Published on July 14th, 2017 | by Michelle Roper-Shaw
When we think about our county’s landmark buildings, we often look to the past. Buildings that have stood the test of time over the centuries tend to overlook the remarkable architectural achievements of recent years.
Today, the Royal Mail has released a special stamp issue, Landmark Buildings to celebrate modern architecture. Over the last two decades in the United Kingdom a great number of exciting new public buildings have been designed and built.
The most innovative and adventurous designs are celebrated in the Landmark Buildings Presentation Pack. This pack contains annotated images of some of the building plans and CAD drawings along with a short descriptive summary of each building.
The ten special stamps in the presentation pack feature:
London Aquatics Centre
One of the venues of the London 2012 Olympics. This building was designed by Prizker Prize winning architect Zaha Hadid. The precast concrete design exposes the concrete finish as opposed to painting or cladding and is complimented by the aluminium roof covering.
Library of Birmingham
This building is a fine example of the modern architecture throughout England’s second largest city. It was on the shortlist of buildings nominated for the 2014 Stirling prize. It is the most popular visitor attraction in the UK, outside London.
SEC Armadillo, Glasgow
The nickname Armadillo comes as no surprise when you look at the unusual shape of this building. It has also been compared to the iconic Sydney Opera House. Situated on the banks of the Clyde river, it has become one of Europe’s leading conference venues.
Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh
Designed by Enric Miralles, this building includes leaf shaped buildings, a grass roofed branch which merges into parkland and gabion walls formed with the stones of previous buildings.
Giants Causeway Visitor Centre
The Giant Causeway is the most popular visitor attraction in Northern Ireland. The visitor centre was opened in 2012 and wonderfully compliments the 40,000 volcanic basalt columns. Vertical windows line the walls and visitors can also climb over the grassy roof where they can look down onto the exhibition spaces below.
National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff / Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru, Caerdydd
Located on Cardiff Bay the Senedd, or debating chamber, has been designed to be environmentally friendly. Rainwater is collected from the roof to flush toilets and clean windows and the roof has a wind cowl to direct sunlight and air into the chamber. It was designed by the Richard Rogers Partnership and uses traditional Welsh materials including slate and Welsh oak.
Eden Project, St Austell
This multiple greenhouse complex consists of two biomes, the Tropical Biome and the Mediterranean Biome. They house thousands of plant species along with the Outdoor Gardens which represent the temperate regions of the world and local plant species.
Everyman Theatre, Liverpool
Originally a chapel built in 1837, the venue became a concert hall in 1853. During the 1970s the theatre was closed and rebuilt and then again in 2011 it was closed and fully rebuilt. In 2014 after its reopening, it was awarded the Stirling Prize for the best British building of the year.
Imperial War Museum North, Manchester
One of five branches of the Imperial War Museum, this is the first to be in the north of England. Architect Daniel Libeskind created, in his words “a constellation composed of three interlocking shards”. His Polish family lost many relatives in the Holocaust and each shard displays the remnants of an imagined world shattered by conflict.
Switch House, Tate Modern, London
This controversial ten storey tower includes gallery space and access to the main Tate Modern building. It was originally designed as a glass stepped pyramid but the final design incorporates a sloping façade in brick latticework. In May 2017, Switch House was renamed the Blavatnik Building in honour of Len Blavatnik who contributed £260 million to the cost of its construction.
Achievements in Architecture Celebrated at the Post Office Shop
Many other great achievements in architecture are also celebrated at the Post Office Shop. The recent Windmills and Watermills issue features six of the country’s most iconic structures. Some, over 400 years old remain in working order.
Meanwhile, Windsor Castle is also remembered. In the Windsor Castle Presentation Pack, the history of this building is described in great detail. It also covers the intensive restoration work which was carried out following the fire that ravaged the castle 25 years ago.