butter paper australasia : greaseproof architecture links 2000 - 2015

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Stirling ideas see more

This year’s Stirling shortlist is of buildings most modest. The Guardian calls it “austerity architecture”. I have read here and there that the GFC has apparently made exclamatory buildings a little bitter on the palate up on the topside, though Zaha did get a listing for the speedlining Evelyn Grace academy in Lambeth, which the Guardian calls, “one of the most expensive city academy schools ever built”. Two of the shortlisted buildings are extensive renovations to existing buildings, the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, and the Angel Centre in Islington, London. The Angel Centre was not even 30 years old when it was considered outmoded. Rather than a bowl’n‘build, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris stripped the building, threw out the mirror glass, and gave it a jolly good £72m white-washing. That’s 15% less than a complete rebuild, with 30% less carbon dioxide emitted.

Shrouded during its nip and tuck:
angel centre demolition

angel centre islington

Stirling gallery
Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

21.07.11 in sustainability 


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Grand Huf see more

As a preface to an upcoming article on prefab housing, which may not be ready for a while… here is a Grand Designs repeat about the construction of a german Huf Haus , demonstrating how ridiculously quickly they can be erected, and also how weirdly it sits in its English suburban context. It expires VERY soon though – May 23. iView here .

21.05.11 in buildings 


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Sharing it around see more open website in same window

Richard Rogers on Rogers Stirk Harbour:

“The directors have no ownership, we have no shares and we don’t get anything when we leave the practice.’‘

Instead, all profits get distributed to charities chosen by staff, and to staff based on their ‘points’. Wonder what happens when they go into the red.

29.05.10 in practice 

Architect / protaganist: Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners


Tall in timber see more open website in same window



British architect Andrew Waugh is doing the rounds for the Australian Timber Awards, spruiking his spruce solution to a local London planning requirement that requires a “10 per cent reduction in carbon through on-site renewable energy generation”. His recently erected 9 storey apartment building is built without concrete or steel, just cross-laminated panels of PEFC-certified Austrian Spruce. The ‘Stadthaus’ structure was assembled by a team of five in nine weeks. You can hear Andrew speak in Brisbane tonight (Thursday) or just imagine what he is saying as you view the slides online (PDF).

According to the Australian Timber Development Association , the consultant team, “calculated that the 9 storey residential building could store 181 tonnes of carbon when completed and by not using traditional concrete methods could save a further 125 tonnes from entering the atmosphere during the construction process.” Engineers Techniker note that, “130 tonnes of whitewood, delivered to London in eight lorry loads from Austria has offset 50 tonnes of carbon.”



Although the cross-laminated panels can function as both structure and lining, the junctions are a little raw at the mooment, and this project has been lined off in the usual way, losing all that wooden goodness. The facade has been wrapped in a digital image generated from shadows falling on the vacant lot – with a nod of head to Gerhard Richter and Marcus Harvey.


KLH UK director Karl Heinz Weiss says that the cross-laminated timber panel isn’t, “a frame which is stablised with two cover plates; it has all the structural properties within the panel. It’s actually acting in two directions structurally, like precast concrete. That’s why you can work with it as you can precast concrete, creating large spans, cantilevers or overhangs.” He believes that this method of construction will work up to 15 storeys.

So the next step would be to see where this new product can go? Perhaps here:

termite mound at pestival

termite mound at pestival

This is the Termite Pavilion at London’s recent Pestival .
Termites are pretty clever at building things, and this pavilion is based on a 3d scan of a mound in Namibia.

See it bigger at Youtube .

They’ve been playing with cross-lam for a while in Japan too, where cross-laminated timber buildings did quite well in a 2007 shake table test. Here’s a seven storey test building used as a guinea pig. [ PDF ]

seven storey

No, you can’t get these panels in Australia or New Zealand yet, but soon…

21.10.09 in sustainability timber

Architect / protaganist: Waugh Thistleton Architects


These are very interesting. Despite going out of fashion in recent centuries, timber has seen something of a revival in modern times despite advances in other forms of building techniques, demonstrating the enduring popularity of timber frame houses. Timber frame buildings are beautiful in their simplicity, with each tenoned joint oozing character and strength.

by Laminated Timber Frames on 17 July 12 ·#

The unmemorable Stonehenge centre see more open website in same window

stonehenge visitors centre

stonehenge visitors centre

After years of hesitation, a shrunken visitor’s centre designed by Denton Corker Marshall will finally be built. At one-tenth of the value of their original scheme, the new design tries not to be there. London director Stephen Quinlan tells the Independent , “if a visitor can remember their visit to the stones but can’t remember the visitor centre they passed through, we will be happy.” It sounds like the centre is much needed, but not wanted. The STG26M building is apparently temporary, but as one anonymous observer says, “it’s bound to become permanent because we don’t, as a country, always commit enough money to projects like this”.

DCM project page
AA review of earlier scheme

17.10.09 in buildings 

Architect / protaganist: Denton Corker Marshall [DCM]


don’t comes – brain thieves ripping off SAANA. Monash got the right professor hey.

by hairdresser on 18 October 09 ·#

The Visitor Centre looks great. I am really surprised that one of Australia’s best architectural practices doesn’t get the (Australian) support it deserves for its proposals, particularly on a site of such international significance. I think you should refer to other articles such as the UK’s ‘The Independent’ newspaper (http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/architecture/stonehenge-lays-out-the-welcome-mat-1801777.html) who explain how the importance of the Stones is pre-eminent in these proposals. Building in a World Heritage Site is not an easy thing to do. I think these proposals are very sympathic whilst remaining very exciting.

by London Calling on 20 October 09 ·#

Hairdresser- National protrait gallery. I’m sorry my english is not very good.

by Woj on 21 October 09 ·#

^^no worries mr. strummer. take em away by all means.
the dirty don’t comes have just raped fed square here. be nice if they could be stopped from wiping their bums on anything else thats good and got a soul.

by hairdresser on 24 October 09 ·#

@ woj.
this – http://www.bustler.net/index.php/article/first_image_of_sanaas_2009_serpentine_pavilion_design/

by hairdresser on 24 October 09 ·#

? But the serpentine has only been up a few weeks – the Stonehenge pavilion has been stewing for years.

by peter on 25 October 09 ·#

few weeks? guess the days drag into weeks drag into months down the south pole peter. serpentine just got pulled down for winter mate.
not a one off from SANAA last time i looked around.

yes stonehedge design is a stew – hadn’t looked at it that way

by hairdresser on 25 October 09 ·#

Sheesh, are we really up to October already? Will have to look up from the PC more.

by peter on 25 October 09 ·#

yeah know that feeling. – been tied to the keyboard since march.
short back and sides to infinity on the gillard treadmill.

by hairdresser on 26 October 09 ·#

page listing related:   in  United Kingdom   Wiltshire   Amesbury  

Will lies see more open website in same window

He didn’t leave his own firm to become a painter, because the planners were horrible to him. He was secretly going corporate. Comments at AJ are not on his side. This one is very British:
“What a trumped up little fart.”


02.10.09 in architects 


alsop is back in good book with hairdresser.
thats the r k gig. the dutch fcuk sold out to an engineering firm last century.
will painter story was pissweak. this ones got some balls.
bet he does better than some pissweak mexican dudes who cashed in their shine chips for corporate partnerships with baby boomer blood suckers.

by hairdresser on 2 October 09 ·#

didn’t tism do a number where they changed fart, for wanker.
he’d fit right in down in mexico.

by cabbie on 3 October 09 ·#

a trumped up little bludger, thats the tism chorus line….

by cabbie on 5 October 09 ·#

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Architecture terribly exclusive, except for the pay see more open website in same window

Flying around twitter… “Architecture is the most socially exclusive profession in the UK, ahead of law, medicine and accountancy, according to research by the Cabinet Office… Documents released by the Cabinet Office’s panel for Fair Access to the Professions show it costs more to qualify as an architect — over £60,000 — than any other profession. The panel also found newly qualified architects earned just over £20,000 a year, one of the lowest starting salaries in the professions.” BD Online

And yet they still line up. In an article last year, Building Design reported a large escalation in architecture enrolments from earlier in the decade. Not accompanied by an increase in resources though. Former Architectural Association professor Tim Ronalds comments , “this is factory farming and it is likely to produce tasteless chicken.”

30.06.09 in practice education


Architecture & Design followed-up this story with an Aussie twist. “But, in Australia, a historic strong trend for part-time education that has previously helped create a “broad”, “not particularly elitist” profession has changed for the worse, a leading Sydney architect has said…”

by Doris Maresy on 1 July 09 ·#

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Fee fall see more open website in same window

A warning from the RIBA president, Sunand Prasad, in AJ , don’t drop fees for cashflow, or it’ll come back and bite you, or in his words, “let the recession not be a downward ratchet that leaves a legacy of even poorer remuneration.”

17.06.09 in practice 


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Wallpapertube see more open website in same window

Wallpaper* Magazine opened its video channel last month. After a few weeks it has a number of vids for your viewing pleasure, including one of a house on wheels in Suffolk (by DRMM). So much easier than walking inside, instead you command the inside to come to you.

DRMM house

09.03.09 in video-portals 


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planning a shed see more

I was just sent the link to this hilarious but rather old article from last May – about an architect who seems to have snapped while writing a planning report for a farm shed somewhere in the UK.

An example, Context Analysis: “The use is compatible with a farm because it is a farm building… It is located where it is because it is in the most convenient place, being on the farm and near the farmhouse.”

Council accepted the report, and noted that it covered all clauses: “As long as the architect answers all the relevant headings then it doesn’t really matter what the tone of the application is.”

This website advises you not to try this at work – but if you can’t resist, send us an excerpt or two.

UK Telegraph 06.05.08#
tip M.E.

22.02.09 in weird-wonderful planning


City of Yarra

by ben on 24 February 09 ·#

DCM back at stonehenge see more

After a false start or two, DCM has been reappointed as architects for the Stonehenge Visitor’s Centre in the U.K.
Building Design 13.01.09

17.02.09 in architects 


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Demall, remall see more

Poor old Jonathan Glancey at the Guardian UK isn’t terribly happy about “Australia-owned” Westfield’s new megacentre at London’s White City. Comparing it to an ’80s airline terminal, he thinks it, “is just a tiny step towards our collective desire to undermine the life and culture of the traditional city”. Westfield, no doubt delighted by the opening day surge of consumers into its new palace, suggest that, “once you’re here, you’ll never want to leave…”

Which reminds me of the pioneering Victor Gruen and his ‘ transfer ‘, a measurement of the time it takes between leaving your car and becoming a glazey-eyed impulse buyer in a shopping centre. Gruen was an emigre architect of Austrian extraction who designed a mountain of mid-century shopping centres in the U.S., before deciding he didn’t like the format and returning to Europe.


One of Gruen’s better efforts, the Randhurst (1962) in Illinois, does great things with triangles in order to accommodate three anchor tenants. It also had a nuclear fallout shelter – how’s that for safe shopping. The good bits were stuffed up and now everything is being demolished (except for the anchor tenants). The complex will be turned inside out and is being rebranded: over to the Mall Hall of Fame (!) blog: “[Randhurst] is to be demalled into a mixed-use, lifestyle-type venue. The basement/fallout shelter level will become an underground parking garage.”

05.11.08 in urban-design 


Unlovely memories see more open website in same window

The New Zealand and Australian war memorials in Westminster, London, have been criticised as ugly, bristlingly unlovely, and in the case of the Australian one by Tonkin Zulaikha Greer and Janet Laurence, ‘a urinal’. It seems conservative Londoners have had quite enough of looking at depressing antipodean memorials. The New Zealand memorial was the work of Athfield Architects and sculptor Paul Dibble.



14.02.08 in architects 

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Robert Hughes on Modernism see more open website in same window

The UK Guardian had a large feature section on Modernism in 2006, on the occasion of a major exhibition opeing at the V&A. It included this article by Robert Hughes.

13.09.06 in theory 


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micro compact home see more open website in same window

Horden Cherry Lee has developed the “Micro Compact Home” which come in small pods that can be clipped together. Elements of the design are based on the Japanese tea house.

07.08.05 in architects 

Architect / protaganist: Horden Cherry Lee Architects

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The Shape Of Things To Come see more open website in same window

A Business Week interview with Jan Kaplicky of Future Systems in 2005.

“There’s no high technology in architecture. There are no new materials, either. People use materials in innovative ways and there are fashions for different materials, but it’s still the same stuff which the Egyptians or Romans used. Someone can certainly use a piece of glass or cotton in a fantastic way – many people do – but it’s still fulfilling the same function by wrapping the body of the building.”

02.08.05 in profiles 

Architect / protaganist: Future Systems

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