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Zaha Hadid Receives the RIBA Royal Gold Medal at a Ceremony in London

04:00 - 4 February, 2016

Congratulations to Dame Zaha Hadid who has tonight received the #RoyalGoldMedal for architecture.

Posted by RIBA on Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Zaha Hadid, who was named as the the first sole woman to be awarded the UK's highest honour for architects in her own right in 2015, received the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) 2016 Royal Gold Medal at a ceremony in London yesterday. Hadid, who was appointed a Dame of the British Empire in 2012, received the Pritzker Prize in 2004. Her practice also took both the 2010 and 2011 RIBA Stirling Prizes.

Achim Menges to Create Robotic Pavilion for V&A

14:00 - 3 February, 2016
Achim Menges to Create Robotic Pavilion for V&A , Elytra Filament Pavilion, render, V&A John Madejski Garden 2016. Image © ICD/ITKE University of Stuttgart
Elytra Filament Pavilion, render, V&A John Madejski Garden 2016. Image © ICD/ITKE University of Stuttgart

Stuttgart experimental architect Achim Menges has been commissioned to kickstart the V&A's first ever Engineering Season with a site specific, nature-inspired installation fabricated by robots. Complemented by Ove Arup's first major retrospective, Engineering the World: Ove Arup and the Philosophy of Total Design, the Elytra Filament Pavilion will be Menges' first public commission in the UK. He will work with Moritz Dörstelmann, structural engineer Jan Knippers and climate engineer Thomas Auer to complete the project. 

"Elytra Filament Pavilion will explore the impact of emerging robotic technologies on architectural design, engineering and making," says the V&A. "Inspired by a lightweight construction principle found in nature, the fibrous structures of the forewing shells of flying beetles known as elytra, the Pavilion will be an undulating canopy of tightly-woven carbon fibre cells created using a novel robotic production process."

Playing the Housing Game for Profit: the British Volume Housebuilding Project

04:00 - 6 January, 2016
Playing the Housing Game for Profit: the British Volume Housebuilding Project, Typical British suburban volume housing. Image © Jason Hawkes
Typical British suburban volume housing. Image © Jason Hawkes

In his essay "Figures, Doors and Passages", the architectural historian Robin Evans described how "it is difficult to see in the conventional layout of a contemporary house anything but the crystallization of cold reason. Because of this," he asserted, "we are easily led into thinking that a commodity so transparently unexceptional must have been wrought directly from the stuff of basic human needs." His words, which highlight the passive approach of designers, developers and dwellers when it comes to the vast majority of British housing being built today, were first published in 1978 – two years before the Conservative government under Margaret Thatcher introduced the 1980 Housing Act.

Arch From the Syrian Temple of Bel to be Replicated in London and New York City

04:00 - 30 December, 2015
Rendering of the arch's position in Trafalgar Square, London. Image © IDA
Rendering of the arch's position in Trafalgar Square, London. Image © IDA

The Institute for Digital Archaeology (IDA), a joint-venture between Harvard University (US), the University of Oxford (UK) and Dubai’s Museum of the Future (UAE) have announced that they will replicate a structure of architectural significance that was destroyed earlier this year by IS, or 'Islamic State', at full scale in the centre of London and New York City. The arch—all that remains of the Temple of Bel at the Syrian UNESCO World Heritage site—was captured by militants in May and destroyed. By no means an isolated case, IS have looted and demolished a number of similar architectural and anthropologically important sites that "pre-date Islam in Iraq," condemning them as "symbols of idolatry."

A Six Minute Snapshot of Alison and Peter Smithson's Robin Hood Gardens

04:00 - 28 December, 2015

British filmmaker Joe Gilbert has created a short tribute film to Alison and Peter Smithson's Robin Hood Gardens estate in Poplar, East London, which—as of August 2015—is set to be demolished. Accompanied by insightful commentary from Timothy Brittain-Catlin, the film charts the buildings' history and recent threats to a backdrop of monochrome shots of the estate, in all of its dilapidated and "pleasantly wild" current state. The 'Streets in the Sky', made famous by the Smithsons and both widely praised and criticised as a response to the collapse of low-density terrace housing, are one of the focuses of the film.

Dean of 'The Cass' in London Resigns Over Proposed Relocation Plans

04:00 - 22 December, 2015
Dean of 'The Cass' in London Resigns Over Proposed Relocation Plans, Sir John Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design, London Metropolitan University. Image © David Grandorge
Sir John Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design, London Metropolitan University. Image © David Grandorge

Robert Mull, former Dean of London Metropolitan University's Sir John Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design—also known as 'The Cass'—has resigned over a dispute about proposed relocation plans for the school's campus in Aldgate, East London. As reported in The Independentcampaigners argue that the move, which was first announced in October 2015 by the university's Vice Chancellor John Raftery, would cause courses and jobs to be unnecessarily cut. The university's vision, named 'One Campus, One Community', aims to invest £125million ($185million) to create "a new, single campus in Islington, north London, bringing all of the [university's] faculties together on one site for the first time in the institution’s 170-year history."

Hello Wood Creates Three Christmas Trees in Budapest, London and Manchester

04:00 - 21 December, 2015
Hello Wood Creates Three Christmas Trees in Budapest, London and Manchester, Three Christmas Trees in three European cities. Image © Miklós Vargha, Zsolt Szigetváry
Three Christmas Trees in three European cities. Image © Miklós Vargha, Zsolt Szigetváry

For the third consecutive year, Hello Wood—an international educational platform of design and architecture based in Hungary—have "rethought the Christmas Tree." Their three festive installations, in London, Manchester and Budapest, have been designed to live beyond the holiday season and will be recycled into new structures to help different causes in the New Year. "The role of architecture has changed a lot in the last few years," says Peter Pozsar, co-founder of Hello Wood. "Hello Wood represents this socially responsive architecture."

View the three projects after the break.

Sam Jacob Studio Replicate a Standing Sarsen Stone in the Centre of Milton Keynes

07:30 - 11 December, 2015
Sam Jacob Studio Replicate a Standing Sarsen Stone in the Centre of Milton Keynes, © Jim Stephenson
© Jim Stephenson

London-based practice Sam Jacob Studio, led by a former partner of FAT, have installed a 1:1 replica of a standing sarsen stone from the Avebury stone circle in the centre of the British New Town of Milton Keynes. The 'MK Menhir', situated on a Porte Cochère on the city's Midsummer Boulevard, has been (CNC) milled from hard-coated foam using data from a 3D scan of the original stone. It has been given an iridescent tint using techniques similar to those used to spray paint a car.

A Vision for Future London Underground Stations

04:00 - 9 December, 2015
A Vision for Future London Underground Stations, © Studio Egret West
© Studio Egret West

London-based practice Studio Egret West have developed designs for future London Underground stations which centre on a holistic approach to infrastructure design. The so-called 'Station Design Idiom' is, according to the designers, "deliberately wide-ranging." As a manifesto, it "covers small interventions, like repainting, through to full station refurbishments and new builds" and "complements existing London Underground standards and guidance and is the first port of call for all design decision-making on the network."

Assemble Awarded the 2015 Turner Prize for Granby Four Streets

04:50 - 8 December, 2015
 Assemble Awarded the 2015 Turner Prize for Granby Four Streets, Design for a winter garden in a derelict home in Granby Four Streets. Image Courtesy of Assemble
Design for a winter garden in a derelict home in Granby Four Streets. Image Courtesy of Assemble

Assemble, a London-based collective who "work across the fields of art, design and architecture to create projects in tandem with the communities who use and inhabit them," have been announced as the winners of the 2015 Turner Prize – Europe’s most prestigious contemporary visual art award. Their nomination was a surprise to many, not least because an architect (or architecture collective, in this case) has not been shortlisted before. Previous winners—some of whose work has intersected with the world of architecture—include Gilbert & GeorgeAnish Kapoor (known for the Orbit at the 2012 London Olympic Games), Antony GormleyDamien HirstGillian Wearing and Grayson Perry (a collaborator on FAT's final built work).

The Cineroleum / Assemble. Image Courtesy of Assemble Yardhouse / Assemble. Image Courtesy of Assemble Items produced by the Granby Workshop to raise regeneration funds. Image Courtesy of Assemble Items produced by the Granby Workshop to raise regeneration funds. Image Courtesy of Assemble +11

Eric Parry Architects Unveil 73-Storey Tower for London's Financial District

04:00 - 7 December, 2015
Eric Parry Architects Unveil 73-Storey Tower for London's Financial District, 1 Undershaft / Eric Parry Architects. Image © DBOX for Eric Parry Architects
1 Undershaft / Eric Parry Architects. Image © DBOX for Eric Parry Architects

London-based Eric Parry Architects have unveiled a design proposal for a 73-storey office tower in the heart of London's financial district. Named '1 Undershaft', after its street address, the building will be one of the tallest in the city (standing at 294.6m) competing only with Piano's Shard (306m). Having been commissioned by Aroland Holdings (Singapore), the tower will contain 90,000sqm of internal space and feature "a new public square at its base" and "the capital's tallest free public viewing gallery at the top," according to Parry. It will stand in place of the existing 'Aviva Tower'.

2015 RIBA President's Medals Winners Announced

07:00 - 4 December, 2015
2015 RIBA President's Medals Winners Announced, 'The Heteroglossic City' (RIBA Silver Medal: Finn Wilkie, Mackintosh School of Architecture). Image Courtesy of RIBA
'The Heteroglossic City' (RIBA Silver Medal: Finn Wilkie, Mackintosh School of Architecture). Image Courtesy of RIBA

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) announced the President’s Medals Student Awards at a special event yesterday 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 (Master 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 inaugural RIBA Research Medal alongside a rostra of commendations have also been announced.

See the winning projects and a full list of commendations after the break.

3. Serjeant Award (Part 2): Benjamin Ferns (Bartlett School of Architecture). Image Courtesy of RIBA 1. RIBA Bronze Medal: Boon Yik Chung (Bartlett School of Architecture). Image Courtesy of RIBA RIBA Dissertation Medal: Marie Price (University of Westminster). Image Courtesy of RIBA 4. Serjeant Award (Part 1): Andrew Chard (Oxford Brookes). Image Courtesy of RIBA +43

Shortlisted Concept Designs Revealed for the Tintagel Castle Footbridge

08:30 - 3 December, 2015
Concept Proposal (RFR and Jean-François Blassel Architecte). Image © MRC/Emily Whitfield-Wicks
Concept Proposal (RFR and Jean-François Blassel Architecte). Image © MRC/Emily Whitfield-Wicks

The six concept designs for the Tintagel Castle footbridge, the practices behind which were announced earlier this year, have now been revealed. With a shortlist featuring design consortiums led, among others, by WilkinsonEyre and Niall McLaughlin Architects, the proposals all respond to English Heritage's ambition for "a bridge that is of its place, [...] that, with its structural elegance and beauty, is in harmony with its extraordinary setting and landscape."

Proposal: Niall McLaughlin Architects with Price and Myers. Image © MRC/Emily Whitfield-Wicks Proposal: Ney & Partners Civil Engineers with William Matthews Associates, Ettwein Bridges, Waagner Biro, Ramboll and Jackson Coles LLP. Image © MRC/Emily Whitfield-Wicks Proposal: Marks Barfield Architects with Flint and Neill, J&L Gibbons LLP and MOLA. Image © MRC/Emily Whitfield-Wicks Proposal: WilkinsonEyre with Atelier One. Image © MRC/Emily Whitfield-Wicks +13

Herzog & de Meuron Release Updated Images of the New Chelsea FC Stadium in London

07:30 - 2 December, 2015
Herzog & de Meuron Release Updated Images of the New Chelsea FC Stadium in London, © Herzog & de Meuron
© Herzog & de Meuron

Following the announcement earlier this year that Herzog & de Meuron were developing designs for a new £500million stadium for Chelsea Football Club, the Swiss practice have released a series of official images which narrate the project's design intentions and contextual implications. The new stadium, which will be built in place of the football club's existing stadium at Stamford Bridge, will contain a "three-tier, four-stand, bowl with a capacity of 60,000 supporters" (compared to the current 41,837 capacity) and have around 60,000sqm of facilities housed within its ribbed shell.

© Herzog & de Meuron © Herzog & de Meuron © Herzog & de Meuron © Herzog & de Meuron +9

See 2015’s Best Public Toilets From Around the World

09:00 - 1 December, 2015
See 2015’s Best Public Toilets From Around the World, Stegastein Lookout. Image via DesignCurial
Stegastein Lookout. Image via DesignCurial

Now in its second year, DesignCurial has revealed the results of their annual “Top 10 Public Toilets” award, recognizing outstanding lavatory design across the world. The top 10 emerged as exemplars among over 1,000 public toilet designs, evaluated on “design, innovation and the relationship with surroundings”. “The aim of the list was to bring international design to the fore, especially unique architecture that may be overlooked due to the structure’s mundane stereotype,” said Katherine Houston, web editor at DesignCurial. “This list is well geographically spread, with distinctive designs emerging from Japan, Australia and the UK to name a few.” See the world’s best public toilets for 2015 after the break.

Trail Restroom. Image via DesignCurial Wembley WCs. Image via DesignCurial Tokinokura Lavatories Shimodate. Image via DesignCurial L'Uritonnoir. Image via DesignCurial +28

On OMA's Designs for 'The Factory': "an Enigmatic Tent Bulging With Programming"

04:00 - 1 December, 2015
On OMA's Designs for 'The Factory': "an Enigmatic Tent Bulging With Programming", OMA's proposal for 'The Factory'. Image © OMA
OMA's proposal for 'The Factory'. Image © OMA

In an article for the Financial Times, Edwin Heathcote responds to the recent news that OMA, based in Rotterdam, have won the competition to design the British city of Manchester's new "ultra-flexible" arts venue. The Factory, so-named because of city's rich musical heritage, will be one of the largest cultural projects of its kind. Having gained and maintained financial support from Westminster, the building—which must be able to transform from a 2,200-seat theatre into an open 5,000-capacity space—is a flagship project for the British government.

RIBA Future Trends Survey Shows Caution Despite Increase in Work in Progress

08:00 - 28 November, 2015
RIBA Future Trends Survey Shows Caution Despite Increase in Work in Progress, Courtesy of RIBA
Courtesy of RIBA

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)'s Future Trends Survey for October 2015 showed a level of caution among UK architects, reflecting a period of slowing growth in the industry. The Future Trends workload index dropped to +18 from last month's mark of +21, showing a decrease in the number of practices that expect their workload to increase in the coming months. All regions of the UK still reported a positive balance though, with the most optimism coming from Northern Ireland with a balance figure of +25, while the most uncertain figures came from the Midlands and East Anglia, where a balance figure of +12 was reported.

OMA Selected to Design Manchester's 'Factory', Their First Public Project in the UK

10:00 - 25 November, 2015
OMA Selected to Design Manchester's 'Factory', Their First Public Project in the UK, OMA's proposal for 'The Factory'. Image © OMA
OMA's proposal for 'The Factory'. Image © OMA

Rotterdam-based Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) have been announced by the UK's Chancellor of the Exchequer as the winning team in the competition to design the city of Manchester's high-profile Factory art space. Following the announcement of the shortlist earlier this year, featuring practices including Rafael Viñoly, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Zaha Hadid and Mecanoo, it has since been reported by The Guardian that the British government's original pledge of £78million ($117million) to the cost of the building will be raised by a further £9million per year from around 2018.