Grenfell tragedy shows “architectural intervention must not be limited to facades” says Ole Scheeren

The fatal fire at Grenfell Tower shows that architects need to be reevaluating the functionality and safety of old buildings, as well as their aesthetics, according to architect Ole Scheeren. The Buro Ole Scheeren founder, who has just unveiled plans to radically transform an old office block in Frankfurt, claims that tower blocks in particular

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Post-war architecture shouldn’t take the blame for political failures, says Owen Hopkins

With the demolition of Robin Hood Gardens now underway and the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire still fresh, writer and curator Owen Hopkins has called for politicians to stop using Britain’s post-war architecture as a scapegoat for today’s problems. Hopkins is senior curator at Sir John Soane’s Museum, and is also the author of Lost Futures: The Disappearing Architecture of

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Cladding passes fire safety test ordered following Grenfell Tower blaze

A safety test carried out on a variation of the aluminium cladding blamed for the spread of the fire at Grenfell Tower has shown the design complies with current building regulations. It is the fourth of six such fire safety tests carried out by Building Research Establishment (BRE). The UK government ordered the tests of cladding used on buildings over 18

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“Designers, contractors or the local authority could all be blamed for breaching a duty to warn”

Six weeks on from the devastating fire at Grenfell Tower, architects, construction firms or the council could be found liable under the “duty to warn” principle, says construction lawyer Jason Kallis. In the refurbishment of a high-rise building such as Grenfell Tower, there would have been more than one person or corporation responsible for design. Simultaneously, it

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Review of building and fire safety regulations launched following Grenfell Tower disaster

The UK government has launched an independent review of building and fire safety regulations in response to the fatal Grenfell Tower blaze. The review was announced on Friday following the failure of the first large-scale fire tests being carried out by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) on cladding systems used on high-rise residential buildings in the UK. The results showed

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Fire safety test shows Grenfell Tower’s cladding system was “an absolute failure”

A mockup of the cladding system blamed for the catastrophic scale of the Grenfell Tower blaze has failed its government-ordered fire safety check. The fire safety test was carried out on a large-scale replica of the Grenfell Tower cladding system by Building Research Establishment (BRE) on behalf of the government. Part of the test was broadcast on Newsnight, on the

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Portakabin builds temporary school for pupils of academy next to Grenfell Tower

A temporary secondary school is being built to accommodate students of Kensington Aldridge Academy, a school next to Grenfell Tower, which has been shut ever since the devastating fire last month. UK company Portakabin is using its modular construction system to build the school just over a mile away, next to Wormwood Scrubs – an open space in the London Borough of

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Grenfell Tower disaster exposes UK’s “dangerous, ugly, cruel and uncaring” approach to social housing, say architects

Architects have attacked the culture of cost-cutting and “value-stripping” in UK construction, which they believe contributed to the fatal Grenfell Tower fire. “This terrible event may prove to be the shock that finally forces commissioning public clients and the construction industry to take design quality and specification seriously,” said Paul Karakusevic of London-based Karakusevic Carson Architects. “Value

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60 UK towers fail fire safety checks following Grenfell tragedy

The number of towers that have failed fire safety checks in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire has risen to 60, as the government urges councils to submit cladding samples for testing. So far, all 60 of the cladding samples submitting for combustibility checks at the Building Research Establishment (BRE) have failed the test. BRE is able to test up to 100 samples

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Cladding stripped from residential towers across UK in wake of Grenfell Tower fire

Cladding is being removed from residential high-rises across the UK following concerns over fire safety in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy. The government has ordered tests on up to 600 high-rise buildings to establish whether they have been clad in the same aluminium composite material used at Grenfell Tower, as last week’s disaster continues

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Grenfell Tower residents to be rehomed in luxury Kensington apartments

Survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire are to be given permanent homes in a luxury apartment block nearing completion at High Street Kensington, London. The UK government’s communities secretary Sajid Javid announced the plans earlier today, one week after the fire that has so far claimed 79 lives. The Corporation of London has bought 68 flats

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Grenfell Tower cladding identified as cheaper and more flammable option

The specific cladding used in the Grenfell Tower renovation has been identified as a cheaper and more flammable variety, amid confusion over whether the material is legal in the UK. The cladding used in the recent renovation of the west London tower was the cheaper of two options offered for the job by manufacturer Omnis, according to The Guardian

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Grenfell Tower fire triggers emergency safety review across UK’s 4,000 high-rises

The UK government has launched an emergency review of the country’s high-rise apartments following the Grenfell Tower fire, with cabinet minister Sajid Javid saying residents of similar buildings could be rehoused for their safety. The communities and local government secretary Sajid Javid told the BBC Breakfast programme this morning that an emergency fire safety review

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“A lethal failure of oversight, like at Grenfell Tower, was going to happen sooner or later”

The devastating fire at London’s Grenfell Tower has highlighted the widespread neglect of the UK’s residential high-rises, and the undeserved contempt held for the people that live in them, says Owen Hatherley. This column was going to be about the election of a left-wing architectural historian and housing campaigner as Member of Parliament for Kensington in the UK’s general

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