Building Information Modelling is unstoppable finds survey

BIMNearly three quarters (71 per cent) of building design and construction experts agree that BIM (Building Information Modelling) represents “the future of project information” and 39 per cent confirmed that they are already using it. But the annual industry-wide BIM survey, undertaken by NBS, reveals a lack of clarity around the subject which could prove an obstacle to its more rapid adoption. 74 per cent of those polled agreed that the industry is “not clear enough on what BIM is yet” and only around one-third claim to be “very” or “quite” confident in their BIM knowledge and skills.

More →

What Alan Bennett can teach us about taste

Alan BennettThe idea of taste is a strange one, not least when we’re surrounded by people guiding our tastes in everything from cars to wine, food, clothes, house design, office design, restaurants, holidays, language, art, music, books and film. The problem with an acceptance of what we mean by ‘good taste’ is that it acts as a brake on change and innovation. Alan Bennett once made the point in typical style. ‘Taste is timorous, conservative and fearful,’ he wrote. ‘It is a handicap. It stunts. Olivier was unhampered by taste and was often vulgar; Dickens similarly. Both could fail and failure is a sort of vulgarity; but it’s better than a timorous toeing of the line. Taste abuts on self preservation. It is the audience that polices taste. Only if you can forget your audience can you escape.’

Japan’s Toyo Ito wins 2013 Pritzker Architecture Prize

Toyo ItoThe 2013 Pritzker Architecture Prize, considered architecture’s highest accolade is to go to Toyo Ito, a 71 year old Japanese architect whose work includes the Sendai Mediatheque library in Sendai City, Japan, which withstood the 2011 earthquake, Tokyo’s Tama Art University Library, and London’s 2002 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion. Ito, whose architectural practice is based in Tokyo, said of the award: “Architecture is bound by various social constraints. I have been designing architecture bearing in mind that it would be possible to realize more comfortable spaces if we are freed from all the restrictions even for a little bit.”

More →

London’s Fit Cities event explores architecture and wellness

435x200_Fit_Cities

London is host this week to an event that brings together architects, planners, designers, developers, and public health professionals to explore how building design and policy decisions can make communities healthier, helping prevent diseases such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. The Greater London Authority is holding the event in the wake of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games to explore how active design principles were applied to the events and their legacy and to hear how plans are developing around major events coming up in Sochi, Glasgow and Rio de Janeiro.

More →

Gone est Lumiere: Leeds approves new city centre office blocks

Leeds Central Sqaure plansPlans for two buildings on the site of the failed Lumiere mixed use skyscraper project in Leeds have won planning approval. The new Central Square scheme in the city centre  will deliver 262,000 sq.ft. of office space in two new buildings, one consisting of 89,000 sq.ft. over eight floors and a larger 11 storey building with 173,000 sq.ft of space. The new plans replace those for the landmark Lumiere tower  Lumiere originally intended to be completed in 2010 but put on hold in 2008 and finally cancelled two years later. The new scheme has been designed by Aedas. (Forgive the Franglais in the title.)

UK Government reports £1 billion sale of unwanted properties

St Dunstans HouseThe Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude has claimed that central Government departments in the UK have now raised more than £1 billion by selling unused property since 2010. He also claimed that government departments have saved an additional £168 million with the termination of leases on unwanted buildings. The landmark figure was reached with the sale of St. Dunstan’s House (above), formerly home to the Ministry of Justice to Taylor Wimpey who will be converting the site into – what else? – a residential project of 76 apartments designed by David Walker Architects.

More →

Landmark buildings can lead to an identity crisis for tenants

A new generation of landmarks

A new generation of landmarks

Companies want to brand themselves in lots of ways and for lots of reasons. There are all the usual reasons to do with marketing but when companies talk about brand and how it is integrated with architecture and the design of their offices they are equally likely to be concerned with attracting staff and making what they think are the right statements about their business. The problem is that while nearly everybody wants to brand their workplace, the design solutions can become overly literal. There’s nothing inherently wrong with logos in the carpet but successful design will be about far more than that. It usually has to be rather less literal and rather more intelligent.

More →

Portland House is London’s latest major offices to homes conversion

Portland HouseLand Securities is the latest developer to announce a major office to flats conversion in the wake of the Government’s change to the relevant parts of the planning system that make it easier to change the use of buildings. The firm has submitted plans to convert the 29 floors of Portland House in Victoria into 206 flats along with ground floor retail units. Land Securities is one of the first firms to take advantage of the new planning rules which have been the subject of much criticism by organisations such as the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) as well as local authorities throughout London who have almost unanimously sought exemptions.

More →

Plans unveiled to transform Southbank Centre Festival Wing

Southbank

London’s Southbank Centre, the UK’s largest arts centre, has unveiled plans to transform the Festival Wing – the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Hayward Gallery complex. The proposals, by FCBStudios, include the refurbishment and renewal of the existing 1960s buildings and the creation of major new arts spaces including a new glass pavilion, a new central foyer and a new liner building to create, together with the successful Royal Festival Hall refurbishment, a world-class cultural centre for the 21st century, providing more art for more people in better spaces. More →

Challenge for Ecobuild is reducing greenwash and white noise

White noiseToday is the first day of Ecobuild, which claims to be the world’s largest exhibition dedicated to sustainable construction and fit-out. Some 1,500 organisations are taking part in the event in East London which last year attracted 58,000 visitors from around the world. While undoubtedly successful, influential, with great intellectual content and a showcase for some truly innovative and effective products, the approach of Ecobuild invariably begs the question: in a world in which every supplier claims to be environmentally friendly, how are their customers expected to make the right choices?

More →

Widespread adoption of BIM moves closer

BIM_3D_prototype_-_Modus

The widespread adoption of Building Information Modelling (BIM) in architecture, design and construction has moved closer with the publication by the Construction Industry Council (CIC) yesterday of the BIM Protocol, a legal framework for BIM projects. The use of BIM as a collaborative way of working that utilises digital technologies for more efficient methods of designing, creating and maintaining properties has been described as a game-changing ICT and cultural process for the built environment, with the Government’s intention to require collaborative 3D BIM on all its projects by 2016

More →

American Institute of Architects opens design and health project

Via Verde

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is working with the Clinton Global Initiative and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Advanced Urbanism (CAU) to examine the relationships between design, urbanism, and public health. The collaboration is part of the AIA’s Decade of Design Commitment to Action, which aims to make positive changes through design in the global urban environment. Alexander d’Hooghe, director of the MIT CAU explained: “We are investigating the scale of urban design, architecture, as well as planning, in relation to health today, whether related to obesity, or to climate change.” More →

Translate >>