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The Archibet City – an illustrated alphabet of architects

Tuesday, 28th January 2014 at 2:49pm

An illustrator has created a pictorial alphabet, incorporating architects and their most iconic buildings.

Federico Babina, who is also an illustrator, transformed each letter of the alphabet into the work of a famous architect to create the ‘Archibet’. For instance, ‘F’ is represented by Foster + Partners and their ‘Gherkin’, while ‘U’ incorporates Utzon’s Sydney Opera House.

Babina said: “The idea on which the Archibet project is based is to find a way to express through 26 illustrations the heterogeneity of forms and styles that make up the architecture.”

Each individual letter is intricately detailed and as a whole, the letters form a city of distinctive buildings, organised around roads and trees.

Take a closer look at Babina’s ‘Archibet’ here and tell us what your favourite letters are.

Tagged Archibet, Federico Babina, architecture, design, fun, clever, Foster, Utzon, innovative, innovation

Designers create ‘secret garden’ for famous ICEHOTEL

Friday, 24th January 2014 at 1:45pm

Two Swedish-based designers have contributed a room to the 24th version of the ICEHOTEL – in the form of a fantastical secret garden.

Inspired by the saying ‘you must believe in what does not exist, for what exists now, hasn’t always been there either’, Alessandro Falca and AnnaSofia Mååg constructed a mystical room out of snow and ice, incorporating intricate fairy-tale-like patterns, chandeliers and even a unicorn.

The ICEHOTEL is located in Jukkasjärvi, Northern Sweden, where it attracts 50,000 visitors a year. Each winter, the hotel is rebuilt from Torne River ice and ‘snice’ (a combination of snow and ice), and artists and designers are invited to create fresh rooms for the hotel.

The ICEHOTEL remains open until April, when it begins to gradually melt back into its environment.

Look closer at the secret garden here and tell us if you would like a stay in the ICEHOTEL.

Tagged ICEHOTEL, Sweden, Falca, Maag, architecture, design, ice, snow, secret garden

Cathedral installation uses twenty miles of coloured ribbon

Thursday, 16th January 2014 at 3:42pm

Grace Cathedral in San Francisco is currently the site of a breathtaking art installation to celebrate its centenary.

Named ‘Graced with Light’, the installation was designed by the cathedral’s Artist in Residence 2013, Anne Patterson. It incorporates twenty miles of coloured ribbon cascading from the high ceiling, combined with lighting, projection and music, which emphasises the effect of the stained glass windows.

Patterson, who is Grace’s second artist in residence, assembled the installation by hand with the help of the local community. Coming from a background in architecture and stage design, Patterson is also known for her sculpture, painting and installations.

Take a look at more beautiful pictures of the installation here and tell us if you would like to see this replicated in other historical buildings.

Tagged San Francisco, Grace Cathedral, Anne Patterson, design, installation, art, clever, architecture

Latest World Design Rankings released

Thursday, 16th January 2014 at 1:35pm

World Design Rankings has released the 2013 list, which sees the United States remain at the top of the aggregated rankings.

The list ranks countries by their success in internationally juried design competitions and has been accumulating them in the current list since 2010.

It breaks down into ‘design business insights’ (strengths, weaknesses and opportunities), which reveal how countries perform in different areas of design, such as architecture, art and technology.

Arranged by the A’ Design Award & Competition, the list ranks sixty-nine countries, including this year’s newcomers Iceland and Puerto Rico. The United States tops the table with 112 awards between its designers, followed closely by Turkey (89) and Hong Kong (81). The United Kingdom is in a respectable fifth place with 55 awards.

You can see the whole table here – do you think this is a good way to represent design achievements?

Tagged World Design Rankings, design, competition, awards, architecture, art, technology, creative

The Think Tank highlights of 2013

Thursday, 9th January 2014 at 8:38am

2013 has been an interesting year on The Think Tank Blog. We have seen record-breaking buildings, hosts of awards, hilarious new adverts and much more. With the New Year now upon us we take a look back at our top blogs from 2013.

Certainly one of the most memorable buildings we saw last year was this attempt in China to build what would be the world's tallest building - remarkably inside 90 days. The controversial designs for this made for fascinating reading, you can remind yourself about them here.

Back in January we blogged on some remarkable photos taken of a thawing cold storage building. The images showed the amazing ice structures that had formed within the building - you can take a look at these here.

Another memorable blog was our look at the ten greatest offices in the world. This piece featured offices from Google and Red Bull - to name just a few - and certainly made us jealous that we couldn't work in offices such as these! Take a look at them here.

As part of The Think Tank's ongoing sponsorship of B2B Marketing's Knowledge Bank PR Channel, our PR Director Samantha Dawe produced a Whitepaper titled 'PR in a changing media landscape', which took a look at the need for a new mindset to accommodate a changing media world. You can download it here.

Finally one of the most memorable adverts we came across last year has to be the Poo Pourri advert. This video advert contrasted an elegant actress with a toilet spray product and a hilarious script. You can watch this advert here

Tagged The Think Tag, Blog, architecture, fun, funny, creative, 2013, PR

An upside-down building appears in London!

Thursday, 2nd January 2014 at 11:40am

London-based artist Alex Chinneck has installed this interesting building on the street of Blackfriars Road in London.

The building was originally used to store horses and carriages - before Chinneck radically revamped its appearance.

The piece is entitled the 'Miner on the Moon' and features windows, shopfront signage and doors all turned on their heads to create the upside-down effect.

Take a closer look at this project here, and tell us if this would interest you if you saw it on your street.
Tagged Miner on the Moon, Alex Chinneck, design, architecture, innovative, innovation, fun, art

10x10 Drawing the City London raises £90,000 for Article 25

Monday, 9th December 2013 at 4:48pm

We’re delighted to announce that 10x10 Drawing the City London, the flagship event for architectural charity Article 25, raised £90,000.   

The event brought together world-renowned architects, artists and designers to create artwork of a chosen area of London. The images went under the hammer at the special live auction which took place at The Crossing, 1 Granary Square, London on Thursday 28th November.

The thrilling evening provided a chance to view and bid on a great variety of over 100 pieces of unique artwork with 25 selected pieces auctioned by a Sotheby’s auctioneer.

The magnificent pieces of artwork, which captured the extraordinary, the unnoticed and the ever-changing City of London, included images from some of the UK's leading architects and artists, such as Dame Zaha Hadid, Lord Richard Rogers, Roger FitzGerald, Sir Terry Farrell and Piers Gough. This year focussed on areas such as Hackney, Shoreditch and the Barbican.

All proceeds of the sale of the artwork will go to Article 25 building Street Children Centres, helping to get thousands of Africa’s most vulnerable children off the streets permanently and reconnecting them with their families or foster families.

The Think Tank is proud to be this year’s media partner for Article 25. 

Tagged Article 25, 10x10 Drawing the City London, art, design, architecture, fun, auction, charity

World's tallest building to be built in just 90 days!

Wednesday, 27th November 2013 at 1:48pm

Work is set to begin next month on what will become the world's tallest building, and its constructors say it will be completed in just 90 days.

China's Broad Group will be constructing the building, which they say will be built at a rate of five storeys a day.

On completion the building entitled the 'Sky City' tower will include schools, a hospital, 17 helipads and apartments for more than 30,000 people.

Take a closer look at this project here, and tell us if you are a fan of this architecture. 

Tagged Broad Group, Sky City, architecture, design, creative, installation, innovation, architect, construction, architects

NEXT Architects win Chinese bridge competition

Tuesday, 26th November 2013 at 11:30pm

Dutch studio NEXT Architects has won a competition to design a pedestrian bridge in Changsha, China.

The design of this sinuous structure reflects traditional Chinese crafts such as the Chinese knot.

The 150-metre bridge will create three different pedestrian routes across the Dragon King Harbour River.

Work on this stylish bridge is expected to start in 2014.

Take a closer look at the project here, and tell us if you like this design.

Tagged Next Architects, Changsha, architecture, architect, design, creative, innovative

Inaba designs stunning 'Skylight'

Thursday, 21st November 2013 at 9:56am

Skylight is a permanent installation designed by Inaba for the New Concert Hall in Stavanger, Norway.

The 38 foot long installation is based on a simple cylindrical design, with areas along the surface removed to enable views from the building into the city.

Skylight hangs from the foyer of the New Concert Hall, and is sure to make an impression with its stylish design.

Take a closer look at this project here, and tell us if you a fan of this piece.

Tagged Skylight, Inaba, New Concert Hall, installation, creative, design, architecture

Thomas Heatherwick designs a garden bridge across the River Thames

Friday, 15th November 2013 at 11:44am

Thomas Heatherwick has designed a scenic pedestrian bridge to be installed over the River Thames.

Heatherwick Studio is working alongside engineers Arup and landscape designer Dan Pearson on the £150 million plans, proposing the 367 metre pedestrian bridge.

The bridge will be covered in trees and shrubs which will provide a more scenic view against the busy London environment.

This design derives from a concept by actress Joanna Lumley for a new park in central London.

The bridge is scheduled for completion by 2017.

You can take a closer look at the designs here.

Tagged Thomas Heatherwick, Heatherwick Studio, Arup, Dan Pearson, architecture, design, clever, innovative, installation

Paul Cocksedge Studio showcases its 'living staircase'

Wednesday, 13th November 2013 at 1:31pm

London-based Paul Cocksedge Studio has created a staircase that also functions as a garden.

The plants grow along the balustrade and certainly offer a more scenic view, you can even pick some fresh mint for your afternoon tea! 

The central column of the staircase can be removed and replaced by platforms, which can then be used for reading, socialising or just taking a break.

The living staircase was designed for the Ampersand Building that is to be opened in London, Soho in autumn 2014.

Take a look at the staircase here, and tell us if you think your staircases could do with a plant or two.

Tagged Paul Cocksedge Studio, architecture, architect, design, creative, innovative, living staircase

The Think Tank attends the 10x10 Drawing the City London artwork preview

Wednesday, 6th November 2013 at 3:43pm

This year, The Think Tank is the media partner for Article 25’s flagship event,10x10 Drawing the City London. Organised by architectural and construction aid charity Article 25, 10x10 Drawing the City London brings together world-renowned architects, artists and designers to create artwork of a chosen area of London.

Participants of this year’s 10x10 Drawing the City London were on hand at a preview event held at Paul Davis + Partners' offices on 30th October to discuss the inspiration behind their work. Charity Founder Maxwell Hutchinson, broadcaster, architect and former past president of the Royal Institute of British Architects, was on hand at the preview to quiz the participants in an informal ‘show & tell’. Rydal Hanbury, Giles Carlton, Christian Spencer Davies as well as well as Peter Heath, Morley von Sternberg, Simon Haddock, Simon Gazzard, Dominic Chung and Soham De provided a further insight into the inspiration behind their work.

It was fascinating to hear the personal stories linked to each of the artworks, and to see the different interpretations of this vibrant and multicultural part of London - the auction looks set to be a thrilling evening!

The artwork created is due to go on display to the public from 21st to 28th November at the Crossing, 1 Granary Square, London, N1C 4AA. Visitors will then have the opportunity to bid for selected pieces by attending a special charity live auction event on the 28 November. Preliminary bids can also be made here. To attend the auction register online here.

The 10x10 charity auction helps to raise funds for Article 25. All proceeds of the sale of the artwork will go to Article 25 building Street Children Centres.


Tagged Article 25, 10x10 Drawing the City London, art, design, architecture, fun, auction

Renowned architects create fantastic designs using LEGO

Tuesday, 5th November 2013 at 10:44am

Three world-renowned architecture firms were given sets off LEGO and tasked to use their imaginations to design something new.

This year LEGO introduced 'LEGO Architecture Studio' - a LEGO set designed exclusively for adults - and gave the architecture firms a set each.

The firms included in this were SHoP ArchitectsSnøhetta and Skidmore, Owings and Merrill.

The architect's designs certainly didn't disappoint, with designs ranging from ice sculptures and even entire cityscapes.

Take a look at the rest of the designs here, and tell us if you think you could do better. 

Tagged LEGO, creative, design, architecture, architects, SHoP Architects, Snøhetta, Skidmore Owings and Merrill, fun

Spectacular suspended bridge just for cyclists

Wednesday, 30th October 2013 at 3:28pm

This spectacular bridge enables the cyclists of Netherlands easier mobility without using roads!

Designed by Dutch design company IPV Delft, the 'Hovenring' is a circular bridge 236 feet in diameter.

The bridge is suspended above the road and held in place with steel cables anchored by a central pylon.

Take a closer look in the video below, or find out more about this bridge here, and tell us if this would persuade you to get on your bike! 

Tagged IPV Delft, Hovenring, architecture, innovative, installation, creative, clever, construction

Ancient church revived by David Closes

Tuesday, 29th October 2013 at 11:54am

This 18th century church built for the Sant Francesc convent has been revived by David Closes.

The church's ancient architecture has been preserved in this new design, whilst also reinventing the building in a contemporary way.

The project aimed to convert the unused church into an auditorium and general cultural facility for the local Catalan area.

Take a closer look at this project here, and tell us if you think a church near you could do with some of this architectural inspiration.

Tagged David Closes, architect, architecture, interiors, design, installation

Apple's new campus

Wednesday, 23rd October 2013 at 12:46pm

Apple has unveiled their plans for a new campus, which is set to be completed by 2016.

British firm Foster + Partners were commissioned to conceive this design, which is predicted to cost Apple 5 billion dollars.

The 260,000-square-metre campus will provide for 13,000 employees and will include; a company fitness centre, a 1000-seat auditorium, a private park and much more!

Take a closer look at these designs here, and tell us if this workplace would inspire you.

Tagged Foster + Partners, Apple, architecture, design, innovative, architect

The Architect@Work trade fair comes to Paris

Thursday, 17th October 2013 at 12:21pm

Last week we visited the sixth edition of Architect@Work, a trade fair aimed at architects and interior designers, which took place on Thursday 10th and Friday 11th October in Paris.

The exhibition emphasizes innovation, quality, knowledge and design in the built environment. This year's main theme was 'The Sensory Architecture'.

Visitors could discover a selection of innovative materials and technologies which, by employing our sense of touch, sight, smell and sound, can increase the perceived sensory quality of spaces and products that surround us.

The fair was also home to the 'SENS UNIK, sensory experiences' exhibition by the Innovathèque / FCBA, the French resource centre for innovative materials established to meet the needs of architects and interior designers.

Our client Formica Group was present at the fair, celebrating its 100th Year Anniversary while showcasing their Anniversary Laminate Collection. The fair also saw the preview of the new Formica® – Unilin MFC Collection, introducing exclusive designs inspired by the latest trends.

Architect@Work is a great fair and we definitely enjoyed the continuous supply of free catering throughout the day, especially the small éclairs au chocolat and apple tarts for the afternoon snack!

You can find out more about this trade fair here.


Tagged Architect@Work, exhibition, trade fair, architecture, architects, fun, Formica Group

The Restaurant and Bar Design Awards 2013

Friday, 11th October 2013 at 2:05pm

This year's awards ceremony for the best designed restaurants and bars in the world has recently taken place in London.

The ceremony included a unique pop-up bar and restaurant concept called 'The Box Project', featuring five different themed bar areas created by 'Best Restaurant/Bar' winners of the past. 

The overall Best Bar Award was won by Atrium Champagne Bar in London - designed by Foster + Partners, and the overall Best Restaurant Award was won by Höst in Denmark - designed by NORM Architects.

Take a look at the other winners and shortlisted entries here, and tell us if you fancy visiting one of these award-winning bars and restaurants.

Tagged Restaurant and Bar Design Awards, design, awards, architects, architecture, Atrium Champagne Bar, Foster + Partners, Höst, NORM Architects

Weston Williamson wins Brasilia Stadium Competition

Friday, 11th October 2013 at 11:47am

London studio Weston Williamson has won the Brasilia Athletics Stadium Competition, which called for designers to envision a 70,000 seater stadium in the nations capital.

The competition challenged designers to feel 'free from constraints' and 'push the boundaries of what is possible with design'.

This design featured a roof made up of petal-like sections, each able to move independently and respond to weather and light conditions.

The structure of the stadium is modeled after a bird in flight, and reflects the utopian spirit of Brasilia itself.

You can take a closer look at this award-winning project here, and tell us if you plan on paying it a visit.

Tagged Weston Williamson, Brasilia Athletics Stadium Competition, Brasilia, design, architect, architecture, awards, creative, innovative

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