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Steven Holl Breaks Ground on Maggie's Centre Barts in London

Steven Holl Architects (SHA) has broken ground on London's newest Maggie's Centre across from the large courtyard of St. Bartholomew’s (Barts) Hospital, the city's oldest hospital. The structure, a branching concrete frame lined with perforated bamboo and matte white glass, was inspired by its historic site, which also neighbors the St. Bartholomew the Great Church. It was envisioned as a "vessel within a vessel within a vessel" embellished with colored glass fragments that recall "neume notation" of Medieval music in the 13th century. 

"The word neume originates from the Greek pnevma, which means 'vital force.' It suggests a 'breath of life' that fills oneself with inspiration like a stream of air, the blowing of the wind. The outer glass layer is organized in horizontal bands like a musical staff while the concrete structure branches like the hand," describes SHA.

A video of Steven Holl detailing the center's design, after the break.

Thomas Heatherwick Unveils Design for Maggie's Centre in Leeds

Maggie's, the UK charity famed for its cancer care centers designed by world-renowned architects, has released a proposal for a new building designed by Heatherwick Studio. The new center is planned to be built on the grounds of the St James' University Hospital in Leeds, and was submitted for planning permission this morning.

The design consists of a series of stepped "planters" which aim to harness the therapeutic effect of plants for the benefit of the center's users. The building's public and private interior spaces are woven both in between these elements, and into the interior space of the planters themselves.

Foster + Partners Declared Largest Practice In The UK

The Architects' Journal (AJ) have revealed the results of their fourth AJ120 award, an annual survey which ranks the largest and wealthiest practices based in the UK. Partially calculated on the number of ARB-registered (or equivalent) fully qualified architects in employment, the AJ have announced that London based Foster + Partners have topped the 2015 table. Describing the 48 year old practice as an "international powerhouse," employing 312 architects (out of their 1,066 employees worldwide), the survey also shows that "the £185million fees billed by the practice’s architects – up a huge £45 million from last year – made up 38% of the combined total of all of the companies in the Top 10." The survey saw BDP ranked second, while AHMM came in third.

RIBA Future Trends Survey Reveals Minor Drop In Some UK Sectors

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)’s Future Trends Survey for April 2015 shows widespread consistency in comparison to March, the workload index remaining around the same at +35 from +36 last month. The private housing sector remains strong, rising to +38, while the commercial sector forecast dropped slightly to +15. In addition, the public sector forecast saw a drop to +3 while the community sector forecast "experienced a significant decline" to -3 from +9 in March. However, workload forecast balance figures have remained high, and practices in London and the South of England are most confident about medium-term workloads. Small practices continue to be positive about the outlook for future workloads, while medium and large practices "continue to be even more optimistic about future growth."

Ooze Architects Unveil A Natural Bathing Pond In London's King's Cross

A new pool has just opened in the heart of London's King's Cross. In the centre of one of the city's largest mixed-use development projects Ooze Architects, in collaboration with artist Marjetica Potrc, have developed and realised "the UK's first man-made fresh water public bathing pond" as a piece of and art. The oblong pool is forty metres long, built two metres above ground level, and is surrounded by "pioneer plants, wild flowers grasses, and bushes so that the environment evolves as the seasons change." It will be purified through "a natural closed-loop process, using wetland and submerged water plants to filter and sustain clean and clear water."

Hall McKnight To Open A Temporary Pavilion In London's King's Cross

Belfast-based Hall McKnight are set to open a pop-up pavilion in London's King's Cross as part of the 2015 London Festival of Architecture. Located in Cubitt Square, the project forms part of the New Horizon’s initiative, supported by the Irish Architecture Foundation and ID15 (the year of Irish Design 2015). The structure, built from a collection of cut boards, "explores how the phenomenon of the city is assembled from individual pieces." The interior spaces will feature an installation of bricks reclaimed from a street of row houses in Belfast.

London's Soane's Museum Unveil A Series Of New Spaces

In an article for The Observer, Rowan Moore dives into a set of newly recreated rooms in London's Soane's Museum, a gallery dedicated to Sir John Soane's collection of architectural curiosities set within his eccentric former home. The experience, according to Moore, "of an internal world of unknown boundaries" has just become more extensive. Visitors will now be afforded the opportunity to visit a series of private spaces that give "a view into Soane’s bizarre mind," following extensive restoration work led by Julian Harrap.

Allies and Morrison and O’Donnell + Tuomey Chosen to Design London's Olympicopolis

Allies and Morrison, together with O’Donnell + Tuomey and Josep Camps/Olga Felip Arquitecturia, has been chosen ahead of David ChipperfieldFeilden Clegg Bradley Studios and three other teams to design London's Olympicopolis culture and education quarter. The major commission, which will be sited at the gateway to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park along the Stratford waterfront, will include new buildings for the Victoria and Albert Museum, Sadler’s Wells, the London College of Fashion, and potentially the Smithsonian Institute's first permanent museum outside the US

Call For Entries: RIBA President's Awards For Research

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) have announced a call for entries for the 2015 President’s Awards for Research. For the first time this year will see the introduction of the President's Research Medal, which will be awarded to the best work judged from across all four categories of research. RIBA President, Stephen Hodder, has said that "this award will help to give recognition to the ever increasing importance of research to architecture and our industry."

Stay In Airbnb's Floating Cottage On London's River Thames

Have you ever dreamed of dozing off as you sail along one of the UK's busiest water highways in an eclectic bright blue cottage replete with a lawn, wisteria over the door and an apple tree? For five days and nights, between the 18th and 23rd May, this dream will come to life in the shape of Nick and Steve Tidball's floating residence for Airbnb.

Courtesy of Airbnb Wisteria hangs over the bright red front door. Image Courtesy of Airbnb Interior decoration is fresh and friendly. Image Courtesy of Airbnb Steer your way along the River Thames with all the comforts of home. Image Courtesy of Airbnb

Chipperfield Unveils Plans To Reimagine London's Royal Academy of Arts

David Chipperfield Architects have revealed plans to connect the two Grade II*-listed London bases of London's Royal Academy of Arts - the 17th century Burlington House and the 19th century 6 Burlington Gardens - as part of a £50million ($80million) masterplan of "subtle interventions." According to the Architects' Journal, the two structures will be linked by a concrete bridge which will span fifteen metres across a service area and courtyard, and will see the creation of a number of new exhibition spaces, a lecture theatre, and a new space for the Royal Academy's world-renowned schools of art and architecture. A series of roof extensions and terraces will allow for new views over central London.

Courtesy of David Chipperfield Architects Courtesy of David Chipperfield Architects © David Chipperfield Architects / Squint/Opera Courtesy of David Chipperfield Architects

London Collective Assemble Shortlisted For The Turner Prize

Assemble, a collective of artists, designers and architects based in London, have been shortlisted for the Turner Prize - the UK's foremost annual award for British visual artists. Much to the delight and surprise of members of the profession, this young collaborative team are the first spatial designers to be recognised by this prize in its three decade history, leading Sam Jacob to assert that they "represent something different: a validation of the belief that there are other ways of doing things." The four nominees for the award also include London artist Bonnie Camplin and German-born Nicole Wermers.

London's V&A Appoints New Director Of Design & Exhibitions

London's Victoria & Albert Museum have announced that David Bickle, formerly a partner at Hawkins\Brown, has been appointed as the new Director of Design, Exhibitions and FuturePlan. In this role Bickle will be responsible for the care and future development of the V&A’s buildings, as well as the presentation of all of the museum’s permanent collections and exhibitions. With the construction of Amanda Levete Architects' new addition on Exhibition Road underway - coupled with the V&A's plans for new exhibition spaces in Dundee, Scotland, and in East Stratford on the former site of the 2012 London Olympic Games - the museum is also in the process of helping to establishing a collection in Shenzhen.

'The Listeners Project' Create Four Short Films In London's Former BBC Television Centre

The Listeners Project, a small London-based initiative that works with young filmmakers in unique architectural spaces to develop and create short films, have taken residence in the former BBC Television Centre. The building, designed by Graham Dawbarn of Norman & Dawbarn in the late 1940s, has an iconic plan that resembles a question mark. The centre, which was once the beating heart of the majority of the British Broadcasting Company's television production, was listed in 2009 before it was finally vacated in 2013.

Explore Erno Goldfinger's Balfron Tower Through A New Online Archive

Balfron Tower: a building archive, created by London-based PhD student David Roberts and graphic designer Duarte Carrilho da Graça, is an online archive that brings together public documents related to Erno Goldfinger's Balfron Tower. Shining a light on all of the research material which Roberts has gathered over the course of his studies, archival documents from during the tower's design phase to the most recent press articles are presented in the form of a timeline. You are also allowed the option of downloading these documents in full.

RIBA Future Trends Survey Reveals A "Healthy Uplift"

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 England (+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

New London Architecture (NLA), an independent resource and forum for debate about the city's built environment, have unveiled a new, large-scale interactive model of the UK 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

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.