The winners of the 2015 Civic Trust Awards have been announced. Recognizing design excellence in all aspects of the built environment since 1959, the Civic Trust Awards span three categories and are granted to designs around the world. From the King’s Cross Station renovation in London to the Via Verde in New York, this year’s recipients represent a mix of ultra-modern structures, prized cultural sites, and innovative landscapes. See all the 2015 recipients, here.
From the architect.
London-based Nick Leith-Smith Architecture + Design built a timber frame family home in just ten weeks, replacing an existing post-war bungalow in Berkshire. The environmentally friendly residence is 240-square-meters and sits on a designated flood zone, requiring the house to be placed upon a 1-meter-high brick plinth. The addition of such height creates a split level between the garage and entrance level, adding depth to an otherwise restrained material palette.
Learn more about the project and view select images after the break.
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.