Will Wiles on the “real” architecture of Foster and Aravena



  • Opinion: while many architects are designing slippery “architexture”, Norman Foster and Alejandro Aravena are unlikely allies in the pursuit of real architecture, says Will Wiles.
  • What could we call the new, expanded, discipline that Foster and Aravena both appear to have in mind?
  • Perhaps we don’t need a word for it at all – it’s architecture, behaving as architecture should.
  • Architecture as surface and appearance, architecture that is camouflage and alibi.
  • Aravena calls for a rethinking of the role of the architect, and new language to express that role.


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Don’t destroy the Sir John Cass Faculty – a wonderful part of creative learning and life



  • The Cass is named after Sir John Cass, who established one of London’s oldest education charities with a historical mandate to found a polytechnic institute at Aldgate to serve the population of east London.
  • As Jonathan Ive, Apple’s chief design officer, has said, it is essential to develop the skills of making through hands-on learning.
  • We should know by now that learning is not restricted to the purely academic: making is also learning.
  • We, the undersigned, call on London Metropolitan University to review its current strategic plan, One Campus, One Community, in light of its consequences for the Sir John Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design.
  • We call on London Metropolitan to pursue a two-site solution that keeps the education of art, making and design alive and kicking where The Cass began – in London’s East End.


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Here comes the Bride: architect plans world’s tallest building in Basra



  • If built, the 230-storey, 1,152m tall “Bride Tower” would be located in Basra and would be made up of four buildings joined together.
  • An alien planted in the city, disconnected from the urban scale at ground level.

    “The Bride, on the other hand, will be conceived as a city itself both vertically but also horizontally from the ground.

  • The tallest building under construction is the 1km-high Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
  • However there is no fixed location for the building, and although Basra is relatively peaceful and prosperous, neither a construction schedule nor a price has been suggested.
  • The tallest building completed is the 830m Burj Khalifa in Dubai.


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R3 assembles expert technology team



  • You are here: Home » News » Banking news » R3 assembles expert technology team to lead distributed ledger initiative

    Financial innovation firm R3 announced the team tasked with managing the design and delivery of advanced distributed ledger technologies to global financial markets in partnership with its consortium of member banks.

  • The R3 collaborative model is the best way to quickly, efficiently and cost effectively deliver these new technologies to global financial markets.
  • The team brings together a unique set of expertise in electronic financial markets, distributed ledgers and blockchain technologies.
  • In his fifteen-year career at IBM he specialized in the application of new technology in banking and financial markets.
  • Ian Grigg, Architecture Consultant: Ian is a financial cryptographer with 20 years experience building secure ledger systems for the internet.


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Construction boss fired from The Apprentice Ι Construction Enquirer



  • Lord Sugar pointed his famous finger at “construction operations executive” Elle Stevenson this week as she was fired from reality TV show The Apprentice.
  • The teams were led by Stevenson and Brett “the Builder” Butler Smythe battling it out to represent construction.
  • The latest task was loosely based on construction as the two teams were charged with winning and carrying-out DIY jobs across London.
  • She was then fired from the boardroom within minutes of the result being revealed without having the chance for the traditional few minutes of bickering and pleading.
  • To share your stories email Grant Prior or Aaron Morby… always off the record


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Project Orange’s West Stow Lodge has a pared-back interior



  • West Stow Lodge was designed by London architects Project Orange for a family with three young children in a village near Bury St Edmunds.
  • To emphasise the sense of visual continuity throughout West Stow Lodge, Project Orange spaced the mullions of all the windows evenly, at 600-millimetre intervals.
  • Oak joinery, white-painted bricks, and concrete flooring were used to make the interior of this new house in Suffolk, England, more contemporary than its traditional pitched-roof exterior (+ slideshow).
  • “The interior materials echo the exterior, and are intended very much as an honest expression of the construction,” said Ash.
  • “Within this setting, the house can be seen as a nuanced, contemporary exploration of the domestic vernacular architecture in Suffolk,” said Ash.


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Party with the Eameses! Inside the modernist masters’ riotous home



  • As Charles Eames used to tell his staff: “Take your pleasure seriously.”
  • The Eameses playful mischief is still evident in their home studio, the smaller pavilion that stands across a small courtyard from the house.
  • New employees of the Eames Office would be set the daunting challenge of rearranging the keys to make a new tune.
  • As the British brutalist architect Peter Smithson, an Eames-admiring contemporary, put it: “They made it respectable to like pretty things”.
  • A replica features in the exhibition, providing an appropriately anarchic plinkety-plonk soundtrack to the riot of ideas.


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NTE Energy Closes Financing for 475 MW PJM Project in Ohio



  • NTE Energy, a power developer and energy services provider, announced today that its affiliate NTE Ohio, LLC (“NTE”), has successfully closed $645 million in project financing for construction and operation of its Middletown Energy Center.
  • NTE Energy, through its affiliates, develops and acquires strategically located electric generation and transmission facilities within North America.
  • Capital Dynamics’ CEI team holds extensive expertise in investing, financing, owning and operating conventional and clean energy businesses globally.
  • NTE Energy, through its affiliates, is actively developing three projects located in West Texas, Southwest Ohio, and North Carolina as well as pursuing early-stage opportunities in several other locations.
  • The team executes all aspects of project development, from initial market and site evaluations and permitting to financing, construction and operation.


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London’s garden bridge: the end of the road?



  • But Transport for London (TfL) and the Garden Bridge Trust have carried on regardless, egged on by powerful Bullingdon backers, mayor Boris Johnson and chancellor George Osborne.
  • The president of the Metropolitan Public Gardens Association has described it as a “vanity project of a windswept garden on an unneeded bridge”, while leading bridge engineers have called it a “private garden platform pretending to be a bridge”.
  • The National Audit Office has been ordered to examine the “rationale” behind George Osborne’s pledge of £30m of Treasury funding for the bridge.
  • Their correspondence over funding the bridge was recently uncovered by the Architects’ Journal, in which Osborne spelled out his £30m grant and urged Johnson to “do the same”.
  • Opponents have objected to the £60m of public funding and the £3.5m annual maintenance costs, to the restricted access for bikes and to the murky procurement process, which saw Thomas Heatherwick appointed ahead of other experienced bridge designers.


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Chinese cash could fund Scottish construction



  • CHINESE investors could be attracted to plough hundreds of millions of pounds into key Scottish infrastructure projects – such as road upgrading and connecting offshore wind farms to the grid – on the back of moves to encourage foreign involvement in the HS2 high speed rail project.
  • Earlier this year it was revealed that Scotland is becoming a hotspot for Chinese property investors looking for an alternative to London with Edinburgh in particular attracting interest.

  • Michael Watson, an infrastructure and projects lawyer at Pinsent Masons, said the visit could also have a knock-on impact north of the Border but only if Scotland is able to present an attractive investment proposition for the ­Chinese.
  • Chancellor George Osborne this week travelled to China to try and attract investors there to bid for seven contracts worth £11.8 billion in total covering the first phase of HS2, between London and Birmingham.
  • The key is to have projects which are visible, well developed and ready to be invested in, because we are competing in an extremely competitive global market and the Chinese and other overseas investors have a wealth of options on where to put their money.”

    Watson said projects of sufficient scale which could interest Chinese investors include the A9 Perth to Inverness dualling project and rail electrification programmes.


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