"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."
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 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.
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
The Chicago Architecture Biennial is the largest platform for contemporary architecture in North America, and the blog invites designers and other contributors—such as —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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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."
Indications Suggest That Hundreds of Residential Towers in England Are Clad in Potentially Combustible "Reynobond PE"
"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.
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 + Partners, WilkinsonEyre, and Caruso St John Architects.
Foster + Partners' New London HQ for Bloomberg Uses Ancient Roman Site Features to Inspire Interaction
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.
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.
Diébédo Francis Kéré's Serpentine Pavilion Opens in Sun-Drenched London – But Will Come Alive During Rain
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."
As Central London Residential Tower is Subject to Devastating Fire and Loss of Life, Questions Raised About Recent Refurbishment
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.
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.
Architecture and film are interlocked: both unfold narrative ideas through space and time, taking us to real and virtual worlds; both start with the imagination, and then take on their own reality. Films are set in cities, landscapes and buildings where architecture is a visual shorthand, telling us about characters and plot in an instant. Yet a dedicated festival that brings architecture and film together has never before been held in this country.
Emerging practice NEUBAU has received planning permission to begin construction on Tower Station, a mixed-use residential building located on Fincheley Road in London. Commissioned by County Tower Properties, the ‘pixelated’ building will be located on the site of a former gas station and clock tower, replacing the previous use with a new mechanical clock at the building’s peak, creating a new local landmark that echos the site’s history.
This is the largest commission to date for NEUBAU, founded in 2014 by former OMA architects Brigitta Lenz and Alexander Giarlis.