Culture at Risk: World Monuments Fund Watch List Includes Palisades, FLW’s Taliesin

International, Newsletter
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
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According to the List, Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin Is in Danger of Disrepair. (Courtesy Casey Eisenrich / Flickr)

According to the List, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin Is in Danger of Disrepair. (Courtesy Casey Eisenrich / Flickr)

The World Monuments Fund has announced its 2014 Watch List for cultural sites at risk by changes in economy, society, and politics within their respective countries and disrepair due to natural forces. For 2014, the Monument Watch List, compiled and released every two years since 1996, has cited 67 heritage risks in 41 countries and territories around the world. These sites range from Frank Lloyd Wright’s 1911-built Taliesin home in Wisconsin, submissive to elements of weathering, to the tree-lined Palisades cliffs in New York and New Jersey, jeopardized by corporate construction plans, to all of the cultural sites of Syria, risked by current war conflict.

View the gallery of highlights after the jump.

Zaha Hadid: Right Angles Bad, Dictatorships Okay

Eavesdroplet, International
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
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Zaha Hadid said she wouldn't design a prison. (Montage by AN)

Zaha Hadid said she wouldn’t design a prison. (Montage by AN)

The Guardian got up close and personal with Zaha Hadid in a recent, no-holds-barred interview where the Pritzker prize-winning architect gave her two cents on London’s “conservative” architecture climate and railed against rectangular buildings, revealing a nugget of wisdom that perhaps has eluded most designers: “The world is not a rectangle.” Beyond her dislike for conventional corner-oriented design, she also told the reporter that, at her firm, “we don’t make nice little buildings.”

While quadrilaterals and “nice” architecture are out of the question, apparently designing in Syria isn’t. That is, unless it is an un-luxurious prison. “Well, I wouldn’t mind building in Syria,” Hadid told the paper. “I’m an Arab and if it helps people, if it’s an opera house or a parliament building, something for the masses, I would do it. But if someone asks me to build a prison, I wouldn’t do it. I wouldn’t build a prison, irrespective of where it is, even if it was very luxurious.” What population living in a war-ravaged country doesn’t need a first-rate opera house?

London’s Crystal Palace Reconstruction Effort Receives $800 Million in Funding

International
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
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(Courtesy The Crystal Palace / The ZhongRong Group)

(Courtesy The Crystal Palace / The ZhongRong Group)

Plans have been revealed for the reconstruction of London’s famed Crystal Palace and its surrounding 180-acre public park after London’s Mayor Boris Johnson, accepted an $800 million investment promise from Shanghai-based investors ZhongRong Group. Constructed in 1851 for the Great Exhibition in Hyde Park, a fire ravaged Joseph Paxton’s glass and cast iron structural innovation in 1936. Since then, the area has been mostly abandoned with even the sizable public green space around it largely unused except for temporary events. At the launch event last week, ZhongRong Group announced its funding plans and independent engineering firm, ARUP, revealed their renovation renderings and park design plans.

Continue reading after the jump.

Zaha Hadid Puts her Curvilienear Spin on the Serpentine’s New Sackler Gallery

International, Newsletter
Monday, September 30, 2013
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Serpentine Sackler Gallery (Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects)

Serpentine Sackler Gallery (Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects)

Architect Zaha Hadid is finally putting her stamp on the city she has called home for over 30 years with one of her signature curvaceous designs. The London-based architect has designed the new Serpentine Sackler Gallery in Kensington Gardens consisting of both a $14.5 million curvilinear extension and the renovation of the The Magazine, a brick building originally built as a Gunpowder Store in the early 19th century.

Continue reading after the jump.

CTBUH Names Best Tall Buildings for 2013

International
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
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The Bow, Calgary, Canada. (Nigel Young)

The Bow, Calgary, Canada. (Nigel Young)

After reviewing over 60 entries from around the world, The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has selected this year’s winners of its annual Best Tall Buildings. Regional winners from Canada, China, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates have been announced, while an overall winner will be revealed at the CTBUH 12th Annual Ceremony in November. Projects are recognized for their impacts on the development of tall buildings and the urban environment, and for sustainability.

View the winners after the jump.

KPF Plans to Extend 1970s London Landmark Tower

International
Thursday, July 18, 2013
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Rendering of KPF's addition. (Courtesy KPF)

Rendering of KPF’s addition. (Courtesy KPF)

International architecture firm Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF) has several projects underway, such as One Hudson Yards and a new master plan for New York City’s Port Authority. Most recently, in a reinvention of spaces, KPF has submitted plans to build 11 floors on top of Richard Seifert’s 1972 30-story King’s Reach Tower, which has been renamed South Bank Tower. Located on London’s South Bank, the tower will be transformed into a mixed-use building consisting of 191 high-rise luxury apartments.

Continue reading after the jump.

Slow Boil.  Slow Boil The designers at New York-based Atopia Innovation, must have been stewing over the past year. Although the gag order imposed on all participating architects and designers by London’s Olympic Organizing Committee (a.k.a. LOCOG) was lifted in January, Atopia only stepped forward in late June to say that the Olympic Cauldron designed by Thomas Heatherwick and used in the 2012 opening ceremonies seems to have been directly inspired by studies Atopia delivered to LOCOG between 2006 and 2008. Check out the sketchbook that seems to prove the point at atopiainnovation.com. (Photo: Courtesy Thomas Heatherwick)

 

Unveiled> AHMM Designs Google’s New London HQ

International
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
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(Courtesy AHMM)

(Courtesy AHMM)

London-based Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) has applied for planning permission to build a 67-acre headquarters for Google in London’s King’s Cross, a swiftly evolving district. The firm’s designs incorporate a steel-framed structure with cross-laminated timber panels complemented by bold primary colored exposed steel elements. The plan integrates a rooftop garden along with shops, cafes, and restaurants on the ground level. Construction is set to begin early next year. Read More

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Whimsical Green Promenade Aims to Revive London’s Disconnected Vauxhall Neighborhood

(COURTESY OF ERECT ARCHITECTURE)

(COURTESY OF ERECT ARCHITECTURE)

From the mid-17th to the mid-19th century, crowds of Londoners sought entertainment at the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, located on the south bank of the River Thames. The acres of greenery that made up the garden were once the site of numerous whimsical attractions, including tight-rope walkers, concerts, fireworks, and narrow winding walkways perfect for amorous adventures. Today the neighborhood of Vauxhall, located in the heart of Nine Elms, is mostly known for the railway arches that slice across the neighborhood, disconnecting it from the riverside and labeling it as the “missing link” between the New US Embassy Quarter and London’s South Bank.

Continue reading after the jump.

Proposed Garden Bridge Over the Thames Invites Commuters to Slow Down

thomas-heatherwick-garden-bridge-over-thames-designboom-01

Rendering of Hearthwick Studio’s design of the new Garden Bridge. (Courtesy Heatherwick Studio)

Heatherwick Studio has envisioned a refreshing way for Londoners to safely commute from the North to the South side of the city that doesn’t involve the hassle of waiting for a bus, squeezing onto the overcrowded “Tube,” or sitting in mind-numbing traffic. The firm, which has been working closely with actress and campaigner Joanna Lumley to develop the design, proposed a pedestrian garden bridge that will extend across the River Thames, providing Londoners with a safe, green river crossing.

Continue reading after the jump.

London’s Olympic Village To Become Urban Housing Project

International
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
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East Village London (Courtesy East Village)

East Village London (Courtesy East Village)

The London 2012 Games may have ended over 10 months ago, but even without the 17,000 athletes that lived on the premises, the Olympic Village is still brimming with commotion. Construction has begun onsite to refurbish the still-nearly-new structures into a residential housing system, Get Living London, in a new neighborhood called East Village. The site’s new owners, the sovereign wealth fund Qatari Diar and British property developer Delancey paid $870 million for the Village and development land close by, according to The National.

Continue reading after the jump.

Terry Farrell & Partners Comissioned for Master Plan of London’s Royal Albert Docks

International
Friday, May 31, 2013
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(Terry Farrell & Partners)

(Terry Farrell & Partners)

In the early 1900’s the Royal Albert Docks, located to the east of the city of London, served as London’s most prominent source of international trade and commerce. Now the 130-year-old docks, which over the years have been closed to commercial traffic and only used for watersports, will be transformed into London’s third booming financial district. Terry Farrell & Partners have been commissioned to carry out the complex master plan of the 35-acre site.

Continue reading after the jump.

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