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Wednesday, 1st May 2013 at 12:02pm
The building has the world's most powerful man-made tornado, and whilst this does attract visitors, this is not the reason for its existence.
Created from 144 jets spewing 28 tons of smoke in a 112-foot-high column, the idea of a tornado in a showroom containing over 150 luxury vehicles may seem like an odd one, but it is actually a clever fire-safety mechanism.
The building is made from a steel structure based on a double-helix, featuring a massive central atrium viewable from the floors that spiral around it. All rooms are open, all walls are curved and each of the 1800 triangular window panes on the exterior walls is unique. This however means that there are no fire zones within the building so by creating this tornado they are able to expel smoke emissions from within the building. It is said to take about 7 minutes for the jets that line the interior walls to get the smoke to whirl into a tornado and escape through vents in the roof.
Watch a video of the tornado in action below.
Sunday, 28th April 2013 at 10:59am
May will see the return of the Clerkenwell Design Week. The event is a showcase of architecture and design works from across the globe, with a focus on British designs.
Held in a variety of locations in the historic Central London area, it will see show regulars returning as well as some new faces such as Arper, Plumen and Foscarini.
Brands returning to the festival include Vitra, Knoll, Boss Design, Domus Tiles, Deadgood, Dare Studio, Jennifer Newman, Muuto, Magis, Zanotta, Johnson Tiles, and Dezeen.
The event takes place across 50 furniture showrooms and several special locations. The Farmiloe Building, a former Victorian merchants warehouse, will play host to high-profile international brands; The House of Detention, a subterranean Victorian prison, will form the festival’s hotspot for new designers, and the 12th century crypt and charming garden of the Priory of the Order of St John, will act as the hub for interior decoration trends.
Taking place on the 21st to 23rd May 2013, it is the fourth time the event has taken over the area, being spread out over several different sites, and will offer talks, debates and parties throughout its course.
To register for the event click here.
Friday, 26th April 2013 at 12:53pm
The project includes six architecture studios working with shops along the famous road, creating unique displays in six of the most iconic stores.
Supported by RIBA and the Regent Street Association, the project is in its fourth year and runs until 6th May 2013.
Topshop has a rotating wheel of mannequins designed by George King and Mark Nixon from Neon, which will allow for different outfits to be displayed throughout the day.
The installation at Karen Millen is made of sports fabric and cable ties, and spans the 30-metre length of the window. It is the creation of Mamou-Mani.
John Tollitt and his team at Gensler drew on the emotional response one may feel driving one of their cars for their display for the flagship store of Ferrari.
The atrium of Espirit's store was transformed by naganJohnson into a beach scene, complete with a wave of chestnut paling fencing.
Carl Turner Architects referenced American artist Gordon Matta Clark's images of cut-out buildings at Jack Spade's Brewer Street store, just off Regent Street, creating fantasy New York streetscapes on the facade, in the windows and on blackboard illustrations.
Finally, interlocking panels to form freestanding screens at Moss Bros, creating a three-dimensional herringbone effect was the idea of AY Architects.
Find out more information and see more images here.
Photographs are by Agnese Sanvito.
Tuesday, 23rd April 2013 at 11:00am
To offer a solution for this problem, Anthony Nelson, a landscape architect from Design International, has offered up a design for an elevated path for cyclists. The proposal, which is still being worked on, would see a steel pathway constructed that would hug the canal and it above the current path.
The new path will offer more than a safe route for the 500 cyclists that use the canal each hour as it will provide retail opportunities at off ramps. The only issue yet to dealt with is how to accommodate the larger boats that use the canal. Nelson will be working on the plans further before presenting them to the city in Autumn.
Friday, 19th April 2013 at 1:07pm
The Design Museum in London has announced the winner of the 2013 Design of the Year Award, the Gov.uk website!
The website, which won by a unanimous vote, was chosen for its simplicity and ease of use, being built to allow visitors to quickly find the services they are looking for.
Chosen from a shortlist of seven category winners, which were unveiled on Wednesday 10th April, the overall winner was announced on the evening of 16th April.
The category winners include a folding wheel for wheelchairs, the Medici chair and a medicine packaging designed to fit between bottles of coke.
The Category winners are as follows:
Architecture: TOUR BOIS-LE-PRÊTRE, PARIS
Designed by Frédéric Druot, Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal
Digital: GOV.UK WEBSITE
Designed by Government DigitalService
Fashion: DIANA VREELAND: THE EYE HAS TO TRAVEL
Directed by Lisa Immordino Vreeland
Furniture: MEDICI CHAIR
Designed by Konstantin Grcic for Mattiazzi
Graphics: VENICE ARCHITECTURE BIENNALE IDENTITY
Designed by John Morgan Studio
Products: KIT YAMOYO
Designed by ColaLife and PI Global
Transport: MORPH FOLDING WHEEL
Designed by Vitamins for Maddak Inc.
Previous winners of the award include the Olympic Torch by BarberOsgerby and the Plumen 001 light bulb by Hulger and Samuel Wilkinson.
The exihibition will remain open until the 7th July 2013, further information can be found on a previous blog post here.
Thursday, 11th April 2013 at 9:47pm
The images allow us to see the true artistic design of airports, which at ground level can seem sterile and daunting. Seeing them from above grasps the true nature of the design.
Milstein was inspired from his childhood, which was spent filming planes at LAX, and he is now renowned for his images of the underbellies of planes.
Milstein’s work was on display at the AIPAD Photo Show New York between April 4-7, 2013. View the full portfolio for 'flying' here.
Wednesday, 10th April 2013 at 4:01pm
The platform is set below the water level in the middle of a lake, giving those from the shore the impression that people are below the water line.
The platform is a huge attraction for visitors to the region and consists of a ramp from the shore down to the cirlular enclosure which has seating provided for tourists to sit and enjoy the beautiful views.
Tuesday, 9th April 2013 at 9:44am
Called 'The Shed', the venue will show new productions that it deems "adventurous, ambitious and unexpected".
Open for a year from April, The Shed provides a new way to watch theatre, offering seats from £12 up to £20, with special days planned, including talks before or after shows.
Seats are either located at stage level or in a gallery providing patrons with an intimate view of the productions.
The building was designed and built by Haworth Tompkins, who are also incharge of the current redesign materplan for the artistic hub, and the design would seem to match the type of productiosn they plan to put on, with its vibrant colour and shape.
To find out more watch a video of lead architect Paddy Dillon talking about the design below.
Wednesday, 3rd April 2013 at 5:15pm
The collection is a series of 'homes' that have been designed and built with a unique idea behind them, including a 1sq.m house (not sure how you could really live in there), a fully transparent house and our favourite, a house with a giant slide.
Take a look at the full list here.
Thursday, 28th March 2013 at 9:02am
Using Marazzi’s SistemN tiles, from a range stocked by Capitol, they fitted out a showroom in Primrose Hill to create PuLSaTe, a pop-up installation that will not only show off the uses and colours of the tiles but also provide a cultural hub.
The zig-zag design, along with sloped floors, plays with your perception. Benches built into the walls of the installation become a consumer experience like no other. The pop-up installation on Chalcot Road, opened on the 21st March and will remain open, running a variety events including workshops, until 27th October 2013.
Take a look at a video about the project below.
Thursday, 28th March 2013 at 8:45am
Two British architecture firms who worked on projects for London 2012 have successfully been chosen to design stadia for the next Olympic Games.
3DReid and AndArchitects have been chosen to work with local companies to design and build venues.
3DReid has recently been working on the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games arenas, whilst AndAchitects has a long list of work with lower league football clubs.
Whilst the games will take place across 4 different areas of Rio, the companies will be focused on one area, which is the master plan of international firm AECOM. This section is vital for the games legacy as it will be be transformed in the years after the games into athletic training centres and a mix of public spaces and buildings for residential, commercial and office use.
Watch the outline for the plans in the video below.
Tuesday, 26th March 2013 at 6:58pm
The Czech-born architect is based in London, after studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, starting her career with the Greater London Council followed by the Louis de Soisssons Partneship. She then set up her own practice with David Hodges in 1982 and from there she began to be recognised for her work.
She rebranded her firm in 1985 to Eva Jiricna Architects, then in 1988 completed her flagship store for the Joseph fashion label, where it is said she "reinvented the idea of retail"
Jiřičná, who is also famous for her steel and glass staircases, was part of the inaguaral judging panel for the prize in 1998, which was created to honour Dame Jane Drew, who died in July 1996 and was an English modernist architect and town planner.
She recieved her prize at a special luncheon held in London on the 22nd March. Read an arctile about the awards here.
Wednesday, 20th March 2013 at 11:48am
Designed by Japan-based studio Metaphys, these fun planters are made to look like miniature buildings (ienami refers to a row of houses in Japanese).
Inspired by minimalist style buildings with roof gardens, these contemporary micro homes look good with delicate plants like soft mosses and small succulents.
Alley, Plaza, Tunnel and Zig Zag are the four designs included in the collection.
Tuesday, 19th March 2013 at 9:35am
Foster + Partners has designed their first flagship hotel, where everything from the shell to the interiors has been designed by the practice.
The ME Hotel, which opened earlier this year, is a brand new luxury hotel built occupying a triangular site in the Aldwych Crescent area of London. The 157-bed hotel seamlessly integrates with the restoration of the adjacent 1904 Marconi House, whose interior has been completely restructured to provide 87 apartments.
Clad in Portland stone, the hotel was built to the same height and scale as its neighbour, and despite having a modern feel, is still in keeping with the surrounding area. An elliptical tower on the corner of the building, which defines the end point for the Aldwych Crescent, is topped by a glass cupola – a contemporary reinterpretation of the Edwardian-style domed roof across the street. The glass cupola houses the penthouse suite for the hotel, with an impressive 360-degree panorama of the city, including views of the river.
Guests arriving at the hotel pass through a ground floor lounge with accompanying public restaurants and bar before ascending to a dedicated hotel lobby with a champagne bar on the first floor, all housed within a nine-storey high pyramidal space, encased entirely in white marble.
On the tenth floor is the hotel’s rooftop terraces, which are an urban oasis, with the Radio Rooftop Bar offering views of the river and Westminster skyline. The 5-star hotel also boasts versatile conference suites, a gym and a luxury 25-seat screening room.
Find out more on the project page.
Wednesday, 13th March 2013 at 10:43am
One Angel Square opened its doors at the beginning of the year to become the new headquarters for the Co-operative Group.
Designed by 3D Reid, the building comprises the first BREEAM 'Outstanding' regional office building in the UK, offering a total of 327,643 sq ft over 17 floors.
The design incorporates a recycling system for used water as well as a rainwater harvesting system to decrease water consumption by the building. It is also designed to consume 50% less energy compared to the previous Manchester headquarters of the Co-operative Group, as well as a reduction of 80% in carbon emissions. This will lead to an overall reduction of 30% in operating costs.
The building will get its power from rape seeds from the Co-operative farms, acting as fuel for the building's CHP (Combined heat and power) plant, with the remaining husks of the crop recycled into animal feed.
It has been designed to be future-proof allowing for a general temperature increase of 3-5 degrees and with the possibility of a 30% increase in rainfall by 2050.
Other ground breaking engineering features include a double skinned facade, to minimise heating and cooling throughout the year, and underground concrete earth tubes that provide free heating and cooling for incoming fresh air. There are also electrical pool car charging points and an 'App' is in development to relay real time information on how the building is performing.
Tuesday, 5th March 2013 at 3:26pm
Architecture and design company Murado & Elvira has released a free download that allows you to build your own paper model of the Teknobyen Studentboliger, a student housing project the company built for SiT in Trondheim, Norway.
The building has been nominated for the Statens Byggeskikkpris 2012; the Norwegian National Building Awards and has won the Trondheim Kommune Energispareprisen (Energy Saving Prize 2012).
The company also has a free desktop pet available to download- there are five to choose from, representing the belief that buildings as objects can become like pets due to an empathic relationship people build with them.
Download the Free Paper Teknotoy here.
Friday, 1st March 2013 at 11:29am
In the latest move forward for a new London airport Boris Johnson has appointed Zaha Hadid Architects, along with aviation experts, to develop designs for a multi runway hub, to be built in the southeast.
Zaha Hadid will submit plans that will also help make recommendations on the location of the airport, which the Mayor of London sees as vital to rejuvenate the British economy and to solve the current aviation crisis.
Other organisations asked to prepare plans, as part of an airport design and infrastructure panel, were Atkins, a British design and engineering company, and Pascall & Watson architects who worked on St. Pancras international and Heathrow Terminal 5.
Find out more via the full press release here.
Tuesday, 26th February 2013 at 5:07pm
The French Rugby Federation (FFR) has unveiled the winning design for the new French national rugby stadium.
The ‘Grande Stade’ will be built using the designs of Populous and Ateliers 2/3/4/, and will be much more than just a rugby stadium; as well as hosting all the French rugby home matches, it will accommodate conventions, shows and a broad range of other sporting events thanks to its multi-purpose design.
The design boasts a retractable pitch, to ensure the best possible playing surface for matches, and a retractable roof, which will help to create an intense atmosphere for sporting fixtures as well as creating the largest roofed entertainment venue in Europe, with a planned seating capacity of 82,000.
The new venue will be built South of Paris, with the architecture alluding to the hospitality and shelter of a town, with solid white stone masses on the exterior resembling the rock quarries of the region, contrasted by the variety of thriving public spaces and multi-level lounges within the structure.
Sunday, 24th February 2013 at 12:00pm
A new hotel is being built that will extend 328 feet underground, but fear not it will still have a view.
The Shimao Intercontinental Hotel is being built in an abandoned quarry near the base of Tianmashan Mountain in the Songjiang district of Shanghai.
The hotel will accommodate 380 rooms over 19 floors, with three of those floors being above ground, whilst the remainder are built against the face of the 100 meter deep quarry.
The concept is to mimic a waterfall with a glass atrium that will span from the ground-level all the way down into the quarry and was designed by the British engineering firm Atkins Global. It will also blend into the surrounding area via green roofs at the ground level, which will double up as insulation.
To increase the wow factor of the future 5-star resort there are no plans to drain the water from the bottom of the quarry. Instead they will use it as a man-made lake for water sports.
There will also be underwater public areas, including a 10-meter-deep aquarium, alongside the standard amenities you would expect from a luxury hotel; cafes, restaurants, swimming pools, shops and sporting facilities.
Whilst the hotel won't meet the original opening date of May 2009, it is scheduled to be open from late 2014 to early 2015.
Tuesday, 19th February 2013 at 12:00pm
The temporary semi-transparent pavilion, which will be open from 8th June until 20th October, will have two entrances, provide a seating area for a central cafe, and will occupy 350 square-metres of lawn outside the London gallery.
This is the third time a Japanese architect has accepted the annual unpaid commission, which is one of the most highly sought-after small projects in world architecture and goes to a major architect who hasn't yet built in the UK.
Last year's pavilion was a cork-lined archaeological dig created by Herzog & de Meuron with Ai Weiwei, who was forbidden to leave China at the time.