Surface Design Awards finalists announced

The shortlist for the Surface Design Awards contains several leading studios, including Zaha Hadid Architects, Steven Holl Architects, Studio Egret West, Chris Dyson Architects, Rockwell Group and Kengo Kuma & Associates. Consisting of 43 projects across seven

categories, each entry is “an exemplary example of creative and innovative use of materials and lighting,” said the organisers. Some projects won nominations across several categories, resulting in 48finalists. Entries came from established

architects, as well as rising stars, and the growing international reach saw entries from Canada, China, Korea, Australia, and four from the US. The Morpheus Hotel in Macau by

Zaha Hadid Architects is a finalist in three categories, the judges saying “it illustrates the ability of ZHA to create astonishing spaces, enhanced by brilliant use of material and light”. A cedar-clad B&B by Blee Halligan

Architects, Five Acre Barn, is a finalist across two categories, as is the new Royal Academy of Music by Ian Ritchie Architects. This “simultaneously intimate and grand” concert hall prompted judge Paul Edwards to comment: “I imagine when the lights go down, there would be something quite magical here”. Maggie’s Barts, in the grounds of

historic St Barts Hospital in London and designed by Steven Holl Architects, is shortlisted in the Public Building Exterior category. Another finalist was The Diner, a

temporary restaurant created under railway arches for Milan Design Week by Rockwell Group, which used printed aluminium and integrated LED lighting to transform the space. The Surface Design Awards take

place at the annual Surface Design Show, at the Business Design Centre, London from 5-7 February.

© DBOX for Foster + Partners

LONDON Fosters plant Tulip plans

A planning application has been submitted to City of London Corporation for The Tulip, a new viewing tower which would be sited next to 30 St Mary Axe (‘The Gherkin’). This project has been proposed by J. Safra

Group with Foster + Partners, owners and architects respectively of 30 St Mary Axe. Inspired by nature, the 305.3 metre Tulip “would enhance The Gherkin, and offer a new state-of-the-art cultural and educational resource for Londoners and tourists,” said the architects. The proposal “reflects a desire to build

public engagement within the City and enhance The Gherkin’s public offering,” said Foster + Partners. It would also “promise wide cultural and economic benefits with a diverse programme of events”. An education facility within the building’s

top section would offer 20,000 free places per year for London’s state school children, under the proposal, resourced by the J. Safra Group. This “will deliver national curriculum topics using innovative tools to bring to life the city’s history and dynamism, inspiring the creative young minds of tomorrow”. The viewing galleries include sky bridges,

internal glass slides and “gondola pod rides” on the facade, catering for all age groups, and there will be “interactive materials” as well as


expert guides to London. A sky bar and restaurants will have 360-degree views of the city. The Gherkin “made a positive contribution

at ground level by breathing life into its surroundings. The Tulip seeks to extend the site’s public realm further,” said the architects. A new pocket park is proposed, alongside a two-storey pavilion offering a publicly accessible rooftop garden. Together with green walls this increases the site’s green surface area by 8.5 times, supporting the Mayor’s goal for London to be the world’s first National Park City. Public access will also be considerably improved with the removal of over half of the existing perimeter walls around The Gherkin. Foster + Partners added: “The Tulip’s soft

bud-like form and minimal building footprint reflects its reduced resource use”; high performance glass and optimised building systems will reduce energy consumption. Heating and cooling will be provided by zero combustion technology while integrated photovoltaic cells generate energy on site. Operating 24 hours, seven days a week, the

building will “bring real economic and social benefits for the local community and for London”. Construction could begin in 2020, with completion projected for 2025.


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