RIBA Future Trends Survey Reveals A “Healthy Uplift”

Courtesy of

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)’s Future Trends Survey for March 2015 has ”bounced back strongly” in comparison to February, as the workload index rose to +36 from +26 last month. Private housing and the commercial sector remains strong, while uncertainty still surrounds forecasts in the public sector. Workload forecast balance figures have remained high, the highest numbers being reported from practices in London (+42) and in the south of  (+39). In addition, large and medium sized practices have reported confidence about staffing levels, while small practices remain “more circumspect.”

New London Architecture Unveils Updated 1:2000 Scale Model Of The UK Capital

© Paul Raftery

(NLA), an independent resource and forum for debate about the city’s built environment, have unveiled a new, large-scale interactive model of the capital. Designed to provide a visual history of the city, NLA also intend for it to spark questions about its future. This model replaces an earlier one, which was revealed on the day that it was announced that London’s bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games has been successful. Now, a decade later, the present projection of the city’s built future has been mapped across the model, highlighting the locations of the 263 tall buildings planned or under construction. Visitors are also able to track the route and impact of new transport links, such as HS2 and Crossrail.

172-Year-Old Tunnel Project to Become London’s Newest Performance Venue

Courtesy of Tate Harmer

Nearly two hundred years after construction first began, and 150 years after being formally closed to the public, Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s Rotherhithe shaft in the Thames Tunnel is slated to become London’s newest performance space.

Thanks to a cantilevered staircase by local firm Tate Harmer, members of the public will be granted access to one of London’s best-kept pieces of engineering history.

Learn more about the project after the break.

Spotlight: James Stirling

Portrait of James Stirling. Ray Williams, photographer.. Image Courtesy of Canadian Centre for Architecture

British architect and Pritzker Laureate Sir James Stirling (22 April 1926 – 25 June 1992) grew up in Liverpool, one of the two industrial powerhouses of the British North West, and began his career subverting the compositional and theoretical ideas behind the Modern Movement. Citing a wide-range of influences – from , a forefather of Contextualism, to Le Corbusier, from architects of the Italian Renaissance to the Russian Constructivist movement – Stirling forged a unique set of architectural beliefs that manifest themselves in his works. Indeed, his architecture, commonly described as “non-comformist”, consistently caused annoyance in conventional circles.

Norman Foster’s Manchester Maggie’s Centre Breaks Ground

© Foster + Partners

After being granted planning permission last yearNorman Foster’s new Maggie’s Cancer Centre in his hometown of  has broken ground. The project is being built at The Christie, one of Europe’s leading cancer centres and the largest single-site centre in Europe. According to Foster + Partners, the new centre will ”provide free practical, emotional and social support for anyone living with cancer as well as their family and friends.” Surrounded by the Centre’s existing, lush gardens designed by Dan Pearson, Foster’s proposed structure aims to tap into the therapeutic qualities of nature by engaging the outdoors.

Shortlist Announced For 2015 RIBA East Awards

Shortlisted: Abode, Great Kneighton / Proctor & Matthews. Image © Tim Crocker

A total of sixteen projects have been shortlisted for RIBA East 2015 Awards, featuring buildings by Hawkins\Brown, Proctor & Matthews, Allies & Morrison, and AHMM. All shortlisted buildings will now be assessed by a regional jury. Regional winners will then be considered for a RIBA National Award in recognition of their architectural excellence, the results of which will place some projects in the running for the 2015 .

See the complete list of shortlisted projects after the break.

Robert A.M. Stern to Build Britian’s Most Expensive Flats

Rendering. Image © RAMSA

If approved, Robert A.M. Stern will build ’s most expensive flats. Aiming to replace a 1960s car park and a number of other buildings in city’s Mayfair district, the £2 billion “Audley Square House” apartment block is being commissioned by Phones4U billionaire John Caudwell.

As BD Online reports, Caudwell abandoned an already approved £300 million Foster + Partners scheme in favor of Stern’s neo-classical design, saying he chose the New York-based architect for his “ability to design high-quality buildings that do not stand apart from their surroundings but rather fit in comfortably amongst their neighbors.”

Milan Expo 2015: Wolfgang Buttress Completes UK Pavilion’s “Virtual Beehive”

© Hufton+Crow

Wolfgang Buttress‘ “pulsating” beehive is one of the first to complete for the 2015 Milan Expo. Serving as the UK’s contribution, “BE,” the “virtual hive” is designed to highlight the plight of the honeybee and offer an “immersive sensory experience” that leaves visitors with a “lasting flavor of the British landscape.”

Comprised of a 14-meter lattice structure, made from 169,300 pieces of aluminum and steel, the domed structure sits at the end of a meandering wildflower meadow that leads visitors to the “hive.” Once inside, a sensory composition of audio and visual effects will mimic the activity of an existing beehive in Nottingham. 

A look inside the beehive, after the break. 

In Conversation With Will Hunter, Director Of The New London School Of Architecture

, founder and director of the LSA. Image © Simon Harris

The great schools of architecture have been around since time immemorial, or at least that’s how it can often feel. In , a city particularly dense with institutions of this calibre, this is perhaps felt more acutely. How, then, do you develop an entirely new school in this tightly packed environment which has the potency and capacity to compete? Will Hunter, former executive editor of the -based Architectural Review, began a process to do just this with an article in 2012. Following this, he set up the ARFA—Alternative Routes For Architecture—in order to explore different models for architectural education, calling upon professionals and academics to contribute to a series of informal discussions.

“When the tuition fees in the UK escalated to around £9000 per year in 2013, it got me thinking about different models for architectural education,” Hunter recalls. The casual meetings held around this time gradually become more serious until, “at a certain point, we decided to test them: to make a school.” The project gathered momentum from that point on and now, two years later, the London School of Architecture (LSA) are preparing to take in their first ‘trailblazing cohort’ of postgraduate students.

Richard Rogers Restructures Practice Prior To Relocation

The Architects’ Journal have reported that London based practice Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP), headed by , has refined its in-house structure “as the practice continues to implement its long-term succession plan.” The practice, who will move into their new home on level fourteen of the Leadenhall Building following its completion last year, will operate one studio led by Richard Rogers alongside partner Simon Smithson; another by Graham Stirk with partner Richard Paul; and a third headed by Ivan Harbour.

RIBA Future Trends Survey Shows UK Public Sector Workloads Dip

Courtesy of RIBA

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)’s Future Trends Survey for February 2015 has revealed continued optimism, although the public sector workload forecast has dipped with uncertainty about spending commitments ahead of the General Election in May. The workload index fell back slightly to +26 (from +29 in January) and workload forecast balance figures have remained high, the highest numbers being reported from practices in the Midlands and East Anglia (+43) and in Wales and the West (+39). In addition, practices have reported that they are now employing 16% more Part 1 (undergraduate) and Part 2 (postgraduate) students than they were twelve months ago.

Farshid Moussavi Elected as New Royal Academician

FMA’s winning proposal for the Jardins de la Lironde Competition. Image © Architecture

Farshid Moussavi has been elected into the Royal Academy of Arts, joining Eva Jiricna, Zaha Hadid, David Chipperfield, Nicholas Grimshaw, and 11 other architects as a Royal Academician in the program’s architecture category. The Iranian-born architect best known for her work on the Yokohama International Cruise Terminal in Japan, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland, the flagship store for Victoria Beckham in London, and her installation at the 2012 Architecture Biennale in Venice.

“I’m particularly pleased to welcome Farshid because the Royal Academy architects currently comprise a more distinguished group than at any time in its long history,” commented Christopher Le Brun, president of the Royal Academy.

FAT And Crimson’s ‘A Clockwork Jerusalem’ To Be Exhibited In London

Electric Pastoral. Image © FAT Architecture / Sam Jacob

A Clockwork Jerusalem, the showcased in the British Pavilion at last year’s Venice Biennale, will make it’s UK debut at London’s (AA) next month. Commissioned by the British Council and curated by Sam Jacob, co-founder of FAT, and , partner at Dutch practice Crimson Architectural Historians, the exhibition shines a light on the large scale projects of the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s by exploring the “mature flowering of British Modernism at the moment it was at its most socially, politically and architecturally ambitious – but also the moment that witnessed its collapse.”

Shortlist Announced For 2015 RIBA South West Awards

Shortlisted: Myrtle Cottage Garden Studio / . Image © Jo Chambers

A total of sixteen projects have been shortlisted for RIBA South West 2015 Awards, featuring buildings by Glenn Howells Architects, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, AHR, and Stonewood Design. All shortlisted buildings will now be assessed by a regional jury. Regional winners will then be considered for a RIBA National Award in recognition of their architectural excellence, the results of which will place some projects in the running for the 2015 .

See the complete list of shortlisted projects after the break.

Richard Rogers Donates His Parents’ Home To Harvard GSD

Richard Roger’s parents’ house in Wimbledon, London. Image © Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners LLP

Richard Rogers has announced that the home he built for his parents in Wimbledon, London, will be gifted to Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (GSD) for the training of doctorates in the field of architecture. The home, which will be donated by his charity, the  Charitable Settlement, was completed between 1967 and 1968 by Richard and his then wife Su Rogers. Originally designed for his parents, Dr. William Nino and Dada Rogers, the Grade II* listed pre-fabrictated single storey dwelling was later adapted for Rogers’ son Ab and his family, before being put on the market in 2013 for £3.2million ($4.8million).

Carsten Höller’s Giant Slides Return to London

Image via BBC

German artist Carsten Höller is returning to London with plans for two new giant slides to be built at the this Summer. As part of his exhibition “Decision,” Holler will provide visitors with a two-slide exit option that will (hopefully) induce an “emotional state that is a unique condition somewhere between delight and madness.”

“[Holler] is “one of the world’s most thought-provoking and profoundly playful artists, with a sharp and mischievous intelligence bent on turning our ‘normal’ view of things upside-down,” says Ralph Rugoff, director of the Hayward Gallery. Decision, he continued, “will ask visitors to make choices, but also, more importantly, to embrace a kind of double vision that takes in competing points of view, and embodies what Holler calls a state of ‘active uncertainty’ – a frame of mind conducive to entertaining new possibilities.”

The Life Of Dalibor Vesely: Teacher, Philosopher, Acclaimed Academic

Dalibor Vesely (1934-2015) at the AA, London, in 2013. Image © Valerie Bennett

Dalibor Vesely, a celebrated architectural historian, philosopher and teacher, died this week in London aged 79. Over the course of his teaching career, which spanned five decades, he tutored a number of the world’s leading architects and thinkers from Daniel Libeskind, Alberto Pérez-Gómez and Robin Evans, to Mohsen Mostafavi and David Leatherbarrow.

Vesely was born in Prague in 1934, five years before the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia. Following World War II, he studied engineering, architecture, art history and philosophy in Prague, Munich, Paris and Heidelberg. He was awarded his doctorate from Charles University (Prague) having been taught and supervised by Josef Havlicek, Karel Honzik, and Jaroslav Fragner. Although later he would be tutored by James Stirling, it was the philosopher of phenomenology Jan Patočka who, in his own words, “contributed more than anyone else to [his] overall intellectual orientation and to the articulation of some of the critical topics” explored in his seminal book, Architecture in the Age of Divided Representation, published in 2004.

Look & Listen: A New Sound Responsive Exhibition In London

© G. G. Archard

Look & Listen, a new sound responsive exhibition at the recently opened Sto Werkstatt gallery in , explores “the often unnoticed, yet vital role acoustics play in our experience of place.” Designed by The Klassnik Corporation, the exhibition offers a variety of “sonic experiences” which encourage the visitor to focus on the audible aspects of architecture. It creates a unique set of environments built using Sto’s range of acoustic systems, “utilising the perfect balance of design flexibility and technical leadership the acoustic materials offer.” The also demonstrates the materials‘ capabilities in reducing reverberation and promoting clearer sound.