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23 October 2018
Issue 712
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Revealed - The UK’s death-trap towers
Approximately 100,000 people across the UK live in tower blocks. However, according to housing experts many of these high-rise towers have a systemic structural flaw that puts them at risk of collapse. Fifty years on from the
Ronan Point collapse in 1968, the revelation that many of the towers with similar flawed
construction are still in use will shock the nation. In the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire disaster, which caused 72 deaths, including two who later died in hospital, safety problems have come to light at towers built using the Large Panel System (LPS) method during the 1960s and 1970s. Buildings built using LPS account for more than 41,000 flats in at least 575 tower blocks in cities up and down the UK. Cracks in some flats have been found that are wide enough to allow residents to slide their hands in between the walls. This news comes as eighty seven households have been told to leave their homes in a north London block of flats judged to be at risk of collapse. They have been told to vacate their homes by the end of this October, but only 19 have accepted accommodation, Checks after the Grenfell Tower fire found... read more
Top stories this week
1 Aedas-designed The Beacon scores double win
Aedas Executive Director Cary Lau drew inspirations from Hong Kong’s post-war structures to design The Beacon, setting an excellent example of contemporary interpretation of traditional architecture. In the early post-war years, it was common to create illegal iron balconies for residential units in Mongkok, a hyper-dense neighbourhood in Hong Kong, to maximise view and area. The building design reinterprets these structures in a modern... read more
2 Celebrate with architecture’s best
For over a decade the WAN Awards have evolved into the world’s largest international architectural awards programme and we are now just a month away from our second awards ceremony The WAN Awards showcase the very best in international architecture with categories ranging from Residential and Landscape to Adaptive Reuse and House of the Year. The ceremony at the London Hilton Bankside, SE1 0UG on Tuesday... read more
3 HK’s greenest school makes space for creativity
In the concrete jungle of Hong Kong, the new campus of the French International School designed by Henning Larsen stands as a vibrant green oasis in the dense city. 1100 pupils now enjoy a colorful, collaborative multicultural learning space, setting the scene for the working environment of tomorrow. Just above street level in Hong Kong’s Tseung Kwan O district, sunlight meets the kaleidoscopic façade of the new... read more
4 The World's longest sea crossing opens
Chinese President Xi Jinping has officially opened the world's longest sea crossing bridge, nine years after construction first began. Including its access roads, the bridge spans 55km (34 miles) and connects Hong Kong to Macau and the mainland Chinese city of Zhuhai. The bridge has cost about $20bn (£15.3bn) and seen several delays. According to the BBC construction has been dogged by safety issues - at least 18 workers... read more
5 Lights, Camera, Action
Wanda Studios is in the coastal city of Qingdao, in northeast China. It forms part of Wanda’s new Movie Metropolis, currently the world’s largest film and television industry investment project, covering 3.76 million square meters, with a total construction area of 5.4 million sq m. It is the first filmmaking destination in China that meets international standards and is setting out to become the new hub of global production. Marking the entrance... read more
A scientific
approach to architecture
Conran and Partners
design flagship hotel in Poland
Bouygues UK, a British subsidiary of Bouygues Construction, and the University of Cambridge have signed a construction contract for the university’s Cavendish III physics laboratory and a neighbouring shared facilities hub, both designed by architect Jestico + Whiles. The contract, which was awarded by Lynxvale Limited, the university’s development arm, is worth £250 million (approximately €281 million). Located on the West Cambridge campus, Cavendish III will be a purpose-built laboratory for world-leading research for the university’s Department of Physics, bringing the large number of research groups in the department together under one roof to encourage collaboration. The project has received a funding contribution of £75 million from the Engineering... read more
A new flagship hotel with interior design by Conran and Partners for Polish hotel group, PURO, has opened in Kraków. The 228-room hotel – which occupies a corner site in Halicka Street, Kazimierz, the city’s former Jewish quarter – provides a destination and curated experiences for local residents as much as for tourist and business guests. Conran and Partners’ design concept for the Kraków Kazimierz Hotel is ‘Bohemian Modern’. This approach represents a fusion between the energy, history, authenticity and art culture of the location (‘Bohemian’) and the dynamic, progressive brand principles of PURO, demonstrating the brand’s passion for contemporary art, design-led furniture and forward-looking hospitality (‘Modern’)... read more
Most read story of the month
The Bloomberg Building scoops the RIBA Stirling Prize
The prestigious RIBA Stirling Prize is awarded annually to the UK’s best new building and this year’s prize has gone to the Bloomberg building designed by Foster + Partners. Bloomberg’s pioneering new European HQ has been credited as the world’s most sustainable office and is thought to be the largest stone building in the City of London since St Paul’s Cathedral. With a restrained exterior and dynamic interior to encourage collaboration, Bloomberg is comprised of two buildings connected by a bridge. Each sit either side of a new public arcade, which re-establishes an ancient Roman road. This complex scheme also incorporates new access to Bank Underground station, cafes and restaurants, and a museum displaying the Roman Temple of Mithras, which was discovered on the site sixty years ago. Given its vast footprint (a whole city block), the client, Michael Bloomberg wanted to ensure the building would be a ‘good neighbour’. Three new public spaces open-up this area of the city and the sensitive, handcrafted sandstone exterior and bronze window ‘fin’ details ensure the building sits comfortably within its surroundings. The procession through the building is dynamic and highly choreographed. On arrival, you enter the ‘Vortex’ – a dramatic double-height art work formed from three curved timber shells. From here, high-speed lifts carry you directly to the sixth floor ‘Pantry’ – a large concourse and café space with views... read more
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