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Britain: The Latest Architecture and News

Why the EU Membership is Worth it According to Rem Koolhaas and Stephan Petermann

06:10 - 25 May, 2019

The EU costs you the same as Netflix - is it worth it? Rem Koolhaas thinks so.

The Technology Before the Wheel: A Brief History of Dry Stone Construction

09:30 - 25 August, 2018
The Technology Before the Wheel: A Brief History of Dry Stone Construction, © Fabricio Guzmán
© Fabricio Guzmán

A collection of stones piled one on top of the other, dry stone is an iconic building method found just nearly everywhere in the world. Relying solely on an age-old craft to create sturdy, reliable structures and characterised by its rustic, interlocking shapes, the technique has deep roots that stretch back even before the invention of the wheel. Its principles are simple: stack the stones to create a unified, load-bearing wall. But the efficient, long-lasting results, coupled with the technique’s cultural significance, have lead to continued use and updated interpretations all the way to contemporary architecture today.

© <a href='https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Broch_of_Mousa_-_geograph.org.uk_-_2800.jpg'>Anne Burgess</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a> © Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan © Laurian Ghinitoiu + 11

"Island": The British Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Biennale

04:00 - 13 June, 2018
"Island": The British Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Biennale, © Hélène Binet
© Hélène Binet

As part of our 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale coverage, we present the completed British Pavilion, which received an honorable mention in the Biennale awards. To read the initial proposal, refer to our previously published post, "Caruso St. John to Transform the British Pavilion Into a Politically Charged Meeting Space at 2018 Venice Biennale

A joint venture from Caruso St John Architects and artist Marcus Taylor, "Island" creates an elevated public space, offering views of Venice and a unique place for both meeting and reflecting.

© Italo Rondinella © Hélène Binet © Hélène Binet © Cultureshock Media + 27

Test Your Knowledge of British Architecture With the UK's Citizenship Test Questions

06:00 - 4 January, 2018
Test Your Knowledge of British Architecture With the UK's Citizenship Test Questions, Courtesy of BDP
Courtesy of BDP

For those who want to become a citizen of the UK, they must fulfill all the citizenship process requirements which include passing the seemingly difficult Life in the UK Test. Many of the British population themselves would struggle with some of the questions posed despite living in the UK from birth as they demand historical, geographical and literary knowledge.

The test contains 24 multiple choice questions that can cover anything from the British political system all the way to Glastonbury and a roast beef dinner. As architecture and art take up a large part of British culture, knowledge of such topics is considered necessary for anyone who wants to become a UK citizen. Have a go yourself, and see how well you know British architecture:

2017 Stirling Prize Shortlist Leaves Critics Divided and Underwhelmed

07:00 - 28 July, 2017
2017 Stirling Prize Shortlist Leaves Critics Divided and Underwhelmed

The 2017 winner of the UK’s most prestigious architecture award, the Stirling Prize, will be announced on October 31. Leading up to the main event, The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has released its list of the six shortlisted buildings, a collection that has left many critics scratching their heads. What the list left out seems to be as noteworthy as what was included, and while critics’ opinions on individual buildings differ, they seem mostly united in finding the overall list uninspiring and underwhelming. Read on to find out what they had to say.

Richard Rogers' Pre-Fab Y-Cube Takes on UK Housing Crisis

00:00 - 27 February, 2014
Richard Rogers' Pre-Fab Y-Cube Takes on UK Housing Crisis , The Y-Cube Deployed. Image Courtesy of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
The Y-Cube Deployed. Image Courtesy of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

The Y-Cube, a £30,000 factory-built 26 square meter flat which can be easily transported and craned into place, has been prototyped and successfully tested in the UK. The YMCA asked Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners to create the Y-Cube, an affordable alternative for residents moving on from the non-profit’s hostels. And now, the YMCA wants more of these one-bedroom dwellings.

“The beauty is that the units can be moved off site as quickly as they are installed,” says Andy Redfearn of the YMCA, “as we operate on short-term leases – we expect people to stay [in the Y-Cube] for between three to five years, giving them time to skill up and save for a deposit.”

York Minster Abbey Goes Green - Literally

11:45 - 12 June, 2012
The Nave of York Minster Abbey covered in 1500 square meters of grass to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee. © STANDALONE PHOTO
The Nave of York Minster Abbey covered in 1500 square meters of grass to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee. © STANDALONE PHOTO

While many buildings try to go Green these days, few attempt to do so literally.

Last week, York Minster Abbey, one of the largest Gothic Cathedrals in Europe, was decked out with 1,500 square meters of – what else - grass.

The occasion for the makeover, the York Minster Rose Dinner to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee (which we marked with a post on Britain’s Built Legacy), hosted about 900 people to raise funds for the York Minster Fund. And with £150-a-head tickets, sold months in advance, perhaps we’ll start seeing other Gothic Cathedrals turn green too (and not just with envy).

Story via The Huffington Post UK. More photos after the break…

Britain's Built Legacy: From "Carbuncles" to the Cutting-Edge

12:53 - 6 June, 2012
Photo of Queen Elizabeth II's Jubilee Celebrations. Photo © LEON NEAL/AFP/GettyImages
Photo of Queen Elizabeth II's Jubilee Celebrations. Photo © LEON NEAL/AFP/GettyImages

‘What is proposed is like a monstrous carbuncle on the face of a much loved and elegant friend.”

It’s easy to see why British Architects get their hackles raised when it comes to Prince Charles. The oft-quoted gem above, said in reference to a proposed extension to the National Gallery in 1984, is one of hundreds of such Architectural criticisms Prince Charles has made over the years. Which wouldn’t matter of course, if, like any average Architectural layman’s opinions, his words didn’t have much weight.

His do. They’ve resulted in the intervention, squelching, and/or redesign of at least 5 major plans over the last twenty years. But let’s not write off Charles just yet.

With the Queen’s Jubilee ceremoniously having finished yesterday, the conversation analyzing her legacy has begun. And while London’s towering, cutting-edge high rises (a la Norman Foster, Richard Rogers, and Zaha Hadid), will be the shining examples of Elizabeth’s reign – I’d like to suggest something, and raise a few hackles, myself…

Curious for more? Keep reading about Prince Charles’ unlikely influence on Architecture, after the break…