by Lea Emery on 24th September 2018
Although the UK's natural landscape has plenty on offer — and our historical buildings are world-renowned — sometimes, we don't give enough credit to all of the amazing modern innovation shaping our towns and cities. The UK has some truly stunning new buildings and ingenious architecture popping up. Whether you're a full-blown architecture buff or just someone who appreciates an impressive design, there are some exciting names and buildings you should know about.
Want to see what's been popping up around the UK the past couple of years? Here are some of the buildings you should have your eye out for, because from student housing to financial centres, the UK's modern architecture is as rich as its historical sites. To get a sense of what's happening in UK architecture today, these six made the shortlist for Britain's best new building 2018, with good reason.
Right in the heart of the city of London, this building by Foster + Partners, Bloomberg's new European headquarters, takes up 3.2 acres — or an entire block. Complete with an arcade and three public plazas, this new development can be enjoyed by all Londoners and even gives a nod to the original Roman road that existed on the site. A striking sandstone front with huge bronze fins, it's a bold building that demands you take notice.
Porthole windows, spiral staircases, and playful touches define the Storey's Field Community Centre and kindergarten in Cambridge. Made to fit up to 100 children, the design is meant to maximize acoustics, a sense of play, and gathering. It shows that a community building needn't be austere, but can benefit from the most modern and forward-thinking architects. As you take a look around you can see that, in and of itself, it's a work of art.
This 1,320 square meter extension has doubled the gallery space available at the Tate St Ives, but in particular it is designed to pay homage and give recognition to the 20th-century artists who lived and created in the area. From the outside, the building is meant to be a seamless addition to the Cornish seaside, while the inner gallery delivers a column-free presentation space, full of light and air.
Chadwick Hall provides new accommodation to the students of Roehampton but, from an architectural perspective, it offers so much more. The three student buildings are located in the grounds of the Grade II* listed 18th Century Georgian villa Downshire House and stand next to the to the London County Council's world-renowned Grade II* listed Alton West Estate. Chadwick Hall needed to provide an organic addition to the historic space, complete with modern conveniences. And it definitely delivers.
When designing Bushey Cemetery, the architects were sure to keep the values, beliefs, and customs of the Jewish community at the heart of the project. They worked with the United Synagogue to make the 16-acre plot the most respectful and moving place for burial, with views and spots for contemplation woven into every step of the process.
Set in the stunning Worcester College at Oxford, the Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre, the building is designed as a theatre in a garden. With a lecture hall, student study area, dance studio, and more, the design relies heavily on stone to blend with the historic buildings on site while providing a distinctly modern perspective.
Community centres, student spaces, financial centers — there is innovation happening in architecture in so many different fields. These architects see amazing opportunity in every detail of their projects, bringing them to the top of their profession and creating buildings the whole UK benefits from.
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