Super Skyscrapers

eVolo Magazine has announced the winners of the 2012 Skyscraper Competition. Established in 2006, the annual Skyscraper Competition recognizes outstanding ideas that redefine skyscraper design through the use of new technologies, materials, programs, aesthetics, and spatial organizations, along with studies on globalization, flexibility, adaptability, and the digital revolution. This is also an investigation on the public and private space and the role of the individual and the collective in the creation of a dynamic and adaptive vertical community. The award seeks to discover young talent, whose ideas will change the way we understand architecture and its relationship with the natural and built environments.

The first place was awarded to Zhi Zheng, Hongchuan Zhao and Dongbai Song from China for their project “Himalaya Water Tower”. The proposal is a skyscraper located high in the Himalayan mountain range that stores water and helps regulate its dispersal to the land below as the mountains’ natural supplies dry up. The skyscraper, which can be replicated en masse, will collect water in the rainy season, purify it, freeze it into ice and store it for future use.

To read more

eVolo Magazine -2012 The first place was awarded to Zhi Zheng, Hongchuan Zhao and Dongbai Song from China for their project “Himalaya Water Tower”.


Surbiton ‘Queen of the Suburbs’ – The Portas Pilots

Interesting debate reported in the Croydon Guardian about Victoria Road in Surbiton.

‘Surbiton group bids to become Portas pilot street’

A business group is bidding to have shopping guru Mary Portas overhaul the struggling high street.

‘Surbiton Town Team, comprised of local businesses, has put together a promotional video in the hope the Scottish star will bring her Midas touch to Surbiton’s Victoria Road.’

Grant Shapps, the Local Government Minister, has announced that 12 struggling towns and cities will have the chance to implement recommendations from my Review to help reinvigorate their ailing High Streets.  The Portas Pilots will benefit from a share of £1million, as well as the support of the Minister, Whitehall, and Mary Portas.

There is an opportunity to turn her recommendations into reality by giving communities across the country the opportunity to come forward with their vision for breathing new life into their locality. The Review is intended to inspire people with a new vision for tomorrow where High Streets are re-imagined as destinations for socialising, culture, wellbeing, learning, as well as shopping.

Click here to find out how your town can bid to become a Portas Pilot.

A place we all want to be, and can be, proud of.

Here’s the announcement to local residents  from local property developer CNM Estates which was reported in Surbiton People on 29 Dec 2011  ”Following our previous article regarding this and other Surbiton developments, CNM Estates have announced Taylor Wimpey as their development partner.  CNM Estates say that work is due to start ‘early 2012’ and be completed by Autumn 2013.”

‘Phase two of the much delayed Surbiton Plaza Development consists of 28 private apartments, 12 affordable housing apartments, two retail units and a doctor’s surgery.  I’m sure that we all look forward to this development being completed; especially the shops fronting onto Victoria Road.  As well as the Surbiton Plaza phase two, the Red Lion development in Ewell Road is due to start soon.’

Student Property Fund Yields Strong Returns

Student property fund yields strong returns

By David Stevenson | Financial Times

If you spend enough time researching property funds, you eventually run into student accommodation specialist Unite Group. It’s what I call a classic Marmite stock – you either love it or hate it.

Last time I looked, its shares were trading at 188p, compared with a net asset value (NAV) of around 346p, according to analysts at Oriel. Such a wide discount has never quite seemed right to me – not least because it’s clear that there’s good money to be made out of student property.

Read more here.

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London Open Garden Squares Weekend 9-10 June, 2012

Open Garden Squares Weekend is a celebration of London’s Open Spaces. One weekend ticket provides access to numerous gardens and squares in London not usually open to the public. Other parks and gardens put on special events, such as jazz bands, all contributing to that festive atmosphere.

London Parks & Gardens Trust

London Parks & Gardens Trust

9-10 June, 2012

For 2012 they are working in association with the National Trust. The National Trust has always been about access to inspiring places and as much about outdoor spaces; so this is a very natural and appropriate association.

Tickets for Open Garden Squares Weekend 2012 are now on sale from

One ticket allows entry to all gardens over the entire weekend.

Ticket prices are £9 in advance and £12 if bought during the event weekend.

You can hire several of the gardens that take part in Open Garden Squares Weekend for  weddings and other functions. These gardens include:


CNM Estates has a long history of supporting the local community through its sponsorship activities.

Kingston Regatta

Kingston Regatta Logo

The Kingston Regatta

CNM Estates has been the main sponsor of The Kingston Regatta since 2009. This year the event will celebrate the accession of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II with its Diamond Jubilee Sprint races.





The Rose Theatre

The great circle of the Rose’s astonishing auditorium is a symbol of everything they do: combining great intimacy with epic scale, the Rose is all-embracing, warm hearted and of the highest possible national standards.

Rose Theatre

CNM Estates sponsor a Christmas Carol at Rose Theatre 2009

Kingston University Students Win London Mayor’s Low Carbon Prize

London Mayor’s low carbon prize – recognising student innovation

The Mayor’s low carbon prize was launched to inspire London’s students to come up with innovative ideas for cutting carbon emissions in the city.

For this year’s awards the 100-plus entries were whittled down to a shortlist of ten which was judged by a panel including leading architect Sir Terry Farrell and Zac Goldsmith MP. The four winners received a total of £20,000 prize money to help them develop their ideas.

Prize winners 2012

The winner of the first Mayor’s low carbon prize was an innovative ‘green key’, the brainchild of Jonathan Pye-Finch, Ann Kathrin Schoettle, Andre Vigil, Martin Cobley and David Singer. The students from Kingston University receive £10k towards the idea’s development and mentoring support from Berkeley Group.

Kingston University Surveying student Bruce Pawsey, 47, picked up the runners up prize of £3,300, for proposing a river barge, which would collect waste materials and use them to drive a gas turbine.

The logic behind the ‘green key’ was to help the 250,000 household moves that occur in London each year by supplying new residents an electronic key which has up to date information on local services and ideas to help them live more sustainably.

Read more here: Mayor’s Low Carbon Prize  and Specification Online

Mayor’s Low Carbon Prize award ceremony

Follow the Mayor’s energy team on Twitter @GLAenergy 

Sir Terence Conran Tops The Telegraph’s Property Powerlist 2012

Sir Terence Conran

1 Sir Terence Conran

Designer, restaurateur, 80

In those dark, long-away days, a home was a place that merely accommodated you, rather than impressed other people. Then Conran brought the world Habitat, providing stylish sofas and chicken bricks for whole generations of first-time flat-buyers in the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties. As those young people became more well-heeled, he supplied them with upmarket furniture (Conran St ores) as well as places to eat (Bibendum and Quaglino’s). British homes today just wouldn’t look the same without him.

Read the full list here: