January 2021

Final ledger stone relaid in Bath Abbey

Nearly three years after works commenced on the Bath Abbey Footprint, the last floor stone has been relaid, completing the stabilisation, restoration, and relaying of the Abbey floor. The carved gravestones (ledger stones) represent a cross section of Bath’s history from 1625 to 1845.

Three phases of work, involving 1200 cubic meters of excavations and archaeological recording (which revealed a 700 year old tile floor) and specialist stone repairs, as well as recording new evidence of the Abbey’s history has all been completed. The successful structural stabilisation of the Abbey’s 50 tonne organ and several tombs have also been accomplished.

Alex Morris, Associate at FCBStudios explains “Each of the Abbey floor stones were lifted and recorded, individually assessed, repaired and cleaned. This included the 891 floor stones with carved inscriptions, more than any other cathedral or church in the United Kingdom.  A floor relay plan, incorporating 2405 individual stones, has also been completed, to facilitate the representation of the floor.

The process of mortar repairs, pointing and cleaning of the Abbey floor continues, along with works to provide new facilities for the Abbey, including a discovery centre for research and education, and song school. The project team, including Buro Happold, Emery Builders, Mann Williams and Wessex Archaeology continue works to successfully complete the project.

New Arts Building for the University of Warwick tops out

The construction of the new Faculty of Arts building for Warwick University is progressing to schedule and a topping out ceremony took place in November to celebrate the successful collaboration on the construction of the project. The concrete frame has reached its full height of 35m, and the ceramic rainscreen cladding is now being installed.

Materials were chosen for longevity, responding to the long-term flexibility of the building. The design team worked together to reduce both the quantum of material used and the embodied carbon of the resulting structure.

James Breckon, Director of Estates at The University of Warwick said “One of the key things we were looking for was a collaborative approach, and we chose the consultants and contractor on the project based on that. It allowed us too really engage in conversation understanding the problems we were facing. We were all aligned on one goal which was the achievement of a really successful project.”

The Faculty of Arts Building will unite the Arts and Humanities Faculties in one building, fostering new collaborations in the heart of the University campus. This milestone, which comes a year after the initial groundbreaking, is in line with the expected opening of the building for the 2021/2022 academic year.

Watch the film of the topping out ceremony

December 2020

Best wishes from FCBStudios

For a Happy Christmas and a successful New Year.

Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios will be closed for the holidays from 12.30 on Thursday 24 December until 9.00 on Monday 4 January.

We look forward to seeing you in 2021.

Image: Croft Gardens, King's College Cambridge, zero-carbon residential accommodation for students and fellows, is now on site, being built to Passivhaus standards

FCBStudios practice carbon footprint study shows lowest emissions for 15 years

Since we started calculating the practice’s carbon footprint in 2006, our records show that our annual carbon emissions have halved from an average of 1.6 t per person to 0.8 t per person.

Calculations for the carbon emissions of FCBStudios' five studios, in the (pre covid) period from April 2019 to April 2020, measured a total of 179 tCO2.  This is the lowest level recorded by the practice, with the total having fluctuated from 192 tCO2 in 2006 to a peak of 262 tCO2 in 2018 as the size of the practice has grown, including expanding from two offices to five. However, the average per person emissions has steadily decreased.

Dr Joe Jack Williams said “Over the past 15 years our recording processes have become more accurate and our appreciation of the issues across the practice have increased. We still have some way to go to reduce our carbon footprint to zero without using offsetting, but this year marks a good milestone for us, on which we hope to build.”

In the 2019-20 period, the practice reduced the number of flights taken (mainly short-haul between the UK and Ireland) and instead increased use of virtual meeting technology. An ongoing capital projects programme replaced many of the light fittings in the London and Bath Studios with LED fittings and we promoted better user control of heating in our London and Bath studios.

Although not measured within the carbon footprint, the impact of our food and drink was reduced, as the practice became ‘lunchtime vegetarians’ and changes to our website and other hosting reduced their carbon impact. 

Next year’s carbon calculations will reflect the shift to homeworking, and the impact that has had on both the practice carbon footprint and our personal carbon footprints.

University of Plymouth new engineering and design facility approved at planning

The University of Plymouth has been granted permission for a new facility that will inspire and educate the next generation of engineers and designers.

The Babbage building, on the western edge of the University’s main campus, will be enlarged and enhanced to provide an innovative and sustainable new home for the School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics and additional space for the School of Art, Design and Architecture.

The facility will include a dedicated new-build component and refurbishment of the 1970s Babbage building, creating more than 10,000m² of research and teaching space. This will offer enhanced and modern specialist equipment, aligned to staff research and expertise and targeted on activities that support our research focus and enable us to engage with regional industrial partners

Colin Cobb, Associate at FCBStudios, said: “Our proposals for the engineering and design facility will provide state-of-the-art new facilities through the sustainable re-use of existing infrastructure.

Our plans take the building back to the original concrete frame – a characterful waffle-slab construction – that will be revealed by stripping out suspended ceilings and overhead services to create open and well-lit spaces to promote creativity, cross-disciplinary collaboration and wellbeing. The design has incorporated a range of complex and ambitious technical facilities, which will provide engineering and design students with the experience and skills they need to design our future. We are excited to have received planning permission for the project and look forward to starting construction in 2021.”

FCBStudios led team wins Camden Council competition for Camley Street regeneration

FCBStudios, working with Architecture 00, Studio Woodroffe Papa, Planit-IE, Buro Happold and CDRM Services have been announced as winners of a Camden Council competition for a £136 million regeneration of two light industrial parks just north of King’s Cross.

The project aims to deliver a ‘highly sustainable, inclusive and innovative’ mixed-use transformation of two sites in the Borough. Plans for the sites at 120-136 Camley Street and nearby 3-30 Cedar Way, will meet objectives set out in the Camley Street Neighbourhood Development Plan which has been developed by the local community over recent years.

Sara Grohmann, Partner, FCBStudios said: “We see this as a fantastic opportunity to work with Camden Council and the Local Community to develop a truly sustainable scheme for the regeneration of a key site in the borough.

The Camley Street site offers a once in a generation opportunity to create a balanced neighbourhood with opportunities for all, contributing to the local economy and linking with the emerging public realm proposals for the area.

We are thrilled to be part of this team, working to develop a neighbourhood and economy that is close to our own London Studio”.

Net zero carbon woodland nursery revealed for Staffordshire University

The on-campus nursery and forest school, designed by FCBStudios has play, development, wellbeing and nature at its heart, in a net zero carbon building with a strong link to the adjacent nature reserve.

The proposals are for a purpose-built 100fte full day care nursery with the additional capacity of a 24-place classroom and observational suite. It will also incorporate a forest school facility intended to help develop links with local schools and provide community participation opportunities.

Simon Branson, Partner, FCBStudios said “The nursery will have a seamless connection with its woodland setting, supporting an adaptable and holistic learning environment that can encourage education through nature, play and adventure. Using a highly insulated pre-fabricated timber structure for the construction, plentiful north and west light from the roof lights and natural ventilation, it will have not only a low impact on the environment but a connection to it, allowing its users to benefit to the utmost. We are looking forward to assisting our client in taking the nursery to site, delivering the next generation of sustainable buildings for our next generation.

Work on the nursery is set to commence in early 2021. On completion in 2022, the building is expected to become the first net-zero carbon facility on campus having been designed using passive and highly efficient technologies for heating, cooling, and ventilation.

November 2020

FCBS CARBON Webinar and Presentation now available online

A big thank you to everyone who recently joined our workshops on how to get the most out our new free tool FCBS CARBONWe are delighted with the amazing amount of engagement so far.

FCBS CARBON is a new lifecycle carbon calculator, which helps architects achieve carbon-neutral building. It has been created by FCBStudios to make the impact of design decisions on the carbon footprint of a building visible at the crucial early stages of work.

The webinar covers why the tool came about, how to enter data, and how to get the most of it, with a live demonstration.

Carbon is not just a problem for FCBStudios, but for all of us, and we continue to be committed to share knowledge with the industry.

FCBS CARBON is still in development and we appreciate feedback from users.

Download Presentation
Watch the Recording

Manchester Piccadilly Hotel, for Pestana’s Cristiano Ronaldo CR7 brand, approved at planning

The 4*plus hotel, with lounge bar and rooftop terrace, located at the corner of Piccadilly and Newton Street has been approved by Manchester City Council. The scheme proposes the re-use of a Grade II listed building and an 11-storey new build, which marks the gateway to the Northern Quarter and transformation of a prominent city-centre site.

Operated under the Pestana CR7 brand, it will be a high quality, contemporary hotel offering over 150 rooms, with a welcoming ground floor lounge bar and rooftop with external terrace, both for guest and public use. It would see the refurbishment of the Grade II listed 69-75 Piccadilly, a former 19th Century combined office and warehouse building known as the Halls Building. The Piccadilly Tavern, which occupies the ground floor of the listed building will also be refurbished as part of the project and the development is completed through new build elements to the rear and adjacent 67 Piccadilly.

The current building at 67 Piccadilly has been hidden behind hoardings for over a decade due to it being in a state of disrepair. The proposals seek to re-engage this neglected corner with a bold and distinctive design that references the unique character of the Conservation Area through materiality, colour and façade proportions.

Simon Doody, Partner, FCBStudios said “The corner site is long overdue for redevelopment and in a prominent position that requires a strong architectural presence. The vaulted archways wrapping around the building offer an honest representation of the repetitive nature of the hotel brief, resulting in a contextual and elegant façade design. This sets the tone for the 4* hotel and transformation of the Piccadilly area."

FCBS win competition to design Three Chamberlain Square

FCBStudios have won the competition to design the next building at Paradise Birmingham.

‘Three Chamberlain Square’ will continue as part of the latest phase of the development, which is transforming the very heart of the city centre and will provide circa 160,000 sq ft of commercial office space next to the Town Hall, Chamberlain Square, and Paradise Street.

Keith Bradley, Senior Partner at FCBStudios, said: “Our approach to Three Chamberlain Square is centred around sustainability, wellbeing and place. In one of the first post-Covid office buildings to be commissioned in the UK, we intend to raise the bar and bring a game-changing office building to the West Midlands.

“Our ambition is to make a working environment which is desirable and attractive, while pushing the sustainability aspirations to deliver a net zero carbon building. Our design offers adaptable and resilient spaces and breathes new life into the workplace. With daylight, dramatic views, natural ventilation and greenery throughout, the offices engage with the outside to make an inspiring workplace.

“Three Chamberlain Square has a prominent city centre location adjacent to the Town Hall. It will pay homage to the past while setting new standards of modern design, to create a place that will be transformative in its ability to bring opportunities and jobs to Birmingham.”

At almost 2 million square feet, Paradise is delivering up to 10 new flagship buildings, offering offices, shops, bars, cafés, restaurants and a hotel across 17 acres in the heart of the city, together with the proposed Octagon residential building.

Paradise sits in the country’s largest city centre Enterprise Zone and has already benefited from investment by the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) in enabling and infrastructure works.

A website showcasing the vision for Paradise, in addition to a live time-lapse camera and all the latest news about the development, can be viewed at www.paradisebirmingham.co.uk.                  

Limerick Twenty Thirty competition win for FCBStudios and Bucholz McEvoy Architects

FCBStudios and BMEA have been appointed to lead a design team in the transformation of Limerick's historic Cleeves site.

The new urban quarter will be an attractive cultural destination, offer new gathering spaces for the city and community, and act as a catalyst for new models of sustainable urban living and working in Limerick.

An initial masterplan for the 10-acre site on the northern bank of the River Shannon aims to provide around 300 homes and 42,000sqm of workplace within extensive riverside public realm and renovate and reuse the historic flaxmill as a cultural anchor for the area. The proposals seek to act as a catalyst in the regeneration of Limerick City, through a contemporary reframing of Cleeves’ historic legacy as a productive, industrious, and resourceful site that capitalises on its riverside location, its industrial history and its forward-thinking culture.

Located close to the city centre, the vision is for the site is to be a sustainable, healthy and vibrant neighbourhood, well connected and supporting a strong local economy through the creation of employment and new local attractions that encourage and facilitate new business investment.

Simon Carter, Partner, FCBStudios said: "Honouring Cleeves’ history and memory, we aim to create an environment that springs from the essence of the existing buildings and their traditions; supports the local population and community activities and promotes health and well-being. Our vision is for a liveable and truly sustainable city quarter, and a destination for city-wide civic and cultural events."

Arup and Mitchells + Associates are part of the design team.

Paradise announced as winner of NLA Working Award

The net carbon zero workplace in Vauxhall was designed for Bywater Properties with a commitment to creating a healthy and environmentally aware design. The new building was given planning approval this year and will replace the disused Costa Coffee roastery on Old Paradise Street to provide 60,000 square feet of flexible work and maker space.

The Working category concerned itself with a wide variety of schemes from office buildings and interiors to co-working hubs and affordable workspaces for making and manufacturing. It encompasses new build and adaptive reuse, with big budget offerings alongside low-cost ‘minnows’. The jurors said they could not ignore the pervasive pandemic lens’ but that pre-COVID good design features should provide resilience now. 

Themes emerged across the schemes including the use of diverse ranges of spaces and flexible floor plates, energy storage and low-energy features, user experience and wellbeing issues, unusual financial models of leasing, placemaking and use of materials, all expressed with a great concern for carbon impacts. 

FCBStudios Partner, Amanda Whittington talks about the project in this film

Murrays’ Mills announced as Finalist in the 2021 Civic Trust Conservation Awards

Murrays’ Mills, the oldest surviving steam-powered cotton mill in the world, has been selected as a regional finalist in the 2021 Civic Trust AABC Conservation Awards.

The Grade II and II* listed cotton mill has been transformed into one of the defining residential developments in Manchester’s Ancoats neighbourhood.

The project converts two parallel seven and eight storey mill buildings, linked by an administrative building, into modern-day dwellings. A new-build block replaces the former Wing Mill to complete the mill courtyard once more, enclosing a private garden which nods to the former canal turning basin. The sculpture stair towers and chimney are retained, part of the existing character and heritage which informed the process of transformation.

All Regional Finalists will now be considered by the AABC National Judging Panel for a Civic Trust AABC Conservation Award, be Highly Commended or will remain as a Regional Finalist, to be announced in January 2021.

Please CLICK HERE for the complete list of 2021 Regional Finalists.

Paradise features in the New London Architecture Carbon Zero London

The latest NLA report, to be launched on 11 November looks at key barriers for London in addressing the climate emergency.

The Zero Carbon London report examines how London is getting ready to become a zero-carbon city, analysing current policies from both city and local governments and reviewing how the private sector is addressing the challenge by setting ambitious standards and developing new industry frameworks. It presents initiatives and approaches being developed by key industry leaders includes a project showcase of over 80 London schemes and provides a snapshot of where London is in the race to net zero. 

The report includes our design for Paradise as a case study. The net zero carbon work and maker space for Bywater Properties will transform a neglected site in Vauxhall, London, with a timber-framed building that is on target for almost 60 years of a negative carbon footprint.

Unveiling the results of a survey of over 170 built environment professionals, this report brings to light the key challenges the sector is facing to bring down carbon emissions while assessing where London is on the roadmaps to net zero.

Stanbrook Abbey voted best New Church Building of the past decade

The Ecclesiastical Architects and Surveyors Association and National Churches Trust have named Stanbrook Abbey the best of the last ten years of winners in their Church Architecture Awards.

Stanbrook Abbey was completed in 2015, relocating a Benedictine community of nuns from their old Victorian home in Worcester to their new home in the North York Moors National Park. Over two phases of construction, Stanbrook Abbey provides accommodation for the nuns and shared kitchen, dining and work facilities as well as a new Community Church and Chapel, Chapter House and guest spaces.

The UK Church Architecture Awards honours excellence and creativity in church architecture, and the award was the result of a vote by those attending the online ceremony last night.

FCBS CARBON, our lifecycle carbon review tool, is now available to the industry

FCBS CARBON has been designed to estimate the whole life carbon of a building to inform design decisions prior to detailed design. This makes potential carbon impacts clear to the client, architect and the whole design team from the outset of the design process. 

Dr Joe Jack Williams, Associate and Researcher at FCBStudios, led the development of FCBS CARBON. He said: “Understanding the impact arising from our design choices is an essential step for architects and designers if we are to meet the RIBA 2030 Climate Challenge commitments and reach net zero carbon emissions. We have developed FCBS CARBON using standardised and benchmarked data to empower the industry to navigate complex design variables without the burden of creating a full bill of materials each time.”

The tool makes an estimate of the operational emissions and embodied emissions of key building elements – materials, finishes sub and super structure - from cradle to grave over a 60-year lifespan and also considers the emissions offsets within a project, attributable to: carbon sequestration; reuse of building elements at end of life; and on-site renewable energy generation.  

The beta version of FCBS CARBON, including full guidance notes, is available to download free.

Two FCBStudios Associates become Passivhaus Certified

Architect, Nick Hodges and Researcher Dr Joe Jack Williams are the latest FCBStudios employees to become Passivhaus certified.

Passivhaus is the leading international low energy design standard and we believe it is one of the key routes to achieving net zero operational carbon and reducing the performance gap between design and operation. 

Dr Joe Jack Williams commented "The process and the focus that comes with trying to achieve Passivhaus means that it is an excellent tool to creating low energy buildings. The stringency of the airtightness requirements, the process of testing through the build and the open culture required are all positive additions to building, and especially residential, projects. This delivers high-performance projects with an emphasis on quality throughout.”

Nick Hodges was closely involved in the Kellogg College Hub, our first Passivhaus building, and is currently project lead at Croft Gardens, a Passivhaus project for King's College Cambridge, with a 100-year design life, that has recently commenced on site and is due to be delivered in 2021. 

FCBStudios is committed to the RIBA 2030 climate challenge, Architects Declare and our own targets to have zero operational carbon buildings on site in 2025.

October 2020

Sunderland ‘healthy office' wins BCO Commercial Workplace award

The Beam, the first development on Sunderland’s former Vaux Brewery site, has been announced as the winner of the Commercial Workplace category in the British Council of Offices Awards.

The judges said "With the highest health and sustainability credentials, and acting as a catalyst for wider investment, this remarkable building has reset expectations for Sunderland."

The Beam is a speculative office designed by FCBStudios to be an appealing and healthy workplace, that is part of the local context. Owned by Sunderland City Council, the building has low embodied and operational energy demands and sets a high standard of workplace accommodation for the site.

Distinctively ‘Belfast’ workplace and retail development gets go-ahead at planning

Detailed planning approval has been granted for Smithfield Yard, a 167,000 sq.ft mixed-use development in Central Belfast for three new exemplar ‘Grade A’ and SME workspace buildings, arranged around The Yard - a new public space that supports flexible working environments.

FCBStudios have developed designs for Bywater Properties and Ashmour Developments that reimagine a future for the Smithfield area.  By creatively integrating an existing listed building into a series of buildings of various scales and cladding materials the grain of the city is re-established where it is currently eroded. Smithfield Yard provides a mix of retail and workspaces that will support local economies and business within the historic Smithfield Market area and provide vibrant activity to the surrounding streets.

Sam Tyler, Partner, FCBStudios said “Smithfield Yard will create 'an eco–system of workplaces’ from large grade A office to informal co-working spaces.  Coupled with retail at the lower floors the workplace development will support local economies and business, authentic to Belfast and linked together with new lanes and yards appropriate to the grain of the city.”

The full press release is available here.

Low carbon Sheffield office building given the go ahead

Sheffield City Council has approved plans for a city centre office building within the ambitious Heart of the City II scheme.

The low carbon workplace building will occupy a vacant lot next to the Cambridge Street Collective, a mixed use leisure and retail scheme, also by FCBStudios, which was approved last month

The new premises will provide approximately 70,000 sq. ft of Grade A office space over seven upper floors, with shops, restaurants or cafés at the ground floor. The building’s dark coloured metal finish is inspired by Sheffield’s celebrated industrial past, allowing it to complement heritage assets across the Block H site.


Murrays' Mills on Building Awards Refurbishment Project of the Year shortlist

Murrays’ Mills, the transformation of a Grade II and II* listed cotton mill to one of the defining residential developments in Manchester’s Ancoats neighbourhood has been shortlisted in the 2020 Building Awards Refurbishment Project of the Year shortlist.

The project converts two parallel 7 and 8 storey mill buildings, linked by an administrative building, into modern-day dwellings. A new build block replaces the former Wing Mill to complete the mill courtyard once more,  enclosing a private garden which makes nods to the former canal turning basin. A chimney and sculptural stair towers are retained, part of the existing character and heritage which informed the process of transformation. The outcome is an oasis in Ancoats.

The full shortlist was announced today and can be rewatched here, and the award winners will be announced on 3 November in an online ceremony.

September 2020

Making Models film shortlisted in Archiboo Awards

We are delighted to be listed among a strong shortlist for the 2020 Archiboo best use of video award. Making Models is a short film made by FCBStudios with Kate Goodwin, Head of Architecture and Drue Heinz Curator at the Royal Academy of Arts, explores in more detail how and why we use architectural models and the skill and craftsmanship that goes into their creation. 

Originally made to communicate with clients, collaborators, students or the general public, about some of the hidden processes, techniques and technologies that go into creating models, it was intended to be screened as part of our regular architectural model exhibition in our London gallery space. But instead, the film was released a month into lockdown and at a time when architects and designers were navigating their way through a new way of working which at first seemed isolated and disjointed. The film was a poignant reminder of what can happen when we work creatively and collaboratively together. It transported the viewer back inside the design studios and the model making workshops and gave hope, at a time of great uncertainty, that we would get there again. 

You always get that moment when people's eyes kind of light up when they see a model. So whenever you put one on the table or you reveal one, there's an instant impact. There is this connection that people have with physical models that you just can't get from a screenCassidy Wingrove, Modelmaker, FCBStudios.

Watch the film.

The full Archiboo awards shortlists can be seen here and the winners will be announced in November via a blended ceremony.

Kelloggs’ site redevelopment approved

Proposals for Lumina Village, the redevelopment of the former Kelloggs site in Stretford, have been approved at planning committee by Trafford Council. The plans include up to 750 residential homes, a school, office space, a hotel, a bar and an energy centre, with thousands of jobs for the area set to be supported.

Ernst ter Horst, Associate at FCBStudios said “The redevelopment of the former Kelloggs site has the potential to create a fantastic new neighbourhood and the planning approval brings us a step closer to making this a reality. Designed around people, with plenty of green space and car-free ‘play streets’ it will be a centre not only for the residents of the much-needed new homes, but for the wider local and working community of Trafford.”

The redevelopment is a joint venture between Trafford Council and Bruntwood Works and is part of the wider Trafford Civic Quarter Masterplan, which covers a 120-acre site that includes the town hall and Lancashire Cricket Club.

Andrea George, regional director of town centres at Bruntwood Works, said: "Lumina Village will be a mixed-use neighbourhood that combines the heritage and history of the area with the needs of the modern resident, worker, student and school pupil. We're committed to supporting the wider ecosystem of the towns and cities we operate in – Lumina Village will future-proof the area with the highest-standard housing and education facilities surrounded by a thriving commercial offering, catering to the needs of every generation in the community."

Full release here.

Refurbished V&A's Raphael Court to reopen in November

The V&A’s Raphael Court – home to the Raphael Cartoons – will reopen  this November following a nine-month refurbishment to mark the 500th anniversary of Raphael’s death. Designed by FCBStudios, the refreshed gallery and its new interpretive approach will transform the way museum visitors experience the Cartoons, lent to the V&A from the Royal Collection by Her Majesty The Queen.

The scheme introduces a new decorative scheme and infrastructure in the Raphael Court to reveal the Cartoons’ extraordinary details and vibrant palette. Acoustic panelling will help to create a calmer environment, and bespoke furniture gives new opportunities to sit and enjoy the works at leisure. State-of-the-art LED lighting will reduce reflections on the glass and produce a marked increase in visibility of the works.

Matt Somerville, Associate at FCBStudios, said: “The Raphael Court presents a change of pace within the busy museum and our designs emphasise this to create a quieter, more contemplative interior where the Cartoons are given the space they need, both physically and intellectually. Within the Grade I listed interior the visibility and presentation of Raphael's Cartoons will be transformed. There is so much more to tell visitors about these cultural treasures, but that is first dependent on them being brought to the forefront of a re-worked gallery.”

FCBStudios shortlisted for £700m Paradise Birmingham Scheme

FCBStudios have been shortlisted by Argent LLP, alongside three other architectural practices, to bring forward detailed design proposals for 3 Chamberlain Square, within the Paradise Masterplan in Birmingham by Glenn Howells.

Three Chamberlain Square will sit in a prominent location to the west of the Town Hall and front onto Paradise Street. A crucial site in the overall Paradise Masterplan, the building will become the fifth building to be built as part of the Paradise estate, with a planning application anticipated to be lodged during 2021.

Rob Groves, regional director of Argent said “There is real potential here to create an extraordinary new building that pays homage to the past while setting new standards of modern design and sustainability.”

Alongside the already completed One Chamberlain Square and Two Chamberlain Square, the 280,000 sq ft One Centenary Way is under construction and a 49-storey residential tower, Octagon, is currently progressing through the planning process.

Three Chamberlain Square will, along with a new 4-star hotel on the corner of Paradise Street and Ratcliff Square, complete Phase Two of Birmingham’s most important regeneration scheme.

It is envisaged that a winner will be revealed in October. Read the full press release here.

Five FCBStudios projects shortlisted in NLA Awards

We are delighted to have five projects shortlisted in six categories in the New London Architecture 2020 awards including the Southbank Skate Space being one of four projects shortlisted for the Mayor of London's Community Prize. 

London projects that have been recognised in the awards shortlist are:  Paradise, a healthy, net carbon zero workplace on a brownfield site in Lambeth in the Working category; Rotherhithe Primary School in Southwark in Learning; Battersea Exchange – a residential-led mixed-use scheme, with a primary school and rejuvenated entrance to Queenstown Road railway station in the Mixing category; The Britannia Project in Planning; and the Southbank Skate Space in Experiencing Culture categories.

NLA has a vision for a New London: for a city that is sustainable, civilised and egalitarian, that seeks to improve the quality and standards of new design and respects its rich mix of old and new, that supports the regeneration of its towns, and that strives to improve the usability of its streets and public spaces.

The Awards celebrate all scales of projects, from community-led to large-scale mixed-use developments, both built and unbuilt, that contribute to and enhance this vision of the city. Voting is open to the public now. 

Unanimous planning approval for Sheffield Heart of the City Scheme

The next piece of Sheffield’s Heart of the City II scheme received unanimous planning approval and listed building consent yesterday.

FCBStudios’ creative re-use scheme for block H3 of the city centre site provides 45,000sqft of accommodation for a new collection of events spaces, with associated areas of retail/ food and beverage, leisure and studio spaces, all set within a mixture of existing fabric, including a Grade II Listed Sunday School, and a new build market hall enclosure.

Block H, located between Wellington Street, Carver Street and Cambridge Street, sits at the centre of the Heart of the City II masterplan and includes some of the most interesting heritage buildings within the masterplan.

The FCBStudios designed proposals for the block aim create a new ‘cultural heart’ for the scheme, which will combine existing and new architecture to provide a destination which has a character uniquely of the place.

We await the planning committee outcome for block H2, a 70,000sqft office building due to be heard next month.

Feilden Foundation Newsletter 2020

The Feilden Foundation is pleased to share an update on our projects over the last year including our new buildings at Rubengera Technical Secondary School and continued work with New Generation in Burundi. We are delighted to have published A Manifesto for Climate Responsive Design, produced following the Enabel conference Peter Clegg and Isabel Sandeman attended last year, and we have also launched our new Feilden Foundation website which contains updated information about all the work the Feilden Foundation is involved in.

Moving forward we are looking at potential further stages for our Community of Practice project in Uganda, now in its third year, and how we can publicise the ideas from the Manifesto to a wider audience with an online exhibition about Climate Responsive Design with FCBStudios.

The Feilden Foundation was set up in memory of Richard Feilden - an indefatigable 'can do' architect and champion of education for all. Africa inspired him to share his skills and enthusiasm in order to make the world a better place. The Foundation works in his name and in his inspiration and seeks to use its resources to empower communities. We aim to improve both the educational infrastructure and the teaching and learning opportunities that are available for children and young people in Africa, that will serve as exemplar models of practice to others. An offshoot of FCBStudios, the Feilden Foundation uses our professional expertise in building for education to develop effective centres of learning across the African continent.

Read the full newsletter here and to get the annual newsletter straight into your inbox, sign up for the Feilden Foundation mailing list.

Murrays’ Mill transformation shortlisted for Blueprint reuse award

The transformation of Murrays' Mills the world’s oldest surviving steam-powered cotton mill, a Grade I listed building, to apartments in Manchester’s thriving Ancoats neighbourhood has been shortlisted in the Best building re-use project category.

Working carefully with the character and structure of the existing mill buildings to find the most appropriate dwelling typologies has resulted in a portfolio of one, two and three-bedroom homes which retain original features and have defined the industrial mill apartment for the area. The design retains the external appearance of the existing buildings and creates a new ‘fourth side’ building, Wing Mill, that both complements and contrasts the original structures.

The Beam, a speculative workplace in Sunderland has also been shortlisted in the best commercial project category. The winners of the awards will be announced in November. See the full shortlists here

August 2020

Blueprint Awards shortlist The Beam in commercial category

The Beam is a speculative office building, the centrepiece of the first phase of the exciting, ambitious regeneration of the Vaux site in Sunderland city centre. It has been designed as a non-conventional space that will attract tenants in a competitive market and is focussed around themes including a ‘Sustainable Workplace’, and a ‘Lean Building’. It has been shortlisted in the Best non-public building (commercial) category.

The prestigious Blueprint Awards celebrate the very best architecture and design being created across the globe, and we are delighted to reveal the last shortlisted entries for this year’s awards.

The winners will be announced in November.

Plans submitted to Manchester City Council for 4*plus hotel for Manchester Piccadilly

The high-quality, contemporary 4*plus hotel, for Southern Green Properties will offer over 150 rooms, with a welcoming ground floor lounge bar and rooftop with external terrace. It would see the refurbishment of the Grade II listed 69-75 Piccadilly, a former 19th Century office and warehouse building known as the Halls Building. The development is completed through an 11-storey new build, which marks the gateway to the Northern Quarter and a transformation of a prominent city-centre site.

Simon Doody, Partner, FCBStudios said “The corner site is long overdue for redevelopment and in a prominent position that requires a strong architectural presence. The arched fenestration pattern wrapping around the building offers both an honest representation of the lines of hotel rooms, and a contextual response to the surrounding warehouse frontages. The building is clearly seated in Manchester’s distinct heritage with a modern and elegant approach. This sets the tone for the 4* hotel and transformation of the Piccadilly area.”

The current building at 67 Piccadilly has been hidden behind hoarding for over a decade due it being in a state of disrepair. The proposals seek to re-engage this neglected corner with a bold and distinctive design that references the unique character of the Conservation Area through materiality, colour and façade proportions.

Planning for Climate Change and Rapid Urbanisation

FCBStudios have been working with the Commonwealth Sustainable Cities Initiative on a series of online webinars and pre-recorded lectures, the aim of which is to explore the potential for greater inter-disciplinary, cross-sector collaboration to address the challenges posed by climate change, rapid urbanisation and the recovery from Covid-19. 

Our first lecture, 'Climate Responsive Design', provides an overview, based on a Manifesto which has been written by FCBStudios on behalf of the Belgian Development Agency, Enabel. It is followed by a case study of how the principles of climate responsive design have been used on the Aga Khan Academy in Bangladesh, to create an inspiring and comfortable educational environment.

You can watch a recording of the first lecture here

For more information on The Manifesto for Climate Responsive Design and to download a copy, visit the climate section of our website. 

Our second lecture, which takes place on the 6th August, explores the value of 'Heritage Led Regeneration', in terms of the reuse of existing buildings, and the potential to generate social and economic value. After the event, you can watch a recording here.


The Beam shortlisted for BCIA Award

The Beam, Sunderland is one of five projects shortlisted in the commercial property project of the year category in the British Construction Industry Awards.

The project is the first building to be completed as part of a 15-year regeneration of the Vaux site in Sunderland City Centre. The building offers five floors of Grade A, flexible office space, wrapped around a protected courtyard atrium. It has been designed to be a healthy and sustainable workplace, in a lean building that sets a high standard of accommodation for the site.

New Civil Engineer editor, Claire Smith, said. “What is clear from this year’s entries is that there is real passion and resilience and all those that have made the shortlist should be commended for their efforts."

This year, site visits have been replaced with presentations by shortlisted candidates to a team of judges via Zoom, and the winners are set to be announced at a gala event in London on 28 October.

July 2020

Material Matters #2: Continuing the debate

Following the success of Understanding Embodied Carbon in Building Materials event, this event brought together a panel of speakers to continue to materials debate and explore more of the issues around embodied carbon, specification and the relative qualities of building materials.

Chaired by Peter Clegg, Partner, FCBStudios, our panel of knowledgable and engaged speakers were Jo White, FCBStudios, Bruce McLean, Expedition Engineering, Steve Webb, Webb Yates, Louisa Bowles, Hawkins/Brown and Kristian Steele, Arup.

You can watch a recording of both events:

Material Matters #1
Material Matters #2

Zero Carbon workspace given go ahead by Lambeth Council

FCBStudios and Bywater Properties have been granted planning permission for a six-storey carbon neutral office development in Vauxhall.

The scheme, named Paradise, will replace the disused Costa Coffee roastery on Old Paradise Street and transform a neglected and disused site into 60,000sqft of flexible work and maker space.

Paradise will be a landmark timber-framed building. The building will have a cross-laminated timber structure and an extruded terracotta façade and the proposals are on target for almost 60 years of negative carbon footprint.

The generous floor heights and flexible open-plan, in combination with the servicing strategy, will create a building that is future flexible and low energy in use. This whole-life approach to the building has also been reflected in the careful consideration given to the end of life strategy, such as connections for the structure allowing for easy disassembly.

The workplace will support the health and well-being of future occupiers from within the building and has been designed with WELL standards in mind. The timber structure will be exposed, with natural light and ventilation maximised throughout.

At second floor level, the open floor plate will bring a strong visual connection from passing trains to the historic Old Paradise Gardens.

The site is a key link in the green chain that joins Waterloo to Vauxhall. The façade’s design draws inspiration from the former Royal Doulton Headquarters nearby and the glazed ceramic cladding reflects a progressive approach which uses traditional materials in a contemporary manner.

Alex Whitbread, Partner at FCBStudios said “Paradise was born of a collective approach to sustainable design, humanistic values and quality place-making, but also the desire to make a healthy and innovative workplace that people would love to use.

Paradise is designed to be part of its local and citywide community and to make a responsible contribution globally. With this scheme receiving planning permission, we hope it will set the standard for office design that is carbon neutral and has the wellbeing of the user at the fore. We are looking forward to bringing it to fruition.”

Bywater have proposed that up to 13% of the total floor area should be non-office (light industrial and maker space) of which 68% is affordable and made available first to local businesses.

Options for a number of layouts have been developed with Bywater, which respond to the current and future requirements of the workplace.

University of Plymouth share their vision for a new Engineering and Design Facility

The FCBStudios designs for a new landmark building is a key component of the University of Plymouth’s Campus Masterplan, to be situated on the western edge of the city centre campus. Through renovation of the existing 1970s Babbage Building and a new extension of approximately 3,140m2, the Engineering and Design facility will provide a new home for the School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics and additional space for the School of Art, Design and Architecture.

The vision is to create an environment that enables staff to engage in world-leading research through the use of state-of-the-art resources; supports the delivery of forward-looking teaching programmes that attract greater numbers of motivated students, and meet the future needs of UK industries; facilitates interdisciplinary collaborations across the University and with industry; and attracts, retains and inspires talented academic, technical and support staff through the provision of an outstanding working environment.

The low energy building will include large, flexible teaching spaces and innovative teaching and research enabled resources, and social spaces for students and staff.

It will offer enhanced and modern specialist equipment, aligned to staff research and expertise and targeted on activities that support our research focus and enable us to engage with regional industrial partners.

Professor Deborah Greaves OBE, Head of the School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics  said: “This new building will offer a state-of-the-art setting to inspire the engineers of tomorrow, giving us the ultimate place to bring together students, academics and industry in an environment that not only benefits them but also society as a whole.” 

Virtual public consultation is currently underway, and the university envisages that the new building will open in the summer of 2022.

Hayle North Quay wins Housing Design Award

The first phase of Hayle North Quay has been announced a winner in the Housing Design Awards 2020 ‘Project’ category.

The project is the first phase of  FCBStudios' and Sennybridge's regeneration of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hayle’s North Harbour, invigorating a coastal community, activated by nature, leisure and living. 

The scheme proposes around 300 homes with waterside commercial spaces and a generous new public square to the north of the historic dockyards, inspired by the coal wharf heritage of the site. The dwellings range from three-bed wharf houses to one, two and three-bed apartments, with the majority benefiting from private outdoor space and generously proportioned terraces overlooking the new public square and harbourside. Many of the homes are dual aspect maximising the benefits of sunlight and visual connectivity with the harbour.

Construction of the quayside apartments is currently ongoing, with the first homes due to be completed in 2020.

The Housing Design Awards are the most prestigious awards in the sector recognising the very best in UK housing. Read more about the award winners here.

FCBStudios shortlisted as AYA Housing Architect of the Year 2020

We are thrilled to have been shortlisted as one of eight practices for the Building Design Architect of the Year Awards Housing Architect of the Year, 2020, as well as being named on the shortlist for Higher Education Architect of the Year.

FCBStudios have extensive experience of creating new communities through masterplanning and designing residential schemes. Our Stirling Prize-winning scheme Accordia is widely regarded as setting new standards for UK housing and our homes continue to be responsive to different patterns of living, providing intimacy, privacy and security whilst forging a sense of community.

We are currently delivering homes in six London Boroughs and around the UK, responding to the twin crisis of housing and climate, whilst contributing to regeneration and placemaking in our cities.

We are leaders in the discussion on architecture for climate change and have made a commitment to interrogate the properties and impact of our material choices which influence our strategic design decisions.

Across our diverse housing sector, we continue to ensure that our ethos of high quality design and craftsmanship; the creating of lasting communities and a light touch on the environment are upheld.

Explore our Residential sector portfolio here

FCBStudios shortlisted as AYA Higher Education of the Year 2020

In addition to being listed in the Housing Architect shortlist, we are proud to have also been named as one of eight practices on the Building Design Higher Education Architect of the Year shortlist.

 Higher Education is a highly significant and rewarding area of work for FCBStudios. We have delivered many successful projects including faculty buildings, libraries, student accommodation, unions, specialist research buildings, estate strategies, masterplans and city campuses.

 Last year we completed the Centenary Building - a teaching and learning facility for the University of Southampton. We won two RIBA competitions, one for an Engineering and Design facility for the University of Plymouth and one for a teaching building for the University of Portsmouth. We are on-site with two projects for Manchester Metropolitan University and one for the University of Warwick and are currently in design development stage for a number of other technical, residential and teaching led schemes across the UK which will complete in the coming years.

Our reputation in Higher Education is built on our knowledge of evolving themes in learning, teaching and student life, as reflected in the continuing success of our completed buildings. 

Explore our Higher Education sector portfolio here

Second phase of regeneration of North Hayle Harbour: Plans revealed

The next phase of the regeneration of the historic coastal Cornish town will deliver 377 homes alongside extensive community facilities, establishing it as a residential, visitor, business and cultural destination.

FCBStudios and Sennybridge have submitted detailed plans to Cornwall Council for a £200m mixed use development in the seaside town of Hayle to deliver housing, community and commercial space. Construction work started earlier this year on phase one of the FCBStudios masterplan to develop quayside homes, shops, restaurants and public space.

Simon Wright, CEO of Sennybridge, said: "From the outset our clear aim is to deliver a project which greatly enhances the local area and its economy, brings benefits to the local community, protects and promotes its heritage and puts Hayle Harbour on the map as a desirable destination.

"At the heart of these proposal is a commitment to quality of design, support for local marine industries and water users, promoting a busy and successful working harbour and creating a bustling and lively waterside quarter which is open to the community and visitors year-round."

The regenerated harbour will be integral to the town, forming part of the wider community for new and existing residents and visitors. A filmhouse and art gallery on the harbour will be the focal point for a creative community of workshops that will bring social and economic activity to the waterfront.

In addition, there will be a water sports centre, and plans for waterside and harbour improvements including a new footbridge, new quayside toilets and showers, improved facilities for local fishermen, wharf extension and dry berth facility, new workshops, slipway improvements for local water sports clubs and additional moorings, delivering jobs in industry, and in the knowledge and service sectors.

The proposed 377 homes (including affordable homes) and an hotel are embedded within a lush landscape, taking advantage of the mild microclimates in this part of Cornwall. Public spaces and gardens between clusters of homes work with the topography to create spaces for play, contemplation and activity, as well as extensive walking and cycling routes linking into existing local routes.

Matt Williams, Associate at FCBStudios said “We have been involved in the regeneration of this significant brownfield site for 10 years and have had the unique opportunity to shape the vision for the port. Located within the UNESCO World Heritage Cornwall and West Devon Mining landscape, Hayle has exceptional beauty, inspirational history and a community, engaged with its future – all of which has helped to influence the emerging designs. With the construction work of our first phase fully underway, this next phase will deliver the facilities and housing that will support the continued economic and community success of the town.”

The proposals are site-specific, drawing their character from that Hayle and from the vernacular of Cornish dwellings and industry. The new additions are intended to create places that promote community, sustainability and a healthy lifestyle attracting and supporting businesses and residents who will continue to feed back into the local community.

FCBStudios Partners join NLA Expert Panels for Wellbeing and Healthcare

Amanda Whittington and Sara Grohmann have joined the NLA 2020 Expert Panels for Wellbeing and Healthcare. The NLA Expert Panels bring together industry experts from across the NLA membership to advise on our core programmes, provide thought-leadership on design, development and construction in London and respond to new policies or consultations.

Understanding the impact of the places we live, work and spend free time on our physical and mental health, Amanda and the Wellbeing Expert Panel will share thought-leadership on the relationship between the urban environment and mental health; physical wellbeing – improving air quality, physical activity and health outcomes for all Londoners; and social sustainability – understanding how the design of the physical environment links with infrastructure to support social and cultural life, social amenities and systems for citizen engagement.

The healthcare sector is set to see a new level of government investment not seen in over a decade. Sara Grohmann and the Healthcare Expert Panel will focus on the delivery of new healthcare buildings for London, best practice in design, health and adaptability, as well as the opportunities for wider regeneration and integration into the urban environment.

NLA brings people together to shape a better city and improve quality of life across London. The vision is a better planned, designed and managed built environment, as set out in the New London Charter. To achieve this, the NLA seeks to guide policymakers and professionals and engage a wider audience in the debate. The year-round programme includes research, public events and debates, training, roundtables, industry viewpoints and exhibitions

The expert panels meet 3-4 times a year, setting out key lines of enquiry which shape our forward agendas and inform our year-round programmes. Reports from each meeting are shared with NLA members and the broader network, alongside a selection of contributions and viewpoints from Panel members.

Alexandra Palace Big Schools: Green Screen Champions!

FCBStudios have collaborated with the Alexandra Palace Big Schools Team to create a learning resource for their Green Screen Champions Festival.

The festival invites young people with a passion for the environment and sustainability to join them online and be part of the green solution. FCBStudios are one of several industry experts who have experience and knowledge of sustainability practices from across different creative sectors from film and media to gaming and architecture who were asked to take part in the Festival this year.

FCBStudios have developed a strong relationship with Alexandra Palace, having been appointed architect for the regeneration of the East Wing, which completed in 2018 and breathed life back into the abandoned theatre, the East Court and the Creativity Pavilion – designed to house the learning programme.

The theme of sustainability resonated with the practice. Since our inception, we have pioneered designs that have a light touch on the planet are low in carbon and energy-use, and which help us and our clients to mitigate the impact of climate change.  Our interest in reducing both embodied energy and whole lifecycle energy consumption, and our commitment to the wider social aspects of sustainability still mark us out as leaders in environmental design.

The learning resources that we have created draw on Carbon Counts, an exhibition which was launched in our London office at the end of 2019 and which has now been transformed into an interactive online exhibition. Carbon Counts focuses on material choice, with a key message that as an industry we need to understand how materials are made and how we can reduce the impact of each material at each stage in its life, from alternative sources of raw materials, ways to extend its usefulness, and what we do with it at the end of its life.

The learning resource encourages children to look at the materials they can see in the buildings around them and think about where they have come from and how they have been made. Through being involved in this sort of project the hope is that we can inspire a new generation of green pioneers and thinkers, as well as spark interest in buildings and architecture.

Big Schools – Green Screen Champions kicks off on Wednesday 1st July. The programme continues over the course of two weeks with a mix of films, webinars, challenges and creative activities that promise to inform, challenge and inspire.

To discover more visit: https://www.alexandrapalace.com/creative-learning/schools-and-colleges/big-schools-day/#

June 2020

Material Matters: Understanding Embodied Carbon in Building Materials

This event brought together a panel of speakers to talk through the processes involved in the creation of common building materials. Each process contributes to the final product; how they are extracted, how they are formed, and how we use them. But they also contribute to the amount of embodied carbon they emit.  Understanding these steps will enable us to make more informed decisions and lessen our impact on the environment.

Chaired by Hattie Hartman, Architects Journal Sustainability Editor

Nick Hodges, FCBStudios - Timber
Eva MacNamara, Expedition Engineering - Concrete
Steve Webb, Webb Yates - Stone
David Bates,  FCBStudios - Ceramics
Lex Harrison, Arup - Brick                                                                                                                                                      

You can watch a recording of the event including the Q&A here: https://vimeo.com/433737103
FCBStudios shortlisted for Practice of the Year in AJ100 Awards

FCBStudios have been named as one of nine practices in the running for AJ100 Practice of the Year 2020.

Geoff Rich, Managing Partner, FCBStudios said “We are thrilled to be shortlisted as Practice of the Year, which we feel is a recognition of our all-round success as a practice over the past year. Our workload remained strong, particularly in the Higher Education, Residential, and Arts and Culture sectors, with major projects including Murrays’ Mills and the University of Southampton Centenary Building completing. Our ongoing work with the Architects Declare movement has been instrumental in shaping the national agenda on designing for climate change. This is reflected in our own ambitious programme for delivering zero carbon across our portfolio of projects by 2030, building on our 40 years of expertise in pioneering environmental design. We are beginning this year with a portfolio of important cross-sector projects which will help to shape places throughout the UK and internationally. “

FCBStudios are ranked in12th place in the survey of the top architecture practices, for the second year running.

The Practice of the Year award is based on business and quality of design output and takes into account both key business data from the main AJ100 research and findings from the employee satisfaction survey and the winner will be announced in September.

Murrays' Mills shortlisted for AJ100 Building of the Year

Murrays’ Mills in Ancoats, Manchester is one of nine projects shortlisted for the AJ100 Building of the Year. Described by the awards as “a residential scheme which mixes the redevelopment of an 18th-century cotton mill with key contextual new-build elements,” the scheme has given the oldest surviving steam-powered cotton mill in the world a new lease of life as the flagship project for the neighbourhood.  

The sought-after award is given in recognition of the finest building completed by an AJ100-listed practice in the past 12 months. The winners of all the AJ100 awards will be announced in September. 

Planning applications are submitted for the next phase of Sheffield's Heart of the City II

Planning applications for the next phase of the Heart of the City II scheme, which include a cultural destination and a new low operational carbon office building, have been submitted by Sheffield City Council this month. The announcement marks another milestone for Sheffield’s landmark regeneration project, as it continues to transform the city centre.

Block H, located between Wellington Street, Carver Street and Cambridge Street, sits at the centre of the Heart of the City II masterplan and includes some of the most interesting heritage buildings within the masterplan.

The FCBStudios designed proposals for the block aim to create a new ‘cultural heart’ for the scheme, which will combine existing and new architecture to provide a destination which has a character uniquely of the place.

The proposals for a collection of spaces, The Cambridge Street Collective, sit behind Henry’s Corner and Bethel Sunday School on Cambridge Street – include a large, industrial-style space where people will be able to meet to eat, drink and be entertained. The historic building fronts will be retained and adapted to bring them back into use, with a new structure stitching the whole collective together.

Wrapping this space will be complementary shops, a bar and restaurant, and an upper level leisure space. The existing Bethel Chapel building will also be renovated, with plans for this to become a live entertainment venue.

Next to Cambridge Street Collective, a visually striking low operational carbon office building is proposed for the vacant site in between Cambridge Street and Carver Street. The new premises will provide approximately 70,000 sq. ft of Grade A office space over seven upper floors, with shops, restaurants or cafés at the ground floor. The building’s dark coloured metal finish is inspired by Sheffield’s celebrated industrial past, allowing it to complement heritage assets across the Block H site.

Alex Whitbread, Partner, FCBStudios, said: "Our approach recognises the significance of the buildings on Cambridge Street as a collection, and the story they tell of how the area has developed over nearly 200 years.

By celebrating and working with the existing fabric we will create a place that is distinctly ‘of Sheffield’, while also reflecting Sheffield’s bold and forward-looking ambition in which a new context will be created for the old.

Contemporary new buildings will be inserted and situated next to the existing fabric to create permeable routes through the site and new areas of public realm. These structures will also enclose a new gathering space that is reminiscent of some of the city’s lost markets, providing a new backdrop for the next chapter of Cambridge Street’s development.”

Andrew Davison, Project Director at Queensberry, commented: “The plans for Block H epitomise our ambition to create places with character and personality that will bring something entirely unique to Sheffield city centre. Cambridge Street Collective promises to become a destination that both locals and visitors will cherish and enjoy, and we are very excited about bringing this vision to life.”

Digital consultation opens on FCBStudios' proposed scheme for 67-75 Piccadilly, Manchester

A second round of consultation has opened regarding the future of 67-75 Piccadilly / 4-6 Newton Street and the Grade II listed 69-75 Piccadilly. Due to the current situation, this is an online consultation.

The proposed scheme is focused on the retention of the Grade II listed building as well as the introduction of a high-quality contemporary 4-star+ hotel across 67 and 69-75 Piccadilly, creating a distinctive gateway to the Northern Quarter on a prominent site.

The hotel is a joint venture partnership between Eastern Green and an international hotel brand and would provide 151 bedrooms, a rooftop terrace, as well as a bar and café on the ground floor.

Improvements to the public realm surrounding the site, creating an open and welcoming space outside the hotel, while establishing a sense of safety at the corner of Piccadilly and Newton Street. The planting of trees and the provision of seating areas would help to create a high-quality public area for customers, hotel residents and pedestrians passing through.

Detailed information can be found on this website. https://www.67piccadilly.co.uk/ and comments are open until Friday 19 June.

First precast facade panels installed at City of London Academy, Shoreditch Park

Construction of the new City of London Academy, Shoreditch Park (CoLASP), within the ambitious Hackney Britannia Masterplan has reached a major milestone with the installation of the first of the façade panels.

The façade is constructed using a profiled precast concrete façade system with inlaid brickwork, supported by a lightweight steel frame. This has allowed for fast erection on site while minimising construction site area. The first 50 of 500 profiled precast façade panels have been installed, including beam panels with the school name and crest, the Council logo and a series of music pattern panels, which run in a ribbon on the ground floor to the north east of the building.

Take a look on site in this film

When complete in summer 2021. the secondary school will provide places for 1140 students from 11-18 years, including a sixth-form of 200.

Centenary Building shortlisted for RIBA South Award

A new learning and teaching building for the University of Southampton has been shortlisted for a Regional RIBA Award.

The judges said “These modern, shared learning and teaching facilities for the university’s Highfield Campus contain a 250-person lecture theatre, Harvard-style lecture theatre, nine seminar rooms, independent study spaces, computer room, MBA suite and a café. Part of the brief was for the student hub to increase campus permeability and connect into and regenerate its public realm. As a result, it acts as a focus to a sequence of terraces growing from the lower landscaped gardens to the upper ground.  The column-free nine and four storey wings of the BREEAM Excellent concrete frame building were built for durability and employ simple environmental systems. Reflective ceramic cladding and large-format fluted tiles give the building a modern yet timeless feel.

The Centenary Building is one of four FCBStudios projects shortlisted for regional RIBA Awards in 2020, alongside Murrays' Mills, The Beam and St Albans Place

May 2020

FCBStudios named as part of Southwark Council and LHC architect design services framework

One of 110 teams selected for a £10.5million architectural services framework, FCBStudios are one of 10 practices on the framework to deliver ‘Education, social care and community projects (£10m+)’.

The four year framework aims to promote innovation through design and by partnering and is committed to create good quality public sector design for the 2020s.  Led by the Southwark Regeneration team, it has a broad scope to deliver new homes as well as landscape design, commercial, educational, industrial, community, social care and other requirements.

FCBStudios has a strong track record of working on public projects in Southwark. We completed the first phase of the Charter School East Dulwich in 2019, with design work now continuing on the second phase, and are looking forward to the new building for Rotherhithe Primary School starting on site in the summer.

Brighton & Hove City Council gives unanimous support to University of Sussex, West Slope residences

FCBStudios’ design for 1899 student rooms on the University of Sussex Falmer campus has been approved by Brighton & Hove City Council’s planning committee, with unanimous consent at a virtual meeting this week.

The West Slope residential development for University of Sussex provides three typologies of student rooms together with ground level student amenities comprising student hubs, launderettes, a supermarket, health centre, student library and a cafe. Balfour Beatty is developing the scheme, and once complete will operate the student housing on behalf of the University.

The new buildings, and their relationship to the parkland campus, have been designed to respect and enhance the vision of the campus’ founding architect, Sir Basil Spence. Spence worked collaboratively with landscape architect Dame Sylvia Crow on the original campus, which focussed on capturing the natural landscape of the South Downs chalk valley. The landscape, as Spence said, is as important as the architecture for the ‘Little Town in the Valley’.

The FCBStudios proposals, developed with Grant Associates, seek to reinforce this landscape / townscape concept in an integrated way. New landscape spaces in the valley and on the slopes are arranged in response to new student life and a relationship with nature against the backdrop of the South Downs National Park.

In the valley, the North Court forms a civic parkland which continues the original green thread of ancient woodland that weaves its way through the bottom of the valley. The residential buildings form and animate a new public space, and at ground floor level include the residential reception and space for a replacement Health and Wellbeing Centre, as well as amenities to include a supermarket, and pavilion library.

The West Slope is a steeply sloping site adjacent to the South Downs National Park. The scheme retains the character of the existing parkland setting and the student clusters and townhouses propose an integrated architectural and landscape design. It is respectful of the existing mature trees and creates garden terraces around these trees for the smaller neighbourhood clusters of residences to use, occupy, and claim as part of their identity.

The West Slope clusters, which make up roughly three-quarters of the accommodation, touch the ground lightly. They have been developed and positioned to minimise excavation, retain as many trees as possible and respond to the contours of the site. Four storeys in height, they contain two cluster flats per floor of seven and eight bedrooms with associated kitchen, dining and living space arranged around a single stair and lift which again acts as a space for social interaction. These rooms will have wonderful views of the trees and the surrounding landscape.

At the centre, a special West Slope cluster contains a student hub at ground level and is one storey higher to identify its significance.

The townhouse terraces sit on the contours running along the site. Their living spaces at ground level are visually open to encourage interaction with other groups of students and help to form communities. The family units are located away from the more socially active student rooms with their own external and internal play areas.

Located on the West Slope of the campus, the new residences are part of the continuing evolution of the Sussex campus to improve the University’s facilities, ensure the best possible student experience and continue the architectural legacy of Sir Basil Spence.

The scheme is inspired by and respectful of the 1960s Spence campus. The architecture is intended not to be an overt pastiche of the architectural language employed in his work at the University of Sussex, but as a continuation of his ideas of public space, enjoyment and learning, enveloped, connected and surrounded by landscape.

The unanimous approval has recognised that our scheme will bring high-quality facilities and architecture to the site, providing the University with the accommodation it needs.

The materials for the new development are inspired by Spence and relate to the land – natural materials made from clay. Terracotta tiles - a contemporary interpretation of the local tile hanging and mathematical tiling of Brighton - are used in differing profiles and tones that reflect the light and animate the surfaces against the trees.

The proposals achieve BREEAM excellent. They include intensive green roofs to the villas - using a downland seed mix to encourage local biodiversity, greywater recycling, heat recovery from students’ showers, photovoltaics to the roofs of the North Court, reducing embodied carbon with the use of lightweight reusable structures and reduced embodied carbon to the foundations by minimising excavation and working with the landscape and topography. Natural ventilation, windows sizing optimised for performance and views, on site composting and provision for student allotments also contribute to student wellbeing, along with a generous allowance of cycle storage to encourage student cycling.

Environmental sustainability, as well as maintaining the features of the unique landscape setting within the South Downs, underpins the project.

It is anticipated that minimal work will be done on the project until further decisions are taken later this year on proceeding with the enabling works. The accommodation would be delivered in several phases over a four-year period once these works are completed.




Ulster University Belfast Campus Tops Out

A major milestone has been reached in the construction of the Ulster University Greater Belfast Development.  A topping-out ceremony was held on the thirteenth floor, marking the achievements of the client,  the whole project team and the contractor Somague Sacyr in the ongoing construction of the University Buildings.

The project heralds a moved from the suburban Jordanstown Campus, into the City Centre’s Scotch and Cathedral Quarter, driving regeneration and development of the area. Once complete, the University’s six faculties will be positioned together, within this thriving cultural quarter.

Making Models - A Short Film

Whether used to generate or test ideas or as a tool to communicate with clients and the wider public, architects have been using models for centuries. An integral part of the design process, cutting, pinning, shifting, adding or subtracting small pieces of card or blocks of foam creates room for inspiration and drives the design process, whereas an intricately created showpiece, be it a miniature replica of the final scheme, or an abstract object which celebrates a core element of the design thinking, are sculpted and formed to stand the test of time, a piece of art in their own right.

Making Models,  a short film made by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios with Kate Goodwin, Head of Architecture and Drue Heinz Curator at the Royal Academy of Arts, explores in more detail how and why we use architectural models and the skill and craftmanship that goes into their creation. Watch the film.

Kate will be in conversation online with FCBStudios partner Hugo Marrack and modelmaker, Cassidy Wingrove, as part of the Architecture Foundation 100 Day Studio. For more details and to join the event click here.

Can primary schools adapt to a post-lockdown world?

Helen Roberts, FCBStudios Partner and schools sector lead, responds: 

The unconfirmed suggestion for primaries is that year 6 would return first, to enable them to prepare for the important transition of moving up to secondary school. That on its own would not be so difficult to implement – assuming that children, parents and staff were confident that they would be safe from infection when travelling to/from school, as well as throughout the day. It may require one class to be spread over two rooms, or for children to take it in turns to come to school for a morning or an afternoon - and a building that is not fully occupied with other years will afford at least some short-term spatial planning opportunities – staff availability and numbers allowing of course.

But what is the picture if children all return to school? As my 10 year old pointed out, there would need to be twice as many classrooms, and twice as many teachers, to make social-distancing, as we now know it, work in his primary school. That’s not going to happen by 1st June, or indeed ever. The fact that the government ‘guidelines’ on area provision for all schools have only reduced with every recent revision of the Building Bulletins, to keep investment to an absolute minimum, means there is little room to play with in any school, in the very best of circumstances, unless it is hugely undersubscribed, let alone when teachers and children are all recommended to be 2m away from each other because of a pandemic.

Therefore, a full school, without any adaptations, running even a vaguely normal time-table, is a much harder thing to imagine now. Schools, by their nature, encourage gathering. A happy school functions like a mini-society; it depends on celebration, on communal eating, large gatherings and small group work alike, where people do things together. It is where children develop emotionally and socially as well as academically, and this, as much as informal learning, depends on interaction. Children are not mini-adults, and even those who are old enough to understand the issues will find it hard, once back in a familiar setting, to comply with a new set of behavioural rules that seek to separate them from each other.

Children will be desperate to get back to school to see their friends, but they have also been exposed to the fears of their parents, the restrictions of government to keep away from other people, and they may have lost relatives to CV19. Their reintroduction to school will force these issues to be tackled too. Re-designing schools, as suggested by the Scottish government, or the odd ‘quick fix’ - like more handwash stations, temporary ‘rooms’ in the playground, and distance markings on the floor, will only be a relatively small part of the solution, even though they may certainly help.

Do secondary schools have different challenges?

It may be more successful to get older age groups to comply with newly imposed rules in school but, in the same way that primary schools can tangibly feel like happy and confident places, so too do secondaries, because of shared endeavour and community spirit.

The secondary curriculum requires a lot of teaching to take place in specialist classrooms, with fixed equipment and a prescriptive layout. Such rooms, like science labs, with services provided to fixed island benches, work fantastically, but they are the response to a specific set of briefing requirements and known pedagogy. Change all of this, because you can’t teach in groups of 24-30 any more and the space utilisation becomes inefficient; there suddenly aren’t enough subject teachers, and the timetable doesn’t work.

Unlike primary school pupils, secondary students move around a lot. They do this in huge chattering crowds, of course, and even in most schools, where lunchtime is staggered over multiple sittings, there will still be hundreds of students on the move at lesson changeover, typically on corridors which are typically no wider than 2.4m, and they will pass through a 900mm wide door opening to get into a classroom, often after waiting outside in a line. We cannot easily change these dimensions or this routine, but it could all be done if it had to - and if there was funding, plus a little time. Extending the school day/term will likely not be viable for lots of understandable reasons, but it would make the building work harder for longer – and be accessible to more students, for as long as distance restrictions are in place.

Will architects be asked to help to address the issues [and should they be?]  

Architects are obviously expert in how existing space can be best used; how constraints can be worked within to promote a new mode of operation and how a simple intervention might liberate a planning problem. These skills are absolutely relevant to the immediate issue of getting children and young people back in to school, even though they can offer only part of the solution. Extensions and alterations will likely be out of the question in the short-term (by 1st June), but if funding magically becomes available, of course things could be done - The Nightingale Hospital proves this. FCBStudios will certainly be hoping to help our schools clients think about how their buildings could better serve them through this crisis, to see whether small adaptations, ideas about people flow, use of entrances, ensuring optimum ventilation, exploiting the potential of any underused spaces etc. etc. can help them to revive their schools. This is part of our social commitment and we expect many architects will want to act in the same way.

What are the longer term impacts on school design resulting from the coronavirus crisis 

The possibility of teaching smaller groups, in buildings which allow a loose-fit, where some spaces are technically under-occupied, calls for an immediate increase in space overall and, of course, more teachers and TAs, or, at the very least, IT equipment to allow sharing screens across multiple rooms. Achieving this is dependent on government desire, policy and investment. Spaces which can be flexibly used, do not contain lots of fixed equipment, and lend themselves to easy connections to adjacent spaces, have been driven out of the area allowances in current state school budgets. Spaces are prescriptive to meet direct curriculum needs and anything seen as flexible for the sake of it has been deemed excessive.

Whilst the current area allowances and their attendant budgets, can lead to buildings that work acceptably in optimum circumstances, we may need to be designing with the expectation that CV-19’s descendant will affect education delivery in the future too. We will need bigger classrooms, more toilets and washbasins, more sliding partitions, some overspill spaces that are not regularly timetabled, and we will need to ensure environmental comfort at all times.

On a temporary basis, we could think of running two school cohorts in one set of buildings. FCBStudios are currently looking at school provision for a new urban community in Rwanda where the school-age population is 30 percent of the total population. In many areas, this is regarded as a workable, albeit temporary solution, (on top of the fact that class sizes tend to be 50 percent larger than ours) but of course, it puts more pressure on both buildings and, more importantly, the teaching profession, and we would struggle to cope for very long with this in the UK. In the short term, we will probably need the continuation of more distance learning in schools, which might buffer with the transitional period.

It is appealing to think that, with the potential for lower infection transmission rates, teachers might become more enthused about teaching and learning taking place outside, especially in primary schools. BSF and Academies programmes talked so effusively about outdoor learning (beyond PE), and often the space is there but is not used creatively for lessons that are expected to take place in a rectilinear classroom. Going into the summer term, spending more time outdoors, especially for the millions of children who’ve lived without outdoor space throughout this pandemic, I am tempted by the thought that primary school maths could be taught in the open air – where the air quality might be better too.

Material Matters by PechaKucha

For International PechaKucha Day 2020 we brought together a programme of inspiring speakers who have considered materials in new ways to reduce waste, create strategies for reuse and reduce the embodied carbon of the products they design.

Staged alongside our current exhibition, ‘Carbon Counts’, the evening, entitled ‘Material Matters’ covered topics ranging from product design, fashion, bio-fragmentation and architecture. Communications design expert, Sophie Thomas, shone a light on what happens to our unwanted products, Juan Ferrari and Ruth Kelly Waskett, lighting designers from Hoare Lea asked how we can become more comfortable living without artificial light, and textile designer, Laetitia Forst, explored design solutions for creating new recyclable materials for fashion.  

FCBStudios’ Marcus Rothnie explored how we found appropriate construction uses for plastic that correspond to the material’s longevity in two projects – one high tech, one very low tech - for the annual Forest of the Imagination festival in Bath, and how they engaged the community in thinking about the issue and forming good habits.

All the presentations from the evening are now available to view here.

April 2020

FCBStudios joins collaborative 3D printing project for the NHS

FCBStudios has joined forces with a collaborative project called ‘The Industry Prints’. The initiative has seen a number of practices working together to help contribute towards the staggering shortages of personal protective equipment being experienced by the NHS across the country.  

Full-time modelmaker at FCBStudios, Cassidy Wingrove, has set up a temporary modelmaking studio in his home using a 3D printer to produce components for face shields. These will be sent to a central distribution centre where they will be assembled, sterilised, and delivered to the areas where the need is greatest.

Cassidy said: “The current situation has called for new and innovative solutions to the challenges that we are facing in our day to day lives. The reaction to the national issue of PPE shortages has been astonishing, with thousands of companies and individuals using their 3D printers to help in any way they can. We decided to get involved and managed to overcome some of the challenges encountered, such as sterilisation, distribution and quality control, by joining up with a national 3D printing society, who are managing these issues from a central hub.

It has been fascinating to witness the speed at which the design process is working on this project, with continuous feedback informing new versions that better suit the needs of the end user. We’re looking forward to continuing production for as long as needed and as a practice are looking at other ways to do more.”

Information on the visor design, model files and operating procedures are available to download via The Industry Prints website. And if you don’t have a 3D printer, you can still help by donating to the Contractors Appeal which is fundraising to buy more PPE equipment for NHS frontline staff.

Brabazon Bristol shortlisted in Housing Design Awards 2020

Brabazon first phase housing scheme in Bristol has been shortlisted in the Housing Design Awards 2020 ‘Project’ category.

Located on the former Filton Airfield, home to Hurricane Aircraft in World War 2 and the birthplace of Concorde and supersonic travel, this historic landmark is set to be transformed into Brabazon, a thriving new neighbourhood for Bristol.

The first phase of new homes will form a highly sustainable residential quarter that will set the tone for the transformation of this 380-acre site.

The Housing Design Awards are the most prestigious awards in the sector recognising the very best in UK housing. Results will be announced at an awards ceremony on Wednesday 2nd September 2020.

Architects Declare Embodied Carbon symposium: Presentations now online

Signatories of Architects Declare came together in FCBStudios’ London studio in March 2020, for a day of learning and debate around embodied carbon.

The embodied carbon of a building is made up of the impacts from the extraction, processing, manufacture and packaging of the materials used in its construction; the carbon emissions resulting from their transport and construction on site, maintenance over their life span and what happens after the building is demolished.

Divided into three parts, and introduced by Peter Clegg, senior partner at FCBStudios and member of the Architects Declare steering group, recordings of all the presentations are now available to watch on Vimeo here

Simon Sturgis, Targeting Zero
Jane Anderson, Construction LCA

Elemental Impacts
Andrew Wylie
, Buro Happold – Reducing embodied carbon of structure
Louise Harnot, Elementa – Impact of MEP
Louisa Bowles, HawkinsBrown – Modelling elements at different stages
Andrew Waugh, Waugh Thistleton – Using timber in construction

Embodied Carbon in Practice
Joe Jack Williams,
FCBStudios - Embodied Carbon within the practice and FCBStudios' route to zero carbon
Anis Abou-Zaki – International perspectives on embodies carbon
Christian Dimbleby – Refurb and retrofit decision process
Ben Hopkins – Delivering embodied carbon savings

Craig Robertson
– RIBA 2030 and embodied carbon
Maria Smith – Broader scene-setting and shift of culture required.

Read more about FCBStudios' route to zero carbon, in our Explore blog. 

Hayle North Quay shortlisted in Housing Design Awards 2020

Hayle North Quay has been shortlisted in the Housing Design Awards 2020 ‘Project’ category.

Since the decline of the Cornish mining industries, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hayle harbour has lain derelict since the 1970s. But the regeneration of this unique site is now underway, delivering a vibrant new coastal community activated by nature, leisure and living.

North Quay features a range of dwellings from three bed wharfhouses to one, two and three bed apartments, with the majority benefiting from private outdoor space and generous proportioned terraces overlooking the new public square and harbourside. Many of the dwellings are dual aspect maximising the benefits of sunlight and visual connectivity with the harbour.

The Housing Design Awards are the most prestigious awards in the sector recognising the very best in UK housing. Results will be announced at an awards ceremony on Wednesday 2nd September 2020.

360 virtual tour allows design team to explore "grandfather of all skyscrapers"

An innovative virtual reality tour of Shrewsbury Flaxmill Malting has enabled the project team to explore and view the building from multiple angles when not on site.

Tim Greensmith, Associate from FCBStudios said: “This Matterport 360 degree camera survey was commissioned by Historic England at our request. It has been very useful in allowing members of the design team and contracting team to explore issues on site.

We are currently working with Seeable, the company who created the survey, to generate virtual reality representations of the Kiln entrance and Main Mill fourth floor co-working space for the purpose of marketing.”

The interactive tour also offers a new experience for those who go to the visitor centre, to be able to see inside before the building is fully opened in the summer of 2021.

The site comprises eight listed buildings, including the Main Mill, which when built in 1797, was the world's first iron-framed building, paving the way for the modern skyscrapers that now burst through the skylines of our major commercial centres. It is one of the most important buildings of the industrial revolution.

March 2020

Sustainable hot springs heated floor one step closer at Bath Abbey

Two-thirds of Bath Abbey’s historic floor have now been fully restored and saved from collapse as part of Phase 2 of the Abbey’s Footprint project.

Essential work has been taking place over the last 6-8 months in the north side of the church in order to stabilise and repair the collapsing floor in this area, with surface repairs being made to ensure the floor is even and accessible throughout. Historic ledgerstones, some dating back to the 17th century, have been reinstated and where needed, new stones have been re-laid depending on the level of damage to the original stones.

Once the Footprint project is completed, an eco-friendly underfloor heating system using sustainable energy from Bath’s hot springs will be installed throughout, and the Abbey will be reopened up to be enjoyed in its full glory by future generations.

Image: ©Bath Abbey

St Albans Place shortlisted for RIBA Yorkshire Awards

One of 11 schemes on the RIBA regional shortlist for Yorkshire,  St Albans Place, student housing for VITA, is a 7,11 and 18 storey serviced apartment building which brings a sense of home and belonging to its residents.

The 376 studios range from 20m2 to 34m2. Each one contains kitchen and ensuite facilities and is well planned to feel spacious and have impressive views across the city. At ground floor and mezzanine level is a student Hub where residents can build friendships and connect with their city.

Peter Cartright, RIBA Yorkshire Judging Panel Chair said “This year’s shortlist of potential RIBA award winners in Yorkshire covers a wide range of sectors with many schemes reinventing existing buildings rather than building new, which is great to see. We are very interested in the operation and performance of buildings, as opposed to purely how they look – their beauty must be more than skin deep. We believe awards should go to buildings which will continue to look good for years to come, taking into consideration their low carbon strategy and approach to whole life cost.”

All shortlisted buildings will now be assessed by a regional jury with the winning buildings announced at an awards ceremony at Cutlers’ Hall, Church St, Sheffield on 4 June 2020.  If successful, the Regional Award winners will be considered for a highly-coveted RIBA National Award in recognition of their architectural excellence, the results of which will be announced in July.

FCBStudios among five finalists in RIBA contest for Rwanda eco-city

FCBStudios have been named as one of five teams shortlisted in the RIBA international design competition for a 600ha residential masterplan in Kigali, Rwanda.

Green City Kigali is a sustainable urban development project supported by Rwanda’s Green Fund and German Development Cooperation. The competition selection process sought to appoint an experienced and suitably qualified Urban and Architectural Design Consultant organisation to further develop their masterplan proposals for the 600 hectare Kinyinya Hill area, together with a detailed masterplan and associated construction stage information for the pilot development.

The five applicant teams have now been invited to participate in the design competition and tender phase.

Read more about the competition and finalists on Architects' Journal and RIBA.

FCBStudios' scheme to become ‘cultural heart' of Sheffield's Heart of the City II

Plans have been unveiled for Sheffield Council’s Heart of the City II development which create a new ‘cultural heart’ and retain a significant amount of existing heritage.

FCBStudios have developed plans for Block H, located on the site between Wellington Street, Carver Street and Cambridge Street, which will provide a wide-ranging development split into three distinct elements (H1, H2 and H3). A period of public consultation on H2 and H3 is currently underway, ahead of a planning submission this Spring.

H2 will be a brand-new building offering approximately 70,000 sq ft of Grade A office space, split across seven upper floors and boasting an impressive south-facing roof terrace, with retail and food and beverage units on the ground floor.

The visually striking, dark-coloured metal building will take inspiration from Sheffield’s celebrated industrial past. H2 has been designed to be energy efficient in operation, emitting around 40% less carbon than a typical Building Regulations compliant design.

The development for H3 (to be known as Cambridge Street Collective) aims to retain as much of the quality, existing fabric and façades along Cambridge Street and Wellington Street as feasible – helping to attractively balance the old and new across the site.

Our proposals for Cambridge Street Collective include a large, industrial-style space, which would be perfectly suited to a food hall or similar sociable, communal offer. Wrapping this space would be complementary shops, a bar and restaurant, and an upper-level leisure space. The existing Bethel Chapel building will also be renovated, with plans for this to become a live entertainment venue.

Although not part of this planning application, the site is also home to Leah’s Yard (H1) – a Grade II* Listed building housing a collection of small former industrial workshops. Plans are still at an early stage, however, there is a real desire from the project team to maintain the building’s unique Sheffield character by providing similar workshops for the city’s next creative generation. In the meantime, Listed Building Consent is being sought by the Council to undertake the structural works required to make the buildings secure.

Councillor Mazher Iqbal, Cabinet Member for Business and Investment at Sheffield City Council, explained the vision: “We will be retaining a lot of attractive heritage across the Heart of the City II site, while also ensuring we create new spaces that are sustainable to the local economy. With some of the most interesting architecture in the city centre, Block H was always going to be one of the most rewarding blocks in the masterplan. We truly believe that these new plans will help provide a cultural heart and social anchor to the scheme.”

In a bid to ensure a viable and attractive development – one that also respects the heritage assets on the Block H site, Sheffield City Council and its Strategic Development Partner, Queensberry, have been working closely with heritage interest groups in the city. They have been discussing design and usage ideas.

The emerging proposals for this block now showcase the retention of far more original architecture than envisaged in the 2018 masterplan. Plans now include the preservation and sympathetic restoration of the quality fabric and façades along Cambridge Street and Wellington Street, including the listed Bethel Sunday School and Leah’s Yard, as well as the Bethel Chapel and the buildings that formerly housed Brewhouse and Henry’s. The historic buildings fronting these streets will be kept with internal adaptations and reconstruction carried out where necessary to bring them back into use.

Nick Roscoe of Hallamshire Historic Buildings, said: “Sheffield City Council should be commended for taking this enlightened and forward-thinking approach to the interesting range of buildings that we can see on Cambridge Street and Wellington Street today.

“They have brought in first class architects and consulted carefully with stakeholders to make the most of these precious heritage assets. This is a project to be proud of and an approach we hope to see followed again.

Due to the current situation, Public consultations drop-in sessions on 25 and 26 March will no longer take place. Instead, more information about the plans is being added to the Heart of the City 2 website. 

The pre-application consultation period will run 12 March to 14 April 2020.
Click here to complete the online response form.

The Beam shortlisted for an RIBA Northeast Award

The Beam’ is the first phase centrepiece of the ambitious regeneration of the former Vaux Brewery site in Sunderland City Centre.

The speculative office building provides five floors of Grade A accommodation with views across the River Wear towards the Wearmouth Bridge and ground floor retail, café and restaurant offers. Designed with health and wellbeing in mind it is a sustainable and appealing workplace.

RIBA North East Regional Director, Amanda Khan, said: The North East region continues to play host to a remarkable array of carefully-crafted buildings. I congratulate all practices who have been shortlisted in this competitive process. We received a high standard of entries from a range of national and international practices..

Six projects are shortlisted for the RIBA Northeast Awards.. 

Murrays' Mills on RIBA Northwest Awards shortlist

FCBStudios’ transformation of Murrays' Mills - the oldest surviving steam-powered cotton mill in the world - into 124 diverse dwellings, is one of 10 projects to be shortlisted for a RIBA Northwest Award.

Our brief to restore and transform the Mills was relatively simple; to create a new community, and to let the buildings’ layout, character and heritage inform how this was achieved. Through the sensitive conversion of the mills into modern-day dwellings and the addition of a new building which completes the mill courtyard, Murrays’ Mills has spearheaded the regeneration of the Ancoats neighbourhood.

All shortlisted projects will now be assessed by a regional jury with the winning projects announced at an awards ceremony at the Liverpool Everyman on 21 May 2020.

St Albans Place has also been shortlisted for a RIBA Yorkshire Award. 

Alexandra Palace highly commended at Civic Trust Awards

The regeneration of Alexandra Palace’s East Wing and Victorian Theatre has been rewarded as one of the successful projects for the 2020 Civic Trust Awards,  being highly commended in the AABC Conservation Awards. 

The brief was focussed on reviving the Victorian theatre, the East Court and adjoining areas, and called for some far-reaching design interventions and careful conservation. The scheme has been designed not simply to bring these historic spaces back into viable use, but to create an entirely new experience for contemporary audiences.

The Civic Trust Awards are an independent awards scheme with the objective to recognise projects that have made a positive contribution to the local communities they serve. The 61st Anniversary Awards Ceremony took place on Friday 6th March 2020 at the Imperial War Museum North, in Trafford, Manchester.

February 2020

The Beam shortlisted for RICS Social Impact Award

The Beam, a speculative office in Sunderland by FCBStudios, is one of 34 projects shortlisted in the Commercial Category, in the North East Regional Awards. 

The Beam is the first building to be completed on the landmark Vaux Site and is part of a 15-year regeneration project which, once complete, will extend the city centre, create thousands of jobs and have a major social and economic impact on the region. Designed with five themes in mind: a healthy office, a sustainable workplace, an appealing workplace, a lean building and a contextual response, the Beam sets a high standard of workplace accommodation for the ambitious regeneration of the site.

The projects shortlisted for the RICS Social Impact Awards 2020 are reflective of the outstanding work being done within the built environment, recognising the built environment's positive and transformational contribution to society. The winners will be announced on 1 May, and go forward to the National Awards.

Creativity Pavilion opens at Alexandra Palace

Alexandra Palace’s Creativity Pavilion provides a new home in the recently developed East Wing of the building for the charity’s Creative Learning programme. The programme uses the history of the Park and Palace and the arts to inspire people of all ages and backgrounds to develop new skills and boost their health and well-being.

Designed by East Wing project architects FCBStudios, the pavilion has the flexibility to be transformed and adapted for a range of activities; including interactive workshops for schools, music and theatrical performances, community-curated exhibitions, creative sessions for people with disabilities and family drop-in classes, such as Baby Jazz.

The upper levels of the space form a light box, whilst below a series of fixed and moveable panels enable the space to be enclosed from the rest of the East Court or opened up to become part of the larger space. The interior is equipped with a lighting rig and speakers which gives a theatrical feel, whilst the new suspended ceiling and motorised curtain rail allows for the space to be darkened for projection. The Creativity Pavilion provides a welcoming, inspiring and modern fit-for-purpose facility which contributes to the vibrancy of the newly restored East Wing.

The opening of the new Creativity Pavilion is another step in Alexandra Palace’s mission – along with the renovated Victorian Theatre, and the transformation of East Court – to repair, restore and maintain the Park and Palace for public recreation and enjoyment.

Daniel Burt, Architect at Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios said: “The Creativity Pavilion is a flexible, inclusive space which will be host to a huge array of workshops, exhibitions and events for schools, families, young people, adults with disabilities and older people at Alexandra Palace. We wanted the space to communicate a sense of excitement, enlivening the East Court, and provide a welcoming and secure environment in which the Palace can expand their ambitious cultural and community programmes.”

The official launch on Tuesday 25 February included the opening of a new exhibition called Little Inventors. This is the culmination of a year-long project that challenged children across north London to start on their own inventive journey, inspired by the innovative spirit of the adventurers and aeronauts of who have appeared at Alexandra Palace over the years. Four winners were selected, and their designs brought to life by redLoop, the design and innovation centre at Middlesex University, and will be displayed in the Creativity Pavilion until 24 March.

Louise Stewart, chief executive at Alexandra Park and Palace Charitable Trust, said: “We’re delighted to be opening the Creativity Pavilion. Having a dedicated and specially designed space for these activities means we will be much better placed to deliver creative activities to inspire people of all ages and backgrounds. It’s going to be exciting to see how this space will support the charity to benefit more people in new ways.

“The Creativity Pavilion also marks the latest phase in our restoration of the park and palace. To see how much this space has changed in the last few years is almost unbelievable, and we’d like to thank everyone who has worked with us to make this possible.


Former Ladywell Leisure Centre Development Site: Ideas welcome at community drop-in event

FCBStudios have been appointed by Lewisham Homes (on behalf of Lewisham Council) to develop design proposals for the redevelopment of the former Ladywell Leisure Centre site for new housing and retail uses. The aspiration is to provide 50 per cent new social rented council homes.

Kelly Green, Associate at FCBStudios said “The Ladywell site is a fantastic opportunity to extend the work already done by Lewisham Homes to provide quality housing for those who need it most. Following our resident drop-in event in November last year we are looking for local people to get involved in the design process and to contribute their ideas for the site. “
During the community workshop, local artist Jake Sherwood will be creating an interactive site model to be used by residents and school children to propose their own designs through Lego building, along with other activities such as wayfinding maps, sticky note comments and discussion with the design team.
He said “It’s really exciting for me to be part of the consultation process at this early stage - where good engagement, and good art, can have the most impact. Models like this one have a fantastic ability to help visualise and contextualise what might be built, but also give a critical and creative opportunity for collective discussions during the making of the model that can help to shape later development.”
Jake has previously worked with Architects for Social Housing and Open House London while in Central Hill Estate on Gipsy Hill. His work in the community built relationships with residents, initially through portraiture then later in a more collective way, making an architectural model of the entire hill.
A community workshop event will take place at PLACE Ladywell Lewisham on 27 February, from 3 pm to 7 pm. More information is available at https://ladywellleisuresite.commonplace.is/

Plans for third Circle Square office approved

A 215,000sq ft office block on the former BBC site on Oxford Road has been approved by Manchester City Council.

No. 3 Circle Square, for Bruntwood Sci-Tech follows on from 1&2 Circle Square and will offer 13 full floors of office space, with floor plates of approximately 16,400 sq ft. The open-plan ground floor space combines a reception area with retail and leisure amenities, as well as a cycle hub and showers. There will also be a new roof terrace and lounge at the top of the building, providing companies at Circle Square with a private garden space from which to work that complements the new state-of-the-art conference and events facilities provided at No.1 Circle Square.

Amanda Whittington, Partner, FCBStudios said “On the eastern side of the Circle Square masterplan, 3 Circle Square has a strong architectural presence along Newman Street and Princess Street. The scale reflects the significance of Corridor Manchester while being responsive enough to create a defined and intimate character around the main frontages and the new public realm of Symphony Park.  The building will command its own individual character, whilst maintaining common threads of architectural language and material quality defined within our overall masterplanning strategy. With its generous and inviting rooftop terrace and the retail at ground level, 3 Circle Square will be a flexible and sustainable working environment within a prominent grade A commercial offer.”

Circle Square, formerly the BBC Site, will create a new destination within Manchester City Centre, providing a dynamic mix of office, commercial retail / food and drink, hotel and leisure uses, residential accommodation for build-to-rent, a major new public green space, streets and cycle routes.

FCBStudios introduces ten Mental Health First Aiders

Ten members of FCBStudios have qualified as Mental Health First Aiders via Altruist with MHFA England.

Jayne Rolls, HR Associate said “Through this training, and for some of us through personal experience, we have an understanding of mental health and the factors that can affect wellbeing. We have been trained to listen, reassure and respond; providing a safe space to have a confidential conversation about mental health. We are not therapists and the aim is not to diagnose or treat but to encourage and support those to access the most appropriate help. We are also committed to supporting positive wellbeing in the practice and to address any stigma.

FCBStudios believes in the importance of mental health; to encourage a culture of wellbeing, where people are able to bring their whole selves to work so they can feel supported and included, particularly in the more difficult times.

Plans submitted to transform former Kellogg's site

The proposals, which have been put forward by Bruntwood Works and Trafford Council, include a residential-led mixed-use development, comprising a primary school, commercial workspace, hotel, public realm, a park and retail offerings.

The scheme, designed by FCBStudios, was showcased at a public consultation in November, where feedback was taken from local residents, businesses and stakeholders.

The project is part of the Council’s wider Civic Quarter Masterplan, which covers a 120-acre site that includes the town hall, Lancashire Cricket Club, the former Kellogg’s site – including University Academy 92 (UA92) campus – stretching up to the A56/Chester Road to White City retail park.

As part of the wider Civic Quarter Masterplan, the Council is set to build a new leisure centre; an improved public realm; create opportunities for new homes and offices; and improve cycle and pedestrian routes. There is also the potential for a new public piazza and ‘processional route’ linking Lancashire Cricket Club with Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium. The strategic vision is being created with consultancy team Planit-IE, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios and Avison Young.

Now, the plans for the former Kellogg’s site have been submitted to Council planners, with a planning decision expected to be made by spring 2020.

Cllr Andrew Western, Leader of Trafford Council said: “These plans present a fantastic opportunity to provide much-needed housing, further develop local amenities, improve community use of the area and completely transform our public spaces. The plans aim to create a fantastic place for those who live and work here.”

Andrew Cooke, regional director for Bruntwood Works said: “We’re thrilled to be moving forward with our vision to create a new mixed-use development at the heart of the Trafford Civic Quarter community. We are passionate about creating thriving towns and cities, working with local businesses and stakeholders to help secure economic growth in the area."

Geoff Rich to speak at UN Habitat World Urban Forum

FCBStudios Partner, Geoff Rich, will be participating in the UN Habitat World Urban Forum (WUF10) in Abu Dhabi.

He will be speaking as part of the event on ‘Heritage & Culture-led development and Sustainable Architecture’ organised by UIA and AUA, and supporting the practice’s ongoing initiatives with the Climate Heritage Network and the Commonwealth Architects Association.

The Tenth Session of the World Urban Forum (WUF10) will hosted by Abu Dhabi, capital city of the United Arab Emirate from 8 – 13 February 2020 with the theme Cities of Opportunities: Connecting Culture and Innovation.

If you would like to meet with Geoff at WUF, please contact jenny.stephens@fcbstudios.com

January 2020

Planning consent granted for new commercial building in Clifton, Bristol

Detailed planning consent has been granted for a development on the derelict site at 2-16 Clifton Down Road adjacent to Clifton Arcade. The current derelict building, which has been out of use for six years, will be replaced by a new commercial building providing a food store, cafés, shops, a restaurant and offices that will add positively to the ongoing regeneration of the local area.

Architect Ashley Clayton said: “Working together with the developer THATGroup, the design team, and through consultation with the general public, the proposed scheme has been set respectfully within the surrounding context. New extensive landscaping to the surrounding streets, including resurfacing, planting and dedicated outdoor seating areas continue the well-established alfresco café dining of Boyce’s Avenue and will bring new life to Clifton Down Road itself. The proposed scheme is a result of listening to the people of Clifton and understanding how good contemporary design can enhance historically significant parts of cities”

Due to the historic context, the scheme has been designed to fit within its urban setting, drawing references from both the history of the site, and also from the existing, visible context which includes Georgian Terrace Houses and the Victorian Clifton Arcade enabling the scheme to feel ‘of the place.’

The Britannia Project highly commended at Building London Planning Awards

The Hackney Council-led scheme brings together education, leisure and housing on one site while maximising community benefit through delivering eight large-scale, intensively-used buildings into an already dense context. One of four projects in the Best Mixed-Use category, The Britannia Project was highly commended.

The Building London Planning Awards celebrate outstanding town planning and development in London and showcase the diverse talent working across the built environment sector. Schemes were judged by the Greater London Authority, London Councils, the Planning Officers Society and Royal Town Planning Institute.

Jules Pipe, Deputy Mayor for Planning, Regeneration and Skills, said: â€‹“This year’s shortlist contains an extremely high standard of entries, which once again reflects the sheer range of talent in the capital. London needs thousands more genuinely affordable homes – and it is essential they are well-designed and supported with the workspaces, amenities and transport links needed to create places in which Londoners want to live and work.

The Britannia Project is currently onsite.  Read more here

LETI launch Climate Emergency Design Guide

LETI's Climate Emergency Design Guide, launching tonight, outlines the requirements of new buildings to ensure our climate change targets are met - setting out a definitive journey, beyond climate emergency declarations, into a net zero carbon future. It is specifically aimed towards developers/landowners, designers, policymakers, and the supply chain. It aims to help to define ‘good’ and to set clear and achievable targets.

The Guide covers 5 key areas: operational energy, embodied carbon, the future of heat, demand response and data disclosure. Our methodology includes setting the requirements of four key building archetypes (small scale residential, medium/large scale residential, commercial offices, and schools). The guide was developed by over 100 LETI volunteers over a period of 12 months, including Dr Joe Jack Williams, Researcher at FCBStudios.

This guidance demonstrates that the building industry knows how we should be designing buildings. In 2020 buildings that adopt these requirements now will be seen as leaders. By 2025 these requirements must become standard design practice otherwise the building industry will not meet our collective responsibility in this climate crisis.

LETI believe that in order to meet our climate change targets, in 2020 10% of all new projects developers and designers are involved in, should be designed to meet the requirements set out in this guide. Design teams will have the opportunity to register their projects as LETI Pioneer projects, to share knowledge and overcome barriers with other design teams working towards the same goal.

Peter Clegg, Partner, FCBStudios said: 'Following the recent declarations of climate and biodiversity crises, a new sense of urgency that has emerged within the environmental movement in architecture. It is characterised by an awareness of embodied as well as operational energy. It is focused on cradle-to-cradle lifecycle assessment of our buildings, and it is driven by the passion and enthusiasm of a new generation of architects and engineers who are determined to make change happen. The London Energy Transformation Initiative sits at the heart of this movement and their guide provides an inspirational ‘call to action’ for everyone in the built environment.'

Download the guide here.