Architects very much bear the brunt for their designs. Not only must buildings now be conceptualised and realised years ahead of their intended use, but public tastes and needs must be predicted, committees must approve and all manner of ethical, ecological and financial stringencies simply must be met or they will go STRAIGHT TO HELL. So when a firm or individual pulls it off, and the public embrace the intention and spectacular landscape of their hard-work, we must all loudly applaud together, but not in unison – that’s creepy.
We were really impressed in 2011 by The New World Centre by Frank Gehry – an extraordinary, defining feat in permanent musical architecture with its gigantic potential for audio visual projections as well as acoustics. Equally important to their purpose are the Maggie’s Centres – built by collaboration between architects and lifestyle designers like Paul Smith and appearing across the UK this year. And of course, as London residents, how can we ignore the amount of new and regenerative Olympic-themed activity going on with land mark buildings and exciting sporting structures? But our top picks look like this…
Stanton Williams was awarded Architect of the Year, The Schueco Gold Award for its two-fold contribution to British architecture. As well as the responsive and beautifully set Sainsbury Laboratory in Cambridge, we also saw the much-discussed and undeniably grand new building for Central Saint Martins at King’s Cross in London. Epic projects, both of them, with a living, breathing, environmental and landscape conscience that has set the bar for new research and education buildings very, very high.
Not only did we enjoy a small interview with Assemble in Issue #6 of the magazine we also put together a showreel of animations to screen in the canal-side alternative cinema Folly for a Flyover in Hackney Wick. The Folly was a satellite site for the Barbican Watch Me Move season and won the 2011 Bank of America Merrill Lynch CREATE Art Award (mouthful). This young band of architects who were also behind 2010’s ingenious public offering The Cineroleum, are an incredibly engaging group who are – to quote ourselves – “re-imagining exciting possibilities for unusual urban spaces and taking ownership of the entire process.”
Ro & AD
We were totally won over by Ro & AD’s simple concept of a submerged bridge, a lá Moses, and couldn’t wait to post it up. It received some of our highest stats in the architecture category and certainly caught the imagination of many an other design site, with its sub-mersive (sorry) ingenuity. They were nominated finalists at the Dutch Design Awards 2011, and rightfully so.
- “An endless love story”: Claudine Doury returns to the Amur River to photograph its people
- Peter Millard gives a humorous account of his journey so far
- “They’re the only things I would save in a fire”: A peak inside Hattie Stewart’s marvellous sketch books
- Illustrator Katy Stubbs on moulding her dishy stories out of clay
- Tom Noon on his musical, spontaneous and illustrative approach to graphic design
- Nazif Lopulissa rethinks the shapes and forms of the children’s playground
- “We want to challenge and disturb the audience”: meet graphic design studio Alliage
- Matt Willey leaves The New York Times Magazine and joins Pentagram
- Ikki Kobayashi’s new series investigates the tension between shapes and negative space
- “Perfectly beautiful things don’t attract me”: Heesun Seo on her nontraditional practice
- The Pantone Colour of the Year 2020 makes a statement about peace and communication
- Moleskine’s digital notebook and a visual inventory of Earth win Apple's Apps of the Year