Plus, Tim Henman's parents oppose eco-town and plans to run Reichstag on renewable power
Home Office urges architects to design terror-proof buildings
Architects will be asked to design major new buildings with panic rooms, truck-bomb barriers and limited glazing, according to Saturday’s Guardian. The Home Office will begin training architects this summer on how best to combat terrorism through good design.
Henmans rally to save home village
Tim Henman’s parents are leading a protest against plans to site an eco-town in fields on the edge of Weston on the Green in Oxfordshire, the village where the former tennis star grew up, reports the Sunday Times. The protest, against a proposed 15,000 home development, comes ahead of the government’s publication of a shortlist of possible sites for the first of Brown’s planned eco-towns.
Reichstag to run solely on renewable power
The German parliament building is to be entirely powered by water, wind and solar energy, reports Friday’s Guardian. The glass roof, designed by Foster + Partners has already helped the building to cut its carbon emissions by 94%, but the Reichstag is now to find a renewable energy partner to replace conventional power use by the end of the summer.
4000 to lose homes for Putin’s Games
More than 4000 people are facing eviction to make room for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, according to the Sunday Times.
Ministers act against threat by developers to avoid new business rates
Ministers intend to take steps to counter a threat by property developers to leave buildings unfinished in an attempt to dodge an impending increase in business rates, the Times reports on Monday. According to the paper, John Healey, the Local Government Minister, will ask local councils to make better use of existing powers, including forcing developers to speed up the completion of building works so that they cannot dodge taxes by leaving buildings incomplete.
Dyson’s design and engineering school clears council hurdle
Friday’s Guardian reports on Bath council’s decision to grant planning permission to Sir James Dyson’s engineering school, designed by Wilkinson Eyre. The case will now be referred to the department for Communities and Local Government.
Livingstone fury at green plans veto
The Mayor of London has complained that senior government administrators have blocked him from allowing London to move to a system of locally generated energy. Livingstone, who is running for re-election, told the Observer of a “real intertia and hostility in the civil service”.
Koolhaas comes to Kensington
The Observer’s architecture critic Stephen Bayley writes on the decision to appoint Rem Koolhaas’ OMA the architect to redesign RMJM’s Commonwealth Institute. Koolhaas stands for “technocracy, big buildings, irreverent shape-making and a certain heartlessness,” according to Bayley, but concedes that a “sensitive restoration of the old pavilion is ensured.”
Google embraces the Globe
The internet giant Google is in talks to build an exhibition centre next to Shakespeare’s Globe, reports the Observer. The Globe is set to launch a fund-raising drive on 23 April to help pay for the building, which will house an exhibition called ‘In Search of Shakespeare.’
Monday’s Guardian picks up on the redesign by Serero Architects of the Eiffel Tower’s viewing platform, as revealed by building.co.uk a fortnight ago.
For sale: the tiniest office in Britain
The country's smallest office went on sale last week for £20,000, reported the Daily Telegraph on Friday. Tardis House has just 43 sq ft of floor space, enough room for one desk and a chair.
Canary Wharf in limbo over future of Bear Stearns office construction
Canary Wharf Group is waiting on the outcome of the Bear Stearns takeover by JP Morgan to discover the future of the 300,000 sq ft office building the group is constructing for the bank, reported the Daily Telegraph on Friday. The owners of the Canary Wharf estate said it was business as usual for the building at 5 Churchill Place, but the paper said that job losses and JP Morgan's decision to build its new headquarters in the City have raised questions about the deal.
Treasury predicts drastic slowdown in housing market
The Treasury has admitted that the housing market has started to slow drastically, reported the Daily Telegraph on Saturday. The government said it would make £800m less from stamp duty this year than previously forecast because of a slump in the number of people buying and selling property.
Developers forced to set up new allotments
Developers could be forced to set aside land for allotments, reported the Daily Telegraph on Saturday. The Local Government Association had estimated that 200,000 plots have been lost in the past three decades.
MoD has wasted £15m renting empty houses
The Ministry of Defence has been accused of “dysfunctional management” after it spent £15m on renting empty homes that were about to be demolished or sold, said the Daily Telegraph on Saturday.
Millions of homes in secret tax rise dossier
Millions of homes face higher council tax bills after being logged as having off-street parking or a pleasant view, the Sunday Telegraph said. It reported that government inspectors were building a secret database that would eventually cover 23 million homes in England.
Pressure on Bank to buy mortgage debts
Britain's leading banks are at loggerheads with the Bank of England over the best way to solve the credit crisis, said the Sunday Telegraph. The paper said Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland wanted the Bank to buy billions of pounds of mortgages from them to restore confidence in the money markets.
Bidders call time on pub chain auction
Private equity groups Apax and Cinven have abandoned plans to participate in a takeover bid for Mitchells & Butlers, according to the Sunday Telegraph. A person close to the situation said private equity firms were finding it “extremely difficult to make the maths work”.
T5 fingerprinting may be illegal
Plans to fingerprint millions of passengers at Heathrow's new Terminal 5 could be illegal and have been challenged by the UK's data protection watchdog, said the Daily Telegraph on Monday. The Information Commissioner's Office said plans might breach the Data Protection Act. The paper said there were fears the operational opening of the £4.3bn terminal could be delayed.
Nazi architect's son's plan for Berlin
The son of Albert Speer, Hitler's favourite architect, has submitted his own plan to redevelop a plot in central Berlin, said the Daily Telegraph on Monday. The plan would overhaul a run-down stadium used during the 1936 Olympics that Hitler wanted to use as a showcase for Aryan physical superiority.
Airport protesters' ads 'misleading'
Two of the main groups against expansion of London's Heathrow airport have been criticised by the advertising industry, according to the Daily Telegraph on Monday. AirportWatch and enoughsenough.org were criticised by the Advertising Standards Authority for adverts that misrepresented survey results.