Stirling Prize shortlist revealed


The ShardRIBA has released the shortlist for its prestigious Stirling Prize.

Six new buildings have been shortlisted for the Prize, which is awarded to the project that has made the most significant contribution to architecture in the United Kingdom.

The nominations, which include Renzo Piano’s The Shard, are drawn from the public, commercial, and educational spheres.

Zaha Hadid, a previous recipient of the Stirling Prize, has also been nominated for the London Aquatics Centre.

The winner will be announced by RIBA on the 16th October.

Find out which buildings have been nominated here.

Photographs of Design Museum revealed


The Design MuseumPhotographs of the new Design Museum in South Kensington have been released.

The museum, which is currently under construction, is due to open in 2016 and will be three times the size of the current building.

The £80 million project will include design workshops and a design library, a free-to-enter permanent collection and a gift shop.

A virtual tour of the site was made available online last year.

Find out more here and let us know what you think about the project.

How to build ten houses in a day


How to build ten houses in a dayA company in China can construct up to ten buildings a day, thanks to its innovative use of 3D printing and waste material.

Yingchuang New Materials uses its own technology to print walls and other structures (the roof is the only part that can’t yet be printed) made out of cement and construction waste.

The company demonstrated their method by building ten houses in 24 hours at a Shanghai industrial park; apparently the printing process itself took twelve years to perfect.

Watch a news report of the construction below, find out more about the process here and tell us what you think of this unique take on prefabrication.

The Think Tank shortlisted for Best Branding and Positioning Award


AluK Branding and MarketingThe Think Tank has been shortlisted in the Construction Marketing Awards 2013 for our work with AluK (GB) Ltd.

We have been working with this leading aluminium building systems manufacturer since November 2012, supporting them across all their marketing activities following the launch of the AluK brand in the UK in April 2013.

We have been shortlisted again this year in the Best Branding and Positioning category, a category that we won last year for our work with Rexel.

Having worked with AluK to define the brand messages and values for the UK marketplace, we then developed a strategy for the launch and ongoing marketing of the brand and its products to both the trade and specification marketplaces.

Fingers crossed for the results, which will be announced at an industry event on 5th December in London.

Find out more about the Construction Marketing Awards and see the shortlist here.
Construction Marketing Awards 2013


And, find out more about AluK here.

15 beautiful religious conversions


Respecting old traditions but given a new and interesting purpose, these fifteen churches, monasteries and synagogues have been transformed into homes, libraries and nightclubs.

These houses of worship have been adapted to modern designs whilst retaining the awe-inspiring original architectural elements like vaulted ceilings, arches, altars and stained glass windows.

One of our favourite examples is this thirteenth-century Dominican church in Maastricht Holland, which has been transformed into ‘Selexyz Dominicanen‘, a massive bookstore.

The 1,200-square-meter church will all of its elegant arches and vaults has been filled with a modern three-story volume containing row after row of books, to take advantage of the full height of the structure.

Have a look at the rest of these stunning architectural creations here.

Giant penguin towers over London


London Zoo penguinLondon Zoo has announced plans to to transform London’s iconic Gherkin building into ‘The Penguin’  over the summer.

ZSL London Zoo has commissioned a production team to draw up a dramatic redesign of the famed skyscraper to remind visitors to the capital not to miss their penguins in 2012.

They plan to approach city bigwigs with the bold concept of turning the prominent Swiss Re Building – more commonly known as The Gherkin – into a giant penguin.

Not sure whether this idea will fly, especially being a penguin.

See more over on London Zoo’s website.

The Think Tank heads off to Nordbygg, Sweden


Did you know that Nordbygg is the biggest building exhibition in Northern Europe? I did (as I have been working on it for a few months)…but last week I attended the fair and was reminded by anyone to whom I said ” Förlåt, jag prata inte Svenska” (I don’t speak Swedish) as they immediately wanted to be sure that this non-Swede knew how proud of the exhibition they are.  

Well, they should be…with three halls packed to the brim at Stockholmmassen, just 10 minutes outside of Central Stockholm, this event is full of tools, materials and everything you can think of to do with the building industry. Over three days I had the opportunity to speak to journalists from many Scandinavian publications and experience the building industry from a completely different cultural perspective.  

I had the privilege of going to Stockholm with our client Formica Group to help launch its VIVIX exterior facade panels. Offering opportunities to play with colour and shape, VIVIX panels can complement or add interest to office buildings, public, cultural and sports facilities, transportation centres, industrial buildings, educational facilities, residential developments and more.  

Eva Hoernisch, Formica Group Design Manager, Europe, was on hand and together we were able to take a few moments to explore the building materials section. With her eye on colour Eva spotted a stand with insulation sample pieces in the most beautiful colour palette. We were dumbfounded at first as to why insulation would be so colourful until we realised it correlated to different degrees of density. VERY clever!  

With room for FIKA (traditional Swedish coffee and cake), a little of bit of Swedish entertainment and a lot of hard work, being part of Nordbygg was definitely an experience to remember.

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