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.
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.
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.
The recent unveiling of the 74 entries to the Nine Elms to Pimlico Bridge competition was undoubtedly intended to cause a media circus, hoping to emulate the furore that surrounded the much larger Helsinki Guggenheim competition when they released all 1,715 of their entries to the web in October of last year. The competition, which asked designers to propose “one of the most expressive and visible landmarks in London,” is the latest in a series of dramatic changes taking place on this stretch of the South Bank of the Thames. This new community, one of London’s most prestigious new neighbourhoods, includes Keiran Timberlake’s new US Embassy and a slew of residential developments, culminating in the highly-touted renovation of Battersea Power Station, complete with accompanying buildings by Foster + Partners and Frank Gehry, and a public space by BIG.
Initial reactions to the competition entries has been mixed at best. The Guardian’s architecture critic Oliver Wainwright took the opportunity to poke light-hearted fun at a selection of designs, using his considerable powers of wordplay to dub entries with titles such as The Greenhouse Funhouse, The Spaffy Tangle, Razorwire Party Bridge, and The Flaming Mouth of Hades. Similarly, City Metric ran the news with an article titled “The 12 Most Ridiculous Designs for the New Battersea Bridge”, sparking a debate on Reddit in which users branded the projects “varying degrees of insane” and “ridiculous doodles.” But beyond all this jovial name-calling, these designs are symptomatic of an unhealthy approach to wealth that London seems unable (or perhaps unwilling) to address.
This latest design by Architects for Invention, a development bid proposal for the Spelthorne Borough Council, presents a residential development in the United Kingdom with community at its heart. Situated along the Thames river, the structure unfolds itself toward the city, providing its tenants, and the public alike, with extraordinary views of the river.
In keeping with best practices, this update to the existing town aims to place the community at its center, inviting visitors to enjoy the space along with the residents. To accomplish this, the building employs an open scheme, physically encompassing the community to draw it in through easy points of access. Additionally, the building is meant to create a positive contribution to the local character of its setting while simultaneously acting as a central hub for the community through its placement.
Nearly eight months ago, a team of four design students won a competition to design an artist’s residence in the south-western countryside of the UK. Now, Charlotte Knight, Mina Gospavic, Ross Galtress, and Lauren Shevills (in collaboration with artist Edward Crumpton) have seen their design, “The Observatories,” realized. Conceived as two rotating structures that house a studio and living quarters, The Observatories will be moved to four different sites over the course of two years. During this time, they’ll take in twelve artists, each for two-month residencies.
Last night, international design firm Gensler received the London Planning Award for Best Conceptual Project for its latest vision: London Underline. The proposal explores the potential of an underground bicycle and pedestrian park beneath the streets of London. Not only does this public interest design utilize existing abandoned space, but also generates the electricity to support itself simply by being used.
UK universities are failing to properly equip graduates with the necessary skills required for practicing architecture, according to RIBA’s 2014 Skills Survey. Of the 149 employers and 580 architectural students or recent graduates who responded to the wide-spread survey, a large majority criticized architectural education for prioritizing “theoretical knowledge ahead of practical ability” and agreed that most graduates are ill-prepared for work after studying at the university.
“I can think of no other profession where new graduates must wait a decade or more to be given significant responsibility because they have not acquired basic skills in university,” says Yarema Ronish, RIBA client adviser and director at Richard Morton Architects.
Now in its fourth year, the Architects’ Journal’s Women in Architecture survey is firmly embedded into the discussion of gender roles within the architecture profession. Collected from an anonymous cross-section of practitioners, clients, consultants, engineers, developers, PRs, and academics, the 2015 survey focused on the UK alone, and saw the number of participants soar to an unprecedented high of 1,104 respondents, 20% of whom were male.
Results from previous years’ surveys have sparked discussion amidst the architectural and mainstream media alike, and have been cited by RIBA and the UK government. The survey covers four main topics – pay, practice, education, and children — commencing with broader questions about discrimination before narrowing its aperture to more specific issues. View the results of the 2015 survey after the break.
In celebration of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners’ relocation to their newly constructed Leadenhall Building, the London-based practiced has released a short film that captures the “making of” the 52-story, 225-meter skyscraper. RSHP, now occupying the building’s 14th floor, is said to be proud to be Leadenhall’s latest tenants:
“After 30 years at Thames Wharf Studios, it is important for us to be moving into a building that reflects the ethos and evolution of our design practice, clearly stated in its urban relationship with the Lloyd’s building opposite,” says the partners of RSHP. “We will begin this new phase of our history in a building that already feels like home but allows us the advantages of a contemporary, flexible office space in a prime location in the increasingly vibrant and exciting City of London.”