New galleries take shape at Botanical Garden

For years, the aluminum lath house that sheltered the Desert Botanical Garden’s treasured cactus collection sorely needed a dynamic makeover.

Considered state of the art in 1950, the space had long ago reached capacity, with specimens poking through the top of the lath and shade cloth roof, and spilling over rocks that served as protective and decorative boarders. An additional structure added in 1965 for succulents didn’t much improve the look.

New galleries take shape at Botanical Garden.

Renzo Piano, Hon. FAIA, Named 2008 AIA Gold Medal Recipient

Washington, D.C., December 13, 2007 — The AIA Board of Directors voted today to award the 2008 AIA Gold Medal to Renzo Piano, Hon. FAIA, internationally lauded architect of a wide array of singularly beautiful grand scale projects in Europe and the United States.
Renzo Piano, Hon. FAIA, Named 2008 AIA Gold Medal Recipient.

Urban Splash reveals stunning seaside shortlist designs

Six architects vie to redesign Birnbeck Island and Pier in Weston-super-Mare

Six architects were shortlisted in an architectural competition to redesign the Birnbeck Island and Pier in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset.

The competition, which opened in August, is run by Urban Splash and RIBA. It received 95 entries from all over the world, including Hong Kong, Canada, Russia and the USA.

Urban Splash reveals stunning seaside shortlist designs – Building.

Government gives £50m boost to Tate Modern expansion

The Tate has been given an exceptional £50m grant from the government towards the huge expansion of Tate Modern in time for the 2012 Olympics, it was announced yesterday.

The £50m will go towards a budget of £215m for the expanded museum. The government boost, said Purnell, should “act as a firm symbol of the government’s commitment to this amazing project and help draw in funds from other sources”.

With this cash boost in hand, work can really get underway to realise Herzog and de Meuron’s design, which will transform the South Bank skyline in time for 2012.

Government gives £50m boost to Tate Modern expansion  Guardian Unlimited Arts.

The Tate Modern is asking its visitors for ideas on the decoration of its new extension. But is this a good idea?

Guardian Unlimited: Arts blog – art: Should the public help to design the new Tate?.

Experimental designs

Architects Anupam Bansal and Rajesh Dongre find interesting ways to blend their buildings with the surrounding landscape.

Most laboratories in India are rather dull box-like spaces — their architecture focussing on functionality without even a passing nod at the aesthetic. The new development at the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) in Bangalore, however, promises to be refreshingly different.

Experimental designs – Business Standard Gargi Gupta / New Delhi.

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