The plight of Britain’s ancient trees – The Guardian

Patrick Barkham of The Guardian reports

Ancient trees are ecological treasures because they provide unique habitats for rare plants, insects, birds and mammals. When they become ancient, trees such as oaks and sweet chestnuts “grow down”, dying at the top and forming a new crown of leaves below so the tree shrinks and hunches like a very old man.

read the full article at the SOURCE: The Guardian – The plight of Britain’s ancient trees

Stirling Prize 2009 Shortlist Announced – RIBA

The Shortlist for the RIBA Stirling Prize 2009 has been announced. The six shortlisted schemes listed below were chosen from a midlist of 22 RIBA Award 2009 winners. The RIBA Stirling Prize 2009 winner will be announced at the RIBA Stirling Prize 2009 Dinner on 17 October 2009 at Old Billingsgate, London.

The six buildings competing for this year’s title are:

  • Fuglsang Kunstmuseum , Denmark by Tony Fretton Architects
  • Maggie’s Centre , London by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
  • Bodegas Protos , Spain by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
  • Liverpoool One Masterplan , Liverpool by BDP
  • 5 Aldermanbury Square , London by Eric Parry Architects
  • Kentish Town Health Centre , London by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

“This year’s shortlist really embodies the wide ranging spirit of the RIBA Stirling Prize: from a winery to health centres, from an art museum in open country to major transformations of dense inner city areas. This is a fascinating set of schemes; the judges have a hard but eagerly anticipated decision to make.”

Fuglsang Kunstmuseum (c) Helene Binet

Fuglsang Kunstmuseum (c) Helene Binet

Maggies Centre (c) Richard Bryant Arcaid.co.uk

Maggies Centre (c) Richard Bryant Arcaid.co.uk

Bodegas Protos (c) Paul Raftery

Bodegas Protos (c) Paul Raftery

Liverpool One Masterplan (c) David Millington

Liverpool One Masterplan (c) David Millington

5 Aldermanbury Square (c)Timothy Soar

5 Aldermanbury Square (c)Timothy Soar

Kentish Town Health Centre (c) Tim Soar

Kentish Town Health Centre (c) Tim Soar

SOURCE: RIBA

Images courtesy of RIBA

Andrea Cochran: Landscapes for our times – SFGate.com

Zahid Sardar, Chronicle Staff Writer interviews Andrea Cochran about her body of work and her new book

“I felt liberated in this climate to experiment with things I could not have done back East,” says the landscape architect, who arrived in San Francisco in the 1980s from New England.

To read the full interview go to SFgate: Andrea Cochran: Landscapes for our times
Andrea Cochran: Landscapes is printed by Princeton Architectural Press and available at Amazon.

Heart of Doha project work all set to begin – The Peninsula On-line

The Peninsula On-line reports

DOHALAND has awarded contracts to leading industry experts as the company is all set to begin work on the first phase of its ambitious Heart of Doha project.

Turner, in a joint venture with DOHALAND, is providing project and construction management services. DTZ (financial feasibility), Rider Levett Bucknall (cost consultancy), ARUP/EDAW/Allies and Morrison (design regulation and site planning approval), ARUP (infrastructure), and Urbis (retail) are also involved in the project.

read the full article at the SOURCE: The Peninsula On-line – Heart of Doha project work all set to begin

IMAGE SOURCE: Heart of Doha – DOHALAND

Architecture Billings Index Takes Turn for the Worse – AIA

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reports

Washington, D.C. – July 22, 2009 – After showing signs of stabilization over the last three months, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) plunged nearly five points in June. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the June ABI rating was 37.7, far lower than the 42.9 the previous month. This score indicates a sharp decline in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry score was 53.8, the fourth straight month with a score in the mid-50’s.

“It appears as though we may have not yet reached the bottom of this construction downturn,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “Architecture firms are struggling and concerned that construction market conditions will not even improve as soon as next year. There has also been little movement in terms of stimulus funding allocated for design projects having the desired impact of leading to new work.”

Key June ABI highlights:

o Regional averages: Northeast (42.8), South (40.5), West (39.9), Midwest (36.2)
o Sector index breakdown: mixed practice (43.5), multi-family residential (42.7), commercial / industrial (39.5), institutional (37.0)
o Project inquiries index: 53.8

SOURCE: The American Institute of Architects – Architecture Billings Index Takes Turn for the Worse,

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