Kensington: The Latest Architecture and News
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:
Indications Suggest That Hundreds of Residential Towers in England Are Clad in Potentially Combustible "Reynobond PE"
"As a precaution," the British Prime Minister Theresa May told the House of Commons today, "the [UK] Government has arranged to test cladding in all relevant tower blocks." This initial investigation ordered by the British Government following the devastating fire and loss of life at Grenfell House in London on June 14, have returned initial results which show that "three samples," according to the BBC, "are 'combustible'." Further results are expected to be made public over the course of the next 48 hours. The Prime Minister also declared that:
No stone will be left unturned. For any guilty parties there will be nowhere to hide.
As Central London Residential Tower is Subject to Devastating Fire and Loss of Life, Questions Raised About Recent Refurbishment
A 24-storey residential tower—Grenfell House—in North Kensington, London, has been subject to a devastating fire and extensive subsequent loss of life. 200 firefighters in 45 fire engines attended the scene following reports of fire at around 0100 local time. The building, originally constructed in 1974, underwent a restoration by Studio E [at this time their website is not responding] "less than two years ago," reports the Architects' Journal.
Woods Bagot Designs Butterfly-Inspired Biological Sciences Building at the University of New South Wales
Woods Bagot has revealed designs for the new Biological Sciences building at the University of New South Wales (UNSW Australia). Currently under construction, the 21,000 square meter (226,000 square foot) building will provide world-class facilities for UNSW biomedical and environmental researchers and create a new northern gateway for the university’s upper campus.
In the design process, Woods Bagot explored a series of iterative responses aimed at dividing the eight-story structure into three distinct elements: the laboratory box, the workplace box, and the atrium. The building skin takes inspiration from natural elements, such as the movements of a butterfly and the colors of Australian rock landscapes, to produce a distinct aesthetic for the Biomedical Precinct, as well as reference the terra cotta heritage on the university grounds.
London's Victoria & Albert Museum have announced that David Bickle, formerly a partner at Hawkins\Brown, has been appointed as the new Director of Design, Exhibitions and FuturePlan. In this role Bickle will be responsible for the care and future development of the V&A’s buildings, as well as the presentation of all of the museum’s permanent collections and exhibitions. With the construction of Amanda Levete Architects' new addition on Exhibition Road underway - coupled with the V&A's plans for new exhibition spaces in Dundee, Scotland, and in East Stratford on the former site of the 2012 London Olympic Games - the museum is also in the process of helping to establishing a collection in Shenzhen.
Settled neatly in the quiet hum of London's Kensington Gardens rests Smiljan Radić's 2014 Serpentine Pavilion, an ethereal mass of carefully moulded fiberglass punctuated by precisely cut openings. Radić desired a structure that appears thin and brittle, yet was strong enough to support itself, and his affection for the rudimental layered qualities of papier-mâché - his maquette medium of choice - inspired the use of fiberglass by AECOM, who engineered Radić's wild ideas. In this article, originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "Paper-Thin Walls," an AECOM engineer explains their solution. Read on after the break to find out more.