‘Affinity for nature’ design competition launched

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Reconnect Your Space

Science suggests that all of us may be hard-wired to love the natural world, and now a global competition named Reconnect Your Space is calling for architectural, interior or urban landscape design entries that put this affinity for nature, or “biophilia”, at the forefront. The competition, launched by carpet tile manufacturer Interface, invites architects, designers and students of these disciplines to submit their visions for how biophilia can influence the design of a new or existing space, either inside within built environments or outside in cities. More →

BBC unveils plans for development of Television Centre site

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BBC_Television_CentreFollowing last year’s sale of its iconic Grade II listed West London Television Centre to developer Stanhope, the BBC has announced details of the future direction of the 14 acre site. The announcement comes as the BBC continues its programme of relocating staff and functions to Media City in Salford and the new Broadcasting House in Central London. Work will start in 2015 on a mixed use development which will include residual office and studio space for the BBC, offices, hotels, leisure facilities, some 1,000 new homes, parks and a hotel. However the listed buildings on the site, originally opened in 1960, will be retained. More →

Gulf construction and fit-out continues to boom, claims report

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Abu DhabiThe total value of building projects in Gulf Cooperation Council states will exceed $80 billion this year according to a new report from dmg::events* in conjunction with consultancy Ventures Middle East. The survey concludes that this year will see a near one fifth increase in the overall value of projects up from nearly $69 billion in 2012 to $81.6 billion in 2013. Meanwhile the interlinked market for interior contracting and fit-out in 2012 was valued by the report at $7.86bn – a 56 per centincrease on 2011. The UAE continues as the the region with the largest interiors spend ($2.83bn), followed by Saudi Arabia ($2.6bn) and Qatar ($1.49bn). More →

We shape the World’s cities, then they shape us

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ChonggingThe story of the world’s cities is often told not in words but in numbers. This is especially the case with the megacities – those with a  population in excess of 10 million – which obtain enough critical mass not only to produce eye boggling statistics but also to distort the fabric of whole regions and change the way people live and behave. This is true for the established megacities of London, New York and Tokyo as well as the emerging global metropolises in Sao Paolo, Beijing, Mumbai, Shanghai, Cairo and Istanbul.

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Better Buildings challenge for sustainable innovation

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BPP

A competition to find green solutions that help to improve the performance of commercial buildings has been launched by the Institute for Sustainability, in partnership with the Climate Knowledge and Innovation Community (Climate-KIC) and the Better Buildings Partnership (BBP) – a collaboration of leading London commercial property owners and investors. Because energy efficiency improvement works have focused primarily on mechanical and electrical control upgrades and plant replacement, the competition focuses on innovations which could help improve the environmental performance of the building envelope. More →

Survey reveals world’s speediest and highest lifts

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Taipei 101Building information database provider Emporis has unveiled what it believes to be the world’s speediest lifts in a new survey. The company found that the fastest in the world were those in the Taipei 101 tower (above) manufactured by Toshiba. A Mitsubishi lift in Japan’s Yokahama Landmark Tower was named as the second-fastest, while the Otis manufactured lifts in Dubai’s 828m-high Burj Khalifa share third place with three other buildings. The results are inevitably clustered given the limitations of the human body to withstand rapid ascents and descents. More →

Guide argues positive green message for sustainable gains

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Fear, despair and resignation do not motivate people to change their practices; they should instead be inspired by the positive messages of sustainable living. In Guide to Sustainia international sustainability initiative Sustainia argues innovation has made such impressive leaps over the last decade it’s now possible to break with the perception of a sustainable society as one of limitations. With cities and developers already assembling the nuts, bolts and designs of a more sustainable future, the guide presents a compilation of real initiatives and technologies from around the world, in a blueprint for a sustainable future. More →

Crossrail to develop offices above Bond Street station

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CrossrailCrossrail has submitted an application to Westminster Council for the development of a new six-floor, 65,000 sq ft office development above Bond Street underground station in West London in conjunction with property developer Grosvenor. The design by PLP Architecture will take account of other construction work on the site as part of Bond Street’s development as a station on the new £15 billion Crossrail project. Grosvenor will be responsible for delivering the over site development of the scheme once station and ticket hall construction works are completed in 2017. More →

Refurbishment projects on the rise for UK architects

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RIBA HQ

Projects involving works to existing buildings now make up 64% of architects’ workloads, according to the results of the December 2012 Future Trends Survey carried out by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). This figure, which has been increasing steadily since 2010, suggests that in the present climate conservation, refurbishment and adaptive re-use are important areas for architects to apply their expertise. The Workloads Index for December 2012 was plus-8, remaining in positive territory since October 2012, which continues to suggest a stable market for architects’ services.

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Deadline to nominate Northern Ireland building design prowess

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Today (25 January) is the deadline to nominate Northern Ireland’s most remarkable developments in land, property and construction. The RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) Northern Ireland Awards will present accolades for Community Benefit, Building Conservation, Regeneration, and Design and Innovation at an awards ceremony in Riddel Hall, Queen’s University Belfast on 10 May. The scheme is open to anyone working within the property profession, and will celebrate the talents of surveyors, developers, engineers, planners, architects and others.

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Architects appointed for new Canary Wharf projects

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WoodWharfA new development by Canary Wharf plc in London has appointed three architects to design its first six buildings. Allies and Morrison will create two new office buildings at Wood Wharf, Herzog &de Meuron have been commissioned to design a new residential tower and Stanton Williams will be responsible for the creation of three new residential blocks and a central courtyard. The overall mixed use scheme has been masterplanned by Terry Farrell and Partners.

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Mixed response to Government office conversion plans

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As predicted earlier this week, the government has confirmed new measures that will allow office space to be converted into homes without the need for planning permission. Further reforms are also intended to help boost rural communities and create jobs by allowing agricultural buildings to be converted for other business use, such as shops, offices, restaurants or leisure facilities without the need for planning permission. But the scheme has met with a decidedly mixed response from organisations as diverse as the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and local authority chiefs.  More →

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