June 2021

FCBS Carbon shortlisted for AJ100 Sustainability Initiative of the Year

FCBS Carbon, the whole life embodied carbon tool developed by FCBStudios is one of the six initiatives shortlisted for an AJ100 award.

The sprreadsheet based tool was designed in house at FCBStudios for use as an early-stage embodied carbon calculator. Using benchmarked data from the ICE Database and EPDs, it is designed to make potential carbon impacts clear to the client, architect, and the whole design team from the outset of the design process.

FCBS CARBON is available for free to the industry. It has been downloaded by over 2000 people, including architecture practices, university students, clients and engineers, and is in use across FCBStudios’ projects. Download it here.

From the declaration of a dual crisis of climate and biodiversity with Architects Declare in 2019 (winner of the 2020 AJ100 Sustainability initiative award), the practice has been working to raise awareness, share knowledge and find ways to address the causes of the climate crisis. We are a supporter of the AJ’s Retrofirst campaign and active members of AD, ACAN and LETI.

 To further reduce embodied carbon, the practice is committed to the creative reuse of existing buildings. Our awareness-raising exhibition Carbon Counts is currently being installed in Manchester Technology Centre and is also available to visit online.

To commit to reaching zero carbon in all our projects by 2030 is not going to be easy, but every step in the right direction will make it easier. We hope we can share our learning, and learn from others, so the whole industry can make these changes.

G7 spotlight on Cornwall

With the G7 summit taking place in Cornwall this week to discuss climate change, trade and the resilience of the global health system, the eyes of the world are on Cornwall.

A microcosm of Cornwall can be seen in the town of Hayle, only a few miles from the venue of the G7 talks. Hayle was the main port serving the mining industry and enabled Cornwall to thrive nationally and globally on the export of copper, tin and heavy industrial machinery. 

FCBStudios began working in Hayle ten years ago. Our South Quay Hayle - Superstoreincluded the restoration of the listed quayside - making the harbour accessible to the community; the reinstatement of the Victorian sluicing mechanism - which is integral to maintaining a clear navigable channel between the harbour and the sea; and a new superstore, bringing jobs, and groceries, to the town.

In the intervening years, we have achieved planning for the renewal of areas on the North and South Quays. Together these projects will provide over 500 homes, space for independent and local businesses, improved facilities for the fishing community, watersports and visitors to the waterfront. Our plans look to the future of Hayle but have been made in consultation with community groups, and with a knowledge and respect of the history of the area.

Cornwall declared a climate emergency at the beginning of 2019 and announced its target of achieving net zero carbon by 2030, aiming to set a precedent for green industry and sustainable living. Our proposals for Hayle are seen as an exemplar for meeting these targets.

We hope that the G7 talks will take a similar approach, formulating plans that support communities, respect all parties and provide for a sustainable future.

Two more FCBStudios architects become Passivhaus Certified Designers

FCBStudios has two more Passivhaus Certified Designers, as Andrew Abraham, in our Belfast office, and Chris Pittway in our London studio have successfully completed the course.

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. 

Chris Pittway said: “Becoming a Passivhaus Certified Designer is crucial to delivering energy-efficient buildings with low operational energy demands. The training has enabled a thorough understanding of the building physics behind the Passivhaus approach. I am excited to now employ this rigour throughout the design process, specifically within the residential sector, where the Passivhaus approach not only reduces energy use but can also lead to significant reductions in fuel poverty."

FCBStudios are currently working on a number of schemes that aim to be Passivhaus, including Croft Gardens in Cambridge and South Hill Housing in Jersey, with the process feeding into our fabric first approach to lowering operational energy in all our designs.

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.

May 2021

Podcast: How to Be a Green Pioneer

FCBStudios kick off the new series of RIBA J Meets… podcast

Listen to Peter Clegg and Associate Jo White in conversation with Eleanor Young about how they see the work of the practice leading the way in the fight against climate change.

They discuss FCBS Carbon and the value it brings when talking to clients and project teams about embodied carbon; how we are adapting our own lives to be more sustainable; and the past present and future projects that are pioneering in their approach to limiting the impact of our architecture on the environment.

Peter Clegg said “In the last few years, everything has changed. For about 30 years we were totally focused on the operational energy of buildings, but now the focus is all on embodied carbon in construction. This is the biggest challenge we have”

Belfast Architect, Andrew Abraham talks about his work with ACAN, and how they have been able to take issues around embodied carbon in construction to the government at Stormont for discussion.

As Jo says, “This [our approach to sustainability] is not the new and improved anymore, this is a real rethink – and that takes a different level of commitment.”

Listen here or on your favourite podcast platform. 

Kings Cross Build-to-Rent Development starts construction

Construction on a Build-to-Rent (BtR) development for Argent Related has started at the Triangle Site on York Way, King’s Cross.

The new development is set to complete in 2023 and will feature 218 rental homes across three buildings. It will be uniquely placed as the only BtR development within the 67-acre King’s Cross Estate.

Building W1 has been designed by FCBStudios. Alina White, Associate said “The building will offer 140 apartments, each of which will have views across the City, Camden or Islington as well as access to extensive communal facilities,  with a green landscape at the heart of the scheme and an ecology garden.”

Residents of the one, two and three-bedroom homes will have world-class service and a compelling mix of amenities including a residential fitness centre, screening room, dining area, retail and a crèche. Located nearby are King’s Cross’ retail, restaurants, leisure and public spaces.

David Morley Architects, Haptic, Project Orange and Conran and Partners have also designed architecture and interiors which complete the development of the Triangle site.

Full release here.

Leeds Temple Development gets underway

Work has started on site this week on CEG’s flagship Globe Point development within the Temple district of Leeds.

Groundbreaking took place with the full design team as BAM Construction moved onto site to deliver the 37,800 sq ft seven-storey building on Globe Road.

Responding to occupiers’ expectations and the new ways of working, Globe Point will deliver some of the highest quality workspace in the city, with ground floor break-out space, business lounge and café kitchen.  Ready for occupation in spring next year, it will provide flexible workspace for up to 400 people.

Designed by FCBStudios, Globe Point offers spectacular views across the city from roof terraces on the top two floors and innovative outdoor plazas. The building aims to raise the bar in terms of quality, occupant wellbeing, and sustainability. 

SMART Technologies will be used to control and drive energy performance. Sensors monitor air quality and adjust airflow while still optimising energy efficiency. All-electric, it will use 100% REGOS green energy and is designed to reduce water consumption. Targeting BREEAM Excellent and EPC A. Globe Point has also been independently accredited as WiredScore Platinum, something only 10% of buildings worldwide have achieved. 

Tom Riordan, chief executive of Leeds City Council, said: “The plans for Globe Point are very impressive indeed – this promises to be a landmark development in one of the city’s most exciting areas. It’s gratifying to see energy efficiency and other environmental considerations playing an important role in the building’s design, along with tech capacity and internet connectivity."

Ultimately, within the FCBStudios Temple district masterplan, CEG and Leeds City Council are bringing forward further development with the potential to provide some 4 million sq ft of high quality accommodation. CEG is also working closely with LCC, the British Library and Historic England to secure the historic Temple Works as the cultural centrepiece of the city quarter. 

Former Gasworks agreed as preferred site for Eden Project Dundee

FCBStudios has been working alongside Dundee-based architects Nicoll Russell Studios on feasibility studies for the Eden Project’s proposed Scottish home that will be transformational and regenerative, with an overarching theme of humanity’s connection to the natural world.

An agreement has now been signed to explore the practicalities of converting the former Dundee Gasworks on East Dock Street - a site set back from the Dundee waterfront on the bank of the River Tay - into the Eden Project’s home in Scotland.

Peter Clegg, Partner at FCBStudios says “We have been working with Eden to explore ideas for a number of sites in Dundee. Building upon the forward-thinking environmental vision of the original Eden Project over 20 years ago, we have developed a regenerative approach to the extraordinary gasholder site close to the city centre. Our net zero carbon proposals will transform the former industrial site, creating a haven for biodiversity in the city.” 

Eden envisages the striking contrast of the industrial heritage of the Gasworks with the gardens within the existing tall brick walls as a powerful symbol of regeneration, echoing the project’s home in Cornwall which is located in a former clay quarry.

Eden Project Dundee will draw on the history of the city’s Nine Incorporated Trades and is themed around nine new “Guilds” – of Healers, Growers, Navigators, Myth-Makers, Noticers, Alchemists, Celebrators, Menders and “Re-Sourcerors”. It is characterised not by specialisms, like the existing nine trades, but by providing alternative ways of perceiving the world.

Eden Project Dundee is one of a sisterhood of UK projects Eden Project International is developing, with plans well advanced for Morecambe (Eden Project North), and others, including Portland, on which FCBStudios is also collaborating. 

Read the full release here

WRK/LDN: Office Revolution?

New London Architecture’s latest research paper provides a snapshot of London's current response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the capital's workspaces and their urban context, and evaluates how offices will need to adapt in the long-term.

WRK/LDN brings together the thoughts of a wide range of practitioners and academics to assess our experiences of a year of lockdown, of increased home working, the effect this will have in the longer term and what we need to do to ensure positive outcomes. It provides a comprehensive guide to current thinking on issues facing workspace provision today. What we know is that the way we work, at least in office-based jobs, will not be the same in the future as it was pre-pandemic.

Paradise, for Bywater Properties, is featured as a case study for London’s future workplaces. Net carbon zero, flexible in use and designed for wellbeing, Paradise looks to the future of London’s Workplaces.

Download the report.



Belfast collaborative art workshop nominated for NI Arts and Business award

Cardboard Cities’ was a free family art workshop, conceived and run by staff from FCBStudios’ Belfast office in collaboration with children’s arts charity Young At Art.

Delivered as part of the ‘Big Family Day Out’ in March 2020, the event has been nominated in the Staff Engagement category of the Arts & Business NI Awards 2021.

Families were invited to create cardboard buildings during the drop-in workshop. FCBStudios staff then used these to assemble a cardboard city that was exhibited for the duration of the children’s festival.

Cormac Maguire, Associate at FCBStudios led the event organisation: “Part of our ongoing programme of public events and exhibitions in the Belfast office, Cardboard Cities was our last, pre-pandemic. We wanted the project to embrace the creativity and fun inherent in design and place-making. The whole office rolled their sleeves up and got involved but it was the children who were the real creative forces! The output was incredible with over 30 individual projects, ranging from a ‘grandad house’ with inbuilt waterfall ‘to make him relax’, to a skyscraper hotel where you go up via trampolines and down via parachute! The feedback we had was amazing, and it was great to see the inventive ways the children approached their projects.

The awards winners will be announced on 17 June.

V&A's Raphael Court renovation completed

In 2020 the V&A marked the 500th anniversary of Raphael’s death with the refurbishment by FCBStudios of The Raphael Court, home to the iconic Raphael Cartoons, which are lent to the V&A from the Royal Collection by Her Majesty The Queen.

The refurbished Grade I-listed, Aston Webb designed gallery has transformed the way the museum’s visitors experience the Cartoons, through subtle changes to the architecture and a radical change to the décor of the space.

The Raphael Court presents a shift in pace within the busy museum and our designs accentuate this, resulting in a quieter, more contemplative interior where the Cartoons are given the space they need, both physically and intellectually.

Reopening to the public on 19 May, the new decorative scheme places the Cartoons themselves firmly at the focus of visitors’ attention. Curved acoustic plaster panels on the ceiling create a calmer environment, while bespoke furniture gives visitors the opportunity to sit and to interact with the works in a new way. 

For conservation reasons the Cartoons are displayed in glazed frames. New state-of-the-art LED lighting by Studio ZNA has reduced reflections on the glass, while better illuminating the artworks themselves to reveal their extraordinary detail and vibrant palette.

The refurbishment of The Raphael Court is supported by Lydia & Manfred Gorvy, Julia and Hans Rausing, American Express, the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851, Sir Michael and Lady Hintze, the Robert H. Smith Family Foundation, the American Friends of the V&A, and many other generous donors. 

Watch A Light Touch.

April 2021

Plans unveiled for new sustainable homes and public spaces in St Helier Jersey

A public consultation showcases transformative proposals for South Hill in St Helier. The plans include a sustainable residential scheme and the significant enhancement of South Hill’s surrounding green areas.

FCBStudios are working with Jersey Development Company (JDC) to develop a sustainable new residential scheme on the former Planning Offices site at South Hill. The scheme will create an environmentally focussed residential development of approximately 150 low-energy 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments. The scheme is designed to achieve the highest environmental standards with an aspiration to enhance the surrounding public realm and improving pedestrian and cycle connectivity to the area.

The proposals for the building would deliver an organic piece of architecture for the South Hill area, one that is sympathetically designed to embrace and emulate the local landscape, protect its natural setting, maximising the natural landform, greenery and views from the site.

Andy Theobald, Partner, FCBStudios said: “South Hill is an unrivalled location, and as such, requires a very specific design response. We propose a carefully integrated series of landscape-inspired buildings that maintain the openness of the site and provides exceptional views for the residents.  The buildings evoke the character of Mount Bingham’s granite rock face through their gravity, tonality and texture which is further enhanced by the extensively planted balconies. The existing listed building is retained within an exciting new courtyard space and is linked with the adjacent play park.

The project has the highest environmental agenda. Our proposals are being designed to Passivhaus principles and target low carbon in use which will be an exemplar for Jersey.

Plans also include a new landscaped courtyard, retention of an existing Listed building and a new public café to service the re-designed neighbouring park.

The South Hill consultation can be viewed online here: www.southhilldevelopment.je and is open until 14 May.  


Design Council announces new network of design experts – including Keith Bradley and Geoff Rich

Design Council has today announced its refreshed network of more than 400 built and natural environment experts who collectively embody the organisation’s commitment to make life better by design. The network, which consists of a wide range of active leaders and change makers from various professions, backgrounds and regions, is an essential part of Design Council’s role in delivering design advice and support services in the built and natural environment and beyond. 

Over the coming months, this new network of experts will join with Design Council’s recently refreshed group of design associates, to form a dynamic community of practice which will share ideas, insights and develop exciting opportunities to collaborate. By bringing together increasingly diverse experts, social and business innovation, service and systemic design, this community of practice is in a strong position to respond positively and even more effectively to some of society’s most pressing challenges.

FCBStudios Senior Partner Keith Bradley is one of 34 ambassadors announced today and Managing Partner Geoff Rich is one of 350 associates and specialists. Also part of the network are more than 20 corporate partners, representing a wide variety of skills, expertise and experience in the industry across the UK, including all nine regions in England. The new structure replaces Design Council’s previous roster of built environment experts, many of whom applied for and were welcomed into the new group.

Corporate partner organisations that share Design Council’s values will partner on projects, research and delivery. These include Beam, Black Professionals in Construction, Commonplace, Croydon Council’s Placemaking Team, Historic England, Living Streets, Migrants Bureau, Ryder and Pfizer. Associates will support on ongoing work with clients and specialists will contribute to research, policy and thought leadership.

The full list of new corporate partners, associates and specialists can be seen here.

Integral to the network is its ability to offer Design Council’s clients and contacts a range of expertise, best serving their communities and wider society. Underpinning this is a passion for design innovation and creating truly inclusive environments. Each expert has a distinct role, from architecture, public health and landscape architecture to circular economy and net zero carbon consultancy, which can shape ideas and projects from the earliest stages

Next phases of Hayle Harbour regeneration secures planning consent

The next phases of the regeneration of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hayle Harbour, Cornwall, have been unanimously granted planning permission.

FCBStudios and Sennybridge submitted detailed plans for the next phase of North Quay Hayle Harbour to Cornwall Council for a £350m mixed-use development. The scheme will deliver 375 new homes, including 17% affordable housing, alongside extensive community facilities establishing it as a residential, visitor, business and cultural destination.

The approved scheme consists of a number of distinct projects in their own right, each one a specific response to the characteristics presented by the coastal site. The projects are as follows:

The Yard
Residential quarter focussed around a series of sub-tropical sheltered gardens and courtyards. 60 units in total (townhouses and apartments)

The Stable Block
Renovation of a Grade 2 Listed building, with contemporary buildings to provide improved facilities and workshops to support local marine industries.

Riviere Fields
New neighbourhood of 254 homes (townhouses and apartments), including affordable, immersed within a well-designed green landscape.

Chieftains Yard
A varied cluster of apartment buildings containing 32 units nestled within a lush vegetated former quarry.

Western Gateway
Featuring a 3200m2 beachside apart-hotel, community hall and water sports hub to provide improved facilities for the existing clubs and organisations.

The final decision on some elements of the initial proposal has been deferred pending further discussions with ICOMOS. Three areas of the application will be resubmitted in May: East Quay, which is made up of an Arts Centre, Creative Workspaces, and facilities to support the fishing industry; Eastern Gateway, facilities to support the marine industry and improve harbour facilities; and Hilltop, a low-density residential area of approximately 30 dwellings.

Matt Williams, Associate at FCBStudios said: “Achieving planning consent with unanimous support for this complex project is a significant milestone for a regeneration scheme that has been discussed for over 40 years. Whilst we are disappointed that ICOMOS have sought to defer the decision on some of the key parts of the project which deliver significant community benefits, we recognise the importance of these elements of the project and will continue to work with ICOMOS towards the right outcome for the future of Hayle."

Simon Wright, CEO of Sennybridge, said: “Phase one of the North Quay at Hayle harbour is fully underway, which includes wharfside homes, shops, restaurants, and public space, with an expected phase two on-site start date of Q4 of 2021."

We look forward to working with the community and council to further refine plans for East Quay, Eastern Gateway and Hilltop in order to truly make this a location that has the facilitates and housing to support the continued economic and community success of the town.”

Read about our other projects in Hayle.

South Quay Hayle Phase 1
South Quay Hayle Phase 2

Plans for St Mary le Port Bristol open for consultation

A community consultation has been launched regarding MEPC plans, designed by FCBStudios, to revitalise St Mary le Port in Bristol’s Castle Park.

The proposal looks to repair St Mary le Port Tower and its ruins and create a bustling and sustainable place for shopping, work, and relaxation in the heart of Bristol. Following feedback, and responses collated over an extensive 12-month conversation with Bristol City Council and local community representatives, the latest proposals are being shared now for further community consultation.

Roz Bird, Commercial Director of MEPC, said, “We feel privileged to have the chance to create something really special and unique for Bristol in this key location – somewhere people can shop, share good food, experience art and cultural events, hang out, or simply explore St Mary le Port Tower, Castle Park and the Floating Harbour. 

“We know that people have waited a long-time to see this site rejuvenated and we are looking forward to talking with people and answering their questions at our virtual consultation events.”

The project plans for St Mary le Port Tower and ruins to be restored and opened up to the public; three new office buildings, with independent retailers, cafés, restaurants, and bars at ground floor level; the reinstatement of the historic Mary le Port Street to create a pedestrian-only street and of historic Adam and Eve Lane and Cheese Market, to create new walking routes between Broadmead Shopping Quarter and the Floating Harbour; and an extension of Castle Park into the fourth quadrant of the site.

As well as attracting new office users and retailers, the investors are setting up two separate projects, working with local representatives. One aims to have a positive social impact, looking at how to help local young people gain valuable work experience, and one to consider the net gain to the natural environment, assessing the current natural assets on the site.

Buildings will champion environmental sustainability and align with international, national, and local sustainability targets.

The plans are available to view at www.stmaryleport.co.uk until Monday 26th April 2021.

The Hangar District shortlisted for residential award

We are pleased to announce that The Hangar District, part of the new Brabazon neighbourhood for Bristol has been shortlisted in three categories in the Insider's South West Residential Property Awards.

The residential scheme has been shortlisted in the following categories: Large Residential Development of the Year (more than 100 units), Place-making Award, Sustainability Award, all of which showcase the best residential work which has been carried out in the South West region.

The Hangar District forms the first phase of new homes to be built at Brabazon and is designed to create a highly sustainable residential quarter that will set the tone for the transformation of this 380-acre site.

The award results will be announced at a ceremony on Thursday 9 September at Exeter University.

Once in a lifetime moment at Bath Abbey

New photography at Bath Abbey reveals the 891 memorial stones which pave the church and marks the completion of major works to the floor.

For a short time the restored floor is clear of furniture, giving a unique perspective on the World Heritage City church.

 The works are part of The Bath Abbey Footprint project, a £19.3 million programme of restoration, building works and interpretation that will secure the Abbey’s physical future and improve its hospitality, worship and service to the city.

FCBStudios have led the project to stabilise the subsiding floor, an extensive programme of archaeology, installation of a sustainable hot spa water powered underfloor heating system and the documentation, repair and relaying of the 2400 stones in total, which pave the floor, including nearly 900 ledger stones. In the coming weeks, the Victorian Corporation Stalls and new furniture will be moved into the Abbey, in readiness to welcome the community back to the church.

A new energy efficient lighting system has also been installed, designed by Michael Grubb Studio. The lighting scheme reveals the exquisite architectural detail of the Abbey whilst providing flexible scenes for various services and events. The entire lighting system has been upgraded, along with a new control system, that allows each lamp to be individually controlled. This delivers an infinite amount of flexibility and the opportunity to animate lighting within the various spaces during services or for special events.

Revd Canon Guy Bridgewater, Rector of Bath Abbey, said: “After so many years of work on the Abbey Footprint project, and so much being hidden behind the scenes, more and more is now coming to completion and being revealed at last. We’re hoping that local residents, visitors, and our regular congregation will share our delight in seeing Bath Abbey greatly enhanced. With the ancient floor now fully restored, and new lighting and eco heating system installed, the beauty of our renewed worship space is already over-whelming. We are beginning to see the fruits of all the amazing vision, prayer, planning, generosity and skilled hard work poured into resourcing the future of the Abbey and its ministry.

Alex Morris, Associate, FCBStudios said “The completion of this phase of work is a spectacular moment and a major step towards completion of the Footprint Project, which prepares Bath Abbey for the next 100 years. The memorial stones of the Abbey floor, which tell the stories of Bath’s Georgian society, are on show again after 150 years. They have been individually recorded, lifted, repaired and re-laid, to now be appreciated by everyone visiting the Abbey. The floor works re-present the building, in a way not seen since the 19th century. The project enhances the significance of the Abbey, whilst creating a more flexible building with better facilities. This allows the Abbey to better serve the congregation, the city of Bath and the many visitors to the UNESCO World Heritage site.”

As work on this major project continues, more exciting spaces will soon be uncovered including the new Song School for use by Abbey and local choirs, a Schools Learning Centre, and a Visitor Discovery Centre - together with important new office spaces, loos and volunteer facilities.

Read more in our Explore blog

March 2021

FCBStudios collaborate on Whole Life Carbon Roadmap project

The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) has today announced four new Task Groups and a Steering Group which will support the development of the Net Zero Whole Life Carbon Roadmap for the Built Environment.

The Roadmap, aims to develop a trajectory of carbon reduction targets and actions, covering the total lifecycle impact of the built environment in the UK, and secure the support of relevant industry actors in delivering decarbonization.

Four task groups comprised of over 50 experts have been formed to work through the decarbonisation implications across sectors and develop a timeline of solutions. FCBStudios Associate, Andy Macintosh has been selected to join the New Build: Residential task group. An industry-wide Steering Group has also been formed to oversee the Roadmap and provide strategic input throughout the process. 

Tom Spurrier, Roadmap Project Lead at UKGBC, said: “Delivering the carbon reductions required to bring us in line with a 1.5 degree trajectory is an industry-wide challenge that must be met with an industry-wide response. It is therefore essential we come together to develop a shared, coherent plan of action which sets out clear actions and targets for stakeholders across our industry to work towards, which is exactly the purpose of the Whole Life Carbon Roadmap project.

“The volume of applications received for each task group is testament to the level of ambition across our industry. The practical experience and input from each task group member will be instrumental in ensuring the Roadmap can be readily adopted by industry, and put us on track to meeting our climate targets without delay.

Read the full release.

Altrincham’s Stamford Quarter transformation plans revealed

Plans to overhaul the Stamford Quarter shopping centre and neighbouring Clarendon House in Altrincham, Greater Manchester have been presented for consultation by Bruntwood Works and Trafford Council. FCBStudios are acting as masterplan architect with Planit-IE as landscape architect.

The proposals aim to revitalise Altrincham’s town centre offer by creating a mix of uses which will complement the existing retail and leisure, more people and more activity will be brought to the town. 

Plans include the repurposing of 75,000 sq ft of commercial workspace in larger vacant units, such as the former Rackhams site to provide smaller shops, apartments, more office space, bars and restaurants – all designed to bring further vibrancy to the town centre.

Ernst ter Horst, Associate, FCBStudios said: "This has been an ambitious joint research piece where we continue to interrogate the role of the high street in a world where the way we shop, eat, work and live has fundamentally changed on so many levels.

Altrincham’s Stamford Quarter offers so much potential by re-purposing robust building stock, vacated by former department stores, by intelligently beigining to address reductions in carbon emissions and where an injection of diverse new uses across the spectrum offer us hope towards creating vibrant streets and spaces we can enjoy again."

Cllr Andrew Western, leader of Trafford Council, said: “Trafford Council is keen to gather as many views as possible on these plans and wants the local community to take the lead.

“We have made creating successful and thriving places a top priority and the plans for the regeneration of the Stamford Quarter meet our commitments. The exciting mix of retail, residential, leisure and commercial will create a Stamford Quarter to be proud of and one for all generations to enjoy. The plans also meet other Trafford Council priorities of having pride in our areas and being green and connected.”

The public consultation on the last part of the town’s traditional retail core regeneration is scheduled to run until Friday 16 April.

The plans are available to view online here.

Image: ©Virtual Planit

Birkenhead 2040 consultation starts

Residents and businesses of Wirral are being asked for their views and suggestions for the proposed radical transformation of an entire town, outlined in a major document called the Birkenhead 2040 Framework. The framework includes plans for the towncentre to make the most of the town’s green space, parks and heritage and an FCBStudios proposal for the waterfront. 

The proposals, representing one of the most aspirational regeneration programmes in the country, will see Birkenhead given a new lease of life. It proposes the most radical changes to Birkenhead since the 1947 Town Plan, making the most of its history and heritage using William Laird’s town grid which he laid out around Hamilton Square almost 200 years ago.

The vision is for a town which many more families and businesses will choose to call home, and one which is designed for a healthy, safe and fun lifestyle.

FCBStudios have been involved in developing ambitious proposals for Birkenhead Waterfront, which is one of nine neighbourhood projects within the framework, in collaboration with Avison Young, OPEN and Mott MacDonald. Our plans would reconnect the Grade I-listed Hamilton Square and open up the Mersey waterfront, making it a major visitor destination catalysed by new housing, leisure, arts and culture development with unrivalled views of the Liverpool World Heritage skyline.

Ernst ter Horst, Associate, FCBStudios said: "In many ways comparable to New York’s Brooklyn, Birkenhead has unrivalled potential across Liverpool’s World Heritage waterfront and includes a Grade-I listed Georgian square and the ancient remains of a 1150 monastery.
Grounded by extensive stakeholder engagement our proposals seek to re-connect the waterfront with the old centre, creating a vibrant waterside destination which promotes health and wellbeing, around which residential-led neighbourhoods can flourish, fostering new communities and active uses."

The eight-week consultation starts today.

Read more and download the framework document here

Spanish Gallery in Bishop Auckland nears completion

Architectural works carried out by FCBStudios are now complete at the Spanish Gallery, a new gallery set in the heart of the North East town of Bishop Auckland.

Spanish Gallery is part of The Auckland Project, one of the most ambitious philanthropic regeneration projects of modern times, helping to breathe new life into the former industrial region of south west Durham.

A former Grade II listed bank and neighbouring school buildings will find new life as the Spanish Gallery, which will contextualise the series of paintings 'Jacob and his Twelve Sons' by Francisco de Zurbarán held in nearby Auckland Castle.

This will be the first gallery in the UK dedicated exclusively to art of the Spanish world. It will focus on the Spanish Golden Age and feature works by the period’s key painters including El Greco, Velàzquez, Ribera and Zurbarán.

The new gallery will provide ten exhibition areas over three floors, including a dramatic top-lit double-height space, a learning centre, restaurant, and a gift shop.

Internal fit-out is now underway by Studio MB with expected opening in late 2021. 

We look forward to sharing images and further information when the project completes later in the year.

Watford Borough Council selects FCBStudios to revitalise Colosseum and Town Hall

FCBStudios has been appointed by Watford Borough Council to act as Lead Designer and Principal Designer for the Colosseum and Town Hall project, to rejuvenate two of Watford’s finest historic and cultural assets whose protection and enhancement is at the heart of the Town Hall Quarter scheme.

FCBStudios will work alongside Mace Project Management to support the council in assessing the buildings, to develop creative designs sympathetic to their history, whilst broadening their contribution to Watford’s economy, business life and cultural offer.  

Colin Cobb, Associate, FCBStudios, said: “Watford Town Hall and Colosseum are perfectly poised to be at the centre of the town’s developing cultural quarter. We look forward to working with Watford Borough Council to explore the role of a contemporary Town Hall as a meeting place, a civic, commercial, artistic and social hub for the community. The existing listed building lends a grandeur to its surroundings, which we would like to see connected to a generous civic space for public activities. Internally, its fine interiors and concert hall extension set the tone for Watford’s ambitious vision for a sustainable Town Hall, ready for the future.“ 

Watford Town Hall will be repurposed as a modern office building, and the popular Watford Colosseum entertainment and live performance venue will be adapted and enhanced to make it more sustainable financially and environmentally for the future use of its residents and cultural organisations.

Read the full press release here.

Collaborative offices complete at Circle Square Manchester

FCBStudios have completed work on No. 1 and No. 2 Circle Square, two connected workplace buildings for Bruntwood SciTech providing 400,000sqft of collaborative office spaces at the heart of Manchester’s Oxford Road Corridor.

Designed to provide fully flexible and adaptable office space with ground and first floor retail, the buildings face onto Oxford Road and a range of boutique retailers, restaurants, bars and cafes will move in over the coming months, clearly defining the pedestrian route into Symphony Park, a new green central space within the Circle Square development.

Joya Zaman, FCBStudios Associate said “From the beginning, the masterplan aimed to bring the wider community into the site, making the most of its location in the middle of the Oxford Road Corridor. With Symphony Park at the heart of the design creating much-needed green space in central Manchester, new routes are stitched into the existing fabric of the city.

The workspaces of No. 1 and No. 2 Circle Square can be configured to allow maximum flexibility for businesses of all shapes and sizes to develop and collaborate, providing a commercial anchor and ‘busy-ness’ to the site.  There will be a mix of neighbours from inventive cafes and restaurants, fun co-working spaces, cutting edge companies and people who will call Circle Square their home.

Circle Square is a joint venture between Bruntwood Scitech and Vita Group. FCBStudios created the masterplan for the site in 2015, to transform the former BBC studios into a thriving new neighbourhood for the city’s entrepreneurial, academic and creative communities. The first phase of Vita Living completed earlier this month, with Student Vita at Circle Square opening its doors in 2020. Symphony Park, Manchester City Centre’s newest and largest park will complete this spring.

Plans submitted to revitalise Stretford’s Town Centre

Bruntwood Works and Trafford Council have submitted plans drawn up by FCBStudios for the transformation of Stretford town centre, following 18 months of extensive public consultation.

This includes outline plans to reinstate King Street to provide a new high street for the community, to open up access to the Bridgewater Canal and create a new waterfront destination on Lacy Street, to create a Makers Yard hub for small independents and evening economy, and to introduce up to 800 new homes including affordable housing.

Ernst ter Horst, Associate, FCBStudios said: “From the outset this masterplan was genuinely co-created with the community, with the stakeholders leading the process. After a series of engagement sessions over 18 months the proposals set out a vibrant and diverse high street, within a walkable 20-minute sustainable neighbourhood.

“The ambition is for Stretford to be the place to go for much more than shopping, it will include cutting edge workspaces, great cafes and restaurants, community facilities and play spaces for everyone.

“The key to reviving the centre hangs on reinstating key historic routes from east to west and north to south, which converge on a central square. These routes will reconnect local landmarks - the Victorian town hall, St. Matthews Church and the Bridgewater Canal - with green spaces and places to gather, working together to make a place that is uniquely Stretford.

“By working closely with the community and stakeholders, we have developed these plans that stitch the mall and the town centre back into its surroundings through a series of people-centred interventions.”

Residents are encouraged to continue feeding back on the plans via the Stretford Mall Public Consultation website www.futurestretford.co.uk.

World’s first eco-heating system using hot springs has been switched on

Bath Abbey’s innovative eco-heating system powered by sustainable energy from Bath’s famous hot spring waters has been switched on this week.

As part of the Abbey’s Footprint project, a new distribution of underfloor heating pipework has been laid. This world-first heat collection system has been installed in the 2000 year old Roman Drain beneath York Street by renewable energy firm, isoenergy.

The work involved fitting ten custom-built EnergyBlade heat exchangers, which collect heat from the thermal spring water that flows through the drain from the Roman Baths and down into the river.

Every day around 1.1 million litres of hot water flows through the drain at a constant 40°C all year round. Energy extracted from the water will heat the historic Abbey as well as the adjacent row of Georgian cottages (Kingston Buildings) that house the Abbey offices, Song School and volunteer facilities.

The previous heating system, dating back to the Victorian era, was energy inefficient and expensive to maintain; but now the Abbey is able to harness this previously unused natural resource for generations to come.

Read more about the project in our journal entry Bath Abbey: just add water..!

HEDQF publishes latest research on ‘Sustainable Campuses’ co-led by Managing Partner Ian Taylor

The HEDQF (Higher Education Quality Design Forum) research group have today published its latest research on the subject of ‘Sustainable Campuses’.

The study led by Ian Taylor from FCBStudios and Alexander Grigull from Grimshaw’s explores student views on climate change and the design of University estates.

“The Higher Education Design Quality Forum is an independent charitable organisation which exists to promote high quality design across university campuses, buildings and facilities, in the knowledge that this enhances teaching, learning, research and public engagement..

“One of the most important activities that the Research Working Group drive is focused on is the student voice, ensuring that we keep exploring more and better ways to engage with students. We understand that ‘one size does not fit all’ and we work hard to ensure we capture representative data from this community. Working with an organisation such as YouthSight a, trusted independent insight consultancy with an under-30s opinion of 150,000 members, allows us to take another step forward in this journey. This report is part of a series capturing the views of the student population that will continue throughout the work of the HEDQF Research Working group.”

“Whilst we are still in the grip of a global pandemic, we cannot lose sight of other significant factors affecting our global community and how these in turn impact on the Higher Education sector.”

Extract from foreword by Dr Ghazwa Alwani-Starr, Chair of HEDQF, Pro Vice-Chancellor Strategy, Planning and Partnerships University of London.

Click here to read the report

The study was also supported by Dr Joe Jack Williams, Associate and Researcher from FCBStudios.

Space for collaboration at Lancaster University Management School

The new West Pavilion for Lancaster University Managements School has completed, providing innovative study space to accommodate the needs of the growing LUMS community and reflecting its status as a globally-leading Management School.

The new building significantly extends the existing Management School. The 5667m2 building complements existing facilities and provides three innovative new lecture theatres, an executive teaching suite and mix of flexible study and collaboration spaces, alongside three floors of offices to accommodate two LUMS departments and a brand new reception area for the whole School.

The Management School building is located towards the southern side of the University campus and occupies a key position on the ‘Spine’ of the campus, at the mid-point between Alexandra Square to the north and the student accommodation of Alexandra Park to the south. In creating a new entrance to the extended school, its position reinforces the physical connection between the new building and the existing backbone to whole campus site.

FCBStudios took the design from concept through to planning with Lancaster University, and ABW Architects delivered the project on site. Take a look around the completed school in this video tour. 

February 2021

Centenary Building shortlisted in 2021 BREEAM Awards

You can now vote for the University of Southampton Centenary Building in the 2021 BREEAM Awards, an annual celebration that proudly recognises the people, projects and organisations that are leading the way with significant achievements in sustainable building design, development, and management.

The new shared learning and teaching facility for the University’s Highfield Campus responds to recent shifts in learning patterns and the emergence of new technologies.

For the University, the building had to be adaptable in the long term, practical to operate, robust and long lasting in a coastal environment and had to achieve BREEAM Excellent. The building uses durable materials and simple environmental systems with a focus on minimal water and energy use.

As a shortlisted scheme the building is automatically entered into an additional category for the most popular building based on the highest number of public votes.

Voting will close on Monday 22 March at 5PM (GMT). The winner will be announced live at the BREEAM Awards online on Monday 25th March at 5pm.

Click here to vote

Tenants move into Circle Square Apartments.

The latest part of the Circle Square Masterplan, in the heart of Manchester has reached completion.

Vita Living Manchester, on plots 7&8 of Circle Square, provides 17 levels of PRS apartments with generous amenity areas and panoramic roof top terraces, grounded by what will be a vibrant mix of retail, co-working and leisure uses spilling into the park.

Positioned at the centre of the FCBStudios masterplan, it provides 266 apartments which face onto the central green and give views over Manchester and the River Irwell from the roof terrace.

The building forms an elegant and calm backdrop to the green, clad in scalloped ivory terracotta and bronzed aluminium that contrasts the earthy tones of the perimeter buildings and creates a modern interpretation of the local Victorian architecture.

Look around here.

Inspiring a renewed confidence and pride in the fishing town of Hayle

Catch up on the story of Hayle Harbour on BBC iPlayer. Find out how FCBStudios and Corinthian Developments are working together with the community, to transform it into an exciting and vibrant new coastal quarter.

Since the decline of the Cornish mining industries, this historic harbour has lain derelict despite a number of attempts to secure its future since the 1970s.

With placemaking, health, lifestyle and sustainability at its heart, this new coastal quarter will offer a variety of good quality housing. It will also provide waterside commercial spaces and a generous new public square, bringing year-round social and economic activity to the waterfront.

The development will provide improved facilities for local fishermen to help secure their future at Hayle.

Matt Williams, Associate and Architect who features on the BBC programme said: “It is so important for us to work together with the community on developments like this, and with fishing at the heart of this historic port, we have developed a good relationship with the fishermen to understand their needs and help secure the future of their traditional trade”.

Watch Cornwall: This Fishing Life on BBC iPlayer, which features a first look inside some of the Wharfhouses as they near completion.

Climate Responsive Design

FCBStudios launch Climate Responsive Design, an initiative to share knowledge about how buildings can use natural systems to face the challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss. Designing for climate change needs to be at the forefront of every design decision if we are to meet the impact of the climate crisis.

Climate responsive design, or bioclimatic design, is the way in which buildings respond to their specific local climate and embrace seasonal changes to create a low impact design. In this microsite, we present the key principles of using natural daylighting, solar shading, passive ventilation, sustainable landscape, energy generation and water and waste management to create buildings that touch the planet lightly, with examples of strategies and good practice.

The Climate Responsive Design microsite has been created as a means to engage with people across the globe, to share knowledge built through first-hand experience, to form collaborations, and start conversations so that together, as an industry, we can effect change. It is intended as a platform for a series of wider engagement activities, intended to evolve and change over time. We welcome interaction from others to develop the content.

Peter Clegg said “We understand the need of responding to different climates in different contexts and if we are to have any way at all of meeting the impact of the climate crisis and the biodiversity crisis, collaboration between countries, between architects is absolutely essential. We have a lot to learn from existing projects, from each other. We are looking for inspiration, feedback, engagement, but what we must do is keep the climate crisis first and foremost we in the headlights going forwards.”

Planning approval for first phase of Kirkstall Forge residential

Leeds City Council’s Plans Panel today resolved to grant planning permission for CEG’s Reserved Matters (detailed) application for the first phase of residential development within the Kirkstall Forge masterplan in Leeds.

The proposals will provide 213 homes, including 77 houses designed by FCBStudios, offering three to five-bedroom family living.  Design inspiration was taken from the steep terraced streets found in many Yorkshire towns where openings in the terraces provide routes and views both up to the green hillside, and down to the river. The homes will offer open plan living opening out onto gardens and terraces across different floors, with many roof verandas, also providing fantastic views of the valley.

Two apartment buildings designed by Leeds architects Cartwright Pickard, providing the remaining 136 homes, as well as ground floor leisure and retail space around a new public square and pocket park, were also approved, and work on these is due to comment this year.

January 2021

AJ Retrofit Awards Shortlisting for Murrays’ Mills

Murrays’ Mills is one of six shortlisted projects in the housing category of the AJ Retrofit Awards.

The brief for Murrays’ Mills to restore and transform the steam-powered cotton mill was relatively simple; to create a new community, and to let the buildings’ layout, character and heritage inform how this was achieved. The outcome is an oasis in Ancoats, with 124 diverse dwellings.

 FCBStudios are signatories of the AJ Retrofit First campaign. Ian Taylor said “Retaining, retro-fitting and intensifying the use of existing buildings is a key means to tackle the climate emergency. With wider understanding, and financial and environmental incentives to reuse our existing building stock, benefits will become more apparent to the whole property and construction industry, reframing the approach to development for the better.”

The winners will be announced at a free virtual awards event on 24 February. 

V&A brings Raphael Cartoons to life at home ahead of gallery reopening

Ahead of the planned reopening of the transformed Raphael Court to the public the V&A has unveiled a host of new digital content about the Raphael Cartoons for everyone to enjoy from home.

Available on the V&A website, the new online offering provides an unprecedented level of access to the Raphael Cartoons, which are lent to the V&A from the Royal Collection by Her Majesty The Queen. Through interactive features and in-depth stories, audiences will be able to learn about the extraordinary design and making of the Cartoons and their long 500-year history, exploring the monumental works of art as never before by zooming into ultra-high-resolution photography, infrared imagery, and 3D scans. This is the first time that audiences have ever been able to explore the masterpieces in such detail.

This new online content was produced as part of the V&A’s Raphael Project, marking the 500th anniversary of Raphael’s death in 2020. At the project’s heart is a landmark renovation, by FCBStudios, of the Raphael Court – home to the Cartoons –  by and a new interpretive approach in the gallery, which will transform the way museum visitors experience the Cartoons. The refurbished gallery and new interpretation will be unveiled when the museum reopens after the latest national lockdown lifts.

Image: Raphael Cartoon, Paul Preaching at Athens (Acts 17: 16-34), by Raphael, 1515 – 16, Italy. Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2019

Trafford Civic Quarter Area Action Plan opens for consultation

Trafford Council has published its final draft of the Civic Quarter Area Action Plan (CQ AAP) for consultation.

Consultation takes place over 6 weeks between 9am on Wednesday 20 January 2021 and 5pm on Friday 5 March 2021.

The AAP area comprises approximately 55 hectares at the heart of Trafford including Trafford Town Hall, the international sporting venue of Lancashire Cricket Club and the old B&Q site. The plans include new homes and offices, enhanced leisure facilities, new public realm including a processional route between Lancashire Cricket Club and Manchester United, and improved cycle and pedestrian connections.

The purpose of the CQ AAP is to guide development and positive change in this key growth location. Once adopted it will form part of the overall Trafford Development Plan and will be the statutory starting point in the determination of planning applications within the Civic Quarter.

Read the consultation documents here.

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.