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Media 10, Icon’s parent company, has taken over 100% Design, London’s premier design show. 100% runs alongside the London Design Festival in September, and to run the show Media 10 has poached Will Knight, LDF deputy director for eight years. The news stirred interest on Twitter. “Exciting news about the new show director of 100% Design,” tweeted designer and journalist Max Fraser, author of the London Design Guide. “Visitors to design fairs expect more stimulating features that offer inspiration beyond the usual commercial imperatives,” he added. Knight is interviewed on page 42, and you can find out more detail about his plans for 100% in our feature on page 44.
A fire has damaged part of Le Corbusier’s Unité d’Habitation in Marseille. The apartment block, built between 1947 and 1951, defined the course of modernist social housing in Europe.
Supermarket chain Sainsbury’s is to move out of its flagship “eco-store” on London’s Greenwich Peninsula. The store, designed by Chetwood Associates and opened in 1999, won a RIBA sustainability award in 2000 and was shortlisted for the Stirling Prize. Now the supermarket says it’s too small, and wants to move to a new building deploying the latest advances in green technology. Still, how green is it to build a new home every 12 years?
Hard on the heels of last month’s news that Zaha Hadid Architects is shortlisted to build a new parliament for Iraq comes another Baghdad project for the firm – the commission to design a headquarters building for the Central Bank of Iraq.
Terry Farrell, the mayor of London’s design advisor, has submitted a listing building application for Battersea Power Station at his own expense. The blighted site’s latest developers went into administration at the end of last year and pressure is mounting to demolish the Grade II-listed structure – the prohibitive cost of refurbishment is thought to make development unviable. Farrell proposes instead to keep the Grade II building’s chimneys and art deco control room, while creating a landscape park in the roofless central void.
Ken Shuttleworth made himself unpopular with his fellow architects with some controversial remarks delivered to engineers and students at Imperial College. Architects have far too much power, the Make founder argued, and engineers needed to “find a new Brunel” to speak up for their profession and push an environmental agenda. This came as a surprise to architects, who have felt relentlessly sidelined over the past couple of decades.
In the Observer, Frank Gehry complained to Rowan Moore about the “backlash” against him “and everyone who has done buildings that have movement and feeling”. Gehry brackets himself with artists such as Anish Kapoor and Olafur Eliasson in creating buildings with “a little more juice, something to relate to” rather than timid modernists.
Jeremy Till, until now dean of architecture at Westminster University, has been named as the new head of Central Saint Martins. He succeeds Jane Rapley. Till takes over the London art school at a pivotal time, with the institution settling into its new buildings behind London’s King’s Cross station and higher education funding in the midst of upheaval.
This month the Gehry backlash took the form of the Eisenhower family, who – alongside conservatives including George Will and Leon Krier – have criticised the architect’s plans for an Eisenhower memorial in Washington DC. The family’s objections are not directed at the architecture so much as the monument’s focus on Eisenhower’s humble origins, rather than his achievements as a general and president.
Meanwhile, Damien Hirst has turned developer. His architect, Mike Rundell (who designed Hirst’s gallery, White Cube, and is restoring his 300-room Manor in Gloucestershire), announced that the 500 eco-homes Hirst hopes to build on his Devon estate will boast solar panels, state-of-the-art insulation and wind turbines hidden in the roofs. According to Rundell, Hirst “has a horror of building anonymous, lifeless buildings”.