Archinect - News 2018-06-21T13:38:06-04:00 Foster + Partners hints at possibility of leaving London over Brexit Alexander Walter 2018-06-19T14:50:00-04:00 >2018-06-19T14:52:26-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>The UK&rsquo;s largest practice, Foster + Partners, says it would consider moving its headquarters from London if Brexit meant it could no longer attract the world&rsquo;s best architects [...] Less than a quarter of the architects based at Foster + Partners&rsquo; huge Battersea head office are UK nationals &ndash; with around a half from EU countries. In total, the firm employs 1,061 staff in the UK including 353 architects.</p></em><br /><br /><p>In an interview with <em>The Architects' Journal</em>, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Foster + Partners</a> managing partner Matthew Streets didn't rule out leaving London if attracting and <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">employing</a> "the globe&rsquo;s brightest stars to maintain its position as world leaders"&nbsp;in a United Kingdom outside of the European Union became impossible.</p><p>The <em>AJ</em> also reports about similar <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Brexit</a>-related workforce concerns from another UK architecture powerhouse, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners</a>.</p> A look back at the iconic Mackintosh style and its radical origins Hope Daley 2018-06-08T15:35:00-04:00 >2018-06-08T15:35:59-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>What most caught [German critic Hermann Muthesius's] eye was the work of a young couple, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his wife, Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh, who were quietly making wildly original furniture, buildings and interiors. These struck him as utterly &ldquo;divergent from everything that is familiar&rdquo;. Fusing the sinuous forms of art nouveau with rugged Scots baronial motifs and exotic Japanese touches, their designs were a startling sight &ndash; too much for many British critics to stomach.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Couple Charles Rennie and Margaret Macdonald built their <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Mackintosh</a> name into the&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">art deco</a>&nbsp;icon it represents today, yet the duo's designs were far ahead of their time. The Mackintosh art nouveau style, originating in&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Glasgow</a>,&nbsp;would go on to be recognized internationally. <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Take a deeper look</a> into the history behind these radical designs as the city celebrates the 150th anniversary of&nbsp;Charles Rennie's birth.</p> David Chipperfield designs monolith for rotating art program at London department store Alexander Walter 2018-06-05T15:11:00-04:00 >2018-06-05T15:13:21-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Selfridges department store in London has teamed up with Yorkshire Sculpture park on a new contemporary sculpture initiative. New works will be unveiled every six months on a marble and steel monolith designed by the UK architect David Chipperfield as part of his commission to create Selfridges&rsquo; new accessories hall. The joint project, known as the Art Block, has been dubbed Selfridges&rsquo; version of the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners recently completed The Macallan whisky distillery in Scotland Hope Daley 2018-05-25T12:46:00-04:00 >2018-05-25T12:46:46-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>London-based firm <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners</a>&nbsp;recently completed the&nbsp;Macallan Distillery and visitor experience in Speyside, Scotland. The design is set into the landscape of the&nbsp;The Macallan&nbsp;estate, a distillery&nbsp;established in 1824 producing&nbsp;one of the most sought after whiskys in the world.&nbsp;</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Macallan Distillery by RSHP, located in Speyside, Scotland. Image: RSHP.</figcaption></figure><p>The firm's goals was to create a building that could reveal the production processes and welcome visitors while remaining sensitive to the beautiful surrounding countryside.<br></p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Macallan Distillery by RSHP, located in Speyside, Scotland. Image: RSHP.</figcaption></figure><p>The new distillery will enable production of The Macallan to increase by a third. Internally, a series of production cells are arranged in a linear format with an open-plan layout revealing all stages of the production process at once.&nbsp;<br></p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Macallan Distillery by RSHP, located in Speyside, Scotland. Image: RSHP.</figcaption></figure><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Macallan Distillery by RSHP, located in Speyside, Scotland. Image: RSHP...</figcaption></figure> PoMo yay, Brutalism nay? Alexander Walter 2018-05-21T14:56:00-04:00 >2018-05-25T12:52:38-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>That we are now starting to get to grips with PoMo architecture&rsquo;s controversial legacy is welcome, not least because other important buildings have already been destroyed, and others are threatened. [...] Today the worlds of design and conservation are more closely allied than before. But even as this latest batch of postmodern buildings has won protected status, it is worth noting that important brutalist buildings are still excluded from the roster.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Commentary by Catherine Croft for <em>The Guardian</em> on Historic England's recent selection of <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">17 postmodern buildings</a> to be listed as heritage without extending the same love to important examples of the brutalist school.<br></p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Recently received Grade II listed status: Judge Business School, University of Cambridge by John Outram. Photo: inkelv1122/Flickr.</figcaption></figure> London man jailed for forcing 15 construction workers into slavery Alexander Walter 2018-04-24T14:13:00-04:00 >2018-04-24T14:13:06-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>A Romanian man who used threats of violence and indebtedness to keep a group of his countrymen as slaves while he pocketed their wages from a London construction site has been sentenced to seven years in jail.</p></em><br /><br /><p>David Lupu, a 29-year-old Romanian, was found guilty of holding 15 of his countrymen in&nbsp;slavery or servitude in two small one-bedroom apartments in East London and sentenced to seven years in jail.&nbsp;</p> <p>Lupu had lured the men to work as demolition workers in the UK, falsely promising a wage of &pound;50 a day for work and a good standard of living accommodation, however took away the victims' ID cards upon arrival and threatened that they had to pay hundreds of pounds for permits and certificates to work in the UK. When Lupu failed to pay them after one month of work, they confronted him, and, according to the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">London Metropolitan Police report</a>, "his response was to threaten to beat them to death."</p> <p>Two victims managed to escape when Lupu traveled to Romania and reported him to the police.</p> Construction begins on 2018 Serpentine Pavilion Justine Testado 2018-04-23T19:19:00-04:00 >2018-04-23T19:19:23-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>Construction is now underway for the 2018 <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Serpentine Pavilion</a>, which is scheduled to open in June in time for summer outdoor festivities at the Serpentine Galleries in London. Mexican architect Frida Escobedo &mdash; who was commissioned to design the 2018 pavilion&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">in February</a> &mdash; is working with&nbsp;AECOM, contractor Stage One Creative Services, and the Serpentine Galleries to bring the anticipated installation to life.</p> <p>Escobedo's design fuses elements of Mexican domestic architecture and British materials and history, while playfully integrating light, water, and geometry.</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Serpentine Pavilion 2018 Designed by Frida Escobedo, Taller de Arquitectura, Design Rendering, Interior View &copy; Frida Escobedo, Taller de Arquitectura, Renderings by Atm&oacute;sfera.</figcaption></figure><p>The pavilion comprises&nbsp;two rectangular volumes positioned at an angle to form an enclosed courtyard &mdash; a common feature of Mexican domestic architecture. The courtyard's axis will be directed to the north, in reference to the Prime Meridian that was est...</p> Grenfell-style cladding causes value of upscale London apartments to drop by 90% Alexander Walter 2018-04-16T16:21:00-04:00 >2018-04-16T16:21:50-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>A homeowner in a housing complex in London with Grenfell-type cladding has been told the value of her &pound;475,000 home has collapsed and is now just &pound;50,000. Galliard Homes, the developer of the 11-block complex in New Capital Quay in south-east London, is facing a &pound;30m-&pound;40m bill to replace the cladding and is locked in a legal dispute over who should pay.</p></em><br /><br /><p>The New Capital Quay development&mdash;home to about 2,000 residents&mdash;is believed to be the largest private development to have flammable cladding after the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">2017 Grenfell fire tragedy</a> that killed 71 people, <em>The Guardian </em>reports. The apartments are now considered unsellable.<br></p> Christo comes to London Alexander Walter 2018-04-11T15:57:00-04:00 >2018-04-11T16:12:12-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>And now he&rsquo;s going to float a 150-tonne sculpture on a lake on London. Is it an allegory of the west&rsquo;s oil dependency, an indictment of how we&rsquo;re polluting the planet, or both? Christo shakes his locks and smiles. &ldquo;I have no reason to justify myself as an artist. I cannot explain my art. Everything I do professionally is irrational and useless.&rdquo; This, he thinks, is exactly as it should be. &ldquo;I make things that have no function &ndash; except maybe to make pleasure.&rdquo;</p></em><br /><br /><p>Artist <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Christo</a> chats about his new <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Mastaba sculpture</a> coming to London this summer: a giant trapezoidal prism of 7,506 stacked steel barrels to float on the Serpentine Lake. It will be his first large artwork in Britain.</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Christo, The Mastaba (Project for London, Hyde Park, Serpentine Lake), Collage 2017 Pencil, wax crayon, enamel paint, color photograph by Wolfgang Volz, technical data and tape on brown board, 21.5 x 28 cm, Private collection, Switzerland. Photo: Andr&eacute; Grossmann &copy; 2017 Christo</figcaption></figure><p>Plans for a much bigger Mastaba with 410,000 barrels outside of Abu Dhabi <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">first appeared</a> several years ago but were never realized.</p> <p>The accompanying exhibition <em><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Barrels and The Mastaba (1958&ndash;2018)</a></em> will be on view from June 19 through September 9 at the nearby Serpentine Gallery.<br></p> Smithsonian London outpost confirmed Alexander Walter 2018-04-10T14:16:00-04:00 >2018-04-10T14:17:46-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>The Smithsonian Institution has confirmed that it will work with the Victoria and Albert Museum to set up a joint gallery and exhibition programme in East London, on the former Olympic site. Yesterday (9 April) the Smithsonian&rsquo;s regents (trustees) gave formal approval for their first base outside the US.</p></em><br /><br /><p><u></u>We <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">first reported</a> about the&nbsp;Smithsonian Institution's interest in setting up its first-ever satellite gallery outside of the U.S. back in 2015. A lot has changed since then, and evolved, scaled-back plans now foresee a&nbsp;collaboration with the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">V&amp;A</a>.</p> Training refugees to conserve their monumental heritage Alexander Walter 2018-03-20T15:43:00-04:00 >2018-03-20T15:49:59-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>The problems: how to conserve extraordinary monumental heritage in Iraq and Syria [...]. The issue is exacerbated by the depletion of skilled craftspeople; once the dust of conflict settles, there will be few able to carry out restoration. At the same time, thousands sit in refugee camps, lives on hold, seeking a future. The solution: train refugees to become the craftspeople and conservators of the future. Give them a skill to help restore their nation&rsquo;s heritage.</p></em><br /><br /><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Photo: World Monuments Fund.</figcaption></figure><p>Learn more about the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">World Monuments Fund</a>&rsquo;s new stone masonry training center for <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Syrian</a> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">refugees</a> in Mafraq, Jordan (backed by the UK government&rsquo;s Cultural Protection Fund) <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> Boris Johnson faces continuing pressure over canceled London garden bridge Alexander Walter 2018-03-19T13:40:00-04:00 >2018-03-19T13:41:28-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Gwynne demanded Johnson provide evidence for his allegation against Will Hurst, the managing editor of Architects&rsquo; Journal who has won several awards for his coverage of the garden bridge, or withdraw them and apologise. The letter adds to the pressure on Johnson over his role in the troubled story of the planned pedestrian link across the river Thames, which he commissioned and championed as mayor of London, a job he held until May 2016.</p></em><br /><br /><p>During his term in the London mayoral chair, British&nbsp;foreign secretary <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Boris Johnson</a> advocated passionately for the &pound;46m <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Heatherwick</a>-designed <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">London garden bridge</a> proposal, which ultimately lost public support and was scrapped by incoming mayor <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Sadiq Khan</a>&mdash;while the financial burden for the controversial project remains on the public. <br></p> <p>A new Labour initiative pressures Johnson to shed light on his allegations that <em>Architects&rsquo; Journal </em>managing editor Will Hurst essentially killed the project because of a "dislike that the <em>Architects&rsquo; Journal </em>journalist concerned had for Thomas Heatherwick". Hurst and the <em>AJ</em> categorically deny this claim.<br></p> Rowan Moore reviews book on British mosque design Hope Daley 2018-03-14T05:38:00-04:00 >2018-03-14T12:08:48-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>The dominant theme is that of the expression of identity, the overwhelming preference in British mosque design being for traditional elements and decoration &ndash; especially dome, minaret and arches &ndash; applied to sometimes basic box-like structures. From time to time the cry goes up, including in Jonathan Glancey&rsquo;s introduction to this book, that a &ldquo;contemporary&rdquo; Islamic British style should be developed.</p></em><br /><br /><p>There are about 1,500 mosques in <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Britain</a> most of which have been designed in the last decade.&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Rowan Moore</a> reviews&nbsp;architect and academic Shahed Saleem's book&nbsp;<em>The British Mosque</em>, a survey looking at why British <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">mosque</a> design is mostly traditional. Saleem presents both sides of the argument for traditional and contemporary designs. While some accuse the traditional of architectural timidity, others argue that innovative design is a financial and cultural luxury.&nbsp;</p> Plans for a Grenfell Tower memorial confirmed by UK government Alexander Walter 2018-03-02T14:57:00-05:00 >2018-03-02T15:13:44-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>[...] according to a U.K. government press release published Thursday, the site will become a formal memorial to the fire&rsquo;s victims. The announcement of the plan&mdash;which could also see the nearby Latimer Road Tube station renamed to Grenfell&mdash;strikes the right note so far, making it clear that residents of the West London housing project will get the deciding say on any kind of memorial that happens on the tower&rsquo;s site.</p></em><br /><br /><p>While the memorial signals a commitment to remembrance and honoring the victims, the article points out the shortcomings in the official response, the display of incompetence, the ongoing hardship for <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Grenfell Tower</a>'s former residents, and the still looming fire hazard of countless other residential buildings clad in similar material.</p> <p>"The common assumption is that the decision-making process on the future of the site will lead towards agreement on a fitting memorial to remember those who lost their lives," reads the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">press statement</a> the British government issued on March 1. "Kensington and Chelsea council will ensure that work on the future of the site is taken forward alongside work on the improvements to the Lancaster West estate, so that the area becomes a place where the tragedy can be remembered and the local community thrives."</p> Assemble-converted Goldsmiths CCA gallery to open in September Alexander Walter 2018-03-01T14:53:00-05:00 >2018-03-01T15:09:21-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>London gets a major new contemporary art gallery this autumn with the launch of the long-awaited Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art on 8 September. [...] Assemble, the London-based architects who won the Turner Prize in 2015, were selected in 2014 to convert former public baths and Victorian water tanks on the south London campus into the new 1,000 sq. m centre housing eight gallery spaces.</p></em><br /><br /><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Goldsmiths CCA under construction. Photo via the school's website.</figcaption></figure><p>Previously: <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Goldsmiths to Build Public Art Gallery</a></p> UK Architecture students install giant, red picket fence in support of USSstrike Mackenzie Goldberg 2018-02-28T14:13:00-05:00 >2018-02-28T14:13:45-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>Since last Thursday, thousands of educators and students across the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">UK</a> have been protesting changes made to the pensions of university workers&mdash;a 40% cut to their USS pension scheme that the University and College Union says could cost staff up to half of their retirement income. The downgrade has unmistakably angered academics, with an estimated 45,000 lecturers across 64 universities going on a 14-day strike.&nbsp;</p> <p>Oxford and Cambridge universities, some of the country's wealthiest and most well-established schools, have been at the center of the controversy, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">receiving much of the blame</a>. The schools have backed policies resulting in the harsh cuts, and may have also had an overly skewed input in the survey that lead to the decision.&nbsp;</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Image via Cambridge Defend Education Facebook page.</figcaption></figure><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Image via Cambridge Defend Education Facebook page.</figcaption></figure><p>Yesterday, in response to Cambridge's unique role in the dispute, a giant, 8ft red picket fence was chained to the gates of the school, blockading the Sena...</p> dRMM’s Stirling Prize-winning, revamped Hastings Pier is already for sale Mackenzie Goldberg 2018-02-21T17:47:00-05:00 >2018-02-21T17:48:01-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Property firm GVA said it was open to offers after being asked to find a buyer for the transformed Sussex coastal landmark. The charity behind dRMM&rsquo;s much-loved refurbishment of the pier went into administration last year. Now the administrators have appointed GVA to sell the asset.</p></em><br /><br /><p>The charity responsible for restoring and running <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Hastings Pier</a>&mdash;the once derelict landmark whose &pound;14.2 million rebuild&nbsp;won this year's <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">RIBA Stirling Prize</a>&mdash;has been forced to put the property up for sell after experiencing some financial difficulties.&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">According to the&nbsp;Architects' Journal</a>,&nbsp;last year, the charity failed to&nbsp;agree a new three-year business plan with the Heritage Lottery Fund, Hastings Borough Council and East Sussex County Council&nbsp;in order to become self-funding.</p> <p>Due to the charity's insolvency, administrators Smith &amp; Williamson were appointed back in November in hopes of ensuring the pier's future. They have now put the property firm GVA in charge of selling the 145-year old pier, which will remain open throughout 2018 with funds from HLF already allocated to the project.&nbsp;</p> London MSG concert venue confirmed; new Sphere designs unveiled for Las Vegas Alexander Walter 2018-02-09T16:08:00-05:00 >2018-02-09T16:13:29-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>The Madison Square Garden Company (MSG) confirmed on Friday that it wants to build the Sphere, a glazed orb with up to 18,000 seats and room for 5,000 standing, beside the Olympic Park in east London. Designs of a similar &ldquo;sphere&rdquo; planned for Las Vegas suggest that the vault of the roof will become a giant screen for vast projections, which could evoke the sensation of being underwater or in a forest.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Rumors about a monumental <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">sphere-shaped music venue proposal for London</a> seem to be gaining substance: <em>The Guardian</em> reports that the New York-based Madison Square Garden Company confirmed its plans to build a glazed orb &mdash; designed by <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Populous</a> &mdash; for over 20,000 concert goers near the Olympic Park. <br></p><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>This interior rendering of Sphere Las Vegas suggests the capabilities of the dome's projection screens. Image: The Madison Square Garden Company</figcaption></figure><p>MSG also just revealed designs for a similar venue in Las Vegas, called <em>Sphere</em>, which will already break ground later this near the Venetian and Palazzo complex. The surface of Sphere reportedly boasts 190,000 linear feet of LED lighting on the exterior and 180,000 square feet of high-resolution screens on the interior, turning it into a giant, domed 360-degree screen for image and video projections, depending on the needs for each event that is being hosted.<br></p> Herzog & de Meuron's $153 million Royal College of Art expansion receives council approval Alexander Walter 2018-01-30T16:16:00-05:00 >2018-02-01T13:37:51-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>The Royal College of Art&rsquo;s flagship new building, designed by Herzog &amp; de Meuron, has been granted planning permission by Wandsworth Council. The building is part of a &pound;108m investment programme in the RCA &ndash; the most radical transformation of the institution&rsquo;s campus in its 181-year history.&nbsp;</p></em><br /><br /><p>The <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">RCA</a> Battersea South Campus expansion will be the new home of the school's&nbsp;Arts &amp; Humanities programs (Sculpture and Contemporary Art Practice), Design programs (Design Products, Fashion and Textiles), Global Innovation Design and Innovation Design Engineering (delivered jointly with Imperial College London), and new additional programs focusing on computer and material science, wearable technology, robotics, advanced manufacturing, and intelligent mobility.</p> <p>The College expects work on the site to commence in spring 2018 and reach completion in April 2020, just in time for the&nbsp;2020/21 academic year.</p> <p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Previously</a> on Archinect.&nbsp;</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>&copy; Herzog &amp; de Meuron</figcaption></figure><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>&copy; Herzog &amp; de Meuron</figcaption></figure><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>&copy; Herzog &amp; de Meuron</figcaption></figure><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>&copy; Herzog &amp; de Meuron</figcaption></figure> Designs for a giant 'Golf Ball' concert venue in London emerge Alexander Walter 2018-01-24T14:50:00-05:00 >2018-01-24T14:56:02-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>London&rsquo;s suggestive skyline already boasts a Gherkin, a Walkie Talkie and a Cheesegrater. Soon they may be joined by the Golf Ball. According to plans seen by the Guardian, a giant glass sphere taller than St Paul&rsquo;s Cathedral could be built next to the Olympic park in east London. [...] One design visualisation shows that the lower half of the orb would be fitted with tiered seating, while the upper half would form a spectacular vaulted roof.</p></em><br /><br /><p><em>The Guardian</em> has published a rendering of a new proposed concert venue resembling a giant glass sphere that could even dwarf St Paul's Cathedral. In typical London fashion, the project near the Olympic Park has already been dubbed "the Golf Ball," however the design's fate and origins remain unconfirmed. According to the paper's sources, the scheme was commissioned by the NY-based Madison Square Garden Company with <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Populous</a> as the architect.<br></p> Which architect would be best suited to design Boris Johnson's proposed Channel bridge? Alexander Walter 2018-01-22T14:20:00-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>The clown king of novelty infrastructure fantasies has once again stolen the limelight with his preposterous plan for a 22-mile bridge across the Channel. [...] But none of this matters. In a world where Johnson got as far as flushing &pound;37m of public money into the Thames on another fantasy project, the Garden Bridge, a great Channel crossing could easily be conjured into being.</p></em><br /><br /><p><em>The Guardian</em>'s architecture critic, Oliver Wainwright, responds to the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">former London Mayor</a>'s suggestion to build a 22-mile <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">bridge</a> across the Channel and physically connect the European Union with the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">brexiting</a> island kingdom (on top of the already existing 31.35-mile Channel tunnel). <br></p> <p>Let's just say, Wainwright isn't a fan and pens an angry roundup of prominent architects that either have designed other Johnson mega-visions, like <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Heatherwick</a>'s <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Thames Garden Bridge</a> and <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Lord Foster</a>'s <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Thames Hub</a>, or have a history of going over the initially proposed project budget a tad or a thousand.<br></p> Zaha Hadid Architects director defends criticisms of the London tower design Hope Daley 2018-01-22T14:17:00-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) has defended proposals for a high-rise, mixed-use scheme in London &ndash; described as a &lsquo;breakthrough project&rsquo; for the practice &ndash; following criticism over its size and location. Shortly before Christmas, the firm submitted plans to Lambeth Council [...] The scheme, the practice&rsquo;s first major mixed-use residential and commercial development in the UK, has been dubbed a &lsquo;two-fingered salute&rsquo; by opponents, who claim the proposals are too big for the site.</p></em><br /><br /><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Zaha Hadid Architects</a> combatted <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">criticism</a> of their <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">proposal for the Vauxhall Cross Island site</a>&nbsp;in London. Critiques of ZHA's plan claim the design overcrowds the area with towers that are too tall overshadowing the surrounding area and creating traffic congestion.&nbsp;</p> <p>ZHA director Jim Heverin responded to the criticisms dismissing claims of congestion stating the design fits within a masterplan overseen by Transport for London (TfL). Heverin justifies ZHA plans asserting the design does not create more overshadowing than what is already permitted in surrounding development plans.&nbsp;</p> <p>Heverin revealed the importance of this project for the firm stating, "We had been keen to show that we can do this type of project and how the office is moving in this direction."<br></p> Zaha Hadid Architects proposal for London's Vauxhall Cross Island Hope Daley 2018-01-22T13:27:00-05:00 >2018-01-24T10:16:03-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Zaha Hadid Architects</a> designed a <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">proposal</a> for the Vauxhall Cross Island site in <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">London</a>. Located adjacent to&nbsp;Vauxhall Station, the proposal focuses on creating a Vauxhall district center by providing a mixed-use space to generate employment opportunities and a new public square to accommodate Transport for London's (TfL) emerging bus station plans.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Vauxhall Cross Island proposal by Zaha Hadid Architects. Render by Slashcube. </figcaption></figure><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Vauxhall Cross Island proposal by Zaha Hadid Architects. Render by Slashcube. </figcaption></figure><p>The London borough is undergoing a transformation with several other significant developments under construction or planned in the area. ZHA's design works with the height of the other proposed buildings in the area through its rectilinear form, grid-based fa&ccedil;ade, and materials.&nbsp;<br></p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Vauxhall Cross Island proposal by Zaha Hadid Architects. Render by Slashcube. </figcaption></figure><p>The new proposal includes two tall buildings with a low-level podium building to create a defined public square.&nbsp;The arrangement p...</p> Collapse of UK's second largest construction firm, Carillion Hope Daley 2018-01-16T15:22:00-05:00 >2018-01-16T15:22:24-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>A major British construction company is going into liquidation after failing to secure a financial lifeline. Carillion (CIOIF), which employs 43,000 people around the world, said in a statement Monday that rescue talks with stakeholders including the British government had collapsed. "We have been unable to secure the funding to support our business plan, and it is therefore with the deepest regret that we have arrived at this decision," Carillion Chairman Philip Green said in the statement.</p></em><br /><br /><p>With thousands of workers in the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">UK</a> and <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Canada</a>, the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">construction</a> company also builds high speed rail <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">infrastructure</a>, is involved in power distribution projects, and performs road maintenance, hospital management and other government services.&nbsp;</p> <p>Carillion has hundreds of contracts with the UK government. It was reported to BBC that the government was working on a contingency plan since last year in preparation of Carillion's <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">failure</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p>Fiona Cincotta, senior market analyst at City Index, commented, "It has been more than surprising, possibly even negligent, that the U.K. government continued to dish out contracts to Carillion even though their future has looked uncertain for some time."&nbsp;<br></p> "Calm and reasonable and a bit boring": Rowan Moore reviews London's new U.S. embassy Alexander Walter 2018-01-12T19:36:00-05:00 >2018-01-12T19:48:29-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>London&rsquo;s new US embassy may be just a glass cube with disguised fortifications, but it is also restrained, efficient, green&hellip; the antithesis of Donald Trump [...] It&rsquo;s a fortress, of course it is. As the embassy of the Great Satan to the Little Satan &ndash; as the unlamented Ayatollah Khomeini would have put it &ndash; it couldn&rsquo;t not be a target and defended accordingly. The architects therefore decided to make it as nice a fortress as possible [...].</p></em><br /><br /><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>The new embassy in Battersea Nine Elms seen from across the river Thames. Image via Wikipedia.</figcaption></figure><p>Only a few more days until the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">U.S. Embassy &amp; Consulates in the United Kingdom</a> move into the new digs (designed by <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">KieranTimberlake</a>) in Nine Elms on January 16. <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Sans Trump</a>.<br></p> Architectural historian to manage Queen of England's vast art collection Alexander Walter 2017-12-22T13:56:00-05:00 >2017-12-22T14:03:01-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>The Queen has appointed Tim Knox, 55, the director of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, to be the new director of the Royal Collection Trust. He has been the museum&rsquo;s director since 2013 and is an architectural historian and country house curator. [...] His early career was spent at the Royal Institution of British Architects. He then served as the head curator of the National Trust (2002-05), from which he went on to be the director of the Sir John Soane&rsquo;s Museum (2005-13).</p></em><br /><br /><p>"The Royal Collection is one of the world&rsquo;s greatest, comprising more than a million objects from all aspects of fine and decorative art," <em>The Art Newspaper</em> writes. "It is not the personal property of The Queen, but is held in trust by Her Majesty for her successors and the nation."</p> Gingerbread City: Zaha Hadid Architects, Foster + Partners and others reveal their sweetest designs Alexander Walter 2017-12-19T17:30:00-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Some of the world's biggest architecture firms have been competing for plots in this winter's tastiest property market -- the Gingerbread City. Recently opened at the Museum of Architecture in London, the miniature metropolis is brimming with contemporary -- and almost entirely edible -- buildings. Around 50 companies specializing in architecture, engineering and landscaping have baked and built structures for the project.</p></em><br /><br /><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Photo: Luke Hayes.</figcaption></figure><p>If you're in London this week, make sure to get into the holiday spirit the architectural way and stop by the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Museum of Architecture</a>'s <em><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Gingerbread City</a></em> before it closes this Friday &mdash; and nothing but cookie crumbs will remain.</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Competing gingerbread bridges (gingerbreadges?) by Periscope, Hopkins, and reForm Architects. Photo: Luke Hayes.</figcaption></figure><p>The roster of around 50 participating architecture, engineering, and landscaping firms includes some recognizable names like <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Zaha Hadid Architects</a>,&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Foster + Partners</a>, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">NBBJ</a>, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Studio Egret West</a>, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Pitman Tozer</a>, among others.</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>An edible "mixed-used" building by Cooke Fawcett Architects. Photo: Luke Hayes.</figcaption></figure><p><em>All images courtesy of the Museum of Architecture.</em></p> Project Profile: 'Pitch Perfect' Abigail Banfield 2017-12-15T18:34:00-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>Each year, the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">NLA (New London Architecture)</a> runs a competition celebrating the best in home extensions and improvements. &nbsp;Now in its seventh year, the 2018 shortlist shows more than ever the value of good design in home improvements, and how architects can work with tight constraints to create an intrinsically unique solution to a family situation.</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Photo: Anna+Tam &copy; nimtim architects ltd</figcaption></figure><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Nimtim</a>&rsquo;s shortlisted project is no exception; a young family needing extra space, privacy, and addressing this on a multi-levelled site. The result is a modern, sleek echo of the adjoining terraced roofscape, and a considered approach to lighting and heating within this elegant design.&nbsp;<br></p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Photo: Anna+Tam &copy; nimtim architects ltd</figcaption></figure><p>The use of timber on both the external and the internal creates a cohesion throughout the project, and the way in which the existing ground floor layout of the home has been addressed, gives the impression on the interior that this is not an addition but a natural evolution of t...</p> Steven Holl Architects' Maggie's Centre at Barts is now open Justine Testado 2017-12-14T19:27:00-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>Over two years after <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">the groundbreaking</a>, the new <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Maggie's Centre</a>&nbsp;Barts in Central London finally opened earlier this week. Located throughout the UK, Maggie's Centres&nbsp;offer free practical and emotional support for people who live with cancer and their loved ones.</p> <p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Steven Holl Architects</a>, along with UK firm jmarchitects, designed the 3-story building as a &ldquo;vessel within a vessel within a vessel&rdquo;.&nbsp;The new Maggie's Centre replaces a 1960s brick structure, adjacent to a 17th-century stone structure by James Gibbs.<br></p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Photo: Iwan Baan.</figcaption></figure><p>Built next to St. Bartholomew&rsquo;s Hospital (London's oldest hospital), the Centre's exterior shows off a translucent glass facade that gives the structure a glowing appearance. The facade has colored glass fragments arranged in horizontal bands like a musical staff, in reference to the &ldquo;neume notation&rdquo; of 13-century Medieval music, SHA describes.&nbsp;</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Photo: Iwan Baan.</figcaption></figure><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Photo: Iwan Baan.</figcaption></figure><p>The building's translucent facade allows the interior to be filled with natural lig...</p> The new billion-dollar U.S. embassy in London doesn't want to look like a fortress Alexander Walter 2017-12-14T14:26:00-05:00 >2017-12-14T14:38:36-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>At $1 billion, it is the most expensive embassy ever constructed. But its designers say the new American chancery on the Thames River marks a paradigm shift: The U.S. Embassy here will exude openness while hiding all the clever ways it defends itself from attack. After decades of building American embassies that look brutalist or bland, like obvious fortresses, the soon-to-be-opened chancery in London is a crystalline cube, plopped down in the middle of a public park, without visible walls.&nbsp;</p></em><br /><br /><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Image via the U.S. Embassy in London's Twitter</figcaption></figure><p>The <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">KieranTimberlake</a>-designed <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">U.S. Embassy in London</a> is preparing for its grand opening on January 16, and the building pleasantly departs from the increasingly common drab 'fortress' chic that American chanceries in cities with heightened risk of terror attacks have adopted.&nbsp;</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Image via the U.S. Embassy in London's Twitter</figcaption></figure><p>Pulling off a seemingly transparent and welcoming look while still employing state-of-the-art defensive strategies and gadgetry (it even has a pseudo-moat) isn't cheap though &mdash; the crystalline 'sugar cube' comes with a hefty $1-billion price tag and takes the title of the most expensive embassy ever built.</p>