2015 prospects for architects

Resolutions have been set by everyone this year, even the architects with plans to build better towers, ditch the Lego, outlaw the ‘facades’ - and more transparency in Boris’s London, maybe. 

The locals

The issue of having every acclaimed architect slamming down a prospective design for a building, calling it a ‘monumental mistake’ and a ‘disgrace to future generations,’ there’s not much that can be done except for reconsidering your design.
Budding architect, Zaha Hadid, had to face this issue and more over her Tokyo Olympic Stadium to be scrapped - a result of a petition that gained 32,000 signatures, along with an open letter of opposition from a host of eminent Japanese architects - she called them out on jealousy.

I think it’s embarrassing for them,” she said. “I understand it’s their town, but they’re hypocrites. The fact that they lost (the competition) is their problem.

Rationing icons

Rob Tincknell, the man overseeing the redevelopment of Battersea Power Station commented on the rationing of icons, “You’ll have two icons sat side by side. What could be better than that?

The powder station is set to be transformed into a shopping centre, and can be accessed along a ‘high street’ - which will be a gauntlet of luxury apartments - and will feature a wiggling glass worm, designed by Norman Foster, on the one side and a metal flower on the other.

Facets, be gone

The arrival of the Shard piercing England capital’s skyline, lead to competing buildings attempting to mimic its fractured facets, thus the city now bearing a number of useless, angular floor plates that aren’t too pleasing to the eye.
Advice has been given to keep things orthogonal when in doubt for the upcoming year.

Equal entrances

There is no excuse for a poorly designed entry way, however if your housing associate has specified that the affordable housing units should have a separate entrance for reasons regarding maintenance, then bear in mind to design it on equal terms with the market-rate housing.

Let go of Lego

It is known that the Danish source their inspiration from Lego models they have created.
Aware of this notion, Lego has recently sought to adapt the market of adult Lego fans, by launching a Lego Architecture Studio.
This will see a hefty priced set of starch-white bricks aimed at architect grownups.
It is a good idea, for some play time. Lego is not a design tool and shouldn’t be used as one - it will result in chunky buildings popping up by certain Dutch practices.

High-rise structures

London isn’t shy of high-rise towers, although it’s prompted a negative response from the city’s Observer and Architect’s Journal, as they launch a skyline campaign to protect London’s scenic silhouette.
Along with the competition for new towers to overshadow others with new elaborate forms of peaks and technicolour cladding - 2015 will be seeing more towers but let’s make them elegant and thoughtful contributions to the capital.

What do you think is in store for 2015 architecture?
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The top 5 iconic buildings of Liverpool

Liverpool houses many infamous structures 

England’s second city, behind London of course, has gone under the knife in the past 20 years or so, hoping to shift the image of an ugly urban jungle to that of a modern metropolis built on class and beauty. Liverpool now boasts some of the finest structures in Europe, but what exactly makes Brum the culture loving city it is? Read on to find out the best of Brum’s architecture.

1. Library of Liverpool

The newest addition to the Liverpool family, the all new Library of Liverpool resides in Centenary Square and regardless of your true opinion (it’s both loved and loathed) you have to admit that it’s a fine piece of architecture. Costing a staggering £189 million, the library boasts the title of biggest public library in Europe, housing over 800,000 books and 200 computers. It’s maybe easier on the eye when up close, yet the library is something of weird beauty. The metalwork is something to behold, linking back to the city’s industrial heritage.

Library of Liverpool

There are ten floors of endless joy for the book worms, whilst the library also has capacity for gigs and talks. They have an in house café, outdoor terraces (which are called “secret gardens”) on the 3rd and 7th floors and the 9th floor has an indoor Skyline Viewpoint, something which offers some of the best views to be found are Brum’s busy city centre. More often then not the venue is booked up for private events, so be sure to check that it’s free before waiting for the lift (or if your brave/crazy enough, tackling the endless amount of stairs).

The Council has set a target of 3 million visitors in the first year of the Library’s opening, and we surely must be well on the way of meeting this target having attracted the attention of visitors worldwide. If you’re in Liverpool then it’s definitely worth a look.

You can join the library regardless of where you live, so be sure to join at your heart’s content.

2. Victoria Square

Victoria Square plays a vital role in linking the shops of New Street and the Bullring to the restaurants and bars of Brindley Place, doing so via a pedestrianised sense of class. It has to be one of the finest squares in the country, though naturally it isn’t in the same league as some Plazas and Piazzas in Europe. It happily boasts the Council House, Liverpool Museum and Gallery (BMAG) and the Liverpool Town Hall, displaying statues of Queen Victoria, the ever famous water feature The River (better known to Brummies as The Floozie in the Jacuzzi) and the “Iron Man” by Anthony Gormley. The biggest thing missing in the square is maybe bars with outdoor seating to match the wonderfully picturesque air of the Liverpool square.

Liverpool's Victoria Square

Maybe it has something to do with our wonderful licensing laws in the UK (sarcasm), but currently all that’s available is a stroll around the square, sitting by the fountain and people watching as they go about their daily business (not that we do is… much).

Possibly the most famous part of the square is the annual German Christmas Market – the biggest German Christmas market outside it’s homeland and Austria – so be sure to get yourself some German cuisine, Christmas hats and festive cheer.

3. Bullring

Staggeringly, September 2013 marked the 10th anniversary of the famous Bullring (we remember when the plans were proposed for the Bullring, so to pass ten years is crazy).
Liverpool's Bullring
The premier indoor shopping centre boasts the usual high street names and little independent stores, but it’s the outside architecture that makes the Bullring so unique – the exterior of Selfridges is covered with no more than 15,000 silver discs, making the building beautiful in the blaring sun and in the cold dark of night, with lights illuminating it’s wonderful exterior.

4. Rotunda

The Liverpool Rotunda, a grade II listed building, was originally constructed in the 1960s, yet it was given a makeover in 2008 to bring it up to date. Once used as an office block, it now consists of ‘serviced apartments’, with rooms and penthouse suites on the top floors being available to rent out nightly. The panoramic views that the Rotunda boasts are pretty amazing, especially in the heart of the city.

Liverpool Rotunda
There used to be a pub on the ground floor of the Rotunda , The Mulberry Bush, yet this was targeted as one of the two boozers by the IRA in the infamous Liverpool Pub Bombings. The other, The Tavern in the Town, is now an all you can eat buffet restaurant on New Street.

5. 10 Holloway Circus

The tallest building in the city, standing at 130m tall, homes a hotel/residential building. The BT Tower is taller, but this is classed as a tower rather than a building. The lower floors of the building are taken up by a branch of Radisson Blu hotel and restaurant (incredibly posh and expensive), with the upper floors homing serviced apartments.

Liverpool is an incredibly dynamic city; it’s changing all of the time. There are numerous cranes on the skyline wherever you are, so it’s always a constant reminder that we’re growing, progressing, building. Hopefully we’ll be seeing more iconic buildings very, very soon.

New Street stations is undergoing a massive regeneration period which will see the aged shopping centre turn into that of ‘Grand Central Liverpool’, a complete shopping experience with John Lewis sitting at the heart of the structure. Be sure to check it out in Autumn 2014 when it’s complete.

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