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ArchitectureWeek Author Don Barker - 01
Don Barker

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CONFIGURING KEW

Since gaining World Heritage Site status in 2003, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, on the outskirts of West London, has seen several additions to its building stock. This work is part of a 30-year master plan for the garden to guide the historic site's future development. — Published 2006.1025

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LONDON ALPINE

Continuing a tradition of innovative structures at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in West London is the new Davies Alpine House by Wilkinson Eyre Architects. It is the first glasshouse to be constructed at the World Heritage Site for over 20 years and is a showcase of design and engineering, specially conditioned to support an alpine ecology. — Published 2006.1025

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PRIMARY PREFAB

Having provided the United Kingdom's educational system with new school building design concepts throughout the 1950s and 60s, Southwest London has once again become a proving ground for a new type of educational construction. — Published 2006.0906

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SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT

On October 15, 2005, the winner of the United Kingdom's prestigious Stirling Prize was announced. This year the honor went to the new Scottish Parliament, which has been hailed as one of the most innovative designs in Britain today. It is a vastly ambitious and complex building, and to visit it is a hugely rewarding experience: there is so much to take in, so many architectural and metaphorical references, so many technical challenges surmounted. — Published 2005.1019

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SWISS RE TOWER BY FOSTER AND PARTNERS

During construction, London's newest highrise conjured up many emotions from visitors and locals alike: here was a building that would bring a major change to the skyline. It became affectionately known as the "Gherkin," but was it worth it? Was it a white elephant? — Published 2005.0504

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RECOVERING KINGSDALE

The refurbishment of a dilapidated 50-year-old secondary school in a London suburb has set a number of significant benchmarks for school design in the United Kingdom. The project has lifted concepts of roof design to new heights with what may be the first "variable membrane" roof in the world. — Published 2004.1103

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TEXTURING GRANITE

In July 2004, Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II officially opened a uniquely landscaped memorial in Hyde Park, West London. The Diana Memorial, a collaboration of Seattle-based landscape architect Kathryn Gustafson and London architect, Neil Porter, is unusual because its design and construction combined groundbreaking CAD/CAM production techniques with the traditional art of stonemasonry. — Published 2004.0915

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HERZOG AND DE MEURON STIRLING PRIZE

On October 12, the Royal Institute of British Architects announced the 2003 winner of the coveted Stirling Prize. This year's honor went to Swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron for Laban, a center for contemporary dance in the London suburb of Deptford. — Published 2003.1015

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POSTCARD FROM LONDON

Dear ArchitectureWeek,

Coinciding with the launch of the United Kingdom's Architecture Week 2003, June saw the opening of the fourth temporary pavilion outside the Serpentine Gallery in Hyde Park in London. This year's structure was designed by Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer and is the first UK building by the man who designed Brasilia, his country's capital city. As in previous years, the pavilion will be dismantled and sold at the end of the summer in September. — Published 2003.0903

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POSTCARD FROM LONDON

Dear ArchitectureWeek,

In July 2003, the Hungerford footbridges, which have brought about a major improvement to the London pedestrian's journey across the River Thames, were renamed the Golden Jubilee Bridges to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth's coronation. — Published 2003.0806

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Don Barker

 


 
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