Will Alsop OBE, one of Britain’s most renowned architects and winner of the coveted Stirling Prize, has announced that he is to create a studio called ‘Will Alsop at RMJM’ as part of the RMJM worldwide architectural firm.
Will Alsop’s appointment completes the recent management reorganisation at RMJM’s base in London, where he will take pole position, aimed at creating a flagship office within the RMJM global network.
Winner of the Stirling Prize in 2000 for the Peckham Library in London, Alsop has worked extensively across the UK and internationally with major projects in Toronto, Marseilles, Hamburg and New York. Recent projects in the UK include the affectionately nicknamed ‘Chips’ building in Manchester, The Public in West Bromwich and a luxury hotel development on the banks of the River Thames.
In his new role at RMJM, his energies will be very much focused on building a world class global design studio which further enhances and develops RMJM’s reputation in the UK and abroad.
Alsop will be supported in his new design role by a recently appointed management team. Miriam White, previously of Rafael Viñoly Architects and Foster + Partners, joined the studio as Operations Director and Scott Lawrie, who has held senior positions at PRP Architects, John McAslan & Partners and Foster + Partners, has joined the team as Principal.
The Global Financial Crisis or GFC as some like to call it has struck projects across the world and placed lots of companies and people out of work. However, there is a bright side for some, including governments and public place developers who have seen prices fall and timelines shortened as companies become available due to a lack of private development work.
In the UAE were upto 75% of projects are now on hold has allowed Museums such as the Abu Dhabi Louvre and Guggenheim to get projects started for 30% less than one year ago. The Louvre broke ground in June and The Guggenheim is currently undergoing pre-qualifying.
Just when you thought development in Dubai was frozen along comes the news that construction contracts were just awarded to Arabian Construction Company for Pentominium, the tallest residential in the world at 618 metres (2027 feet) and 124 floors. At a cost of AED 1.46 billion ($USD 400 million). The total floor area will be 170,000 square meters and expected to take just 48 months to build. Currently Q1 in Australia is the tallest residential tower in the world. Aedas are the project designers.
Changchun, Jilin China is planning a 12.5 sq km(4.82 sq m) Hi-Tech development Zone to stop the brain drain of its keen entrepreneurs and skilled workers to Shanghai and Beijing. Chanchun is currently planning to build the Changchun Northeast Innovation Center as apart of the Zone to support and encourage its 27 higher learning institutions, 100 technological research institutes and over 40 laboratories.
The Hi-Tech Zone development is scheduled to finish planning and design by the end of 2009. The first phase of the development should be completed by September 2011, the 2nd phase operational in September 2013 and final stage completed in March 2015.
The Hi-Tech Zone will include R&D and production of photoelectronics, LED’s, semiconductor lasers and medical equipment. The zone will also include R&D in biological, medical, high polymer and rare earth chemistry, nano materials and special construction materials.
In April 2009, The Architecture Foundation organised three roundtable debates to examine the nature of the dramatic economic and ecological challenges facing built environment practitioners. The debates were titled – AND NOW WHAT: Rethinking Spatial Practice During Crisis. The Architecture Foundation recently posted the video on Vimeo. Interesting to watch with many valid points to think about the built environment profession.