November's top stories: Infinitus Plaza ground breaking and Helm Architecture's new theatre

Zaha Hadid-designed Guangzhou Infinitus Plaza has broken ground in China, and Helm Architecture has been appointed to design the £19m Shakespeare North theatre and education centre in London. Designbuild-network wraps-up the key headlines from November, 2016.


Zaha Hadid-designed Guangzhou Infinitus Plaza breaks ground in China

Designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, Guangzhou Infinitus Plaza has broken ground in China.

The 167,000m2 building will have eight storeys designed as a series of infinite rings to enhance connectivity and the project’s layout will resemble the symbol for infinity.

All departments in the Guangzhou Infinitus Plaza are arranged around central atria and courtyards. The building’s unitised insulated glazing system will allow in natural light, while the aluminium perforated screens will prevent direct solar heat gain and enable rainwater collection.

Helm Architecture to design Shakespeare North theatre in London

UK-based Helm Architecture has been appointed to design the £19m Shakespeare North theatre and education centre in Prescott, Knowsley.

Helm Architecture will join Austin-Smith: Lord to design the playhouse.

Shakespeare North's chairperson Peter Scott was quoted by The Guardian as saying: “Our vision to have a playhouse in Prescot began 12 years ago and we are delighted at the support and interest we have received in turning this vision into a reality.

Newly designed Quartz Hill Library opens in Los Angeles County, US

A new library has opened in Quartz Hill district in the County of Los Angeles, US.

In 2014, the County of Los Angeles issued a request to acquire the site to design, finance, build, and deliver the new library.

Designed to achieve a minimum certification of leadership in energy and environmental design (LEED) Silver from the US Green Building Council, the $12m project has been delivered by joint venture Griffin|Swinerton and SVA Architects through a public-private partnership.

Bates Smart unveils design of $237m Australian embassy in US

Architectural firm Bates Smart has unveiled designs for the new $237m Australian embassy in Washington DC, US.

Drawing inspiration from the Australian landscape, the design will feature a central glass atrium, a large open public space, an exhibition gallery, and a function area, reported Yahoo news.

In addition, the new building will adhere to global environmental design standards.

Foster + Partners and Rubio Arquitectura win competition to design Madrid museum

Foster + Partners and Rubio Arquitectura have won an international competition to upgrade and refurbish the Hall of Realms (Salón de Reinos) as a new addition to the Museo del Prado campus in Madrid, Spain.

Foster + Partners was chosen among eight shortlisted architects from four countries. The winning proposal, titled Hidden Design, creates a large entrance atrium on the south façade, making the space semi-open and permeable to the exterior but controlled sufficiently so that it protect the original façade of the Hall of Realms.

Over the top of this façade will be a large exhibition space on the third floor, which is higher and wider than the current design and it forms the roof of the atrium.

Interserve receives contract to design and build student accommodation buildings in UK

Interserve has received a £10.6m contract from Alumno Developments to design and build two new student accommodation buildings in Leamington Spa, the UK.

The new building will be built beside the Grand Union Canal, close to the University of Warwick.

Two four-storey buildings will feature 187 bedrooms along with en-suite, standard, and studio rooms. Some of these will be wheelchair-friendly. The buildings will also feature a modern central reception area, shared common rooms, and amenity spaces to cater to students.

London’s Design Museum to open to the public

London’s Design Museum is set to open to public after renovation at a new location on Kensington High Street on 24 November.

Architect firm OMA’s Reinier de Graaf collaborated with Allies and Morrison and Arup to redesign the new museum’s exterior, while John Pawson renovated the interior layout.

Design Museum director Deyan Sudjic said: “Reinier de Graaf and the OMA team have created a handsome setting for the Design Museum, and created a set of buildings that gives the museum a context and point of reference.

Detailed planning submitted for £300m Meadowhall Leisure Hall Expansion

A detailed planning application has been submitted by British Land to Sheffield City Council for the £300m expansion of Meadowhall Leisure Hall.

Occupying an area of 30,000m2, the new hall will feature a glazed roof and will house restaurants, a cinema, a café court, and gym, as well as an open-air terrace to allow visitors to dine outside and a new multi-storey car park.

The new extension will be connected to the existing centre to create a new multi-level, landscaped open space, which will improve accessibility. Solar panels on the roof of the cinema are expected to cater to 10% of the scheme’s energy consumption.