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Learn the Story Behind Alison & Peter Smithson's Brutalist Icon, Economist Plaza

14:00 - 23 December, 2016

In 2017, British news magazine The Economist will move to a new home, leaving behind its iconic home of 52 years, Economist Plaza.

The project represents the first major commission by British duo Alison and Peter Smithson, who would go on to have esteemed careers as champions of the Brutalist style. Located at 22 Ryder Street, not far from Hyde Park and Buckingham Palace, Economist Plaza marked a significant breakthrough in tall building design, replacing the traditional streetfront of a podium and tower design with stairs and a ramp leading to an elevated plaza from which 3 buildings would rise.

Watch the video above to learn the story behind the project, and read more about the legacy the Economist will leave behind, here.

Inside the Murphy House, RIBA's 2016 House of the Year

12:00 - 20 December, 2016

Last week, Richard Murphy Architects‘Murphy House’ in Edinburgh was named the Royal Institute of British Architects’ 2016 RIBA House of the Year. Built into a hillside lot, the unusual site presented the architects with the opportunity to play, loading the house with an assortment of clever architectural details and mechanics, including a hidden bath in the master bedroom, folding walls, sliding bookshelf ladders and operable clerestory panels.

To capture all these moving parts in their full effect, the architect himself created a video walkthrough of the house. Check it out below.

Experience the Sir John Soane's Museum, Virtually

04:00 - 18 December, 2016
Experience the Sir John Soane's Museum, Virtually, Temple of Vesta in Plaster of Paris model by François Fouquet. Image © Sir John Soane's Museum
Temple of Vesta in Plaster of Paris model by François Fouquet. Image © Sir John Soane's Museum

The Sir John Soane’s Museum is often cited as a seminal inspiration for architects of all generations. Located in London's Lincoln's Inn Fields, the house—designed by Soane (born in 1753), architect of the Bank of England—is a remarkable biographical bricolage of unique spaces, objects and ideas. Kept exactly as it was at the time of Soane's death in 1837, the museum is packed with paintings, sculpture, furniture and drawings – all curated and composed by the architect himself to "enhance their poetic qualities."

Soane’s ingenious design for the courts in Westminster. Image © Sir John Soane's Museum Temple of Vesta in Plaster of Paris model by François Fouquet. Image © Sir John Soane's Museum Pompeii in 1820 showing partial excavation. Image © Sir John Soane's Museum Temple of Vesta modelled in cork by Giovanni Altieri. Image © Sir John Soane's Museum +8

Director of London's Architectural Association, Brett Steele, to Become UCLA Dean

05:30 - 15 December, 2016
Director of London's Architectural Association, Brett Steele, to Become UCLA Dean, The Architectural Association on Bedford Square, London
The Architectural Association on Bedford Square, London

Brett Steele, Director of London's Architectural Association (AA) since 2005, has announced that he will become Dean of UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture in August 2017. Although American-born, Steele has since become a naturalized British citizen. He studied at the AA, the University of Oregon, and the San Francisco Art Institute respectively, before working as a Project Architect at Zaha Hadid Architects in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Grimshaw Designs Masterplan and Start-up Incubator in Bristol

16:10 - 14 December, 2016
Grimshaw Designs Masterplan and Start-up Incubator in Bristol, Courtesy of Grimshaw
Courtesy of Grimshaw

Working with developer Skanska, Grimshaw has designed a master plan for Bristol Temple Square in Bristol, England, that will contain a new start-up incubator and co-working space known as Engine Shed 02. The development will serve as an activated public area linking the Bristol Temple Meads Railway Station and the city center.

The masterplan unlocks a previously isolated site adjacent to the Temple Circus roundabout by creating a new walkway, the Brunel Mile, which prioritizes pedestrian and cyclist circulation through the area. A new public square along the path will also contribute to reinvigorating the neighborhood.

RIBA to Present Seminal Show on Mies van der Rohe's Unrealized "Mansion House Tower"

04:00 - 13 December, 2016
RIBA to Present Seminal Show on Mies van der Rohe's Unrealized "Mansion House Tower", Proposed Mies van der Rohe-designed tower block for the Mansion House Square scheme. Image © John Donat / RIBA Collections
Proposed Mies van der Rohe-designed tower block for the Mansion House Square scheme. Image © John Donat / RIBA Collections

Next year the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) will open a seminal new exhibition: Mies van der Rohe & James Stirling: Circling the Square. The show will examine two iconic schemes proposed for the same site in the City of London: Mies van der Rohe’s unrealised Mansion House Square project (developed by Lord Peter Palumbo) and its built successor, James Stirling Michael Wilford & Associates’ No.1 Poultry.

Leo Villareal + Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands Wins London's Illuminated River Competition

12:15 - 12 December, 2016
Leo Villareal + Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands Wins London's Illuminated River Competition, Current / Leo Villareal with Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands and Future\Pace. Image © Malcolm Reading Consultants and Leo Villareal and Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands
Current / Leo Villareal with Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands and Future\Pace. Image © Malcolm Reading Consultants and Leo Villareal and Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands

The team led by light artist Leo Villareal and architects and urban planners Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands has been announced as the winner of the Illuminated River International Design Competition.

Selected from a six-strong shortlist of internationally acclaimed architects and designers, the winning design was lauded by Illuminated River Foundation Chair Hannah Rothschild as “beautiful, ambitious and realisable but always considerate to the environment, lighting levels and energy conservation.”

London's Aylesbury Estate: A Housing Project Then and Now

04:00 - 9 December, 2016

Originally built to house over 7,000 people in the 1970s, the Aylesbury Estate in South East London was once one of largest housing projects in Europe. In recent years it has "fallen into rapid decline" and, according to British filmmaker Joe Gilbert, "perfectly encapsulates the growing housing crisis and problems caused by gentrification." With narration by Tom Dyckhoff, this short film aims to capture the reality of a housing utopia which has de-evolved into an uncomfortable reality.

Inside Zaha Hadid Architects' Mathematics Gallery for the London Science Museum

08:30 - 7 December, 2016
Inside Zaha Hadid Architects' Mathematics Gallery for the London Science Museum, © Luke Hayes
© Luke Hayes

This week London's Science Museum will open The Winton Gallery, a new space dedicated to the study and exploration of mathematics, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects. While this is the practice's first permanent public museum exhibition, it also represents the first UK project to open since the death of its eponymous founder and director.

Inspired by the Handley Page aircraft, the design of the space was conceived through observing equations of airflow used in the aviation industry. The layout and lines of the gallery therefore represents the movement of air that would have flowed around this historic aircraft in flight – a metaphor which extends from the positioning of the showcases and benches to the three-dimensional curved surfaces of the central pod structure.

2016 RIBA President's Medals Winners Announced

17:15 - 6 December, 2016
2016 RIBA President's Medals Winners Announced, Silver Medal: Crafts Vault / Thomas Chee. Image Courtesy of RIBA
Silver Medal: Crafts Vault / Thomas Chee. Image Courtesy of RIBA

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) announced the President’s Medals Student Awards at a special event today in London. The awards, recognised as the world’s most prestigious in architectural education, were inaugurated in 1836 (making them, including the RIBA Gold Medal, the institute's oldest award). Three medals in particular—the Bronze for a Part I student (Bachelor level), the Silver for a Part II student (Masters level), and the Dissertation Medal—are awarded to “promote excellence in the study of architecture [and] to reward talent and to encourage architectural debate worldwide.” In addition to these, the winners of the Serjeant Award for Excellence in Drawing and the SOM Foundation Fellowships alongside a rostra of commendations have also been announced.

Sam Jacob Studio Creates a "Soft Baroque" Backdrop to New Design Museum's Inaugural Exhibition

04:00 - 1 December, 2016
Sam Jacob Studio Creates a "Soft Baroque" Backdrop to New Design Museum's Inaugural Exhibition, Courtesy of Sam Jacob Studio
Courtesy of Sam Jacob Studio

The inaugural show at the new London Design MuseumFear and Love, presents a collection of "reactions to a complex world." Featuring eleven specially-commissioned installations designed by the likes of OMA/AMO, Hussein Chalayan, Andrés Jaque and Metahaven, the spatial context which frames them is the work of Sam Jacob Studio.

© Max Creasy © Max Creasy © Max Creasy © Max Creasy +10

Eric Parry Architects' 72-Story Skyscraper Receives Approval from City of London

17:20 - 29 November, 2016
Eric Parry Architects' 72-Story Skyscraper Receives Approval from City of London, © DBOX for Eric Parry Architects
© DBOX for Eric Parry Architects

Eric Parry Architects’ 1 Undershaft has been granted planning permission from the City of London Corporation’s Planning Committee, which will allow the 73-story tower to become the tallest building in the London Financial District and the second tallest building in the UK, behind only The Shard.

© DBOX for Eric Parry Architects © DBOX for Eric Parry Architects © DBOX for Eric Parry Architects © DBOX for Eric Parry Architects +5

Grafton Architect's "Modern Day Machu Picchu" Wins Inaugural RIBA International Prize

19:01 - 23 November, 2016
Grafton Architect's "Modern Day Machu Picchu" Wins Inaugural RIBA International Prize, © Iwan Baan
© Iwan Baan

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) have revealed the Universidad de Ingeniería y Tecnología (UTEC), located in Lima and designed by Dublin-based practice Grafton Architects, as the winner of the inaugural RIBA International Prize. A longlist of thirty projects, published in May of this year, was narrowed down to six in October before a grand jury—chaired by Richard Rogers—selected the scheme as "an exceptional example of civil architecture."

© Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan +5

View London's Newly-Opened Design Museum Through the Lens of Interior Architect John Pawson

14:00 - 23 November, 2016

Intimidating to design a Design Museum for designers? No, because what you're doing is working with the challenges of the existing space.

In this new video from NOWNESS, the audience is treated to a viewing of the new Design Museum in London, courtesy of its interior architect John Pawson. Part interview and part guided tour, NOWNESS uses the unorthodox technique of giving the building's designer his own camera, making parts of the video an intriguing insight into how Pawson sees his own work.

Designed in collaboration with OMA and Allies and Morrison, the project is a thorough renovation of the former Commonwealth Institute building, a 1962 structure by Robert Matthew, a founding partner of RMJM. Pawson dwells on the experience of working with their dramatic hyperbolic paraboloid roof, the materials used in the design, and the challenges of working on such a sensitive project.

10 Teams Shortlisted in Competition for New National Holocaust Memorial in London

10:10 - 18 November, 2016
10 Teams Shortlisted in Competition for New National Holocaust Memorial in London, Victoria Tower Gardens and Parliament from the Thames. Image © Malcolm Reading Consultants/Emily Whitfield-Wicks
Victoria Tower Gardens and Parliament from the Thames. Image © Malcolm Reading Consultants/Emily Whitfield-Wicks

The Government of the United Kingdom and competition organizer Malcolm Reading Consultants have announced the ten architect teams selected to envision designs for the new National Memorial to the Holocaust, to be located next to the UK Parliament. Designs will encompass a “striking” new National Memorial in Victoria Gardens, as well as a possible below ground Learning Center.

The 10 shortlisted teams were selected from nearly 100 entries from teams across the globe by a jury made up of notable figures in British culture, religion and architecture, including Director of Stanton Williams Architects, Paul Williams; former Serpentine Galleries Director Dame Julia Peyton-Jones; and National September 11 Memorial and Museum Director, Alice M Greenwald.

Study John Pawson's Interiors of the New London Design Museum

04:00 - 18 November, 2016
Study John Pawson's Interiors of the New London Design Museum, Pawson's sketch of the new London Design Museum
Pawson's sketch of the new London Design Museum

This month London's Design Museum will officially open its new home on Kensington High Street. The project, which has been redeveloped and designed in collaboration with Rotterdam-based practice OMA and London-based studio Allies & Morrison, has seen a Grade II* Listed Modernist monument sensitively restored into contemporary galleries. For John Pawson—who has been commissioned to create "a series of calm, atmospheric spaces" ordered around a large, oak-lined atrium—this scheme marks his first major public work. 

Plan: Mezzanine Plan: Second Floor Plan: Ground Floor Plan: First Floor +17

John Pawson Narrates a Tour Through London's New Design Museum

05:30 - 16 November, 2016

This edition of Section DMonocle 24's weekly review of design, architecture and craft, explores London's new Design Museum – a significant expansion for the institution at an entirely new location in West London. The interior spaces of the former Commonwealth Institute Building in Kensington, which is Grade II-listed, have been renovated by John Pawson. Alongside the museum’s Deputy Director, Alice Black, the Monocle team investigate the thinking behind the relaunch and how the spaces are designed to accommodate a shifting audience.

IKEA Recreates Syrian Home Inside their Store in Efforts to Aid Refugee Crisis

16:15 - 14 November, 2016
IKEA Recreates Syrian Home Inside their Store in Efforts to Aid Refugee Crisis, via POL
via POL

Swedish mega-retailer IKEA is taking action to combat the destitute living conditions faced by Syrian refugees.

Partnering with the Norwegian Red Cross and advertising agency POL, IKEA has installed a replica of a refugee house in Damascus, Syria at their store in Slependen, Norway.

via POL via POL via POL Screenshot via Design Museum +8