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Architects Journal
16 January 2003

View all stories from this issue.


    A £1 million block of 14 luxury flats in Edinburgh designed by Keith Cunningham Architects may have to be demolished because it was built several metres too far south.Local complaints have plagued the scheme on Kirk Brae in Liberton, and after problems with residents, city planners visited the site and discovered the mistake.The local council is yet to make a final decision on the development's future.
  • A plan for health and safety

    A new computer system for managing interactive health and safety files offers real potential for making life easier
  • A point of reference

    The latest AJ/Colander Bench Mark Report for Architects provides evidence that all is not well within the profession

    This year is the centenary of the birth of Barbara Hepworth, which will be marked by a number of exhibitions. First off is the New Art Centre, Roche Court, East Winterslow, Salisbury, which is presenting a selection of her marble carvings in its gallery and some bronzes in its sculpture park.This continues until 6 April (01980 862244). Later in 2003 come shows at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield Art Gallery and Tate St Ives.

    The AJ/BCO spring conference, 'Commercial Offices: Promise and Performance', takes place at the RIBA on 6 February. It will look at the procurement and performance of offices, masterplanning and designing for workspace productivity, along with a review of the BCO 2002 Award winners.Speakers include Frank Duffy and Marco Goldschmied plus Sir Stuart Lipton, Sir Terry Farrell and Jack Pringle.Tickets cost £250+VAT or £225+VAT for AJ subscribers and BCO members.
  • Alsop seeking site for £1.2m design studio in Barnsley

    Alsop Architects is to open an 'urban studio' in Barnsley. The practice is currently selecting a site for a new-build project to house a design centre, showcase space for regeneration agency Yorkshire Forward and the practice's own offices. The £1.2 million, 560m 2building will start on site this year and open in 2004.
  • An angry architectural technologist writes

    Is it me, or do architects believe that they are the be-all and end-all of architecture, both professional and educational? I have been qualified since June and in that time I have found the majority of architects ignorant of the fact that an architectural technologist is not a run-of-themill technician who has only studied for one or two years at university. We also, like architects, have a degree. Some might say: 'But ours is in arts.' So what, the RGU architectural course in Scotland is BS
  • Andrea Tarsia's take on the early work of Mies in Berlin

    Sunday's gallery talk at the Whitechapel's 'Mies in Berlin' exhibition was clearly not intended for the cognoscenti - starting as it did with a brief rundown on the International Style as 'linear, sheer, flat and smooth', with a 'pervasive influence on contemporary and corporate building' ranging from Canary Wharf to Herzog & de Meuron's Tate Modern, and David Adjaye's Ideas Store. And, interestingly for those critics who have condemned architecture exhibitions as doomed to be boring by the v
  • Appeal time?

  • Audit quango hammers PFI design

    One of the government's most influential quangos has concluded that there are 'major problems' in the design of PFI schools, in a report that undermines New Labour's favoured procurement policy.

  • battle plan

    Tim Battle is forging a new career in organising and chairing conferences, communicating the value of good design after a lifetime in helping to make buildings work. And he is relishing the challenge .
  • Bennetts Associates

    Bennetts Associates has completed this headquarters building for airport operator BAA in Gatwick. The building has a cladding of stainless steel with 'punctured ribbon windows'on three sides, while the eastern elevation has a full-height glazing system.
  • Blameless

  • Briefing notes: Hyett adds a qualifier

    'At his best, Alsop is brilliant' That was the prequalification to my comment on my dear old friend under 'Briefing Notes' (AJ 9.1.03). Such qualifications can be very, very important Paul Hyett, RIBA president

  • Calm enjoyment

    Urban Visions: Experiencing and Envisioning the City Edited by Steven Spier. Liverpool University Press, 2002. 261pp. £22.50 'In different cities through different gazes in different times the city is constructed, ' writes the editor of Urban Visions, Steven Spier. The deliberate underambition of the collection is its ambition - to move on from urban metanarratives built around 'French theory', 'cyber-worlds' and even 'the everyday' to just particular stories that may or may not have a l
  • Carey Jones Architects

    Carey Jones Architects has submitted an outline planning application for this £120 million leisure development in Scarborough, North Yorkshire. The scheme, for Benchmark Properties, will occupy 77,000m 2ofa 20ha site at North Bay, known locally as Northstead Manor Gardens. A water park housed beneath a futuristic dome forms the centrepiece of the development, which will also include a hotel with conference facilities, a health and fitness club, shops and restaurants. Planning consent is
  • Cat's eyes


    PRP Architects has been chosen to produce a masterplan for the redevelopment of the Christian Fields Estate in Gravesend, Kent.
  • City of tomorrow?

    EndCommercial: Reading the City Edited by SBA/Scheppe Böhm Associates. Hatje Cantz, 2002. 544pp. £29.95.
  • Conran & Partners

    Conran & Partners was one of two British practices shortlisted to masterplan the New Bund Quarter in Shanghai won by Gregotti. It proposed this mixeduse development comprising 330,000m 2of residential, office and retail space, as well as two hotels and a variety of cultural uses set within a new 'Museum Garden', surrounding the original 19th- and 20th-century consulate buildings.

    Haverstock Associates has won planning permission for its project for Chilterns Crematorium (pictured). The scheme, for a site within the Green Belt and the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, creates a chapel to seat 100 mourners, along with floral-tribute areas set within the landscape. The use of materials, principally copper, in the new chapel building will reflect those of the existing building.

    The Transport Research Group is holding a series of debates on congestion, infrastructure and mobility at the Bloomberg Auditorium, London EC2. All debates will be chaired by the AJ's Austin Williams. The sessions include: 'The Congestion Question' on 13 February; 'Infrastructure:
  • Design champions 'failing to make a difference', says MP

    Debra Shipley MP, Parliament's self-appointed architectural representative, has condemned the government's 'Design Champion' initiative, claiming the policy has 'failed to make any substantive difference'. Shipley said the much-heralded scheme - to ensure that construction carried out by government departments is of a high design standard - should be abandoned in its current form and reinvented at a local level.
  • diary

    London AA in Africa 17 January-14 February.
  • Don't paddle blindly up the river with loss and expenses claims

    legal matters
  • editorial

    At the end of this month, Cabinet ministers will finally pronounce whether London will bid to stage the Olympic Games in 2012, after key hearings chaired by Olympic sceptic Gerald Kaufman this week. It is a crucial decision, not least for the construction community, whose skills at delivery and cost control will be tested to the maximum. It is to be hoped we emerge with the gold medal. But could we cope?
  • Ellis Williams Architects

    Ellis Williams Architects has won a RIBA competition to design this £500,000 art and design centre for Pocklington School in East Yorkshire. The practice, designer of the acclaimed Baltic Contemporary Arts Centre in Gateshead, saw off competition from three other practices - Terry Pawson Architects, White Design and Spence Associates.The brief demanded an 'imaginative design' to engage and enthuse the pupils. The school also wanted the structure to enhance the whole campus, reflecting a

    Hurley Robertson and Associates has completed this refurbishment of Enterprise House at 190 High Holborn in central London.The 10-storey building was originally designed by Richard Seifert's practice in 1978.The scheme includes a new entrance hall which uses limestone and walnut veneers to provide the building with 'a completely new contemporary image'.

    Archaos, the National Student Architecture Society, will be holding its fifth forum at the University of Newcastle on 24 January. The forum will focus on education issues.Speakers include RIBA president-elect George Ferguson, Irena Bauman, Tim Bailey and Tim Baker. Visit www.archaos. org or call 01865 329131.
  • First Welsh design chief makes training a priority

    The new Design Commission for Wales has appointed its first director, Carole-Anne Davies.
  • Hadid to lead promotion of architecture in Middle East

    Zaha Hadid is to head up a team of British women architects on an education mission to the Middle East, as part of the British Council's events programme for 2003. Architecture will also figure highly in the British Council's activities in China, with an exhibition including designs by Cottrell + Vermeulen Architecture and FAT.

    Zaha Hadid's designs for an extension of the Price Tower Arts Center in Oklahoma will go on display in the gallery itself from tomorrow, alongside an exhibition of her other work. The proposed building will stand next to the world-famous Frank Lloyd Wright tower if it gets the go-ahead.The exhibition will run until 9 March.

  • Heritage - taking possession of the present in the name of the past

    Readers of this column who remember my last diatribe against the purchase of Tyntesfield (AJ 5.9.02), the Dallas-sized, known-only-to-locals home to the late Lord Wraxall, will doubtless have hurried home from work to see Dan Cruickshank's rapturous assessment of the treasure house on television the other week.
  • Information wanted - at your convenience

    The British Standard BS 6465 Part 1 1994, 'Sanitary installations. Code of practice for scale of provision, selection and installation of sanitary appliances' is being updated.
  • Intervention is vital to prevent the loss of our town centres

    I first visited Muncie, Indiana in 1977, 25 years ago. It was my first visit to the US and, in spite of two days in New York City on route, it proved to be a trip that truly represented America. Muncie sits in the Bible belt, full square on flat land that seems to go on forever. Hoosier County is full of people that are not sure where London is, or indeed whether Europe is a country or a state. This is not their fault, as they have no newspaper and the TV stations only talk about Indiana, occ

  • Local MP launches attack at Newcastle's quayside plans

    A Newcastle MP has made a clarion call against Carey Jones Architects' £47 million development proposed for the city's quayside.
  • Locals fume at 'illegal' demolition of Irish landmark

    Heritage campaigners in Northern Ireland have attacked the province's government for sitting by while one of Londonderry's most-treasured landmarks is demolished illegally. The owner of the B+ listed (equivalent to Grade II*) Victorian Tillie & Henderson Fabric factory is knocking it down in stages without having secured planning permission.

    Francine Houben, co-founder of the Delft-based Mecanoo Architects, will be talking at the Royal Academy on Monday 10 February about the practice's recent work.Her talk will explore the use of landscape in architecture with special reference to the library and masterplan for the Technical University of Delft.She will also describe the practice's approach to other projects, such as the Dutch Open-Air Museum in Arnhem and the Chapel in Rotterdam.For more information call 020 7300 5839.
  • Mies' fertile years

    Mies van der Rohe 1905-1938 At the Whitechapel Art Gallery, Whitechapel High Street, London E1 until 2 March After the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Altes Museum in Berlin and the Caixa Foundation in Barcelona, 'Mies van der Rohe 1905-1938' ends up at the Whitechapel Gallery in London's East End - a slightly incongruous setting for the man who added 'van der Rohe' to his name to sound more distinguished.

    Chetwood Associates, in collaboration with Urbed, has won planning permission for a £40 million mixed-use scheme on a 1.8ha site in Brighton. The scheme - for The New England Consortium (which includes Network Rail and the Raven Group) - includes a 12-storey residential tower and a new supermarket. The practice has also won permission for a further two mixed-use schemes, in Maidenhead and Thanet.

    A series of architectural models of London's underground Tube stations will be displayed at London Transport Museum's Acton depot on 8 and 9 March.Models will include Foster and Partners' Canada Water Station (pictured).
  • Mr Right


    The Downland Gridshell designed by Edward Cullinan Architects and the Imperial War Museum North by Studio Libeskind are both in the running for Britain's biggest arts prize. The two museums are on a longlist of 12 diverse museum and gallery projects chasing the £100,000 Gulbenkian Prize.The 12 projects were chosen from more than 100 submissions from a range of museums across the UK - large, small, national and regional, general and specialist.
  • Office annexe, North Wraxall, Wiltshire Montrésor Partnership working details

    Steel roof and wall supporting panels in aluminium frames The shape and roof pitch of the single-storey building were determined by its former use.Three walls are of cavity blockwork.The steel roof and west wall structure is arranged in three primary and four secondary bays.
  • Pawley should mug up on his obsolescence!

    IfMartin Pawley did a little more shopping and a little less theorising on consumerism he would know that culture is not just the consumption of the obsolete, and that his article is factually inaccurate (AJ 31.10.02).
  • Prince plans Poundbury-style 'urban village' for South Wales

    Prince Charles is planning another Poundburystyle development, this time at Llandarcy in South Wales. The £450 million project, being hailed as 'one of the most ambitious ever undertaken in the UK', will create 2,500 new homes along the concept of the 'urban village' championed by the Prince. As at Poundbury, modern architecture will be eschewed in favour of 'traditional designs, building on the vernacular of the area but put in a modern setting'.
  • Q&A 99%

    of voters in a poll on the AJ's website think Brighton's West Pier should not be rebuilt as as replica.
  • RCA victor?

  • Re: urbanism supporters to launch 'charter for cities'

    The authors and backers of Re: urbanism, the book that called for last year's Urban Summit to adopt a revolutionary regeneration agenda (AJ 31.10.02), have met to discuss a new 'charter for cities'.


    The Royal Fine Art Commission Trust has called for entries for its Building of the Year award. The prize is open to any new building or restoration, statue, or engineering structure completed in the UK between 1 January and 31 December 2002. Other specialist categories include housing, schools, sports, offices, bridges, restoration, conservation and an award for young architects.Entries should be sent to the Building of the Year Award, The Royal Fine Art Commission Trust, c/o 6 Fitzroy Square
  • RIBA fails to advise members as pensions crisis takes hold

    The RIBA has failed to prepare any advice for its members on the pensions crisis hitting the economy, the AJ has learnt.
  • RIBA urges practices of all sizes to enter 2003 awards

    The RIBA has made a call for entries for the 2003 RIBA Awards, the precursor to the Stirling Prize.
  • ring the changes

  • robin ellis

    briefing notes
  • Roll up for Ferguson's end-of-the-pier show

    So I walked into a storm by suggesting that the West Pier may have reached the end of its useful life! ('Ferguson in Brighton pier storm' AJ 9.1.03).

    The Princess Royal has officially opened Fielden + Mawson's new £21.2 million building for the Institute of Cancer Research, the Cancer Genomics Centre in Surrey (pictured).The 8,045m 2scheme, which replaces three separate Victorian buildings on the site, features scientific research space and facilities for teaching.The laboratories were designed to be extremely flexible, allowing them to be converted into office space.

  • School's out


    The AJ understands that Selfridges is lining up world-class architect Toyo Ito to design its latest landmark store in Glasgow.

  • small projects 03

    The schemes featured in part two of the AJ Small Projects competition, sponsored by Robin Ellis Design Build, show just what can be achieved on a limited budget - all were completed for less than £250,000. Selected schemes from this week's crop and last week's selection will be exhibited at the RIBA in April Remodelling this Victorian house in Wandsworth included moving the main living space to the back and placing the kitchen at the heart of the house. The glazed back wall is shaded by

    The National Heritage Lottery Fund has appointed former director of planning and development at English Heritage Carole Souter as its boss.Souter - who will join in April - has 20 years of experience working in the public sector, including policy roles in the Department of Culture. At English Heritage, she led the nine regional teams and, for a brief period in 2001, was acting chief executive.
  • Spare a thought for the 'everyday mundane'

    The HQ building in Preston by Studio BAAD (AJ 9.1.03) is a laudable creation, interpreting low-tech materials and construction technique to produce a fantastically rigorous design and image, all for around £300/m 2! Although the apron detail of gravel against a rainscreen wall reminds me of those heady days in the 1980s when the posse of young blood was constructing buildings alongside the master at Stockley Park.
  • Squire and Partners

    Squire and Partners has won approval for this residential project on a contentious site in London's Blackheath. The project, comprising a single pavilion building housing 20 apartments, is designed to reflect the landmark qualities of the 1930s church that it replaces.The pitched roof and vertical glazed elements 'reinterpret the traditional forms of the church in a contemporary manner'. The site has been locked in the planning process for the past few years, with previous schemes failing to
  • St Paul's first design - a Foster inspiration?

    Has anyone commented on this strange precedent for Swiss Re?

    Wayne Hemingway and George Wimpey City's Staiths South Bank housing development in Gateshead is set to go on sale.The project on the banks of the Tyne was first mooted a year ago following Hemingway's high-profile critique of housebuilders (AJ 15.11.01).
  • Step forward, please, Leeds station designers

    Glenn Howells' reported worries over Birmingham New Street Station's proposed redevelopment being 'almost impossible' (AJ 9.1.03) might be alleviated or deepened if he studied the recent (practically) complete rebuilding of Leeds Station involving demolition of the old 'cow-shed', months of megastructures of scaffolding (inspired by William Gibson's short story Johnny Mnemonic? ), a new roof over 16-plus platforms and a 50 per cent increase in tracks at the west end.

  • The Commercial Offices Handbook

    Editor: Tim Battle. RIBA Enterprises, 2003. 500pp. £40 Tim Battle is well known to many in the property industry as an apostle of 'green'sustainable buildings. His introduction hints that interest is now moving to the productivity of offices rather than their sustainability, writes Mike Warner.

    Nottingham-based Maber Associates has won a £1.9 million project to design a new music department for Westminster School in London. The scheme will refurbish the school's original building, close to Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament, to create a 140-seater performance space, two specially designed classrooms,13 practice rooms and apartments for staff.
  • The well of all architectural knowledge

    Librarian, policewoman, architect? If you ruled the world, what would you want Barbie to be? For a solution to this interesting issue, Nic George of Siddell Gibson directs us all to www. barbie.
  • Urban Splash shortlists10 top teams for Walsall waterfront

    Manchester developer Urban Splash has shortlisted 10 leading practices for its latest development in Walsall. Alsop Architects, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris and Erick van Egeraat Associated Architects are among those competing for the chance to design a 6.9ha site along the city's waterfront.
  • vital statistics

    lNearly half of homeowners in the UK are in a financial position that would be defined as 'poor', according to research carried out by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

    Supporters of the conservation of Frank Lloyd Wright's masterpiece Fallingwater in Pennsylvania have developed an unusual initiative to raise funds for its £11 million restoration.The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is selling jewellery made of concrete eroded from the building, voted the 'greatest of the 20th Century'by the American Institute of Architects.

    Regeneration agency Yorkshire Forward has invited submissions for a new exhibition - 'Unbuilt Yorkshire 1975-2000'- that will display 25 projects that never reached construction.The show, which will form part of the 4x4 Making Places series 2003, will be on display in March this year.
  • You know it makes scents

    In future, will architects have to take olfactory factors into account as part of their grand designs?

    The RIBA will be showcasing the talent of young architects in a series of seminars entitled 'Emerging Architecture'. The work of the designers, who have all won awards in The Architectural Review's Emerging Architecture competition, will take place at Portland Place in February and March. Call 020 7580 5533 for further details.
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