Tower Hamlets Town Hall wins a 2024 Pineapple Award 17.05.24

Tower Hamlets Town Hall has won a 2024 Pineapple Award in the creative retrofit category. Organised by The Developer magazine, the Pineapple Awards celebrate the best in placemaking and place-led initiatives, and recognise projects that make a positive social, environmental and economic impact.

The new Town Hall for the London Borough of Tower Hamlets is located within the Grade II listed former Royal London Hospital, in the heart of Whitechapel. The move to the site consolidates a number of the council’s offices into one location, and offers a broad range of public services to the borough’s residents. The project embodies the council’s vision to create a healthy, sustainable, and flexible work environment for their staff combined with front facing facilities and services for their residents in an open and welcoming environment.

Through the careful renovation and reinvention of the building, its life has been extended to serve the residents of Tower Hamlets for the next 50-100 years. Reusing and adapting a historic existing structure has created a series of unique spaces which celebrate the building’s history. The new public entrance at the base of the Grocers Wing creates a dynamic glazed shop front onto Whitechapel Road. The top lit atrium separates new and old with dramatic bridges linking the new open plan office spaces to the listed 1906 staircases. Former operating theatres are re-purposed as quirky breakout and workspaces.

The new build extension was designed with a long-life loose fit mandate, ensuring flexibility in the design of the layouts and servicing to accommodate the changing needs of the council in the future. Future flexibility has also been built in at ground floor with the local presence space able to accommodate a variety of different rolling activities for the community including exhibitions, summer schools and seminars. Equally the new council chamber can be reconfigured to host a range of events from full-council meetings to seminars and training sessions.

Structural transformation completes at 76 Southbank 15.05.24

The structural remodelling works at 76 Southbank have been successfully completed, marking a significant achievement in the journey towards creating a transformative space adjacent to the National Theatre.

Designed by Sir Denys Lasdun and completed in 1983 as an office and client marketing building for IBM, the existing building was no longer meeting modern-day occupier requirements. With a focus on occupant wellbeing, AHMM’s proposals sensitively remodel, refurbish, and extend the Grade II listed building delivering 300,000 square feet of adaptable and highly sustainable office space. 50,000 square feet of outdoor riverside terraces will be brought to life through a sensitive and considered landscape design, a new double height 10,000 sqft entrance lobby at street level will create a new colonnade activating the public realm and a new circulation core will provide future tenant flexibility and an animated focus to the generous office floorplates.

Delivered with developer Stanhope, the scheme will create a new pedestrian focused entry sequence in place of the first floor car drop off, retain the existing iconic building’s structure and façade and provide a long-term future for the building. With exceptional sustainability targets, the building will become a noteworthy example of low carbon office design, with a commitment to achieving Net Zero Carbon in both construction and day-to-day operation. Targeting BREEAM Outstanding certification and a NABERS Design Reviewed Target Rating of 5 Stars, the proposals maximise off-site fabrication of key building elements such as façade and MEP systems to minimise waste on-site and incorporates reused steel in its construction.

This milestone illustrates the significant progress achieved over the last 18 months towards creating a future-proofed, sustainable office environment that embodies innovation and prioritises wellbeing. The scheme, which has been overseen by Multiplex who are serving as the main contractors, has now reached its highest point and the complex structural works have come to a conclusion. Completion is set for Q4 2024.

10-16 Bevis Marks receives planning 13.05.24

Full planning approval for 10-16 Bevis Marks has been granted by the City of London.

The proposed development for our clients Sterling Real Estate and SG Rocks will retain and adapt the existing building at 10-16 Bevis Marks, converting an unlet office-building and repurposing it as boutique, serviced apartments for visitors and workers to stay in the City of London on leisure and business travel.

In addition to retaining the existing building’s super structure and façade a new rooftop extension will be created, with the overall proposal improving the existing architectural appearance, enhancing the street experience and celebrating key heritage assets whilst offering new accommodation within the heart of the City of London.

The existing ground floor frontage will be re-engaged with the street and reconceived as curated space for cultural and retail use creating an active ground floor frontage which will add vibrancy and vitality to the area.

The proposal will develop the site and adapt the existing building in a low-carbon, future-proof manner to deliver a series of public and social value benefits by implementing an adaptive re-use approach. 

Construction works are due to commence later this year.

Paul Monaghan presenting at 2024 Australian Architecture Conference 02.05.24

During his visit to our office in Sydney, AHMM’s Paul Monaghan will be presenting at the 2024 Australian Architecture Conference in Melbourne on Friday 10TH May.

In his talk, Radical reinvention, adaptive reuse, and advocacy for better cities, Paul will be discussing the significant challenges we collectively face within our cities and communities, and how reinvention of existing buildings and places, using under-utilised structures to create modern, more efficient and future-proofed spaces through reuse and intelligent additions extends the useful life of buildings and reasserts their place in the city. He will examine recent AHMM works in reuse including Tower Hamlets Town Hall, the adaptive reuse of the Royal London Hospital to create a new HQ for the London Borough of Tower Hamlets as well as the radical reinvention of the BBC Television Centre in west London.

As a member of the UK government’s Office for Place Advisory Board and the Department for Leveling Up, Housing and Communities steering group, Paul will also discuss his advocacy and engagement with government working to improve the quality of the UK’s cities and towns.

Please read more about the conference and book tickets here.

BCO Awards 2024, London 01.05.24

This lunchtime (01 May) Tower Hamlets Town Hall received a BCO Award in the refurbished/recycled workplace category at the BCO Awards annual London awards ceremony. Soho Place was also highly commended in the commercial workplace category.

Tower Hamlets Town Hall, the new headquarters for the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, encompasses the restoration of the Grade II listed former Royal London Hospital building and the addition of a new build extension. The design responds to key eras of the existing building’s development, between 1757 and 1906, utilising the architectural character inherent in each to enrich the new internal environment. The Georgian formality of the external facades has been retained, the restored brickwork creating a backdrop to the council’s activities within the new extension. The new build extension accommodates six levels of contemporary open place office accommodation. At ground level a new council chamber and associated meeting facilities form the borough’s democratic focus approached from a significant ‘local presence’ space.

Built on the arrival of Crossrail, now known as the Elizabeth line, to bolster the large-scale regeneration of Oxford Street’s eastern end, Soho Place offers a mix of uses including premium office space, retail and the first new-build West End theatre to open in 50 years. The latest iteration of a long-term research initiative between AHMM and Derwent London into the city and the workplace, the scheme seeks to be a robust, long-lasting and well-used part of the city that frames a new public space in the West End – a new place to work, visit, experience and dwell.

Palmerston Court nears completion 30.04.24

Palmerston Court, a new PassivHaus student accommodation project in Battersea, nears completion.

AHMM is working with urbanest and Mace to deliver three new buildings which will provide over 850 student residential units adjacent to Battersea Power Station in South West London. The design includes significant improvements to the surrounding public realm and an improved connection and accessibility to Battersea Park Road, to draw people into the site and act as a gateway at the northern edge of Battersea’s new Design and Tech Quarter masterplan.

This drone image, taken by Rot8 UAVs Ltd, shows the project at its final stages on site.

BCO Awards 2024, Scotland 29.04.24

1 New Park Square has won a BCO Award in the Commercial Category in Scotland.

Begun in the early 1990s with a masterplan by Richard Meier, Edinburgh Park is a linear development, running north/south along the western edge of the city of Edinburgh. As part of the Dixon Jones masterplan to redevelop the site, AHMM has designed several office-led mixed use building providing over half a million square feet of workspace, and related amenity facilities. 1 New Park Square is the first of these buildings and forms an important landmark signalling the end of the existing park and creating a backdrop to a new civic square designed by Gross Max.

At ground floor, a café and restaurant / music venue opens out onto the new public square. The building also houses a conference centre with four storeys of flexible office space above. The office floors are designed to allow for multiple configurations, allowing the space to be let as a single office space or split for up to three tenants.

1 New Park Square is an exemplar at Edinburgh Park and a catalyst for the future office typology. It aligns with the demands of the modern-day tenant and a world where carbon and energy consumption is to be significantly reduced. It is an office building that offers more than just workspace: it provides a landscaped backdrop to public life, and the integration of culture and collaborative spaces help create a building whose ethos is one centred on its people.

1 Broadgate Tops Out 26.04.24

The 1 Broadgate team celebrated the topping out of the building at a ceremony on site, on the 25th April, with client British Land and GIC, contractor Sir Robert McAlpine and the wider project team.

This mixed-use scheme within the Broadgate Campus near Liverpool Street station will create 50,000 square feet of retail space arranged around a new arcade over two levels with 500,000 square feet of new office space above.

In plan, the building form maintains the principles and geometry of the original masterplan by framing the public space around Broadgate circle and formally addressing the southern edge of Finsbury Avenue Square. Lower-level volumes pull apart to create entrances and retail arcades through the building establishing a form of retail podium on which the office uses are stacked. Generous terraces and balconies provide a total of 45,000 square feet of amenity and green space for users of the building.

1 Broadgate is AHMM’s second project as part of British Land’s revitalisation of the Broadgate campus, following the award winning 1 Finsbury Avenue.

Belgrove House Building Study Tour 26.04.24

On Tuesday, April 23, Simon Allford and Steve Smith from AHMM led a building tour of the Belgrove House construction site, marking the beginning of the Builds Bio+ Life Sciences Study Tour. This immersive journey spanned the historic streets of Oxford and Cambridge to the core of London's life science clusters, celebrated for their vibrant communities, state-of-the-art research facilities, and dynamic incubation spaces.

Located opposite King’s Cross and St Pancras Stations, Belgrove House is a new-build specialised laboratory and office building for the life-sciences sector to be occupied by MSD as their UK Discovery Research Centre and HQ. Designed to be innovative and highly sustainable, operational energy is reduced through a ‘biophilic’ double skin façade allowing natural ventilation and providing a zone for planting.

Life sciences research laboratories are located on the largest floorplates at floors 1-3, providing animation to the facades and a public window into the research activity within. Offices will be located on floors 5-9 with the fourth floor serving as a dedicated ‘collaboration hub’. A generous ground floor provides an education and event space, along with a café. A new step-free entrance to the Underground will link the building into King’s Cross and St Pancras stations via the pedestrian tunnel beneath Euston Road.

The project offers an excellent opportunity to dramatically enhance the surrounding area, bringing active facades where there were previously blank walls, by removing street clutter, and bringing greenery to all four sides of a building which mediates between Euston Road and Argyle Square.

AIA Central Oklahoma Architecture Awards 2024 23.04.24

Wheeler Condos received a Merit Award in the Large Architecture category in this year's AIA Central Oklahoma Architecture Awards. Flamingo Tiki and The Icehouse District also received a People’s Choice Award in their respective categories.

Wheeler Condos, Architecture
One of three AHMM projects in the Wheeler District of Oklahoma located on the south bank of the Oklahoma River; this three-storey new build condominium scheme joins the nearby Western Gateway Elementary School and Wheeler Office. The building form maximises density while providing ground floor retail and office space and four two- to three-bedroom homes on the upper floors. Large balconies provide protected amenity space and downtown views for each residence.

Flamingo Tiki, Interior ArchitectureAHMM’s second project for client Humankind Hospitality, Flamingo Tiki joins the Oso on Paseo bar in the thriving arts community of the Paseo District of Oklahoma City. Previously a small restaurant, the space was stripped back to create a new spacious and open central bar with curved banquette seating and additional seats on the improved terrace outside. The new interior teams mid-century styling and materials with a tropical colour palette that extends to its bright pink exterior.

The Icehouse District, Urban Placemaking
Located in Edmond, Oklahoma The Icehouse District takes its name from the former Edmond Ice Company that once stood on the site. The original Icehouse building, which no longer stands, was constructed in 1909, followed by the Creamery building in 1921. The new Icehouse District stitches together the renovated Creamery and other still standing buildings, with a series of walkways and landscaped courtyards; creating a new cohesive piece of city that houses a mix of food and beverage concepts, including an ice cream parlor.

AIA Central Oklahoma’s Architecture Awards program is held every other year and celebrates the best in architecture and urban design. 

Claire Pollock awarded RIBA Honorary Fellowship 18.04.24

AHMM’s Partnerships Lead, Claire Pollock, has been made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects. RIBA Honorary Fellowships are awarded every year to people who have made a significant contribution to architecture but are not architects. This includes people who have helped improve the quality of design and influence the delivery of the built environment in a more sustainable way, those involved in its promotion and management, and those who nurture the interests of future generations.

Claire is a cultural producer with three decades of experience specialising in innovative collaboration and participation within architecture. In that time, she has been committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in the built environment. She is a former Lead Officer for Architecture at Arts Council England, including developing and delivering National Architecture Week, a joint initiative with RIBA, which successfully extended public critical debate around contemporary architecture. She was also Head of Development of the Architecture Centre Network and a Senior Advisor at CABE for Sea Change, a culture-led regeneration programme.

In her role as Partnerships Lead at AHMM, Claire has transferred knowledge and experience from her work in national cultural organisations to deliver a high impact programme to a diverse range of communities. She co-chairs the practice’s Partnerships Group, which she set up in 2018 to bring together people from across the practice to direct resources, skills, fundraising and volunteering, and leads the development and delivery of AHMM’s partnerships work
with charities, cultural organisations and community initiatives. Collaborations she has developed and led include architectural workshops with Accumulate - The Art School for the Homeless; an exploration of RIBA HQ with young people from inclusive theatre Chickenshed; Migrateful Kitchen, a pro bono project for a charity delivering cookery classes led by refugees; and an annual Summer School for young people. Claire also leads on social value, and AHMM’s work on Tower Hamlets Town Hall was recently awarded a Thornton Education Trust Inspiring Future Generations Award for Social Value.

The 2024 Honorary Fellowships will be celebrated at the RIBA in June. Read more about them here.

Construction commences on Phase 2 of the Television Centre 15.04.24

Construction has started on two new residential buildings at the Television Centre in White City, London for developers Mitsui Fudosan UK and Stanhope.

The nine-storey ‘Scenery House’ designed by dRMM, and the 25-storey ‘The Ariel’ by AHMM form part of the second phase of the Television Centre masterplan and together provide 347 apartments and townhouses.

The accommodation will range from studios to four-bed townhouses with a complementary range of amenities including residents’ lounges, a screening room, co-working spaces and meeting rooms, as well as a private dining room and roof terrace.

Particular attention has been paid to greening the areas in and around the buildings. Landscape architect, Gillespies, has designed a courtyard garden, rooftop terrace and pocket park between the two built elements of the scheme.

The cluster of buildings comprising phase 2 of the Television Centre masterplan, are designed to have a distinctive character of their own, complementing each other as well as those buildings already established across the wider estate. The development of phase 2 will complete the masterplan and further open up the site to local residents by the creation of a second entrance on Wood Lane and a pedestrian connection through to Hammersmith Park via interlinking streets.

Multiplex has been appointed as the construction manager and completion is scheduled for mid-2027.

The Chartered Institute of Building Award 2024 12.04.24

Barry Kingscote, Galliford Try, has been named Construction Manager of the Year for 2024 by The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) for his work leading the team at One Great Cumberland Place on behalf of The Portman Estate.

The hugely successful scheme, designed by AHMM, saw the complex reconstruction of a 1920s office building, where only the façade was retained, carefully and respectfully enhanced and extended to accommodate an additional rooftop floor. The internal structure was removed floor by floor before being replaced by a new structural steel frame, rising from the sub-basement to the roof containing 11,500 sqm of space over 11 storeys, including three floors for retail and seven floors of high spec commercial office space.

One of the contributing factors behind the success of the scheme was the partnership with Marble Arch Bid (Business Improvement District) to support their community programme – working with their street team to combat anti-social behaviour and supporting local charitable and educational initiatives.

Commenting on his award, Barry said: “I can’t put the feeling into words. To go against all these fantastic managers in so many fields and to come out on top is just so surprising. It is an honour and I would like to congratulate everyone who has been recognised. This award is not just for me, but it is also a celebration of all the team’s hard work on such a challenging project.”

London Square Bermondsey shortlisted for a 2024 Housing Design Award 11.04.24

The masterplan for London Square Bermondsey has been shortlisted for a 2024 Housing Design Award.

This regeneration of a run-down and disjointed industrial estate in central London brings many vacant and under-used buildings with historic value back into use. The site includes some of the last remaining examples of buildings for the tannery trade, an industry that came to define Bermondsey in the 19th and early 20th century. From the early 20th century, the site was used by Crosse & Blackwell as its main London processing and canning factory. The scheme refurbishes these existing buildings and supplements them with new ones to provide new commercial, retail and residential uses.

The masterplan provides for more than 400 new homes, 35% of which will be affordable and social housing, with a new commercial hub of approximately 20,000 square metres dedicated to small and medium-sized enterprises. This allows the retention of two resident artist groups – The Drawing Room/Tannery Arts and Southwark Studios – who were previously located on the site and with whom the design team has collaborated on parts of the scheme to create a better sense of place.

Following an invited competition, the delivery of the masterplan has been supported by Coffey Architects and Studio Egret West Architects.

Taxi House Tops Out 02.04.24

Last Thursday, 27 March, the Taxi House team celebrated the topping out of the building at a ceremony on site in Westminster, with the client Cheyne Capital, the main contractor McAleer and Rushe and the project team.

This collection of buildings, designed around a new public space which opens out to the Grand Union Canal, will accommodate a hotel and extensive amenity space including a spa with swimming pool, waterside restaurant, a boutique cinema room, games space and various co-working zones and maker spaces.

The new split level public space, spanning from the entrance of the site to the waterfront, will be activated by retail and lobby space at the upper street level, and a café and performance space at canal level, where a new piazza adjacent to the canal enables public access to this part of the waterside for the first time.

The project is due to complete in spring 2025.

Tower Hamlets Town Hall wins Civic Trust Award 25.03.24

Tower Hamlets Town Hall has won a Civic Trust Award and a Special Award for Reuse and Adaptation.

Tower Hamlets Town Hall, the new headquarters for the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, encompasses the restoration of the Grade II listed former Royal London Hospital building, and the addition of a new extension. The move to the site consolidates a number of the council’s offices into one location, and offers a broad range of public services to the borough’s residents, in a more accessible location in Whitechapel. The project embodies the Council’s vision to create a healthy, sustainable, and flexible work environment for their staff combined with front facing facilities and services for their residents in an open and welcoming environment.

Bringing the centre of local government back to the heart of the borough has had a significant impact on Tower Hamlets’ 320,000 residents. Through a strategic programme of community engagement during the projects early design stages, the community’s sense of involvement has been strengthened with residents and local traders invested in the outcome of the building. The project has been universally welcomed since its completion as something being given back to the community. The ground floor reinforces this feeling through providing accessible council services and a rolling programme of exhibitions, summer schools and community workshops served by a community café. Residents are encouraged to take an interest in local government with clear views into the council chamber and generous public seating provision within.

Pineapple Awards 2024 Shortlist 21.03.24

Tower Hamlets Town Hall, Soho Place and Magna Square have been shortlisted for a 2024 Pineapple Award. The Pineapples celebrate places that thrive, that contribute to urban life, and encourage people to dwell, live, work, connect, learn or play.

Tower Hamlets Town Hall, shortlisted for The Pineapple for Creative Retrofit Award, encompasses the restoration of the Grade II listed former Royal London Hospital building, and the addition of a new build extension as the new headquarters for the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. The move to the former hospital site consolidates a number of the council’s offices into one location, and offers a broad range of public services to the borough’s residents, in a more accessible location in Whitechapel.

Soho Place, shortlisted for The Pineapple for Building Award, is an enormous urban jigsaw that builds on the arrival of the Elizabeth line to bolster the large-scale regeneration of Oxford Street and includes two new mixed-use buildings that frame a new civic plaza: Soho Place. No.1 Soho Place houses 33,000 square feet of retail space across three storeys and 191,000 square feet of office accommodation across nine storeys. No 2/4 Soho Place contains the first new-build West End theatre to open in 50 years with 18,000 square feet of office space above.

Magna Square, shortlisted for The Pineapple for Place of the Year Award, comprises four mixed use buildings (Liberty Hall, Gem House, Corn Merchant House and Parish Hall) providing retail, cinema, 101 new homes and student accommodation within the Egham Conservation Area. A new town square and wider pedestrianised public realm bring the buildings together and stitch 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.

Presentations from each shortlisted project will be given to judges during the Festival of Pineapples, a digital live event taking place in front of a live audience across a week.

Winners will be announced at the annual awards ceremony on the 16 May 2024.

The Professional NBA Arena Locker Room officially open 18.03.24

The new Professional NBA Arena Locker Room is officially open and in use by elite athletes, helping them to prepare mentally and physically for their games. The new space is equally mindful of the team of coaches, trainers, and assistants that support the players, to ensure that they are on top form and contributing to the collective success of the team. 

Breaking with the traditional logic of locker room design, where one catch-all room attempts to suit multiple uses, here the functions are separated to provide the highest quality provision of specialised use: team changing, training, briefing, dining and relaxing all have their own place, and cater to the changing energy before, during and after the game. The physical fitness of the players is assisted with sports medicine, hydrotherapy and strength and conditioning suites; officers, conference, screening rooms and separate changing rooms are provided for the coaching and management staff. 

New Study quantifies the carbon impact of Cat A fit out 12.03.24

AHMM has published a new study, titled ‘Fit Out – Rip Out’, which aims to quantify the potential carbon impact of Cat A fit out in commercial office buildings. The report challenges an industry standard approach to the design, construction, and marketing of speculative office space, and examines whole life carbon impact of Cat A fit out related to tenant lease cycles.

Dr Craig Robertson, Head of Sustainability at AHMM said: “AHMM’s Building Performance Team carries out analysis on all aspects of the buildings we design, and central to our role is sharing knowledge across the different project teams. Internal discussions and images of brand new Cat A materials being ripped out and discarded prompted us to start investigating the carbon impact of Cat A fit out.

This report outlines the drivers of the process and, for the first time, quantifies the potential impacts in both upfront and life cycle carbon terms. The data from our study illustrates the scale of the problem, and by sharing these findings beyond AHMM we hope to provoke conversations across our industry that lead to meaningful change in the way that we develop, market, and occupy our office buildings that responds to the climate emergency.”

To read more about the research and download the report please visit here.

Tower Hamlets Town Hall Shortlisted for a 2024 RICS Award 11.03.24

Tower Hamlets Town Hall has been shortlisted in three categories, Heritage, Refurbishment/Revitalisation and Public Sector, in the 2024 Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Awards.

Tower Hamlets Town Hall, the new headquarters for the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, encompasses the restoration of the Grade II listed former Royal London Hospital building, and the addition of a new build extension. The move to the former hospital site consolidates a number of the council’s offices into one location, and offers a broad range of public services to the borough’s residents, in a more accessible location in Whitechapel.

The new build extension provides six upper levels of open plan office accommodation providing a contemporary working environment for 2,470 council staff plus partner organisations. At ground level a new council chamber and associated meeting facilities form the borough’s democratic focus together with a significant ‘local presence’ space. The existing former hospital building, being cellular in nature, contains a range of meeting facilities for council staff, and public engagement space for Housing Options and customer services departments.

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

The Arc officially opens 08.03.24

On the evening of the 06 March The Arc on 225 City Road officially opened. 

Located on the prominent corner of City Road and Shepherdess Walk, The Arc is a new mixed-use building providing 145,000 square feet of flexible office floor space on levels one to six, with 100 new homes above, retail at ground level and extensive public realm.

The building form is broken into two distinct volumes which respond to the wider context including the adjacent conservation areas. The podium sensitively links into the urban massing of the adjacent streets whilst the stepped tower provides a clear marker on City Road. The transition from podium to tower at level seven is celebrated with a shared roof terrace and provides residents with areas to play, work, and relax.

A combination of active and passive measures delivers a highly flexible and sustainable building, achieving BREEAM ‘Excellent’ and the first German sustainability certified building in the UK under DGNB.

Constructed by Ghelamco, a European family run development company, work started in the 2020 lockdown. The wider team includes Whitby Wood, DSA Engineering, Grant Associates, Bower James Brindley, Claridge Architects, Massive Design (Poland), and DP9.

Elderberry Walk Officially Opens 06.03.24

Elderberry Walk has been officially opened by the Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, in a ceremony attended by key partners and project team members.

An exemplar housing development for suburban Bristol, Elderberry Walk demonstrates how high social, environmental and ecological aspirations can be achieved at low cost. Creating 161 new homes on the long-vacant site of Dunmail Primary School in the Southmead area of the city, the scheme provides a mix of much-needed affordable, shared ownership, key worker, ethically rented and private sale homes. The design focuses on fundamental principles such as making streets where front doors face front doors, with a logical easily understood layout where parking is carefully integrated. At its heart is the Green Lane, a landscaped street with wildlife swales and incidental play which follows an established dog-walking route to a nearby park.

The development is the result of a unique partnership between Brighter Places, Bristol and Bath Regional Capital and Cheyne Capital, bringing together funding and interests of a housing association, a community investment company and private sector capital to provide affordable homes for modern living that are set in an open and thoughtfully landscaped environment.

photograph © Brighter Places 

Cycle to MIPIM 2024 01.03.24

Two AHMM cyclists are in the midst of training for this year’s cycle to MIPIM. This year, Cormac Farrelly and Michael Smith are taking part in a 4-day iteration of Cycle to MIPIM, riding up to 847km from Auxerre to Cannes 09 – 12 March. The pair have been ramping up their training over the past couple of weeks putting in long hours on the bike in preparation for the challenge ahead.

Started in 2006, Cycle to MIPIM is organised by charity and cycling network Club Peloton. As a team challenge, endurance event and networking opportunity, the ride also crucially raises money for charities including Coram, Tom AP Rhys Pryce Memorial Trust and Cyclists Fighting Cancer.

Find out more about Cycle to MIPIM here and support Cormac and Michael via JustGiving.

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.