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South Bank: The Latest Architecture and News

Why the Restoration of the Southbank Undercroft Is a Landmark for Both Architecture and Skateboarding

The Southbank Undercroft, which lies beneath the Queen Elizabeth Hall along the River Thames in London, has been the subject of much debate in recent years following a proposed closure and redevelopment in 2013. Long Live Southbank, an organization born out of this threat of expulsion, gave the diverse community who call the space home a voice. After 17 months of campaigning, they were successful in ensuring the Undercroft was legally protected and fully recognized as an asset of community value. Since then, the group of activists has begun another groundbreaking journey.

In partnership with Southbank Centre, Long Live Southbank recently launched a new crowdfunding campaign to restore the legendary Undercroft. The restoration project will cost £790,000 and is set to open in 2018, improving Londoners’ access to free creative spaces in the heart of the City. These types of space are becoming increasingly rare and the restoration effort reflects a desire to celebrate the authentic cultural sites that make London the vibrant landscape it is.

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Call for Entries: Design a Sky Garden System for the Chong Qing Skyline

Competition Theme: Green – Eco - Future Building Systems and Lifestyle

The design intent is to create a system/network of eco-green elevated sky gardens within a soon to be realised super high-rise residential complex, with the aim of drastically improving the living environment and lifestyle of urban dwellers. This competition seeks young architects worldwide to provide innovative ideas to break the existing typology of the super high-rise and isolated lifestyles associated with high density urban living. 

8 New Towers Proposed for London's South Bank

Building 1 – office use; Squire and Partners. Image courtesy of The Canary Wharf Group.
Building 1 – office use; Squire and Partners. Image courtesy of The Canary Wharf Group.

Images of the transformation of the Shell Centre Campus, which include 8 towers to be designed by six different architects in London's South Bank, have been released and submitted for approval by the local authority, Lambeth Council.

The project, under a Masterplan by Squire and Partners and co-developed by Canary Wharf Group and Qatari Diar, is a 5.25-acre mixed-use scheme between Waterloo Station and Hungerford Bridge. While the famous 27-story Shell Tower will be preserved, the plans show eight new residential and office buildings will be constructed by six architectural firms: an office and two residential towers by Squire and Partners, one office tower by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF); a residential block by Patel Taylor; another by Stanton Williams; and two more residential towers by GRID Architecture.

In total, about 800,000 sq ft of office space, 800,000 sq ft of residential space (translating to 790 new homes, including affordable housing), and 80,000 sq ft of new retail units/restaurants/cafés will be created. As Michael Squire of Squire and Partners told The Architect's Journal: "We make no apology, this is a dense development, it sits next to one of the busiest train stations in Europe. This is a massive sustainable move that will allow people to live and work in the same area."

More on the proposed plan for London's South Bank, after the break...