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Astragal: Just who is the architect behind Apple's rumoured floating store?

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An amazing – and currently unsubstantiated – rumour has made its way to AJ towers by a very odd (and sadly undisclosable) route.

According to the source, technology giant Apple – which pooh-poohed the chance to sponsor the Garden Bridge in 2013 – is planning to build a store in the middle of the Thames, close to the London Eye. Presumably this retail mecca would sit on a floating pontoon-like structure.

A separate mole has informed Astragal that the architect behind the project is Foster + Partners, which has worked on numerous projects with Apple, including the tech giant’s new HQ at Cupertino, California.

Despite repeated requests neither the practice nor Apple has commented – not even to dismiss the rumours.

Could the tittle-tattle about a bobbing Apple shop in the shadow of the Houses of Parliament really be true? 

Hemingway at the controls

Wayne hemingway crop

Wayne hemingway crop

Designer Wayne Hemingway may still be waiting to get the call from Desert Island Discs, but he was able to take matters into his own hands with the next best thing: an appearance on Lauren Laverne’s Memory Tapes feature on BBC 6 Music .

Each Wednesday, Laverne speaks to a listener over the phone about their choice of records evocative of a particular time of their life, and last week that listener was the fashion designer who later turned his talents to affordable housing, and more recently created Margate’s Dreamland theme park.

Hemingway was looking back to 1983 when his Red or Dead label was just starting up. His very groovy musical soundtrack included songs by Aztec Camera, Joboxers, Shannon and jazz-funk favourite Oliver Cheatham’s Get Down Saturday Night. Listen here from 41’00 

A porcine appraisal

Trump pigs

Trump pigs

Some architects still like to stick it to the man, especially when that man is Donald Trump. According to the Chicago Tribune, local practice New World Design has devised a protest against the US president that involves floating four giant inflatable pigs in front of Trump’s International Hotel in Chicago, in a stunt unashamedly based on the Pink Floyd Animals album cover. 

The balloons, each ‘the size of a London bus’ (loving all these London references!), will be positioned to obscure the Trump name on the building. The $250,000 cost will be partially paid for by donations from Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union. 

Protecting the Golden standard

Golden lane estate basterfield house

Golden lane estate basterfield house

Golden Lane Estate, which sits next to London’s Barbican, has a reputation as a residential enclave for architects. And these design-savvy natives are becoming increasingly restless over encroaching development around Chamberlin, Powell and Bon’s iconic 1950s estate. 

The Barbican and Golden Lane Estate Residents Association is strongly fighting both a 14-storey block of flats by Hawkins\Brown at one end of the estate, and another development by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris at the other.

Much of the estate is listed, but the residents’ group is now seeking conservation area status to ‘help control the massing and appearance of [new] developments and also allow more consideration of proposed demolition of buildings within the area’. 

The proposal was up for discussion at last week’s City planning committee meeting. Sadly, the aldermen ran out of time to discuss the matter because, according to sources, they had to go for lunch.

It’s been emotional

Casting around for a contemporary symbol with which to decorate his building, Dutch architect Changiz Tehrani hit upon the idea of the emoji gargoyle.

The result is that an otherwise pedestrian building in Amersfoort now sports a number of the gurning digital symbols in 3D form, in a move sure to delight Millennials while irritating older members of the populace and most of the design community.

A number of architects and historians have predicted his building will quickly become an outdated cliché, but Tehrani is taking it on the chin, defending his choice as fun and adding that architecture is not the ‘religion’ of him and his firm.  

Sad face

Sad face 


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