Angel Square Site Progress 28.02.24

Construction works at Angel Square are progressing, with the limited demolition work of parts of the existing structure now almost completed and the new core and structure being constructed.

Angel Square reinvents a prominent corner site in Islington, North London. The development provides over 290,000 square feet of mixed-use space including significant best-in-class employment space and affordable workspace providing exemplary, flexible working environments with low operational energy demands as well as enhanced public realm and a new public connection between Islington High Street and Torrens Street.

The new significantly redeveloped building retains 80% of the existing concrete structure, saving a significant amount of embodied carbon. The existing building’s internal structure grid has also informed a façade design of articulated solid columns and ledges, supplemented by profiled metal spandrel panels and the use of glazed terracotta and pre-cast concrete elements at ground floor.

The project is due to complete in 2025.

45 Beech Street submitted for planning 27.02.24

A planning application for a co-living development at 45 Beech Street for developer HUB and Bridges Fund Management, a sustainable impact investor, has been submitted to the City of London.

AHMM’s proposals transform a 1950s office building into a community-focused residential scheme that responds sensitively and creatively to the context of the iconic Barbican Estate, delivering 174 co-living homes as well as new public realm, a ground-floor commercial space and on-site resident amenities.

The development would set a new standard in this part of London for co-living, a rapidly evolving typology that can deliver numerous benefits both to residents and to people who live and work nearby, thanks to public realm improvements and a range of shared amenities that connect the scheme to its community.

In line with HUB and Bridges’ shared focus on minimising carbon emissions, the proposed scheme would take a retrofit-first approach. The total embodied carbon saving of retrofitting the existing building is 34%, relative to comparable new build schemes of the same scale. The scheme would also target market-leading sustainability credentials: BREEAM Excellent, EPC A, Fitwel 3* and net zero operational carbon.

The scheme was developed in close collaboration with the local community and key neighbourhood stakeholders. The consultation process involved a series of stakeholder workshops, consultation events and outreach to Barbican residents as well as local businesses.

Narrative Practice Sessions x AHMM 27.02.24

AHMM will be hosting the Sessions Mentoring Initiative by Narrative Practice this month on Thursday 29 February from 6:30 – 8:30pm.

Narrative Practice is an architectural research and mentoring platform improving representation in the built environment. Running for the past four years, their initiative, Sessions, achieves this through complimentary short- and long-term mentoring for young creative individuals from under represented backgrounds. Notably, Sessions is recent Winner of the Diversity in Action category at the Thornton Education Trust 2023 Inspire Future Generations Awards as well as being Finalists in the Mentoring category.

Please book your Session in Advance using this link.

RIBA North West Region Award Shortlist 22.02.24

The Alder Centre has been shortlisted for an RIBA North West Region Award.

Established in 1986 by Mr John Ashton following the death of his own son, The Alder Centre is a unique health service both in the UK and globally. Mr Ashton found that conversations with other bereaved parents provide the most support and understanding during the grieving process. Thirty years after the first counselling sessions at the Alder Hey – held in a laundry cupboard in the old children’s hospital – AHMM designed a new dedicated building and gardens that promote companionship and offer a place of sanctuary. The architecture is simple with a series of seven counselling rooms, each with their own private garden, configured around a large communal space with a lounge and kitchen. There is a flexible training room, office and dedicated room for the ‘Child Deathline’ where volunteers answer phone calls from parents to a national helpline.

Assessment will take place over the next few weeks, with judges visiting each shortlisted project before the announcement of all regional award winners in May.

RIBA South East Award Shortlist 20.02.24

Magna Square has been shortlisted for an RIBA South East Region Award.

Located within the Egham Conservation Area, Magna Square comprises four mixed used buildings (Liberty Hall, Gem House, Corn Merchant House and Parish Hall) providing retail, cinema, 101 new homes and student accommodation. A new town square and wider pedestrianised public realm brings the buildings together and stitches the development into the local context. The development’s design language closely references the local vernacular, incorporating a diversity of brick colours, patterns, and bonds. A highly articulated and varied roofscape incorporates mansards and dormers, reflecting the character of the conservation area, while chamfered corners facilitate pedestrian movement and special features such as glazed entrances, bespoke windows and brick coining and diapering create variety and visual interest within the facades.

Assessment will take place over the next few weeks, with judges visiting each shortlisted project before the announcement of all regional winners in May.

Lansdowne House breaks ground 15.02.24

On Wednesday 14 February contractors McGee officially broke ground at the landmark Lansdowne House site in Mayfair, London. A ceremony was held, attended by the development manager CO-RE, future tenants Blackstone including CEO Stephen Schwarzman, Prime Minster Rishi Sunak, US ambassador Jane Hartley, key partners, and project team members.

Located at the southern end of Berkeley Square in Mayfair, the Lansdowne House site will be transformed into a new commercial building which has been carefully designed to last for generations to come, and to achieve the highest possible standards for sustainability and wellbeing, targeting BREEAM Outstanding and WELL Platinum.

The redevelopment will provide 225,000 square feet of premium modern office space across 10 storeys to be occupied by Blackstone for their European Headquarters, and 14,000 square feet of ground floor retail and restaurants. New amenities for modern occupiers will be provided throughout the building, including an outdoor rooftop terrace that incorporates greening and biodiversity, balconies on every floor overlooking Berkeley Square and 470 cycle spaces located in the basement with showers, lockers and changing facilities.

Significant improvements to the public realm will reconnect the building to the historic square with pedestrianised areas revitalised and more public space provided.

RIBA London region Award shortlist 15.02.24

10 Lewis Cubitt Square, Montacute Yards and The Rowe have been shortlisted for RIBA London Region Awards.

10 Lewis Cubitt Square is a mixed-use building, completing an area of the developing King’s Cross Central neighbourhood and complementing an established public realm. The new building incorporates 195,000 square feet (NIA) of flexible office space over nine floors, and a penthouse mezzanine. To the south, a large flexible retail unit continues the retail journey from Coal Drops Yard and to the north is a flexible cultural space, now home to the immersive art experience ‘Lightroom’ which can become a 600-seat theatre with an auditorium capable of a variety of staging configurations, all within the universal building frame.

Montacute Yards, an innovative collaboration between AHMM and Ben Adams Architects, creates tailored workspace that balances contemporary working styles with a strong sense of community on Shoreditch High Street. A project of urban reconnection that turns a closed ‘back yard’ site into a permeable piece of the city, Montacute Yards explores different construction techniques, from its steel exoskeleton that draws inspiration from the warehouses of Shoreditch and gives depth and legibility of making to the façade, to its smaller CLT buildings to the north.

The Rowe provides 150,000 square feet of office space with retail and public space at ground floor within the retained and extended former Central House building that previously housed the London Metropolitan School of Art, Architecture and Design close to the Whitechapel Gallery in east London. An equal volume is added to the existing six storey building with the tension between to old and new highlighted by a playful piece of public art by Yinka IIori.

Assessment will take place over the next few weeks, with judges visiting each shortlisted project before the announcement of all regional award winners in May.

National Apprenticeships Week 2024 14.02.24

Last week, 5 to 9 February, was National Apprenticeships Week.

The Architecture Apprenticeship provides an alternative route to qualifying as an Architect. The apprenticeship route was created with the aim of widening access to the profession, with apprentices working in practice throughout their studies.

AHMM is proud to be one of the trailblazer practices who helped to create the Apprenticeship Standard. We currently employ 10 Architecture Apprentices across our London and Bristol offices.

This National Apprenticeships Week we particularly want to celebrate the first AHMM Apprentices who graduated from their respective courses: Bethan Dix and Emily Foster. Bethan completed the Level 7 Architecture Apprenticeship at Oxford Brookes in 2023. The Level 7 Apprenticeship covers RIBA Parts 2 and 3, and Bethan is now a fully qualified architect. Emily graduated from the Level 6 Architecture Apprenticeship at London South Bank University and is now a Part 1 Architectural Assistant. Both deserve huge congratulations for the immense hard work they have put in over the last four years.

RIBA South West + Wessex region Award shortlist 12.02.24

One Portwall Square has been shortlisted for an RIBA South West and Wessex Region Award.

One Portwall Square is a new office building for independent developer Nord on a site close to Bristol Temple Meads railway station. The site was originally part of 100 Temple Street, a large office with a raised squash court and parking below, designed by John Wells-Thorpe. The scheme replaces a disused building with a six-storey freestanding office, set back from Portwall Lane to create a lively pocket square at ground floor level. In response to the latest Grade A office standards, the Covid-19 pandemic and the need to maximise occupant comfort and amenity for staff attraction and retention, the building delivers new levels of innovation, sustainability and office design, combining modern and flexible floorplates with generous light and space. These qualities were recently recognised with the British Council for Offices’ National Commercial Workplace Award.

Assessment will take place over the next few weeks, with judges visiting each shortlisted project before the announcement of all regional award winners in May.

1 Riva Row, Houston Texas, Site Progress 31.01.24

Since breaking ground in November 2023 construction at 1 Riva Row has progressed at a steady pace. Area ‘A’ basement and concrete shear walls have been completed, as well as initial slabs on grade. Over the next months, structural groundworks will continue across Area ‘B’ to complete this portion of the project.

Developed for The Howard Hughes Corporation, this new build multi-family development will create 269 new homes in the heart of the Woodlands.

The massing consists of two distinct elements – a podium and tower. The four/five story residential podium responds to the scale of Riva Row and the adjacent Waterway. The fourteen-story residential tower addresses the prominent corner and strategic views across the Woodlands.

A gradual gradation of brick colours across the buildings provides a rich and diverse façade, reflecting the historic craft of Texas masonry.

The project is due to complete in December 2025.

AHMM shortlisted for LSE’s Bankside House redevelopment design competition 29.01.24

AHMM has been named as one of the six finalists competing to redevelop Bankside House in Southwark London for leading university London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), alongside their development partners, a consortium of Bouygues UK and Equitix. The other finalists include Allies and Morrison, Carmody Groarke and Sheppard Robson, COBE and TP Bennett, RSHP with Tigg Coll, and SOM (Skidmore, Owings and Merrill).

Plans for the new Bankside House include a significant increase in accommodation of up to 2,000 beds, making the site LSE’s largest student residence. The redevelopment will support the institution in its aim to offer bed space to every first-year student from 2030. The brief stipulates not only adding more rooms in the scheme, which neighbours the Tate Modern, but delivering an exemplary piece of civic architecture. It prioritises being affordable for all LSE students, alongside a focus on environmental sustainability, health and wellbeing and the offer of an outstanding student experience.

Equitix and Bouygues UK undertook a prequalifying exercise with a mutually agreed longlist of architects in later 2023 during their successful tender, and will work with LSE to maximise the potential of the site and prepare a planning application for submission to the London Borough of Southwark in 2025.

The competition is due to commence in late January 2024, with a core team in place by April 2024 and construction expected to start on site in 2026. Completion is earmarked for 2030, ready for the students to move into at the start of the academic year.

Julian Robinson, Director of Estates, LSE commented “This location will require a piece of world class architecture which will meet the ambitions of both LSE and Southwark. The calibre of this shortlist is a testament to each studio’s exceptional design and delivery standards – each in their own design language.”

Illumanate Competition 17.01.24

AHMM was named the runners-up for the Illumanate Living Building Challenge (LBC) Design Competition run by the Living Future Institute of Australia (LFIA) in partnership with Development Victoria.

Set within the suburb of Sunshine North, Victoria, the former City West Water administrative bloc Melbourne & Metropolitan Board of Works Western Regional Complex is a heritage building in need of a new life. The building is a fine example of the influence of brutalism on the work of architectural firm A.K. Lines, MacFarlane and Marshall and representative of an important phase of growth of Melbourne in the 1970s and 1980s.

This ideas competition for a real building on a real site asked designers to imagine what socially just, culturally rich, and ecologically restorative adaptive reuse looks like within the new mixed-use community of Sunshine North LUMA. AHMM developed a set of clear strategies to achieve each of the LBC performance categories of Place, Water, Health + Happiness, Materials, Equity and Beauty and in the view of the judges:

'The project showcases a considered approach to achieving net-zero carbon impact throughout its lifecycle. It adeptly retains the essence of brutalist architecture through low-impact interventions that not only respect the original design but also provide flexibility for future adaptability and reconfiguration.'

Riga Competition 12.01.24

AHMM were finalists in a two-stage open international competition which sought proposals to convert the 1981 Riga Congress Centre into a new concert hall.

Designers were asked to draw up a masterplan and concept design for the site which is located within the historic Boulevard Circle area of the Latvian capital’s UNESCO World Heritage Zone. The main aims of the design competition were to provide a modern concert hall with high quality acoustics, specially designed for professional music; design a building which is strongly connected to its setting in Kronvalda Park; and preserve and enhance the value of the existing Riga Concert hall.

Our concept was straightforward and simple. Our design proposals sensitively enlarged and extended the Riga Congress Centre in an architectural style which is complementary to the Centre, whilst preserving as much of the existing building as possible without compromising the quality and acoustic performance of the Main Hall. We modified the existing main hall to meet the levels of the existing foyer spaces, ensuring that the generous circulation and break out spaces of the existing Congress Centre will be fully utilised, safeguarding the important spaces of the existing architecture and effectively integrating them into the functional design of the new building.

We designed a scheme which was compact and economical both in budget and carbon cost but without compromising the quality or generosity of the spaces or the architecture.

Review of 2023 08.01.24

In the context of a challenging year in construction, and even more importantly in the wider world, our talented teams continue to design and support the delivery of excellent architecture in the UK, Europe, the United States, and beyond. We look to the future from a place of greater resilience at the end of our 34th year, while celebrating many achievements over the past 12 months. We have completed 11 buildings and places that are diverse in type and scale, won 15 national and international awards, and continued to work on more than 150 live projects, including more than 15 which have achieved planning permission. 

Indeed, being resilient is a feature of our Review of 2023. Three of our long-completed projects, White Collar Factory, Burntwood School, and the University of Amsterdam, received 'Test of Time' awards this year, a sign of the enduring impact of carefully considered, well-made architecture. Equally, it's been a great pleasure to see the rebirth of a much older yet robust building with the opening of Tower Hamlets Town Hall, the complex, painstaking remaking of one kind of public building - a former hospital - to create a new one fit for the future of one of London's most diverse boroughs. Our work on this project included a significant social value programme that recently won the Thornton Education Trust Inspiring Future Generations Award for Social Value. 

We're also looking forward to working on a broad range of new projects beyond London including in Sheffield, Manchester, and Newcastle, while enjoying acclaim for One New Park Square, our first project to be completed in Scotland. 

Read our Review of 2023 here.

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