Monthly News Round-Up, October 2015 Edition

by | 29. Oct 2015

Article | News
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Burntwood School © Rob Parrish

AHMM’s Burntwood School wins 2015 RIBA Stirling Prize

Burntwood School, a large comprehensive girls’ school in Wandsworth, London by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) has won the coveted RIBA Stirling Prize 2015 for the UK’s best new building. Now in its 20th year, the RIBA Stirling Prize, sponsored by Almacantar, is the UK’s most prestigious architecture prize.

AHMM’s transformation of Burntwood School reimagines a 1950’s modernist secondary school campus for 2000 girls and 200 staff. The architects created six new faculty buildings and two large cultural buildings linking original buildings by renowned 1950s/1960s architect Sir Leslie Martin. Every building is full of light and air with double height spaces at the end of each corridor to increase natural daylight and create well-framed views. It offers a range of teaching spaces from conventional classrooms to interactive open spaces. Already a very sculptural building, AHMM worked closely with an artist to use large, colourful murals throughout the buildings – cleverly combining signposting with modern art.

See more images here


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Interactive map. Image courtesy of Refugee Republic

Submarine Channel overall winner at Dutch Design Awards with Refugee Republic

The annual Dutch Design Awards were presented in the Effenaar in Eindhoven this weekend. Big winner was Submarine Channel: the agency won the Future Award with Refugee Republic and also pocketed the prize in the Communication category.

Refugee Republic is an interactive online documentary about daily life in the Syrian refugee camp Domiz in Northern Iraq. Drawings, photographs, film, sound and text portray both the refugees and their (temporary) world. With the Future Award (prize for the most promising design for the future) the international jury, chaired by Frank Houben (Global Brand Director KLM), has rewarded a relevant project about a current theme with obvious social benefits.

The jury was unanimous in describing the project as relevant, with a clear social purpose. And although current events may fuel the documentary’s message, the project was selected for other reasons. Submarine Channel’s Refugee Republic was presented with the Communication award for the quality of its content and execution: the coherence and thought that went into the project is evident on every level. The different media are used in a balanced way, and to great effect, providing information, enriching the story, and highlighting the message. While working on the project, the Submarine Channel team lived in the camp, which adds an intensity and dimensionality that embedded journalism does not provide.

Experience the Refugee Republic here


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Curatorial Team, British Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale (L-R) Shumi Bose, Jack Self, Finn Williams. Image © British Council

Winning team announced for the British Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale

The British Council today announced the winning proposal for the British Pavilion at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia taking place from 28 May to 27 November 2016. The title of the 2016 Biennale is ‘Reporting From The Front’ and overall Director Alejandro Aravena has called on national pavilions to respond to the theme by ‘learning from architectures that through intelligence, intuition or both of them at the same, are able to escape the status quo’.

The winning curatorial team comprises Shumi Bose, Jack Self and Finn Williams, who have been chosen for their project titled ‘Home Economics’ which will explore the future of the home through a series of full-scale domestic interiors.

From the curators:

“Home Economics addresses the frontline of British architecture: the family home. The exhibition will ask urgent questions about the future of housing. Social and technological changes are collapsing the patterns of domestic life – but the design of the home hasn’t caught up. Can the house ever escape its economic status as an asset? Should our homes still be considered private spaces? How do new types of families and households produce new spatial needs? What are the models of ownership, finance and work that make these conditions possible?”


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Lucas Museum in Chicago. Image © Lucas Museum of Narrative Art / MAD

George Lucas Museum approved by Chicago City

City Council today passed an ordinance moving forward the development of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art and new parkland, creating new cultural, educational and recreational opportunities for children and families throughout Chicago. This is the culmination of a broad public process started nearly two years ago that has included community meetings, approvals by the Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners, the Plan Commission and the Department of Planning and Development.

“The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art will be an incredible addition to Chicago’s Museum Campus,” said Mayor Emanuel. “The Lucas Museum will join the 56 other museums in Chicago to provide new cultural and educational benefits for generations to come. And the new parkland will add more open greenspace that will be enjoyed by residents across the city.”

Read more about this new museum design by MAD architects here


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Strelka KB, the leading Russian company in strategic consulting in the spheres of architecture, urban planning, cultural and spatial programming, is organising an international architectural competition for the best concept, design and realization of the new Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Center in Tel Aviv University campus.

The Tel Aviv University (TAU) intends to construct the new Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Center within the University’s main installations. This building will house an important center for science and research in the most prestigious university campus in Israel, but will also be a centerpiece of architecture and art, buildings and sculptures that accomplish and then transcend their practical purpose. Alumni and faculty aspire to great things within structures that are themselves a unique open-air museum of modern architecture and plastic arts spanning the past five decades. It’s an artistic ecosystem of buildings, landscaping, environmental design and sculptures. The new center is an enormous challenge because it has to both stand out and fit into the balance between beauty and functionality of these revered university buildings. The location is next to a main campus access point and thus a focus of attention. The exterior that will proclaim continuity and modernity but needs to envelop installations that will reach out to the future.

More details about the competition can be found here


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Buoyant Starts. Image courtesy of Baca Architects

Winners for London Housing Crisis competition released

New London Architecture, the capital’s built environment think-tank, has today revealed the 10 ideas that have been selected from an international ideas competition to help solve the London housing shortage. From living in shared homes to living on the water, building on top of public buildings and creating a megacity in the suburbs, the 10 ideas provide a radical rethinking of current housing delivery models.

The ideas will be presented to the Greater London Authority who will study their feasibility as options for the future of the London housing market. 100 of the entries to the competition will be on display in the New Ideas for Housing exhibition at the NLA Gallery from 15 October in central London.

With over 200 submissions from over 20 countries, the 10 finalists present a wide array of thought-provoking ideas that could change the way we live. Baca Architects has proposed using the untapped resource of the capital’s canal network as the solution and want to transform ‘generation rent’ into ‘generation float’. The practice calculates that some 7,500 new homes could be quickly created in a mere 6-12 months and would provide young Londoners with a realistic option for getting a foot on the property ladder.

See all the winners here