Organized by International Art Consultants (IAC) and supported by The Royal Photographic Society, the Architect’s Eye competition has been celebrating and encouraging architects’ passion for photography since 2007. Now, in its fourth edition, UK architects are challenged to submit photos into two distinct categories: Architecture and Place and Architecture and People. The former focuses solely on the aesthetics of the architecture and places it creates, while the latter explores and celebrates the interaction of people with the environments created by architects. There are no restrictions on which buildings qualify for the competition.
The winner in each category will receive a weekend break for two anywhere in the EU. There will also be Special Commendation prizes awarded at the judges’ discretion.
Jestico + Whiles’ design for the new £61m National Graphene Institute at the University of Manchester has recently been granted planning consent. The new facility will be designed with the goal to be the world-leading research and incubator center dedicated to the development of graphene, helping the UK to remain at the forefront of the commercialization of this revolutionary material. The project will be housed within a compact 7,600m2 five-storey building, with the main cleanroom located on the lower ground floor to achieve best vibration performance.More images and architects’ description after the break.
Today, six months after the laser light extravaganza that marked the completion of The Shard in London, the controversial glass tower celebrated its official opening to the public. Architecture enthusiasts and residents were welcomed to join the mayor of London 244 meters above the capital on the 72 floor observation deck for the official ribbon cutting.
Designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, the 310 meter needle-point structure is currently the tallest in Western Europe. The two million square meter mixed-use development offers ample office space, restaurants, a five-star shangri-la hotel and residences.
Karakusevic Carson and David Chipperfield have been announced as the “preferred bidder” for a pair of residential towers the East London district of Shoreditch. As reported on BDOnline, the £25 million project at Colville Estate will rise up to 14 and 20 stories high to replace the existing 1950‘s low-rise buildings. This will be the second and last phase of the largest council-backed housing development in London and the first UK mass housing project for Chipperfield.
Designed by Orproject, their Or2 project, which is a single surface roof structure that reacts to sunlight, won the 2012 Good Design Award. This award, which is known as the world’s most prestigious, recognized, and oldest Design Awards program, is organized annually by The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design in cooperation with the European Centre for Architecture, Art, Design and Urban Studies. Special software components have been developed in order to create the shapes and to generate the cutting schedules so that the beauty of Or2 is its constant interaction with the elements, where its appearance is unique at each moment of the day. More images and architects’ description after the break.
An impressive team has been pieced together by Canary Wharf Group to design portions of the first phase for the Wood Wharf development in London’s major business district of Tower Hamlets. Already home to some of the UK’s tallest buildings, Canary Wharf has announced its plan to add a Herzog & de Meuron-designed residential high-rise to its glowing skyline on a redeveloped eight-hectare site.
Ascan Mergenthaler, senior partner at Herzog & de Meuron stated, “The new high-rise building will mediate between the city and the individual, the public and private, and will inject a new component of daily residential life into the evolving mixed-use Canary Wharf district. It will be both a symbol and the heart of the new Wood Wharf urban quarter, an extension of a dynamic global community and the start of a new vibrant neighborhood.”
See who else has been commissioned to partake in the first phase of the Canary Wharf development after the break.
Make Architects was just granted planning permission by the Crown Estate for the £450million St. James Market development plan located in the heart of Westminster, UK. Also given the go ahead by Westminster Council, their plan also includes three associated residential developments, hinging around the creation of a new public square and two new buildings. One building sits on Regent Street and retains an historic facade while the other presents a completely new facade to Haymarket. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Following the conclusion of David Chipperfield’s 2012 Venice Biennale, the British Pavilion has brought its investigations back to the UK to expand upon ten exceptional research projects that illustrate how architecture has shaped the culture and economy of countries around the world.
Should Amsterdam-style floating homes be built in London’s Docklands? Could the UK learn from Brazil’s successful identikit school-building program? Could Belfast be redeveloped by following a Berlin model? These are just some of the fascinating questions that will be addressed in a series of lectures, debates and events hosted by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in collaboration with the British Council and the Architectural Association.
Mark your calendars for the following special events, which will run from February 26 through April 27, 2013.
Merging the work of architects, engineers, manufacturers, product designers, academics and artists, Prototyping Architecture explores the importance of prototypes in the delivery of high quality contemporary design. The exhibition, which runs at The Building Centre from January 11 to March 20, places an emphasis on research and experimentation to illustrate how trial assemblies can inform architecture with maquettes, models and full-scale sample productions on show from around the world.
Professor Michael Stacey, Director of Architecture at the University of Nottingham stated: “Prototyping Architecture celebrates vital methods of design development with new technologies that potentially herald the beginning of a second industrial revolution. The exhibition forms a bridge between architecture, engineering and art – with exhibits that are truly beautiful.”
More on Prototyping Architecture after the break.
With both Heathro and Gatwick pushing their limits, it is imperative that the UK begins to move forward with expanding their global aviation capacity. Over the years, multiple proposals have been presented, including Norman Foster’s “London Britannia Airport”. Now, Beckett Rankine has unveiled an inventive, offshore proposal located on the Goodwin sands in UK territorial waters nearly three kilometres off the east coast of Kent.
Continue after the break to learn more.
Designed by JaK Studio Architects, their second prize winning proposal for the RIBA International Competition to Re-imagining York’s Giuldhall Complex: Connecting River and City re-energizes the area by focusing on its history while embracing the future. When the Romans settled in this outpost of their empire, they were still keen to establish some of the rigor and grandeur of Rome. To echo this we cleared the open ground around the guildhall and reclaimed two large plazas cascading down to river providing unique and accessible public spaces with direct relationships to the river. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Images of the transformation of the Shell Centre Campus, which include 8 towers to be designed by six different architects in London’s South Bank, have been released and submitted for approval by the local authority, Lambeth Council.
The project, under a Masterplan by Squire and Partners and co-developed by Canary Wharf Group and Qatari Diar, is a 5.25-acre mixed-use scheme between Waterloo Station and Hungerford Bridge. While the famous 27-story Shell Tower will be preserved, the plans show eight new residential and office buildings will be constructed by six architectural firms: an office and two residential towers by Squire and Partners, one office tower by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF); a residential block by Patel Taylor; another by Stanton Williams; and two more residential towers by GRID Architects.
In total, about 800,000 sq ft of office space (which includes the existing Shell Tower), 800,000 sq ft of residential space (translating to 790 new homes, including affordable housing), and 80,000 sq ft of new retail units/restaurants/cafés will be created. As Michael Squire of Squire and Partners told The Architect’s Journal: “We make no apology, this is a dense development, it sits next to one of the busiest train stations in Europe. This is a massive sustainable move that will allow people to live and work in the same area.”
More on the proposed plan for London’s South Bank, after the break…
Artist Gijs Van Vaerenbergh shared with us his recent project, Framework, a monumental geometric sculpture, which was recently on display in Leuven, above the ring road on the Artoisplein. With this sculpture, Vaerenbergh has once more produced a work in the public space that is based on the language and expertise of the architecture to create an autonomous art object. The result has become a tangible spatial drawing that plays on the visual experience of the object in space as well as the environment. Both interact and determine each other’s ‘view’. More images and artist’s description after the break.
For once, British architects, the Prince’s Foundation, and NIMBYs have something they can all agree on. In a speech to the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA), UK planning minister, Nick Boles, has come out swinging against the “pig-ugliness” of British housing, which has given it a bad name:
“We are trapped in a vicious circle. People look at the new housing estates that have been bolted onto their towns and villages in recent decades and observe that few of them are beautiful. Indeed, not to put too fine a point of it, many of them are pig-ugly [...]In a nutshell, because we don’t build beautifully, people don’t let us build much. And because we don’t build much, we can’t afford to build beautifully. My personal mission as planning minister is to help us break out of this vicious cycle once and for all.”
The criticism has been welcomed by many British architects as a necessary wake-up call for Britain and a call-to-action for its architects.
More on this story, after the break…
The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama and World Stage Design 2013 are currently seeking proposals for the competition to design a sustainable temporal theatre. The winning design will be built in Cardiff and house performances and events as part of the World Stage Design 2013 festival. Open to students and professionals from across all related disciplines, the structure must be weather and sound-proof and be designed using either existing and readily available building components or alternative sustainable elements. The deadline for submissions is March 1, 2013. More information after the break.
Building on a previous piece entitled “Suspension Bridge, the passage”, Olivier Grossetête’s ‘Pont de Singe’ in the UK is a model of floating bridge attached to helium balloons, thus taking literally the term “suspension bridge “. The object aims to connect two mobile spaces, questioning its usefulness. This bridge becomes a floating symbol of all relationships, and embodies the space surrounding its slight movements caused by our air movement. More images and architects’ description after the break.
According to the global affairs magazine Monocle, Britain’s cultural cache is at an all-time high.
The magazine’s latest annual Soft Power Survey (which measures the “Soft Power” of a country, or “the ways in which a nation can shape the world without relying on financial muscle and overwhelming force”) placed the UK as the world’s greatest cultural influencer, dethroning the US for the first time.
The magazine cites the UK’s action-packed year, which included the Queen’s Jubilee, the success of pop-culture phenomena (like Adele and James Bond), and the Summer Olympic Games, as the catalyst which put them on top.
But let’s not underestimate the role that architecture has played as a symbol of Britain’s cultural import. Despite financial difficulties (which have put London’s burgeoning skyline in doubt), the year was nevertheless a good one for Britain’s architecture and architects - Renzo Piano‘s controversial Shard hogged the spotlight in London’s Olympic coverage; Dame Zaha Hadid, Glamour’s Woman of the Year, has been non-stop in the media thanks to her Aquatics Centre and Galaxy Soho; and, to top it off, British megafirm Foster + Partners will soon be responsible for many of New York’s latest skyscrapers. Talk about the Empire striking back.
Find out who else made the list of most influential countries, after the break…
The RIAS (Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland) has announced OMA as the tenth recipient of the prestigious Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award for the firm’s “welcoming, light and spacious” design of Maggie’s Gartnavel in Glasgow.
Serving as an exemplar for alternative healthcare design, OMA’s single story composition for the cancer care center laces together a series of interlocking rectangular spaces that form around a lush courtyard. Transparent walls of the building’s light-filled interior promenade connect patients directly to nature, as the building accommodates for the complex needs of the facility by providing spaces of interaction, personal privacy, and discrete counseling rooms, along with private nooks and corners. A notable characteristic of Maggie’s Gartnavel is the rich use of materials, from the flush inlaid timber and concrete ceiling to the simplistic concrete exterior and expansive floor-to-ceiling glass walls.
OMA generously donated their £25,000 prize to the Maggie’s Cancer Care Center.
More images after the break…