London to invest $140 million to boost cycling in the ‘burbs

A proposed "cycle hub" in Kingston. (Transport for London)

A proposed “cycle hub” in Kingston. (Transport for London)

As we’ve been reporting, there are some pretty big urbanism proposals being pushed in London right now. Next month, the city is expected to break ground on a massive cycle superhighway that will give cyclists about 20 miles of new protected bike lanes. Mayor Johnson is also supporting a plan to bury parts of major thoroughfares to boost walkability and development. But now, something even bigger is brewing in the London suburbs.

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London’s mayor wants to move major streets underground to make a pedestrian-friendly city

Current image of A408 Southgate  in London (Courtesy TfL)TfL-FlyUnders - A406 Southgate

In recent years, the proliferation of parks, pedestrian plazas, greenways, and bike share programs in cities around the world have signaled an important change in the culture of city-dwellers, one that values walkability, integrated and congestion-free neighborhoods, open space, and environmental health. The major thoroughfares, however, that slice through metropolises are not always conducive with this desired urban experience, and take up space that could otherwise be used for housing, office and commercial uses, and parkland. That’s why London Mayor Boris Johnson is proposing to relocate portions of key road networks underground. And where better to make this announcement than in and around Boston’s infamous “Big Dig” project?

Continue reading after the jump.

London expected to break ground on massive “cycle superhighway”

(Courtesy Greater London Authority)

(Courtesy Greater London Authority)

London is ready to one-up its bike-friendly European neighbors by building the longest, continuous protected cycleway on the continent. Mayor Boris Johnson has been emphatically endorsing the plan that would create two “superhighways” of bi-directional, curb protected bike lanes. The longer of the two paths would run 18 miles, past some of London’s most iconic sites.

Continue reading after the jump.

Are London’s Paolozzi underground mosaics to be destroyed?

(Courtesy The Twentieth Century Society)

(Courtesy The Twentieth Century Society)

In October on a visit to London, friends mentioned that Eduardo Paolozzi’s early 1980 tile mosaics in the Tottenham Court tube station were going to be demolished. I diverted a Northern Line trip from Bank Street to the Charing Cross branch of the line and and walked through the Tottenham Station taking poorly lit iPhone images of the threatened mosaics. Paolozzi was a founding member of the English Independent Group and as an important early pop artist. His tube station artworks are a colorful and bright addition to a public space that is usually generic and often downright lifeless and boring.

Continue reading after the jump.

Less Resistance, More Teamwork: UK cities embrace resiliency with hard-working landscapes

Newcastle University. (Courtesy OOBE Ltd.)

Newcastle University. (Courtesy OOBE Ltd.)

Major cities in the United Kingdom such as London and Newcastle have adopted a gentler approach to flood resilience—harnessing features of the existing landscape instead of erecting fortifications.

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Eavesdrop> Prince Charles’ Royal Rules

Charles, Prince of Wales. (Courtesy Charles, Prince of Wales)

Charles, Prince of Wales. (Courtesy Charles, Prince of Wales)

 

Charles, Prince of Wales, is at it again, giving his two cents regarding the current dismal state of architecture. In a new essay, “Facing up to the Future,” in Architectural Review, the British royal has come up with “10 important geometric principles” to guide future master plans, based on the sacred order of “Nature.”

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December’s Top Five: Here’s what you read most on the AN Blog

Santiago Calatrava's transit center in New York City. (Courtesy Port Authority)

Santiago Calatrava’s transit center in New York City. (Courtesy Port Authority)

With 2014 quickly receding into history, here’s a look at what blog posts AN‘s readers clicked on most last month. Big international stories, many with starchitects attached, abounded in New York, London, Los Angeles, Helsinki, and Rio de Janeiro. All of December’s top stories point toward the future, with many under-construction projects that will be sure to dominate additional headlines this year. Here’s a glimpse at what was in the news.

View the top 5 after the jump.

Bjarke Ingels joins Foster and Gehry for Battersea Power Station redevelopment

Malaysia Square. (Courtesy Bjarke Ingels Group via Battersea Power Station)

Malaysia Square. (Courtesy Bjarke Ingels Group via Battersea Power Station)

Bjarke Ingels is slated to join elder architectural statesmen Norman Foster and Frank Gehry at the Battersea Power Station in London. The multi-billion dollar, mixed-use redevelopment was originally master planned by, yes, another starchitect, Rafael Viñoly. Ingels’ firm, BIG, joins the bunch after winning a competition to design a public space for the project called Malaysia Square. Why is it called Malaysia Square? Because, lest the Brits forget, the project is backed by a Malaysian development consortium.

Continue reading after the jump.

Spanish firm SelgasCano to design 15th Serpentine Pavilion in London

Mérida Factory Youth Movement. (Courtesy Iwan Baan)

Mérida Factory Youth Movement. (Iwan Baan)

The Serpentine Galleries has announced that Spanish architecture firm SelgasCano has been selected to design its 15th Serpentine Pavilion in London‘s Kensington Gardens. While the pavilion plan won’t be unveiled until February, here’s what we know about the firm that won the coveted commission.

Continue reading after the jump.

Drive-By Design: A billboard by Zaha Hadid proposed for London

Architecture, Design, National, Newsletter
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
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09-zaha-billboard-london

International outdoor advertising and street furnishings firm JCDecaux and Zaha Hadid Architects have proposed a new billboard design for a busy London intersection. The Paris-based JCDecaux has quite the history of collaborating with high-profile architects and designers—Peter Eisenman, Robert Stern, Gae Aulenti, Philippe Starck, and Lord Norman Foster among them.

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In London, Renzo Piano’s so-called “Shardette” to rise next to so-called “Shard”

Fielden House street level. (Courtesy Renzo Piano Building Workshop)

Fielden House at street level. (Courtesy Renzo Piano Building Workshop)

With his 1,016-foot-tall glassy skyscraper, aptly dubbed “The Shard“, towering above London, and his 17-story office tower, nicknamed the “baby Shard” open nearby, it’s only fitting that Renzo Piano wants to complete the Shardian Trilogy. This week, he came one step closer to accomplishing that with unanimous approval for a 26-story residential tower called “The Shardette.” No, that is not at all the real name. For the record, it is called the Fielden House project.

Continue reading after the jump.

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Video> Knight Architects create folding fan-like bridge in London

The Merchant Square Footbridge. (Edmund Sumner via Knight Architects)

The Merchant Square Footbridge. (Edmund Sumner via Knight Architects)

The UK-based firm Knight Architects has created a pedestrian bridge in London that opens and closes like a Japanese folding fan. The Merchant Square Footbridge is comprised of five steel beams that sequentially open with the help of hydraulic jacks. The structure spans about 65 feet across the Grand Union Canal in the new mixed-use Merchant Square development in Paddington.

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