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Astragal: Buttress feels the buzz

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This week Wolfgang Buttress, designer of the UK Pavilion for the Milan Expo, is releasing an album featuring the talents of 40,000 bees. Created by musical collective BE – which includes a cellist, the artist’s 14-year-old daughter and Spiritualized drummer Kev Bales – the album is an adapted version of the sounds within the Milan pavilion.

It has been created using sounds from inside a beehive in Nottingham, which were originally transmitted live to the Milan pavilion, the Hive. Now this sound has been accompanied by the collective, in what is described as ‘a dialogue between human and bee’.

The music is set to be performed at Nottingham Arts Centre later this month and the group hopes to bring the show to the End of the Road Festival and Glastonbury.

Zaha’s words fall on deaf ears

Zaha Hadid Cropped

Zaha Hadid with her medal

Zaha Hadid’s Royal Gold Medal lecture didn’t go down so well with the packed audience at 66 Portland Place. Not because of anything she said, but because many there couldn’t actually hear what she was saying.

Numerous attendees, including a few past recipients of the high-profile accolade, said the sound was so bad that they struggled to hear most of Hadid’s lecture.

It wasn’t an entirely wasted evening though. As one architect said, ‘we may have had no idea what she was saying but we did get a fantastic slideshow of her schemes!’

Farrell returns to his Geordie shore

Terry Farrell Richard Gleed crop

Terry Farrell

Terry Farrell has been handed the keys to the city of Newcastle. The Geordie architect, who grew up and studied in the city, has been given the freedom of the city by Newcastle Council.

Farrell follows in the footsteps of footballer Alan Shearer, former US president Jimmy Carter, rugby union player Jonny Wilkinson and Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The architect is also set to hand over his archive to Newcastle University.

Qatar elbows in on top London properties

London skyline

London skyline

London skyline

No keys to the capital city necessary, however, for the Qatar Investment Fund, which now owns 28 per cent of London’s 15 most valuable commercial buildings, according to new research.

UK companies in comparison own a dwindling 21 per cent slice of the properties, which were all domestically owned before 2005.

The findings are part of a new database compiled by Dutch data firm GeoPhy, which claims to have ranked the country’s commercial property for the very first time.

The league table ranks Renzo Piano’s Shard – worth £1.5 billion – as the UK’s most valuable commercial building, followed by Canary Wharf icons HSBC Tower (£990 million), Citigroup Tower (£971 million) and One Canada Square (£935 million).

A similar database covering residential property is planned to launch later this year.  

Readers back Haworth Tompkins’ Hove scheme

It may not be as ‘Brighton’ as Frank Gehry’s earlier plan for the site, but Haworth Tompkins’ proposal for the King Alfred site in Hove appears to have the AJ readers’ approval.

Our poll asked readers: How do the new Haworth Tompkins’ designs for the King Alfred site measure up against the previous scheme by Frank Gehry?

King Alfred site poll

How do the new Haworth Tompkins’ designs for the King Alfred site measure up against the previous scheme by Frank Gehry?


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