10 Facts about AJ’s Woman Architect of the Year 2015: Teresa Borsuk

The Granary. Image © Pollard Thomas Edwards

The Architects’ Journal as named of Pollard Thomas Edward “Woman Architect of the Year 2015.” The prestigious title, awarded last year to Mecanoo’s Francine Houben, is being presented to Borsuk for her “remarkable” ability to improve equality within her practice.

Borsuk was chosen over an impressive shortlist of women architects. Find out 10 facts about Borsuk and see why the jury consider her to be an ideal role model for future generations, after the break.

Bromley Council Abandons Plan to Rebuild Crystal Palace

rebuild site. Image Courtesy of Bromley Council

The ambitious and seemingly well-supported plans to reconstruct London’s iconic Crystal Palace have been abandoned. As reported by the BBC, Chinese developer ZhongRong Group, who was leading the project, failed to meet the required criteria and 16-month deadline set by the south Bromley Council, resulting in the project’s demise.

The original glass palace, designed as a prefabricated modular structure by Sir Joseph Paxton, was built in 1851 at Hyde Park, prior to being relocated to Crystal Palace in 1854. In 1936, the structure was destroyed by fire.

More about the Council’s decision, after the break.

Competition Seeks Ideas to Transform Preston Bus Station into Youth Center

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has launched an international design competition in search of ideas to transform Lancashire’s iconic Preston Bus Station into a new public hub and youth center. The anticipated £13 million plan hopes to not only provide a home for the new Preston Youth Zone Plus, but preserve the historic structure’s brutalist appearance.

Preston Bus Station, designed by BDP and completed in 1969, was previously slated for demolition. However, last year the success of an international preservation campaign saved it from destruction and helped the building achieve Grade-II listing.

The proposed program and competition details, after the break. 

Arup Reveals Image Of Heatherwick’s Garden Bridge ‘Cupro-Nickel’ Cladding

New image showing the copper-nickel (cupronickel) cladding. Image Courtesy of

Arup have released a new image of the proposed copper-nickel alloy cladding that will adorn Heatherwick Studio’s Garden in London. According to a report by the Architects’ Journal, the “concrete structure will be coated in ‘cupro-nickel‘, from its feet on the riverbed up to the base of the balustrades on the bridge deck.” The copper will be donated from Glencore, a multi-national mining company, forming ”a protective skin to the carbon steel structure giving it a maintenance free 120-year life, protecting the bridge from river and environmental corrosion.” More than 240 tonnes of the metal alloy, which often finds use in medical equipment and ship propellers, will be used.

Which Architect Could Restore The Glasgow School Of Art?

School of Art, Eric De Mare. Image © RIBA Photographs Collection

With the Charles Rennie Mackintosh retrospective opening today at the Royal Institute of British Architects in London Rowan Moore, writing for The Guardian, asks ”which architect could restore Mackintosh’s masterpiece [in Glasgow]?” The of Art, parts of which were devastated by fire in May of last year, is in the process of selecting a restoration architect from a shortlist of five. Yet for Moore ”there are examples of clumsiness and stodginess in some of the past projects of those included that should be allowed nowhere near the School of Art.”

Symposium: Model Making In The Digital Age

Courtesy of / SEED

An upcoming conference at the University of Manchester will tackle the idea of Model Making In The Digital Age. Based on the premise that the world of architecture is dominated by digital tools today more than ever, from design and manufacturing to the ways in which we visualise complex spaces and structures physically and virtually, this seeks to shed new light on the practice of model making and its uses.

Creating A ‘Domesday Book’ Of Post-War Tower Blocks

Hulme Crescents, Manchester (c.1971)

The Edinburgh College of Art have announced that they will be creating a ‘Domesday Book’ catalogue of every multistory post-war project in the UK. The project – called Tower Blocks – Our Blocks! - will contain over 3,500 publicly accessible photographs from the 1980s, documented “at a time when post-1945 high-rise housing is continuously under threat threat across the [UK].” All images will be made searchable in a digital archive.

According to Colin McLean, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in , “as the high rise towers that have dominated many towns’ and city’s skylines begin to disappear, it is important for us to capture this heritage and give voice to the experiences of those who live in these flats and communities. The Heritage Lottery Fund is delighted to be able to help make this happen.”

The project is set to be completed by 2017.

Story via AJ

Carmody Groarke To Design UK Pavilion For Mexico’s 2015 Guadalajara Book Fair

Conceptual Design. Image Courtesy of

The British Council recently announced that London-based practice Carmody Groarke have been selected to design the UK pavilion at the 2015 Feria Internacional del Libro (FIL) in Guadalajara, . The organisers of the international event, which is the largest literary festival in the Spanish speaking world, have chosen the UK to be this year’s “Guest of Honour” as part of a bilateral initiative launched to “build, strengthen and celebrate the growing connections” between the two countries.

In Conversation With Sheila O’Donnell And John Tuomey, 2015 Royal Gold Medallists

John Tuomey and Sheila O’Donnell – recipients of the 2015 Royal Gold Medal. Image Courtesy of RIBA

When Sheila O’Donnell and John Tuomey, who practice in partnership as O’Donnell + Tuomey, were named as this year’s recipients of the RIBA Royal Gold Medal, a palpable collective satisfaction appeared to spread throughout the profession. No one could find criticism in Joseph Rykwert and Níall McLaughlin’s nomination, nor the ultimate choice of the RIBA Honours Committee, to bestow the award upon the Irish team. Their astonishingly rigourous body of work, compiled and constructed over the last twenty five years, has an appeal which extends beyond Irish and British shores. A robust stock of cultural, community and educational projects, alongside family homes and social housing projects, leaves little doubt about the quality, depth and breadth of their mutual capabilities and the skill of those that they choose to collaborate with.

Read the conversation with the Gold Medallists after the break.

UK Report Says Universities are Failing to Prepare Architecture Students for Practice

Cambridge University was ranked the UK’s #1 architecture school in 2014. Image © Flickr CC User Mark Fosh

UK universities are failing to properly equip graduates with the necessary skills required for practicing architecture, according to RIBA’s 2014 Skills Survey. Of the 149 employers and 580 architectural students or recent graduates who responded to the wide-spread survey, a large majority criticized for prioritizing “theoretical knowledge ahead of practical ability” and agreed that most graduates are ill-prepared for work after studying at the university.

“I can think of no other profession where new graduates must wait a decade or more to be given significant responsibility because they have not acquired basic skills in university,” says Yarema Ronish, client adviser and director at Richard Morton Architects.

Rowan Moore On MUMA’s Extension To Manchester’s Whitworth Art Gallery

The sun drenched interior promenade. Image Courtesy of The Whitworth

In an article for The ObserverRowan Moore visits Manchester’s Whitworth Art Gallery (1908), a compact museum which has now undergone a comprehensive restoration and extension by MUMA (McInnes Usher McKnight). The practice, who won the job against 130 other bids for the project, worked with a budget of £15million in order to realise an ambitious brief. Their interventions and innovations, many of which are modest and unseen, have not only reconnected the building with its surrounding parkland but also elevated the interior rooms into world-class spaces. For Moore, their work is striking but muted: “the virtues of the new Whitworth – sustainable, accessible, sensitive, thoughtful – could all be synonyms for ‘dull’ or at least ‘worthy’. But, thanks to its pleasures of light and material, it is not. It is a job very well done.”

Design Council Highlights 70 as “Future of British Design”

PEMY. Image © Sonila Kadillari

In honor of their 70th anniversary, the has named 70 “rising stars” they believe represent the future of British design. The “Ones to Watch” list was chosen from hundreds of entrants for their “outstanding vision, ambition and potential to contribute to the UK’s reputation as a leading design nation.” “Potty-girl” Julia King and Sonila Kadillari’s Pre-Ecopoiesis Mars Yard (PEMY) are some of the many architects and projects highlighted. View them all, here.

Mayor Of London Supports Plans For Europe’s Longest Segregated Cycle Lane

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According to a document published last month, ’s aspiration to become “a great cycling city” has taken one step closer to reality. The office of the Mayor of has approved plans to develop Europe’s longest segregated bicycle lane through the centre of the city following modifications to an original plan that drew sharp criticism from residents and commuters. The new plans, which have been supported by a number of private companies and public bodies, aims to maintain vehicular traffic capacity whilst allowing the segregated cycle lanes to cater for a large capacity of cyclists.

A First Look at the Shortlisted Bristol Arena Proposals

Team A. Image Courtesy of

Grimshaw, IDOM, Populous, Feilden Clegg BradleyWhite Arkitekter and Wilkinson Eyre are among five international design teams who’ve been recently shortlisted in a RIBA-organized competition to design the £90 million Arena, a 12,000-seat indoor entertainment venue set to open by 2017. At this point, the proposals remain anonymous and the public is being asked for their opinion. A judging panel, that includes the Mayor of , will review the public commentary and designs before selecting a team in March. Take a look at the projects and share your thoughts, after the break.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Exhibition To Open Next Month In London

Design For A House For An Art Lover (1901). Image © Library

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) have announced that a new exploring the Scottish designer and artist’s celebrated, but difficult, career is to open next month in London. Mackintosh Architecture will be the first exhibition solely devoted to his architecture, offering the opportunity to view over sixty original drawings, watercolours and perspectives spanning the entirety of his working life. Seen together, they “reveal the evolution of his style from his early apprenticeship to his later projects as an individual architect and designer.” Drawings on display will also show his collaboration with the accomplished artist and designer Margaret Macdonald, his wife.

RIBA Future Trends Survey Indicates Consistent Growth

Courtesy of

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)’s Future Trends Survey for December 2014 has revealed little month-on-month change in indexes with the acknowledgement of a growing level of optimism. After falling back slightly in November 2014, the workload index has remained consistent at +29 (from +37 in November). Workload forecast balance figures have remained extremely positive, with practices reporting +50 in Northern and up to +75 in Scotland. Furthermore, practices of all sizes have been responding with “optimistic” workload prospects heading into the next quarter. The percentage of respondents reporting that they had personally been under-employed fell to 9% from 12%.

Video: Drone Tour Inside St. Peter’s Seminary

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Scotland’s Grade-A listed Brutalist St. Peter’s Seminary, abandoned for the past 25 years, is being rediscovered through drone technology. The building, which was originally designed by Gillespie, Kidd & Coia in 1966 and heavily inspired by the work of Le Corbusier (“with Scottish inspirations”), has recently been offered a new lease of life. -based Avanti Architects, along with -based  and NORD Architectsrecently released the first images of their plans to breathe new life into the iconic building. This filmed footage not only gives a sense of how dilapidated the structure is in its current state, but also hints at the exciting possible future it has as an arts venue.

Avery Associates Reveals Design for 270-Metre Tower Next to London’s Cheesegrater

Courtesy of Avery Associates Architects

London practice Avery Associates Architects has unveiled their designs for No.1 Undershaft, a 270-metre tall office tower directly adjacent to Rogers Stirk Harbour + PartnersCheesegrater in the City of ’s central skyscraper cluster. The building is currently planned to be the tallest in this cluster and the second-tallest in (after the Shard) – notwithstanding an as-yet-unrevealed plan for the site of the scrapped Pinnacle project which could potentially supersede it.