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Royal Academy Of Arts: The Latest Architecture and News

London Festival of Architecture Announces 2022 Program and Call for Entries

The London Festival of Architecture (LFA), the world’s largest annual architecture festival is returning for its 13th edition this summer, transforming the city's neighborhoods into a public display of installations, exhibitions, talks, and special events. Following two years of digitalized editions, this year's LFA falls under the theme of ‘act’, and will see a return of physical events alongside digital realms across the capital.

LFA 2021_Poliform Showroom Showcase. Image © Agnese SanvitoLFA 2019_Daedalum. Image © Luke O'DonovanLFA 2021_Home Away from Hive. Image © Luke O'DonovanLFA 2021_WIndflower. Image © Luke O'Donovan+ 19

Royal Academy Announces Shortlist of Emerging Architects for the Dorfman Award

The Royal Academy has revealed the shortlist for their annual prize recognizing young talent in architecture, the Dorfman Award. The award is given to those "...reimagining the future of architecture and whose work demonstrates a high degree of sensitivity to local and global context." The 2019 shortlist comprises four emerging architects practicing across the globe.

This year's shortlisted designers/practices are: Fernanda Canales (Mexico), Alice Casey and Cian Duggan of TAKA Architects (Ireland), Mariam Kamara of Atelier Masomi (Niger), and Boonserm Premthada of Bangkok Project Studio (Thailand.) The jury for this year's prize included chair Alan Stanton, Louisa Hutton, Phyllida Barlow, Kirsty Wark, Lesley Lokko, and Richard Burdett. The winner will be announced later this year.

Diller Scofidio + Renfro Awarded 2019 Royal Academy Architecture Prize

Diller Scofidio + Renfro has been announced the winner of the 2019 Royal Academy Architecture Prize, an award given annually by the British arts body to recognize firms or individuals who have been "instrumental in shaping the discussion, collection, or production of architecture in the broadest sense."

The Shed / Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Image Hufton + Crow. ImageThe Broad / Diller Scofidio + renfro© Beat Widmer, Courtesy of Diller Scofidio + Renfro. . ImageBlur / Diller Scofidio + RenfroIwan Baan. ImageThe Highline / James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro+ 10

Royal Academy of Arts Adds Permanent Architecture Gallery to Chipperfield Renovation Plans

London’s Royal Academy of Arts has announced plans for a new permanent architecture-specific gallery and the creation of two new international architecture awards as part of the RA’s mission to “garner a wider appreciation and understanding of architecture, bringing to the fore its vital relationship to culture and society.”

The new architecture space, along with a cafe, will be housed within the Dorfman Senate Rooms in Burlington Gardens, allowing the academy to show architectural exhibition year-round. The architecture rooms join wider renovation plans led by David Chipperfield Architects that will also include a new naturally-lit theater.

Cross-section of the Royal Academy’s site in 2018. Image © David Chipperfield Architects. Courtesy of Royal Academy of ArtsArchitecture Studio in 2018. Image © David Chipperfield Architects. Courtesy of Royal Academy of ArtsThe Dorfman Senate Rooms in 2018. Image © David Chipperfield Architects. Courtesy of Royal Academy of Arts© David Chipperfield Architects. Courtesy of Royal Academy of Arts+ 10

A Parametric Devotion: Patrik Schumacher Discusses "Architecture and Freedom" at the Royal Academy

For its fall season of architecture events, the Royal Academy’s working theme is “Architecture and Freedom: a changing connection,” in a program conceived and organized by Architecture Programme Curator, Owen Hopkins. One of these events was a recent lecture by Patrik Schumacher, Director of Zaha Hadid Architects, and ardent promoter of Parametricism. In his lecture, what starts out with a brief exercise in damage control over the barrage of criticism recently endured by the firm, emerges as an impassioned discussion of architectural politics, design philosophies, and social imperatives.

London’s Royal Academy of Arts Announces 4 Finalists for Urban Jigsaw Competition

The Royal Academy of Arts in London has announced the four shortlisted proposals in their Urban Jigsaw competition, which aims to generate ideas for the renewal of Brownfield sites in London. After appraisal of many high-quality entries, four finalists have been selected to move onto the next stage of the project. See the finalist proposals after the break.

London's Royal Academy Launches 'Urban Jigsaw' Ideas Competition

The Royal Academy of Arts in London have launched a new international ideas competition which aims "to refocus attention to the huge potential of the brownfield sites that still exist across London." 'Brownfield' sites, or those earmarked for potential building development that have had previous development on them, are plentiful in the UK capital. This competition seeks "speculative ideas [which] make the most of these missing pieces in London’s urban jigsaw."

Are We Building Too Many Museums?

In an article for the RA Magazine, Kieran Long (Senior Curator of Contemporary Architecture, Design and Digital at the V&A) and Stella Duffy (co-director of Fun Palaces, a national campaign for greater access for all to the arts), ask: are we're building too many museums? On the one hand, Duffy argues that "we should focus all of our efforts on opening up existing museums to a much wider public" while on the other, Long suggests that "new museums can bring positive change to the places in which they are built." Ultimately, Long argues that "museums have a sense of authenticity and institutional mission that is rare in public life" yet, for Duffy, this doesn't mean we need more; rather, "we need to utilise what we already have."

Chipperfield Unveils Plans To Reimagine London's Royal Academy of Arts

David Chipperfield Architects have revealed plans to connect the two Grade II*-listed London bases of London's Royal Academy of Arts - the 17th century Burlington House and the 19th century 6 Burlington Gardens - as part of a £50million ($80million) masterplan of "subtle interventions." According to the Architects' Journal, the two structures will be linked by a concrete bridge which will span fifteen metres across a service area and courtyard, and will see the creation of a number of new exhibition spaces, a lecture theatre, and a new space for the Royal Academy's world-renowned schools of art and architecture. A series of roof extensions and terraces will allow for new views over central London.

Courtesy of David Chipperfield ArchitectsCourtesy of David Chipperfield Architects© David Chipperfield Architects / Squint/OperaCourtesy of David Chipperfield Architects+ 12

Farshid Moussavi Elected as New Royal Academician

Farshid Moussavi has been elected into the Royal Academy of Arts, joining Eva Jiricna, Zaha Hadid, David Chipperfield, Nicholas Grimshaw, and 11 other architects as a Royal Academician in the program's architecture category. The Iranian-born architect best known for her work on the Yokohama International Cruise Terminal in Japan, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland, the flagship store for Victoria Beckham in London, and her installation at the 2012 Architecture Biennale in Venice.

"I’m particularly pleased to welcome Farshid because the Royal Academy architects currently comprise a more distinguished group than at any time in its long history," commented Christopher Le Brun, president of the Royal Academy.

Stirling Prize Winning Architects Build LEGO Cities for the London Festival of Architecture

As part of the 2014 London Festival of Architecture, teams of architects from the four of the most recent Stirling Prize winning British practices were challenged with creating the most imaginative piece of a city - out of LEGO. Each team began with a carefully laid out square on the floor of the largest gallery of the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, at which point they were given just one hour and 45 minutes to create an urban masterpiece out of blocks. Each group of architects worked alongside students from the Royal Academy’s attRAct programme, which offers A-level art students the chance to engage with art and architecture. An esteemed panel of judges ultimately selected the team from Zaha Hadid Architects as victorious, who "considered London on a huge scale and used curving buildings of different typologies which echoed the shape of the Thames."

Read more about the brief and the other participating entries after the break.

© Agnese SanvitoTeam from Zaha Hadid Architects and attRAct students with their winning entry. Image © Agnese SanvitoZaha Hadid Architects' Project Under Construction. Image © Agnese SanvitoThe creation by Witherford Watson Mann. Image © Agnese Sanvito+ 6

Zaha Hadid on Russian Artist Kazimir Malevich

In an article for London's Royal Academy of Arts Magazine entitled Plane Sailing, Zaha Hadid discusses the influence of Russian Suprematist painter Kazimir Malevich on her own design work. In Hadid's early work, such as The Peak Blue Slabs (1982/83), the visual connections to Malevich's strict, regular shapes and lines are evident.

Painting: Vitra Fire Station. Image © Zaha HadidRelief Model: Vitra Fire Station. Image Courtesy of Zaha Hadid ArchitectsPainting: Vitra Fire Station. Image © Zaha HadidVitra Fire Station, Germany. Image © Wojtek Gurak+ 6

Leading Architects Come Together for London's Summer Exhibition

The Royal Academy of Arts’ annual Summer Exhibition is the world's largest open submission exhibition providing "a unique platform for emerging and established artists to showcase their works to an international audience." From 12,000 total works of art, spanning a complete range of disciplines, 140 architectural works have been selected and hung by Royal Academician and Architect Eric Parry, after some early dialogue with former RIBA President Sir Richard MacCormac. Work featured this year includes a model by Thomas Heatherwick and prints by Louisa Hutton of Sauerbruch Hutton, alongside Norman Foster, Zaha Hadid, Nicholas Grimshaw, Richard Rogers and Eva Jiřičná.

Chris Wilkinson. Image © Chris WilkinsonContext / Eric Parry. Image Courtesy of Eric Parry ArchitectsCeramic & Nickel Kiosk / Eric Parry. Image Courtesy of Eric Parry ArchitectsBonhams / Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands. Image © Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands+ 14

Buy a Piece of the Royal Academy's Sensing Spaces Exhibition

London's Royal Academy of Arts (RA) is selling off parts of their blockbuster architectural exhibition, Sensing Spaces. The Great Architecture Fair will see the seven practices behind the enormous installations select objects and materials from the exhibition to be repurposed as beautiful, unique items available to buy. In addition to these, the RA are offering members of the public the chance to experience the spaces out-of-hours "to give you your own exclusive moment in the exhibition."

Ranging from a top step from Chilean architects Mauricio Pezo and Sofia von Ellrichshausen's gargantuan installation for £450, to a bag of pebbles (plus certificate) from Li Xiaodong's Zen Garden for £10, slices of one of the world's most accessible architecture exhibitions in recent years are up for grabs.

Li Xiaodong's Installation. Image © Benedict JohnsonEduardo Souto de Moura's Square Arch Installation (detail). Image © James Taylor-FosterPezo von Ellrichshausen's Monumental Installation. Image © James HarrisKengo Kuma's Installation. Image © James Taylor-Foster+ 7

Critical Round-Up: 'Sensing Spaces' Strikes a Chord With Critics

As the most ambitious architecture exhibition hosted by the Royal Academy of Arts in a generation, Sensing Spaces was inevitably going to be under a lot of scrutiny from architecture and art critics. According to the Academy's Chief Executive Charles Saumarez-Smith, the momentous exhibition "represents a shift away from postwar modern architecture where it was about problem solving, to thinking about architecture in terms of experience, material, light and space."

Fortunately the exhibition seems to have struck a chord with critics, who have almost universally praised the exhibition's premise and have, to varying extents, been highly complementary about the individual exhibits.

Read on after the break for a round-up of the critics' opinions

Opinion was more divided on Li Xiaodong's maze of hazel twigs - with Olcayto describing the "whiff of 'boutique hotel'", while Pilger describes it as "fabulously still, serious, and meditative". Image © Benedict JohnsonGrafton Architects' play with light was another highly popular exhibit, with Olcayto describing its "magnetic charm". Image © Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2014. Photography: James HarrisThe installation by Pezo von Ellrichshausen was one of the most popular, with critics praising how it alters perspectives of the room. Image © Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2014. Photography: James HarrisKengo Kuma's installation was described by Wainwright as "insipid", and by Moore as "too literal". Image © Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2014. Photography: James Harris+ 6

Siza, Souto de Moura, Kuma Reflect on Their 'Sensing Spaces' Exhibitions

As an accompaniment to their ongoing Sensing Spaces Exhibition in London, the Royal Academy of Arts has produced six wonderful films interviewing the architects involved in the exhibition, unearthing what motivates and inspires them as architects, and what the primary themes of their exhibition projects are.

The above video features both Álvaro Siza and Eduardo Souto de Moura, who both designed their Sensing Spaces exhibits with the other in mind. Siza explains his preoccupation with the joints between the natural and the man-made through his Leça Swimming Pool complex, and the way the rock formations informed his interventions. He also introduces his one-time protégé Souto de Moura's Braga stadium as expressing the same understanding of the natural and man-made.

See videos from the 5 other Sensing Spaces participants after the break

Installation (Blue Pavilion) by Pezo von Ellrichshausen. Image © Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2014. Photography: James HarrisInstallation by Diebedo Francis Kere. Image © Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2014. Photography: James HarrisInstallation by Kengo Kuma. Image © Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2014. Photography: James HarrisInstallation by Li Xiaodong. Image © Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2014. Photography: Benedict Johnson+ 5