As 2020 draws to a close, we have taken our usual look back over the last 12 months at AHMM. Although this has been a very different and in many ways challenging year, we’ve marked important project milestones, from inception of new projects through planning approvals to completion and occupation (and winning awards); and through our partnerships and charitable initiatives, we’ve continued to support our profession and wider communities. In the summer we launched our new website, and our year - and our extended 30th anniversary celebrations - have been rounded off with the publication of Chronicle, a compendium of 206 completed AHMM works.
Read more in our Review of 2020.
Paul Monaghan has joined a new government steering group for the establishment of an expert design body working towards greater design quality and community involvement in planning decisions in England. The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government’s (MHCLG) recent Planning for the Future proposals set out a package of reforms for the planning system which aim to raise quality and environmental standards and give communities more control over what is built in their areas. In line with this work, the steering group will explore options for a new design body which can help planning authorities make effective use of design guidance and monitor its application.
Paul was part of the advisory group for MHCLG’s Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission, which published its report Living with Beauty, earlier this year.
We are delighted that 18 AHMM staff have passed their Part III qualifications and become fully qualified architects. Our congratulations go to Matthew Drewitt (University of Cambridge); Alex So, Luke Kon, Gloria Vidal Amian, Julia Kubisty, Hannah Pether, Fearghal Moran, Matthew Yip, Dan Tyler, Gosia Malus, Alecsandra Trofin, Ross Robinson, Tahmineh Hooshyar Emami, and Diane Kwan (Westminster); Ben Bradish, Justina Jakubkaite, and Kristian Abrahamsen (Bath); and Denice Mann-Toyinbo (Newcastle).
AHMM’s proposal for housing at Bonnington Walk in Lockleaze, north Bristol was unanimously approved yesterday by Bristol City Council’s planning committee. The design will deliver 185 homes, 50% of which will be affordable, using off-site modular construction. The masterplan also provides significant new public open space, a strategic cycle route, and a small community building, while maintaining the existing Site of Nature Conservation Interest and wildlife corridor.
1 Finsbury Avenue has won the New London Award for Conserving, given by New London Architecture for the restoration and reuse of buildings in any sector where efficient use is made of existing fabric and embodied energy, from historic restorations to contemporary insertions and retrofit. Watch a video here explaining why the reimagining of this Grade II listed office building stood out as the winner of the prize.
The New London Awards recognise built and unbuilt projects that make a positive contribution to their surroundings and life in the capital – find out more about this year’s awards here.
In case you missed it, you can also watch a video of last month’s NLA event marking the launch of a new book on the story of 1 Finsbury Avenue here.
AHMM’s work in Oklahoma has been recognised in this year’s AIA Central Oklahoma Design Awards, presented last week in Oklahoma City. Central Exchange, which has reinvented a group of disused historic brick buildings in the city, won the Merit Award for Adaptive Reuse, the People’s Choice Award for Adaptive Reuse, and the Sustainability award, while bar and restaurant Oso on Paseo won the Merit Award for Interiors. Find out more about the award winners here.
The Post Building, the Officers’ House at Royal Arsenal, and 1 Finsbury Avenue have been named Regional Finalists for this year’s Civic Trust Awards. Founded more than 60 years ago, the awards recognise outstanding architecture, planning and design in the built environment, and are given to projects that have made a positive contribution to the local communities they serve.
As finalists, the three projects will now be considered for National Civic Trust Awards, with winners announced in January 2021. See the full list of Regional Finalists here.
New London Architecture has this week published its research study into how new development in the capital is responding to the commitment to zero carbon targets by 2050, with the Mayor proposing to bring the deadline forward to 2030. Zero Carbon London includes insights, survey findings and analysis, and showcases more than 80 exemplary projects including AHMM’s work at Belgrove House, 1 Broadgate, New City Court, over-site development at Southwark Tube, as well as 2 Ruskin Square and Elephant Park. Read more and download the report here.
Westminster City Council has granted planning approval to transform Lansdowne House, a landmark site on historic Berkeley Square’s southern end, with a new high-quality, sustainable commercial building targeting BREEAM Outstanding and WELL Platinum.
Led by developer CO—RE, the proposals for the redevelopment will provide modern office and retail space and reconnect the building to the historic square through significant improvements to the surrounding public realm.
The new ten-storey building will include 225,000 sq ft of premium office space with 14,000 sq ft of retail and restaurants at the ground floor. The public realm around the site will be improved and reconnected to Berkeley Square with revitalised pedestrianised areas and more public space.
The planning approval follows two years of consultation and conversations with the local authority, key stakeholder groups and nearby residents, including a public exhibition visited by over 200 people from the local area. Construction is expected to start in the second half of 2022 and finish in 2026.
Wheeler Block 13, a mixed use building in the Wheeler District of Oklahoma City, has reached its highest point. To mark the event, the final steel was lifted in to place with a fir tree – a custom that can trace its roots back to a Scandinavian tradition – together with an American flag. Wheeler Block 13 is one of three AHMM-designed buildings in the Wheeler District, which include Wheeler Residential and the Western Gateway Elementary School.
1 Finsbury Avenue has been named Commercial Property Project of the Year and West Grove North Housing Project of the Year in this year’s British Construction Industry Awards, presented this afternoon (5 November). The BCI Awards recognise excellence in project delivery across the industry and celebrate the contribution of the whole project team. Find out more and see all of the award winners here.
In other awards news, Riverside House, AHMM’s refurbishment and extension of an existing building in Salford, Greater Manchester, has won the Insider North West Design Excellence Award.
A new book showcasing completed projects over AHMM’s three decades in practice has been published by FifthMan. Designed by BOB Design with photography curated by Tim Soar, Chronicle is a catalogue of AHMM’s work from a postgraduate thesis to the present day.
In the latest episode of the Modern House podcast, Simon Allford talks to founder Matt Gibberd about architecture, homes and the power of everyday buildings, as well as choosing his three favourite living spaces. Read more and listen here.
One Portwall Square is set to start on site in the next few weeks, having reached a key milestone with the appointment of Skanska as contractor for the project. The new building, designed for developer NORD, will provide six floors of office space, two of which have already been pre-let to AHMM as the practice’s new Bristol base. Construction is expected to begin on 9 November with completion scheduled for late 2021.
AHMM, British Land and New London Architecture celebrated the launch of a new book on 1 Finsbury Avenue by architectural historian and critic Kenneth Powell this morning. 1 Finsbury Avenue: Innovative Office Architecture from Arup to AHMM sets the late 20th century landmark building by Arup Associates (Peter Foggo) in its historic context, telling the story of its initial development, design and completion in 1984, Grade II listing, and later reimagining by AHMM.
The hoarding at Central House has been transformed with the application of artwork designed by students at London Metropolitan University School of Art Architecture and Design. Earlier this summer the AHMM Central House design team set the London Met School of Art students a brief to develop proposals for the site hoarding. Following a series of workshops three designs were selected by the course tutors to be applied to the hoarding. You can find out more about the brief and the selected designs here, and at the Visual Communication department’s website.
AHMM has secured planning approval for 67 new homes in Highworth in Wiltshire, for independent house builder Backhouse Housing. Highworth is AHMM’s latest project for the developer following Castle Cary in Somerset and Westbury in Wiltshire. Designed around established trees and generous, shared open spaces, the scheme includes 21 affordable homes along with three custom build plots. Construction is due to start towards the end of the year, with the first units completing in 2021.
The Officers’ House at Royal Arsenal has been named Private Housing Project of the Year at the Offsite Awards, which recognise outstanding examples of prefabrication and factory-based methods of construction. In Oklahoma, Central Exchange has won a Merit Award for Adaptive Reuse/Preservation from the American Institute of Architects Central States region. Meanwhile, Riverside House in Salford has been shortlisted for the Building Awards Refurbishment Project of the Year award, and the new AHMM website has been shortlisted for Best User Experience in the Archiboo Awards.
Birmingham City Council has granted planning permission for AHMM’s proposed refurbishment and extension of the Birmingham Hippodrome. The phased redevelopment will create a new facade to Hurst Street, together with a first floor terrace and an external seating and refreshment area at street level. The project will also create new rehearsal space at second and third floors, a new performance space, and a new entrance at Inge Street. Work is due to start on site in early 2021.
Construction work on Malcolm Wicks House at the Taberner House site in Croydon has reached its highest point. One of four buildings on the site, the 21 storey building will provide 90 affordable new homes. The first of the buildings on site to top out, Malcolm Wicks House is due for completion in January 2021 with the remaining buildings and new public garden due to open in September 2021.
Six AHMM projects have been shortlisted for this year’s New London Awards, which are given by New London Architecture in recognition of projects that contribute to a sustainable city, improve the quality and standards of new design and respect London’s rich mix of old and new. 1 Finsbury Avenue has been shortlisted for the Conserving award for restoration and reuse of existing buildings across any sector, while The Officers’ House at Royal Arsenal has been shortlisted for the Housing award. One Waterloo, AHMM’s proposed redevelopment of Elizabeth House to deliver new office space, retail and transformed public realm, is shortlisted for the Mixing award; while 8 Union Square, Central House and King’s Cross Building P2 are shortlisted in the Working category.
AHMM is also part of the team for the Brentford Project, which has been shortlisted for the Meanwhile award.
Find out more and see the full shortlist here
King’s Cross Building P2 has reached its highest point. The 10 storey mixed use building for the King’s Cross Central Partnership is a key component of the King’s Cross Central development and acts as a civic backdrop to Lewis Cubitt Square. Work is now progressing on the building’s distinctive deep facade with the installation of unitised curtain-wall glazing, glazed terracotta spandrel panels and pre-cast concrete frame. The building is due to complete in early 2021.
Work is progressing on site at the Tiny Homes Community in north Oklahoma City. The three small houses have been specifically designed for young adults aged 16-19 who are ageing out of the foster care system in the city. The new homes have been created for Pivot Foundation, an organisation supporting disadvantaged youth in Oklahoma. The project is due to complete later this year with the first tenants expected to move in by Christmas.
This year’s Victor Kite Award for Design Technology has been awarded to Sharon Tam. Established by the Kite family and AHMM, the award is presented in memory of architect Victor Kite, who played a significant role in the practice and its work. Now in its seventh year, the award for students at The Bartlett School of Architecture recognises the best work in Design Technology (year 2). Sharon Tam described her project as exploring the ‘portrayal of fragility against the common notion of architecture as a safe and stable shelter for human inhabitation’. Her tutors said the project was outstanding in the way it approached key technical issues, communicated with clarity and thoroughness and was a rigorous exploration of possibilities.
AHMM’s Central House team has been working with the Visual Communication department at London Metropolitan University School of Art, Architecture and Design to develop proposals for the site hoarding. The project ‘Super Space’ invited students to take the site’s locality, its cultural history, social and commercial use and how the community connects with each of these aspects as the starting point for their design.
Following a series of workshops, which covered letterpress printing, photography, video editing, and screen printing, the students developed responses to the brief including a proposal for the hoarding and an animation. Three of these designs have been selected by the course tutors to be applied to the hoarding.
Eleanor Beaumont’s design celebrates the languages of local residents past and present, mixing cockney rhyming slang, Yiddish and Bengali using analogue printing techniques and collage. Amber O’Reilly’s work is envisaged as a message of positivity, ‘We are all London’, and Emilie Zea Henriksen’s bold photographic collages play with local anecdotes and connections with the neighbouring streets.
The students’ work will be installed in September.
The American Institute of Architects’ UK chapter has been running free virtual building tours over the last few months, and this Thursday (13 August) Paul Monaghan and senior architect Tom Wells will lead a tour of 1 Finsbury Avenue, the recent redevelopment of a Grade II listed office building within the Broadgate development. The design team will be joined by artist Morag Myerscough who collaborated on ‘Atoll’, the brightly coloured pavilion and centrepiece of the project. You can register your attendance here.
Simon Allford, one of AHMM’s founding directors, has been elected as the Royal Institute of British Architects’ (RIBA) next President. The result of the election was announced this morning (11 August) alongside those for RIBA National and Regional Council seats. Find out more about the election results here.
As the new President-Elect from 1 September, Simon will begin his two-year term in the role of President in September 2021.
Bristol City Council has unanimously granted planning consent for the regeneration plans at Silverthorne Lane in Bristol. Part of the Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone, the mixed use masterplan for Feeder Estates will include a new comprehensive school, student accommodation, offices, housing, a university building, and retail space. As part of the masterplan team, AHMM is designing a new academic and research building for the University of Bristol, and with Studio Hive, 371 new homes with improved public realm and direct access to the city’s Feeder Canal. AHMM will also redevelop a recently fire-damaged Grade II listed 1850s warehouse building to create new flexible office space.
The construction of Assembly Bristol, AHMM’s largest Bristol based project, has reached its highest point. Due for completion in early 2021, the 12 storey building close to the city’s Floating Harbour will include 180,000 square feet of flexible office space as well as rooftop amenity space, new landscape, and significant public realm improvements. Two further AHMM-designed buildings forming part of the Assembly development have recently been submitted for planning consent.
2 Ruskin Square, a ten storey mixed-use block in Croydon, south London, has been granted planning approval by Croydon Council. The scheme creates over 300,000 sq ft of flexible office space with retail accommodation at the ground floor, and creates a new backdrop to Ruskin Square itself, a vibrant piece of public realm designed by MUF Art Architecture and Jo Gibbons as part of the same overall masterplan for the area. Construction of the project is scheduled to start in November 2020.
AHMM’s digital Summer School took place 27-31 July, with 22 students aged 15-18 from the UK, Uruguay and South Africa responding to a brief to redesign an aspect of their lockdown living space.
Students were mentored by AHMM architects and tasks were set introducing new ways to explore space such as scale, architectural drawing, SketchUp and model making, including models made only from household recycling items. In addition, there were introductions to digital design, career pathways, CDM and sustainability, with 41 people from all parts of AHMM helping to deliver the week.
By the end of the week, students had produced work to add to their portfolios and were armed with information helping to inform whether they want to pursue architecture as a career.
AHMM’s Riverside masterplan proposal for Workspace Group has been granted planning consent by Wandsworth Council. The new development on the site of the former Airfix model factory will replace the existing Riverside Business Centre with a new mixed use scheme including 402 apartments and homes, and 246,000 sqft of new business flexible space for light industry, start-up businesses and flexible working.
AHMM’s plans for Westminster Bridge Road Garden and Arches have been consented, by unanimous vote, at the London borough of Lambeth’s Planning Committee. The scheme brings the underused railway arches behind AHMM’s Westminster Bridge Road building into use as affordable workspace; the new offices are arranged across ground and mezzanine floor level, and complemented by new landscaping.
The RIBA presidential election campaign ends today (13 July); voting is open from tomorrow until 4 August. You can read Simon Allford’s Nine Ideas Advocating Architecture here.
Arthur Stanley House, a mixed use scheme in Fitzrovia in central London, has reached its highest point. The building previously occupied by the University College London Hospital Trust has been extended to create new flexible office spaces, and a new building at the rear of the site will accommodate ten new residential units.
AHMM Founding Director Simon Allford has announced his candidacy for election as the next RIBA President. You can read Simon’s statement here, and find out more about his campaign, watch a short film and get in touch here.
Four AHMM projects have been shortlisted for this year’s RIBA London awards: Nottingdale Village phase 3 in west London; The Ray Farringdon and 1 Finsbury Avenue in east London; and Royal Arsenal in south London. Judging has been delayed due to the Coronavirus outbreak, but the RIBA plans to conclude the process and announce regional and national award winners in the autumn. Read more about the RIBA London shortlist here.
AHMM has won match-funding from Innovate UK for a new Knowledge Transfer Partnership with The Bartlett School of Environment, Energy and Resources at UCL. Supported and informed by teams and clients across the practice’s projects, the research will include a real world, large scale complex project with existing ambitious targets, ambitions and requirements for British Land at Canada Water as the basis for a comparative study to develop additional design solutions, management strategies and adaptation plans to meet net-zero carbon targets. Exploring what a net-zero carbon building could look like in the context of a complex, mixed use, densely developed and commercially driven project, it will also explore the implications for the development process, for commercial viability, and for architecture more generally. Outcomes will include a design guide, publications and communications to promote developing legislation and policy. Find out more about the project here.
Phase 1 of the London Square Bermondsey masterplan has reached its highest point. This first phase of the redevelopment of the Rich Industrial Estate site in south London will provide new commercial, retail and residential uses, and on completion the wider masterplan will include more than 400 new homes, 35% of which will be affordable and social housing, with a new commercial hub of approximately 20,000 sqm dedicated to small and medium-sized enterprises. Phase 1 has recently been shortlisted for a Housing Design Award and is due to complete in early 2021.
Four AHMM projects have been shortlisted for this year’s Housing Design Awards: Royal Arsenal, the redevelopment of a Grade II listed former barracks building in Woolwich; The Fitzroy, a seafront housing scheme for Pegasus Life in Cornwall; the mixed use redevelopment of the Rich Industrial Estate in Bermondsey, south London; and Frestonia Apartments, part of the third phase of Nottingdale Village in west London. The Housing Design Awards have recognised excellence in public and private sector housing design since 1948 - read more about the schemes and the full shortlist here.
The world faces a complex and dynamic set of circumstances, the duration of which is yet unclear, and the long-term impact even more so.
Given this context, our focus at Allford Hall Monaghan Morris remains on controlling the things we can, and mitigating the impact of those we cannot.
To that end we have now trialled, and adopted, a policy of working from home for all of our people, with everyone in our London, Bristol and OKC offices able to get on with business, more or less as usual, from home.
This has been achieved by making a secure VPN connection available to all staff, giving them full access to data and software functionality, as though located within the office.
Face to face contact between project teams has been replaced by widespread communication via Microsoft Teams, whether by voice, through video conferencing, or simply via group messaging.
The majority of external meetings will also take place via Teams, but where attendance in person is essential – for example on an active construction site – members of our team will continue to attend.
For some of our people this way of working will be new territory, but many are already well-versed in effective remote working using this technology.
The considerable infrastructure AHMM has in place to support the design and delivery of architecture, as well as its business operations, remains fully functional and adapted to suit these new circumstances. This includes our Finance, IT, Digital Design, Practice Operations, HR, Legal & Appointments, Communications, Building Performance and Technical teams.
Our Business Continuity Team continues to meet each day, to review and assess the latest situation, to put in place any new measures as appropriate, and to communicate these to the wider practice (and externally) when necessary.
Our offices in London and Bristol remain open for the time being, with a skeleton crew of support staff in place, along with a self-selecting number whose preference it is not to work from home while working in the office remains a viable alternative.
Despite the challenging context we remain determined, and fully capable, of working together to serve the needs of our clients and to collaborate effectively with our construction team colleagues, while also minimising the risks to our many talented people.
On the fringe of Edinburgh city centre, building works have started on site at No.1 New Park Square, Edinburgh Park. The first of two AHMM designed buildings in the Dixon Jones masterplan, No.1 New Park Square will become a new landmark and gateway to the development. The mixed use building will create four floors of office space, with a 200 seat conference centre, a restaurant and two cafés at ground floor. The building will face on to a new public square featuring a specially commissioned original work by artist William Tucker. No.1 New Park Square is due for completion in August 2021.
The London borough of Lewisham’s Planning Committee has resolved to grant planning permission for the transformation of Scott House, an Edwardian warehouse in Deptford, into a 27 storey mixed use tower. The partially retained facade wraps the newly created office and cafe space, with a mix of residential units above, while the surrounding public realm is improved with planting and the introduction of a pocket park and play space. The design for client Buxton Group will be progressed later this year.
Central Exchange and Social Capital have both won ULI Oklahoma Impact Awards, announced by the Urban Land Institute’s Oklahoma chapter last week. Now in their sixth year, the awards recognise projects that exemplify best practice in the responsible use of land and their contribution to the built environment and the public realm. Central Exchange picked up the award for Large Scale Rehabilitation and Restoration, while Social Capital was joint winner (alongside The Collective Food Hall) of the Small Scale Developments Award.
Westminster City Council has made the unanimous decision to grant planning permission for a new development on the site of the former Taxi House in Westbourne Park. The mixed use scheme for The Collective includes 286 short stay co-living rooms with a residents’ gym and cinema screening room, alongside 25,000 sq ft of office space with provision for small start-up businesses and craftspeople, and affordable workspace dedicated to creative industries and community-led projects. The scheme also creates a new piazza adjacent to the Grand Union Canal, enabling public access to this part of the waterside for the first time.
Monday 3 February marks the start of National Apprenticeship Week 2020. AHMM has been a member of the Apprenticeships in Architecture Trailblazer Group since it was founded in 2016, and offers apprenticeships at level 6 (equivalent to bachelor's degree) and level 7 (equivalent to master's degree). Our current apprentices and their mentors will be presenting their experiences to the practice during National Apprenticeship Week.
If you are interested in an apprenticeship in architecture and you would like to know more about AHMM's scheme, please contact our HR team.
This year four cyclists from AHMM will be taking part in the Club Pelothon Cycle to MIPIM ride. Associate Director Cormac Farrelly is taking part for the second time, and will be joined by Senior Architectural Assistant Rebecca Nixon, Senior Architect Andrew Morrison and Senior Model Maker Max Cotgrave. Cycle to MIPIM has been organised by Club Peloton since 2006 with Coram as it main fundraising beneficiary, and this year will raise money for Coram, Tom ap Rhys Pryce Memorial Trust, Cyclists Fighting Cancer and the Multiple System Atrophy Trust. Cyclists will leave London on Thursday 5 March and ride a total of 1500km over six days, reaching their destination in time for the MIPIM property conference. As in previous years, AHMM will also be sponsoring snacks and refreshments for all cyclists along the route.
You can sponsor Cormac, Rebecca, Andrew and Max on their JustGiving team page.
‘Living with Beauty’, the final report of the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission has been published. Paul Monaghan has been an advisor to the Commission since its inception, and the report sets out a new framework for development and planning that promotes health, wellbeing and sustainable growth. Read the report here.
The Ray Farringdon has been named Best New Place to Work at the Building London Planning Awards, announced last night (28 January). Occupying the site of the former Guardian headquarters on Farringdon Road, The Ray is clad in a distinctive brick palette informed by its neighbours, and terraces and planting animate its stepped form; award judges noted its ‘outstanding sustainability and incorporation of green spaces.’ The awards are organised by London First in partnership with the Mayor of London, London Councils, the Planning Officers Society London, and the Royal Town Planning Institute - find out more here.
We’d like to wish everyone a very happy New Year and, in case you missed it, here’s our review of 2019, in which we look back on our 30th year in practice.
Classen 16 in Oklahoma has reached its highest point this week. The timber frame mixed use building in the Plaza district of Oklahoma City will provide 48 residential units of one and two bedrooms, with a 3,800 square foot retail space. Cladding has also begun on site with almost half the building covered in its distinctive aluminium shake, a playful nod to the locally-renowned seafood restaurant that once occupied the site, and to the utilitarian farm buildings common throughout the region.
Following the completion of AHMM’s residential scheme, Historic England have confirmed that the Officers’ Quarters at Royal Arsenal are no longer considered to be at risk, and have removed the building from its Heritage at Risk Register, as of 16 December 2019. Originally built to house the Royal Regiment of the Artillery over 280 years ago, the newly converted and extended building provides 34 new homes.