Pioneering British Supermarket Appears Destined for an Early Demise

SAINSBURY6

(Courtesy Chetwoods Architects)

A British supermarket once lauded for its ingenuity and pioneering nature is now on the chopping block with a Swedish invader looming. When it was completed, the Greenwich branch of UK Mega-chain Sainsbury’s was hailed as a breakthrough in eco-design and shortlisted for a prestigious Stirling Prize. Yet in early March the city council approved plans to demolish the structure in order to pave the way for a new IKEA warehouse outlet.

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Sound Artist Chris Watson Maps the Aural Landscape of Sheffield, England

City Terrain, International
Thursday, October 31, 2013
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Sheffield City Center (Courtesy Tim Webber / Flickr)

Sheffield City Center (Courtesy Tim Webber / Flickr)

Sound recordist Chris Watson has returned home for his most recent project: creating an aural map of the contemporary landscape of Sheffield, England. Two years ago, the Guardian reported, Museums Sheffield’s Millennium Gallery asked Watson to undertake the project, mapping the noises of a town he has not lived in for thirty years. Over the past 18 months, the audio artist made a series of ambisonic recordings of the natural and urban environments of the city. The result is a 36-minute sound journey, Inside the Circle of Fire: a Sheffield Sound Map, on current exhibition at the Gallery.

Hear the Sounds of Sheffield After the Jump

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 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.

Oxford’s Bodleian Libraries Commissions Third Chair in 400 Years

International
Monday, September 30, 2013
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Bodleian Library Chair Winner (Courtesy Jamie Smith)

Bodleian Library Chair Winner (Courtesy Jamie Smith)

Designing for a specific space can be a challenge, but try designing a chair predestined to become a contemporary statement in the newly-refurbished Weston Library, part of the Bodleian Libraries at Oxford, which has commissioned only its third new chair in 400 years. Earlier this year, three partnerships—Amanda Levete and Herman Miller, Barber Osgerby  and Isokon Plus, and Matthew Hilton and SCP Ltd—were shortlisted to compete for the prestigious prize, which has officially been awarded to Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby with Isokon, for their low, round-backed design.

Continue reading after the jump.

Pictorial> Mecanoo Opens New Birmingham Library

East, International
Monday, September 23, 2013
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(Christian Richters)

(Christian Richters)

Dutch firm Mecanoo’s latest civic building represents a new era in library design. The new Library of Birmingham in the UK replaces the former James Hardin–designed central library, a brutalist concrete structure. The new library is a sleek expression of the evolving nature of education and learning in the 21st century. The modern, metal-clad structure houses a variety of services, including a multimedia center, two cafés, a music library, a performance space, green outdoor terraces, a shop and a gallery. The design vision is that the space will offer culture and entertainment, as well as learning and information.

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A Nest-Like Treehouse Will Perch Among the Rainforest Canopy in…England

International, Newsletter
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
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Treehouse by Jerry Tate Architects & Blue Forest for the Eden Project. (Kilian O’Sullivan)

Treehouse by Jerry Tate Architects & Blue Forest for the Eden Project. (Kilian O’Sullivan: kilianosullivan.co.uk)

Jerry Tate Architects has revealed the design for a dynamic treehouse called the Biodiversity Nest to be built inside the Eden Project facility in Cornwall, UK. The London-based firm’s design unites architecture and nature, much like the Eden Project’s massive Grimshaw-designed overlapping geodesic domes comprising the world’s largest enclosed rainforest.

The Biodiversity Nest, part of the new Rainforest Canopy Walkway project, will sit between two 52-foot-tall bridges in the Eden Project’s Humid Tropics Biome. The timber enclosure will provide a shady education space perched in the tree canopy.

Continue reading after the jump.

Arb-itects? English Registration Board Flips Out Over Titles

Eavesdroplet, International
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
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Daniel Libeskind (left) and Renzo Piano (right).

Daniel Libeskind (left) and Renzo Piano (right).

In a letter to Building Design magazine, the Architects Registration Board in London, aka ARB, has requested that BD no longer refer to Renzo Piano and Daniel Libeskind as “architects.” Apparently, neither are registered as architects with the all-knowing ARB, therefore “they are not entitled to be described as such,” states the letter. BD Editor-in-Chief Amanda Baillieu immediately called out ARB’s high-handed mandate in an online editorial, writing, “there is no other word to describe ARB’s ban on calling Renzo Piano an architect except bonkers.” The registration board’s Alison Carr later apologized for the letter, “Do I think that this was a great example to bring to BD’s attention and help raise awareness? No I don’t. We should have been more cautious so that we get the right message across at the right time, and for that I apologise.”

Golden Carbuncle: Grimshaw’s Cutty Sark Named Ugliest Building in UK

Eavesdroplet, International, Newsletter
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
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(Jim Stephenson)

(Jim Stephenson)

The famous clipper ship Cutty Sark was recently rehabilitated by Grimshaw Architects, who also built an exhibition hall around the vessel. The project, which opened in April, has just received the dubious distinction of winning Building Design’s 2012 Carbuncle (a.k.a. “ugliest building”) Cup award. Parked in Greenwich, England and categorized as a World Heritage site, the ship now floats on a blue glass base intended to suggest water. But the resulting effect is more bateau-en-gelée, prompting BD executive editor Ellis Woodman to write that the project had “the best of intentions and yet has tragically succeeded in defiling the very thing it set out to save.”

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