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Astragal: Let them bake cake

NVA s Hinterland  Image Alaisdair Smith 2
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Scotland’s 2016 Festival of Architecture began last month with Hinterland, a choral performance and light installation in Gillespie, Kidd & Coia’s ruined St Peter’s Seminary in Cardross.

But a number of other attention-grabbing events seem to have fallen off the official programme, including a proposed lecture at Aberdeen’s Peacock Visual Arts Centre by Jonathan Meades.

A planned lantern festival finale at The Helix regeneration project in Falkirk has also had its lights turned out. Health and safety restrictions on numbers at the landmark site mean an alternate Night Lights finale will now be held in Dundee.

To fill the void, festival organisers have come up with a new, lip-smacking addition to the bill: Cake Fest Scotland 2016. The event will see teams of budding architects create a 100m² edible map of Scotland’s 100 greatest buildings.

Elizabeth House for sale?

David Chipperfield Architects' designs for Elizabeth House

David Chipperfield Architects’ designs for Elizabeth House

David Chipperfield Architects’ designs for Elizabeth House

Word has reached the AJ that property investors Chelsfield Partners and London & Regional Group Holdings are mulling over whether to sell their interests in Elizabeth House in London’s Waterloo – a sale that could affect the future of David Chipperfield’s hard-earned consent for the site.

Readers will remember that English Heritage and Westminster Council went to the High Court in an attempt to stop Chipperfield’s contentious proposals to replace an existing 1960s block with two new buildings of 29 and 11 storeys.

It is understood that property agent CBRE has been brought in to advise on options for the plot, which would come with an estimated price tag of £300 million. There are also whispers that other architects are already looking at how the 132,000m² scheme could be reworked.


Smithfield redux

Smithfield Market copyright MRC Luke Hayes5

Smithfield Market copyright MRC Luke Hayes5

Is it third time lucky for the revamp of London’s abandoned Smithfield Market? Over the last decade, bids by KPF (for a large office scheme) and John McAslan (for a more sensitive restoration … plus a large office scheme) failed at public inquiry.

Now the Museum of London is hoping for better luck as it attempts to set up home there. Early overtures are good and the shortlist of architects revealed this week is impressive, including BIG, Caruso St John and Stanton Williams with Asif Khan – and all, in various ways, have worked on historic buildings.

Where the sun don’t shine

Hertsmere Tower   shadows from the wrong side

Hertsmere Tower shadows from the wrong side

Plans by HOK for what will be the tallest residential building in western Europe were recently approved by both Tower Hamlets Council and the Greater London Authority.

The 67-storey Hertsmere House, for Chinese developer Greenland, will occupy a 0.53ha plot at West India Quay, north-east of Canary Wharf’s main cluster of buildings.

But were the CGIs produced to support the planning application misleading? Experts have told Astragal that the image shown places the sun in the north at an ‘unbelievable angle’, placing the building’s shadow in the least intrusive spot.

A spokeswoman for Greenland insisted its image was true to life, calling it a ‘representation of the sun’s position when setting in summer in the north-west’.

Since the final determination of the scheme lies with the DCLG, it’s over to you, Greg Clark.

Trade of the tools

Bath Royal Crescent and Circus

Bath Royal Crescent and Circus

A set of drawing tools used by the architect behind Bath’s Royal Crescent, John Wood the Younger, has sold at auction for £26,000 – three times higher than the original estimate.

The silver drawing set, believed also to have been used by Wood’s father, who designed the city’s famous Circus, includes a silver rule, an ivory rule, an ivory sector rule and six other drawing instruments.

Better not throw away those old Rotring pens. 

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