The latest chapter in the saga of London's Garden Bridge, which has seen counter proposals and reactionary follies alike, has revealed major concerns relating to its funding mechanisms. As reported by the Architects' Journal, new findings from the United Kingdom's National Audit Office (NAO), which has studied the decision taken by the Department for Transport's decision to grant £30 million ($37 million) of funding to the Garden Bridge Trust, has discovered that the "sum [£30 million] was provided following a commitment from [the] then Chancellor George Osborne, and despite the DfT’s conclusion that there was ‘a significant risk that the Bridge could represent poor value for money’."
The British Council for Offices (BCO) has announced the winners of the 2016 National Awards. The BCO Awards program was established to recognize “ top quality office design and functionality and sets the standard for excellence across the office sector in the UK,” providing a benchmark for excellence in design and functionality. This year’s ‘Best of the Best’ winner was The Enterprise Center at the University of East Anglia by Architype.
“This year we have once again seen a fantastic range of diverse and innovative workplaces, highlighting Britain’s position at the forefront of the global office sector. The Enterprise Centre stands tall as both a dynamic and collaborative work and event space, and as a benchmark in sustainable design," said Emma Crawford, Managing Director of Central London Leasing at CBRE and BCO National Awards Chair.
Continue reading to see this year’s winners.
US tech-giant Apple Inc. have revealed that they will consolidate their UK operations to "a new Apple campus" in London's Battersea, at the heart of a site formerly occupied by the derelict Grade II* Listed Battersea Power Station. The 42-acre complex, which is currently undergoing major redevelopment (and is soon to have a public square designed by BIG connecting to the Electric Boulevard development designed by Norman Foster and Frank Gehry), will provide a mix of commercial space and residential zones. According to the London Evening Standard, Apple will be relocating around 1,400 staff from eight sites around the British capital to the former power station, occupying all six floors of the restored building's extensive new office space. They will be the site's single largest single tenant.
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Competitions has announced a shortlist of 5 teams in the competition for the Upper Orwell Crossings Project in Ipswich, England. The project brief consists of 3 new bridges spanning the Upper Orwell River that will enable the redevelopment and regeneration of several districts of Ipswich, as well as relieve congestion and improve connectivity for multiple forms of transportation.
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is pleased to announce the launch of an international open design competition for ‘The Wall’ - a structure made of a million bricks to represent answered prayer. The competition is being managed on behalf of the charity Network, The Evangelical Council for the Manchester Area Trust.
Lilas, Zaha Hadid Architects’ design for the 2007 Serpentine Gallery pavilion, has been reinstalled at a new location on the south lawn of Chatsworth House, the Derbyshire home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. The mushroom-like pavilion has been put on display as part of Sotheby’s annual Beyond Limits sculpture exhibition, and is for sale through the international auction house.
The Society of Architectural Historians will host its 70th Annual International Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, from June 7–11, 2017. Meeting in Glasgow reflects the increasingly international scope of the Society and its conference, and we expect SAH members from all over the world to join us in Scotland's largest city, world renowned for its outstanding architectural heritage. This is the first time that SAH has met outside North America since 1973, when it planned a joint meeting in Cambridge with the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain. Architectural historians, art historians, architects, museum professionals and preservationists from around the world will convene to present new research on the history of the built environment.
Kerez, Herzog & de Meuron and Studio Gang Shortlisted to Design London's Royal College of Art's Battersea Campus
London's Royal College of Art (RCA) have revealed seven invited shortlisted practices for its new state-of-the-art £108million Battersea South campus. Featuring a smattering of architects from Europe, including Herzog & de Meuron and Lacaton & Vassal, and from the USA, such as Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Studio Gang, the organisation intends to announce the winning scheme in October 2016.
UPDATE: We have added new night photos of the i360 as the ‘breathing’ lighting has been switched on for the first time. The lights were designed by Do-Architecture and can be programmed to display a range of color and pattern options.
David Marks of Marks Barfield Architects, explains, “The concept for the lighting at the top of the tower is that it ‘breathes’, gently increasing and decreasing in intensity at the average rate of a human being breathing at rest.”
The world’s tallest moving observation tower, British Airways i360, will open to the public this Thursday, August 4th. Designed by Marks Barfield Architects, the firm behind the iconic London Eye, the i360 tower will transport 200 visitors at a time up 138 meters to take in views of the city of Brighton and Hove, the Sussex coast and the English Channel. With a height to width ratio of more than 40:1, the structure was also designated as the most slender tower in the world by the Guinness Book of World Records after topping out in February.
Are the rigors and tribulations of architecture school causing serious impacts on students' mental health? A new student survey conducted by Architect’s Journal has found that more than a quarter of architecture students in the UK are currently seeking or have sought medical help for mental health issues related to architecture school, and another 25% anticipate seeking help in the future.
The results have prompted Anthony Seldon, vice-chancellor at the University of Buckingham and a mental-health campaigner, to describe the situation as “a near epidemic of mental-health problems.”
Stanton Williams and Asif Khan have been announced as the winners of the competition to design the new Museum of London at West Smithfield. Beating out 70 entries from top firms and a shortlist including BIG, Caruso St. John and Lacaton & Vassal, the winning proposal was selected for its “innovative thinking, sensitivity to the heritage of existing market buildings and understanding of practicalities of creating a great museum experience.”
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced six projects that will compete for the 2016 Stirling Prize, the award for the building that has made the greatest contribution to British architecture in the first year. Selected from the pool of regional winners around the country, the shortlisted buildings range from a small house in the south of England to a new college campus in Glasgow, Scotland. However, in a first for the Stirling Prize, the shortlist features two buildings coming from one client, Oxford University.
"Every one of the six buildings shortlisted today illustrates the huge benefit that well-designed buildings can bring to people’s lives," said RIBA President Jane Duncan. "With the dominance of university and further education buildings on the shortlist, it is clear that quality architecture’s main patrons this year are from the education sector. I commend these enlightened clients and supporters who have bestowed such remarkable education buildings."
The winner of the Stirling Prize will be announced on Thursday 6 October.
On the 29th December, 1940, at the height of the Second World War, an air raid by the Luftwaffe razed a 35-acre site in the heart of the City of London to the ground. The site was known as the Barbican (a Middle English word meaning fortification), so-called for the Roman wall which once stood in the area. Following the war, the City of London Corporation—the municipal governing body for the area—started to explore possibilities to bring this historic site into the twentieth century.
In this interview, presented in collaboration with PLANE—SITE, Jack Self—co-curator of the British Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale—reveals how the frontline of architecture in Britain today is not just a housing crisis, but "a crisis of the home." In provocatively presenting "the banal," Self reveals why the British participation at the 2016 Venice Biennale proposes five new models for domestic life, each curated through time of domestic occupancy, alongside how it seeks to address the ways in which we might live in the future.
Update: On June 24, 2016, 52% of eligible voters in the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. This article was published prior to the referendum announcement.
In 2003 George Steiner—a Paris-born, American, UK-based literary critic, philosopher and essayist—gave a lecture in Tilburg, a small Dutch city on the Belgian border. His talk, which he titled “The Idea of Europe,” made some waves in certain circles but, ultimately, wasn't widely discussed. Years later I found a copy of the transcript in Amsterdam’s Athenaeum, who had tucked it in the corner of a sunken room on a shelf devoted to "Brexit." I read it the following day while on a train to Brussels.
As I trundled across the Flemish hinterland Steiner’s words, delivered with judicious insight and a reassuring cautionary edge, served as a reminder of one irrevocable fact: that Europe is a continent “of linguistic, cultural, [and] social diversity;” a “mosaic” of communities that have never been united with the same scale and ambition as that of the European Union. But before the contemporary Euro-project, came European café culture.
At 6:20pm on the evening of October 16, 1834, a fire began in the old Palace of Westminster in London – the foremost seat of parliamentary governance for both the United Kingdom and the British Empire across the seas. The inferno, which burned until the early hours of the morning, destroyed so much of the medieval complex that neither restoration nor preservation were considered viable options – a new palace would have to rise from the ashes to surround the largely undamaged Westminster Hall. The fire gave the United Kingdom a chance not only to replace what was considered as an outdated, patchwork of government buildings, but to erect a Gothic Revival landmark to spiritually embody the pre-eminence of the United Kingdom across the world, and the roots of modern democracy.
For centuries, faith has been a source of immeasurable blessings as well as uncountable catastrophes. People, no matter how different, have always felt protected under the aegis of a common belief and united to accomplish the unthinkable. But its fruitful potentials are only equal to its destructive dangers. Faith can be the most untameable of fires, and with the promise for righteousness or virtue it can tear families apart, close down borders, promote genocide, foster war.
Wolfgang Buttress’ The Hive, a Gold Medal-winning UK Pavilion originally built for the 2015 Milan Expo, has been relocated to the Kew botanical gardens in central London. The striking (and photogenic) "beehive" was designed by the British practice to provide visitors with a glimpse into the life of a working bee; its 169,300 individual aluminium components—reaching 17-meters tall and fitted with hundreds of LED lights—created a multi-sensory experience that shed light on the importance of the pollinator. Following its relocation, photographer Laurian Ghinitoiu has turned his lens to this installation and its new home.