Architecture from United Kingdom

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Shaping the Future of Islamic Architecture: Diriyah Biennale Foundation Unveils AlMusalla Prize

The Diriyah Biennale Foundation has just unveiled the competition details for the AlMusalla Prize, along with the shortlisted architecture studios and the jury. An addition to the Islamic Arts Biennale, this international architecture competition focuses on designing a musalla, a flexible space for prayer and reflection accessible to people of all faiths. Situated in the Western Hajj Terminal of King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the musalla will be an integral part of the Biennale’s upcoming edition. The winner of the competition will be announced later this year, and the opening of the musalla will be held on January 25th, 2025.

World Autism Day: 5 Projects Crafted for Differently-Abled Bodies

In the realm of architecture, inclusivity and accessibility have emerged as pivotal pillars in design philosophy. In honor of World Autism Day, this curated collection recognizes the evolution of architecture’s response to differently-abled bodies. The history of disability in architecture is deeply intertwined with advocacy and activism. In fact, a group of pioneering students named “The Rolling Quads” spearheaded a movement for disability rights in 1972 in California. This grassroots activism has not only reshaped the physical world but also catalyzed broader conversations about social justice in architectural design.

Revitalizing London's Urban Fabric: AHMM Transforms Office Space into Vibrant Co-Living Community

Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM)’s architectural studio has revealed the plans to convert a 1950s London office building into a co-living residential scheme. Initiated by developer HUB and Bridges Fund Management, “Cornerstone” is nestled on the fringes of the iconic Barbican estate, hoping to seamlessly transform the original office building to integrate 174 co-living residences.

Reimagining London's Iconic BT Tower: Heatherwick Studios' Vision for a Hotel Transformation

On February 21st, 2024, American Hotelier MCR Hotels acquired the renowned BT Tower in London. The tower, a Grade II listed marvel, is nestled within London’s Fitzrovia, standing as a testament to the city’s heritage. Initially used as the British Telecommunications Tower and was known as the Post Office Tower, the BT Tower will be repurposed by Heatherwick Studio, with plans underway to breathe new life into this iconic structure.

Democratizing Architecture Practices: Restructuring Firms

Discontent among employees in architecture firms is at an all-time high, demonstrated in the push for architectural unionization in the US in response to the lack of overall well-being in the profession. This discontent can be largely attributed to the inherently exploitative nature of the regular top-down architectural firm structures, fostering a disconnect between the direction firms take and the people working to make it possible. In these, leadership often takes on projects beyond the firm's financial capacity, with the expectation of underpaid staff taking on the brunt of the work through unpaid overtime. In these structures, employees are not to be a voice guiding the firm but to be profited off of. So, what are ways to address this disconnect? Is it time to restructure firms to give architects more agency? What are ways to create non-hierarchical firm structures?

Unlocking Urban Potential: Street Vending Integration Strategies in Informal Settings

Usually defined by their open-air settings, diverse offerings, local and independent sellers, temporary nature, and acting as social hubs, street markets have been around for thousands of years. From the days of the Roman Forum to the Silk Road and the markets of ancient Greece, they are undoubtedly essential parts of urban life, or “the center of all that is unofficial.” Mostly categorized under the informal economy due to lack of regulations and authorization, street markets in the global south have often been seen as a threat to urban development. However, these erratic and adaptive urban spaces serve core functions in any developing city, acting as pillars of community in many different facets of society.

Serpentine Announces Korean Office Mass Studies as the Designer of the 23rd Pavilion

Seoul-based Korean architect Minsuk Cho and his firm Mass Studies have been selected to design the 23rd Serpentine Pavilion, to open on June 5, 2024, in London’s Kensington Gardens. Titled “Archipelagic Void,” this iteration of the iconic commission will consist of five ‘islands’ displayed around an open space, breaking down the structure into a series of smaller elements intertwined with the park’s natural ecology. The pavilion will be open to the public from June 7, until October 27, 2024, with a press preview two days before the opening.

MSG Developer Officially Withdraws Plans for Sphere in London

Madison Square Garden Entertainment (MSG), the developer behind the recently opened The Sphere at the Venetian Resort in Las Vegas, has announced that plans for a similar project in London have been withdrawn for lack of support from London’s planning officials, as reported by The Guardian. The plans were initially announced in 2018, with planning permission filed in March 2019. The 300ft-tall structure, having a capacity of 21,000 seats, was to be located in Stratford, east London. In November 2023, following a combination of unfavorable comments in planning officer reports and opposition from residents, London’s mayor Sadiq Khan withdrew his initial support.

World Habitat Awards 2024 Recognize Housing Initiatives that Empower Communities

International non-profit organization World Habitat, in partnership with UN-Habitat, has announced the World Habitat Awards 2024. The prizes strive to highlight projects that demonstrate novel and transformative approaches to housing that incorporate principles of climate change adaptation and community-driven solutions. This year, 8 projects have been selected, out of which 2 projects were recognized with the Gold World Habitat Award.

Rescuing Architecture: Stories of Buildings Saved from Demolition

Regarding urban development, the choice between demolition and adaptive reuse holds far-reaching implications. From debates around the cultural and historical significance of structure to the environmental impact of the process of razing and rebuilding, compared to the cost of preserving and adapting, the matter of demolitions has ignited the architectural community to come together and ask for more responsible assessment strategies in hopes of rediscovering the value of existing structures. This article gathers some of the stories of buildings facing the threat of demolition and the processes that led to their rescue.