Officially Axed After £37 Million in Public Costs

11:20 - 14 August, 2017
London's Garden Bridge Project Officially Axed After £37 Million in Public Costs, Courtesy of Garden Bridge Trust
Courtesy of Garden Bridge Trust

The saga of London’s controversial Thames Garden Bridge project has finally come to end, as the Garden Bridge Trust has announced the official “closure of the project” after losing the support of the public and London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

"It is with great regret that Trustees have concluded that without Mayoral support the project cannot be delivered,” said Lord Mervyn Davies, Chairman of the Garden Bridge Trust in a statement released today.

“We are incredibly sad that we have not been able to make the dream of the Garden Bridge a reality and that the Mayor does not feel able to continue with the support he initially gave us.” 

Courtesy of Garden Bridge Trust Courtesy of Garden Bridge Trust Courtesy of Garden Bridge Trust Courtesy of Garden Bridge Trust + 9

wHY-led Team Wins Competition for Edinburgh's Ross Pavilion

10:20 - 1 August, 2017
wHY-led Team Wins Competition for Edinburgh's Ross Pavilion, © wHY
© wHY

The team led by US-based architects wHY has been selected as the winner of the Ross Pavilion International Design Competition, beating out proposals from Adjaye Associates, BIG, Flanagan Lawrence, Page\Park Architects, Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter and William Matthews Associates + Sou Fujimoto Architects.

Featuring an international collaboration of architects, engineers and creative agencies – including Edinburgh-based design studio GRAS, Groves-Raines Architects, Arup, Studio Yann Kersalé, O Street, Stuco, Creative Concern, Noel Kingsbury, Atelier Ten and Lawrence Barth – the team envisioned a rolling terrain for the West Princes Street Gardens site that the jury lauded as both exciting and respectful of its historic setting.

© wHY © wHY © wHY © wHY + 7

Norman Foster Discusses the Dawn of High-Tech Architecture in This 1971 Interview

12:00 - 25 July, 2017

"It's quite evident that you're prepared to abandon traditional ways of sitting," Bernard Keeffe exclaims as he collapses into a bright yellow beanbag in Norman Foster's home. "For years," he continues, "people have thought that if they sat down they would have to sit on a chair, but now you have demonstrated that this is not necessary!" In this lengthy 1971 interview with Lord Foster, drawn from the archives of Thames TV, Keeffe questions the practice's early hi-tech approach to architecture in the context of a landscape in which buildings were becoming "ever more complicated."