A month-by-month look at the top stories you read on the AJ website this year
January: Architect defends plans to demolish London’s ‘best visual joke’
Buckley Gray Yeoman defended its plans to to flatten a ‘tatty shop front’, described by Ian Nairn as ‘one of the best visual jokes in London’. The practice wanted to pull down the remains of Spiegelhalter’s jewellers shop – a ‘holdout unit’ which splits the two Neoclassical wings of the former Wickhams department store in Mile End Road – as part of a new office-led redevelopment. The scheme was given the go-ahead last week.
February: Small Projects 2015 shortlist revealed: £0 - £125k
Source: Luke Hayes
The AJ revealed the schemes in the running for its annual Small Projects Prize. The finalists included a stage, a studio and a bar; a beach tower, a climbing frame and a room made of glass; a bike shelter, a market hall and a children’s gallery in the Science Museum; a stargazing chamber and a community shed; and even a pavilion called ‘Smith’. The coveted accolade was picked up by Carmody Groake’s temporary Merseyside Maggie’s Centre.
March: RIBA moves to scrap Part 3
Source: Paul J Cochrane Photography
RIBA councillors voted through a suite of proposals to reform architectural education and potentially end the current Parts 1, 2 and 3 system. At a special meeting held at Portland Place, RIBA councillors backed five recommendations which could signal ‘momentous change’ for architectural education. The proposals included an integrated course, options for work-based learning and the possibility of immediate access onto the register of architects as soons as they graduate. The recommendations were the result of a two-year-long review into the education process aimed at bringing UK schools in line with new EU legislation.
April: Duggan Morris wins planning for ‘largest scheme yet’
Duggan Morris Architects (DMA) landed planning permission for a 14,000m² office building at King’s Cross - the practice’s biggest project to date. The 10-storey block, known as R7, will sit alongside Stanton Williams’ Central St Martins school of art and design and is described as a ‘highly flexible building’ which will be able to ‘accommodate smaller, growing companies or larger occupiers requiring a whole floor or more’. Clad in two-toned, light rose pink and deep copper pink metal panels, the scheme features a three-screen cinema and shops, accessed from a 7m-high entrance lobby.
May: Revealed: winner in Olympicopolis competition
A team led by Allies and Morrison, with O’Donnell & Tuomey and AJ’s 2013 Emerging Woman Architect of the Year Olga Felip’s studio, was chosen to design the new Olympicopolis. The collaboration, which also includes landscape architects Gustafson Porter, saw off four other all-star bids to land the commission for the huge cultural and education quarter on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, east London. The 70,000m² scheme at Stratford Waterfront is set to house new outposts for the Victoria and Albert Museum, Sadler’s Wells and the University of the Arts London.
June: Young French practice wins Guggenheim Helsinki contest
Parisian newcomer Moreau Kusunoki Architects saw off five other finalists, including emerging UK star Asif Khan, to win the competition to design Helsinki’s new Guggenheim museum. Organised by Malcolm Reading Consultants for the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, the contest attracted more entries than any other architectural competition in history, receiving 1,715 submissions from nearly 80 countries.
July: Revealed: RIBA Stirling Prize 2015 shortlist
Source: Timothy Soar
The six schemes in the running for the 2015 RIBA Stirling Prize were revealed. MUMA’s extension to Manchester’s Whitworth Gallery and Reiach and Hall’s ‘modest’ Lanarkshire Maggie’s Centre were joined on the list by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners’ high-end Neo Bankside housing, the University of Greenwich’s architecture faculty by Heneghan Peng, homes for housing association Peabody by Niall McLaughlin, and a school by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris. The high-profile prize was later picked up by AHMM’s Burntwood School.
August: Malcolm Fraser Architects goes into liquidation
Source: Lorenzo Dalberto/DeadlinePic
Award-winning, Edinburgh-based practice Malcolm Fraser Architects ceased trading. Studio founder Malcolm Fraser said the firm, which was set up in 1993, had been unable to make its ‘beautiful and important’ output profitable.
September: Obituary: Jonathan Woolf (1961 – 2015)
Jonathan Woolf, described as ‘one of the most significant architects of his generation’, died aged just 54. The much-respected architect and academic, who was best known for his RIBA Award-winning Brick Leaf House, had been suffering from cancer.
Experts concerned over ‘disastrous’ London housing guidance
October: Experts concerned over ‘disastrous’ London housing guidance
Source: Morley von Sternberg
Leading housing architects said new proposals to make homes in the capital more accessible could ‘cause chaos’. The plans, set out in draft housing guidance, would force all London homes to have step-free access regardless of what level they are on, removing the flexibility in the current building regulations. A clause within the Mayor’s Draft Interim Housing Supplementary Guidance stated that the ‘optional’building regulation M4 should be applied to all new homes. But professionals feared the proposals would see councils demanding that every housing developments over two storeys had a lift.
November: Jobs set to go at RSHP ahead of Cheesegrater move
Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP) consulted on a round of redundancies ahead of its relocation from Hammersmith to the Leadenhall Building. Around 20 of the practice’s 193-strong workforce were set to be affected by the move which came just days after the company announced that founding partner Mike Davies was to step down. The practice moved into is new office in the Cheesegrater last week saying goodbye to its base for the last 30 years at Thames Wharf, west London.
December: Parry reveals proposals for tallest tower in City
Eric Parry revealed proposals for a new 73-storey skyscraper which is set to become the tallest building in the City of London. Measured from the ground, the office tower at No1 Undershaft will be 294.6m tall – only a few metres shorter than Renzo Piano’s 306m-tall Shard across the river. Calculated from sea level the buildings are even closer, with the new tower standing at 309.6m and the Shard at 312.7m.