Stacking Up: London’s Skyline is Officially Out of Control

British firm Wilkinson Eyre is officially joining the high-rise party in England’s capital. Its proposal for Bishopsgate in the heart of the City has been granted planning permission, and the 40-story glass edifice is now due for construction alongside the plethora of novelty silhouettes on London’s burgeoning skyline.

Commissioned by Mitsubishi Estate London, the Bishopsgate and Leadenhall Street Tower will incorporate more than 750,000 square feet of office space together with ground-floor retail and a public viewing platform on the top floor. It has been designed as a series of stacked boxes that diminish in size further up the building, revealing sky terraces reminiscent of BIG’s recently revealed 2 World Trade Center in New York.

Bishopsgate and Leadenhall Street Tower

Bishopsgate and Leadenhall Street Tower

The renderings reveal the extraordinary proximity of both present and future buildings slated for the business district: the new building will shimmy up next to London’s galleria of nicknamed towers, with Richard Rogers’ Cheesegrater, Norman Foster’s Gherkin, and the Scalpel by Kohn Pedersen Fox all close by. It will also get incredibly intimate with a future skyscraper by PLP Architecture — Wilkinson Eyre’s computer-generated images appear out of date as they still show KPF’s long-forgotten Pinnacle directly behind the new tower.

Bishopsgate and Leadenhall Street Tower

Bishopsgate and Leadenhall Street Tower

While the architecture of the latest skyscraper is not overtly offensive, Wilkinson Eyre’s images raise questions about the collective identity of London and its increasingly jam-packed “Eastern City Cluster,” an area designated by planners for tall commercial buildings just north of the Thames. Reflecting on PLP’s “steroidal” proposal for 22 Bishopsgate, the Guardian’s Oliver Wainwright recently vented his fears for the city’s skyline, concluding a cutting write-up with near-terrifying pessimism:

“With permissions already granted for many more towers, from the Scalpel to the Can of Ham and a monstrous ‘Gotham City’ mega-block by Make, we can say goodbye to a skyline of individual spires, between which you might occasionally glimpse the sky. With developers calling the shots, while planners egg them on, the future of the City’s silhouette looks set to be a lumpy blancmange.”

London’s future skyline sans Wilkinson Eyre’s new tower. PLP Architecture’s 22 Bishopsgate office block is the tallest building pictured. Rendering via the Guardian.

Gazing across the Thames toward a rendered preview of 22 Bishopsgate, it is apparent that Wainwright’s “lumpy blancmange” will be made even more dense by Wilkinson Eyre’s new stack of glazed blocks, concealing the tapered form of Richard Rogers’ Cheesegrater once and for all. If Richard Weston’s “contextual tower” — analyzed at length in this article — is completed at 1 Undershaft, the skyline will begin to resemble a single wall of reflective glass, a gargantuan mirror into which the planners will stare and wonder: what has become of this great city?

Of course, the counter-argument is clear. This is a supply-and-demand issue: office vacancy rates in the City are now as low as five percent, and, with clients such as Mitsubishi willing to pay despite sky-high land prices, the growth of London is as rational as it is ridiculous. However, does this mean we must settle for a congealed mass of steel and glass upon the fast-disappearing horizon?

Bishopsgate and Leadenhall Street Tower

Bishopsgate and Leadenhall Street Tower

Protected viewing corridors toward certain landmarks, such as St. Paul’s Cathedral, have been designed to prevent this swathe of commercial towers dominating every corner of the city’s frenetic center, but many will be asking if this is enough given the rate of change currently being witnessed just north of the Thames. How important is a skyline’s composition? How closely does it correlate with a city’s cultural identity on the global stage, impacting on tourism and the wider economy?

These are not questions that are easy to answer, but they are certainly ones worth asking on the streets of London in the coming years.

Yours overcrowded,

The Angry Architect

Best Apple Watch Band Types for Male Architects

Apple watch bands have always stood up on the market for their excellent design, quality and elegance. The bands come with exciting features to accommodates almost everyone’s taste and preference. While a gorgeous watch face and your complexities can genuinely personalize the gadget, there is also another way to customize the watch. In addition to Apple’s official bands, there’s an increasing number of 3rd party choices that could help you make your watch stand out from the crowd.

Best Apple Watch Band Types for Male Architects

So, what are the best Apple bands for Male Architects?

If you’re a male architect, of course you need an Apple watch bands that will make your stand out as well as maintain your professional standards. Some of the most significant Apple Watch bands for men include;


1.  Milanese Loop Apple Watch

The Apple Watch Milanese Loop is one of the first band options from the tech giant. This band is an absolute classic choice for any man who minds his looks.

The band is a modern rendition of 19th-century Italian design, made from stainless steel mesh. You can choose an option to go with any of the four stainless steel Apple Watch hues. Besides, you can effortlessly adjust the band for a proper fit thanks to its magnetic closing technology.



• Designed and woven in Italy on specialist machinery.

• The magnetic closing technology allows for a custom fit.

• Made of stainless-steel mesh



• All stainless-steel Apple Watch models have matching color options.

• Ideal for almost all formal occasions.


The band’s mesh metal could snag your arm hair if you’re not careful.


2. UAG Leather Strap

This Leather strap is made of comfortable and soft top-grain Italian leather, a classic watch strap material. The lugs and hardware on the strap are come in a stainless-steel material to prevent rust.

Like any high-quality leather, the strap will age and wear beautifully, giving it a one-of-a-kind look.

You can choose between a brown and a black variant.



• This band is made of premium quality Italian leather.

• The collar locking strap will firmly keep the band in place even when you’re undertaking a vigorous activity.


• Available in two variants black and brown

• Leather material never grows old, becomes more beautiful as it ages.


• Leather material is not waterproof.


3. SUPCASE Unicorn Beetle Pro

The Unicorn Beetle Pro from SUPCASE combines a high-quality Apple Watch strap with a protective case. You’ll be able to access all of the capabilities and features of any 44mm Apple Watch with this case.

Place your Watch body into the casing to complete the installation. There are a variety of colors to choose from, including black, green, and red.



  • Both the band and casing are scratch-resistant.

    • Easy to install; Place your Watch body into the case for installation.

    • The case protects your Apple watch from drops and shocks.



• The case and strap still give you access to all the Watch’s functionality.

• Colors are available in a wide range of hues.

• Despite the outstanding features, this Apple watch band is quite affordable.



• Only the Apple Watch Series 4-6 and Watch SE are compatible with this band.


4. Apple Watch Sport Loop

For a good reason, the Apple Watch Sport Loop is one of the most popular official band options available on the market today.

This Apple watch sport loop band is made of premium quality soft and breathable nylon, making it one of the most comfortable choices available. Thanks to the velcro clasp system, you can find the correct fit on your wrist.



• This men’s watch band is made of super comfortable. breathable and soft nylon material

• Velcro system makes it easy to adjust the band for a perfect fit



• Available in different colors

• Comes in both regular and XL sizes; you will always find your ideal size.



The band is not waterproof.


5. Fitlink Stainless Steel Metal Band

Apple Link Bracelet stands out as one of the most expensive official bands on the market. The Fitlink Stainless Steel Metal Band, on the other hand, offers a similar design at a fraction of the price. The band features a two-button folding clasp to keep it secure on your wrist. Fitlink comes with an easy-to-use link removal tool to help you get your right wrist fit.

Besides, the band comes in various colors ranging from black, gold, grey, silver, and rose gold.



• Made of premium quality stainless steel material.

• Comes with a folding clasp to hold the band firmly on your wrist.

• The Link removal tool allows easy and smooth adjusting of the band.



• Similar to the original Apple Link Bracelet but comes at a lower price.

• Available in 5 elegant color options.



• Not idea for vigorous activities.


Buy the Best Apple Watch Bands for Men from Here

Now that you have some of the top Apple watch band types on the market, the next step is identifying where to buy them. The best bands for male architects are available on almost all leading online markets such as Amazon. Get into the Amazon app, search for your favorite male Apple bands, and place your order.

Put A Diamond On It: Zaha’s Decadent Port Authority For Antwerp

Her name is familiar – too familiar for many, if architectural forums around the web are anything to go by – but Zaha Hadid has conjured up a surprisingly unfamiliar answer to the brief for the reinvention of Antwerp’s Port Authority Headquarters, enveloping and expanding the city’s disused fire station at the edge of the harbour. The project broke ground in October 2012, and the construction phase is now in full swing – the estimated completion date is June 2015.

As of 2014, Antwerp’s Port is midway through an 18-year development plan, currently overseen by city architect Kristiaan Borret. Other projects in the vicinity, intended to transform the dockside region through ‘slow urbanism’, have been guided by the scale and massing of local waterfront warehouses, with a modern twist on traditional Flemish architectural styles. Neutelings Riedijk’s MAS (Museum aan de Stroom) and towers by Diener & Diener have indicated how radical urbanism can be crafted with subtle and astute nods to cultural context. It is highly unlikely that the word ‘subtlety’ and the acronym ‘ZHA’ have been used in the same sentence for at least a decade…

Zaha has been in the news an awful lot recently, for her shoes as much as her buildings. She has now combined the two, as Antwerp is treated to an enormous, crystalline stiletto, crashing through the roof of the old fire station: despite the lack of Hadid’s much-maligned parametric curves and swathes of white concrete, this effort is no less ostentatious than any of her other recent attention-grabbers.


Looking at the looming, diamond shaped form above the classical aesthetic of the original station building, one wonders if Zaha may have scribbled her concept for this structure on a napkin whilst at dinner with a certain Mr Libeskind. The unapologetic juxtaposition of old and new here echoes Libeskind’s approach to the Royal Ontario Museum extension in Toronto, and his violent intervention to Dresden’s Museum of Military History. She may also have been taking notes on his questionable design rationale, which frequently revolves around the very literal interpretation of a contrived metaphor: Zaha has chosen to pay homage to Antwerp’s diamond industry by designing an enormous… diamond. Profound!

The building’s precarious composition also has a hint of Will Alsop’s OCAD, which hovers above Toronto’s Grange Park like a cheerful alien spacecraft. Indeed, Zaha has flirted with Alsop’s colourful palette on the interior, where sunshine yellow conference rooms form a welcome moment of contrast within a sea of relentlessly monochromatic office spaces. Speaking of which, those in charge at the Port Authority had better set an extortionate budget for their computing equipment, because only Macs will comply with these unadorned internal landscapes.


While the gratuitous, curvaceous forms – ‘Hadidisms’, if you will – have been given a well-earned break, certain factors synonymous with Zaha are still very much evident here: sleek, corporate interiors abound, and the flamboyant boat-like form is very much in keeping with ZHA’s reputation as the world’s premier Icon Vendor. Whether the locals will warm to this particular icon remains to be seen…

Yours fashionably,

The Angry Architect


Paranoid Giant: Ground Zero’s Cathedral of Commerce Is The Ultimate Failure of Courage

A significant event in the 14 year saga of New York’s Ground Zero took place last month, as the observation deck of One World Trade Center was finally opened, allowing the public to rise up to the summit of SOM’s steel and glass spire for the first time.


Now the dust of construction has settled, we take a look back to the beginning, when designs on this – the fragile heart of NYC – began to take shape. How has the design of this skyscraper evolved over the past decade, and what does the process say about post-9/11 Western Society?

The timelapse elevator ride up WTC 1 includes a brief glimpse of Yamasaki’s Twin Towers


December 2002 – Daniel Libeskind’s ‘Freedom Tower’ was unveiled. Saturated with meaning, the ‘Skyscraper as Symbol’ was taken to a whole new level of complexity, in keeping with the extraordinary social and political demands of this loaded design brief. There were layered references to the past here: the tower’s offset spire echoed the raised arm of the Statue of Liberty… then, of course, there was that 1776-foot height, matching the year of American Independence.


Defining the height of a skyscraper using a historical date appears to laugh in the face of design by function, form or any tangible sense of architectural logic. However, these kinds of symbolic gimmicks were exactly the features that won the public over in the torrid months following their national tradegy: Libeskind successfully tapped into the emotional rationale of New Yorkers. I’ll call that ‘Libeskind Logic’.

Ground Zero’s Cathedral

Evolution of the design for WTC 1… then and now.

11 years on and after many fractious debates and redesigns, Skidmore Owings and Merrill – led by David Childs – have well and truly stamped their authority on the final incarnation. The spire is centered, the form filled out (incidentally creating thousands more square feet of lucrative commercial office space), and the base is encased with concrete and steel in an effort to deter would-be terrorists from attacking at ground level.

This last feature tells its own story: One World Trade Center has been the subject of exponential pragmatism, as the metaphor-ridden glass sabre of Libeskind was diluted to incorporate more leasable space – money talks – and security measures to calm the shredded nerves of the populous. The original American symbol of strength – the skyscraper – has become a paranoid giant, wearing a steel crown and the heaviest pair of lead boots imaginable.

Ground Zero’s Cathedral

Perhaps the greatest irony of all is that, with all these practicalities dissolving Libeskind’s original vision, the most irrational of design features – the 1776-foot height – remains. SOM stole the freedom away from the Freedom Tower, but left the public with one small reminder of why the USA is still a country of liberty and independence… just.

Yours metaphorically,

The Angry Architect

Images: © 2011 Studio Daniel Libeskind and Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP

Masters of Space and Time: 8 Watches Designed by Architects

8 Watches Designed by Architects

If there is one thing architects never seem to have quite enough of, it’s time. Rarely are there enough hours in the day to sleep, eat, socialize and design a career-defining architectural landmark — but we do our best to make every second count. Perhaps that is why so many architects are fascinated by timepieces and have switched buildings with watches on their drawing boards over the years. From Gehry to Graves, each watch in this collection reflects its designer’s architectural ideals and reveals their love for the detail-oriented challenges of industrial design. Waste no time in admiring these classic clock faces:

8 Watches Designed by Architects

Via Virginia Duran

Positive/Negative by Frank Gehry

Designed for classic high-end brand Fossil, the unconventional display on Gehry’s watch merges digital technology with a hand-sketched aesthetic. It also offers owners a characteristically quirky way to tell the time: rather than 2:49, the watch above reads “11 til 3.”

8 Watches Designed by Architects

Via Selectism

Déjà Vu by Denis Guidone

This minimalist timepiece by Italian designer Denis Guidone — who studied architecture and urban planning in both Milan, Italy and Oporto, Portugal — is defined by light. Both minute and hour hands leave a trail of light in their wake, transforming the clock face into an abstract artwork.

8 Watches Designed by Architects

Via Richard Meier and Partners Architects

High Museum by Richard Meier

American architect Richard Meier designed this wearable homage to his High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia. The pale, semi-opaque clock face and minimal detailing evokes the modernist aesthetic of one of Meier’s most well-known buildings, and can be illuminated to read the time after dark.

8 Watches Designed by Architects

Via Watch Reviews and Discount Codes

Junghans Automatic by Max Bill

The multi-skilled Max Bill was an architect, industrial designer, artist and graphic designer who studied under Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee at the Bauhaus in Dessau in the late 1920s. His watch design reflects the philosophies of the famous school and incorporates a minimal display, carefully crafted details and beautiful materials.

8 Watches Designed by Architects

Via Virginia Duran

Botta 2 Watch by Mario Botta

Swiss architect Mario Botta’s buildings are characterized by bold forms and distinctive geometry, and so is the Botta 2 Watch. The clock face is encircled by a thick gray band that frames a minimal display — evoking the circular centerpiece of the architect’s original design for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

8 Watches Designed by Architects

Via MCA Store

Cubit Watch by Michael Graves

For his contribution to the Projects range of watches, the late Michael Graves was uninterested in confining himself to the straight-laced look adopted by many of the other architects on this list. The American master of Postmodernism opted instead for a bold combination of three-dimensional geometry and vivid colors, with a cube of azure seemingly floating in a sea of brushed chrome.

8 Watches Designed by Architects

Via Virginia Duran

Free Time by Laurinda Spear

Arquitectonica cofounder Laurinda Spear’s watch displays a radical interface that does away with numbers and hands. Each ring on the abstract clock face rotates in time with the hours, minutes and seconds, mimicking the celestial orbit of planets around the Sun.

8 Watches Designed by Architects’s multi-use Puls Smart Cuff …

8 Watches Designed by Architects

… and Zaha Hadid’s special-edition version; via Forbes

Bonus: Puls Smart Cuff by and Zaha Hadid

Former Black Eyed Pea and occasional industrial designer’s multi-use, high-tech wristband didn’t go down so well with the critics at Gizmodo, Mashable or The Verge — but did you know that star architect Zaha Hadid created a special edition of the Puls cuff? The British-Iraqi architect’s version has a striking sculptural form, but perhaps those who look for a well-functioning smartwatch should look elsewhere…