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Review: 'All Of This Belongs To You' - Civic Urbanism At London's Victoria & Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), named after the Queen and Her Consort, has its foundations in the Great Exhibition of 1851 amidst the wealth, innovation and squalor of the Industrial Revolution. Britain was flooded by prosperity which allowed for the development of major new institutions to collect and exhibit objects of cultural significance or artistic value. The institute’s first director, Henry Cole, declared that it should be “a schoolroom for everyone,” and a democratic approach to its relationship with public life has remained the cornerstone of the V&A. Not only has it always been free of charge but it was also the first to open late hours (made possible by gas lighting), allowing a more comprehensive demographic of visitor.

Their latest exhibition, which opens today, seeks to realign the museum’s vast collection and palatial exhibition spaces in South Kensington with these founding concepts. The interventions of All of This Belongs to You attempt to push the V&A’s position as an extension of London’s civic and cultural built environment to the fore, testing the museum’s ability to act as a 21st century public institution. To do this in London, a city where the notion of public and private is increasingly blurred, has resulted in a sequence of compelling installations which are tied together through their relevance either in subject matter, technique, or topicality.

The Ethics of Dust: Trajan’s Column by Jorge Oteros-Pailos. Image © Peter Kelleher / Victoria & Albert Museum ‘AgBags’ installed on the V&A’s stone façade as part of a work by Natalie Jermijenko. Image © Peter Kelleher / Victoria & Albert Museum Spike studs by Kent Stainless Ltd. that are intended 
to discourage people from sitting or sleeping 
in various spaces in the city. Image © Peter Kelleher / Victoria & Albert Museum MacBook Air casing and components from a computer used by journalists to write editorial about the data leaked to The Guardian newspaper by Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor. Image © The Guardian/ Victoria & Albert Museum

Page\Park Wins Competition to Rebuild Mackintosh’s Glasgow School of Art

Page\Park Architects have been announced as winner of a competition to restore Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Glasgow School of Art (GSA). The Scottish practice, chosen ahead of four other shortlisted architects, will now develop plans to restore the building’s library and all other areas devastated by fire in May of last year

Highlighting Page\Park’s “extensive track record in both restoring and reinvigoration major historic buildings” and previous work on the Mac, GSA director Prof Tom Inns said: “The team assembled by Page\Park Architects impressed us not only with their deep knowledge of the building, but of the wider work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh… Page\Park have ongoing relationships with key crafts specialists and artists in Scotland and wider afield, and presented exciting proposals for expanding the legacy of the restoration by working with a new generation of creative talent.”

Shortlist Announced For 2015 RIBA East Midlands Awards

A total of eleven projects have been shortlisted for RIBA East Midlands 2015 Awards, featuring buildings by Evans Vettori, Make, Orms, and Studio Gedye. All shortlisted buildings will now be assessed by a regional jury. Regional winners will then be considered for a RIBA National Award in recognition of their architectural excellence, the results of which will place some projects in the running for the 2015 RIBA Stirling Prize" href="http://www.archdaily.com/tag/riba-stirling-prize/" rel="tag">RIBA Stirling Prize.

See the complete list of shortlisted projects after the break.

LOBBY #2: Projecting Forward, Looking Back

From Vitruvius to Le Corbusier, words and writing have always played an essential role in architectural discourse. One could argue that crafting words is akin to orchestrating space: indeed, history’s most notable architects and designers are often remembered for their written philosophies as much as they are for their built works.

With the exception of a few of architecture’s biggest names, the majority of practicing architects no longer exploit the inherent value writing offers as a means for spatial and theoretical communication. This trend is exacerbated by the fact that many architectural schools place little emphasis on the once-primary subjects of history and literature, resulting in a generation of architects who struggle to articulate their ideas in words, resulting in an ever-growing proliferation of ill-defined “archispeak.”

LOBBY is an attempt from students of London’s Bartlett School of Architecture to reclaim the potency of the written word, presenting in their second issue an ambitious array of in-house research and external contributions. The theme is Clairvoyance, and the journal seeks to investigate the ways in which architects are forced to constantly grapple with the possibilities and uncertainties of designing spaces that exist in the intangible realm of the world-to-be.

© Cameron Clarke © Cameron Clarke © Cameron Clarke © Cameron Clarke

Shortlist Announced For 2015 RIBA Yorkshire Awards

A total of eleven projects have been shortlisted for RIBA Yorkshire 2015 Awards, featuring buildings by Populous, HLM, and Studio Gedye. All shortlisted buildings will now be assessed by a regional jury. Regional winners will then be considered for a RIBA National Award in recognition of their architectural excellence, the results of which will place some projects in the running for the 2015 RIBA Stirling Prize" href="http://www.archdaily.com/tag/riba-stirling-prize/" rel="tag">RIBA Stirling Prize.

See the complete list of shortlisted projects after the break.

RIBA Agrees Upon Major Changes To UK Architectural Education

Exactly one year ago an important event took place. A gathering of seventy student delegates, organised by the Architecture Students Network (ASN), met to discuss the future of architectural education. Their meeting was sparked by the latest directive from the European Union which seeks to “establish more uniformity across Europe by aligning the time it takes to qualify”, making mutual recognition of the architect’s title easier between countries.

The ASN’s discussions concluded that the course content throughout the UK system of ‘Part I, II, and III’, and the duration of said course, urgently needs to be re-evaluated in order to reflect the changing needs of the profession - especially in light of the recent rise in tuition fees and associated university costs. Back then, a spokesperson for the ASN said that “it really felt like momentum for change has finally reached a tipping point.”

Smiljan Radić’s Serpentine Pavilion Relocates to Bruton

Chilean architect Smiljan Radić’s shell-shaped Serpentine Pavilion has been relocated from Hyde Park to the gardens of Hauser & Wirth Somerset in Bruton. Just under three hours from London, the new site positions the translucent fiberglass structure in short proximity to a main gallery complex designed by Paris-based Argentine architect Luis Laplace and within an lush garden designed by Dutch landscape architect Piet Oudolf.

New London Architecture Reveals The Latest Figures in The City's Tall Building Boom

"If London doesn’t grow up, it will need to grow out." Following last year's report, New London Architecture (NLA) in cooperation with GLHearn (an independent property consultancy) have released the results of their annual London Tall Buildings Survey. In 2014, they forecast 236 new tall buildings for the British capital, a figure which has risen to 263 buildings over twenty stories for 2015. Alongside this, they believe that around 14,800 new homes are "under construction for London." 

See these numbers broken down after the break.

RSHP Wins Planning for Massive LSE Redevelopment

The Westminster City Council has granted Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners planning permission for their competition-winning scheme to redevelop part of The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) campus. The largest project in the school’s 120-year history, the “Center Building Redevelopment” plan will replace an existing cluster of LSE buildings along Houghton Street - Clare Market, The Anchorage, the East Building and part of St. Clements - with a modernized, sustainable and multifunctional academic building. 

Fresh Bid To Save Robin Hood Gardens From Demolition

It has been reported that London's Robin Hood Gardens housing estate, which was thought to be finally condemned in March 2012, has re-entered a state of flux due to governmental indecision. The former UK Culture Secretary, Andy Burnham, gave the housing scheme an immunity from listing certificate in 2009, meaning that no concerned party could bid for it to gain protected status under British law. This certificate, designed to ensure that the buildings would be swiftly demolished, has now expired. This has led the Twentieth Century Society (C20) to launch a new bid for the estate to be both saved and protected.

Populous Wins Competition to Design Bristol's £90 Million Arena

Populous has been chosen to design the “UK’s most sustainable arena,” the new £90 million Bristol Arena. Selected ahead of Grimshaw, IDOM, White Arkitekter and Wilkinson Eyre, Populous will now work with Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios and Buro Happold to realize their winning, “crystalline” venue. 

“Our design for Bristol Arena is unique,” says Populous principal Nicholas Reynolds. “It delivers a world-class live concert venue for 12,000 fans, and with seamless conversion the atmosphere and intimacy of a 4,000 seat amphitheater.”

First Images of David Adjaye’s £600 Million Piccadilly Redevelopment Plan

Images have been released of what will be one of Adjaye Associates’ largest UK commissions - London’s £600 million Piccadilly Redevelopment. The competition-winning scheme, selected over proposals by Rem Koolhaas, Jean Nouvel and Frank Gehry, will replace a post-war office building on 70-73 Piccadilly with a mixed-use project designed for Crosstree Real Estate Partners. 

More images after the break...

London's Architectural Association Exhibits Futuristic Work of Jan Kaplický

Now on view at London’s Architectural Association, Jan Kaplický Drawings presents work by the Czech architect Jan Kaplický (1937-2009) – a visionary designer with a passion for drawing as a means of discovering, describing and constructing. Through drawing he presented beguiling architectural imagery of the highest order.

The earliest projects date from the early 1970s when, for Kaplický, drawing was essentially a speculative pursuit. Whilst his days were spent working for other architects, during evenings and weekends he designed and drew at home. His architecture at this time was the plan and the finely detailed cross-section. Never satisfied, he constantly developed and honed his graphic language, perfecting the technique of the cutaway isometric which became his trademark.

A preview of Kaplický’s drawings, after the break. 

© Jan Kaplický © Jan Kaplický © Jan Kaplický © Jan Kaplický

RIBA Future Trends Survey Reveals A "Mixed Picture"

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)’s Future Trends Survey for January 2015 has revealed strong levels of optimism as workload forecasts remain strongly positive across all regions of the UK. Following little change in indexes between November and December 2014, the workload index has once again remained consistent at +29. Workload forecast balance figures have remained high, the highest numbers being reported from practices in Northern Ireland at +67 (from +50) and Scotland at +57 (from +75). Furthermore, practices of all sizes have been responding with positive workload prospects heading into the next quarter.

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

The Architects’ Journal as named Teresa Borsuk 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

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 London 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

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

Arup have released a new image of the proposed copper-nickel alloy cladding that will adorn Heatherwick Studio's Garden Bridge 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.