The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)’s Future Trends Survey for June 2015 shows "an all-time high," with the workload index ascending to +44 compared to +37 last month. All nations and regions within the United Kingdom returned positive balance figures, with practices in the Midlands and East Anglia responding most confidently about workloads in the next quarter. Following a slight fall last month, the private housing sector workload forecast increased to +39 (from +34), while the public sector saw a modest increase back into positive figures. Workload forecast balance figures have remained extremely high. The survey reports that large-sized practices continue to be the most optimistic about growth, while small and medium-sized practices "remain in strongly positive territory."
The 6th annual “Space for New Visions” competition has announced its winner: a project entitled “Homes for the Homeless,” by James Furzer of Spatial Design Architects. Hosted by FAKRO, a global manufacturer of roof windows and loft ladders, and A10 Magazine for European Architecture, the competition sought proposals that incorporated FAKRO products. With entries from around the world, projects were judged based on user comfort, environmental impact, functionality and natural light, among other things. Read about the winning entry after the break.
"London is on the verge of being ruined for all future generations," says Alain de Botton – a Swiss philosopher, notable author and founder of The School of Life and Living Architecture. "With a whopping 260 towers in the pipeline no area is safe, as planners, property developers and the mayor's office commit crimes against beauty to create fun buildings." In a film for The Guardian De Botton explains why he believes we're right to be nervous – and how we can stop this "clear desecration" of the UK's capital city.
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) have revealed the six projects that will compete for the 2015 Stirling Prize, the award for the building which has made the greatest contribution to British architecture over the past year. Following a rigourous system of regional awards (all of which you can see on ArchDaily), the shortlist has been picked from a handful of nationally award-winning projects.
Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, having previously won the prize in 2006 for the Barajas Airport in Madrid and in 2009 for the Maggie’s Centre at Charing Cross Hospital, has been nominated four times before. They are joined by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM), Niall McLaughlin Architects, and Heneghan Peng Architects, who have each made the shortlist before. This is the first year that McInnes Usher McKnight Architects (MUMA) and Reiach and Hall Architects have been shortlisted. The winning project will be announced on the 15th October 2015 at a ceremony in London.
See this year's full shortlist and read extracts from the judges' citations after the break.
The UK is in the midst of a housing crisis, the intricacies of which were detailed by Rowan Moore earlier this year. For decades the typical British housing stock has been of relatively poor quality, proliferated by developer-led consortiums and characterised by ruthless cost-efficiency for maximum profit. From this formula comes nothing but a monotony of off-the-shelf constructions which have, over time, become a national benchmark. These houses – often built of brick, boxy in form, and using as little space in the facade for openings – are commonly dark, spatially inadequate, and far below the standards that should be being aimed for. It’s like living in a well-appointed cave.
Alice Theodorou, a graduating masters student from London's Royal College of Art, has developed a project which attempts to combat the challenges that London is set to face over the next 10,000 years. Her scheme factors in projections for population growth and then decline, rising sea levels, stricter energy targets, material depletion, future space exploration and, most interestingly, language obsolescence.
The acclaimed Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester, northern England, has been named by the Art Fund as the 2015 Museum of the Year. The project has been hailed by the jury as "one of the great museum achievements of recent years," citing its "transformation – architecturally, curatorially, and as a destination" – as a key reason for its success. The building, which has been received well by critics, was comprehensively restored and extended by MUMA (McInnes Usher McKnight) and re-opened to the public earlier this year. Since then it has seen record-breaking visitor numbers, partly due to the appeal of the building and partly due to "the creativity and originality of its outreach programmes during closure."
In the latest episode of Monocle's Section D, Josh Fehnert talks to Ben van Berkel, co-founder and principal of Amsterdam-based UNStudio, about London's new Caneletto residential tower. The office, which was founded in 1988, has completed projects around the world ranging from Rotterdam’s Erasmus Bridge to the Mercedes-Benz Museumin Stuttgart. With over 81 built projects, and 54 currently in progress (including Raffles City in Hangzhou and Scotts Tower in Singapore), London’s Canaletto Tower (which is due to be completed in 2015) marks the practice’s first major project in the UK. The tower, located at the confluence of two London districts — Islington and Shoreditch — marks a significant moment for the Dutch practice's œuvre.
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)’s Future Trends Survey for May 2015 continues to show widespread consistency in comparison to March and April, with the workload index remaining "remaining virtually unchanged" at +37 from +36 last month. The private housing sector, which remained strong last month, fell slightly to +34 from +38 while the public sector moved into negative territory for the first time since July 2014. The RIBA claim that "respondents anticipate public sector spending on building projects to be flat at best over the coming quarter." However, the forecasts for the commercial sector rose to +21 from +15 last month, and the community sector forecast "made a recovery from its recent decline" rising to +4 from -3 in April.
Foster + Partners has won the competition to design Cardiff Interchange, the city’s central bus station. Part of the wider Central Square regeneration masterplan for the area, also by Foster + Partners, the interchange is being relocated closer to the Cardiff Central train station in an effort to allow greater integration of all transportation networks and accommodate future growth in passenger traffic.
Taking inspiration from Charles and Ray Eames’ House of Cards, London-based practice Populous have developed an installation for the inaugural World Architecture Festival (WAF) exhibition. Built from "hundreds of super-sized multiples of a single ‘W' form, the dramatic seven metre high installation forms the centrepiece" of an exhibition which seeks to showcase "the very best in world architecture." This year, 350 projects have been shortlisted from some the world’s best architects and designers.
The Architectural Review (AR) has crowned David Chipperfield's Fayland House winner of the 2015 AR House Awards, deeming it the world's best new house. Celebrating excellence and innovation in the design of a one-off house, the award highlights the Chipperfield-designed home for being a "radical new take on the English country house."
"To make a luxury home that isn’t pompous or a projection of the vanity of its inhabitants is a really difficult thing," said judge Adam Caruso of Caruso St John. "Fayland House places a very large house in a special landscape without disappearing. The domestic outdoor spaces, which have always been an issue in English country houses, are in courtyards, which is an innovation."
As reported in the Architects' Journal, Transport for London (TfL) – the authority in charge of the Garden Bridge programme, which was approved last year – have ordered a review into the procurement process leading up to Heatherwick's selection to design a new bridge spanning the Thames. Sir Peter Hendy, Commissioner for TfL, will "review of the overall process of procurement of the design contracts, the findings of which [will be published] in full." This statement follows the revelation that Heatherwick Studio’s estimated total price (which was wrongly redacted in response to a Freedom of Information request made by the AJ last February) "was far higher than its two fellow bidders in the 2013 invited concept design competition." Full information about the request is detailed here.
With this year's Serpentine Pavilion in London scheduled to open next week, the Serpentine Gallery has released construction images of SelgasCano's multi-colored plastic shelter. The images by NAARO show the double-skinned ETFE-coated structure taking shape, and give an impression of the spatial experience offered by the "secret corridors" which circumnavigate and provide access to the interior space.
When it was announced in 2012 that London's Robin Hood Gardens – Alison and Peter Smithson's world-famous Brutalist housing estate – was to be demolished, there was outrage among the architectural community. Since then, many have called for the profession to act in order to protect "one of Britain’s most important post-war housing projects," which led to a fresh bid to save the scheme in March of this year. Richard Rogers, Simon Smithson (a partner at RSHP and son of Alison and Peter Smithson), and academic Dirk van den Heuvel have now called upon members of the public to voice their concerns to the UK Ministry for Culture, Media and Sport, before the end of the week:
"Previous efforts in 2009 to have the building listed failed, but the case has now been re-opened and we understand that the new Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage will be reviewing the arguments at the end of this week [w/c 15th June 2015]."
The monograph is a popular platform for dissemination and debate in the art and design world, yet architectural monographs are often treated with suspicion – viewed more as a self-serving PR exercise. But do monographs actually have a more substantive role within the practice of architecture? This was the backdrop for a discussion entitled ‘Why a Monograph?’ held at Waterstones Piccadilly as part of this year’s London Festival of Architecture. The participants included Jay Merrick, architecture correspondent of The Independent; Simon Henley of Henley Halebrown Rorrison (HHbR); David Grandorge, architectural photographer and Senior Lecturer at London’s CASS; and Ros Diamond of Diamond Architects. The session was chaired by ArchDaily Editor James Taylor-Foster.
In an exclusive hour-long interview with British designer Thomas Heatherwick, Monocle's Andrew Tuck discusses building a business in the world of design and architecture, the process behind revamping the iconic red London bus, and the inspiration behind placing people – and plants – at the heart of the River Thames. Heatherwick leads London-based Heatherwick Studio, a multidisciplinary design practice who have recently completed a distillery in England and a learning hub in central Singapore, They are currently collaborating with BIG on the new Google Campus in San Francisco having been recently labelled as among the top ten most innovative architectural practices of 2015 by FastCompany.
Listen to the interview in full below:
For this edition of The Urbanist, Monocle 24's weekly "guide to making better cities," the team visited the annual congress of the Academy of Urbanism to discuss how happiness and wellbeing can be achieved on the urban level. In this show Andrew Tuck and his correspondents spoke to architects, planners, designers and urbanists in an attempt to ascertain what makes a 'social city' for 'social animals', and which metropolises from around the world offer lessons that we can learn from.