Work surge predicted from China pact

Architects have predicted a work surge all thanks to a deal made between Birmingham City Council and Chinese developer, Country Garden.

The deal is set to bring new opportunities but may also carry risks, architects have said.

Earlier on in the month, Birmingham City Council leader John Clancy signed a joint statement of investment commitment with Country Garden aiming to bring forward new housing on large development sites. The area being described by the authority as being worth ‘up to £2 billion’.

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Architectural Trends for 2016

The architectural trends that are set to dominate the leap year are to be modern, high-tech and efficient.

The idea is to use simple concepts when designing buildings. Architects believe that designs are transitioning into modern styles of home as global trends seem to be gravitating towards homes with cleaner lines and a lot of open space.

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Should Post-War Architecture be Demolished?

There are many concrete buildings in Birmingham and across Britain.

The post-war architecture can be a hit and miss with some, and because of this, there are discussions taking place across the UK over whether preserve the established architecture.

When the prospect of destroying any historical building comes about, this often leads to mixed strong opinions. Especially if the building(s) in question have been designed years following the Second World War. Raw concrete buildings that were erected between the 60s and 70s have been brought up to face demolition.

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Birmingham’s library wins architecture award

The Library of Birmingham has topped the chart for the Riba Stirling Prize 2014!

Birmingham’s city folk were being urged to vote for the architectural beauty and the votes payed off with 30% of the votes going to the Library.

The Library of Birmingham
The Library of Birmingham

The Library of Birmingham won the Riba Stirling prize on the 16th October 2014.

The Library was designed by Mecanoo architect, Patrick Arends, who won the emerging architect of the year.
It’s interlocking circle design, rooftop terraces and vast glass-topped central book rotunda are all what added to this gem’s win.

Shortlisted along with the Library was London Aquatics Centre, receiving 26% of the votes, London Bridge Tower/The Shard (20%), Everyman Theatre in Liverpool (10%), LSE Student Centre in London (8%), and Manchester School of Art (7%).

It was also named West Midland’s overall building of the year, at the regional final.

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Students designs cardboard panniers

Architecture students have designed a clever way to bring groceries back home – Packtasche (Pack Bag), foldable panniers you can pick up at the checkout.

Carrier bags hanging on for dear life off the handle bars of bicycles could well and truly become things of the past, if the solution to carrying groceries home, created by two architecture students in Vienna, gets a wide adoption.
The solution comes in the form a foldable, cardboard pannier, that can be filled with your grocery haul and then placed on your bike.

Packtasche cardboard pannier (picture source Packtasche)
Packtasche cardboard pannier (picture source Packtasche)

The product, Packtasche, was designed by budding architects, Philipp Moherndl and Matthias Lechner; ideally stores would offer it to customers a replacement of shopping bags and carrier bags.

A simple assemble, light in weight and wholly recyclable means that carrier bags could be disappearing, and it also means that shoppers don’t have to worry about whether what they’re purchasing will fit inside their backpack and the weight can be lifted off their shoulders, literally.

While many cyclists may be familiar with panniers and may already own one, not everyone fancies the idea of carrying them around all day when they’re not using their bicycles.

The designers told an architecture publishing company: “Due to the mass appeal of the bike, conventional cycling accessories do not fit the lifestyle of many urban cyclists. The limited transport capacity of usual bicycles makes shopping difficult and inflexible.

“People often do their shopping spontaneously, on their way home or whilst cycling in the city. therefore we wanted to come up with a more flexible solution: a multi-use bag for bicycles, which is low priced and environmentally-friendly.”

The final design incorporates a handle that makes it easy to carry when not travelling on the bike, and once on it, the panniers fit over a rear rack.

“Our main goal was to make cycling in the city even more practical and attractive than it already is. The Packtasche is our small contribution to make cycling more attractive to people and hence support sustainable urban mobility,” explained Lechner.

The pair are currently hoping to expand their market to Europe and are planing to launch a Kickstarter campaign for their product.

What do you think of the Packtasche?
Let us know in the comments!

 

 

Austria implements several architectural bus shelters into its villages

How did a village in Austria make architecture headlines with its bus shelters?

Though it may have seem some form of weird reality, the village of Krumbach in Austria have erected several bus shelters from international architects, putting them into use for all of the village to enjoy. The designs of the bus shelters came from seven different architects, all whom had a different take on just how a bus shelter should be.

The architect’s work isn’t exactly out of place as the architectural sector in Austria embraces the world of architecture, as its widespread recognition in the international architecture scene continues to attract over 30,000 visitors annually to its county of Vorarlberg. The BUS:STOP Krumbach project decided it was a time for a change, so several international architects all submitted their designs for the prospect of new bus shelters in order to attract more attention to the local area.

The bus shelter architecture in Austria
The bus shelter architecture in Austria

The village of Krumbach, though small in size, operates a bus service that runs on an hourly basis, which is quite unusual for such a rural area. The 1,000 plus residents of the village all enjoy the operation of transportation, so it was only natural for their attention to be turned to the uncharismatic bus services.

The bus shelter architecture in Austria
The bus shelter architecture in Austria

How did the project develop?

In April 2013, architects were invited to visit the village for three days, so they could gain an idea of the local area, the quality of the landscape, the local traditions that would take place, the people and their backgrounds and how the building’s oozed culture from every pore.
By summer of 2013, all the architects had given their designs to the village of Krumbach and the selected regional craftspeople started work on the designs, using their specially formed crafting skills to complete the project to its very best. The construction began in the Autumn of 2013 and work continued until just before the opening on 1 May, the 20 regional handcraft businesses that were selected for the projects were all responsible for the transformation of good ideas into works of high quality.

The bus shelter architecture in Austria
The bus shelter architecture in Austria

The end products were beautiful, as you can tell from the images provided in this blog. What’s your favourite design? Let us know in the comments below.

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