2014-01-29

Municipal Dreams: "The Old Oak Estate: ‘That line of beauty which Hogarth said was in a curve’"


Link to web site

"Imagine a Hampstead Garden Suburb built for working people. Better still, if you’re in London take the Tube and get off at Acton East, and visit the Old Oak Estate where you’ll find just such an estate.

"... Ebenezer Howard’s Garden Cities of To-morrow was published in 1898. The Fabian Society published Cottage Plans and Common Sense – Raymond Unwin’s manifesto addressing how municipalities might best ‘provide for the Housing of the People’ – in 1902. Unwin would be appointed Architect and Surveyor of the Hampstead Garden Suburb Trust in 1906.

These currents all directly influenced the Old Oak Estate. And, in fact, one of the LCC architects responsible for the design of the Estate was Archibald Stuart Soutar, the brother of – and sometime collaborator with – JCS Soutar, who replaced Unwin in Hampstead in 1914."

2014-01-27

LB of Ealing: "Architects appointed to improve Crossrail stations' design"



"Ealing Council has appointed world-renowned architects HOK and John McAslan and partners to improve the design of the proposed Ealing Broadway and Southall Crossrail stations.

"... The council has been working closely with Crossrail on the emerging designs for all five stations in Ealing and has already secured some significant improvements to the interior designs for Ealing Broadway, including lifts so that the station is fully accessible, as well as the adaption of designs so that retail premises are better located within the station.

"The council recognises this is a difficult site, because the station is not free-standing, built underneath the Villiers House office tower and is hemmed in by other buildings. However, the council is unhappy with the plans for the exterior of the station, and believes that the fa├žade and entrance need to have a more innovative design and use more interesting materials."

2014-01-25

The Atlantic: "Crossrail: Tunneling [sic] Beneath London"


Link to web site

"When one digs beneath London, England, one digs through history. Crossrail, the largest construction project in Europe, is tunneling under the British capital to provide a new underground rail link across the city, and has encountered not only a maze of existing modern infrastructure, but historic finds including mammoth bone fragments, Roman roads (with ancient horseshoes embedded in the ruts), Black Plague burial grounds, and 16th century jewelry.

"The $25 billion (15 billion pound) project is due to open in 2018, connecting London's Heathrow airport to the county of Essex -- five tunnel boring machines are creating a kilometer of new tunnel under London every two weeks. The millions of tons of soil from the Crossrail construction are being shipped to Wallasea Island in the Thames Estuary, allowing the island to be transformed from levee-protected farmland into a thriving wetland."

2014-01-22

BBC: "HS2 legal bid rejected by Supreme Court"


Link to web site

"The Supreme Court has rejected a legal bid by objectors to the HS2 high-speed rail link to force further scrutiny of the government's plans.

"The challenge had focused on whether the government followed the rules when assessing HS2's environmental impact.

"But the court unanimously rejected the claims against the scheme.

"The BBC understands this is now the end of the first stage of the legal challenges, as there is no right of appeal to Europe.

"But there could be future challenges on the second phase of the scheme - beyond Birmingham - when the exact route is announced."

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