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  • Institute of Transformational Technologies
  • National Automotive Innovation Centre
  • Push-Pull House
  • Alder Hey Community Cluster
  • RHS Garden Hyde Hall Hilltop Complex
  • Blows Yard
  • Global Witness Workplace
  • 16 Winchester Walk
  • BFI Mediatheque
  • Central Building Refurbishment
  • Jerram Falkus Office Fit-out
  • Conkers Aerial Walkway
  • Eastfields Estate Regeneration
  • Spring at Stonebridge Park
  • Project Genesis Research HQ
  • Maitland Park
  • The Hyde, Hendon
  • RHS Garden Bridgewater
  • Artist's House, Brixton
  • Bristol Harbourside Building 3a
  • IVIC: BIMSpace
  • Queen Mary University of London
  • Holy Cross Primary School
  • Cherry Tree Children's Centre
  • Bristol Harbourside Building 4
  • VLRNIC
  • Emerald Circus
  • Bunhill 2 Energy Centre
  • Pontifex Wharf
  • Hide House
  • House in Hampstead
  • Baldwin Terrace Residential Development
  • Rosendale Primary School
  • Cryfield Energy Centre
  • IINM
  • Maggie's Newcastle
  • RE-Fab House
  • Guardbridge Energy Centre
  • City University London
  • IIPSI
  • Foundry
  • Shenley Academy
  • BFI Master Film Store
  • Palestinian Museum
  • Forest Gate Community School
  • Shahat Garden City
  • Kew Herbarium, Library, Art & Archives Wing
  • Brampton Manor Academy
  • Torriano Junior School Gatehouse
  • Institute for Sustainability
  • Evans Granary
  • Olisa Library
  • The Green Mountain Project
  • John Hope Gateway
  • Letchworth Transition Town
  • Stonebridge Hillside Hub
  • Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Richmond Park Golf Clubhouse
  • International Digital Laboratory
  • Cambridge Conservation Campus
  • Bristol Harbourside Building 9
  • Bristol Harbourside Building 3b
  • Masshouse Block D
  • Gateway to Petra
  • Singapore Management University
  • Purcell School Music Centre
  • Barge Arm Development
  • Heart of the Forest Masterplan
  • Bristol Harbourside Building 10
  • Penarth Heights Regeneration
  • Li Ka Shing Library
  • Lewisham Young People's Centre
  • Centre for Mathematical Sciences
  • Education and Interpretation Centre
  • Downland Gridshell
  • International Manufacturing Centre
  • Millennium Primary School & Health Centre
  • Bristol Harbourside Masterplan
  • Faculty of Divinity
  • Private House
  • UEL Docklands Campus
  • Ludgate Hill
  • Chester Amphitheatre Hotel
  • Hooke Park
  • Pittville Art College Campus Masterplan
  • Archaeolink Visitor Centre
  • University of North Carolina Masterplan
  • Clach Mhor
  • St John's College Library
  • Goldney Hall Student Residences
  • Petershill House
  • Fountains Abbey Visitor Centre
  • BP International Group Learning Centre
  • Bedfont Lakes Offices
  • Charles Cryer Theatre
  • RMC International HQ
  • Farnborough Grange Junior School
  • Chilworth Park Research Centre
  • Morrison Street
  • MacIntyre Milton Keynes
  • Crookham Junior School
  • Beechwood Lodge Hostel
  • Copped Hall Offices
  • Lambeth Community Care Centre
  • Whittington Centre
  • Uplands Conference Centre
  • Westoning Manor
  • Winchester College Arts Centre
  • St Mary's Church
  • Royal Opera House
  • Calthorpe Park School
  • Charlie Chaplin Adventure Playground
  • Bradwell Common 2
  • Westmoreland Road
  • Leighton Crescent
  • Highgrove Housing
  • Olivetti's New Branches
  • Branksome Hilders, Olivetti
  • Minster Lovell Conference Centre
  • House on the South Downs
  • Garrett House
  • Camden Mews
  • Bartholomew Villas
  • Marvin House
  • Horder House
  • Bell Tout Lighthouse
View: Grid List
Date
2019
Region
UK
Sector
Higher Education
Budget
£20m - £50m
Client
Dudley College of Technology
Location
Dudley
Size
4,750sqm
Contact
Richard Pulford
Team
Speller Metcalfe, Derry Building Services, Fulcro, Cundall, GCA Consulting, IPInitiatives

The Institute of Transformational Technologies (IoTT) will deliver higher level (4+) apprenticeships, focused on specific career pathways, tailored to meet an identified skill gap and ultimately intended to drive growth in the economy of the Black Country and the Marches. 

IoTT

The IoTT will provide high quality technical education, equipping students with the necessary skills for emerging industrial futures. It will forge lasting relationships with regional small and medium-sized enterprises focusing on careers over qualifications.

The building will support three core curriculum career path areas:

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Modern Construction Methodologies
  • Medical Engineering

To enhance the delivery of these study areas, the IoTT project aims to create a common environment between education and the workplace, promoting mutually beneficial crossover and a flexible teaching model to suit both employer and individual needs. 

Integrated Project Insurance (IPI)

The IoTT is only the third project to be delivered under the innovative IPI approach, one of the preferred, alternative procurement models outlined in the government construction strategy 2011-2015.

IPI involves a collaborative working contract that sees all members of the integrated project team selected at the project’s inception to form an interdisciplinary ‘alliance board’, with all members insured together under a single loss-based insurance product.

The model supports innovation by aligning the team around cost, time and quality, promoting a culture of mutual trust, no blame/no claim and the freedom for decisions to be made on a best for project basis. The whole scheme will be facilitated by IPInitiatives who developed and own the Integrated Project Insurance product.

Client
University of Warwick, Jaguar Land Rover, Tata Motors UK, WMG
Location
Coventry
Size
33,000sqm
Performance
BREEAM: Excellent
Contact
Peter Inglis
Team
Buro Four, Rider Levett Bucknall, Arup, Turley, Buro Happold, Grant Associates

The National Automotive Innovation Centre (NAIC) looks to the future: it encourages the discovery and development of new processes and products – including green technology – and showcases advances in British design and engineering.

National Automotive Innovation Centre

The National Automotive Innovation Centre (NAIC) at the University of Warwick brings together academics, engineers and designers to develop the technologies and products of the future – much to the advantage of the UK automotive industry.

The building has been designed specifically to encourage collaboration, cohesion and cross-fertilisation of ideas. It is here that the latest technological advances, including reducing dependency on fossil fuels and reducing CO2 emissions, will be refined.

The NAIC will connect leading manufacturers and academic teams and attract the next generation of engineers and designers. It will help to address the shortage of skilled R&D staff in the automotive supply chain, and also support the creation of apprenticeships in vehicle technology.

Although much of the research at the NAIC is confidential, its creativity is on show in a striking building in a beautiful landscape.

Collaboration

NAIC's ethos of collaboration - explained in 10 seconds

The National Automotive Innovation Centre is all about partnership. It brings together the University of Warwick, Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), Jaguar Land Rover and Tata Motors UK, and is funded by the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund.

Working closely with all those involved was important in helping the client to form the strategic brief for the project. Consultation has been extensive: we held briefing sessions with each individual organisation, with all of them together, and with single and cross-disciplinary teams across the partnership.

Creativity

Video - NAIC fly-through

The National Automotive Innovation Centre serves two purposes. It is first and foremost a place for researchers, engineers and designers to come together across disciplines to devise new technologies and products. It will also be a showcase for advances in British design and engineering.

The building will therefore has two distinct but overlapping parts: an inner sanctum and a shop window.

Each specific activity has the functional space that it needs – and those different activities will be gathered around a space where collaboration can take place. Flexible research spaces over four storeys surround an equally flexible atrium space where people come together for demonstrations, meetings, breakout sessions or simply to socialise. Spaces are individually beautiful yet work collectively to encourage interaction.

Front of house accommodates the main reception and exhibition area with clear views into the Engineering Hall and café.

It is a clean and simple building. Its richness and quality come from its strong base, middle and top. The articulation of the façade strikes a balance between campus scale and human scale.

The building steps in and out to create a clear entrance and at roof level to form terraces. The roof is dramatic and gives a strong, consistent top line to the elevations. The edge projects above a continuous ribbon of windows, so the roof appears to float over the building: a metaphor of the NAIC as a unique coming together of academic disciplines and manufacturing companies under one roof.

An in-situ concrete frame allows a simple aesthetic, is robust, makes the building easily adaptable, and is an environmentally sound choice.

The materials – anodised aluminium, glass, glazed brickwork and engineered timber – are enduring and self-coloured. All project excellence in engineering.

Internally, the building is clean and white with glazed panels where appropriate. Splashes of colour and contrasting materials are introduced sparingly to highlight particular areas.

Climate

Environmental sustainability influenced the choice of materials and construction methods, including the in-situ concrete frame and Glulam roof structure, which is renewably sourced with low embodied energy.

The building uses the University of Warwick’s district heating network. A back-up heating system serves only the most temperature-critical rooms. The whole building is served by efficient mechanical ventilation systems and cooling is by a mix of ‘chilled beams’ and cool air through the mechanical vent systems. To reduce the energy load, the roof houses 1,900m2 of photovoltaic panels.

We have drawn nature into the project, supporting the University of Warwick’s Biodiversity Action Plan, by introducing local rare and endangered species. Integrated planting and habitats along circulation routes and gathering places is bringing people into closer contact with the natural environment.

Creative water systems add character to the NAIC’s setting – and provide an integrated storm water management system to respond to future climate change.

Date
2018
Region
UK
Residential
Themes
Creativity
Client
Private
Size
500sqm
Contact
Roddy Langmuir
Team
GNC Construction Ltd, Engineers-HRW, Couch Perry Wilkes, Eurban, Peter Gittins & Associates, Wilkinson Beven

Inside this new family home in Amersham: walls and ceilings are flooded with daylight, bedrooms look straight into tree canopy, living spaces open onto the mature garden, and everywhere are the clean lines and warm textures of the exposed timber structure.

Push-Pull House

The large suburban plots of Amersham, at the end of the Metropolitan Underground line, were set out in the 1930s, encouraging the idea of a daily commute to a sanctuary home away from the smog and bustle of central London. Today the ‘30s houses are fiercely protected, with any departure from imitative Arts and Crafts form and detail frowned upon by the local authority and its planning committee. We found a way to create a modern house by expressing construction and material qualities, and by pulling the house into three parts, cracking open the roof to pour light into the heart of the home. This is a house that responds to microclimate and its garden setting.

Before we had designed anything, we noticed that the family already had a favourite place in the garden, a place where the west sun swept round behind the north-facing frontage. By sliding the living room wing back into the garden we were able to catch this afternoon and evening sunshine.

Free corners frame views out to the garden, allowing the family to connect to their garden and the tall trees of the street. Daylight from high clerestories in the split gable design cuts deep into the central hallway. Glimpses of changing weather and sky follow the family as they go about their day.

Overlapping voids and double-height pine walls form playful volumes so the living spaces flow together, making for a fun and sociable home. Indeed, in the first few months of moving in the children have had more friends over than the last few years in their previous home. While the main living rooms allow the family to easily connect with each other, mezzanine floors create areas for retreat with views back over the whole. Outside, the house is grounded with a local brick base, beneath a timber and glass recessed middle, and a sweeping tile roof, in the true spirit of Amersham’s Arts and Crafts tradition.

Short film explaining the design ideas behind Push-Pull House

Date
2018
Region
UK
Sector
Health
Budget
£5m - £20m
Client
Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust
Location
Liverpool
Contact
Alex Abbey
Team
BuroHappold Engineering, Turkington Martin, Gleeds
Awards
Design In Mental Health Awards - Project of the Year Shortlist (2019)
Press
BD online (2019) BBC News Liverpool (2019) Liverpool Echo (2019) BD online (2018) Architects’ Journal (2018)

Our RIBA competition winning scheme for a new Community Cluster at Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool represents an innovative joined-up approach to the physical and mental health of children. It will bring together a range of clinical and operational support services, including Child and Adolescent Mental Health services, Neuro Assessment and Psychology Outpatients Departments.

Alder Hey Community Cluster

Alder Hey's vision is for “a parkland community for children” with the new building forming an integral and important part of the growing Alder Hey Campus, to provide a centre for excellence for Children’s health connected to nature within a newly created landscape park.

Our design creates a clinical quality building with a homely feel around a central garden; a multi-sensory experience for full engagement with the landscape to promote wellbeing. A range of spaces from large scale arrival areas to more intimate, calmer spaces important for mental wellbeing, will enable the visitor to have control of their environment to suit their needs. 

We are working in close collaboration with a dedicated team of clinicians to create the right supportive setting in this new building for young people who will really benefit from an integrated cluster of services.

Alder Hey Community Cluster

Alder Hey Community Cluster flythough - entry

Alder Hey Community Cluster flythrough - Winter's evening overview

Client
Royal Horticultural Society
Location
Chelmsford, Essex
Contact
Carol Costello
Team
Concertus Design and Property Consultants, Brooks and Wood Ltd, Smith and Wallwork, MLM, Couch Perry Wilkes, EEP, Jackson Coles, Boyer Planning, The Energy Practise, Dudley Smith Partnership, Adam Frost Design
Awards
Blueprint Awards - Shortlisted (2019) AJ Architecture Awards - Shortlisted (2019) RICS Award - Tourism & Leisure (2019)
Press
Architecture Today (2019) Wood for Good (2019) Architects’ Journal (2019)

The Hilltop Complex at RHS Garden Hyde Hall in Chelmsford, Essex, has undergone a major transformation with the development of two new buildings masterplanned and designed by Cullinan Studio. What was once a working farmstead for the site is now a hub for enjoying and learning about how we can nurture our natural world, and a space to inspire the gardener in all of us, furthering the Royal Horticultural Society's (RHS) vision to enrich everyone’s lives through plants and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.

RHS Garden Hyde Hall Hilltop Complex

The garden at Hyde Hall has been steadily evolving over 25 years, but was lacking key facilities, namely a dedicated education facility, a multipurpose event space and a restaurant to nourish visitors after their exploration of the extensive gardens. We masterplanned new buildings on the hilltop to house these essential aspects of the visitor experience. They comprise: the Clore Learning Centre, funded by the Clore Duffield Foundation; and the Hilltop Lodge, home to a new award-winning field to fork restaurant and new activity barn.

Every project has a wider context, and through our work on significant garden estates, such as the Royal Botanic Gardens of Kew and Edinburgh, we have learned that the seamless integration of buildings with their immediate landscape and heritage is fundamental to the success of a project.

At Hyde Hall we imagined these precise roof forms silhouetted against the sky, rising out of lush gardens and enticing you to walk up the hill. Once at the hilltop, you arrive at a garden framed by buildings which offer refuge and prospect. Each building plays a part in fulfilling a larger ambition to create a very special place that will leave a lasting impression. 

Concept sketch of the Hilltop Complex

Designed as a family of buildings which enclose and open up to the landscape so that it can be enjoyed in all seasons, it is a fitting location for the RHS to fulfil its long-term objective to inspire passion and excellence in the science, art and practice of horticulture.

As well as supporting the RHS’s expanding education programme by accommodating twice the capacity, from 5,000 to an expected 10,000 visiting school pupils per year, the new buildings create a landmark to draw visitors through the landscape, and a vantage point from which to enjoy the views.

The restaurant has been a particular success, overtaking the busy arrivals café in popularity, and even winning a Field to Fork Award for its delicious menu made with Hyde Hall grown produce.

Date
2018
Region
UK
Residential
Budget
£1m - £5m
Location
London Borough of Southwark
Size
286sqm
Homes
3
Contact
Johnny Winter
Team
Capita Construction Ltd, Mason Navarro Pledge, Norman Bromley Partnership, EcoStudioXV, BuroHappold Fire, 24 Acoustics
Awards
Sunday Times British Homes Awards - Small Development of the Year Shortlist (2018) Schueco Excellence Awards for Design and Innovation: Residential Development Award (2018)
Press
BD online (2018) Architecture Today (2018)

Three new-build apartments, set over four storeys are integrated harmoniously onto a tight urban site in historic Borough Market, London. 

Blows Yard

Blows Yard is the final building of the decade-long incremental and sensitive masterplan of Winchester Square by Cullinan Studio. 

The main elevation along Stoney Street to the west continues the rhythm and materiality of the previously completed projects; Pontifex Wharf (2014) and Evans Granary (2009). Angled, perforated brick reveals modulate the facade whilst concealing service penetrations. Thick masonry walls frame windows and inset balconies. Metal balustrades continue the style of and define the junction with adjacent buildings. Ground level railings provide visual interest whilst concealing a deliveries entrance.

To the south, the brick elevation steps down turning the corner to accommodate a terrace to a duplex apartment; a set-back volume expressed in zinc metal cladding. Green glazed curtain walling fins pick up on the colour and texture of the surrounding market. To the east, full-height windows direct views of Winchester Square. 

The apartments are designed to achieve Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4. Subsequent features include high acoustic performance, efficient water use and generous outdoor planting. 

The building sits above a restaurant back-of-house and substation at ground level. As such, the careful planning of building works was essential - including well-considered integration of services both from existing buildings and the new development. 

Context

Blows Yard is the final building in the masterplan for Winchester Square in Borough Market.

Date
2018
Region
UK
Sector
Interiors
Sector
Retrofit Workplace
Budget
< £1m
Client
Global Witness
Location
Central London
Contact
Aditya Aachi

Global Witness is an NGO which aims to uncover corruption through investigative journalism. Shared values of sustainability, ethical sourcing and employee well-being led Global Witness to choose Cullinan Studio to define a strategic brief for their future workplace.

Global Witness Workplace

We conducted wide-ranging consultation that cut across the organisation by using discrete methods of engagement:

  • Occupancy and anonymous surveys
  • Desk-based interviews
  • ‘Planning for real’ style spatial workshops
  • Visits to exemplar workplaces
  • Town hall style presentations to obtain buy-in from the whole organisation.

Consultation workshops were carried out with small groups of employees.

We asked the campaigners to investigate their workplace using a polaroid camera and report headline issues – making the most of their journalistic skillset. A central board was set up in their existing workplace to post photos and comments; an effective way of capturing candid information anonymously.

A kit of tools was given to employees to ‘investigate’ their existing workplace and ‘report’ back on issues and aspirations.

Information gathered during the consultation has informed all aspects of the design – from the overall layout and proposed work-settings, down to the self-finishing, sustainably-sourced natural material palette – creating a workplace that truly reflects the values of the organisation it serves.

Date
2017
Region
UK
Sector
Interiors Residential
Sector
Retrofit Workplace
Budget
£5m - £20m
Location
London Borough of Southwark
Homes
6
Contact
Johnny Winter
Team
Capita Construction Ltd, Mason Navarro Pledge, MLM, BuroHappold
Awards
Residential BREEAM Awards Finalist (2019) AJ Retrofit Award - Housing over £5M - shortlist (2018)
Press
South London Press (2017) Architects’ Journal (2017)

A Victorian fruit warehouse close to bustling Borough Market has been sensitively converted into beautiful loft style apartments, bright office spaces and a stylish restaurant.

16 Winchester Walk

Situated at the heart of the Borough High Street conservation area, the design of 16 Winchester Walk draws on a heritage of warehouses and wharfs, using existing brickwork, timber beams and columns, and reinterpreting original loading bays with Juliette balconies. 

A defining – but subtle – quality of 16 Winchester Walk is its technical complexity. Sited over a Scheduled Ancient Monument – the medieval Winchester Palace – the lightweight steel and timber structure inserted within the gutted building’s retained brick walls had to spring from unevenly spaced existing foundations.

Despite an especially irregular structural grid, the apartments at second and third floors, the first floor offices, and the Hawksmoor restaurant, are cleverly planned, resulting in generous spaces that enjoy the best of modern design – but also feel very much a part of historic Southwark.

Before and after renovation

Date
2017
Region
UK
Sector
Culture & Leisure
Sector
Interiors
Sector
Libraries & Archives
Sector
Retrofit
Budget
< £1m
Themes
Creativity
Themes
Context Collaboration Community
Client
British Film Institute
Location
London Borough of Lambeth
Size
130sqm
Contact
Carol Costello

The new Mediatheque at BFI Southbank is a free digital service providing curated storytelling of the National Archive Collections - from feature films to documentaries, home movies and kids' TV. 

BFI Mediatheque

The Mediatheque at BFI Southbank is one of nine across the UK; all promoting British film, television and the moving image to the widest possible audience. Our design for the remodelled Mediatheque is accessible, colourful and welcoming, improving legibility, transparency and inclusivity throughout the main BFI foyer. 

Large high definition touch screens and cinema seats create the perfect environment for both casual users and researchers alike.

The mediatheque is one of a series of related projects we have completed for the BFI, including the Master Film Store, which preserves the National Archives' vast and irreplaceable collection of nitrate and acetate film at -5 degrees Celsius, and the reconfiguration and refurbishment of their Conservation Centre at Berkhamsted.

Date
2017
Region
UK
Sector
Higher Education
Sector
Retrofit
Budget
£5m - £20m
Client
Fitzwilliam College
Location
University of Cambridge
Contact
Johnny Winter
Team
Edmund Shipway, Peter Dann Associates, Roger Parker Associates, Sharps Redmore
Awards
AJ Specification Award (2019)
Press
AJ Specification (2019) AJ Specification (2019) Varsity (2019)

We are delivering a phased refurbishment of the architect Sir Denys Lasdun's Central Building at Fitzwilliam College in Cambridge.

Central Building Refurbishment

Completed in 1963 this was the first university building which Denys Lasdun designed. He later designed student accommodation  for the University of East Anglia known as the ‘ziggurats’ and additions to Christ’s College in Cambridge known as the ‘typewriter’. Lasdun’s best known work is the National Theatre on London’s South Bank.

The Central Building is the social heart of the campus and provides the college dining, conference and social areas for students and staff to gather as well as for conferences, presentations and other ceremonies with invited guests.

Our refurbishment updates and refreshes this delightful building to modern use as well as improving the building fabric and environmental performance.

The first phase included improvements to circulation with a new two storey stair and lift core, extension of the servery area to the first floor for the new upper dining area and redecoration of the Old Library.

The second phase included the refurbishment to the stunning scalloped lantern with its pre-cast concrete shells, which floods light into the dining hall. The refurbishment included a new roof build-up with additional insulation, ventilators being replaced and the concrete shells being stripped back and retreated.

Working closely with the College, Roofing Contractors Cambridge (RCC) and Sika Sarnafil, through many discussions and tests we devised a pioneering approach to waterproof a complex shaped roof. The system combined Sika Sarnafil’s single ply membrane with large areas of its Sikalastic 621 and SikaFloor 420 providing a complete waterproofing building envelope solution.

The lantern now gleams spectacularly in the landscape, renewed and protected for many years to come.

We completed the project early, on budget and all involved were happy and proud of what we achieved together.

We look forward to the following phases and continued work with the project team.

Continuity

This project continues our relationship with Fitzwilliam College after our design and delivery of their Olisa Library in 2009.

Ted Cullinan trained with Denys Lasdun in the 1950s before setting up our practice. In 2018 he shared his experience of working with Lasdun at an event hosted in another of his buildings, the Royal College of Physicians in London.

Date
2017
Sector
Interiors
Sector
Retrofit Workplace
Budget
< £1m
Themes
Creativity
Client
Jerram Falkus Construction
Location
London
Contact
Kristina Roszynski

We worked closely with Jerram Falkus Construction to remodel their Shoreditch workplace. 

Jerram Falkus Fit-Out

Jerram Falkus asked us to create a new 'front of house' as a talking point for visitors and to provide a greatly improved working environment to support their workplace reorganisation. 

One challenge was to bring plenty of natural light and ventilation into a deep plan, creating a sense of openness and airiness. Our design provides a variety of work settings and uses internal windows to create connecting views through the offices, meeting rooms and reception area. This sense of openness reinforces their family culture and their commitment to wellbeing in the workplace. The staff kitchen and eating area opens out onto a courtyard garden for the staff to enjoy. 

Creativity

For the design, we drew on the background of the family construction company, founded in 1884, and the site's local history in Shoreditch. 

We used reclaimed objects such as the cutting bench from the joinery workshop which was lovingly restored and re-purposed for the new Board Room. 

Reclaimed cutting bench repurposed for the Board Room

Everyday robust construction materials were used to tell the story of their heritage. The design of the concrete and timber reception desk was inspired by old metal cutting tools and timber profiles.

Reception desk detail

Reception furniture detail

Local companies were found to design and make the lights and furniture and street artists decorated a large wall with graffiti art in the joinery workshop

Graffiti art in the joinery workshop

Together we have created a timeless interior with bold colours which we hope will last for generations, a fine example of the mantra "loose fit, long life..."

Date
2017
Region
UK
Sector
Culture & Leisure
Budget
£1m - £5m
Client
The National Forest Charitable Trust
Location
Leicestershire
Contact
Carol Costello
Team
Arup, Pulse Associates

Cullinan Studio, in collaboration with Arup, are working with the National Forest to realise their vision for an aerial walkway at their Conkers visitor attraction in Leicestershire.

Conkers Aerial Walkway

The 400m long structure - the longest aerial walkway in the UK - is conceived as a ribbon floating through the treetops with three tree houses, or eyries, at different viewpoints along the walkway, enhancing Conkers' learning activities for school children.

The eyries are designed to be versatile, functioning as covered viewing platforms as well as event and educational spaces. Big enough to accommodate over 40 children, the enclosing timber ribbed structure will be clad in timber shingles.

We have developed the design using our in-house virtual reality technology. By exploring the journey in a cinematic way, we have been able to fine-tune the structure to create a compelling experience, and, more critically, explain the proposals with real clarity to the National Forest and all stakeholders.

Experiencing the Conkers Aerial Walkway - flythrough created at concept stage.

The aerial walkway is one of several projects proposed in our masterplan for the Heart of the Forest which includes a lookout tower, woodcraft workshops, forest lodges, a lake and a boat house, green energy, extensive tree planting and forest walks.

Heart of the Forest Masterplan

Planning was approved for the Conkers Aerial Walkway in February 2018.

Client
Clarion Housing Group
Location
London Borough of Merton
Size
68,000sqm
Homes
804
Contact
Roddy Langmuir
Team
Levitt Bernstein, Proctor and Matthews, Strategic Urban Futures, Savills, Newman Francis
Awards
Landscape Institute Awards - Urban Design and Masterplanning - Highly Commended (2018) New London Awards: Masterplan and Area Strategies - shortlisted (2018) Planning & Placemaking Awards: Award for Stakeholder Engagement in Planning - shortlisted (2016) AJ120 Architectural Collaboration of the Year - shortlisted (2015)
Press
Planning Resource (2018)

Our concept for the renewed Eastfields Estate considered all levels of renewal, with wide consultation before settling on wholescale regeneration.

Eastfields Estate Regeneration

We designed the masterplan in collaboration with two other architectural practices (Levitt Bernstein and Proctor & Matthews) - with whom we share a common culture, ethos and design approach - adding richness and variety to the scheme.

Our masterplan turns the existing site inside out, replacing a monolith perimeter building with a series of buildings of varied scale.

The new masterplan has three distinct character areas. A hierarchy of through-routes, combined with a more traditional street pattern, allow homes to front onto a new green heart. The majority of family homes are located in a series of new mews streets of a suburban scale and character that lead into the site.

The mixed development doubles density without creating cavernous streets and light-less courts, but instead enhancing townscape qualities.

Client
The Hyde Group
Location
London Borough of Brent
Size
12,050sqm
Homes
117
Contact
Roddy Langmuir
Team
Bailey Garner, Brand Leonard, Max Fordham LLP, Terence O'Rourke, Turkington Martin, Barrel Tree Consultancy, Durkan
Awards
Civic Trust Awards Commendation (2019) 24 Housing - Best Affordable Housing Scheme - Shortlisted (2018) Inside Housing Development Awards - Best Architectural Design Finalist (2017) Building Awards Shortlist - Housing Project of the Year (2017) Housing Design Awards Finalist - Completed Building (2017) National Housing Award (2016) Housing Design Awards Finalist - Project (2016)
Press
Public Housing: A London Renaissance

Our masterplan for Spring at Stonebridge Park creates a new neighbourhood woven into the adjacent connecting streets.

Spring at Stonebridge Park

The masterplan is defined by key vistas, active frontages, shared social spaces and access to daylight. Its enclosing forms produce 117 homes composed with three distinct types of accommodation; a mews terrace, villa apartments and the rotunda. These wrap around a central communal garden and a diverted feeder canal that will run through the heart of the development. 

The apartments are a mix of 30% affordable rent, 23% shared ownership and 47% private sale.

The entire project is made of a single brick type which has lightness, warmth and strong texture. The brick is detailed to give a sense of mass to each distinct building type.

Context

Our design for Spring at Stonebridge Park completes the frame for two major existing park spaces and creates the opportunity for a third at its centre. 

There are three key vistas that suggest locations for: a landmark building (the rotunda) to address the parkland and prominent buildings (the mews terrace bookends) viewed from a distance along the main Hillside road.

The three storey mews houses along Hillside match the scale of much of the terrace housing in the area. The five storey villas’ mass is broken down into four individual villas, connected to each other with a continuous base of apartments at ground level. The rotunda’s circular form and ‘set back’ terraces for the top two storeys minimise its impact on its neighbours and strengthen its role as a landmark, with views along Hillside and across Fawood Park.

The orientation of the buildings ensures direct sunlight reaches the garden, across the smaller mews houses, from the south and west. Between the villas, corner balconies gain cross-views of the park and garden. 

Three Green Spaces: Well Connected: Key Vistas

Community

Spring at Stonebridge Park is one of the final projects to be developed within the regeneration of the Stonebridge Estate. The success of working with communities is built upon developing face to face relationships with stakeholders, through which we listen and learn and establish trust and understanding. As with previous projects on the Estate, including our Stonebridge Hillside Hub completed in 2008, extensive public consultation was carried out with local resident groups during the pre-planning period.

Our masterplan for the site creates a strong pedestrian link between the parks and between the north and south areas of the estate, with other routes connect residents to local facilities.

By accessing villa apartment cores from the north and providing through-access to the communal garden on the south, both building fronts get the natural surveillance and security that comes with an active frontage.

Walk-through (CGI) of one of the mews terrace houses.

Date
2016
Region
UK
Sector
Interiors Workplace
Budget
> £50m
Client
Rolls Royce
Location
Derbyshire
Size
20,000sqm
Contact
Peter Inglis

Project Genesis is designed to bring together – under one roof – groups and functions who are involved in the early stages of the Rolls Royce product lifecycle, many of them focused on developing new ideas and concepts in order to meet changing customer demands.

Project Genesis

Research offices in this 20,000sqm new building for Rolls Royce are designed as open plan, with the top floor as a continuous workspace where teams can create and define their own zones; allowing evolution of team types and sizes.

A winter garden along the south and east elevation contains the reception, exhibition and café, connected to an active landscape in front of the building which supports outdoor meetings, recreation and relaxation. The winter garden can be used for a variety of events, day and night.

Arriving in the winter garden you see a lofty, sun-filled space formed of a timber structure overlooked by meeting rooms. Generous staircases lead to the ‘Hanger’, the central collaborative space. Covered by an elegant large-span timber partially glazed roof, creating a column-free, daylit space below, the Hanger is a vital space kitted out with practical furniture and equipment to support a variety of work modes and events, including ‘town hall’ meetings.

Client
London Borough of Camden
Location
London Borough of Camden
Size
10,650sqm
Homes
115
Contact
Alex Abbey
Team
Ramboll UK, Turkington Martin, Quod, EC Harris, Savills, GVA
Press
Architects’ Journal (2015) Building Design (2015)

We have developed designs for two sites within Maitland Park Estate to provide 115 dwellings, a new Tenants’ and Residents’ (TRA) Hall and landscaping improvements to the central park. 

Maitland Park Estate Redevelopment

The Estate, built in the 1930s with successive waves of development until the 1980s, is set within a mature landscape. 

The Grafton Terrace site currently houses the existing TRA Hall and some dilapidated garages. Our scheme repairs the Victorian street frontage with a combination of four to six storey flats and four storey town houses. These will offer both social rented and low cost home ownership tenure. A new hall, with a dedicated community garden, will be run as an enterprise by the TRA. The centre will house a large, sub-dividable function room, bookable meeting/teaching spaces, and a cafe at its heart to provide a hub for locals. New boundary treatments to back gardens that front the park, as well as traffic calming works to the main road through the area, will enhance the Estate’s park setting. 

The Apsen House site involves the demolition of an existing nine storey 1970s slab block, a 1930s gym and run-down single storey garages. In their place we have designed a five storey courtyard building fronted with a five to six storey mansion block to the park. Here the tenure will be around an equal mix of private and social rented. The courtyard will provide a communal territory landscaped with cherry trees and areas to sit and play for the benefit of all the residents. Flats, stairs and lift cores open off this space to increase activity and supervision at ground level. 

The development is principally a series of brick buildings that share common details and forms across the two sites.

Date
2016
Region
UK
Sector
Regeneration Residential
Budget
> £50m
Client
L&Q
Location
London Borough of Barnet
Size
43,900sqm
Homes
387
Contact
Johnny Winter

A landmark mixed-tenure development for London and Quadrant in north west London providing a range of new housing, from studio apartments to four bedroom homes.

The Hyde, Hendon

We were appointed by London & Quadrant (L&Q) in August 2016 to deliver the detailed design of The Hyde, Hendon – a landmark development comprising 387 homes (including 139 shared ownership and 34 affordable rent) and 647sqm of community facilities and commercial space. These new family homes are organised in 11 blocks ranging from 6 to 14 storeys, sat atop of basement car and cycle parking, all united by a landscape based on the theme of reed beds in the local Silk Stream.

The project takes some of the BIM (Building Information Modelling) methodologies developed in our work with the University of Warwick and Jaguar Land Rover into our housing projects. For The Hyde, we have utilised our BIM capability to develop the design and to detail and deliver streamlined construction information. We have also used our BIM tools to aid L&Q in the production of marketing material in the form of visualisations and fly-throughs. BIM has allowed for clearer communication through the design process, as well as being a valuable tool in understanding and resolving issues that have arisen during the construction process. 

The non-residential element of the development has been designed to a minimum of ‘BREEAM Excellent’ to the shell and core, while a combined heat and power (CHP) unit and photovoltaic (PV) arrays will provide on-site electricity and heat generation for the dwellings.

The project started on site in January 2017, with the first block due for completion in September 2018.

Client
Royal Horticultural Society
Location
Salford, Manchester
Size
156 acres
Contact
Carol Costello
Team
Tom Stuart-Smith (Landscape Design)

Masterplan for the RHS' new fifth garden, bringing back to life the lost historic grounds of Worsley New Hall in Salford, including the restoration of one of the largest Walled Kitchen Gardens in the UK.

RHS Garden Bridgewater

Cullinan Studio collaborated with the landscape design practice, Tom Stuart-Smith, to create a dramatic masterplan for the phased transformation of this overgrown and inaccessible former Bridgewater Estate into a new public garden. 

RHS Garden Bridgewater Masterplan - image courtesy of Tom Stuart-Smith

The initial phase of the plan includes a new arrivals building, a car park with extensive new horticulture and the regeneration of the eleven acre kitchen garden which dates back to the mid-nineteenth century. Future phases will see the creation of a learning centre (similar in function to our design for the RHS Hyde Hall Learning Centre), a lakeside restaurant, a school of horticulture, a gallery and a grand glasshouse standing on the hill where the imposing edifice of the former Worsely New Hall once stood before its demolition in 1949. 

Axonometric view of the arrivals building

The landscape will be opened up and developed; new features include an arboretum, a paradise garden, a therapeutic garden, and the reinstatement of the formal terraces designed by Nesfield in 1846 with imaginative new horticulture.

We have been working with the RHS since 2013. At their Hyde Hall Garden in Essex, we provided designs for the Hilltop buildings, including a Learning Centre, Restaurant and Activity Barn, as well as providing masterplanning services for the whole Garden.

Date
2016
Region
UK
Sector
Interiors Residential
Sector
Retrofit
Budget
< £1m
Themes
Creativity
Themes
Context
Client
Private
Location
London Borough of Lambeth
Contact
Carol Costello
Team
Sparrow Building Ltd, Rise Structures, NRG Consulting

A Victorian terraced house in Brixton has been reconfigured and renovated to meet the needs of a growing family – and also to provide a bright backdrop for the client’s artwork. Light filled spaces have been opened up; another bedroom added in a new loft conversion; and a remedy found for persistent damp. The result is a unique contemporary home – but one that retains much of its original character. 

Artist's House, Brixton

Dusk view of renovated kitchen from the rear garden.

The Victorian terraced house in Brixton had been the family’s home for 12 years. Rather than move from a well-loved house and neighbourhood as their children grew, the clients asked us to create a spacious, warm, energy efficient home.

Downstairs, spaces have been opened up – bringing in light and reconnecting the house to the garden. Upstairs, remodelled bedrooms, bathroom and shower room – and a new loft conversion – are carefully planned to meet the demands of family life.

The renovations have an undeniably contemporary feel – composed of steel, concrete, smoked oak flooring, and rough plaster walls – but old and new are finely balanced so that the house’s original character is not lost.

Context

The challenge was to create more space for a growing family – but also to show the client’s artwork to best effect – without detracting from the charm of a Victorian terraced house. And all within a limited budget.

Ingenuity was needed to create a sense of light and space within the narrow plan of the house. The ground floor was opened up – allowing dual aspect views to the outside from the living room. Large sliding doors in the entrance hall provide glimpses into the garden. And large patio doors from the kitchen also help bring house and garden together.

Upstairs, bedroom and study spaces have been remodelled, with a new family bathroom and shower room. The shower room – with lemon yellow tiles – borrows light from the bathroom through a large opaque sheet of glass. Separate entrances to each allow both to be used during peak hours.

A simple material palette, exploiting the special quality of natural or exposed finishes, playfully balances old and new – and meets the brief for a more contemporary home in a Victorian house.

A consistent language of steel, concrete and smoked solid oak flooring is used, with rough plaster feature walls to the loft stairwell and the larger first floor bedroom. The existing chimney in the living room has been restored – but is now set off by a concrete hearth.

Exploded axonometric section

Creativity

Damp had long been a problem. This was tackled by using innovative natural materials to insulate walls and prevent build up of condensation. Calsitherm is a breathable insulation that allows moisture to pass through and evaporate, rather than being trapped in an ‘unbreathable’ insulation – a common problem when insulating solid brick walls in older buildings.  

The existing steel kitchen was re-used, but with a new floor – Mapei Ultratop screed with anthracite polished concrete finish – with underfloor heating. The result is an industrial feel.

A steel WC and black basin inject a touch of quirkiness in a compact below stairs WC behind a pocket door.

The new loft conversion is reached by a bespoke folded metal staircase - a slim 6mm mild steel was chosen in order to make the cramped stairwell feel as open as possible.

A large lightwell at the top of the stairwell brings light into this tight, internal space. And the loft’s large windows maximise light and views out to sky and gardens. Outside, the loft cladding is standing seam zinc rainscreen by VMzinc, with the seams carefully set out to complement the new window composition.

Also bespoke are the oak joinery of the storage space and a built-in bed that makes clever use of the change in floor level created by increased ceiling heights in the bathroom below. 

"We are enjoying the house so much that Chris now works from home two or three days a week. Rather than a house built for a Victorian family, with seven kids in one room, our home serves modern family needs and habits. We finally have a space that suits the way we live and move around. Selfishness is quite well executed in this house!"

Client

Date
2016
Region
UK
Residential
Budget
£5m - £20m
Client
Crest Nicholson Regeneration
Location
Bristol
Size
8,300sqm
Performance
CfSH Level 3
Homes
101
Contact
Philip Graham

Building 3a was the final site to be developed in our Bristol Harbourside Masterplan. The seven storey building provides 101 apartments with a mix of 34 one-bed, 50 two-bed and 17 three-bed apartments. 

Bristol Harbourside Building 3a

The site is bound to the north by busy Anchor Road leading towards the city centre, to the south by residential Building 4 (completed summer 2014), to the east by Canons Way leading into the masterplan area and to the west by residential Building 3b (completed 2008).

Building 3a, shown in red, within our Bristol Harbourside Masterplan

The u-shaped building is organised around a shared landscaped courtyard providing good quality outdoor space for residents and tying into the mews running between Buildings 3a, 3b and 4. With the exception of a small number of north-facing apartments, all units have a balcony or outdoor terrace. Glazed bay windows on the north elevation maximise daylight into the north-facing apartments as well as making reference to the bays of the historic warehouses on the nearby docks.

Planters are incorporated into balconies that will in time give a personal expression to each elevation. Timber decking and planter arrangements along Canons Way provide a buffer from the street, further green outdoor space to local residents and a concealed natural vent to the basement car park.

The pattern of blue engineering brick, laid in a vigorous English bond to frame corners and openings between blocks on Building 4, is repeated on Building 3a. As well as neatly completing the Canons Way elevation, it acknowledges the original Gasworks Engine House, made entirely of blue engineering brick, sited nearby.

Date
2016
Region
UK
Research
Budget
< £1m
Collaboration
Contact
Colin Rice
Team
HoloVis International, Hyde Housing Ltd, WMG (Warwick Manufacturing Group)
Awards
Employee Owned Innovation of the Year Building Awards BIM Initiative of the Year (2016)

Immersive Visualisation in Construction (IVIC) is a research project supported by InnovateUK.

Immersive Visualisation in Construction

BIMspace is the outcome of the IVIC research project supported by InnovateUK under the call 'Rethinking the Build Process'. Our starting hypothesis was that immersive visualisation techniques that have greatly benefited the automotive industry could be refined and transferred at a lower cost point to the construction industry.

Construction has never been more exciting or more challenging. As we respond to climate change and pressure on resources, performance requirements have increased (low carbon, resource efficient, inclusive design), but clients need their buildings delivered faster and for less. 

To optimise design, designers and constructors must work together as never before. BIM is helping the construction industry do that.

A short film about the IVIC research project

BIMspace

BIMspace is a collaborative meeting space where a large multi-screen set up brings multiple sets of data in front of decision makers, enabling them to make better informed decisions and streamlining the design and construction process. 

A BIM model is more than just a 3D model. The many dimensions of its embedded data - geometry, performance attributes, time, cost, safety etc - need a new tool to support their visualisation. BIMspace is that tool. It allows the clients, designers and constructors to make better informed decisions, reducing abortive work. 

BIMspace comprises three very short-throw projectors driven by a single powerful PC linked to servers, locally or in the cloud. Three hard wearing projection surfaces display the data. One of these has a proprietary infrared mark-up facility to capture decisions - or to use as a digital whiteboard. A camera means the space can be used for virtual meetings. 

A pilot facility in the Cullinan Studio office proof-tested the concept and is now used on projects at all stages and scales. It supports our day to day management meetings too. 

Our initiative has been tested on a live project, the new National Automotive Innovation Centre for the University of Warwick, Jaguar Land Rover and Tata Motors European Technical Centre. Since a pilot installation was set up on site in spring 2015, the BIMspace has hugely facilitated the coordination of the work on this highly complex £80M project being constructed by Balfour Beatty.

The IVIC research team: Cullinan Studio (architect and research lead partner), HoloVis International (hardware and software development), WMG (academic research partner), Hyde Housing Association (Initial Case Study Client).

"Any time if there is a significant issue that they pick up on site that they can't solve, they can come back to the BIMspace with the foreman and discuss it further, and if required we can get the design team involved to help resolve whatever issues come to light."

Peter Huttley, Design Manager, Balfour Beatty

 

"We can review what we have live built back in the BIMspace against what is in the model and we can do a comparison, which is all in that effort to get right first time, good quality, with the right client expectations and hopefully built on time, built on budget"

Matt Johnson, Project Manager, Balfour Beatty

BIMspace: Getting it right first time

Date
2015
Region
UK
Sector
Higher Education
Sector
Retrofit
Budget
£5m - £20m
Climate
Client
Queen Mary University of London
Location
London Borough of Tower Hamlets, UK
Size
5171sqm
Performance
Passivhaus EnerPHit
Contact
Alex Abbey
Team
Jerram Falkus Construction, Price & Myers, Long and Partners, HCD Group, Holtz Acoustics, Etude, Fusion Fire

The Queen Mary University of London School of Mathematical Sciences is one of the largest retrofit projects in Europe to target the Passivhaus EnerPHit standard.

Queen Mary University of London School of Mathematical Sciences

We have been appointed with Jerram Falkus Construction to carry out the refurbishment and extension of the Queen Mary School of Mathematical Sciences – a 1960s brutalist building.

Part of the University of London, Queen Mary is one of the UK’s leading research-focused higher education institutions. The University of London is a wide-ranging body comprising some 40 academic institutions and 120,000 students - making it the largest and most diverse university in the country.

The Queen Mary project includes retrofitting the external envelope to soften the building’s presence on the street and internal rearrangements to create improved teaching spaces. Mechanical and electrical services will be upgraded and a new extension will provide a lecture theatre and a variety of learning spaces.

Climate

The aim for the School of Mathematical Sciences is for the building to be Passivhaus certified, or EnerPHit. This will achieve up to an 80% reduction in energy use, as well as improving indoor air quality and reducing overheating.

The building will aim to achieve the University’s 40% carbon reduction target based on recent carbon data collated for the Maths facility in 2012/13. The scheme will also target BREEAM ‘Very Good’, with a goal of making it ‘Excellent’.

Date
2015
Region
UK
Schools
Budget
£1m - £5m
Themes
Creativity Collaboration
Client
Diocese of Clifton
Location
Swindon, Wiltshire
Size
1,915sqm
Contact
Alex Abbey
Team
Peter Gittins Associates, Smith & Wallwork, Cundall, Goddard Consulting, Beard Construction, Wild Design, Stewart Milne
Awards
Offsite Awards Highly Commended (2016) Structural Timber Awards Finalist (2016)
Press
Building (2016)

For Holy Cross Primary School we used cutting-edge prefabrication methods to deliver an energy efficient and speedily constructed new building.

Holy Cross Primary School

The single storey building with sloping roofs allows all classrooms to have direct access to covered external learning spaces with views over the playing fields. It also ensures internal spaces have excellent natural light and ventilation.

The school is organised by two profiled wings of classrooms connected by a lower central spine containing group rooms and specialist learning areas, top-lit with generous rooflights. The main hall, which follows the same profile as the classrooms, is accessible to the local community for use out of school hours. 

The features of the school which especially excite staff are the spacious reception area and children's entrance, the fact that each class has its own designated outdoor space and the general feeling of openness and light throughout the building. Teachers like the breakout areas and management enjoys the fact that a walk up through the building facilitates a snapshot of the school at work.

Tony McAteer, Headteacher, Holy Cross Primary School

Collaboration

This innovative off-site manufactured school was developed from a Cullinan Studio-led research collaboration with Smith & Wallwork Structural Engineers, Cundall Environmental Engineers and Peter Gittins & Associates Cost Planners, to respond to the Government's challenge to reduce cost and increase speed of delivery for primary school buildings. 

Using our combined experience in creating successful learning environments, we worked with national timber-frame manufacturer Stewart Milne, to develop a kit of structural timber cassettes and laminated timber columns and beams that can be adapted to suit both the particular requirements of a site and the educational aspirations of the building's users.

In 65 years of building I've only ever heard stories from my teams about how difficult it was to work with the architect - so it's great to hear how well you (Cullinan Studio) have done and how smoothly it's gone.

Alan Beard, Chairman of Beard Construction

Creativity

Holy Cross Primary School was the first opportunity to test research model; evolving in response to the brief set by St Joseph's Catholic College Swindon, Holy Cross School, Swindon and the Diocese of Clifton.

The design minimised costs while making elegant, flexible learning environments for teaching. The school is not only compact, energy efficient and easily and speedily constructed, but is also in line with Building Bulletin 99 space standards; not conceding to reduce teaching space by 15% as current guidelines espouse.

The modular timber structural frame is simple to fabricate and erect. A ground bearing slab provides support to the building with quick installation and minimal ground preparation necessary. The lightweight components are fabricated off-site, reducing site traffic and speeding up the construction process.

Date
2015
Region
UK
Sector
Interiors
Sector
Retrofit Schools
Budget
< £1m
Client
Rosendale Primary School
Location
London Borough of Lambeth
Size
234sqm
Contact
Kristina Roszynski
Team
RISE, Synergy, Peter Gittins Associates, ABS, Goddard Consulting

The Cherry Tree expansion project was a response to the need to provide more places for pre-school children in Lambeth.

Cherry Tree Children's Centre

The work at Cherry Tree Children's Centre was funded as part of the Government policy to increase the offer for early years places for two year olds.

The layout of the rooms in the Cherry Tree Children's Centre has been reorganised to provide a clear sequence, in order of the age of the child, to give a sense of progression. 

Rooms have been increased in size and their layout remodelled to provide a clear open space for a variety of types of play for an additional 30 children. The new connection with the garden, improved daylight and natural ventilation and upgraded building fabric means the retrofit will help to reduce energy use.

Context

Cullinan Studio was approached by Kate Atkins, Head of Rosendale School, to provide a strategy for providing additional places in the existing Children’s Centre.

We undertook a feasibility study to understand the organisation of the existing building.

All the rooms were small and had over provision of circulation with two entrances, two coat areas and a convoluted route for the children to the toilets which suffered from a poor layout for supervision, lighting and ventilation. There was a conflict of uses in the rooms between the children’s play areas and staff areas.

A room in the Children's Centre before reorganisation

Creativity

From our analysis, we proposed the youngest children were relocated from the front of the building to the quieter area nearer the garden. This allowed the Community Room to be relocated to this large space adjacent to the entrance. Further to this we proposed there should be a clear sequence in the layout of rooms in order of the age of the child to give a sense of progression.

We rationalised the room layouts and provided a single generous entrance with coat area for the children and parents. The second entrance was remodelled for a dedicated staff area with adult WC and kitchen area separated from the play space.

The Ladybird Room (age 2-3) and Butterfly Room (age 3-5) were increased in size and the layout remodelled to provide places for an additional 30 children.

The remodelled rooms, with new generous sliding doors, allow better connection with the garden and improved natural light. The layout has been adapted to create more clear open space for the children to enjoy a variety of types of play.

The access to toilets has been improved with an efficient layout and better visual connection for the staff from the main room. Natural materials such as wood finishes and rubber flooring have been chosen for their beauty, robustness and low maintenance.

Climate

A holistic approach has been taken to sustainability in the design of the project.

Firstly, improving natural light and reducing reliance on artificial light. This has been achieved by the remodelling of the existing layout, with a large sliding door to the garden. This creates a light and naturally, well-ventilated room for the children.

Secondly, by improving the fabric, with high insulation values in the new roof extension, the floor and sliding doors will help to reduce energy loss. We have replaced inefficient fluorescent strip lighting with low energy LED fittings.

Thirdly, in terms of health and wellbeing, the children can enjoy a better connection with nature in the garden and more space to explore and learn in the rooms.

Collaboration

We worked closely with an Artist in Residence to create the beautiful wall murals of the ladybirds and butterflies to give each room a stronger sense of place.

The children really enjoyed watching the artist at work and each child has their favourite insect.

The use of metallic colours on the steel post is both a learning opportunity and fun. The painted grasses are colourful and have different textures applied which provide opportunities for sensory development for young children.

Detail of the painted grasses in the Ladybird Room

Date
2015
Region
UK
Sector
Regeneration Residential
Budget
£20m - £50m
Client
Crest Nicholson Regeneration
Location
Bristol
Size
14,000sqm
Performance
CfSH Level 3
Homes
175
Contact
Philip Graham
Team
Gleeds, Arup, Hoare Lea, Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners, Sans Facon

The construction of Building 4 (Invicta) and Millennium Promenade completes one of the key elements - the Brunel Mile - of our masterplan for Canon’s Marsh on Bristol Harbourside.

Bristol Harbourside Building 4

Building 4 comprises three separate six storey blocks containing 175 residential apartments with a mix of studios, 1, 2 and 3-bed units and provides commercial spaces at ground floor and inlet level. The building interfaces the already completed buildings 9 (The Crescent) and 3b (Quay Point), with which it shares a basement and access. 

Building 4, shown in red, within our Bristol Harbourside Masterplan

A mews has been created between buildings 3b and 4 and a major landscaped set piece of Millennium Promenade is framed with building 9. Building 4’s main entrances to the three blocks and the ground floor apartments have direct and level access from the Promenade public realm to give a positive animation to the street scene.

The Millennium Promenade is an accessible green amenity to be enjoyed by Harbourside residents as well as the public, leading down to Harbour Square. The Square is designed to accommodate a diverse range of activities including art performances, markets, food, the Harbourside Festival and alfresco dining. 

Designed in collaboration with urban artists Sans Facon, Millennium Promenade ties together elements of architecture, art and landscape. A series of collection dishes, channels and rills celebrate the passage of rainwater from the roofs of the buildings to the harbour inlet. The water is used within a Sustainable Urban Drainage System and irrigates the landscape.

"Cullinan Studio were the only architects nominated for Consultant of the Year Award at the recent Crest Nicholson Regeneration Annual Charity Ball. This nomination was well deserved for their continued work on Building 4 at Harbourside. The team have demonstrated ability, commitment, knowledge and drive to assist Crest with bringing this development forward and continue to provide excellent technical assistance during the construction phase."

Gary Williams, Senior Technical Manager, Crest Nicholson Regeneration

Date
2015
Region
UK
Sector
Higher Education
Sector
Infrastructure
Sector
Regeneration Workplace
Budget
£20m - £50m
Client
Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council and WMG
Location
Dudley, West Midlands
Contact
Roddy Langmuir

As well as providing a world class research building, the new Very Light Rail National Innovation Centre (VLRNIC) will upgrade a disused rail route for use in the 21st century, helping to improve public transport links in the Black Country.

Very Light Rail National Innovation Centre (VLRNIC)

The VLRNIC for Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council and WMG (Warwick Manufacturing Group), will provide a world class research, development and educational centre focused on the creation of innovative very light rail vehicles, infrastructure and skilled personnel for the next generation of public transport solutions. We completed a feasibility study for the project in December 2014. 

Facilities will include a triple-height engineering hall, research laboratories, conference and seminar rooms and offices for 45 people, alongside public exhibition spaces, a cafe and an auditorium. 

The site is a dramatic one: a deep cutting at the foot of Castle Hill in Dudley, with the castle-topped hill forming a wooded backdrop. Castle Hill is also the site of Dudley Zoo, famous for its progressive 1930s buildings, which itself is in the process of regeneration. The rich public transport history of the site makes it an ideal setting for the VLRNIC. Brownfield land for many years and now overgrown, the site was occupied 100 years ago by the former Dudley Station, Goods Depot and Tramway Depot - key infrastructure during the industrial heyday of the Black Country.

The potential for Very Light Rail includes re-establishing the rail routes shut down in the Beeching era of the early 1960s: the Black Country would be the first section of network to be constructed with the VLRNIC forming the focus for the skills and knowledge for rolling out a national programme.

Date
2015
Region
UK
Sector
Regeneration Residential
Budget
£5m - £20m
Client
The Hyde Group
Location
London Borough of Brent
Size
12,000sqm
Performance
Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4
Homes
109
Contact
Roddy Langmuir

This mixed tenure housing scheme is the latest in a series of projects we have developed for The Hyde Group at the regenerated Stonebridge Estate in north west London.

Emerald Circus

The 109 flats are organised in two buildings that step up the slope from a quiet local park to front onto the busier Wincheslsea Road.

The southern building gathers apartments around a south-facing, shared courtyard whilst the northern building opens onto a garden space next to the neighbouring church. Ground floor apartments are entered directly off the street via a front garden space, bringing activity to all frontages. Similarly the upper apartments are accessed from a new, pedestrian Circus space that creates a gathering hub for the building as well as a new, public route for the wider community. 

Brick bays and recessed terraces create layered façades with a striking vertical rhythm designed to sit well alongside the terraced houses that surround the site.

The Circus is finished in a richly coloured glazed tile that unites the two buildings around the central civic space. 

Two buildings are united around a central civic space.

Date
2015
Region
UK
Sector
Infrastructure
Themes
Creativity
Themes
Context Climate
Client
Islington Council
Location
London Borough of Islington
Size
453sqm
Contact
Alex Abbey
Team
Ramboll, J&L Gibbons, Toby Paterson - Artist, Gleeds, Right of Light Consulting Surveyors

Bunhill 2 Energy Centre, the second phase of the Bunhill Heat and Power project, will allow Islington Council to extend its supply of cheaper, greener heat to local residents.

Bunhill 2 Energy Centre

Bunhill 2 is intended to be a demonstrator project to the other London Boroughs and EU cities seeking to make best use of their urban waste heat sources. It includes the capture of waste heat from an electricity sub-station and from the London Underground tube system via a heat exchange coil; the first project of its kind in the UK and one of the first in Europe.

The extension, funded by the Council and the EU, will involve working in partnership with UK Power Networks, the Greater London Authority and Transport for London to realise the benefits for Islington residents.

This phase, which connects to the original network completed in November 2012, brings in low carbon sources of heat to the residents of five communally heated residential blocks (454 dwellings). It is also seeking to supply an additional three new communally heated residential developments (a further 215 homes), a school, a sheltered housing block, a community centre and a nursery.

The scheme also has the possibility to connect to further private and council developments along the network route as they are built. Bunhill 2 received Planning Permission in July 2015.

Climate

Bunhill 2 is part of the borough-wide Decentralised Energy Programme to find practical and innovative solutions to tackle fuel poverty and carbon emissions.

The Bunhill Energy Project aims to help London develop a workable and replicable vision for how to evolve into a truly smart city. It will provide an insight into how district heating systems can actively contribute to the development of the future smart energy infrastructure that is required to maximise energy efficiency at a district and, ultimately, a city level.

Through diversified energy generation the network will contribute to the overall resilience of the city's existing energy networks.

Design and Access Statement cover - inspired by a 1920s London Underground poster.

The existing site

Context

A few minutes walk from our studio, the site lies on a prominent, but somewhat neglected junction to City Road; a major arterial road in and out of the City of London.

This intersection of three roads has become non-descript with the forlorn remains of a former tube station (opened in 1901, closed in 1922 and demolished in 1960), its ventilation shaft covered in advertising and fly-posters, and the utilitarian brick building for the UK Power Network sub-station. The shaft and sub-station are dwarfed by the adjacent 1960s, 18 storey tower block of Kestrel House and a number of surrounding towers - ranging from 36 to 42 storeys - currently under construction.

The new Energy Centre will be three storeys, matching the height of the existing shaft, rising to four storeys to turn the corner of Moreland Street and Central Street.

The Bunhill 2 site is next to the intersection of three roads.

Creativity

The Energy Centre has been designed as an assembly of prefabricated plant equipment, screened by a well-composed architectural cladding that will improve the character of this street corner site. 

Collaborating with the artist Toby Paterson, a simple palette of high quality materials have been carefully selected to provide colour and texture to the street-scape. For the ground storey of the energy centre we have selected black glazed brick, vitreous enamel steel panels in a lustrous dark grey colour and cast aluminium art relief panels, inset with small accents of colour. The art panels, that take their inspiration from the community, will provide an intriguing frieze that will engage the passer-by.

As well as providing a robust base, resistant to graffiti and knocks and scratches, the glazed brick and enamel resonate with the site's transport heritage, being materials commonly found on London Underground stations and platforms. 

Above this will be a composition of copper panels and, in certain areas copper mesh, both treated to remain a red/brown oxidised copper colour. 

Detail of the proposed perforated copper panels.

The plant equipment behind the cladding requires varying degrees of ventilation so a perforation pattern has been determined that ebbs and flows in response, providing variation and transparency to the facade. We have also created a pattern on the panels evoking a sense of the network of pipes below ground, whether heating or underground tube lines. This will move from small to large scale, as it rises up the building.

The charcoal shades, rich copper oranges, reds and browns of the cladding, and black glazed brick will provide a contrasting backdrop to highlight new vibrant plants in the proposed raised beds on City Road.

Date
2015
Region
UK
Sector
Interiors Residential
Themes
Creativity
Themes
Context Climate
Client
Private
Location
London Borough of Southwark
Performance
Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4
Contact
Johnny Winter
Awards
Blueprint Awards Finalist(2016) New London Awards Finalist (2016)

Pontifex Wharf - completed in 2015 - provides nine beautifully detailed apartments in a modern building that responds to the many layers of the history of London's Bankside.

Pontifex Wharf

The best of modern design shines through in Pontifex Wharf - yet it still feels very much part of Bankside's history.

Stoney Street retains its canyon-like character and the simple design of Pontifex Wharf's brick clad elevations, with deep set windows, and a colonnade, recalls the area's original warehouses and railway arches. 

Despite the narrowness of the street, the nine apartments - ranging from one to three bedrooms and including a penthouse - enjoy bright, generous spaces, each with a balcony and double-height windows. Every detail is finished to the highest standard. And these will be highly energy efficient homes.

Creativity

The simple composition and palette of materials - predominantly brick - used for Pontifex Wharf draw inspiration from the area's original warehouses. 

To maintain the strength of the brick as the major framing element of the elevation, a contrasting recessed metal clad panel was used to compose the secondary elements of the façade.

On the Stoney Street elevation, the recessed dark grey coloured aluminium panel is used to contain the windows of the apartments behind. The large scale of the double height windows creates a particularly distinctive elevation. This was achieved by the configuration of the apartments in section - which alternates entrances at upper or lower level in double height spaces. 

All apartments have double height space. This has the effect of opening up the interiors and countering the tightness of the street outside. Residents of Pontifex Wharf will enjoy generous, bright homes with high quality finishes, including polished concrete walls and warm wood floors. 

Each apartment has an inset private balcony providing a pleasant space to sit outside. Balconies have been carefully designed to balance both privacy and plenty of sunlight. Balcony balustrades - formed from powder coated steel fins - allow maximum levels of daylight and natural surveillance over Stoney Street and Winchester Square.

Context

Pontifex Wharf follows Evans Granary, completed in 2009, the first of four new and refurbished buildings proposed in Cullinan Studio's masterplan for Winchester Square, which is at the heart of a conservation area.

We wanted to restore the integrity of the urban fabric of a part of London whose history spans centuries - from 13th century Winchester Palace to the 19th century industrial architecture of wharfs, warehouses and railways. 

A thorough investigation of the site's structural history revealed layers of archaeology stretching back to Roman and mediaeval times. We designed a substructure that was as unobstrusive as possible within the Scheduled Ancient Monument of Winchester Palace. By using the existing concrete foundations of a demolished 1960s building, only minimal additional substructure was needed for five storeys of relatively lightweight construction. 

The modest scale and simple design of Pontifex Wharf reflects the history around it. The building's footprint maintains the historic building line - but we have set back the ground and first floors to create a new passageway through to Winchester Square, restoring a route visible in a 1799 plan. 

Bringing back this pedestrian link between Stoney Street and Winchester Square improves the permeability of the area and will also help enliven Winchester Square.

The height, massing, scale and materials of Pontifex Wharf reflect Bankside's historic character. The elevation along Stoney Street - with its brick clad façade - is supported on a brick colonnade, the scale of which responds to the brick arches of the railway viaduct on the other side of the street. The canyon-like streetscape of Stoney Street is retained. Deep set punched hole windows evoke the original warehouses.

The pavement on the east side of Stoney Street is very narrow. Entrances to the retail units have therefore been set back within the colonnade which creates a wider pavement.

Climate

At Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes, Pontifex Wharf will provide energy efficient homes.

We initially ensured the thermal efficiency of the building's envelope. The strategy was then to use low energy air source heat pumps and mechanical cooling and ventilation. The dual aspect enjoyed by most apartments provides good cross ventilation. 

Re-using existing foundations had significant environmental benefits - CO2 emissions associated with production, transportation and installation of materials required for piling were greatly reduced. 

Pontifex Wharf is entirely car free - and cycling is encouraged by secure cycle storage within the ground floor of the building for both residents and those working in the retail units.

Date
2014
Region
UK
Sector
Interiors Residential
Budget
< £1m
Themes
Creativity
Themes
Context Climate
Client
Private
Location
Hertford
Size
295sqm
Contact
Colin Rice
Press
Blueprint (2016)

A distinctive modern building – designed to complement the client’s collection of mid-20th century furniture – sits unobtrusively within a conservation area.

Hide House

Hide House provided us with a rare opportunity – to design a contemporary home within a conservation area.

The brief was to create a sympathetic setting for a collection of mid-century modern furniture. The house is an intriguing – but unobtrusive – addition to the conservation area. Although unashamedly modern, its massing and materials work well with neighbouring properties.

Designing the building as two separate wings – one ‘day’, one ‘night’ – creates both an outer courtyard leading from street to front door as well as an inner private courtyard garden.

The client also wanted a highly energy efficient home – so that was factored into the design from the start. 

Context

Although located in the Hertford Conservation Area, we successfully made the case for a high quality modern house that would add to the variety found in the dense pattern of surrounding streets.

Set within the existing high boundary walls of a long narrow site, the house is virtually invisible from the street. Its impact on neighbouring properties – rather than the streetscape – was therefore the priority. Designing in a modern idiom made sense.

The first objective was to minimise the house’s visual impact by keeping the bulk of the building below and away from the boundary walls.

Both the ‘day’ and ‘night’ wings of the house are set back from the site boundary – and only the ‘night’ wing rises to a second storey. This, and the chimney, are the only parts of the house visible to neighbours. Its slightly pitched roof feels contemporary but also chimes with the predominantly pitched roofs of the conservation area. Windows look out west over the house below, rather than over adjoining gardens.

The form of the building encloses two courtyards.

Creativity

Although discreet, the building has a strong identity.

The form of the building – with its separate living and sleeping wings – cleverly encloses two courtyards. The ‘day’ wing extends across the width of the site to define an outer semi-private courtyard – and parking space – across which the front door can be seen from the street. A gate and sheltered passage lead to a private, secluded courtyard garden.               

This protected inner courtyard has its own microclimate and becomes an outdoor living space – extending out from the living room through bi-folding doors. The courtyard garden is landscaped with a mixture of timber decking, paving and grass, with climbing plants covering its south facing wall.

Materials were carefully chosen to express different elements of the design. The outer courtyard walls are pale grey facing brick; white render is used in the courtyards to help good daylight penetration; and the upper storey has been beautifully detailed in timber – weathered to a silvery grey.

A palette of pale materials provides a calm, neutral backdrop to the vibrant colours of the client’s furnishings. A folded steel stair, painted bright yellow, provides a highlight colour in an otherwise pale interior.

We have maximised natural daylight into the house – while at the same time avoiding adjoining gardens being overlooked. High level windows bring shafts of sunlight into the house whatever the time of day or season.

Climate

The client had high ambitions for the environmental performance of their new home.

The house is super-insulated with mechanical ventilation with heat recovery.

The upper storey roof is wired up to receive horizontal photovoltaic panels which will help drive the air-source heat pump that provides background heating for the house. A log-burning stove is the focal point of the living room – outside, its chimney becomes a distinctive feature.

The lower flat roofs will in due course be planted, with all the associated benefits: greater thermal mass and slower response to solar radiation; attenuated rainwater run-off; reduction in urban heat island effect; and greater biodiversity.

Date
2014
Region
UK
Sector
Interiors Residential
Sector
Retrofit
Budget
£1m - £5m
Client
Private
Location
London Borough of Camden
Size
100sqm
Contact
Carol Costello
Team
Synergy Consulting Engineers, Cape Construction, DesignWild, AIS Ltd

A beautiful, warm, light-filled new family home has been crafted within a Grade II listed Georgian house.

House in Hampstead

Unsympathetic additions to this Grade II listed Georgian house since the 1960s have been swept away to bring a new clarity and coherence. A large, bright main living space – which belies the relatively small scale of the house – has given the house a new heart. Smaller rooms around this space make it work happily as a family home.

Spaces open into each other – and out into the garden. The delight of a London garden is enjoyed from carefully organised windows and also from an upper outdoor terrace.

Waxed birch ply and oak – all finished to perfection – were chosen to line the stairs, floors, walls and ceiling. 

The project has been shortlisted for a 2015 Camden Design Award.

Short film of the House in Hampstead

Context

Much of the original integrity of this Grade II listed Georgian house had been lost through a series of clumsy interventions.

Extensions to similar houses close by had aimed for a contrast to the existing style. We took a different approach and started with what was already there. We chose materials that were the same or similar to the original house: timber; glass; neutral-coloured fenestration; and off-white coloured rendered masonry panels.

With the massing and external materials of the new extension we sought to complement the existing building. Minimal changes were made to the front elevation – so nothing of its heritage character is lost.

We also considered the neighbours and improved their outlook over the house. The view is now of foliage and a sedum roof rather than a shed roof and lean-to slate roof.

Creativity

The house was poorly planned – with no real central living space or easy flow from one part to another.

We did not want to simply add on more living space but rather improve the upper and lower ground floors of the house in a way that worked with the existing building both internally and externally. It was clear that new part of the building would relate to the garden on a more domestic scale if its height were lower.

A bold new plan was devised. Using the pure geometry of a ‘cube’, we created a new large central living space. Smaller rooms opening off this space match the rhythms of family life: there’s a warm and welcoming place to come together in but also spaces to quietly retreat to.

Clever arrangement of the kitchen, pantry, utility room and cloakroom makes for a smoothly and efficiently run home.

A steel and timber structure forms the ‘cube’. The warmth and comfort that the client was looking for was achieved through a simple palette of waxed birch ply and oak to line the stairs, floors, walls and ceiling. We worked closely with craftsmen to ensure an immaculate finish.

The birch ceiling is washed with light from a continuous ribbon of clerestory windows. Other windows – and an upper outdoor terrace – open onto views of the garden.

Date
2014
Region
UK
Residential
Budget
£1m - £5m
Client
Jerram Developments
Location
London Borough of Islington
Size
1,150sqm
Homes
12
Contact
Johnny Winter
Team
Jerram Falkus Construction Ltd, Mason Navarro Pledge, Building Services Design

In 2007, we gained planning approval in a conservation area to develop our 19th century warehouse office building for mixed use - our design was to refurbish half the building into a new low energy workplace for our practice, and demolish the other half to build 12 two-bed apartments.

Baldwin Terrace Residential Development

In 2011, we agreed a financial deal with Jerram Developments to carry out the works. The refurbishment was completed in 2012 and the residential portion of the works was completed in September 2014.

Situated on a narrow south-facing stretch along Regent’s Canal in Islington, the 1,160sqm residential development is five storeys plus a lower ground floor at canal level, and one apartment deep to enable dual aspect accommodation. Our site specific response to this canal context is to accommodate a row of four duplex units with their own front door and living spaces at street level on the ground floor, and bedrooms at canal level below which are set back behind a garden wall for privacy and security. The remaining eight units are paired on each upper floor, with the two penthouse apartments enjoying south-facing corner terraces at the top

The new building was designed to EcoHomes ‘Very Good’ at planning stage. To celebrate the waterside and sunny location, the apartments are generously proportioned with spacious open plan living, dining and kitchen area.  A layered south facade of sliding windows and louvres will enable the residents to passively control the internal environment and enjoy the view, air, light and sun. Besides an energy efficient thermal envelope and solar shading, a ground source heat pump fulfils the renewables requirement.

Date
2014
Region
UK
Sector
Interiors Masterplanning
Sector
Retrofit Schools
Budget
< £1m
Themes
Creativity
Themes
Context Collaboration Climate
Client
Rosendale Primary School
Location
London Borough of Lambeth
Contact
Kristina Roszynski
Team
Synergy Consulting Engineers, Andrew Payne Interiors
Awards
AJ Retrofit Awards - Schools (2013)
Press
FX Magazine (2014) Building (2013)

Gradual refurbishment of a Victorian primary school in south London is creating a great place for children to learn – and making massive energy savings.

Rosendale Primary School

Since 2011 we have been carrying out improvements, within a very tight budget, to the Grade II listed Rosendale Primary School in south London.

In the first three phases, four classrooms were remodelled, creating vastly improved conditions for both children and teachers, and existing toilets consolidated into a single unisex block.

There is now better circulation and surveillance, more storage, and children benefit from a safer, brighter and more spacious environment.

Our most recent work has consisted of simple, cost effective alterations and a playful extension to the Reception Building to accommodate an extra classroom from Autumn 2018. The 'beach-hut' extension provides additional washroom facilities to meet the needs of the enlarged capacity, featuring a free-flow layout in line with current early years teaching ideology. The stage-set pitched roof facade provides an engaging backdrop to the facing playground outside - complete with seaside-themed sandpit - and supports imaginative play.

Playful 'beach hut' extension to the Reception Building.

Our holistic and sensitive approach inspired the head and governors to ask us to prepare a long-term strategic plan for further improvements, such as reorganising the school buildings, improving the playground, and exploring how to accommodate additional pupil places. The masterplan is helping the school to make the right decisions and supports its funding applications.

"Cullinan’s consulted all those who would be using the space – teachers, children and parents ... by the end of the project, they became part of the school community. We were astonished at the results they produced in the time given and hope to continue working with them for many years to come."

Kate Atkins, Head of School, Rosendale Primary School

Context

Rosendale Primary School was built in 1899. Unsympathetic, piecemeal interventions over the years had detracted from many of its positive original Victorian features.

We set out to rediscover the good environmental design of the original buildings. False ceilings were stripped away, allowing natural light to pour in from high-level windows. We restored the best of the original features, such as fireplaces, dado rails, teachers’ cupboards and wood flooring, making them relevant to a 21st century classroom but at the same time adding character to the building.

A classroom before and after refurbishment

Collaboration

Our designs for each phase of the refurbishment were tailored exactly to the school’s requirements. We began by building up a picture of a day in the life of the school: how teachers, pupils and parents moved about the buildings and used the spaces. We listened to them all.

The children told us what they liked and didn’t like – and they didn’t like the existing toilets. When we were remodelling the toilets during the second phase of refurbishment, they worked with an artist to create decorative wall-mounted ceramics for the communal handwashing area.

Creativity

A pragmatic and sensible series of relatively small-scale – and low cost – interventions is underpinned by a longer-term strategic plan grounded in a comprehensive understanding of the school’s fabric.

Our starting point was to make better use of existing space and create better places for learning. Circulation has been improved and congestion avoided by moving cloakrooms closer to classrooms.

Budget constraints precluded replacing two south-facing glazed extensions that suffered from under-heating and over-heating and – in attempts to reduce glare – loss of natural daylight. We built a thermal model to determine where the rooms were failing and then found ways to remedy it. We adjusted the size and location of roof lights, optimising daylight and minimising glare, and replaced glazing with high-performance, solar-controlled glass.

Also during the first phase, we remodelled four classrooms. Although the classrooms are relatively small, we created a sense of place by adding a raised platform in the corner of the room to be used as a quiet space for reading or group work.

The classrooms have new floors, a work bench around the perimeter of the room, with storage below, new furniture and concealed services. We have installed new insulation and energy-efficient radiators and replaced fluorescent strip lighting with low energy fittings.

A. Place for Coats. B. Accessible resources storage. C. Clear space for 30 children. D. Storage wall and bench. E. Interactive whiteboard at child-friendly height. F. Quiet space for reading, small group work and one-to-one. G. Solar shading. H. High performance glazing. J. High level ventilation reinstated.

During the second phase, we replaced existing toilets with a new unisex block with individual locked cubicles and communal handwashing area.

Each phase has been implemented during the school holidays, so that the school has been able to stay open during term time.

Climate

Our approach to refurbishment has always been ‘fabric first’ to reduce energy use. The phases completed so far have resulted in a dramatic reduction – up to 50 per cent – in energy consumption.

Redesign of the location of roof lights in the two glazed extensions allows daylight to penetrate more deeply into the room plan, insulation of the roof reduces heat loss, and solar controlled glass mitigates heat gain. A new external timber pergola provides solar shading.

We have repaired existing sash windows so that they can be opened in classrooms and reinstated high-level openings in the halls to maximise natural ventilation. New heating pipework and energy-efficient radiators with controls, and presence sensor lighting have been installed.

Children and teachers have said that classrooms are now comfortable in both summer and winter.

Pupils are directly involved in making their school more environmentally sustainable. We are helping the school to measure and understand its CO2 emissions using the low carbon toolkit pioneered by The Atlas Project, developed by Cambridge University’s Programme for Sustainability Leadership. The school is able to calculate its carbon footprint and work out a plan for reducing it. Rosendale Primary School appears as a case study on the Atlas website.

By working with the existing fabric and re-using what was there as much as possible, we have reduced the embodied energy of the building works.

Date
2014
Region
UK
Sector
Higher Education
Sector
Infrastructure
Budget
£5m - £20m
Client
University of Warwick
Location
Coventry
Size
750sqm
Performance
BREEAM: Very Good
Contact
Carol Costello
Team
Gleeds, Scott White and Hookins, Hoare Lea, Turner & Townsend, Turley Associates, Imtech

The combined heat and power (CHP) Energy Centre, located on the Cryfield campus at the University of Warwick, provides a vital piece of infrastructure to help meet the full heating demand for current and future campus buildings while reducing the University’s CO2 emissions.

Cryfield Energy Centre

The design expresses a rural, industrial aesthetic, responding to its existing setting. Interior spaces have been planned efficiently for the optimum functioning of the mechanical plant, but a pair of pitched roofs break down the mass of the building and are reminiscent of nearby barn-type structures. The roof is clad in dark patinated zinc and sits above a rustic red brick base.

The Energy Centre contains two 2MWe natural gas fired CHP engines and one 5MWe boiler, and has the capacity to house an additional CHP engine and an additional boiler. The heat generated by the plant is fed into the existing campus district heating network and the electricity generated is distributed using the existing campus HV network. Excess heat produced when demand is lower can be held in a thermal store and surplus electricity can be sold to the National Grid.

The building also contains ancillary accommodation, such as workspace and welfare accommodation, for a handful of maintenance staff. The design has been developed on a modular basis, with the potential for future expansion to accommodate low carbon technologies.

Date
2014
Region
UK
Sector
Higher Education Workplace
Budget
£1m - £5m
Themes
Creativity
Client
WMG, University of Warwick
Location
Coventry
Size
1110sqm
Contact
Wen Quek
Awards
Buildings & Energy Efficiency Awards Finalist (2015)

The International Institute for Nanocomposite Manufacturing (IINM) for the WMG was designed, constructed and completed in under a year using an innovative off-site modular system manufactured by Yorkon.

IINM

This pre-fabricated approach to construction has produced a cost effective and energy efficient research building for cutting-edge nanocomposite technology. Construction time, material waste and any disruption to the university campus were dramatically reduced compared to that of a traditional building.

Steel-framed modules with flush steel panel cladding were delivered complete to site and craned into place. The modules were arranged in a u-shape to create a double-height Process Hall at the heart of the facility, which houses the nanocomposite team’s manufacturing and research equipment. A perforated and profiled metal veil was then applied, slightly spaced apart from the modules, to unify the facade, establish the building’s identity and provide sunshading.

IINM is located adjacent the International Institute for Product and Service Innovation (IIPSI), completed by Cullinan Studio in 2012. 

Date
2013
Region
UK
Sector
Health
Sector
Interiors
Budget
£1m - £5m
Themes
Creativity
Themes
Context Community Climate
Client
Maggie's
Location
Newcastle
Size
300sqm
Performance
BREEAM: Excellent
Contact
Johnny Winter
Team
Schofield Lothian, Turner & Townsend, Campbell Reith, KJ Tait, Speirs and Major, Sarah Price, Mansell
Awards
RIBA Sustainability Award (2014) RIBA Regional Award (2014) RICS North East Renaissance Awards - Design Through Innovation (2014) Newcastle Lord Mayor’s Design Awards - Landscape - Commended (2013) Newcastle Lord Mayor’s Design Awards - Small Scale Winner (2013) Newcastle Lord Mayor’s Design Awards - Special Award (2013) Building Better Healthcare Special Award - Patient’s Choice (2013)
Press
BD online (2019) Architects’ Journal (2019) BBC Future (2017) The Architecture of Hope (2015) Architects’ Journal (2013) Blueprint (2013) Building Design (2013) The Observer (2013) Guardian (2013) Architecture Today (2013)

Maggie’s Newcastle provides social, emotional and practical support to people with cancer, their families and friends in a calm environment surrounded by nature.

Maggie's Newcastle

Maggie’s Newcastle began with an invitation from Charles Jencks to Ted Cullinan to design a Maggie’s Centre for the North East.

The much needed Maggie’s Newcastle opened in May 2013. It sits in the grounds of the Freeman Hospital, surrounded by trees and plants – copper beeches, cherry blossom, crocuses, wild flowers and herbs – that change with the seasons.

It is here that people with cancer and their families come to find support and comfort. There is nothing institutional about Maggie’s. Materials such as timber and clay tiles are warm and tactile. Calm, light-filled internal spaces – some communal, some private – open out onto a sheltered, landscaped courtyard.

Like all Maggie’s Centres, the kitchen table is its heart. Here people can gather over a cup of tea, chat to each other or seek advice from the professional staff always on hand.

"There is a tangible feeling of joy the second you walk through the door, and the way the building draws you in and towards the beautiful kitchen space – the heart of all our Maggie’s Centres – is extraordinary."

Laura Lee, chief executive officer, Maggie’s

Creativity

How creativity with the landscape brings shelter, warmth and joy to Maggie's Newcastle

Maggie’s Newcastle was conceived as emerging from the ground – so the earth becomes part of the construction. The earth contains the ground floor of the building. The concrete frame and footings combine to resist the inward thrust of the battered banks and support the roof – which in turn provides a container for the earth from which the new garden grows.

These two elements – earth retaining and earth containing – are designed as two separate structural systems. The base is formed from a 300mm thick reinforced concrete frame, with infill concrete walls cast flush with the frame and left internally with a smooth finish.

Above the insulated concrete roof, a series of interlocked precast trays form the upper level perimeter. The separate roof structure enables the continuous insulating wrapping of the envelope and provides an additional protective layer between roots and waterproofing membrane.

"It's inspiring to see so many people coming in to find the support they need. There have been lots of young men which shows the building is working in the way it was designed to do. The Centre has a wonderful atmosphere and having a Maggie's in Newcastle has just been such a positive experience for me."

Maggie's Newcastle Visitor

Context

In what was a non-descript hospital car park, there is now an elegant, intriguing building nestled into the natural environment.

A new landscape, responding to the changing light, trees and plants of each season, has been created. Maggie’s is surrounded by earth mounds that form a south-facing courtyard planted with wild flowers and herbs – which visitors can enjoy while feeling protected and enclosed.

A roof garden – with a bowling green and fixed exercise equipment – is reached from within the building or by steps from the grassy bank. A clipped beech hedge provides privacy.

The building is arranged around an L-shaped plan. The two wings of accommodation meet at a double-height library. A staircase – doubling as bookshelves – leads up to a mezzanine level with access to the roof.

Maggie's Newcastle

Community

Six thousand people visited Maggie’s Newcastle within five months of opening – unprecedented in Maggie’s history. Much of its success is down to extensive consultation with the community during the early design.

Consultation with heads of Maggie’s Centres already opened told us what worked well and where improvements could be made, in particular in making the centres welcoming and accessible for all cancer patients.

Ted Cullinan responded particularly to the fact that men had made up a smaller percentage of visitors to other Maggie’s Centres – so encouraging them to feel included became an important part of the brief. The design of Maggie’s Newcastle – including robust materials such as concrete, steel and oak, and gym equipment on the roof – appears to have been successful: more men have visited Maggie’s Newcastle than any other Maggie’s.

Maggie’s Newcastle would not have got off the ground without public support. Maggie’s is a registered charity, relying on fundraising events and contributions. Cullinan Studio has played its part. We provided models and drawings for fundraising events, and we also joined thousands of others in the annual Maggie’s Culture Crawl – or Maggie’s Night Hike. Thanks go to all our sponsors.

The Cullinan Studio Maggie's Culture Crawl team

Climate

The design of Maggie’s Newcastle responds well to the vagaries of the North East’s climate. A comfortable environment all year round has been achieved with low energy.

Sunlight absorbed by the roof is transformed into energy. The orientation of the building maximises winter heat from the low sun. This is soaked up into the heavy concrete mass and kept within the building by the thick insulation and the earth mounds surrounding the building. This reduces demand for heating, while maintaining a constant and comfortable level of heating throughout the day.

In summer, the high thermal mass reduces temperature swings, and windows open for night time cooling. The building is naturally ventilated and windows can be opened manually – so it is easy and simple for people to control their environment.

Contact
Colin Rice
Team
Ecobond (Cymru) Ltd, ASBP, Bangor University, C-Tech Innovation Ltd

A feasibility study for a research project to explore, develop and demonstrate new forms of construction to allow improved efficiency in the deconstruction and re-use of building components.

RE-Fab House

We collaborated with Ecobond (Cymru) Ltd, the Alliance for Sustainable Building Products, Bangor University and C-Tech Innovation Ltd, on an Innovate UK-funded research project on re-usable construction.

The RE-Fab House project explained in under 5 minutes

The RE-Fab House project employs standard continuous improvement techniques to the design, construction, deconstruction and reconstruction of a number of properties on an accelerated cycle.

Over the course of six years, five houses will be designed, constructed, deconstructed and reconstructed. The performance of each of these process steps will be closely monitored against a series of Key Performance Indicators.

The research project aims to:

  • improve the ‘whole-life’ performance of materials by developing the re-usability of building materials through multiple building cycles
  • develop procurement and material stewardship methods to facilitate this type of construction
  • identify product development activity needed to improve the recovery of materials from buildings in a directly usable form
  • develop an evidence base and set the standards and benchmarks for design, construction and deconstruction.

Collaboration

The RE-Fab House project will be driven by a cross industry steering group bringing knowledge and expertise from across the supply chain.

The RE-Fab House site would incorporate an Education Centre to act as a base for the operational team and as a venue for open and transparent dialogue with the wider construction industry and its clients. This would facilitate input into the improvement process as well as the dissemination of knowledge gained from the project.

Climate

New houses are being designed with low to zero CO2 emissions in use, meaning a greater proportion of a building’s CO2 emissions come from embodied emissions in materials and components used in their construction.

The reduction of whole-life embodied CO2 emissions is the primary objective of the RE-Fab House project. This will be achieved through the initial material selection and the increase in the amount of materials re-used through multiple building cycles. 

Date
2013
Region
UK
Sector
Higher Education
Sector
Infrastructure
Sector
Retrofit
Budget
£5m - £20m
Climate
Client
University of St Andrews
Location
St Andrews, Fife, Scotland
Performance
BRE GreenPrint: Excellent
Contact
Carol Costello
Team
URS, Buro Happold, Rider Levett Bucknall, Jones Lang Lasalle

The new biomass Energy Centre for the University of St Andrews will be in the former Curtis Fine Papers Mill site at Guardbridge.

Guardbridge Energy Centre

The Energy Centre, with fuel storage, will play a fundamental role in the University's plan to become carbon neutral by 2016. Renewable heat energy will be produced from a new biomass boiler plant at Guardbridge to supply the University campus via a district heating network.

The project forms the first phase of the University's masterplan for the regeneration and re-use of the existing buildings on the former paper mill site to develop a sustainable power and research campus. 

We have collaborated with the engineers from the earliest stages of the project to understand the spatial and environmental characteristics of the biomass process, including research precedents.

Market engagement was undertaken with a number of specialist manufacturers, contractors and suppliers for biomass boilers, pipework and wood-chipping plants to assist in the development and design capital costs.

Climate

The aims of the project are to achieve a step-change in the reduction of carbon emissions, control the University's energy costs, establish a green supply chain with local economic benefit, be a low carbon exemplar and to implement the Guardbridge Guarantee.

The Energy Centre is designed to a BRE GreenPrint Excellent rating.

Date
2012
Region
UK
Sector
Higher Education
Sector
Retrofit
Budget
£1m - £5m
Climate
Client
City University London
Location
London Borough of Islington
Contact
Alex Abbey
Team
Ramboll, Sweett

We presented City University London with a number of options, of ascending levels of intervention, for improving the thermal performance of their Tait Building in Northampton Square.

City University London, Enhancing Thermal Performance

Our feasibility study enabled City University London to review and consider options for thermal improvement to their Northampton Square campus in order to achieve their HEFCE commitments for carbon reduction.

The University, Drysdale and Tait buildings are a suite of buildings to the north of the campus designed by Sheppard Robson Architects using similar construction, materials and forms. They were built for City University over a thirteen year period from 1961 to 1974.

The Tait building, completed last, was taken as representative of these and after carrying out a visual analysis of the external fabric, we grouped options for improvement into low, medium and high levels of intervention with lessons that could also be applied to the Drysdale and University Buildings.

Schematic sections through the external wall showing different levels of intervention (low to high) to improve the thermal performance of the building

 

A thermal model was then built and tested, which established the reduction in energy consumption and carbon emissions for each option compared with the baseline, (existing condition). From this, the costs to implement each option against its life-cycle costs and associated payback periods were set out. Maintenance, phasing, interfaces with other planned projects within the University and any Planning implications were also considered.

The conclusion of the report therefore, set out a clear comparison for each option to assist the University with their decision making.

In appraising each option, we also considered how decisions made now could keep other options open for a later date. This is important when the benefits relate to an uncertain variable, such as the future cost of fuel.

Climate

Although the study focused on the technical aspects of how to improve the thermal performance of the building envelope, we endeavoured to present the work in a way that would be useful for the University in making wider decisions to meet their carbon reduction targets.

In order to do this, we categorised envelope types, (walls, roofs, windows) and identified key interface and junction issues. The performance of the linear cold bridges at the heads and sills of windows were also analysed as part of the thermal modelling. The study did not review any cooling requirements or detailed facade design for the level options.

We completed a visual assessment of the building to identify key interface and junction issues

Visual assessment

We appointed Ramboll as sub-consultants to carry out the thermal modelling, using IES and Therm software.

Integrated Environmental Solutions (IES) Virtual Environment software is accredited for assessing the compliance of buildings against Part L of the Buildings Regulations. A 3D model of the building was created and, using hourly weather data and information on the building fabric and services systems, a detailed thermal analysis was produced.

‘Therm’, (version Therm6.3.45 was used), is a thermal bridge and condensation risk analysis software. It was used to identify thermally weak points in the façade system options. The software produces a two-dimensional thermal analysis of the component and/or façade, and was used to calculate frame U-values.

We carried out detailed thermal analysis using 'Therm' on a 3D model of the building

The materials of the building fabric were included on a layer by layer arrangement, according to the build-up, with the thermal properties of each layer such as thickness, thermal conductivity, density, and specific heat capacity included. The properties of the windows/glazing were also assessed to include the thermal performance of the window frame, the reflectance of outer/inner face of the glass, light transmittance, and the G-value/shading coefficient.

To inform the model, information was provided by City University on room types, sizes, occupancy, IT and service loads, lighting and daylighting and an air pressure test was carried out to determine the building’s air infiltration rate.

We also carried out a window survey which was included in the model and tested options for solar shading to south facing offices as a separate solar gain study.

The parameters modelled were:

  • Annual heating energy consumption (Kwhr)
  • Annual Carbon emissions (Kg CO2)
  • Peak heating load in the winter (KW)

 

Thermal modelling data

Optimising the performance of the fabric is just one aspect of successful carbon management, together with how the space is used – including cultural and behavioural issues – and what energy consuming services supply the space.

The study focused on the fabric of the building. Nevertheless, we are very conscious that, when it comes to making investment decisions about managing existing assets, the problem must be looked at in the round. 

Client
WMG, University of Warwick
Location
Coventry
Size
2,335sqm
Performance
BREEAM: Excellent
Contact
Peter Inglis
Team
Jacobs, Associated Architects, Willmott Dixon
Press
Building Design (2012)

The International Institute for Product & Service Innovation (IIPSI) is a high profile building forming the final piece of the University’s Academic Square.

International Institute for
Product & Service Innovation

The building, jointly funded by the ERDF and the University, provides flexible, high quality workspaces that showcase the innovative technologies and processes taking place within the building. IIPSI is the third building we have designed for Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) and the University.

IIPSI provides a dedicated facility and support to regional small and medium enterprises (SMEs) based on the demonstration of new technology, new processes and new applications to enable the creation and testing of market leading products and services. SMEs are able to see and touch technology throughout the open-plan facility, co-located with the experts that are working to develop it. The building provides both interactive openness and calm working areas.

The philosophy of IIPSI is for the knowledge transfer and the demonstrations to take place in the whole building; next to the desk spaces are attractive break-out areas for brainstorming ideas, helping people think in a less formal environment about how they can actually take these product innovations forward.

"It was an absolute pleasure to work with Cullinans on the IIPSI project. The team took the time to understand us and our unique requirements in a collaborative manner, and was able to translate this into a cost effective building design which really captured the ethos of what we wanted to do...It is a great place for collaborating in formal and informal spaces, and has plenty of opportunity for chance encounters and great ideas to be formed."

Gavin Edwards, Project Manager, WMG, University of Warwick

Overview of the impact of the SME support programme at IIPSI - film courtesy of WMG SME Team

Climate

While the adjacent Digital Lab was our first north-facing building, the real challenge here was to design a south west-facing glazed facade without overheating. Designed to a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating, the building provides a comfortable environment with a low energy load in its passive state. 

We engaged the BREEAM Assessor as an integrated member of the team from the outset to advise on a holistic approach to sustainability. Getting the overall design working as hard as possible to make a comfortable environment with a low energy load in its passive state negated the need for expensive add-on technologies. This will have a beneficial impact on the energy in use costs, as well as life-cycle costing, through reduced requirements for replacement of M&E equipment.

The south west orientation of the building, dictated by the masterplan, added an inherent conflict between designing for best daylight and the level of shading required to deal with unwanted solar gain and glare. The double-skin facade consists of two glass skins in between which air flows and acts as insulation against temperature extremes, winds and sounds.

Section through the atrium

Date
2012
Region
UK
Sector
Interiors
Sector
Retrofit Workplace
Budget
£1m - £5m
Themes
Creativity
Themes
Context Climate
Client
Cullinan Studio
Location
London Borough of Islington
Size
785sqm
Performance
BREEAM: Excellent
Contact
Johnny Winter
Team
Max Fordham LLP, Jerram Falkus Construction
Awards
CIBSE Building Performance Awards Finalist (2015) RICS London Award - Design Through Innovation (2014) AJ Retrofit Awards - Offices Under £5m (2013)
Press
Building Knowledge (2017) Retrofit for Purpose (2014) Architects’ Journal (2012)

Our new canal-side offices at the Foundry demonstrate beautifully that retrofit can be as elegant and energy efficient as anything new.

Foundry

In 2012 we moved into our new studios after radically transforming a dilapidated 19th century warehouse on the Regent’s Canal in Islington.

Our brief was for a mixed-use development: half the building was to be refurbished to become the practice’s new low energy offices over two floors, with rentable office space above; and the other half demolished and replaced by 12 two-bedroom apartments. 

We have created a beautiful and efficient workplace for ourselves – proving that retrofit can be as inspiring as new-build – but we are also using our first-hand experience of running a newly completed building as a research exercise. What we learn from investigating how users interact with their building after handover will be put to good use in our future projects.

"The completed building’s new structural skeleton supporting the creaky original fabric defines a space that is both pleasantly bespoke and inherently of its place. The interior is finished with simple and direct detailing, creating a calm and unpretentious setting for a design studio that takes pride in developing an architecture derived from the art of construction and the understanding of people and place."

Retrofit for Purpose: Low energy renewal for non-domestic buildings, Penoyre&Prasad, RIBA Publishing

Context

The three-storey Victorian warehouse building that has become the Foundry is located on a narrow south-facing stretch of towpath along the Regent’s Canal. It falls within a conservation area and both the south brick wall facing the canal and the original timber roof trusses are locally listed.

Our design responds to the building’s canal-side setting and the listed structural elements that had to be retained. An added complication was that the south brick wall was leaning by 250mm from bottom to top towards the canal and significant structural works were needed to arrest movement.

The leaning listed south brick wall of the Foundry

Creativity

The first – and decisive – intervention for the retrofit was a response to the constraints of the existing building: the leaning and locally listed south wall that needed stabilising, and its double-height windows. 

The structural solution that we devised was to insert a steel frame that interacts with the original Victorian steel frame and masonry. This stabilises the existing building fabric, including the south wall, and also supports the listed timber trusses. 

Steel shear walls articulate the two circulation zones that frame the studio spaces. A horizontal truss, with intermediate supports, spans between the shear walls, supporting the failing south wall and creating a void against it. This allowed the double-height windows to remain largely as they were. 

The street entrance on the ground floor opens into a mezzanine level office that looks down into a communal kitchen and more office space which is level with the canal. The double-height windows – enlarged as much as possible within the constraints of conservation guidance – provide light, ventilation and views onto the canal. 

The first floor is self contained and open plan, leaving the assembly of existing roof trusses undisturbed. The first floor has a particularly generous amount of daylight and cross ventilation. This was achieved by cutting the existing north wall off at first floor sill level, and hanging a continuous band of glazing from the new steel frame.

Since moving into our new studios we have been gradually turning the small strip of dirt next to adjacent out building on the Regents Canal into a garden for the community to enjoy. We reused the worktops from our previous office to make benches.

Our 'guerilla' towpath garden received an Islington in Bloom Silver Gilt Award for 'Best Forgotten Corner' in 2017.

Climate

Tackling energy efficiency in existing buildings is critical. We took a ‘fabric first’ approach at the Foundry and it leads the way for low energy retrofit. Although new foundations were laid to support the south wall, the fabric was retained and almost 80 per cent of the existing building was re-used.

The building has been refurbished to BREEAM ‘excellent’ standard. This represents a significant upgrade to the building’s environmental performance before refurbishment.

The walls, roof and floors are highly insulated: for the north and south walls a thick layer of blown recycled newspaper was used. After maximising insulation, and providing as much natural light and ventilation as possible, we employed low energy technologies to provide space heating and energy generation.

An air source heat pump provides domestic hot water and under-floor heating. Photovoltaic panels on the south slopes of the roof generate electricity, and mechanical ventilation with heat recovery services the toilets. These systems are controlled through a Building Management System, and energy performance and space temperatures are monitored through an internet-based dashboard. 

Environmental elements of the refurbishment project

Open House London 2018

Our studios are part of this year's Open House London weekend. We will be open from 11am to 3pm on Sunday 23rd September 2018. 

Date
2012
Region
UK
Schools
Budget
£5m - £20m
Climate
Client
Shenley Academy, EACT
Location
Birmingham
Size
10,000sqm
Performance
EPC: A Rating, BREEAM: Very Good
Contact
Alex Abbey
Team
Shepherd Gilmour, Cundall, Planit, Lend Lease

Shenley Academy and Sixth Form is a large new-build school for 1,150 eleven to eighteen year olds, replacing the 1960s school building on the site. 

Shenley Academy

The Academy specialises in vocational education, in particular science and drama, and aims to promote stronger links with the local community.  

Shenley Academy, Birmingham

The Academy is organised around six learning centres which are designed to be as flexible and adaptable as possible. At the heart of each cluster is a social learning zone, which is open to general circulation. Here the classrooms have glazed walls that give a sense of openness and enrich the experience of walking through the building. The dedicated Sixth Form area overlooks an external dining court. 

The theatre and dance spaces are conveniently located in the central wing, adjacent the main entrance, to ease access for members of the local community. 

First Floor Plan

The 9.2Ha site falls dramatically over 30m from the south to the north. The new three storey building runs along the contour of the hill presenting itself as a long and low building that addresses the large landscape to the north. The facade design uses the length of the building to establish a rhythm of projecting and recessed bays, with the entrance bay set further back to give it a greater significance. On the south facade the hill is dug away to form a theatre court with terraced seating. 

"Staff, students and their parents, and members of the wider community, have all praised the impressive statement the building makes in the landscape, and the many impressive internal features...but most importantly it functions well as a busy secondary school built within the space constraints of BB98. It is testament to the way the students have reacted to their new accommodation that one year on, the building looks as pristine as it did on opening – it is a building of which they are justifiably proud."

David Firman, Capital Project Manager, Shenley Academy

Context

Shenley Academy could be likened to a large country house sitting in its own grounds.

The area to the north is conceived as parkland with criss-crossing long paths through grass, and large trees.

To reinforce the presence of the main entrance, a raised forecourt responds to the geometry of the recessed central bay. This forecourt, at the same level of the ground floor, projects forward to gather students arriving on foot or by bus. As the ground falls away, this projecting area forms a strong landscape element helping to locate the building on the site. 

On the south side, the hill is dug away to form the theatre court with terraced seating and the dining court.

Site Plan

Climate

A biomass boiler efficiently heats the building and provides hot water, helping the School to achieve a BREEAM ‘Very Good’ rating and an ‘A’ EPC rating.

Client
British Film Institute
Location
Warwickshire
Size
3,000sqm
Performance
BREEAM: Excellent
Contact
Carol Costello
Team
Buro Four, W H Stephens, Curtins Consulting, Couch Perry Wilkes, Arcadis, Pres Tech, Gilbert Ash NI
Awards
MADE20 Awards (2013) Sustain’ Magazine Award for Design & Architecture (2013) AIA UK Excellence in Design Awards - Commendation (2012) RIBA Regional Building of the Year (2012) RIBA Award (2012) BCI Awards Building Project of the Year (£3m to £50m) - Highly Commended (2012)
Press
Architects’ Journal (2011) Blueprint (2011) The Engineer (2011) Building (2011) Building4Change (2011) The Independent (2011) Architecture Today (2011) Earth Times (2011) BBC News (2011) The Guardian (2011)

The BFI National Archives’ vast and irreplaceable collection of nitrate and acetate film is now preserved for the future in the pioneering Master Film Store.

BFI Master Film Store

The British Film Institute (BFI) National Archives go back to the birth of film and are the most significant film and television collection in the world. Without proper storage conditions, however, fragile and unstable nitrate and acetate film risked being lost forever.

The entire master film collection – over 450,000 canisters – is now safely stored in the BFI Master Film Store in closely controlled environmental conditions.

Not only have the challenges of creating the cold and dry environment needed for the protection of highly flammable film been met – but we’ve achieved this in a highly energy efficient way.

The BFI’s reputation as world leaders in the preservation of the moving image is secured and future generations will now be able to enjoy the unique record of British culture, history and identity offered by its collections. 

 

"The Master Film Store has radically improved the conditions in which a large portion of the Nation's Film Collection is stored and will preserve this vital part of our shared cultural heritage...The Master Film Store has set a new benchmark for safe and sustainable storage within the international film archiving community."

Sarah-Jane Lucas, Head of Strategic Projects, BFI

Collaboration

Storing a vast amount of film in optimal conditions for the next 50 years and beyond in a sustainable way meant looking for new technical solutions.

This was only possible through intense research, consultation and collaboration with the British Film Institute archive team, international film experts and engineers. With the best and latest thinking on film preservation, what we arrived at for the Master Film Store has set a new international standard for the storage of film.

Layout of acetate and nitrate film cells

Creativity

A radical approach was needed to reach the right solution for the BFI Master Film Store. The collection is huge: 268,380 cans of acetate film, much of it at risk from ‘vinegar syndrome’, and 190,080 cans of nitrate film with a very low ignition temperature and fast burning rate.

Rigorous analysis, detailing and quality control were carried out to ensure the sub-zero temperature, low humidity and fire prevention required for the film’s preservation.

Although the building form is quite simple – 30 identical vaults for nitrate film and six vaults for acetate film – the specification required an extremely low air leakage rate to maximise performance. It also has to withstand intense heat in the unlikely event of a nitrate film fire.

The Master Film Store surpasses anything that has gone before in archive design. Airtightness test results were 97 per cent better than even an exemplar low energy building; and the analysis of how a nitrate fire would behave, and how the building could be constructed to prevent the spread of fire, broke new ground.

The vaults keep the film at -5°C and at 35 per cent relative humidity. The fabric and services enable this environment to be maintained in an energy efficient way.

The building performs its function in an elegantly composed structure. The long elevations are articulated with large stainless steel over-pressure panels and concrete fire shrouds to the 30 cells for nitrate film. The stainless steel panels open in the unlikely event of fire to allow a clean burn and the pre-cast shrouds prevent heat spreading to adjacent cells.

The front and rear of the building house plant rooms, offices and workshops that did not require such a high performing envelope. These are clad in stainless steel sinusoidal cladding, reminiscent of Warwickshire’s agricultural buildings.

"The archive could have been a serviceable oblong of concrete bunkers equating form with function - but this is more ambitious. In plan, elevations and material detailing, the Archive's design draws from both a stripped down industrial modernism, yet also radiates a very particular kind of 21st century finesse and environmental efficiency."

RIBA Regional Award Panel

Climate

The Master Film Store has achieved a BREEAM ‘excellent’ rating, both for its passive energy saving design and also the ecological features that enhance its rural site.

The BFI now has vastly improved film storage conditions – but also significantly lower energy costs. The Master Film Store will save over £330,000 in annual energy costs and over 1,500 tonnes of carbon compared with initial options for refurbishing the BFI’s existing archive buildings to the same environmental conditions; and over £78,000 and 386 tonnes of carbon compared to a 2006 Building Regulations compliant building.

Sedum and 21 species of wild flowers cover the roof, a wild flower meadow has been planted and linear swales built in the landscape provide a sustainable draining system.

Site plan

Date
2011
Region
MENA
Sector
Culture & Leisure
Client
Birzeit University
Location
West Bank, Palestine
Size
8,000sqm
Contact
Roddy Langmuir
Team
Buro Happold, Gross Max, Amara Architects

Just north of Ramallah on the campus of Birzeit University, our design for the Palestine Museum makes connections between the people from the archipelago of island communities in Palestine, their culture and their land.

Palestinian Museum

The new museum is a cultural compass organised along two axes that symbolise Palestine as the home of ancient civilisation, the ‘Jericho’ Axis, and Palestine as the spiritual home of 3 world religions - the ‘Jerusalem’ axis. Visitors will approach the museum along these routes from the crown of the hill and from the heart of the University respectively.

The museum buildings rise like interconnected Throne Villages from the terraced landscape. Alcoves, stairs and more intimate galleries are built into the thick walls formed of rough-cast, dry-mix mass concrete that is coloured in stratified layers using the subtle differences found in the regional limestones. These perimeter spaces are gathered around flexible, covered courts - and the stairs continue up to interpretative roof gardens taking the visitor back to their car via wonderful views of the surrounding hills and the distant Mediterranean.

The museum is both a meeting place and a melting-pot, a place for cultural discourse and exchange, designed to celebrate the achievements and confidence of its people.

Early sketch idea for the Palestinian Museum

Date
2011
Region
UK
Sector
Retrofit Schools
Budget
£5m - £20m
Client
Newham BSF/Laing O'Rourke
Location
London Borough of Newham
Team
Aecom, Hoare Lea, DBK Coyne Adams, RPS, Plincke, Laing O'Rourke

Cullinan Studio provided full architectural services from inception to completion for the extensive remodelling of Forest Gate Community School, as part of the London Borough Newham’s Building Schools for the Future Programme.

Forest Gate Community School

Our approach was to switch the main entrance from the north to the south of site where a new entrance building, incorporating a new four court sports hall, acts as an extension of the shop frontage of the Town Centre. The new building helps to advertise the school’s services to the local community and beyond, and strengthens the school’s specialist status in Business and Enterprise with an Enterprise Cafe and conference suite.

The former Community Learning Centre at the heart of the school has been converted into a fantastic open plan breakout space, creating a stimulating learning and performance zone over two levels. Next to the break out space is a new passenger lift and staircase, improving access, circulation and way-finding. The new facilities of the community school can be accessed and securely zoned for community use after hours.

The refurbishment of the existing buildings brings classroom sizes and circulation up to current guidance where possible. The school was able to function whilst construction took place with a process of decanting, by firstly converting two levels of existing gymnasia into classrooms.

"The school environment has been changed immeasurably and both students and staff are now reaping the benefits of our renewed and modernised surroundings. I found all of the design and construction team to be highly professional and attuned to the school environment and greatly appreciated that they recognised educational coninuity as a priority and not as a barrier to construction".

Peter Mellon, Business Manager, Forest Gate Community School

Client
ODAC
Location
Green Mountain Region, Libya
Size
1,500 Ha
Contact
Roddy Langmuir
Team
Libyan Engineering Office, Ramboll UK, Al Mada Engineering Consultants, Element Energy, Hyland Edgar Driver, Space Syntax

In the north of Libya, over two years, Cullinans worked on the masterplan of a new, carbon neutral garden city of Shahat.

Shahat Garden City

The existing town of Shahat is located in the renowned Green Mountain region in eastern Libya, only a few kilometres south of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the ancient city of Cyrene. The new, mixed-use development would create homes for 60,000 people over the 1500-hectare site, with connections to the existing town emphasised by carefully planned road links.

Dense neighbourhood centres would be achieved through an abundance of mixed use and adaptable buildings that would allow for growth and change according to commercial and social pressures, with new civic buildings, a university and a central botanical garden. A prototype design was proposed that could be applied to form over eighty new kindergartens and primary and secondary schools, with hilltop centres to be surrounded by rural smallholdings and wadi farms to help integrate the farming culture of the local community into the new masterplan.

The masterplan created a design for low-carbon living through walk-able neighbourhoods, shaded streets, natural cooling and low-energy buildings, wind farms and solar power fields, as well as a better urban environment.

Context

Shahat Garden City - Madinat Hadaek Shahat - is located in Libya’s Green Mountain Region - al Jabel al Akhdar - which is a 270km mile stretch of coastline with a moist and cool climate. The terrain is green with good agricultural land in the wadis and abundant scrub in more exposed areas, with areas of low woodland hosting abundant and often unique plant and animal life, as well as concealing many archaeological secrets yet to be discovered in their entirety.

The Shahat Garden City masterplan has been formed from a deep understanding of what is already there: the incredibly rich and important archaeology and unique biodiversity, but also fragile agriculture, complex topography, modern infrastructure and a diversifying economy.

The masterplan aims to provide a well-connected network of streets and spaces that ensure the long-term economic, social and environmental sustainability of the development. Walking is encouraged to reduce vehicular trips by providing easy access to social and economic infrastructure for both inhabitants and visitors. A hierarchy of movement would be encouraged by controlling permeability and concentrating pedestrian and vehicle movement and activity through key public space to make better neighbourbood centres. Carefully located neighbourhood-specific land uses would ensure that all spaces are well-used, well loved, and have a character that provides a clear identity for both residents and visitors.

Community

The masterplan aims to deliver houses where people love to live, framing streets in which people feel safe and a complete environment where people can choose between privacy and community through homes in which they have pride and feel real ownership.

The landscape can provide many economically productive uses, led by agriculture, but also including forestry, tourism, quarrying, energy generation and waste management. Wherever possible these would minimise the use of resources and encourage the use of local materials. Neighbourhoods are purposefully designed to avoid areas of existing farming and create opportunities for ‘small holdings’ or small orchards, pastures and arable land, generating businesses and a productive landscape edge.

Climate

The ‘Garden City’ would bring together the idea of a sustainable town within a landscape for all, following the aspiration of the Cyrene Declaration. A network of paths and a hierarchy of forests, green spaces, shade, shelter, gardens, agriculture, street trees and native flora would create an integrated ecosystem. Through landscape, sustainable economies would be ensured for the future, connecting Shahat Garden City to the landscape of the Green Mountain and linking into the tourism potential of nearby Cyrene.

A botanical garden at the heart of the town would preserve a biodiversity of international importance, with green corridors protecting the habitats and passage of endangered animals and reptiles.

To ensure a pedestrian-friendly masterplan and therefore reduce dependence on the car, neighbourhood centres are set 1000m apart so that every resident is within 500km; a 5 minute walk.

The masterplan incorporates a wind farm and extensive photovoltaic solar fields.

Client
Royal Botanic Gardens Kew
Location
London
Size
5,000sqm
Performance
BREEAM: Excellent
Contact
Carol Costello
Team
Fanshawe, Buro Happold, Atelier Ten, Willmott Dixon, Chris Blandford Associates
Awards
RIBA Award (2011)
Press
Indesign (2011) Building (2011) Blueprint (2011) fc&a (2011)

The new Herbarium, Library, Art and Archives wing provides excellent conditions for the priceless collection of dried plant specimens and rare botanical books and illustrations at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew. 

Kew Herbarium, Library, Art and Archives Wing

The new Herbarium, Library, Art and Archives wing secures the status of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew as the world leader for the study of plant diversity and conservation. Climate-controlled vaults safeguard existing and future collections of herbarium specimens, rare botanical books, illustrations and archives.

It has also created opportunities for more people to make the most of its unique resources. A condition for funding for the new Herbarium – as part of a World Heritage Site – was to open the collections up to a wider audience.

There are now large rooms for research and collaboration and a reading room open to the public by appointment. A new entrance with a generous reception area, facilities for school groups, and a dedicated space for visiting researchers all attract and encourage visitors.

The new Herbarium is a beautiful, modern building and its curving forms sit sympathetically with a listed building and the magnificent trees on the bank of the River Thames. 

"I think that the overall design is fitting for its surroundings: it is contemporary yet still fits in beautifully with the original building … I love the curvy, modern design for what is essentially a large storage area. It makes a fantastic place to work in."

Fiona Bradley, Head of Media and Publications, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew

Context

The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew is a World Heritage Site and great care was taken to respond sensitively to existing buildings and protected trees along the River Thames.

The palette of materials chosen not only complements the old buildings but also meets the functional requirements of the highly controlled environment needed for storing the collections.

Taking inspiration from both Kew Palace and the rubbed red bricks of the old Herbarium wing’s lintels and quoins, a fiery red brick clads the vaults holding the collections. The new building is linked to the old by a timber and glass drum, which houses a circular reading room, and the ground floor reception area is entered through a newly created south-facing courtyard.

New office space on the top floor of the building includes a roof terrace and enjoys beautiful views over the River Thames.

Collaboration

A site of this sensitivity and importance called for detailed negotiation and consultation – including with the World Heritage Steering Committee and English Heritage.

The design was developed closely with those involved with the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew: the botanists themselves, as well as librarians and the publishing, IT and estates departments.

A detailed brief was taken to design specialist spaces for different users – and this included planning furniture and equipment layouts as well as selecting and designing special furniture.

Creativity

The concept for the new Herbarium emerged from a contrast: a massive climate-controlled enclosure, and light and airy spaces for scientists working close to the collections.

The solution is a three storey brick-clad vault with undulating glass and timber-clad research areas around it. Specimens are stored in the cool, dark vault – kept at a constant 15°C – and brought out into day-lit rooms to be studied. The vaults required a massive concrete structure both for its strength and thermal qualities.

Brick, cedar and a pale bronze aluminium curtain wall are used for the exterior elevations. Continuing the archive’s brick cladding into the interior points to the importance of the vaults. The red brick adds colour to the interior palette – a contrast to the cool concrete and white plastered walls. The concrete is fair-face to a high architectural standard – even the floor is bare polished concrete.

Superior quality extends to interior details such as a helical concrete staircase and bespoke joinery of dark stained oak with bronze ironmongery and fittings.

The Western Red Cedar – sustainably sourced from Sussex – used to clad the curving forms around the offices, reception, seminar and reading rooms will silver over time, enhancing its relationship to the red brick of the archives. 

Climate

The Herbarium has achieved a BREEAM ‘excellent’ rating.

Passive methods such as solar shading, maximised glazing for daylight, and exposed thermal mass reduce energy consumption. The cellular design of the building allows different temperatures to be maintained for different types of material stored – from plant species to rare books and illustrations – and each archive has a separate control system.

The primary source for heating and cooling is a bore hole based ground source heat pump. This supplements the energy needed to cool the vaults by a mechanical air handling system.

The use of concrete – with its capacity to absorb heat gains – allowed the reduction of the size of plant, the operating hours of the plant and duplication of systems. Considerably fewer resources both in construction and operation of the building have been used as a result.

Date
2010
Region
UK
Sector
Retrofit Schools
Budget
£5m - £20m
Client
Newham BSF/Laing O'Rourke
Location
London Borough of Newham
Size
14,877sqm
Team
Laing O'Rourke, AKT, Hoare Lea, Arup, Aecom, Gleeds, Plincke, Jerram Falkus Construction Ltd
Press
Architecture Today (2010)

Extensive remodelling of a 10-form entry secondary school to allow for new specialist facilities which can be separately accessed and zoned for community and extended school use.

Brampton Manor Academy

The internal reorganisation of the school provides a professional theatre space, new TV/audio studios and media editing suites, a new fitness suite, and improved design, technology, art and ICT classrooms.

A new inclusion area of EAL and SEN suites has flexible learning spaces, specialist facilities and a permanent and visiting staff base.

The existing circulation has been significantly improved with a new lift, replacement of stairs in the existing corridors with ramps and two new glazed, double-storey circulation links in the re-landscaped east and west courts.

The links reduce travel distances around the school. They also provide places for the display of the arts on the walls and along the animated brick base, with integral seating extending to the courtyard landscaping.

The creation of a high quality landscaped forecourt, free of vehicles and framed by the new performing arts and media wings, helps to create a sense of arrival to the Academy.

Through careful planning with the school, the development was built in phases to minimise disruption and omit the need for any temporary accommodation.

Creativity

We were appointed directly by the School to produce proposals for works outside the Building Schools for the Future programme.

We designed two tuck shops to enliven the existing east and west tarmac playgrounds and to provide healthy food for pupils at break time.

The tuck shops were designed with a similar robust palette of materials employed elsewhere in the schools, including an engineering brick base and brightly coloured Trespa rain-screen panels.

Tuck shop

The simple, tapered boxes come alive during break times when the front hatches are opened to provide shelter and to serve students refreshments.

Date
2010
Region
UK
Schools
Budget
< £1m
Client
Torriano Junior School
Location
London Borough of Camden
Size
200sqm
Team
Peter Gittins Associates, Paul Bastick Associates, Rupert Goddard, Hilife Construction
Press
Camden New Journal (2010)

The Gatehouse building creates a new entrance to Torriano Junior School and spaces in which pupils and adults can learn, work and play.

Torriano Junior School Gatehouse

The project aims to develop strong partnerships with parents, the local community and stakeholders by increasing the range of activities and providing extended services. The hall on the first floor can be split into two smaller spaces to accommodate different sized groups and the school’s vibrant range of musical and theatrical pursuits. The ground floor area invites parents and visitors to congregate around the building, where benches with integral planting manage changes in level across the site.

The Gatehouse’s location provides a bridging point between the public realm and the school. Each side of the building has a different function. The street-side forms a positive and exciting new facade that provides a welcoming entrance and views of activities taking place in the music hall above. The school-side has a strong connection to the reception area, and the new brick entrance-way offers the visitor glimpses through windows into the group rooms.

The distinctive double-vaulted roof of the Gatehouse aids with natural ventilation of the first floor hall and reflects and maintains the strong symmetry of the Victorian school building.

Street elevation

Section

Ground floor plan

Client
London Thames Gateway Development Corporation
Location
Dagenham Dock, London
Size
3,242sqm
Performance
BREEAM: Outstanding
Contact
Colin Rice
Team
Turner & Townsend, Ramboll UK, Hoare Lea, Graham Harrington, Grontmij

The Thames Gateway Institute for Sustainability (TGIfS) is one of a series of our projects that create built environments conducive to research and knowledge transfer.

Institute for Sustainability

This project was to provide space for applied research into green technology in a building which would itself demonstrate a very high level of sustainable performance.

The vision for the TGIfS was to support high quality collaborative multidisciplinary research between universities in the region, their corporate research and technology organisations and sustainable industries located in the Thames Gateway. Research activities support innovative marketable ideas in a virtuous cycle, and so the Institute would also have supported business incubation.

The building was to be located at the heart of the new London Sustainable Industries Park (SIP) at Dagenham Dock and provide adaptable accommodation for research, development and application projects being undertaken by the partners in the Institute and associated groups. Because its activities would have changed and evolved over time the building was designed to be highly adaptable to changing needs, but at the heart of its plan were areas to stimulate and foster interaction between the users.

Collaboration

The vision for the building was to foster interaction and to stimulate innovation and creativity. We used the ideas about collaboration to plan the internal spaces of the building. To encourage knowledge transfer, which was key to the spirit of the IFS, breakout spaces were placed at first floor level between the research spaces and the offices. As well as a place to have a coffee and an informal meeting, they would allow a visual connection to the reserach areas to stimulate discussion and create a sense of activity.

Climate

The aspiration was to achieve BREEAM “Outstanding” as a minimum, to reflect the best practice in sustainable design and management and be seen as an international exemplar. The predicted assessment met this target at 87.65%, within a very modest budget. This was largely achieved through passive means, such as orientation.

The construction would have used cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels and Hemcrete external insulation. Timber sequesters carbon so that compared with the equivalent structure made of concrete or steel it would perform much better. By providing the complete envelope it would make the necessary very low air infiltration rate easier to achieve. Hemcrete insulation, a mixture of hemp fibre and lime-based binder, absorbs CO2 in its manufacture and, unlike other insulants, has thermal inertia which compensates for the lower thermal mass of the timber.

A Solar Wall system to the south elevation would have collected solar energy and used it for preheating the ventilation air to the research hall. The perforated dark metal cladding would have been fixed off the Hemcrete leaving an air gap between to trap the sun’s heat to pre-heat the air. In summer the system shades the wall to avoid excessive heat build-up from direct sunlight, with dampers to discharge the heated air at the top of the wall.

Date
2009
Region
UK
Residential
Budget
£1m - £5m
Client
Clink Street Properties Ltd
Location
London Borough of Southwark
Size
1,337sqm
Homes
14
Contact
Johnny Winter
Team
Gleeds, Price & Myers, Atelier Ten, GVA Grimley, Mace Living

Evans Granary, built on London’s South Bank, incorporates the mediaeval remains of Winchester Palace; a designated Scheduled Ancient Monument.

Evans Granary

The building provides 14 apartments, with a mix of one, two and three bed units, over a ground floor accommodating retail use. Evans Granary is the first in a series of new and refurbished buildings as part of our masterplan proposals for Winchester Square. Together they will help re-establish the integrity of the surrounding urban fabric. 

Evans Granary engages directly with the historic fabric of Winchester Palace which, in previous centuries, had been embedded within the walls of the surrounding Victorian warehouses. The structure has now been revealed within an external communal space that forms a focus of the rose window wall. In this piazza, a glass enclosure allows the Monument to be enjoyed by the public.

The mediaeval Rose Window wall of Winchester Palace was previously hidden by warehouses

Throughout the design and construction of Evans Granary, we worked closely with English Heritage, the guardians of the Monument, and the Conservation Officer, to ensure the design proposals and their implications within the detailed construction maintained the integrity of the historic fabric during its transformation.

Date
2009
Region
UK
Sector
Higher Education
Sector
Interiors
Sector
Libraries & Archives
Budget
£5m - £20m
Client
Fitzwilliam College
Location
University of Cambridge
Size
1,150sqm
Contact
Johnny Winter
Team
Edmond Shipway, AKT, Brian Cole Associates, Kier Building Services Engineers, MKF, Marriott Construction

The new library and IT centre at Fitzwilliam College creates a place for study that enjoys the peaceful landscape and respects the adjacent listed architecture.

Olisa Library

The new building extends the east wing of the 1959 Denys Lasdun College Masterplan. The main library reading rooms are on three floors with books located in the centre to allow reader spaces on the perimeter to benefit from daylight and views over the College gardens.

A variety of study spaces have been created with flexible IT network connections via an accessible raised floor. The oak concertina elevation of the library provides a visual counterpoint to the continuous ribbon of Lasdun’s brick-faced student rooms. 

The west facing timber elevation provides discrete workstations with natural side-light; over-sailing eaves provide protection from direct sunlight through the west facing clerestory window.

The spiralling stairtower, with desks at landing levels, takes readers between library floors and culminates in the ‘nest’ level where readers enjoy even wider views across the Campus.

“Not every project comes in on time and within budget. Few do so with excellent working relationships. What makes the Fitzwilliam Library & IT building truly exceptional is that not only is the foregoing true of it, but its design and its build quality are of the very highest...the users of the building are delighted with it, students having their favourite places and finding their studies inspired by them.” 

Christopher Pratt, former Bursar of Fitzwilliam College

Client
ECOU
Location
Green Mountain Region, Libya
Contact
Roddy Langmuir
Team
Ramboll UK, Al Mada Engineering Consultants, Element Energy, FCBS, RBGE, Canterbury Archaeological Trust, Omar Mukhtar University, Libyan Department of Antiquities

The Green Mountain Project began as a Libyan initiative to explore the economic and physical potential of the eastern Jabal al Akhdar, or Green Mountain Region.

The Green Mountain Project

We developed architectural strategies to guide the sustainable growth of this underdeveloped but important region. 

In the context of a greater project to define a planning vision for rapid regional growth and vital preservation, our priority was to produce visitor strategies for the four main ruined sites of ancient civilization – Teuchira, Ptolemais, Apollonia and Cyrene. The scope of these studies ranged from simple orientation devices to museums and gateway centres. 

The role of modern towns in the growth of the region was integral to the masterplan solutions. The proposals engaged with their context whilst providing a sustainable framework for urban and economic growth.

Context

Stretching some 200km from Tocra in the west, to Dernah in the east, the Green Mountain Region rises 2500ft above sea level. It is formed by geological formations that are unique in Libya. The Region consists of a narrow coastal plain, well defined escarpments, dissected terraces and a steppe topography that gives way to the vast plain of the Northern Sahara Desert.

The Green Mountain Region has hosted civilizations from the ancient Greeks to the Romans, and the Byzantines to the Ottomans. The dramatic wadi steps and mountain-maritime climate support a unique biodiversity, making the area important academically as well as economically, drawing visitors from across Libya and beyond.

Each proposal in our architectural strategy emerged from a broader understanding of the organisation of other remains along the Libyan coast, linking the visitor’s approach to unifying urban features of the ruined cities – the Carthage-to-Alexandria road, the prevailing wind direction or the link to the sea.

Cyrene Visitor Strategy

 

Susa Visitor Strategy

 

Teuchira Visitor Strategy

 

Ptolemais Visitor Strategy

Collaboration

The Green Mountain Project was led by the Libyan Engineering Consulting Office for Utilities (ECOU). We were part of a collaborative team in partnership with ECOU which was led by engineering firm Ramboll UK. The group shared a vision for a low energy future for Libya, where local identity and diversified economies would be linked to a built environment design specifically for Libya’s unique climate, context and culture.

Date
2009
Region
UK
Sector
Culture & Leisure
Sector
Interiors Masterplanning
Budget
£5m - £20m
Themes
Creativity
Themes
Context Climate
Client
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
Location
Edinburgh, Scotland
Size
2,762sqm
Performance
EPC Rating A
Contact
Roddy Langmuir
Team
EC Harris, Davis Langdon, Buro Happold, Max Fordham LLP, Speirs and Major, Gross Max, Zircon
Awards
CIBSE Awards - New Build Project of the Year - Public Sector (2012) Civic Trust Award Commendation (2011) RICS Scotland Awards - Sustainability Winner (2011) Scottish Event Awards - Best Unusual Venue (2010) ISE Award for Best Arts or Entertainment Structure (2010)
Press
100 Projects UK CLT (2018) Tree Hugger (2018) Better Buildings (2017) The Green Studio Handbook (2011) Architecture Today (2011) TRADA Case Study (2010)

The John Hope Gateway has made a visit to the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh – and learning about biodiversity and climate change – even more special.

John Hope Gateway

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh – a world-renowned centre for the scientific study of plants and their conservation – was already one of the city’s favourite places when the John Hope Gateway opened in 2009. It is now even more popular.

The Gateway is far more than an entrance, however stunning. With its exhibitions and a new biodiversity garden, it opens up the world of the Garden to visitors. The building itself – including wind turbine, rainwater harvesting and timber roof – has much to say about climate change and sustainability.

A restaurant, outdoor café, shop, and flexible spaces for events all add to the benefits that the building brings to the Garden.

The John Hope Gateway is included in the RIAS's Scotstyle List of the top 100 Scottish Buildings from the last 100 years.

"Cullinans were able to fulfil all our ambitions and we have been particularly impressed with their hard work in getting to know the client, understand our brief, and work together with us to provide an acceptable solution...The John Hope Gateway is now open to the public and the reaction has been breathtaking. We are extremely proud of the facility."

Alasdair McNab, RBGE

Climate

How sustainability helped to enhance the John Hope Gateway design - in 10 seconds

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh looked to the John Hope Gateway to put across its messages about environmental sustainability, not just in its exhibitions but also through the building itself.

Perhaps most obvious is the wind turbine mounted on the green sedum roof – but there are also other renewable energy systems, such as a biomass-fuelled boiler, solar collectors for hot water and photovoltaic panels.

Careful orientation, good daylighting, natural ventilation and high insulation levels all contribute to the building’s energy efficiency – and strong and durable materials will guarantee a long life for the Gateway.

Using natural, local materials to construct the Gateway has also reduced its carbon footprint. Timber – Scottish wherever possible – was an obvious choice and is used extensively for both structures and finishes, including the structured veneered lumber of the mullions and transoms of the glazing, the helical stair and major items of furniture. Even the restaurant table tops have been made from trees previously felled in the Garden.

It will be hard to leave the John Hope Gateway without appreciating the importance of trees and their many uses.

Rainwater is collected and used to flush the WCs

Context

The design of the John Hope Gateway takes its cue from the contours, paths and trees of the mature landscape of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, but we also wanted to capture the energy and enthusiasm for the world of plants that drives its scientists and researchers.

With teams from both the Garden and Scottish Natural Heritage, we worked and reworked the design until it chimed with what makes it special.

The building sits at the point where the path leading to the centre of the Garden crosses the circular perimeter path – but we see it less as an ‘object’ in the landscape, more as a ‘lens’ through which to understand it.

A long slate wall runs along the axis to Inverleith House, helping to lock the Gateway into its surroundings. Views of the Garden are framed by the slate walls and the projected timber roof and, inside, routes and views radiate out to the landscape.

John Hope Gateway - context

Through a 60m curved glass wall you see the new biodiversity garden. With plant species critical to biodiversity, it forms a living extension of the exhibition spaces. It can also be explored outside along a zigzag path, or seen from the outside terraces on the upper floor. 

Creativity

The stone, timber, concrete and glass used in the John Hope Gateway have been put together in ways that bring out their inherent qualities. Each has a specific role.

The horizontal Caithness stone is stacked to glide into the contours of the Garden. The cross laminated timber glulam roof floats over the whole building as a single horizontal plane on pencil-thin steel columns – the most slender that we could devise.  A series of coffered timber bays give an individual identity to open plan spaces below. The curved glass wall looks onto the zigzag beds of the new biodiversity garden.

Detail of the helical stair connecting the ground floor exhibition spaces to the first floor restaurant area

There is no obvious ‘front’ or ‘back’ to the building – it can be approached from all directions and on different levels – and the boundaries between inside and outside also blur.  

The roof is extended to create sheltered spaces. Its deep overhangs provide protection from rain and wind – so you can be outside and watch and smell the garden whatever the weather. There are walls that can be opened in summer, and inside on a cold winter’s day you are constantly aware of the Garden outside.

The ground floor exhibition spaces and shop extend into the surrounding landscape. These are overlooked by the restaurant and offices on the upper floor, which surround a double-storey atrium.

This all works to make the most of daylight and natural ventilation.

Client
Mark Whitby
Location
Letchworth Garden City

We worked with Letchworth Transition Town to create an image of how to transform the world’s first Garden City into the world’s first carbon neutral city.

Letchworth Transition Town

The image has in its middle a map of Letchworth with its estate of land right round it.

Letchworth Garden City Transition Town Masterplan

Dark bottle green indicates existing allotments, yellow shows open space within the town, and buildings shown in pink are in the business, industrial and manufacturing area of town.

Small fields - shown in dark green - on the edge of town might be used for growing food in anything from allotments to small ‘truck’ farms and greenhouses.

Expanding and properly managing Wymondley Wood to the south would provide thinnings for use in new biomass boilers to heat buildings, as well as providing more recreation space for picnics, games and other events. Trees would be grown in separate blocks, each with a specific purpose. For example, Larch for construction and ash and beech for furniture making.

A new Park and Ride facility - shown in criss-crossed blue – on the highest ground in Letchworth would incorporate a row of eight wind turbines – shown as red stars - to supply most of the town’s electricity needs. Plentiful low-cost electricity could eventually lead to a way of life in which visitors left their cars in the Park and Ride and travelled into the city by electric vehicles.

This could be part the key to reviving the manufacturing life of Letchworth. The industry of Letchworth could be predictive of a more general future, as would its local small scale agricultural and wood industry.

Client
The Hyde Group
Location
London Borough of Brent
Size
8,504sqm
Performance
NEAT: Excellent, EcoHomes Very Good
Homes
59
Contact
Roddy Langmuir
Team
Fife Belcher, Calford Seaden Partnership, Terence O'Rourke, Sharps Redmore, Whitelaw Turkington (Grontmij), Rydon Construction
Awards
Brit Insurance Design Awards Finalist (2011) Civic Trust Award (2011) Civic Trust Special Award for Community Impact & Engagement (2011) Sustain’ Magazine Award for Design & Architecture (2010) Building for Life Award (2010) Building for Life Gold Standard (2010) Building Better Healthcare Award (2010) Mail on Sunday British Homes Award (2009) Wood Awards Structural Category - Highly Commended (2009)
Press
CABE Case Study (2011)

Stonebridge Hillside Hub – the final phase of an ambitious regeneration plan for a northwest London estate – is drawing the local community together.

Stonebridge Hillside Hub

Stonebridge Hillside Hub is the lynch pin that marked the end of 14 years of regeneration of the Stonebridge Estate, once blighted by urban deprivation. 

It is a community building in every sense of the word – with a health centre, community centre, a small supermarket, café, 59 mixed-tenure apartments, private car parking and garden, and a public piazza. 

Community

Stonebridge Hillside Hub has reinforced the economic, social and environmental improvements that regeneration has brought to a deprived part of the London Borough of Brent. It brings huge benefits to a 4,000-strong culturally diverse local community.

It has been designed to bring people together; improve local health; provide educational, leisure and community initiatives; encourage investment in the local housing market; and provide retail space.

It was funded by a government grant, private finance and a Housing Corporation grant. The scheme is economically self-sustaining: rental value is partly recycled back into the local community to support educational and employment programmes.

The health centre provides comprehensive care including general practice, dentistry, podiatry, district nursing, women’s services and a baby clinic.

A wide range of opportunities and activities is on offer to all members of the community: the Stonebridge Training and Employment Project; IT training; after-school support to help children and young people in their educational attainment; a dance studio; and space for all types of social events.

Stonebridge Hillside Hub is inclusive – with easy access for everyone. Paved areas providing access are laid with gradual slopes and without trip hazards. There are power-assisted entrance doors; visually clear and tactile signage; induction loops at reception desks; and six disabled parking places.

"The Hillside Hub is the jewel in the crown of 14 years of transforming the Stonebridge Estate. With its health centre, office and commercial facilities and affordable homes, the Hub has brought people together and become the vibrant focal point for community activity. It dynamically demonstrates that physical and social regeneration can and should improve the life chances of local people."

Steve Ryan, Centre Development Manager for Hillside

Collaboration

Stonebridge Hillside Hub works because it responds to what its users and the wider local community said they wanted.

There were regular workshops throughout the design phase. We worked closely with the various groups and individuals, for example health professionals, who would be using the building and tailored the design to meet their needs. 

"Cullinans showed considerable skill in working with Hyde, Rydon and a number of end-users...The resulting building is visually very attractive and works well from the users' points of view. It is very popular with the local community and fulfils the objective of providing a vibrant heart at the centre of the regenerated estate."

Nigel Swanton, Project Director, The Hyde Group

Creativity

The first – and pivotal – design decision was to locate all uses under one roof. The original plan had been for different buildings on separate sites. We wanted to open up opportunities for social interaction by overlapping the various functions.

One building – but separating it into three blocks has reduced its mass. Two six-storey wings sit either side of the three-storey community centre. The wings’ distinctive prows enclose a new public space sheltered from the busy street by trees and level changes. At the rear a private landscaped garden is designed to screen the car park.

The massing responds to the existing urban grain by matching local building heights and is carefully handled so as not to obstruct light and views to neighbouring houses.

Materials have been chosen for their aesthetic, functional and environmental qualities and each helps to express a different part of the building. From the outside, each element is clearly identifiable.

Residential accommodation on the upper four floors of each wing is clad in Siberian larch, which is resistant to staining. Boards of varying profiles are fixed vertically and horizontally to give the façade texture, light and shadow. For the health centre, high-quality white brick is used. Individually designed brick lintels over windows and balconies give the façade an appearance of depth and permanence.

The community centre is strongly articulated by the graceful curve of the hall’s zinc-clad roof. This has been carefully designed so that daylight to the apartments is not obstructed. It extends out to the new public piazza, creating a generous entrance canopy to the community centre.

Community Centre roof clad in zinc

The hard-paved piazza – ideal for community events and outside café seating – uses a simple palette of high-quality materials and planting and works with the topography of the site.

The concrete frame of the building provides good acoustic separation between residential accommodation and other parts of the building. It will also allow the building to be easily adapted over time as internal walls can be moved without structural implications.

Climate

An energy-efficient building, a landscaped garden, bird boxes and a green trellised wall have replaced a petrol station and contaminated land.

The residential accommodation at Stonebridge Hillside Hub has achieved an EcoHomes ‘very good’ rating. Each apartment enjoys good daylight levels, has efficient condensing boilers and low energy light fittings, and its own covered outside cycle space.

The health centre also scores highly with a NEAT ‘excellent’ rating. It has a mixed mode passive ventilation system – to provide natural ventilation to the rooms wherever practically possible – and has exceptionally well insulated walls. Insulation to the whole development exceeds Building Regulations standards by over 20 per cent. 

Each of the two wings is wide enough to accommodate a central corridor with rooms and apartments on either side – so all inhabited rooms have both daylight and views.

The community centre uses solar thermal water heating, and rainwater recycling is used to water the garden and flush the public toilets.

Materials are durable, robust and sustainably sourced, as well as visually attractive. Where possible, natural materials were used, for example, the timber ceilings in the community centre, curved glulam beams for the community hall’s roof, and linoleum floors in the health centre.

Client
Chinese University of Hong Kong
Location
Hong Kong
Size
140Ha
Contact
Johnny Winter

Our planning framework for the sustainable expansion of the Chinese University of Hong Kong provides around 100,000sqm of mixed academic accommodation to allow for the increase in the University’s population from 19,000 to 27,000.

Chinese University of Hong Kong

The Masterplan was conducted as a process of extensive engagement, consultation and briefing with groups representing the entire University community; it addressed the historic development of the campus and took into account the opportunities and challenges in presenting recommendations to guide the future development of the campus.

A central proposal of the Masterplan was the concept of clustered and zoned development to enable the efficient use of resources and convenience of access, optimise land use and enhance social and academic interactions. Forming distinct college neighbourhoods was an important principle for strengthening the University’s unique college system to enhance communication, the sharing of amenity facilities and pedestrian connections between colleges and the Central Campus. Two new college sites in the northern campus and options for enhancing each of the existing colleges with new student hostels and landscape improvements were proposed.

Connectivity within the campus is improved by prioritising walking to minimise reliance on the motor vehicle, optimising the performance of transport facilities including the pedestrian network, internal road enhancements and management, park and ride and cycle tracks. Vertical access devices further enhance connectivity across the site for pedestrians.

Date
2008
Region
UK
Sector
Culture & Leisure
Budget
£1m - £5m
Themes
Creativity
Themes
Context
Client
Richmond Park Golf Club
Location
Richmond, London
Size
1,200sqm
Contact
Roddy Langmuir
Team
Techniker, Land Use Consultants, Atelier Ten

The development of a new sustainable clubhouse close to Chohole Gate to upgrade the current provisions to meet the standards of the modern day golfer.

Richmond Park Golf Clubhouse

Richmond Park is a wonderful rolling swathe of open grass and woodland that belies the intensive use it gets from families, walkers, runners, cyclists and golfers. The two existing eighteen hole golf courses fit well with the character of the landscape but the haphazard collection of disparate buildings that make up the clubhouse and related facilities make no connection with the setting and the gentle landscape.

A new driving range and a five hole academy course will be added, and will emphasise the public pay-and play non-exclusive nature of the existing golf courses. 

The two grassy arms of the crescent-shaped clubhouse, will direct golfers to their respective courses as they set out, and then allow them to return on a gentle ramp to the cafe/bar at the end of their round. The arms embrace a pond and practice green, overlooked by the shop and the cafe terrace. In this way the building organises the movement of the golfers in a clear and natural way.

The departure and arrival of the golfers, and the activities on the practice green, become quite theatrical and create a strong sense of place at the heart of the golf course, and a new gateway to one of London’s most impressive Royal Parks.

Context

Richmond Park is the largest Royal Park in London. The informal layout of planted woodland and residual open spaces flow together as a unified ‘natural’ landscape. 

All the buildings within the park are on a scale which reflects their original status and they now form an integral part of the landscape. Our proposal adopted this principal of integration; the building itself would become an element within the landscape. 

The clubhouse was designed as an arcing grass bank locked into the corner of the park at Chohole Gate. The arrival court would be sheltered by the earth banks built up against the lower level of the building.

Once entering, a wide arc of glass would provide open views across the pond and practice green, with the course beyond and Treebox Wood on the horizon. In this way, by firstly denying an outlook of the Park, then revealing expansive views over it, the mass of the building would create a dramatic threshold between the external world of the city, the A3, arrival, parking, and the pastoral inner world of Richmond Park.

Creativity

The upper level (cafe) would be formed of an ellipsoid roof, made of laminated veneer lumber (LVL) with plywood skins to form an efficient and structurally sound solution for the upper enclosure. The more vertical elements of this roofform would be clad with untreated cedar shingles to weather naturally with time. 

For the more horizontal sections of the roof we proposed an ‘extensive’ green roof with sufficient depth to allow additional ‘plug-planting’ which would create a more interesting planting regime to that of a regular sedum roof. This green roof would also provide additional insulation to the heavily insulated timber roof structure and slow down water run-off.

The roof structure itself would rest on an external concrete retaining wall wrapping the ground floor accommodation. The ground floor walls would be revealed at the entrance where the grass arc is ‘cut’ to announce the entrance. Here we designed a glazed lobby to allow daylight into the entrance and a glimpse through to the pro shop and the golf course beyond.

Client
WMG, University of Warwick
Location
Coventry
Size
5,000sqm
Performance
BREEAM: Excellent
Contact
Robin Nicholson
Team
Jacobs, Arup, Hoare Lea, Churchman, Norwest Holst Ltd
Awards
Built In Quality Awards Commercial Category Winner (2009) Coventry Design Awards - Sustainable Design Award (2009) ISE Award for Best Public Sector Building (2009) Coventry Design Awards - People’s Choice Award (2009)
Press
CIBSE Journal (2012)

The International Digital Laboratory (IDL) is a state-of-the-art building that provides an innovative environment for collaborative research, demonstrators, knowledge transfer and training.

International Digital Laboratory

The IDL sits opposite the Manufacturing Centre (we completed in 1993) and adjacent the International Institute for Product and Service Innovation (we completed in 2012). The WMG works here with a number of partners enabling strategic change in industry, service and healthcare sectors. 

The building is required to act as a showcase for the innovative research taking place within. Openness and transparency is important in showing off the activities to visitors and investors, whilst in contrast a level of security for research data needs to be maintained.  

As the future of digital technologies is unknown, the IDL is designed to achieve maximum flexibility of internal spaces to allow for changing patterns in research. The first floor concourse acts as a gallery for the many activities taking place within the building, as well as allowing staff, students and visitors to gather, work and relax in informal meeting areas.

The IDL is a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ building, despite being on a green-field site.

Climate

The International Digital Laboratory was an important first for the University in calling for a key new building to be BREEAM Excellent despite their being no standard BREEAM model for Higher Education. 

It was also a first for us. With over 40 years of designing south-facing passive solar buildings, this was our first north-facing building. The Digital Lab is organised with four storeys on its north elevation and two storeys on the south allowing all the office accommodation to have north facing views and plenty of natural daylight without unwanted solar gain or glare. As a result the majority of the building is naturally ventilated.

Exploiting the level difference of the site we were able to incorporate a maze of heavy density blockwork under the ground floor slab. This is used for cooling the incoming air destined for the linear service trench. The air enters at a low velocity and bounces off the thermal mass of the blockwork and slabs for the temperature to moderate itself before any additional heating/cooling and entering the building. 

In order to increase the biodiversity of the site and reduce water run-off, a 2000sqm sedum blanket consisting of 13 different species has been laid on the inclined roof, with the addition of carefully selected planting around the building. A linear swale adjacent the south elevation of the building forms a Sustainable Urban Drainage System. This allows water to naturally soak away into the ground soil as well as providing a diverse range of planting. Reinforced grass on the main delivery route further prevents water run-off.

Date
2008
Region
UK
Sector
Higher Education Workplace
Budget
£20m - £50m
Client
University of Cambridge
Location
Cambridge
Size
6,500sqm
Performance
BREEAM: Outstanding
Contact
Peter Inglis
Team
Northcroft, Ramboll UK, Hoare Lea, Aecom

In June 2008 we completed a feasibility study for the University of Cambridge’s first BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ building. The Cambridge Conservation Campus (CCC) was designed to bring together research and teaching of Conservation Studies, and like-minded independent non-governmental organisations.

Cambridge Conservation Campus

CCC was intended to enable closer collaboration, open up new avenues of research and understanding, and a place to pool resources and space. It was to draw on the best features of its surroundings, while making great places around it, tying together existing facilities and providing a forum for the advancement of conservation.

The design proposed to foster collaboration through a single building with working spaces arranged either side of an open, top-lit atrium. This would give a feeling of ‘togetherness’, as well as allowing as much natural ventilation as possible. 

Adaptability is important for the long-term viability of any building as future uses cannot always be predicted. In this design, the key was setting the building up as a framed structure of columns and beams, allowing partitions to be taken down or added as needs changed. A raised access floor with a 400mm void would allow for the repositioning of existing services as well as the future addition of more complex systems if required.

The proposed design achieved a BREEAM ‘Outstanding rating of 96 out of 100.

Date
2008
Region
UK
Sector
Regeneration Residential
Budget
£20m - £50m
Client
Crest Nicholson Regeneration
Location
Bristol
Size
29,770sqm
Homes
268
Contact
Peter Inglis
Team
Gardiner & Theobald, Arup, Hoare Lea, Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners, Sharps Redmore, Grant Associates, Taylor Woodrow Construction

Building 9 - ‘The Crescent’ - is one of five main residential buildings we designed within our Bristol Harbourside Masterplan for Canon’s Marsh near the city Centre.

Bristol Harbourside Building 9

The masterplan makes connections between the site of Canon’s Marsh and the surrounding city. Elegant and enjoyable places have been created that attract people to dwell in, work in or relax in.

The Crescent is a major place-making building and defines the three main pedestrian routes that link Canon’s Marsh with the rest of Bristol. On its street elevations it forms strong edges framing views of both Bristol Cathedral and SS Great Britain. Facing the floating harbour, it forms a sweeping crescent, with gently rippling balconies to give the vast majority of the residents excellent views of the water.

Building 9, shown in red, within our Bristol Harbourside Masterplan

The building contains 255 one, two and three-bed apartments, a cluster of four town houses on the water’s edge, a restaurant and a shop. At the centre of The Crescent is a semi-private landscaped lawn, in the manner of the classic Bristol Squares, with basement parking underneath.

The entrance screen on Canon’s Way is set out concentrically with the previously completed Building 10, reinforcing Building 10’s role as a pivotal building and The Crescent’s role as a street-making building.

As part of a larger Public Art programme for the Bristol Harbourside Masterplan, the artist, Julie Verhoeven, was appointed to integrate artwork within building’s design, specifically in the main entrance-way.

Date
2008
Region
UK
Sector
Regeneration Residential
Budget
£5m - £20m
Client
Crest Nicholson Regeneration
Location
Bristol
Size
3,383sqm
Performance
CfSH Level 3
Homes
48
Contact
Peter Inglis
Team
Gleeds, Gardiner & Theobald, Arup, Hoare Lea, Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners, Sharps Redmore, Grant Associates, Sans Facon, Carillion

Building 3b, or ‘Quay Point’, is a six-storey affordable housing block we designed for Sovereign Housing Association as one of five main residential buildings in our Bristol Harbourside Masterplan.

Bristol Harbourside Building 3b

Quay Point is our third residential building completed at Bristol Harbourside and comprises 48 new build homebuy apartments including 18 single-bed and 30 double-bed flats. We worked closely with Sovereign HA and the overall site developer, Crest Nicholson, to ensure Quay Point followed the same architectural language and palette of materials as the private apartments, also benefiting from fantastic views out across the floating harbour. As part of the brief, the scheme adheres to the Housing Corporation’s Scheme Development Standards and has achieved a Code for Sustainable Homes Level 3.  

In order for Quay Point to match the other residential buildings in scale and form, we were able to provide more affordable units than was required by the local planning authority as part of the section 106 agreement for the site. This has enabled a mix of private and new build homebuy in the same building, adding potential for flexibility in how the flats are sold or part-rented in the future. 

Building 3b, shown in red, within our Bristol Harbourside Masterplan

Date
2008
Region
UK
Workplace
Budget
£20m - £50m
Client
David McClean Developments Ltd
Location
Birmingham
Size
19,584sqm
Contact
Johnny Winter
Team
Blue Green Engineers, Waterman Building Services, Appleyard and Trew, EC Harris, Scott Wilson, Planit

A ten storey, low-energy office building in our Birmingham Eastside Masshouse Masterplan.

Masshouse Block D

Following on from our masterplan for Masshouse, we developed proposals for a ten storey office block with ground floor retail. The site responsive design utilises low-energy and renewable technologies.

Banded shading on the south elevation and the vented wall of glazing on the northern facade will carefully manage the solar gain and natural daylight implications of a wide, tall building. These reductions in energy load are further reduced by means of a site-wide Combined Cooling and Heating Powerplant (CHPP). Rooftop photovoltaics will help to power the public realm lighting.

A two storey colannade runs along the court elevation in anticipation of the colonnades of the future Blocks A and B. These will be used as a device to unify the separate buildings around the court.

Date
2007
Region
MENA
Sector
Culture & Leisure Masterplanning
Budget
£5m - £20m
Themes
Context
Client
Jordanian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities
Location
Ma'an, Jordan
Size
5,000sqm
Contact
Roddy Langmuir

This gateway building is designed to choreograph the experience of arrival and movement to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Petra - to maintain the aura of a ‘lost’ city that ‘reluctantly’ reveals its secrets to the visitor.

Gateway to Petra

Our design is based on the typical natural features of the ancient Nabataean world, with exhibition galleries wrapped around a garden of frankincense and myrrh trees - the trees that were the foundation of the great wealth of the Nabataeans.

The building design is flexible for the particular needs of the individual user. When facilities need to be closed out of normal hours, or at certain times of the year, It can act as a simple gateway. For those with limited time, there is a ‘fast track’ exhibition, housed within the thickness of the walls. For visitors who have more time to explore, galleries leading off the ‘fast track’ ramp focus on the history and archaeology of the site.

Floor plan

Context

The site is characterised by the impressive rock formations that define its western edge and skyline, but existing scattered buildings interrupt the simplicity of the rocky outcrops. 

On arrival visitors descend between stone walls on a route aligned on the Petra Gate axis and arrive dramatically into a sweeping oval entrance bowl, or amphitheatre. With only the distant horizon of sky, mountain and foliage visible from within this space, it cuts out the clutter and commerce of the surrounding scene. The visitor building acts as a threshold between two places; the route into the building and out to the ancient world.

The project team in front of the Treasury building at Petra

Client
Singapore Management University
Location
Singapore
Size
97,809sqm
Contact
Roddy Langmuir
Team
PM Link, Davis Langdon, Seah Singapore, Maunsell Consultants, Beca Carter Hollings & Ferner, Acviron Acoustics Consultants, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Cicada, Square Peg Design, KNTA Architects, Obayashi Corporation
Awards
Landscape Industry Association of Singapore Gold Award (2006)

The Singapore Management University (SMU) City Campus is the first of its kind; designed, integrated and constructed from scratch in the centre of a developed city-scape. 

Singapore Management University

Four schools and a library are linked at below-ground concourse level allowing users to move under cover from one end of the campus to the other while enjoying views into the open courtyards that connect the concourse to the street, park and campus facilities. The porous spaces provide ‘breezeways’ to help pre-condition the incoming air.

Cullinan Studio were appointed as overall masterplanner for the 239,000sqm campus in collaboration with local architects KNTA after winning an international competition. We were also architects for five of the six first stage buildings.

A visually appealing ‘green’ theme runs right across the campus. Buildings overlooking the reconfigured Bras Basah Park have glazed facades shaded by a ‘vertical garden’ of climbing plants. 

The design was completed on a fast-track programme to ensure piling was completed ahead of the boring of a new underground line and was successfully carried out to schedule.

Context

The Singapore Management University (SMU) was a high profile Government initiative developed with the Wharton Business School as a world class institution for the whole of South East Asia.

SMU made a symbolic move from the Bukit Timah Campus to its new and permanent city campus in 2005, in an area long associated with Singapore education.

The new campus for 6,000 students is in the heart of the historic and cultural centre of Singapore, in Bras Basah Park. The design keeps a sense of open space and visual connection between the historic buildings that surround the campus, such as the Singapore Art Museum, the National Museum and the Cathedral.

Existing rain trees have been preserved along street frontages to shade the main pedestrian routes. Elevations facing the park have delicate ‘green’ skin of plants growing on a light stainless steel framework. This system provides screening shade to glazing and sets up an interplay between these buildings and their landscape setting.

Three tiers of landscape - concourse garden courts, open ground floors and fifth floor roof gardens - act as both a lung to individual buildings and collectively as a signature of a ‘Campus in the park’.

Climate

In common with many traditional buildings in areas of high sunshine and heavy rainfall where shelter is important, our buildings increase in size as they rise between ground and roof. 

Conducted solar gain through the roof is minimised by separating it into layers: an outer sun and rain ‘parasol’ and an inner air and thermal barrier. A large air gap between the ‘parasol’ and inner roof allows and promotes free air movement to remove the solar heat gain.

The narrower shaded ground floors allow for a rich mix of public uses without seeming cavernous

Shaded courts and breezeways across the whole campus are shaded by trees and the buildings.

Interior circulation spaces and lightwells are used as reservoirs of cool air. Chilled water cooling coils at high level induce ‘Downdraught Cooling’ creating a ‘cool pool’ from which fresh cool air is taken into perimeter classrooms on the lower three floors of accommodation.

Date
2007
Region
UK
Sector
Interiors Masterplanning Schools
Budget
£1m - £5m
Client
Purcell School
Location
Bushey, Hertfordshire
Size
1,190sqm
Contact
Kristina Roszynski
Team
Peter W Gittens & Associates, Price & Myers, Max Fordham LLP, Arup Acoustics, Rooff Ltd
Awards
Brick Awards - Highly Commended (2007)

The new Music Centre at Purcell School provides state-of-the-art facilities for young people aged 7 to 18, including a Recital Room, instrumental and academic teaching rooms and a recording suite.

Purcell School Music Centre

The Music Centre is arranged over three floors. The ground floor contains classrooms, the recording suite and offices. 

The first floor contains the Recital Room for an audience of 100 with five performers and the practice rooms that make use of the curved front of the building - utilising the irregular shaped spaces for acoustic purposes.

The second floor contains radially arranged larger instrumental teaching rooms, further office accommodation and a recording booth for the Recital Room. 

The Music Centre forms the first phase of a masterplan that creates an improved facade to the school overlooking the playing fields. The design approach was to create an elegant built edge to reinforce the character of the green belt. 

The ‘collegiate’ model is a long standing educational spatial form which creates a positive atmosphere for learning. Our masterplan creates the opportunity for new landscaped courts between the Music Centre wing and the existing building to provide a much improved environment and outdoor learning spaces.

Although located in the Greenbelt, after detailed pre-application consultation with planning officers, stakeholders and local interest groups, we obtained planning permission for our masterplan in 2008.

“Just to say how much the new Music Centre has enriched the teaching experience at the Purcell School. The rooms are well designed with just the right level of acoustic warmth. Some have spectacular views, but most importantly, the sound proofing is first-rate. The Centre is worth every hard-fought penny made by the fundraising campaign.” 

Tom Marandola, Head of Voice, Purcell School

Date
2006
Region
UK
Sector
Culture & Leisure
Sector
Regeneration Residential
Budget
£5m - £20m
Themes
Context Climate
Client
Crest Nicholson (SW) Ltd
Location
Gloucester
Size
7,287sqm
Performance
EcoHomes: Excellent
Homes
84
Contact
Colin Rice
Team
Gleeds, Arup, Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners, Sharps Redmore, Gillespie, The Ash Partnership, Cowlin
Awards
Gloucester Civic Awards Commendation for ‘Best Climate Friendly Scheme’ (2008) Brick Awards - Best Private Housing Development (2008) The Mail on Sunday British Homes Awards Apartment of the Year Commendation (2007)

The historic Gloucester Docks with its powerful red-brick warehouses is the context for this development of two new buildings next to the ‘Barge Arm’; a quay space where cargoes were transferred between boats.

Barge Arm Development

The design development benefitted from close collaboration with SWRDA, English Heritage, Gloucester City Planners and the masterplanners for the dock regeneration.

The main Barge Arm building echoes the massing and grain of the neighbouring Grade 2 listed warehouses and provides 67 one and two-bedroom apartments and two commercial units. Overlooking the waterfront, it has fine views of Gloucester Cathedral and the National Waterways Museum. Roof terraces are provided for the top floor of the main building and elsewhere generous corner windows maximise views over the surroundings.

The neighbouring building uses 17 single aspect flats and six ground level commercial units  to cleverly disguise a 256 space car park that provides parking for all the warehouses converted to residential use.

Context

The new buildings are set in a visually sensitive location immediately adjacent to a series of Grade 2 listed warehouses which dominate the site and express their industrial origins in their simplicity of form.

Our design takes cues from the bay width of one of the listed warehouses and from the north south orientation of its roof ridges - unique in the docks. Four bays of framed brickwork construction are made using this module, running north south, separated by three recessed bays clad in a contrasting, more recessive manner using timber cladding with a vertical emphasis. 

The existing warehouses have a grid of small windows appropriate to their original function. In our design the window openings are large, within which a pattern of subdivisions, including opaque panels, set up counter rhythms. The window recesses are deep to create a strongly modelled effect echoing the vigour of the warehouses. The system allows a combination of commercial and residential uses to site comfortably side by side on the ground floor.

The resulting composition sits comfortably with the grain of the existing warehouses.

“This project is a significant architectural landmark as it contains the first substantial new buildings to be located in the historic docks central conservation area for over a hundred years. Great care has been taken throughout to ensure high quality and sympathetic design and, consequently, the (planning) application was ‘enthusiastically’ approved by the City Council.”

Peter Wynn, Network News, The Stakeholder Newsletter of the Gloucester Heritage Regeneration Company, October 2004

Climate

The development achieves what was for its time the highest environmental rating of Excellent using the BRE EcoHomes assessment method, through use of high thermal insulation levels and sustainably sourced materials. 

The naturally ventilated central courtyard in the main building is seen as essentially an external space but sheltered from the rain by a polycarbonate ‘umbrella’ roof. This enables the space to be ventilated naturally from a fire point of view without requiring the normal system of detectors and smoke shafts with automatic vents. It also enables the apartments on the upper levels to be accessed via open day-lit galleries rather than enclosed corridors.

Client
Heart of the National Forest Foundation
Location
Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Derbyshire
Size
1,000 acres
Contact
Carol Costello
Team
Arup

The Heart of the Forest Masterplan will create a beautiful and enticing landscape which local people and visitors will be eager to explore and come to cherish as a special place.

Heart of the Forest Masterplan

In May 2006 we completed a masterplan for an area of the National Forest that had once been a colliery, as well as designs for potential new buildings and structures within it.

Our masterplan considers the variety of people and ages who will use the forest park and responds with a variety of places within it; some scenic and tranquil, others active and playful. It enhances existing routes and provides new ones for a variety of modes of transport. The masterplan also indicates a possible site for a future passenger railway station on the existing Mineral Railway line to serve visitors to the forest and local communities.

The Conkers Aerial Walkway will provide a connection between the north and south areas of the site currently separated by the mineral railway. Made of Cor-ten steel columns that will support long-span composite timber and steel trusses, the walkway will at certain points be nearly 50 feet above the ground. Generous circular platforms designed for resting, picnics, birdwatching and more will sit on top of the main columns. Additionally, two iconic new footbridges over existing roads will provide vital connections and create symbolic gateways to the forest park. 

Other landmarks will include the Conkers Tower which will provide views over the forest park, the Water Sports Centre on the Lake and the Creative Forest Experience building as a unique rural, woodland and forest craft attraction where visitors will be inspired to take part and share skills from around the world.

Community

The area called the ‘Heart of the Forest’ is situated on the site of the former Rawdon Colliery. The mine, closed in 1991, had left behind not only a scarred landscape, but a community facing an uncertain economic future. The Heart of the National Forest Foundation (HNFF) have been working with a number of community groups to instigate a series of regeneration projects, which include the Conkers Visitors attractions funded by the Millennium Commission. 

We worked with the HNFF over eight weeks to create a masterplan for the Forest that aims to enthuse, educate and engage the local community and visitors, encouraging active participation in its planning, creation and long term stewardship. The working landscape will be useful to the community and the National Forest with opportunities for local enterprises.

One proposed element of the masterplan is the Demonstration Forest. This would be laid out in radial sections, each containing a different tree crop. Once established it will be a real working landscape with a saw mill at its centre. The sawn timber will be used in the Creative Forest Experience for wood working and for a multitude of forest products. The Demonstration Forest will also be used as an educational landscape to teach forest stewardship.

Date
2006
Region
UK
Sector
Regeneration Residential
Budget
£5m - £20m
Client
Crest Nicholson Regeneration
Location
Bristol
Size
7,730sqm
Homes
104
Contact
Colin Rice
Team
Gleeds, Arup, Gardiner & Theobald, Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners, Sharps Redmore, Grant Associates, Richard Box, Taylor Woodrow Construction

Building 10 was the first mixed-use residential project to be completed within our Bristol Harbourside Masterplan.

Bristol Harbourside Building 10

The Masterplan makes connections between the site of Canon’s Marsh and the surrounding city. It creates elegant and enjoyable places for people to live, work and relax. The split cylindrical form of Building 10 occupies a pivotal position in the Masterplan astride the axis of views and routes from Bristol Cathedral to the SS Great Britain. 

Building 10, shown in red, within our Bristol Harbourside Masterplan

The building is designed in two halves, which together frame a view of the Cathedral along the key new public open space called ‘Cathedral Walk’. 

The ground floor is largely glazed to provide active frontages at street level. Balconies animate the Cathedral Walk elevations and include a roof level pergola to add greenery. 

The two 8-storey buildings are arranged symmetrically, each containing 52 units with a mix of studios, one and two bed apartments, with 1,200sqm of cafes and restaurants on the ground floor. Following a review of the local housing market, our client Crest Nicholson decided to market the building as a car-free development.

As part of a larger public art programme for the masterplan, an installation by local artist Richard Box ‘knits’ the two halves together using fibre optic lighting, laced across Cathedral Walk, enhancing the pedestrian square between the two buildings.

Client
Crest Nicholson (SW) Ltd
Location
Penarth, Cardiff
Size
6.7Ha
Homes
377
Contact
Colin Rice
Team
Gardiner & Theobald, Gary Gabriel Associates, Dixon DeBoise, Aims Group, Nicholas Pearson Associates, Cole Easdon, Green Issues Communications
Awards
Housebuilder Awards Best Regeneration Initiative Finalist (2017)

Penarth Heights is a flagship regeneration project located north west of Penarth town centre, overlooking Cardiff bay.

Penarth Heights Regeneration

This exemplar sustainable community development replaces a derelict 1970s residential estate with 376 new houses and apartments. Our masterplan creates a distinct residential quarter in the town, within which individual streets and buildings are designed with subtle variations to give a real local sense of place. 

The predominantly low rise scheme, with a traditional urban character, is a highly specific response to the site, working closely with the existing contours, using a palette of materials based on local precedents and a strong landscape structure that links to the site’s green surroundings and neighbouring street structure.

We collaborated closely with United Welsh Housing Association to design the affordable housing - 20% of the total - which is evenly pepper-potted across the scheme, in groups of ten units typically, to be tenure blind.

Community

The concerns of the local community focused on three issues - parking, community facilities and provision of affordable housing. We worked with consultation specialists Green Issues to manage community engagement. 

We assisted in setting up the Penarth Heights Consultative Group (PHCG) which had representatives from the local community association and town and district councillors. The PHCG met monthly to discuss our evolving scheme and public exhibitions were held to reach a wider audience. Our scheme was successful in planning at its first attempt.

Penarth Heights in August 2014

Client
Singapore Management University
Location
Singapore
Size
8,395sqm
Contact
Roddy Langmuir

The Li Ka Shing Library forms one of the key focuses in our Singapore Management University Masterplan.

Li Ka Shing Library

We worked closely with the National Library Board of Singapore to develop and implement the brief for this academic hybrid library. 

The entrance balcony, with the concourse courtyard below, creates a lively series of spaces encouraging informal meetings and interaction. On entering the Library, the main circulation staircase and lifts rise up through a three-storey atrium. 

An ‘Information Totem’ rises with the stairs, displaying the library directory and information clearly as a reference point at each floor. A cafe at the base of this atrium faces out onto the street life of the realigned Stamford Road.

The Library has capacity for 140,000 volumes, 900 work/study spaces and 166 dedicated computer terminals, providing a rich variety of working environments whilst maintaining maximum flexibility to allow it to adapt to the changing needs of the users.

A pavilion on the roof, with access and views on to the roof garden and park beyond, houses the Reading Room.

In respecting and responding to the importance of the nearby National Museum as a cultural landmark, an axis is taken from the centre of the Museum’s symmetrical front facade running through the open-ended courtyard of the Library. Open views at ground level, from the main entrance balcony on the 1st floor and from the internal foyer at each upper floor of the Library, focus on the Museum and the reflecting pool over the MRT station.

Date
2003
Region
UK
Sector
Health
Client
Lewisham PCT
Location
London Borough of Lewisham
Contact
Carol Costello
Team
Davis Langdon Everest, Martin Stockley Associates, Hoare Lea, Whitelaw Turkington

Our response to this competition brief for a landmark building acting as a gateway to Catford was to propose a striking crescent shaped scheme to fit the corner of the site.

Lewisham Children and Young People's Centre

The convex side of the crescent faces the busy road and shelters a garden at the back with car parking behind. We wanted the building to have a strong presence on the street and placed the entrance below the highest point of the building. The use of bold colours around the entrance provides an arresting visual focus at street level.

The main entrance welcomes people coming from all directions. The visitor is greeted immediately on the right by the reception desk, a curved ‘hub’ allowing an uninterrupted view of the waiting areas, garden and the beginning of the two wide corridors leading to each wing of the crescent. 

The waiting area is in two parts: one side for younger and the other aimed at older children. The circulation routes are envisaged as distinctive spaces in their own right with some seating and lighting where artwork can be hung. Physiotherapy, child protection rooms and an indoor children’s play area are all on the ground floor. 

The first floor is similar to the ground, with two pathways running off the central sub-waiting area in the middle beside a balcony overlooking the ground floor reception. The three upper floors are open plan areas with two different departments on each floor. Shared staff areas are at the heart of the building around the atrium on each floor. On the fourth floor staff have their own café with access to a roof terrace overlooking the street. 

The small garden at the back of the building provides a peaceful vista for patients seated in the waiting areas, an antidote to the bustle and noise of the main road. It is enclosed to provide a safe, tranquil environment where children can play safely. 

Client
University of Cambridge
Location
Cambridge
Size
19,200sqm
Contact
Johnny Winter
Team
Davis Langdon, Northcrofts, Buro Happold, Roger Preston, WSP Group, Livingston Eyre, John Laing, Sir Robert McAlpine, Laing O'Rourke,
Awards
David Urwin Award (2003) Royal Fine Art Commission University Building of the Year (2003) BCI Major Projects Award (2003) RIBA Award (2003)
Press
Architecture Today (2004) Architectural Review (2003) The Guardian (2003) Building Services Journal (2002) Building Design (2000) New Civil Engineer (1998)

The Centre for Mathematical Sciences has broken down barriers between disciplines in a working environment highly praised by academics and students. 

Centre for Mathematical Sciences

The Centre for Mathematical Sciences was designed to encourage academic dialogue and discovery by bringing together the Pure and Applied Mathematics Departments of the University of Cambridge. 

The complex was built in three phases and is made up of seven pavilions; a central social building; the circular Betty and Gordon Moore Library, home to the Stephen Hawking archive; and a gatehouse that forms a dramatic entrance to a new contemporary Cambridge courtyard.

The Centre for Mathematical Sciences has encouraged new research and funding and has had a positive impact on staff and student recruitment. 

In a 2002 Post-occupancy Review of Buildings and their Engineering (PROBE) study, the performance of the buildings, together with a high level of satisfaction among academics and students, placed the Centre for Mathematical Sciences in the top percentile, a result endorsed by BSRIA after a subsequent study in 2006. 

"Everybody I worked with at Cullinan’s was enthusiastic, professional and conscientious. They contributed significantly to the management of the project during the construction phases. The Centre for Mathematical Sciences has now been occupied for eight years. The building's quality architecture and functionality are highly regarded within the University and by the mathematicians."

John Woods, Project Manager, University of Cambridge, 14 January 2011

Context

The Centre for Mathematical Sciences was built on a greenfield site in suburban west Cambridge and its scale responds sympathetically to its residential neighbours. 

By creating seven separate pavilions street edges are visually maintained and views across the site preserved. The largest building – the central social hub – avoids dominating its surroundings by being partially sunk into the ground under a grass roof. This gives the grounds the appearance of being stepped or layered. 

The landscape design, including planting around the perimeter of the site, has knitted the buildings well into their leafy suburban setting. 

Grass covered roof of the central core

Creativity

The masterplan for the Centre for Mathematical Sciences and, in particular, the design of social circulation areas, encourages the crossing of boundaries between the disciplines of pure and applied mathematics. 

As well as formal lecture theatres and private study spaces, the layout of the buildings and the way that they work provide academics and students with places to meet casually and exchange ideas. 

Private spaces progress naturally into public spaces. The seven pavilions – one of them double sized and housing the main lecture theatre – are gathered around the tapering grass-roofed central building, which is the social heart of the academic community. Each pavilion has 40 study spaces and a shared ground floor common room. In four of the pavilions this opens directly into the central social hub. It is here that people come together to relax and interact with each other in the dining hall and informal meeting places. 

The pavilions are arranged for private study, for sharing ideas with immediate neighbours and then in you shared sitting room - four of which open direct into the central core.

All the buildings are generously planned, thoughtfully finished and detailed throughout, and people have a high degree of personal control over their working environment.

Each zinc-roofed pavilion has a lift shaft at its centre, surrounded by a central stair encased in a concrete and glass block tower and topped with a glazed lantern. Circular corridors give access to the study spaces around the perimeter.

Slender, pre-cast concrete arches on massive buttresses span the barrel-vaulted central building. It has a slatted timber ceiling and daylight is brought down into the middle of the space through strips of glass block set in the apex of the roof’s curve. Above, the glass blocks form the pavement of an axial path that runs along the roof.

"Cambridge has managed to fuse science with style. It’s a work of genius …Seven years in the making, here are seven pillars of architectural wisdom … The Centre for Mathematical Sciences is a delightful resolution of an equation made up of squares and straight lines, curves and circles, civil architecture and wilful suburbia. It has a feet-on-the-ground, head-in-the-clouds quality that matches and mirrors the exact yet questing world of mathematics itself."

Jonathan Glancey, The Guardian, 14 July 2003

Climate

The post-occupancy PROBE study commissioned by the University of Cambridge confirmed good energy performance. 

The buildings are designed to stay warm in winter and cool in summer – with low running costs. They have exposed thermal mass, natural ventilation, night cooling, solar shading and a building management system to regulate the internal environment. The Centre for Mathematical Sciences provides a good example of advanced natural ventilation, with automatic controls and manual override for opening windows and vents, and internal blinds.

In areas with no windows, ventilation and lighting are introduced through the glass lanterns that are a feature of the pavilion rooftops. Solar sensors and movement detectors control lighting. The central social building is insulated by its grass roof. 

The buildings are ageing well – thanks to high-quality materials and efficient building services maintenance.

Interior of one of the glass lanterns that assist with natural ventilation

Client
University of Cambridge Botanic Garden
Location
Cambridge
Size
2,800sqm
Contact
Carol Costello
Team
Buro Happold, Max Fordham LLP, Gardiner and Theobald

An elegant, expressive and evocative teaching and conference building for the University of Cambridge Botanic Garden.

 

Education and Interpretation Centre

The Education and Interpretation Centre is designed to be a public place providing facilities to educate and interpret the University of Cambridge’s Botanic Garden to visitors as well as uniting the Garden staff in new offices.

The Centre accommodates a variety of functions – dining areas, exhibition spaces, offices and conference facilities – while building in flexibility for future change of use.

The gothic arched shape of the lamella structure is evocative of the Glasshouse architecture, tying the building in to a lineage of heroic garden architecture, whilst also being conducive to natural ventilation, good daylighting and solar shading.

The Centre is designed to be an exemplar of sustainable design which is to be demonstrable to visitors and to the city of Cambridge.

Creativity

The building has been designed so that the individual components – floors, roof, columns – come together to form an integrated structure. For example, the first floor level also acts as a horizontal diaphragm. This diaphragm transfers the forces from the lamella roof back to the cross-beam, which works as a tie. In turn, the cross-beam supports the floor and frames the columns below.

The lamella roof structure is formed of a repeated pattern of interlocking short timber members. The prefabricated members are relatively small, easily transportable and easily handled for on-site assembly.

Roof studies

Climate

An important part of the brief was the requirement for a building that demonstrated its environmentally passive design.   

Sustainability within the building structure is demonstrated through material choice, efficiency of structure, flexibility of the building, longevity and durability.

In use, the building would rely on thermal mass, optimised day-lighting and natural ventilation to reduce dependency on non-renewable energy resources. A rainwater storage tank would provide 80% of the annual water requirement for toilet flushing. The orientation of the building would allow for a photovoltaic array along the full length of the south side of the roof.

Collaboration

We designed the Centre in collaboration with Buro Happold structural engineers and Max Fordham environmental engineerings. We worked as a team to develop the timber lamella roof structure – an extremely efficient structural concept. 

Client
Weald and Downland Living Museum
Location
Singleton, West Sussex
Size
1,200sqm
Performance
BREEAM: Excellent
Team
Buro Happold, The Green Oak Carpentry Company, E A Chiverton, Boxall Sayer
Awards
European Wooden Facade Award (2004) Civic Trust Award (2003) AIA UK Excellence in Design Award (2003) Wood Awards - Gold Medal (2003) Wood Awards - Structural Award (2003) Sussex Heritage Award (2003) Stirling Prize Finalist (2002) RIBA Award (2002) BCI Award (2002)
Press
Timber Gridshells (2016) Architects’ Journal (2014) Detail (2013) Architectural Design (2003) The Sunday Times (2002) New Civil Engineer (2002) Architects’ Journal (2002) New York Times (2002) The Daily Telegraph (2002) The Guardian (2002) RIBA Journal (2002) Building (2002)

The inventive design and construction of the Downland Gridshell – a complex weave of curving oak laths – suits the legacy of traditional rural life well.

Downland Gridshell

The design, engineering and carpentry of the Downland Gridshell is groundbreaking. Yet its gently curving form and natural materials sit beautifully in the surrounding South Downs landscape of the Weald and Downland Living Museum in Sussex where the buildings and artefacts of traditional rural life are brought to life.

The Downland Gridshell is both a workshop for conservation, restoration and training, and also an archive store for tools and artefacts spanning six centuries. In the large open space of the upper level, the Museum’s carpenters can work on historic timber frames. It is also an ideal space for educational activities and events.

The Gridshell space has been used for a variety of events, including musical picnics, festivals and the occassional wedding. Photo courtesy of VLA Photography.

Below, sunken into the ground, an environmentally controlled store ensures long-term care of the collections, and 200 English vernacular wooden chairs are on display.

Context

The Downland Gridshell sits in an elevated position in an area of outstanding natural beauty on the South Downs.

Timber was a natural choice for a structure to support the preservation of historic timber-framed buildings. While drawing on modern design and technology, the Downland Gridshell also celebrates traditional carpentry and building techniques.

Rescued and rebuilt traditional rural buildings set in a beautiful landscape at the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum

Visitors approach the Downland Gridshell along a steep footpath shaded by mature beech and ash trees. Timber steps lead up to the entrance through one of the fully glazed ends, with a dramatic canopy that extends overhead from the timber side cladding beneath the roof.

With the natural weathering of its cedar cladding, the building has matured well into the landscape.

Collaboration

This was a complex project and would not have been possible without an inspired client and close consultation with Buro Happold, Boxall Sayer and the Green Oak Carpentry Company.

Exchange of ideas and expertise early in the process helped to provide clarity of vision, develop the design and devise ways in which this unique structure could be created. Right from the start, the carpenters sat around the table with the architects and engineers to design the details of the building.

Testing the gridshell

The Gridshell construction team

Creativity

The Downland Gridshell was the first of its kind to be built in Britain. Its structure was a technical challenge for the architects, engineers and carpenters and new techniques had to be researched and developed.

The workshop space was built of green oak strips joined together to form long laths. A diagonal grid of these laths was initially formed flat on top of a supporting scaffold. Using gravity, the edges of the grid were then lowered gradually – a few centimetres each day – into a three-dimensional shape resembling a three-nut peanut shell. This was secured to the edges of the timber platform above the lower level. Cladding, roofing and installation of the ventilation system were then added.

Grid laid flat on scaffolding

Scaffold is lowered and the Gridshell starts to take shape

The roof is added

The gridshell structure is clad in Western Red Cedar

The Downland Gridshell is clad with hardwood planks and glazing. Natural light enters through two continuous strips of polycarbonate clerestory windows two thirds of the way up the building.

A high degree of carpentry skill went into the Downland Gridshell’s construction, emulating but not imitating the Museum’s traditional timber-framed buildings. The green jointing of the laths from freshly sawn oak is unique: the timber was more supple and therefore more easily formed. The laths are connected at the nodes of the grid with a specially designed and patented system of steel plates and bolts.

The patent for the node is jointly held in the names of the architects, structural engineers, carpenters and client

Environmental control was necessary to respond to the physical working demands of the museum, especially the storage of fragile artefacts.

The lower level archive is sunk into the sloping chalk landscape to protect its valuable contents from natural, but potentially damaging, changes in the weather and sunlight. Maintaining fairly constant temperatures and humidity levels is achieved using very small amounts of energy.

Climate

Environmental sustainability was critical in the design of the Downland Gridshell. Its embodied carbon is only 3 per cent of that of an equivalent steel or concrete structure.

Materials and skills were sourced as locally as possible. Although the timber slats had to be brought from Normandy, most of the other timber used, including the Western Red Cedar cladding, came from within 25 miles of the site.

The building runs on minimum supplies of energy. To reduce loads on water and power supplies, the building and site systems took advantage of natural features such as earth mass heating, with heat sourced from digging into the ground, and rainwater collection.

Client
WMG, University of Warwick
Location
Coventry
Size
10,700sqm
Contact
Peter Inglis
Team
Northcroft, Buro Happold, Hoare Lea
Awards
Structural Steel Design Award Commendation - Link Bridge (1996) Civic Trust Award Commendation (1996)

The International Manufacturing Centre (IMC) houses manufacturing, technology, teaching and research facilities arranged in two spine wings, flanking a four-storey high Engineering Hall.

International Manufacturing Centre

The highly successful WMG (Warwick Manufacturing Group) had developed to a size where it needed a new building of its own. Part-funded through the ERDF, IMC was the first building in a new sector of the University of Warwick. 

The dramatic prow over the entry is designed to impress visitors. It contains a three-storey atrium under the top floor Board Room, whose terrace overlooks the campus. This entrance is at one end of the four-storey concrete-framed teaching block with an oval 200-seat raked auditorium set into the ground floor. 

The main teaching block has two floors of offices on top of two floors of lecture theatres and computer laboratories.

The 30m x 60m naturally-lit steel-framed Engineering Hall is 14.5m high with a 5-ton travelling gantry across its central 20m span, and flanked by two 7m high aisles.

IMC is connected to two existing engineering buildings with a light glazed pedestrian bridge spanning 32m across University Road. The bridge was designed to be erected in one evening to avoid disruption to this main road through the University.

 

The pedestrian bridge spanning University Road was erected in one evening