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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."

BDP Selected to Restore London's Iconic Palace of Westminster

10:15 - 18 July, 2017
BDP Selected to Restore London's Iconic Palace of Westminster, Palace of Westminster, London. Image Courtesy of BDP
Palace of Westminster, London. Image Courtesy of BDP

Following a two year-long bidding process, British-based international practice BDP (Building Design Partnership) have been chosen to restore and safeguard the future of the Palace of Westminster, the seat of the United Kingdom's parliament. Outbidding Foster + Partners, Allies and Morrison, and HOK the project is expected to run into billions of pounds and could see the two chambers—the House of Commons and the House of Lords, plus all ancillary support staff—move out of the iconic building for to a decade.

These Enormous Concrete Acoustic Mirrors Pepper the British Coastline

10:15 - 17 July, 2017
These Enormous Concrete Acoustic Mirrors Pepper the British Coastline, Denge (Greatstone-on-Sea, Kent, Great Britain). Image Courtesy of Tom Lee (licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0)
Denge (Greatstone-on-Sea, Kent, Great Britain). Image Courtesy of Tom Lee (licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0)

These vast concrete dishes, which can be found along the northern and easterly British coastline, are sound mirrors. Originally designed to capture the sounds of incoming enemy aircraft as they approached the United Kingdom from across the English Channel and the North Sea (although one was also built at Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq in Malta), these military listening devices acted as a rudimentary early warning system in the decades before Radar was developed and deployed.

Denge (Greatstone-on-Sea, Kent, Great Britain). Image Courtesy of Flickr User "Bodacea" (licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0) Denge (Greatstone-on-Sea, Kent, Great Britain). Image Courtesy of Paul Russon (licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0) Courtesy of Mark Duncan (licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0) Denge (Greatstone-on-Sea, Kent, Great Britain). Image Courtesy of Hywel Williams (licensed under CC) +7

David Adjaye, Peter Murray and Alison Brooks Among Mayor of London's New Team of "Design Advocates"

10:30 - 13 July, 2017
David Adjaye, Peter Murray and Alison Brooks Among Mayor of London's New Team of "Design Advocates", London Skyline in 2005. (Licensed by CC BY-SA 3.0). Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons User: Mewiki
London Skyline in 2005. (Licensed by CC BY-SA 3.0). Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons User: Mewiki

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has appointed fifty "Design Advocates" to support his efforts in ensuring that development across the British capital is "high-quality, inclusive, and sustainable." Well-known names—such as Sir David Adjaye, Peter Murray and Alison Brooks—have been nominated alongside a broad range of architects, activists and thinkers, including Russell Curtis, Daisy Froud, Dan Hill, Richard Lavington, Tom Holbrook, Rory Hyde, Adam Khan, and Maria Smith.

A Different Kind of Sharing Economy: How the REAL Foundation is Building Social Equity Into the Nuts and Bolts of Architecture

04:00 - 13 July, 2017
A Different Kind of Sharing Economy: How the REAL Foundation is Building Social Equity Into the Nuts and Bolts of Architecture, Interior design by REAL Foundation for Common Stock: Sharing as Luxury, the fourth tower in the Derivative Architecture series. Image Courtesy of Real Foundation
Interior design by REAL Foundation for Common Stock: Sharing as Luxury, the fourth tower in the Derivative Architecture series. Image Courtesy of Real Foundation

The Chicago Architecture Biennial is the largest platform for contemporary architecture in North America, and the blog invites designers and other contributors to express their perspectives in a range of formats. The 2017 exhibition, entitled Make New History, will be free and open to the public between September 16, 2017 and January 6, 2018.

Courtesy of Real Foundation
Courtesy of Real Foundation

Chicago Architecture Biennial (CAB): We want to start by noting that REAL foundation, which stands for "Real Estate Architecture Laboratory," is not a typical design practice. You design spaces, but you also make books, exhibitions, a magazine, and tools for advocacy. Why?

Jack Self (JS): The REAL foundation is an unusual model for an architectural firm. We're a normal architectural practice, but we are governed by a very strict set of conditions that allow us to pursue certain political and economic ideologies. We see the social role of the architect, as well as the structure of the architectural firm, as a subject for design as much as buildings.

The Ingot, a proposal by the REAL Foundation for The Ingot, a gold-plated tower sited next to London Bridge, and designed to house low-paid, precarious workers. Image Courtesy of Real Foundation Interior view of Default Grey, a proposal for a domestic tower that provides inhabitants autonomy from debt and enough anonymity to shield them from surveillance. Image Courtesy of Real Foundation Installation view of Home Economics, the British Pavilion curated by Jack Self with Finn Williams and Shumi Bose at the 2016 Venice Biennale. Each room in the pavilion addressed a different facet of the contemporary crisis of living. Photo by Cristiano Corte. Image Courtesy of Real Foundation Installation view of Home Economics, the British Pavilion curated by Jack Self with Finn Williams and Shumi Bose at the 2016 Venice Biennale. Each room in the pavilion addressed a different facet of the contemporary crisis of living. Photo by Cristiano Corte. Image Courtesy of Real Foundation +6

Royal Academy of Arts Adds Permanent Architecture Gallery to Chipperfield Renovation Plans

14:00 - 7 July, 2017
Royal Academy of Arts Adds Permanent Architecture Gallery to Chipperfield Renovation Plans, The Royal Academy’s north-facing entrance, Burlington Gardens. Image © Hayes Davidson. Courtesy of Royal Academy of Arts
The Royal Academy’s north-facing entrance, Burlington Gardens. Image © Hayes Davidson. Courtesy of Royal Academy of Arts

London’s Royal Academy of Arts has announced plans for a new permanent architecture-specific gallery and the creation of two new international architecture awards as part of the RA’s mission to “garner a wider appreciation and understanding of architecture, bringing to the fore its vital relationship to culture and society.”

The new architecture space, along with a cafe, will be housed within the Dorfman Senate Rooms in Burlington Gardens, allowing the academy to show architectural exhibition year-round. The architecture rooms join wider renovation plans led by David Chipperfield Architects that will also include a new naturally-lit theater.

Cross-section of the Royal Academy’s site in 2018. Image © David Chipperfield Architects. Courtesy of Royal Academy of Arts Architecture Studio in 2018. Image © David Chipperfield Architects. Courtesy of Royal Academy of Arts The Dorfman Senate Rooms in 2018. Image © David Chipperfield Architects. Courtesy of Royal Academy of Arts © David Chipperfield Architects. Courtesy of Royal Academy of Arts +10

C.F. Møller to Lead Design of Project Replacing Alison and Peter Smithson’s Robin Hood Gardens

14:45 - 29 June, 2017
C.F. Møller to Lead Design of Project Replacing Alison and Peter Smithson’s Robin Hood Gardens, Courtesy of C.F. Møller Architects
Courtesy of C.F. Møller Architects

The Swan Housing Association has announced the appointment of Danish firm C.F. Møller to join Haworth Tompkins and Metropolitan Workshop in designing housing projects for the Blackwall Reach regeneration plan, a £300 million redevelopment effort which will replace Alison and Peter Smithson’s Brutalist east London estate, Robin Hood Gardens.

As leaders of Phase 3 of the plan, C.F. Møller will design housing for the eastern portion of the site. A total of 330 one- to five-bedroom residential units, half of which have been designated as affordable, will be located within a courtyard block complex at the edge of an existing garden mound – one of the few elements of the original estate that will be retained. The garden is planned to be replanted and renamed the “Millennium Green.” 

Richard and Su Rogers's Wimbledon House Photographed by Iwan Baan

10:15 - 28 June, 2017
Richard and Su Rogers's Wimbledon House Photographed by Iwan Baan, Courtesy of the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Image © Iwan Baan
Courtesy of the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Image © Iwan Baan

Following extensive renovations led by Philip Gumuchdjian and landscape architect Todd Longstaffe-Gowan, 'Wimbledon House'—formerly known as the Rogers House or '22 Parkside'—has reopened as the Harvard GSD's primary residence and London venue for the Richard Rogers Fellowship.

Courtesy of the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Image © Iwan Baan Courtesy of the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Image © Iwan Baan Courtesy of the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Image © Iwan Baan Courtesy of the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Image © Iwan Baan +16

Diébédo Francis Kéré's Serpentine Pavilion Photographed by Laurian Ghinitoiu

12:00 - 23 June, 2017
Diébédo Francis Kéré's Serpentine Pavilion Photographed by Laurian Ghinitoiu, © Laurian Ghinitoiu
© Laurian Ghinitoiu

Following the opening of the 2017 Serpentine Pavilion, designed this year by Diébédo Francis Kéré (Kéré Architecture), photographer Laurian Ghinitoiu has turned his lens to London. Designed to mimic a tree, or a canopy of trees, the wooden structure has been designed to fuse cultural references from Kéré's home town of Gando in Burkino Faso with more "experimental" construction techniques. His ambition is that the pavilion becomes a social condenser – "a symbol of storytelling and togetherness."

© Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu +41

Indications Suggest That Hundreds of Residential Towers in England Are Clad in Potentially Combustible "Reynobond PE"

10:30 - 22 June, 2017
Indications Suggest That Hundreds of Residential Towers in England Are Clad in Potentially Combustible "Reynobond PE", Grenfell Tower at 05.48 local time on the day of the indicent. Image © Selim Halulu
Grenfell Tower at 05.48 local time on the day of the indicent. Image © Selim Halulu

"As a precaution," the British Prime Minister Theresa May told the House of Commons today, "the [UK] Government has arranged to test cladding in all relevant tower blocks." This initial investigation ordered by the British Government following the devastating fire and loss of life at Grenfell House in London on June 14, have returned initial results which show that "three samples," according to the BBC, "are 'combustible'." Further results are expected to be made public over the course of the next 48 hours. The Prime Minister also declared that:

No stone will be left unturned. For any guilty parties there will be nowhere to hide.

RIBA Announces 2017 National Award Winners

19:01 - 21 June, 2017
RIBA Announces 2017 National Award Winners, Courtesy of RIBA
Courtesy of RIBA

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced 49 exemplary projects as winners of the 2017 RIBA National Awards. This year’s list features projects from a wide range of typologies and leading architecture firms including Herzog & de Meuron, Foster + PartnersWilkinsonEyre, and Caruso St John Architects

Command of the Oceans / Baynes and Mitchell Architects © Hélène Binet Tate Modern's Blavatnik Building (Switch House) / Herzog & de Meuron © Iwan Baan South Street / Sandy Rendel Architects Ltd. © Richard Chivers St Albans Abbey / Richard Griffiths Architects © Richard Griffiths +50

Foster + Partners' New London HQ for Bloomberg Uses Ancient Roman Site Features to Inspire Interaction

12:10 - 21 June, 2017
Foster + Partners' New London HQ for Bloomberg Uses Ancient Roman Site Features to Inspire Interaction, © DBOX for Foster + Partners
© DBOX for Foster + Partners

Foster + Partners has revealed new renderings of their designs for Bloomberg’s new London headquarters as the project races toward anticipated completion this autumn. The first building worldwide to be wholly owned and constructed by Bloomberg, the design of the London HQ has been guided by principles of collaboration, innovation and productivity, resulting in a structure that enhance both the workplace environment and the public realm.

© Foster + Partners © Foster + Partners © Foster + Partners © Foster + Partners +5

Adjaye, BIG, Sou Fujimoto and 4 Other Teams Reveal Proposals for Edinburgh's Ross Pavilion

14:15 - 20 June, 2017

Detailed visions of the concept designs from the seven shortlisted teams in the running for the new Ross Pavilion (named for William Henry Ross, the former chairman of the Distillers Company) have been released. Following the announcement of the competition earlier this year—in which the likes of Adjaye Associates, Bjarke Ingels Group, Sou Fujimoto Architects and Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter were placed in the running alongside local practices, such as Page\Park—the sensitivity and level of restraint behind the majority of the proposals demonstrates the public and national significance of the site, which sits at the heart of the Scottish capital of Edinburgh.

Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) with JM Architects, WSP Parsons Brinckerho , GROSS.MAX., Charcoalblue, Speirs + Major, JLL, Alan Baxter and People Friendly. Image © Malcolm Reading Consultants / Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) Adjaye Associates with Morgan McDonnell, BuroHappold Engineering, Plan A Consultants, JLL, Turley, Arup, Sandy Brown, Charcoalblue, AOC Archaeology, Studio LR, FMDC, Interserve and Thomas & Adamson. Image © Malcolm Reading Consultants / Adjaye Associates Page \ Park Architects, West 8 Landscape Architects and BuroHappold Engineering with Charcoalblue and Muir Smith Evans. Image © Malcolm Reading Consultants / Page \ Park Architects Flanagan Lawrence with Gillespies, Expedition Engineering, JLL, Arup and Alan Baxter. Image © Malcolm Reading Consultants / Flanagan Lawrence +30

Diébédo Francis Kéré's Serpentine Pavilion Opens in Sun-Drenched London – But Will Come Alive During Rain

10:30 - 20 June, 2017
Diébédo Francis Kéré's Serpentine Pavilion Opens in Sun-Drenched London – But Will Come Alive During Rain, Serpentine Pavilion 2017, designed by Francis Kéré. Serpentine Gallery, London (23 June – 8 October 2017) © Kéré Architecture. Image © Iwan Baan
Serpentine Pavilion 2017, designed by Francis Kéré. Serpentine Gallery, London (23 June – 8 October 2017) © Kéré Architecture. Image © Iwan Baan

The 2017 Serpentine Pavilion, designed by Diébédo Francis Kéré (Kéré Architecture), was unveiled today in London. Conceived as a micro cosmos—"a community structure within Kensington Gardens"—the pavilion has been designed to consciously fuse cultural references from Kéré's home town of Gando in Burkino Faso, with "experimental construction techniques." The architect hopes that the pavilion, as a social condenser, "will become a beacon of light, a symbol of storytelling and togetherness."

Serpentine Pavilion 2017, designed by Francis Kéré. Serpentine Gallery, London (23 June – 8 October 2017) © Kéré Architecture. Image © Iwan Baan Serpentine Pavilion 2017, designed by Francis Kéré. Serpentine Gallery, London (23 June – 8 October 2017) © Kéré Architecture. Image © Iwan Baan Serpentine Pavilion 2017, designed by Francis Kéré. Serpentine Gallery, London (23 June – 8 October 2017) © Kéré Architecture. Image © Iwan Baan Serpentine Pavilion 2017, designed by Francis Kéré. Serpentine Gallery, London (23 June – 8 October 2017) © Kéré Architecture. Image © Iwan Baan +4

As Central London Residential Tower is Subject to Devastating Fire and Loss of Life, Questions Raised About Recent Refurbishment

08:15 - 14 June, 2017
As Central London Residential Tower is Subject to Devastating Fire and Loss of Life, Questions Raised About Recent Refurbishment, Grenfell Tower, North Kensington, pluming smoke. Photograph taken at 06.15 BST on the 14th June 2017. Image © Selim Halulu
Grenfell Tower, North Kensington, pluming smoke. Photograph taken at 06.15 BST on the 14th June 2017. Image © Selim Halulu

A 24-storey residential tower—Grenfell House—in North Kensington, London, has been subject to a devastating fire and extensive subsequent loss of life. 200 firefighters in 45 fire engines attended the scene following reports of fire at around 0100 local time. The building, originally constructed in 1974, underwent a restoration by Studio E [at this time their website is not responding] "less than two years ago," reports the Architects' Journal.

Carmody Groarke Greenlit for Expansion of Historic Dorset County Museum in Dorchester

12:00 - 13 June, 2017
Carmody Groarke Greenlit for Expansion of Historic Dorset County Museum in Dorchester, Model showing the approved renovation and addition. Image Courtesy of Carmody Groarke
Model showing the approved renovation and addition. Image Courtesy of Carmody Groarke

The Dorset County Museum in Dorchester, England has received full planning approval for a 2,500-square-meter renovation and expansion project led by London-based architects Carmody Groarke. The project will consist of a sensitive refurbishing of the historic museum as well as contemporary architectural interventions that will create four new stories of naturally-lit galleries and an improved circulation flow throughout the building.

A central staircase will provide access to the galleries and archive. Image Courtesy of Carmody Groarke Renderings from an earlier iteration of the design. Image Courtesy of Carmody Groarke Renderings from an earlier iteration of the design. Image Courtesy of Carmody Groarke A model representing an earlier iteration of the design. Image Courtesy of Carmody Groarke +5