Survey reveals world’s speediest and highest lifts

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

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

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

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

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 →

Yes, very nice, but who do you think is going to clean it?

Abu Dhabi Mosque smallIf you want to, you can see the difference between design and facilities management as the difference between sex and parenthood. One is an act of creation, the other of care. So while an architect or designer might look at the honeycomb structures and shiny surfaces of the interior of the 40,000 capacity Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi with admiration, the person who is actually responsible for looking after it might well be more likely to think ‘well, that’s just great’.

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New developer ‘to create 50 per cent cheaper offices’

Lipton Rogers

Peter Rogers, left and Stuart Lipton

The high-profile new venture between two of the most prominent developers in London will focus on creating large scale office buildings that are half as cheap as current standard designs. Lipton Rogers has been formed by Stuart Lipton, formerly of Chelsfield Partners and Peter Rogers, the former technical director of Stanhope who stepped down last year. The new business will look  to put into practice the results of research commissioned in 2011 by Lipton which found that new buildings could be created far more cheaply than is currently the case.  More →

‘Visionary’ Zaha Hadid receives creative leadership award

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JUNE 09:  Zaha Hadid, world famous architect visits the Riverside Museum, her first major public commission to open in the UK on June 9, 2011 in Glasgow, Scotland. The £74million Riverside Museum will open to the public on 21 June. It has been funded by Glasgow City Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Riverside Museum Appeal.    (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)Architect Zaha Hadid has received the Aenne Burda Award for Creative Leadership at the international DLD Conference in Munich. The award honours female digital entrepreneurs for their visionary and successful ideas. Delivering the address on Zaha Hadid, Rhode Island School of Design President John Maeda said: “Leaders are needed when times are changing, creative leaders change times themselves. They make things – like Zaha. She’s unafraid to disrupt, she’s very optimistic. Today we celebrate her incredible optimism.” More →

AIA announces 25 year award winner

The Menil Collection in Houston, by Italian architect Renzo Piano has been selected for the prestigious 2013 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Twenty-five Year Award. The neighbourhood museum set a new precedent in museum architecture and confirmed Piano, who designed the Centre Pompidou in Paris, as one of the world’s most trusted designers of cultural buildings. Recognizing architectural design of enduring significance, the Twenty-five Year Award is conferred on a building that has stood the test of time by embodying architectural excellence for 25 to 35 years. More →

City of London grants planning permission for ‘The Scalpel’

No new building ever really deserves to be called ‘landmark’ unless it has acquired a nickname while still on the drawing board. That is why we can be assured that we will be hearing a lot more about the Kohn Pedersen Fox designed 38 storey HQ for US insurer WS Berkeley which has just been granted planning consent and already rejoices in the moniker ‘The Scalpel’. The new facility will provide over 500,000 sq ft of commercial space over 35 floors in Lime Street, East London. More →

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