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Grenfell Tower Fire: The Latest Architecture and News

RIBA Plan of Work for Fire Safety Announced In the Wake of Grenfell and Mackintosh Disasters

Following the Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017, which claimed 72 lives, the RIBA has launched a consultation for a new “Plan of Work for Fire Safety.”

Having consistently called for changes to building regulations in the wake of the tragedy, the organization has produced the document in response to Dame Judith Hackitt’s Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, and her call for “greater transparency, accountability, and collaboration” from the industry.

JAA Reimagines Grenfell as a Black Concrete Memorial Tower

London-based JAA studio has released a new proposal to transform Grenfell Tower into a black concrete memorial to victims of the fire. Encasing the burnt-out shell, a solemn sarcophagus of 224 concrete panels would wrap the facade to anchor the tragedy in collective memory. Titled Grenfell Tower: in Memoriam, the concept does not claim to be an answer but an alternative way of thing about the site and its new-found sanctity after disaster. As JAA states, "the city needs its scars."

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BBC Investigation Finds Grenfell Tower Insulation "Never Passed Fire Safety Test"

A BBC investigation has alleged that the insulation used in the refurbishment of London’s Grenfell Tower, which was tragically destroyed by fire in June 2017 with the loss of 72 people, never passed a fire safety test, and was unfit for use.

The BBC Panorama program, which aired on Monday night, concluded that the manufacturer Celotex “used extra fire retardant in the product that qualified for the safety certificate,” with the more flammable produce then sold for public use. According to the BBC, Celotex is yet to deny the program’s allegations.

Why We Shouldn't Build a Memorial for the Grenfell Fire—Not Yet At Least

This article was originally published by Common Edge as "Why the Best Response to the Grenfell Tower Fire Isn’t a Memorial."

Memorials play an integral role in marking significant people, moments, or events. In recent years, they have become glorifications of tragedy by attempting to express unimaginable horrors in poetic and beautiful ways. The issue with the many forms that memorials take is that they seek to placate the immediate reaction and hurt of an event, an understandable societal reaction, but one that often feels rote and hallow.

But what if memorials sought to preserve the memory of those affected by offering a solution that addressed how the tragedy occurred? The international response to tragedy has, by default, become to install a statue, build a wall, create a healing water feature, erect an aspirational sculptural object, or simply rename a park. None of these responses are inherently bad—they’re usually well-meaning and on occasion quite moving—but there is another approach available to us: changing the public perception of memorials by looking at them through the lens of solutions, encouraging people to think of them as a testament or proper response to tragedy, not just a plaque that over time goes unnoticed. While this approach might be difficult in some instances, the case of Grenfell Tower fire in London presents a rather obvious solution.

Forensic Architecture to Create a 3D Simulation of the Grenfell Tower Fire with Crowdsourced Video

Since the devastating Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017, the people of London have been searching for an answer to the exact cause of the fire that killed 71 people. Now Forensic Architecture—the Goldsmiths, University of London-based research group headed by Eyal Weizman—seeks to aid in the search for answers with their new Grenfell Media Archive. This online crowdsourcing database intended to collect people's first-person accounts in order to map them onto a 3D model of the tower and analyze exactly what happened to the tower.

Adjaye Associates Among Team of Designers To Create Strategy for Grenfell Estate

Adjaye Associates is among a team of high-profile architects tasked with generating ideas for the overhaul of Lancaster West Estate, an area of London containing the ruined Grenfell Tower, tragically destroyed by fire in 2017.

The team, comprising Adjaye Associates, Cullinan Studio, Levitt Bernstein, Maccreanor Lavington, Murray John Architects and Penoyre & Prasad, will work with the local community for the housing estate’s refurbishment to produce “resident-led” ideas for the area.

UK Announces Plans to Work with Survivors and Families to Create Memorial on Grenfell Tower Site

Nearly 8 months after the devastating fire at London’s Grenfell Tower resulted in the loss of 71 lives, the UK government has announced that they will be working together with the tower’s survivors, families and community to determine the future of the Grenfell Tower site.

A government document released with the announcement outlines the guiding principles for handling the future of the site and its memory. According to the document, the most likely results will be an on-site memorial and the renaming of the nearby Latimer Road station of the London Underground:

RIBA Releases Statement Addressing Grenfell Fire Tragedy

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has released an official statement on design for fire safety following the tragic Grenfell Tower fire on June 14. The causes and aftermath of the catastrophic fire, which ravaged 27 storeys of the council estate in the London borough of North Kensington are currently under investigation, with a team of 250+ working on operations including recovering and identifying victims (the death toll has risen to 80+) according to recent reports from the BBC and the Met Police. The aluminium-composite cladding Reynobond PE - identified as one of the main reasons for the fire’s spread up the building’s façade has sparked outrage over failed safety regulations and debate over the lack of responsibility behind the building’s (and many others) construction overall. Further fire safety tests revealed the cladding to be present in up to 60 similar council estates with more being urged to submit samples for testing.

For a quick summary, we’ve covered some key points from each of the 3 sections addressed RIBA's statement below: