The month in architecture

Everything you need to know that happened in April 2015

Published 29 April 2015

The biggest architecture news, the latest prizes and the wackiest new projects – rounded up into one handy post each month.

  • 1. Architect Farshid Moussavi is elected to the Royal Academy

    The Iranian-born architect joins other leading British architects such as David Chipperfield, Norman Foster and Zaha Hadid. She is best known for her work on the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland, the Victoria Beckham flagship store in London, and her Architecture and its Affects installation at the British Pavilion for the 2012 Venice Biennale.

    Farshid Moussavi’s Academician’s page

    2. Tories announce they will extend Right-to-Buy scheme

    This month all news seems to be election-related, so no surprises that it’s appearing here! The Tories unveiled their manifesto last week, announcing that if elected they will extend the Right-to-Buy to 1.3 million families, which means that tenants can buy their council houses. With many feeling that the scheme is a contributing factor towards the current housing crisis, it’s a controversial move.

    Read more from The Guardian

    3. Page/Park wins Glasgow Art School competition

    The Scottish architecture studio will restore the iconic Mackintosh building which was ravaged by a fire last May. The damage was felt most keenly in the famous wood-panelled library, and there is a debate raging about whether it should be replicated or not. Work begins in May 2016, and the project is expected to cost £35million.


    Read more about the competition on Dezeen

    4. Giant slides by Carsten Holler return to London

    In 2006 the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern played host to two elephantine spiralling slides which drew crowds in their thousands, eager for a blissful moment of childhood nostalgia. The slides are now due to make a comeback to the South Bank, as they are going to be installed as part of the Hayward Gallery’s retrospective on the creator, Carsten Holler: Decision.

    5. British Pavilion from Venice Architecture Biennale to return

    For one month only, AA Gallery in central London will be resurrecting the British Pavilion from last year’s Venice Biennale, for which Rem Koolhaus set the theme “Absorbing Modernity”. Architecture practice FAT drew 134,000 visitors to the British Pavilion (over half the Biennale’s total visitors) with their installation A Clockwork Jerusalem.

    6. David Chipperfield RA to design Met extension

    One of Britain’s foremost architects has beaten over 50 international firms to design the new wing of New York’s famous art museum, which will house a collection of modern and contemporary art. Chipperfield has also designed the Neues Museum in Berlin and the Hepworth Wakefield Gallery, which featured in 20th Century Society’s exhibition, 100 Best Buildings in Britain at the RA last winter.

    David Chipperfield Architects
    Metropolitan Museum of Art

    7. The Next Helsinki squares up to Guggenheim

    Last year Guggenheim launched a competition to find a designer for their newest branch, on the Helsinki waterfront, with a stunning shortlist released last week and the winner to be announced this July. However, the competition has been dogged by controversy as some locals feel that a massive foreign institution is not the optimal way to stimulate arts at a community level. In protest, Finnish architect and critic Michael Sorkin has launched The Next Helsinki, an alternative competition. It has received over 200 entries, to the Guggenheim competition’s 1,715.

    See the Helsinki Guggenheim Shortlist
    The Next Helsinki

    8. Thames Baths Kickstarter campaign launched

    Sweaty, sticky Londoners rejoice! How many times have you stood on a crowded Tube or bus in summer and dreamed longingly of a nice cool dip in the Thames? Studio Octopi have just launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a two-year project which would build a lido on the Victoria Embankment with two pools of filtered river water, hopefully challenging the view that the Thames is an open sewer. They are looking to raise an initial £125,000.

    See the Kickstarter campaign
    Similar plans are taking place in King’s Cross