Posts tagged with "Barbican":

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Diller Scofidio + Renfro announced as designers of London’s Centre For Music

Diller Scofidio + Renfro have bested a shortlist that included Frank Gehry, Renzo Piano, Snøhetta and Foster + Partners, winning the commission to design the Centre For Music, the new home for the London Symphony Orchestra and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.  The Centre will be located near the Barbican complex in the City of London (where the Symphony currently performs), on a site now occupied by the Museum of London—which will move to a new home a half-mile west in West Smithfield. The Brutalist museum was designed in 1976 by Philip Powell and Hidalgo Moya, 1974 winners of the Royal Gold Medal For Architecture. DS+R's Centre is set to contain a concert hall with up to 2,000 seats, as well as classrooms and training spaces. Its cost, which reports estimate at between £200 and £250 million, is to be funded largely through private donations, although the City of London earlier this year chipped in £2.5 million for a business plan. Explaining their choice in a statement, the Centre's architect selection panel said they felt DS+R "most clearly met the vision and ambition of this project, utilising their experience of creating inspiring new spaces for culture to present a proposal that delivers a world-class concert hall in an outstanding new building, as part of the re-imagination of a key area of the City of London within Culture Mile.” Other members of the design team will include Buro Happold (civil and structural engineer and building services engineer), Nagata Acoustics (acoustician), Charcoalblue (theater consultant), and AECOM (cost consultant). According to DS+R, a concept design will be submitted to the City of London Corporation by December 2018. The building will not just be a permanent home for the London Symphony, but will also host performances from the Barbican's family of orchestras and ensembles and from touring orchestras and artists. It will be a vital piece of The City's "Culture Mile," a conglomeration of nearby arts facilities also including the Barbican, Milton Court Concert Hall, and more.
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Timber skyscraper imagined at the heart of London’s brutalist Barbican

Designed by architects Chamberlin, Powell and Bon after the Blitz destroyed most of the site, the Barbican estate is now Grade II listed (part of a statutory list of buildings of special Architectural or historic interest). As a result, the area has become synonymous with concrete, being a famed brutalist site. PLP Architecture and the University of Cambridge, however, have different ideas. They're proposing a 984-foot wooden skyscraper, the city's first, at the center of the estate. The skyscraper, according to PLP, is merely for "research." Despite this, the firm said that they had presented the idea to current London Mayor Boris Johnson and said that his response was "positive." The Mayor also commented that natural materials like wood are currently “vastly underused.” Already, the timber tower has been dubbed the "Toothpick" by The Architect's Journal, such is the way of nicknaming skyscrapers in London, already home to the "Walkie-talkie," the "Gherkin," and the "Cheesegrater." Despite its radical change in materiality, the Toothpick aligns with the Barbican's original plan of providing housing at the center of the city, overseeing the creation of 1,000 new living units. Despite being slimmer than the iconic 42 story (404 feet) Cromwell, Shakespeare, and Lauderdale Towers, the wooden skyscraper would almost be double their height at 80 stories high. This would make it the city's second tallest building, second only to Renzo Piano's Shard. As for the towers environmental impact, the Toothpick would "lock-in 50,000 tonnes of CO2 in the building timber frame, equivalent to the annual CO2 emissions of 5,000 Londoners." The project is in collaboration with the University of Cambridge and Smith and Wallwork Engineers. Dr Michael Ramage, Director of Cambridges Centre for Natural Material Innovation, said: "The Barbican was designed in the middle of the last century to bring residential living into the city of London—and it was successful. We've put our proposals on the Barbican as a way to imagine what the future of construction could look like in the 21st century." "We now live predominantly in cities and so the proposals have been designed to improve our wellbeing in an urban context," added Kevin Flanagan, Partner at PLP Architecture. "Timber buildings have the potential architecturally to create a more pleasing, relaxed, sociable and creative urban experience. Our firm is currently designing many of Londons tall buildings, and the use of timber could transform the way we build in this city." When asked if PLP would be presenting the "research" to the next Mayor of London, their response was: "it depends who the mayor is!" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLPlJsoVq8k
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BIG among six firms shortlisted for the new Museum of London

The Museum of London has released a shortlist of six firms that will compete to design the museum at its new 269,000 square-foot location in West Smithfield, only a stones throw away from its original site at the Barbican. The new museum has a construction budget of $185-210 million.  The current building, designed by Hidalgo Moya and Phillip Powell in the 1970s, will become the new location for the London Symphony Orchestra despite protests from Leon Krier. Also shortlisted in the competition, which was organized by Malcolm Reading Consultants, were:
  • Caruso St John Architects (U.K.)
  • Hawkins\Brown(U.K.) with Asif Khan (U.K.)
  • Diener & Diener Architekten (Switzerland) with Sergison Bates Architects (U.K.)
  • Lacaton & Vassal Architectes (France) with Pernilla Ohrstedt Studio (U.K.)
  • studio Milou architecture (France) with RL&Associés (France) and Axis Architects (U.K.)
According to the competition website, almost 80 teams (formed from 140 firms) entered the initial stage of the contest. The entrants were whittled down on the basis of "relevant skills and experience, particularly, those involved with significant cultural projects which have had a truly transformational impact." The new site, part of Smithfield Market, dates back to 1879 but was closed in 1999. The interior boasts 16 ornate Phoenix Columns but has otherwise remained empty for a number of years. The competing architects and designers were tasked with "regenerating a nationally-significant landmark and creating new contemporary galleries." In doing so, the competition organizers sought a "memorable" museum with "charismatic identity" that combines historic Smithfield and modern design. Entrants also had to cater to the museum's enormous archaeological archive and projected increase in attendance figures (over 2.25 million visits per year, based on recent trends and the implementation of the CrossRail rail link). The six shortlisted practices will now be asked to produce concepts based on a more detailed project brief. Their proposals will be on display at the current building and a winner will be selected by a jury later this year. Other objectives for the new museum include:
  • Create contemporary interventions and additions where appropriate which are exemplary and visually stunning.
  • Reflect the site’s evolution from a place of physical exchange to a culture and knowledge exchange.
  • Address new ways of engaging digitally-minded visitors and representing London as the world’s most inventive, creative capital.
  • Reduce operating costs by improving the building’s operational efficiency and sustainability, with a target of the project achieving a BREEAM (UK LEED equivalent) Excellent rating.
  • Increase income generation and visitor dwell time through enhanced retail, catering and event facilities.
  • Ensure the experience of visiting and navigating the museum is equal for all.
  • Ensure appropriate technical, environmental and security requirements are met so that the new museum meets Government Indemnity Standards.
The museum aims to achieve planning permission, raise the necessary capital funds, and deliver the new museum in 2021.
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Use card, not concrete, to recreate Britain’s Brutalist architecture

Postwar Britain was a fervent breeding ground for brutalist architecture. That period enabled notable work from architects like the Smithsons, Goldfinger, Chamberlin, Powell, and Bon to dominate the British skyline. Many of these buildings have since been demolished. However, a few—mostly in London—remain as icons of that era. Now, thanks to Polish firm Zupagrafika, fans can construct these famed structures from card in their own home. As part of a series called "Brutal London," these cut-outs feature simple recreations of buildings such as Trellick Tower and the Barbican. Assembly is easy: simply by cut out the facades and fold the building together. All you need are scissors and glue. Richard Seifert & Partners' cylindrical Space House is perhaps a less-brutal example from the collection. The London series features six buildings; Robin Hood Gardens and the Aylesbury and Ledbury Estate are available alongside the aforementioned buildings. Additionally, each cut-out comes with an information pack outlining the technical information about the building, the year built, architects, and exact location. In case that wasn't enough, Zupagrafika also offers other cut-out architecture sets. "Blokoshkais a series of Eastern Block dwellings of which can be connected and placed within each other in a Russian doll-like fashion. Large prints of the cut-out facades (in each series) can also be purchased, although these are slightly more costly. A 27 x 40 inch print (on 200g satin paper) is priced at $30. The paper used is 100% recycled and each cut out only costs just over $5. At such a bargain, fans of brutalism may be tempted to send a pack (or ten) to Prince Charles, the man who famously lambasted the structures and architectural style in the 1970s dubbing them "monstrous carbuncles."