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News & Innovation

The latest news and innovation from CQ Summer 269

Agenda & Events

Comment and debate on the concrete industry’s most pressing issues and well as events tha tare coming up.

Final Frame: Apple Aventura Store, Miami

Apple is a company usually associated with sleek lightweight minimalism, but for its new Foster + Partners-designed Miami store it has embraced the city’s white art deco heritage – and concrete.

The wavy, barrel-vaulted roof is formed of seven 6m-wide precast-concrete arches, supported on concrete beams that span 18.2m across the width of the interior.

“We love the honesty and purity of the concrete,” says Stefan Behling, Foster’s head of studio, adding that it is the first Apple store to feature white precast concrete as the predominant structural system.

Photo Nigel Young / Foster + Partners

From the archive: Summer 1963

“A SHAFT OF WATER FROM A BAROQUE FOUNTAIN”

“New Zealand House, in the heart of London, will surely rank as one of the best British buildings of the 1960s,” declared CQ in 1963. The 19-storey tower, designed by Robert Matthew, Johnson-Marshall & Partners, was the first tall building to be approved in central London, and CQ was in no doubt that this blast of modernity was precisely what its historic, not to say stuffy, setting needed. “Sited on the corner of Haymarket and Pall Mall, it is surrounded by buildings with stone ornament – the balustrades, pediments and porticos of clubs, banks and theatres. Above this elaborate display, the glass tower of New Zealand House rises as clearly as a shaft of water from a baroque fountain.”

Fast-forward more than half a century, and RMJM’s shaft of water appears poised for a sparkling future. Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands has lodged plans with Westminster council to comprehensively upgrade the tower, including replacing the glazing and reconfiguring the embassy space and office interiors. CQ’s correspondent would be particularly pleased that the proposals include the refurbishment of the of the adjoining grade I-listed Royal Opera Arcade: “One view in particular lingers,” he wrote. “A sudden glimpse down into the Royal Opera Arcade with its vaulted and old street lamps, framed in one large sheet of glass.”

The book, The World Recast: 70 Buildings from 70 Years of Concrete Quarterly, is out now, available from www.concretecentre.com/publications 

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