The month in architecture

Everything you need to know that happened in June 2015

Published 1 July 2015

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

  • 1. Indian architect Charles Correa dies


    Charles Correa, one of India’s most significant modern architects, has died at the age of 84. He is credited with creating an authentic Indian modernity which could convincingly replace colonial imports. He is especially well known for the Mahatma Gandhi memorial in Ahmedabad which was one of his earliest projects. He was also an urban planner and activist, planning the new township of Navi Mumbai in the 1970s to help with the city’s growth, and founding the Urban Design Research Institute in 1984, in which year he also won RIBA’s Royal Gold Medal.

    Read Charles Correa’s Guardian obituary.

    2. Heatherwick designs new Maggie’s Centre in Leeds


    Thomas Heatherwick proves that he continues to be inspired by the natural environment as he releases designs for a new Maggie’s Centre in the grounds of St James’s University Hospital in Leeds. The drop-in centre offers free practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their families and friends, with centres dotted around the UK and abroad. Heatherwick’s proposed design shows a structure made from a collection of giant planter pots at different levels and of different proportions. A statement from the designer explains: “Surrounded by the huge and complex medical machine for healing we wanted to capture the positive and therapeutic experience of plants and see if it could be possible to make a whole building out of a garden.”

    Read more about Heatherwick’s project on the Maggie’s website.

    3. Architects compete over design of Perth’s WA Museum


    Some of the biggest names in international architecture are competing to design the new Western Australian Museum in Perth, which will explore the history and culture of the region and integrate with the restoration of several heritage buildings within the Perth Cultural Centre. Norman Foster RA, Jean Nouvel and Rem Koolhaas have been shortlisted to develop the $428 million project and are working with the Australian government on their designs. The winning team will be announced later this year, with the museum expected to open in 2020.

    Read more about the project on the Western Australian Museum website.

    4. Architects seek to reinvent the skyscraper


    Skyscraper shapes have been growing increasingly wacky in the last ten years and this month is no exception: Bjarke Ingels and Ole Scheeren have both unveiled designs for “stacked” skyscrapers in New York and Vancouver respectively. Bjarke Ingels Group’s new design for Two World Trade Centre in New York features seven cuboids sitting on top of one another, getting smaller as they reach the pinnacle at 1,340 feet. Ole Scheeren’s design for residential block 1500 West Georgia Street in Vancouver takes the concept to new levels of playfulness with an irregular arrangement of boxes all on one side. As well as looking different, Buro Ole Scheeren hope that the design will “create both physical and emotional connectivity between the indoor and outdoor environment.”

    Read more about the projects on BIG’s website and Buro Ole Scheeren’s website.

    5. 3D-printed canal bridge designed for Amsterdam


    Dutch start-up company MX3D have revealed plans to build the world’s first 3D-printed bridge for a canal in Amsterdam. The robotic printers will “draw” 3D steel structures which can then be printed in situ: robotic armed printers will “walk” across the canal by sliding along the bridge it has just built, which will appear almost literally from thin air. This will be the first large-scale use of such a technique and points towards the astonishing potential of 3D printing in the future.

    Find out more about the technology from MX3D.

    6. Historic England announces unusual historic structures


    Historic England, the listing and grant-making branch of English Heritage, has listed 510 new buildings and structures which are somewhat… unexpected. Far from being crumbling castles or magnificent Palladian country houses, the listings are rare survivors of common vernacular architecture and design, such as a street lamp in Sheffield which originally burnt sewer gas, a bacon smokehouse in London, a Victorian gin palace and the gravestone of the band leader who famously perished in the sinking of the Titanic.

    See the top 20 unusual places given historic listings on the Historic England website.

    7. Groundwork London builds offices among the trees


    Regeneration charity Groundwork London has worked with Hackney Council to build the TREExOFFICE installation in Hoxton Square. The clear plastic pod on stilts sitting under a tree offers a new, alternative working space, bringing nature into the working environment. The structure is free for use by community groups each weekend, providing a new type of shared public space. Income generated from companies using the office will be reinvested back into Hackney’s green spaces.

    Read more on the Groundwork website.

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