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Royal Academy Of Arts: The Latest Architecture and News

Royal Academy Announces Shortlist of Emerging Architects for the Dorfman Award

10:00 - 9 February, 2019

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

14:15 - 8 February, 2019
Diller Scofidio + Renfro Awarded 2019 Royal Academy Architecture Prize, Liz Diller and Ricardo Scofidio; image via the Architects' Journal
Liz Diller and Ricardo Scofidio; image via the Architects' Journal

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 + Renfro Iwan Baan. ImageThe Highline / James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro + 10

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

14:00 - 7 July, 2017
Royal Academy of Arts Adds Permanent Architecture Gallery to Chipperfield Renovation Plans, The Royal Academy’s north-facing entrance, Burlington Gardens. Image © Hayes Davidson. Courtesy of Royal Academy of Arts
The Royal Academy’s north-facing entrance, Burlington Gardens. Image © Hayes Davidson. Courtesy of Royal Academy of Arts

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 Arts Architecture Studio in 2018. Image © David Chipperfield Architects. Courtesy of Royal Academy of Arts The 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

16:00 - 7 November, 2015

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

07:00 - 25 October, 2015
London’s Royal Academy of Arts Announces 4 Finalists for Urban Jigsaw Competition, WELL-line by Chetwoods. Image Courtesy of London Royal Academy of Arts
WELL-line by Chetwoods. Image Courtesy of London Royal Academy of Arts

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

04:15 - 14 July, 2015
London's Royal Academy Launches 'Urban Jigsaw' Ideas Competition, © James Bailey
© James Bailey

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?

04:00 - 26 May, 2015
Are We Building Too Many Museums?, © Michael Kirkham
© Michael Kirkham

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

05:00 - 14 May, 2015
Chipperfield Unveils Plans To Reimagine London's Royal Academy of Arts, Courtesy of David Chipperfield Architects
Courtesy of David Chipperfield Architects

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 Architects Courtesy of David Chipperfield Architects © David Chipperfield Architects / Squint/Opera Courtesy of David Chipperfield Architects + 12

Farshid Moussavi Elected as New Royal Academician

12:30 - 13 April, 2015
Farshid Moussavi Elected as New Royal Academician , FMA's winning proposal for the Jardins de la Lironde Competition. Image © Farshid Moussavi Architecture
FMA's winning proposal for the Jardins de la Lironde Competition. Image © Farshid Moussavi Architecture

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

00:00 - 28 July, 2014
Stirling Prize Winning Architects Build LEGO Cities for the London Festival of Architecture, Organised as part of the London Festival of Architecture. Image © Agnese Sanvito
Organised as part of the London Festival of Architecture. Image © Agnese Sanvito

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

Zaha Hadid on Russian Artist Kazimir Malevich

00:00 - 24 July, 2014
Zaha Hadid on Russian Artist Kazimir Malevich, Zaha Hadid RA, The Peak Blue Slabs, 1982-83. Image © Zaha Hadid / Royal Academy of Arts
Zaha Hadid RA, The Peak Blue Slabs, 1982-83. Image © Zaha Hadid / Royal Academy of Arts

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 Hadid Relief Model: Vitra Fire Station. Image Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects Painting: Vitra Fire Station. Image © Zaha Hadid Vitra Fire Station, Germany. Image © Wojtek Gurak + 6

Leading Architects Come Together for London's Summer Exhibition

00:00 - 25 June, 2014
Leading Architects Come Together for London's Summer Exhibition, The Architecture Room. Image Courtesy of Royal Academy of Arts
The Architecture Room. Image Courtesy of Royal Academy of Arts

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 Wilkinson Context / Eric Parry. Image Courtesy of Eric Parry Architects Ceramic & Nickel Kiosk / Eric Parry. Image Courtesy of Eric Parry Architects Bonhams / Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands. Image © Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands + 14

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

00:00 - 8 April, 2014
Buy a Piece of the Royal Academy's Sensing Spaces Exhibition, Eduardo Souto de Moura's Square Arch. Image © James Taylor-Foster
Eduardo Souto de Moura's Square Arch. Image © James Taylor-Foster

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 Johnson Eduardo Souto de Moura's Square Arch Installation (detail). Image © James Taylor-Foster Pezo von Ellrichshausen's Monumental Installation. Image © James Harris Kengo Kuma's Installation. Image © James Taylor-Foster + 7

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

00:00 - 14 February, 2014
Critical Round-Up: 'Sensing Spaces' Strikes a Chord With Critics, © Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2014. Photography: James Harris
© Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2014. Photography: James Harris

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 Johnson Grafton Architects' play with light was another highly popular exhibit, with Olcayto describing its "magnetic charm". Image © Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2014. Photography: James Harris The 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 Harris Kengo 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

00:00 - 12 February, 2014

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 Harris Installation by Diebedo Francis Kere. Image © Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2014. Photography: James Harris Installation by Kengo Kuma. Image © Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2014. Photography: James Harris Installation by Li Xiaodong. Image © Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2014. Photography: Benedict Johnson + 5

Seven Architects Transform London’s RA into Multi-Sensory Experience

00:00 - 3 February, 2014
Seven Architects Transform London’s RA into Multi-Sensory Experience, Installation (Blue Pavilion) by Pezo von Ellrichshausen. © Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2014. Photography: James Harris
Installation (Blue Pavilion) by Pezo von Ellrichshausen. © Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2014. Photography: James Harris

This past week London’s Royal Academy of Arts (RA) celebrated the opening of, what many claim to be, one of the most “epic” and “enchanting” exhibitions of 2014: Sensing Space: Architecture Reimagined. With a series of large scale installations by some of profession’s most acclaimed architects, such as Eduardo Souto de Moura, and Kengo Kuma, the immersive exhibition creates an atmosphere that encourages visitors to become part of the experience and open their minds to the sensory realm of architecture.

"Architecture is so often the background to our lives," stated curator Kate Goodwin. "We often don't think about it - it's practical and functional, but when does it do something more?"

A preview of the installations, after the break.

'London As It Could Be Now': Reconnecting Londoners with the Tidal Thames

00:00 - 7 October, 2013
'London As It Could Be Now': Reconnecting Londoners with the Tidal Thames, The Thames Baths Project. Image © Studio Octopi / Civic Engineers / Jonathan Cook Landscape
The Thames Baths Project. Image © Studio Octopi / Civic Engineers / Jonathan Cook Landscape

Five proposals for reconnecting Londoners with the River Thames have gone on display at London's Royal Academy of Arts (RA). The competition, organised by the Architecture Foundation, "launched an open call for multidisciplinary design teams to put forward new ideas and visions for self-selected sites along the Tidal Thames" earlier this year. The five selected teams were shortlisted earlier this year and recently discussed their designs at a public design workshop. The schemes are now being exhibited as part of the Richard Rogers RA: Inside Out exhibition.

Read extracts of the proposals after the break...

Review: ‘Richard Rogers: Inside Out’ at the Royal Academy

00:00 - 17 September, 2013
Review: ‘Richard Rogers: Inside Out’ at the Royal Academy, Zip-Up House Concept drawing (1968) - courtesy of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. Image © Richard and Su Rogers
Zip-Up House Concept drawing (1968) - courtesy of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. Image © Richard and Su Rogers

“Architecture is too complex to be solved by any one person.”

Richard Rogers is an architect who understands the significance of collaboration. As a man with an intense social mind and a thirst for fairness in architectural and urban design, Rogers’ substantial portfolio of completed and proposed buildings is driven by the Athenian citizen’s oath of “I shall leave this city not less but more beautiful than I found it.”

In honor of his success, London’s Royal Academy (RA) is currently playing host to a vast retrospective of Richard Rogers’ work, from his collaborations with Norman Foster and Renzo Piano, to the large-scale projects that define Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP) today. The RA’s extensive exhibition has been condensed into a series of motifs that have defined his architectural work, punctuated by memorabilia which offer personal insights into how Rogers’ career has been shaped by the people he’s worked with and the projects that he has worked on.

Continue after the break for a selection of highlights from the exhibition.