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Rising Practice Feilden Fowles Beats Out Stirling Prize Winners in University of Cambridge Competition

12:00 - 21 March, 2017
Rising Practice Feilden Fowles Beats Out Stirling Prize Winners in University of Cambridge Competition, © Feilden Fowles
© Feilden Fowles

Homerton College, Cambridge and competition-organizers Malcolm Reading Consultants have announced that emerging practice Feilden Fowles has been selected as the winners of the competition to design a new £7 million showpiece dining hall for Homerton College, the newest constituent college of the University of Cambridge. Unanimously selected by the competition jury, Feilden Fowles’ scheme was chosen over a shortlist of entries from 2016 Stirling Prize winner Caruso St JohndRMMHall McKnight and Walters & Cohen Architects.

“Feilden Fowles’ concept design for the dining hall subtly relates to the existing ensemble of buildings and the garden setting, and yet has the poise to convince as a showpiece,”  said Professor Geoffrey Ward, Principal of Homerton College, Cambridge.

 “What appealed so strongly about the team’s particular approach was their openness to creating many opportunities for dialogue. We are looking forward to working with them as they develop the detailed design.”

© Feilden Fowles © Feilden Fowles © Feilden Fowles © Feilden Fowles +5

New Book Calls for an End to Our Fetish for Conditioned Skyscrapers

06:00 - 16 March, 2017
New Book Calls for an End to Our Fetish for Conditioned Skyscrapers, Cambridge research seeks to end the architectural fetish of glass and steel skyscrapers © Flickr user tomhilton. Licensed under CC BY 2.0
Cambridge research seeks to end the architectural fetish of glass and steel skyscrapers © Flickr user tomhilton. Licensed under CC BY 2.0

Professor Alan Short of the University of Cambridge has published a book advocating for the revival of 19th-century architectural ideas to address the crippling energy use of modern skyscrapers. The Recovery of Natural Environments in Architecture proposes an end to the architectural fetish for glass, steel, and air conditioning, instead drawing inspiration from forgotten techniques in naturally ventilated buildings of the 1800s. The book is a culmination of 30 years’ research and design by Prof. Short and his colleagues at the University of Cambridge.

Cambridge research seeks to end the architectural fetish of glass and steel skyscrapers © Flickr user tomhilton. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 Professor Short argues that skyscraper design must depart from its current reliance on glass and steel, and begin to harness natural ventilation. Boeri Studio's Bosco Verticale. Image Courtesy of Paolo Rosselli Professor Alan Short calls for an overhaul of artificial ventilation in skyscrapers. Image Courtesy of University of Cambridge Energy demands from a recent skyscraper boom in China has led to energy controls on millions of inhabitants © Flickr user obscurepixels. Licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0 +5

Newly Discovered Molecular ‘Glue’ May hold the Key to Strong Wooden Skyscrapers

06:00 - 12 January, 2017
Newly Discovered Molecular ‘Glue’ May hold the Key to Strong Wooden Skyscrapers, HAUT, a proposed 240-foot timber-framed tower to be built in Amsterdam. Image Courtesy of Team V Architectuur
HAUT, a proposed 240-foot timber-framed tower to be built in Amsterdam. Image Courtesy of Team V Architectuur

The key to engineering wood strong enough to support skyscrapers may lie in the interaction between molecules 10,000 times narrower than the width of a human hair.

A new study by researchers at the Universities of Warwick and Cambridge has solved a long-held mystery of how key polymers in plant cells bind to form strong, indigestible materials such as wood and straw. By recreating this ‘glue’ in a lab, engineers may be able to produce new wood-based materials that surpass current strength capabilities.

Caruso St John, dRMM Among 5 Shortlisted for University of Cambridge Competition

16:00 - 11 October, 2016
Caruso St John, dRMM Among 5 Shortlisted for University of Cambridge Competition, Courtesy of Malcolm Reading Consultants
Courtesy of Malcolm Reading Consultants

Homerton College, a constituent college of the University of Cambridge, announced today the five firms shortlisted in the competition to design a emblematic £7 million ($8.5 million USD) centrepiece building to house a 300-person dining hall for the school. The finalists were selected from an original pool of 155 architects, from which 24 were selected for the longlist.

The competition, organized by Malcolm Reading Consultants, is a part of the College’s wider plan to improve and expand school facilities. Homerton boasts one of the largest student communities at Cambridge, and is one of a few of the University’s colleges capable of housing all undergraduate students in on-site facilities for all four years. To be located on an attractive wooded site, the commission has the potential to determine the character of the school for years to come.

The 5 finalists are:

The Top 100 Universities in the World for Architecture 2016

09:45 - 22 March, 2016
The Top 100 Universities in the World for Architecture 2016, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Image © Wikimedia user Fcb981 licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Image © Wikimedia user Fcb981 licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

QS has released its 2016 rankings of the top 100 schools for architecture in the world. The company has produced an annual survey of universities since 2011, now comparing including over 800 universities worldwide across 42 subjects, and rating the top universities based on academic reputation, employer reputation and research impact. As they did last year, MIT came out top of the list in architecture. Read on for the full rankings list for architecture, and be sure to visit QS's site for the full rankings list which is sortable by subject, country or continent.

The Life Of Dalibor Vesely: Teacher, Philosopher, Acclaimed Academic

04:00 - 3 April, 2015
The Life Of Dalibor Vesely: Teacher, Philosopher, Acclaimed Academic, Dalibor Vesely (1934-2015) at the AA, London, in 2013. Image © Valerie Bennett
Dalibor Vesely (1934-2015) at the AA, London, in 2013. Image © Valerie Bennett

Dalibor Vesely, a celebrated architectural historian, philosopher and teacher, died this week in London aged 79. Over the course of his teaching career, which spanned five decades, he tutored a number of the world’s leading architects and thinkers from Daniel Libeskind, Alberto Pérez-Gómez and Robin Evans, to Mohsen Mostafavi and David Leatherbarrow.

Vesely was born in Prague in 1934, five years before the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia. Following World War II, he studied engineering, architecture, art history and philosophy in Prague, Munich, Paris and Heidelberg. He was awarded his doctorate from Charles University (Prague) having been taught and supervised by Josef Havlicek, Karel Honzik, and Jaroslav Fragner. Although later he would be tutored by James Stirling, it was the philosopher of phenomenology Jan Patočka who, in his own words, “contributed more than anyone else to [his] overall intellectual orientation and to the articulation of some of the critical topics” explored in his seminal book, Architecture in the Age of Divided Representation, published in 2004.

North West Cambridge Extension Proposals Enter Planning Phase

00:00 - 27 March, 2014
North West Cambridge Extension Proposals Enter Planning Phase, Masterplan. Image Courtesy of North West Cambridge
Masterplan. Image Courtesy of North West Cambridge

Earlier this year the University of Cambridge announced an ambitious new urban extension in the north west of the city in order to create a framework for a new district centered on a mixed academic and urban community. The development, planned by Aecom, has aspirations of achieving urban space that is well balanced, permanent and sustainable. Containing 1,500 homes for its key workers, accommodation for 2,000 postgraduate students, 1,500 homes for sale, 100,000 square metres of research facilities and a local centre with a primary school, community centre, health centre, supermarket, hotel and shops, proposals from Mecanoo and MUMA are now entering the planning phase. Future lots are expected to be filled by the likes of Stanton WilliamsAlison Brooks Architects and by Cottrell and Vermeulen working with Sarah Wigglesworth and AOC.

Cambridge University Library Landscape Design Competition

01:00 - 31 July, 2013
Cambridge University Library Landscape Design Competition, Cambridge University Library. Photo: Faoch via Flickr. Used under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>Creative Commons</a>
Cambridge University Library. Photo: Faoch via Flickr. Used under Creative Commons

The University of Cambridge Library, with the Department of Architecture, recently launched a landscape design competition to transform the space surrounding Cambridge University Library. Open to professionals and non-professionals alike, they are looking for bold submissions that reimagine the open spaces and environment of the iconic Giles Gilbert Scott building. A monumental presence both within the University and the city, entries to the competition will be judged on their innovative interpretation of the site, its context, use and history – as well as their ability to integrate contemporary ecological research. Entries should also promote new visibility for the Library and encourage people to think about the role of the site on the western edge of the city. The registration deadline is September 30, and the deadline for submissions is November 30. For more information, please visit here.

ArcSoc Talks Spring 2010

12:30 - 13 January, 2010

They organize the Life Drawing Classes as well as the ArcSoc lectures, which invite practising architects to show off their latest work.