A new kind of cultural destination

Auditorium section - architect image
12 Mar 2024

Sadler’s Wells is a world-leading creative organisation dedicated to dance. Eimear Hanratty explains how O’Donnell+Tuomey architects went about ensuring its new building, Sadler’s Wells East, would make dance accessible to all.

Children create performance space in London theatre

12 May 2023

Primary school children from four schools in London have built a temporary performance structure at South London theatre Brixton House.

Organised by architecture educator Matt + Fiona, the project, called Let’s Build, was designed to teach participants creative and practical building skills that are disappearing from schools.

The number of students studying design and technology at GCSE level has seen the steepest decline of all creative subjects, having dropped by two-thirds in the last decade.

"Design and build projects of this kind are invaluable in helping to fill the gap left behind," said Matt + Fiona co-founder Fiona MacDonald.

"They give young people the agency to shape their own environments and grow in confidence and their own identities."

The performance structures are made of timber and will remain in the theatre for schools and community groups to use for free. It will also be used as a rehearsal space for the Brixton House Youth Theatre.

Brixton House, which commissioned the project, then plans to donate the structures to any interested schools or community groups.

V&A and RIBA end architecture partnership

08 Jun 2022

The V&A and Royal Institute of British Architects have announced the end of a two-decade long partnership.

Their joint initiative, designed to promote the understanding of architecture, was established in 1999 and saw the opening of the UK’s first permanent architecture gallery at the V&A in 2004.

In a joint statement, the two organisations said strategic priorities of both institutions have shifted, but the partnership will run for a further five years, concluding in 2027.

RIBA is now focused on the creation of a cultural hub at 66 Portland Place, expected to become the House of Architecture, while the V&A is working with architecture and design curators to develop architectural collections across the museum’s three sites.

V&A seeks designer for new galleries

06 Apr 2022

The Victoria & Albert Museum is offering up to £170,000 to design galleries at its East London site, due to open in 2025.

Two collection galleries will be established with outdoor terraces giving a view of the surrounding Olympic Park.

A tender document published this week said the institution expects to invite three to five candidates to submit designs, and that the contract offers the possibility of designing the entrance gallery too.

"We’re keen to embrace new approaches to museum display so are looking for designers who will challenge us to deliver exciting galleries that engage our audiences both now and into the future."

Heritage tower demolished after Dorries overturns listing 

20 Sep 2021

The heritage sector has criticised new Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries’ decision to overturn Dorman Long Tower’s Grade II-listed status on her first evening in office, causing the building to be demolished on Sunday (September 19).

The 1950s Brutalist building had been added to the National Heritage List for England earlier in the week following the recommendation of Historic England, who valued the building as “nationally unique”.

But Dorries accepted an appeal from South Tees Development Corporation and Ben Houchen, the Conservative Mayor of Tees Valley, who argued the tower would costs the taxpayer more than £9m if left standing.

Architect George Clarke called the decision “heartbreaking”. Director of The Twentieth Century Society Catherine Croft said “a minister overturning a Historic England decision to list is always concerning”.

Dorries’ decision was based on the view the “building is not of the required special architectural or historic interest to remain listed," according to a DCMS spokesperson. 

Battersea Arts Centre cleared for post-fire reconstruction

Photo of fire damaged Battersea Arts Centre
13 May 2016

A £1m fundraising campaign and two years of support from insurers will allow the Centre to begin reconstruction on the Grand Hall after it was damaged by fire last year.

Arts buildings told to build with a green mind

Woman ground sun theatre
14 Aug 2015

A new guide by Julie’s Bicycle provides advice on integrating environmental sustainability into capital project funding bids.

A slow but sure strategy

Image of Warwick Bar fete poster
01 Dec 2014

Sue Ball explains why she believes that ‘slow architecture’ is the most effective way to create a sustainable future for depressed industrial sites.

The art of regeneration

Image of baby sock
12 Nov 2014

Regeneration is about regional partnerships striking the right balance between artistic excellence and community engagement, believes Nick Ewbank.

Design and build

Photo of container staircase at Southbank Centre
12 Nov 2012

Andrew Lock describes two architectural projects at the Southbank Centre that reveal the benefits of participation by users in the development of public spaces.

Becky Hunter interviews Ayla Lepine

13 Dec 2010

Lecturer, curator and writer Ayla Lepine is an expert in Victorian art and architecture. In this first in my series of interviews with emerging women in the arts, we chatted about the challenges of working in the competitive world of art history

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