The initial phase of London’s first linear culture park has opened to the public along the Thames. Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Neiheiser Argyros, the project is sited on the Greenwich Peninsula as a new outdoor destination for the city. Called The Tide, the park offers free-to-view public art by emerging and world-renowned artists and includes a landscaped route for running, walking and meditation that is freely accessible to all.
Thames: The Latest Architecture and News
Architect Evgeny Didorenko has released his conceptual proposal, Thames River Museum, which aims to improve connectivity on the North Bank of the Thames River and create an exciting museum space in London.
The Thames Museum is currently a museum concept without permanent accommodation. Though not officially connected to the Thames Museum, Didorenko’s work suggests a location and design for the project that would not only work with the museum’s context, but that would also solve existing issues on the riverbank.
Therefore, the proposal’s site is an underused portion of London’s North Bank—Queen’s Quay. Historically, Queen’s Quay served as a transportation hub to deliver goods to city residents from the sea, but now lies abandoned, and stays dry during periods of low tide, when water levels drop up to eight meters.
Thomas Heatherwick’s Garden Bridge project has been under fire since plans were announced in 2013, drawing skepticism of the fairness of the competition process, and even being called “nothing but a wasteful blight.” Last month, London's new mayor Sadiq Khan gave a lukewarm endorsement of the project, noting that since £37.7m of the £60m allocated by the government has already been spent, scrapping the project now would end up costing taxpayers more than going forward with it.
The current predicament has inspired architects Allies and Morrison to design an alternative option – one that could both save the taxpayers money and create a new greenway spanning the Thames. Many of the complaints directed toward the original design have been associated with the cost of building a new bridge that would serve limited transportation needs; Allies and Morrison eliminate this issue by simply placing a garden pathway onto an existing piece of infrastructure, the nearby Blackfriars Bridge.
Architectural charity Article 25 has revealed a selection of the images to be included for auction in their annual 10x10 fundraising auction. One of the highlights of Article 25's calendar, each year the 10x10 event divides an area of the city of London into 100 sections, challenging the participants to produce a drawing or other artwork inspired by the location assigned to them. This year, Article 25 abandoned the usual grid in favor of 100 areas along the Thames, taking in the many landmarks along the river's winding route. Article 25's list of participants includes architects such as Rafael Vinoly, David Adjaye, Sir Terry Farrell, Will Alsop and Chris Wilkinson, alongside artists including Antony Gormley and Wolfgang Buttress.
Last year's 10x10 event raised over £120,000 for Article 25's healthcare projects in the developing world. This year, the 100 drawings will once again be briefly exhibited at the RIBA headquarters in London on December 1st before the work is auctioned, an addition to an online auction which will begin on November 24th at 10x10london.com.
Read on to see a selection of the artworks to be auctioned.
Thomas Heatherwick's controversial Garden Bridge in London has regained popular support amongst officials after a significant cut in funding. The Transport for London (TfL) – the authority in charge of the Garden Bridge program, which was approved last year – has reduce the amount of taxpayer money from £30 to £10 million, alleviating concerns over public cost. Now, all that's needed for the project to start construction is an approved amendment to the site's lease in Lambeth. It is expected to break ground next year, despite lingering concerns over maintenance costs and use restrictions.
London is in the throes of an architectural identity crisis, compounded by a severe shortage of housing. While politicians and public figures debate various solutions to the city's design dilemmas, a London-based artist has conceived of a "satirical competition for architecture of the absurd." Known as A Folly for London, the free open-call for solutions to London's architectural conundrums was created in response to Arup and Heatherwick Studio's proposal for the yet to be built, and highly controversial, Garden Bridge.
Unlike traditional architectural competitions, A Folly for London sought to ignite debate on the current state of architecture in London. Presented with a distinctly British sense of humour, the competition received more than fifty entries. Winning proposals include the systematic burning of London's forests, construction of a massive inhabitable light bulb and the creation of a catacomb of submerged signature double-decker buses at the centre of the River Thames.
See the winners of "A Folly for London" after the break
Named for the site’s World War Two heritage—“when dockworkers would tow American naval ships to their moorings for the cost of one dollar”—the building will provide unparalleled views of the River Thames from where it sits across from the O2 Arena.
As reported in the Architects' Journal, Transport for London (TfL) – the authority in charge of the Garden Bridge programme, which was approved last year – have ordered a review into the procurement process leading up to Heatherwick's selection to design a new bridge spanning the Thames. Sir Peter Hendy, Commissioner for TfL, will "review of the overall process of procurement of the design contracts, the findings of which [will be published] in full." This statement follows the revelation that Heatherwick Studio’s estimated total price (which was wrongly redacted in response to a Freedom of Information request made by the AJ last February) "was far higher than its two fellow bidders in the 2013 invited concept design competition." Full information about the request is detailed here.
Have you ever dreamed of dozing off as you sail along one of the UK's busiest water highways in an eclectic bright blue cottage replete with a lawn, wisteria over the door and an apple tree? For five days and nights, between the 18th and 23rd May, this dream will come to life in the shape of Nick and Steve Tidball's floating residence for Airbnb.
London's central waterway, the River Thames, has been a site of enormous interest from architects and urbanists in previous years. From a controversial garden bridge to discussions about how to appropriate what has been described as one of the city's largest untapped public spaces, London-based practice studio octopi have now launched a Kickstarter campaign to help to realise their dream of creating "a new, natural, beautiful lido" on its banks.
Endorsed by a number of renowned and respected Londoners, including Turner-prize winning artist Tracey Emin, architect Ivan Harbour (RSHP), and Tim Marlow, a director at the Royal Academy of Arts (RA), the ambition is to raise at least £125,000 (around $190,000 or €175,000) in order to seek planning permission for the Thames Baths project.
Find out more about the project and how you can support it after the break.
The recent unveiling of the 74 entries to the Nine Elms to Pimlico Bridge competition was undoubtedly intended to cause a media circus, hoping to emulate the furore that surrounded the much larger Helsinki Guggenheim competition when they released all 1,715 of their entries to the web in October of last year. The competition, which asked designers to propose "one of the most expressive and visible landmarks in London," is the latest in a series of dramatic changes taking place on this stretch of the South Bank of the Thames. This new community, one of London’s most prestigious new neighbourhoods, includes Keiran Timberlake's new US Embassy and a slew of residential developments, culminating in the highly-touted renovation of Battersea Power Station, complete with accompanying buildings by Foster + Partners and Frank Gehry, and a public space by BIG.
Initial reactions to the competition entries has been mixed at best. The Guardian’s architecture critic Oliver Wainwright took the opportunity to poke light-hearted fun at a selection of designs, using his considerable powers of wordplay to dub entries with titles such as The Greenhouse Funhouse, The Spaffy Tangle, Razorwire Party Bridge, and The Flaming Mouth of Hades. Similarly, City Metric ran the news with an article titled “The 12 Most Ridiculous Designs for the New Battersea Bridge”, sparking a debate on Reddit in which users branded the projects "varying degrees of insane" and "ridiculous doodles." But beyond all this jovial name-calling, these designs are symptomatic of an unhealthy approach to wealth that London seems unable (or perhaps unwilling) to address.
All 74 “wild designs” being considered to become London’s next “landmark” have been released to the public. As part of a two-stage competition, architects worldwide have submitted ideas for a new £40 million pedestrian and cycle bridge that will connect London’s Nine Elms and Pimlico communities over the River Thames.
The jury, chaired by Graham Stirk of Rogers Stirk Harbour, will choose four schemes to move onto the competition’s second and final round in March. These designs will be then shortlisted and further developed with input by the community and client before a winner is announced in July.
See a selection of the considered bridge designs, after the break.
Arup have released a new image of the proposed copper-nickel alloy cladding that will adorn Heatherwick Studio's Garden Bridge in London. According to a report by the Architects' Journal, the "concrete structure will be coated in 'cupro-nickel', from its feet on the riverbed up to the base of the balustrades on the bridge deck." The copper will be donated from Glencore, a multi-national mining company, forming "a protective skin to the carbon steel structure giving it a maintenance free 120-year life, protecting the bridge from river and environmental corrosion." More than 240 tonnes of the metal alloy, which often finds use in medical equipment and ship propellers, will be used.
London Mayor Boris Johnson has approved plans for the Thomas Heatherwick-designed Garden Bridge. The approval from the mayor is the third and final green light for the bridge, having previously been accepted by both Lambeth and Westminster councils. The project is now likely to begin construction within a year - in line with a self-imposed deadline by the Garden Bridge Trust that will allow them to complete the project before works on the proposed Thames Tideway Tunnel cause disruption on the site.
The London Borough of Wandsworth has launched an international call for architects and engineers interested in envisioning what could be the second pedestrian bridge to rise near the Battersea Power Station development. The two-stage ideas competition, whose announcement comes shortly after the recent approval of Thomas Heatherwick’s Garden Bridge, believes that the bridge could potentially become “one of the most expressive and visible landmarks in London.”
Though the competition cannot guarantee that the winning design will be built, partial funding has already been budgeted for the bridge’s future construction and it is hoped that the winning design can be used to attract further interest and funding. Continue reading to learn more.
Update: Today Westminster Council approved the Garden Bridge proposals - the second of three required approvals - with councillors voting 3-1 in favour of the bridge. Though London Mayor Boris Johnson still has to officially rule on the plans, it is almost certain that he will ultimately give the go-ahead to the project as he has previously voiced his support for the idea. The following article was originally published on November 13th, after Lambeth Council granted the bridge its first approval.
Lambeth Council has awarded planning permission for the Garden Bridge, Thomas Heatherwick and Arup's planned crossing of the Thames which has been proposed and supported by actress Joanna Lumley. The approval is the first in a series that the bridge needs to become a reality, with Westminster City Council and London mayor Boris Johnson still needing to sign off on the project, according to the Architects' Journal.