Foster & Partners, HOK among nine shortlisted for UK Houses of Parliament upgrades

Houses of Parliament from across the Thames ( / Flickr )

Houses of Parliament from across the Thames (Berit Watkin / Flickr)

Allies and Morrison, BDP, HOK and Foster+Partners have been shortlisted among a group of nine firms for the refurbishment project at the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London. The commission is touted to be worth up to $31.5 million.

Continue reading after the jump.

OMA selected to design The Factory, a major arts complex in Manchester, England

(Courtesy OMA)

(Courtesy OMA)

After fending off  Rafael Viñoly, Zaha Hadid, Nicholas Grimshaw, Haworth Tompkins Limited and compatriots Mecanoo, OMA‘s design for “The Factory” will become Manchester’s new art house. Lead by Rem Koolhaas, The Factory will be in the British city’s center and is touted to cost $166 million with a further $13.5 million-a-year to run.

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Dead Mansion Walking: This zombie-proof cabin aims to keep you safe after the zombie apocalypse

Architecture, International
Friday, October 30, 2015
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Zombies not included. (Courtesy Tiger Sheds)

Zombies not included. (Courtesy Tiger Sheds)

As Halloween lurks around the corner, the need for protection from zombies has never been more urgent. So far, the survival technique of “grab Liz, go to the Winchester, have a nice cold pint, and wait for all of this to blow over” has sufficed for centuries, if not millennia, though contemporary Zombies pose a much more vicious threat.

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Burntwood School by AHMM wins 2015 RIBA Stirling Prize

(Courtesy RIBA)

(Courtesy RIBA)

Burntwood School, a girls high school in Wandsworth, south London, has won the UK’s most coveted architecture award—RIBA‘s Stirling Prize—with judges describing it as the “clear winner.” The project by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) also collected the RIBA London 2015 award in the process.

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David Chipperfield beats Foster, KPF to convert US embassy in London to hotel

US Embassy in London, on the 9th April 2006. Courtesy Veedar, Wikipedia

US Embassy in London, on the 9th April 2006. (Courtesy Veedar / Wikipedia)

In London‘s high-end Mayfair neighborhood, the Brutalist United States embassy, originally designed by Eero Saarinen, has been keeping watch over Grosvenor Square for 55 years. Diplomats will soon be exiting the building, however, as developers prepare for a hotel conversion by David Chipperfield Architects.

More after the jump.

Richard Rogers to lead parliamentary inquiry into how design of the built environment affects behavior

(Courtesy Rogers Stirk Harbor + Partners)

(Courtesy Rogers Stirk Harbor + Partners)

Riding on a wave of psychographic research indicating positive correlations between productivity and the work environment, architect Richard Rogers has launched an ambitious parliamentary inquiry into how design overall affects behavior.

The founder of Rogers Stirk Harbor + Partners kicked off the eight-month Design Commission inquiry this June before the Houses of Parliament in London. The cross-party investigation led by Rogers will explore how design in planning of the built environment creates a tendency towards positive behaviors within local communities. The inquiry was lodged the same week as newly-released research which supports the long-held view that cities which promote physical activity benefit from economic productivity gains.

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Pictorial> Step inside Selgascano’s psychedelic Serpentine Pavilion

(Iwan Baan)

(Iwan Baan)

The 2015 Serpentine Pavilion has opened to the public in London‘s Kensington Gardens. The psychedelic, worm-like structure was designed by SelgasCano, a husband-and-wife team based in Madrid, and features translucent ETFE panels that are wrapped and woven like webbing. The architects said the pavilion’s design is partially inspired by the chaos of passing through the London Underground.

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Guy Hollaway Architects announces world’s first multi-story indoor skate park in UK seaside town; calls it “controlled adrenaline facility”

(Courtesy Guy Hollaway Architects)

(Courtesy Guy Hollaway Architects)

In a bid to keep restless youth from fleeing the sleepy seaside town of Folkestone, UK, for more hedonistic pastures, Guy Holloway Architects has conceptualized what is allegedly the “world’s first” multi-story indoor skatepark.

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Pictorial> Twenty-one of the best pavilions from Milan Expo 2015

All the Pavilions. (Courtesy Expo Milano 2015)

All the Pavilions. (Courtesy Expo Milano 2015)

Milano Expo 2015 is rolling along, with 145 countries and a host of international organizations, civil society organizations, and corporations displaying their food-centric traditions and the latest sustainable agriculture and food production techniques.

Continue reading after the jump.

World’s largest solar bridge completed in London

Image Courtesy of Network Rail

Image Courtesy of Network Rail

Work was just finished on the Blackfriars Bridge in London, which is now the largest solar bridge in the world. The renovation of the Victorian-era bridge was part of the larger modernization project for the adjoining Blackfriar’s railway station. The station has been fitted with 4,400 photovoltaic panels, which are expected to reduce the station’s CO2 emissions by an estimated 511 tons (563 tons) per year. Work began in spring 2009 and the station was operationally complete in time for the 2012 Olympics, with the solar array installation complete in March 2013. The full refurbishment of the station is now also complete.

The nearly 20,000-square-feet of new panels are intended to offset about 50% of the station’s energy costs.

More after the jump.

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