London has a wealth of heritage architecture and listed buildings that chart its success as a city and map its fortunes as a centre of commerce and banking. Preserving those buildings is important, but transforming them into assets that can continue to be useful and relevant to 21st-century businesses and working practices is equally vital.

The Biotope building, located in the middle of the important European business district of Euralille, in the French city of Lille, is an iconic 30,000m² seven-storey architectural complex that transforms conventional office accommodation into a self-sustaining ecological community.

Although copper was one of the first metals used by man and one of our oldest building coverings, it has been rediscovered by architects as a thoroughly modern material.

Lime plaster is extremely hard-wearing. It can last for hundreds of years, flexing as buildings move, regulating moisture and ensuring the building remains dry over time. Many older houses or historical buildings include lime plaster that is centuries old.

In this article, David Harris, Managing Director of offsite construction specialist Premier Modular, looks at the role of offsite construction in the COVID-19 pandemic – from keeping construction moving to supporting the Government in the delivery of new housing to address homelessness.

Phil Brown, European Regulatory Marketing Manager at Pilkington United Kingdom – part of the NSG Group – discusses the role glazing can play in modernising heritage buildings while maintaining their original character.

This is springtime. Historically, it is also the time to experience the annual Surface Design Show held annually in London. Sadly, that was not to be because of its COVID cancellation until February next year. Happily, the Surface Design Awards themselves were unaffected and this year attracted 113 entries from 18 different counties. The three main winners are illustrated here and detailed at the end.

Awareness of mental and physical wellbeing has never been greater, yet many of us are spending more time than ever online – and it’s taking its toll. Here, Sophie Weston, Channel Marketing Manager at Geberit, examines the role that the bathroom has to play in helping us escape from our ‘always-on’ world and examines the importance of considering each of our senses in creating the perfect sanctuary.

‘Pinghe Bibliotheater’ is the core of OPEN Architecture’s latest project. A library, theatre and a black box interlock together like a Chinese puzzle to form this characteristic building that some call ‘the blue whale’, while others see it as an ocean liner. The unique form of the building and the free-flowing spaces not only cultivate students’ interests in reading and performing, but also encourage their imagination to roam freely in the ocean of knowledge.

This month, we sit down with Henry Pescod, Project Director at Stow Projects, to find out more about Stow-Away, a completely recyclable eco apart-hotel in London’s South Bank that’s made out of repurposed shipping containers.

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Future Constructor & Architect is a specification platform for architects and building contractors, which focuses on top-end domestic and commercial developments.

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