Day One: New Building Tour

We are thrilled to announce a rare and exclusive treat for our delegates this year. Enjoy unprecedented access to the inner sanctum of the New York Times building.

Hosted by international engineering firm, Thornton Tomasetti, you’ll be privy to a behind-the-scenes glimpse of this prestigious newspaper and catch a sneaky peak of the newsroom in full journalistic flow.

Numbers are strictly limited and spaces are on a first-come, first-served basis. So you’d better hurry if you want to be one of the lucky few to tour this iconic building.

Register Now

Book today and you’ll get a massive 25% off your registration fee. Spaces are numbered and they’re going fast. We’ve also got a number of delectable discounts for clients of WAN and AIA NY members.

For further details about all our building tours, or WAD ticket enquiries contact Zoe Craven on

WAD 2013 launches with 25% discount

Following the London launch of World Architecture Day in 2012, we’re back. And it’s going to be bigger, bolder and better than ever.But this year, we’re swapping the grey skies of the Big Smoke for the high rises of the Big Apple. That’s right. From 06-08 October 2013, we’ll be taking over Manhattan for 3 whole days. Venue

Working in partnership with the American Institute of Architects: New York Chapter (AIANY), there’ll be exciting tours of architectural gems, inspirational workshops spread across the city and the centrepiece to our summit: a fascinating day of speeches, forums and discussions from award-winning architects, developers and engineers.

Over the 3 days, we’ve also organised a number of tailored breakout sessions and networking events built around specific themes. These will give you the opportunity to meet key decision-makers and market-shapers, where you can pitch ideas, secure vital contacts for your firm and discuss future business ventures.

25% Super Early Bird Discount

So, if you would like to take your place alongside global design leaders and debate crucial boundary-pushing initiatives from around the world, register today. Secure your place by 3rd July 2013 and you can take advantage the  massive 25% Super Early Bird discount – plus, there’s even greater savings for AIA members and Friends of WAN.

Register Now

For further information about World Architecture Day 2013, contact Zoe Craven on  or call +44 (0)20 7332 0050.
We look forward to you joining us in the city that never sleeps for excitement that never stops.

The results are in…

…and the East has won it: 64% of voters were in favour of developing an airport hub in the Thames Estuary. 21% of voters thought that building a third runway on the existing Heathrow site was the future of UK transport, and the remaining 15% voted ‘other’. Thanks to all the participants for making the evening a highly engaging and thought-provoking event!

Capital ideas

Grimshaw put forward their vision of tackling increasing airport capacity not by proposing a single hub, but by making London the hub itself. CEO, Jolyon Brewis, discussed London: Hub City which envisages splitting aviation capacity between a number of existing airports and improving the speed and reliability of links to the city. People can spend time in London and take in the delights the Capital has to offer.

Bridget Rosewell concurred with this new way of imagining the airport debate. Daniel Moylan disagreed. ‘Most people don’t want to stop over and go to the theatre – they just want to get on with their journey. I think you are talking about a very small market.’




Second nature

In response to the environmental concerns of building an airport in the Thames Estuary, Bridget Rosewell took a pragmatic approach. ‘Whatever we do in aviation space, there will be significant environmental consequences. ‘Recognising that the estuary is under threat regardless of whether an airport hub will be built, she concluded that ‘we need to find the least worst solution.’

The west is not the best

Countering Richard Gammon’s argument was Aviation Adviser to the London Mayor and staunch supporter of the proposed ‘Boris Island’, Daniel Moylan. With typical gusto, he outlined the reasons why Heathrow could not satisfy the demands of increasing passengers. In fact, he believes that, in time, there would be a need for a fourth runway to cope.

He stated that building a third runway at Heathrow would also increase noise pollution above acceptable levels. He went on to say that building an airport in the Thames Estuary would satisfy the capacity needed and allow for long-term future expansion, whilst reducing the environmental and security problems of aircraft over-flying in London.

Aviation debate takes off

Following an introductory welcome from Brian Kilkelly, CEO of World Cities News, in which he outlined the importance of future-proofing our transport network, Richard Gammon took to the floor to open proceedings. Not offering an overarching Utopian solution, instead he called for simple, immediate and pragmatic solutions.

He stressed the importance of Heathrow as an essential part of the UK infrastructure and driver of the economy. Consequently, he was in favour of the immediate expansion of the existing site to arrest increasing competition from other European hubs. He believes that time is the essential issue at stake: ‘Time is the one commodity that we have no control over’. With this in mind, adding a third runway to Heathrow is the fastest and cheapest option available.


HS2 link joins Heathrow in the long grass…

It is widely expected that the Heathrow link, a crucial part of the next phase of the UK’s high speed rail network, HS2 due to be announced on Monday is to be dropped.

This will be a major setback for supporters of expanding Heathrow and is no doubt due to the rapidly increasing number of proposals for building a new hub airport in the East or North East of the capital.

It is expected that the link will be referred to the Davies Commission along with plans for the future of the airport itself.

The Davies Commission is now widely known as David Cameron’s long grass, a two year holding-pot for the country’s vital strategic infrastructure decisions.

The blatant delaying tactic by the current administration has drawn strong  criticism from many sectors for it’s politicizing of an issue that is of significant national importance. 

Michael Hammond 

Editor in Chief 

World Architecture News


Grimshaw releases strategic proposal for UK travel – London: Hub City

Global design giants Grimshaw have released a strategic plan for the future of the UK’s infrastructure system. Entitled London: Hub City the proposal looks beyond the redevelopment of an existing airport or construction of a new complex. “It builds on Britain’s pedigree of finding ingenious solutions that are pragmatic, creative and efficient, forming the basis for inherently sustainable infrastructure. It is intended to stimulate debate and act as a catalyst for more detailed investigation, towards a specific outcome: the best future for London and the UK.”

hub city

London: Hub City is being headed by CEO of Grimshaw Jolyon Brewis who will be joining WAN’s panel debate on aviation on 5 February at the London Geographical Society. Rather than release a series of renderings of shiny new airport plans, Grimshaw has presented a more strategic plan which looks to redefine how London is perceived by international travellers.

In his presentation Brewis weighs up the pros and cons of the Hub Airport (Figure 1) and the Hub City (Figure 2), leaning towards the latter which would enable capacity to be vastly increased as it is spread between several airport complexes. He explains: “A Hub City is sufficiently attractive to persuade a significant portion of transferring passengers to extend their lay-over, leave the airport and spend time in the city… The focus would be on allowing passengers to reach the city centre less than 30 minutes after leaving the aircraft, meaning that passengers can choose a meaningful connect time that includes a number of hours spent in the city.”

hub city diagrams

The argument given for Grimshaw’s proposal is as follows:

• London is geographically well placed in terms of aviation hubs, commercially vital and culturally vibrant
• More than 30% of international passengers transferring through Heathrow currently leave the airport and spend over £500 per head in central London. Enhancing connections could increase this figure
• A smart-card (similar to the current Oyster card system) could be introduced which could access all of London’s public transport
• With physical improvements and dispersal of current traffic, current transfer times could be reduced
• Heathrow may be retained as ‘the principal short connect hub airport’ with unrivalled access through central London and easy access to other airports or a new East London Airport

New report questions costs for Estuary Airport

Extracts from a report in today’s London Evening Standard:

A study just released by the Commons Transport Committee highlighted the risks to private sector investors as the project would rely on higher passenger numbers or heftier charges. It stated that Boris Johnson’s proposal for an airport in the Thames Estuary is not “commercially viable”

But the Mayor’s office argued that there was “nothing new in this report”. A spokeswoman added: “The Mayor has always said that road and rail connections to serve a new airport would need to be provided by the Government. We feel that a new airport would be able to wash its face financially over time.”

The transport committee is conducting an inquiry into the UK’s aviation strategy, commissioned economic consultants Oxera to carry out the study into the commercial viability of a new airport.

However, the report concluded that building a hub airport instead of expanding Heathrow could still offer “good value for money” if it led to significant economic benefits for Britain.

It concluded that a new four-runway hub airport would cost in the region of £20 billion to £50 billion.
Closing Heathrow airport could mean a £20 billion compensation bill, taking the total cost of a new hub as high as £70 billion. The report added that public support or subsidies of about £10 billion to £30 billion would be required to build the airport. It also said a new airport in the Thames Estuary was unlikely to be as well connected by road to the UK’s regions as Heathrow. The report put the cost of a third runway at Heathrow at between £8 billion and £9 billion, and expanding Gatwick with a second or third runway at between £2.3 billion and £7.8 billion.

The committee’s Labour chairwoman Louise Ellman said: “The results suggest a new airport would require public investment and have considerable impact on Heathrow and other London airports.”

To join the debate follow the link below:


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