London Mayor Boris Johnson has ruled in favour of the controversial Mount Pleasant scheme in North London at a public hearing held earlier today. The scheme was called in for a hearing at the request of the site’s owner Royal Mail who claimed that Islington and Camden councils (who are both responsible for parts of the huge site) were taking too long over the planning application, but has been criticized heavily by locals who feel that the scheme is not appropriate for the site, and by the councils who feel that the scheme’s 24% affordable housing is unacceptably low. However, Johnson drew criticism in June for apparently “compromising his neutrality” in advance of the hearing when he stated that the redeveloped Mount Pleasant “will be a wonderful place to live.”
Johnson approved the scheme after a heated hearing attended by over 100 members of the public and press, with many in attendance booing and heckling the mayor and representatives of the Royal Mail.
More on the hearing after the break
Developer Ivanhoé Cambridge has confirmed plans for a major, multi-phased office and transit development in the heart of Toronto’s financial core, just east of Union Station. Designed by London-based Wilkinson Eyre, following an international competition, the two-tower development will rise on both sides of the railway tracks and connect via an elevated public park. The South tower will include a major new GO Bus Terminal serving Union Station and will be topped with commercial retail.
More on the development, after the break.
London’s Science Museum has announced Wilkinson Eyre as the winner of its competition to design new medical galleries. Winning the project over a shortlist of six other architects – including Caruso St John, Amanda Levete Architects and Haworth Tompkins - Wilkinson Eyre’s £24 million galleries will occupy 3,000 square metres on the museum’s first floor, almost doubling the size of the museum’s existing galleries.
More on the Science Museum’s transformation after the break
Details have been leaked of a major new development on the Southern edge of downtown Toronto, just East of Union Station. The scheme, uncovered by UrbanToronto and its inquisitive users, involves the connection of sites on both sides of the railway tracks, and will include three towers and a pedestrian bridge featuring a park and retail space. It is understood that Wilkinson Eyre are the architects, after BD confirmed last week that they have recently won a major competition in Toronto.
Read on for more details of the project
The controversial Mount Pleasant development in London has sparked another row this week, as campaigners accused Mayor Boris Johnson of “compromising his neutrality” over the 681-home scheme which he has called in to review personally. Though he is supposed to remain neutral until the hearing, last week Johnson remarked in a speech that the development “will be a wonderful place to live.” However many have expressed concern over the design, including Thomas Heatherwick, who lives locally and called the scheme “empty, cynical and vacuous.” Read all the details at BD Online.
The Art Fund recently announced the six museums on the UK’s 2014 Museum of the Year shortlist, its annual award for the outstanding museum of the year. The award celebrates every aspect of what makes a museum successful, but this year the list was highlighted by crucial work by architects, including renovations of the Tate Britain and the Ditchling Museum of Art & Craft, as well as the newly-constructed Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth. The winner from the six museums will receive a £100,000 prize, and will be announced on July 9th.
Read on after the break for the complete shortlist
The RIBA Lubetkin Prize, awarded annually to the architects of the best new building outside the European Union, was won this year by Wilkinson Eyre and Grant Associates for Cooled Conservatories, Gardens by the Bay in Singapore. The prize, which was also awarded to Wilkinson Eyre in 2012 for the Guangzhou International Finance Centre, is now in its 13th year.
Upon announcing the news, RIBA President Stephen Hodder stated:
The RIBA has announced three projects—two located in Asia and one in the United States—for the shortlist of the RIBA’s Lubetkin Prize. Named for Berthold Lubetkin, a Georgian-born architect, the prize celebrates the work of RIBA members building outside of the UK. Zaha Hadid’s Galaxy Soho, Grimshaw’s Via Verde and Wilkinson Eyre’s Cooled Conservatories will face off for the honor; the winner of this year’s Lubetkin Prize will be announced (along with the winner of the prestigious Stirling Prize) on September 26th in London.
Angela Brady, RIBA President, said:
“The 2013 RIBA Lubetkin Prize shortlist features three exceptionally innovative projects that meet three very different urban challenges. From the blueprint for New York affordable housing and the creation of an impressive new shopping district in central Beijing to Singapore’s new sustainable gardens, these are all extremely clever solutions. These cutting-edge schemes show the leading role that architects play in delivering visionary new thinking about urban issues, and illustrate why UK creative talent has such recognition around the world.”
More on the shortlisted projects after the break…
Wilkinson Eyre Architects has won an international competition to design “Sydney’s next masterpiece.” Selected over three other shortlisted firms – Renzo Piano, Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill, and KPF – the London-based practice will now be responsible for the design of a $1.5 billion sculptural icon to host a six-star Crown Sydney resort on a 6000-square-meter site in the inner-city waterfront precinct of Barangaroo.
During the 2012 World Architecture Festival, we had the opportunity to interview Chris Wilkinson and Jim Eyre, the directors of the UK firm Wilkinson Eyre Architects who received the World Building of the Year Award for their Cooled Conservatories at Gardens by the Bay.
Chris Wilkinson founded the firm in 1983, partnering with Jim Eyre in 1987. Since then, the practice has displayed their innovation through the informed use of technology and materials, applied to projects in areas as diverse as transportation, the arts, infrastructure, masterplanning, as well as commercial, industrial, retail, leisure, educational, cultural and residential buildings. The firm has also developed a tremendous expertise in bridge design, with more than 30 projects of this type.
A good example of their applied innovation is the Cooled Conservatories, where climate control for 20,000 sqm in a complex environment posed a tremendous challenge. The sustainable cooling strategy lead to the reduction of, with air conditioning, would have been an otherwise big carbon foot print.
For the 2012 Olympic Games, the firm designed the Basketball Arena, one of the biggest temporary venues erected for any Olympics, an iconic building that was the result of a tight budget and the requirement to recycle two thirds of the structure after the games.
More projects by Wilkinson Eyre Architects at ArchDaily:
Now in it’s sixth year, the Royal Institute of British Architects’ (RIBA) 2012 Lubetkin Prize has been awarded to Wilkinson Eyre Architects for their Guangzhou International Finance Centre in China. This annual award is presented to the “best new building outside the European Union”.
RIBA President and judge, Angela Brady commented: “With exceptional vision and skill, Wilkinson Eyre Architects have given their clients and the city of Guangzhou an outstanding new 103 storey landmark. The tower’s diamond shaped structure, exposed throughout the offices, atrium and hotel, looks simple but is the hugely complex key to the success of this building. It not only allows the dramatic tapering atrium and raked floors but brings environmental benefits by using 20% less steel than similar buildings. Guangzhou International Finance Centre is a worthy winner of this important prize.”
As the world turns its eyes to London in 2012, Design Stories examines the architecture and engineering behind the 2012 sporting venues. It provides a unique Olympic experience – a place where people can explore and view drawings, images, videos and amazingly detailed models of London’s key new sporting venues.