For the second year running, World Architecture News is delighted to announce its appointment as a major media and content partner of UK Construction Week, the country’s largest and most important built environment industry event. UKCW, which launched last year, will once again take place at the NEC, Birmingham from 18 to 20 October 2016.

At an official reception during UKCW itself this October, WAN will be announcing the winners of two of its awards 2016 categories. These are the Concrete Award and the Infrastructure Award, sponsored by the Surfaces & Materials Show and the new Civils Expo respectively. The shows are two of a total of nine taking place under the UKCW umbrella this year.

WAN will take to the stage, hosting 3 theatre sessions across the course of the event, involving high-level forums of city leaders and professionals. See below for the following activities:

Tuesday 18th October

11.00 – 12.30 – Inspirational Infrastructure, Civils Theatre

Now in the run-in towards Brexit with all the inherent baggage of uncertainty, markets consolidate and investors focus on minimising risk; and as often happens in times of recession, infrastructure projects come to the fore as one of the safe havens for investment funds.  One of many challenges facing architects and engineers in this field is how to create not just a functional project but an inspirational one, projects where function and aesthetic come together. World Architecture News’ panel of experts discuss the need for inspirational infrastructure and how it makes a difference.

The session concludes with the winning announcement of the WAN Infrastructure Award 2016, highlighting some of the key international projects being realised today.

Chaired by Michael Hammond, Editor in Chief, World Architecture News


Neill McClements, Partner, Grimshaw

Bridget Rosewell, Commissioner, National Infrastructure Commission

Huw Thomas, Partner, Foster + Partners

Cezary Bednarski, Architect, Studio Bednarski

12.15 – 13.15 – A Tale of Three Cities: Birmingham, Main Stage

With the coming of HS2, and longer term links to the Northern Powerhouse, a once in a generation window of opportunity is opening to shape the regeneration of the city centre. In association with World Architecture News (WAN) and the Birmingham Development Forum, this keynote panel will consider how we can bring together expertise and learn from other cities’ experiences to ensure joined-up thinking between infrastructure, commercial, transport and residential development.  The discussion will include the views of the construction sectors, developers, local authorities, planning experts and architects to explore the realms of urban design.

Chaired by Brian Kilkelly, Development Lead – Climate-KIC and Founder, World Cities Network


Hiro Aso, Firm-wide Aviation & Transportation Practice Area Leader, Gensler

Richard Cowell, Planning and Regeneration, Birmingham City Council

Zoe Davidson, Head of Regeneration Advisory, KPMG

Liz Peace, Chair, Birmingham Curzon Urban Regeneration Company

Wednesday 19th October

14.30 – 16.00 – Concrete to the rescue…again?, Surfaces & Materials Hub

Concrete came to the rescue as a cheap and fast material to resurrect Birmingham’s city centre in the 50s and 60s. However, the mix of shopping centres, tower blocks and the infamous spaghetti junction gave Birmingham the ‘concrete jungle’ name tag.

World Architecture News’ expert panel comes together to discuss concrete in architecture and how advances in technology have enabled the literal rebirth of concrete as a high performance material for its sculptural qualities and sophisticated 3D forms that simply weren’t possible before. In light of Birmingham’s current regeneration, the panel looks at how concrete is being used in architecture today, enabling some ground-breaking projects.

The session concludes with the winning announcement of the WAN Concrete in Architecture Award 2016, highlighting some of the key international projects being realised today.

Chaired by Dr Barnabas Calder, Historian of Architecture and Lecturer, University of Liverpool


Simon Anson, Associate, Arup Associates

Robert Fry, Managing Director – International, Aukett Swanke Architects

Jason Parker, Partner, Make Architects

Elaine Toogood, Senior Architect, The Concrete Centre

Birmingham Development Forum_2015

2015 Birmingham Development Forum, left to right: Liz Peace, Birmingham Curzon Urban Regeneration Company; Sharon Freedman, Assistant Director for Regeneration, Birmingham City Council; Ken Shuttleworth, Make Architects; Dan Smyth, Director, Head of Birmingham Studio, BDP