January 2022

Shortlisted in Barbican Centre renewal contest

FCBS are one of five collaborative design teams shortlisted in the contest to deliver a major renewal of the iconic Barbican Centre.

The Barbican Centre, a leading global arts and learning institution, is one of London’s most ambitious architectural achievements and an icon of brutalism.

The Barbican Renewal project, first announced in February last year, will preserve and respect the complex’s original architectural vision, while adapting it to respond to the creative opportunities and challenges of today.

This will include upgrading venues, bringing underused spaces back to life, and improving the welcome, wayfinding and digital technology at the site, reflecting the energy of London’s many communities and the Barbican Centre’s commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion.

The five shortlisted teams will propose design options for the project, which would be deliverable within a construction cost budget of £50m to £150m.

We are working with Bureau de Change, Schulze+Grassov, and Thinc Design alongside AKT II, James Hitchmough, WJE, Max Fordham, Momentum, Nigel Dunnett, Ramboll. 

The winner is due to be announced in April.

Shortlisted in Barbican Centre renewal contest
December 2021

FCBStudios plans for St Mary le Port, Bristol approved

St Mary le Port, a key site in the heart of Bristol has received planning permission for the redevelopment of the area. The scheme will reconnect it to the city centre, reinstate street patterns from before the second world war, and create a healthy, sustainable, and vibrant piece of city.

The scheme proposes a mixed-use development that draws on the past, embraces the present, and looks to the future, respecting the historic importance of St Mary le Port tower and ruins, the nearby High Street Vaults, Castle Park, and the wider City Centre.

There are currently three vacant 1960’s bank buildings on the site on the western edge of Castle Park. In their place, three new buildings of office space and flexible commercial units for independent retailers, cafés, restaurants, and bars are proposed to enhance the central Bristol working and shopping experience. Each design has been carefully considered to respond to their immediate context creating a cohesive and interesting family of new structures for the City, and designed to include the latest sustainable building design thinking with the aim of achieving net carbon zero in operation.

The historic ruins of the church and vaults on the site are to carefully be repaired enabling free access to the public, bringing two historical gems to life whilst creating additional outdoor space that extends into Castle Park.
Keith Bradley, Senior Partner FCBStudios said “We have worked closely with our client, Bristol City Council, and the local community groups to develop a scheme that reinstates the historic streets, with a focus around the restored ruin of St Mary le Port Church, reconnecting the City to an enhanced Castle Park. The scheme embraces the future needs for sustainable and healthy, post-Covid workspace, above a public face of small-scale independent shops and cafes linking through to the historic St Nicholas Market and the wider heart of Bristol City Centre. St Mary le Port is an important part of the current transformation of the Bristol City Centre and we are delighted to receive planning permission”.

By opening up and improving public access to Castle Park, reinstating the historic streets and routes which were lost after the war, a vibrant new sustainable place will be established. 

FCBStudios plans for St Mary le Port, Bristol approved
Happy Holidays from FCBStudios

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

Looking ahead to 2022, we are greatly looking forward to opening a collection of new buildings in the first part of the year, collaborating on a host of new projects and focussing all our efforts on developing architecture that serves our planet and our communities to its best ability. 

Until then, Merry Christmas and best wishes for a happy, healthy, sustainable New Year!

Happy Holidays from FCBStudios
Senate House shortlisted in AJ Retrofit Awards 2022

We are pleased to announce that the University of Bristol Senate House has been shortlisted for an AJ Retrofit Award under the Higher Education and Campus category.

The refurbishment and extension of Senate House bring together student social and support services, providing a hub at the centre of the campus precinct which has become the new ‘front door’ to the University.

Refurbishment works to the existing building involved an extensive strip out, in which a number of layers of intervention and expired services were removed, improving the envelope fabric and enabling the life of the building to be extended. The building has achieved BREEAM Excellent standard at both design and construction stages.

A new double-height extension to the entrance and courtyard adds significant floor area to the building, housing a large dining space and student bar, both of which are open to the public and attract footfall to the local area.

The project addresses modern learning and support needs by setting a new design precedent for student wellbeing, providing spaces for study, socialising and collaboration, that accommodate and support the changing needs of the students.

The University of Bristol reports that around 90% of students who have participated in activities there say it’s helped them meet new people, has improved their sense of community, and enhanced their sense of positive wellbeing.

Congratulations to everyone shortlisted, and we look forward to the winner’s announcement on 24 February 2022.

Senate House shortlisted in AJ Retrofit Awards 2022
‘Exceptional’ University of Portsmouth Building granted Planning Permission

The Victoria Park Building for the University of Portsmouth has been granted Planning Permission by unanimous decision, after councillors praised the building's "exceptional design".

Set on the edge of Victoria Park, the new academic Building houses 12-storeys of general and specialist teaching spaces.  It will become the permanent home for the Faculties of Business & Law and Humanities and Social Sciences and is the centerpiece of the University’s Estates Masterplan. Academic workspaces are focused around two triple-height atria with fantastic views of the city, park and sea. New facilities include a 500 seat lecture theatre, two 250 seat collaborative lecture theatres, general and specialist teaching spaces, academic offices, administrative offices and a rooftop restaurant and terrace which will be open to the public.

Professor Graham Galbraith, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Portsmouth, said: “This is fantastic news for our city and for the University. This new building will become a landmark in Portsmouth and a symbol of our city's commitment to learning and teaching. I couldn't be more excited and would like to thank Portsmouth city councillors for their support.”

Andy Theobald, Partner FCBStudios, said “The new Victoria Park Academic Building aims to deliver inspirational teaching and learning for the University of Portsmouth, that will enable innovative working, collaboration and creativity across the two faculties as well as greater links with the city. Located centrally, it links the southern and northern campus together with a new landmark building for the University and forms a new gateway into Portsmouth. With planning now achieved, we are looking forward to building an environmentally sustainable, future flexible new building that will be a focal point of Portsmouth’s academic and city culture.”

This progressive, sustainable building aims to be net zero carbon ready and is currently on course to achieve BREEAM Outstanding under the 2018 criteria. Designed to be environmentally responsible, it will be a smart energy building that will maximise natural light levels by allowing daylight deep into its heart. Photovoltaic panels cover the angled roof, producing renewable power and the high performing façade will manage heat and light.  The perimeter landscaping will be sown with wildflowers to develop biodiversity.

Construction is due to start in Spring 2022. 

‘Exceptional’ University of Portsmouth Building granted Planning Permission
Watford's landmark historic buildings to be transformed as part of Town Hall Quarter programme

Plans that will secure the long-term future of two of Watford’s landmark historic buildings and transform them for greater community use were approved by Watford Borough Council’s Cabinet this week.

The proposals for Watford Colosseum and the Town Hall, both outstanding Grade II listed buildings, are part of the council’s ambitious 10-year Town Hall Quarter programme. 

Through the programme, Watford and the local community will benefit from significant investment over the next decade that will create jobs, enhance the town’s heritage, boost creative opportunities for entertainment and live performances and contribute to achieving a greener, more sustainable town.

Elected Mayor of Watford, Peter Taylor, said: “Now, more than ever, it is vital that we remain ambitious for our town and keep investing in Watford. These plans not only protect two wonderful Grade II listed buildings but they will also deliver a real boost to our local economy, making Watford a fantastic centre for new and growing businesses as well as culture, arts and entertainment.

“Transforming the Town Hall into a lively community and business hub as well as a new home for the Museum not only makes better use of the building, it makes sound financial sense for the council, cutting the cost of our office space and delivering a good deal for council taxpayers.

“This opportunity also supports the town’s ambitions to achieve carbon zero by 2030, with a major programme of work to make both the Town Hall and the Colosseum greener and more energy-efficient currently underway.”

FCBStudios are acting as Lead Designer for the Colosseum and Town Hall project for Watford Borough Council.

Click here to read the full press release.

Watford's landmark historic buildings to be transformed as part of Town Hall Quarter programme
Collaboration and Engagement at the heart of University of Warwick’s ‘Cultural Quarter’

The University of Warwick opens the doors of its new Faculty of Arts Building to its students, research and teaching staff and the general public.

The building is intended not only as an outstanding new centre for teaching and research, but also an interactive hub for engagement with the wider community. With the principles of collaboration, creativity, inspiration and innovation embedded at its core, it spans 15,000m2 of floor space with four distinct clusters set around a grand central staircase within a full-height atrium.

In addition to teaching and learning spaces, the building offers an antiquities room, new cinema and screening rooms, theatre studios and rehearsal rooms, collaboration spaces, a media lab and edit suite along with multi-purpose events and exhibition spaces.

Andy Theobald, Partner FCBStudios said "Our shared vision for the new Faculty of Arts Building was one of providing a platform for engagement and interaction at the heart of the University Campus. The clusters of academic studios and teaching spaces are arranged around a dramatic sculptural central stair that physically and visually brings together all the faculty departments in an inspiring environment. Spaces for performative, teaching, learning and research opportunities throughout the building provide an appropriate vantage point for the study of human interaction."

Collaboration and Engagement at the heart of University of Warwick’s ‘Cultural Quarter’
Shoreditch Park Academy officially opens its doors

On 29 November, Mayor of Hackney, Philip Glanville, cut the ribbon, officially opening the new City of London Academy, Shoreditch Park.

The new six-form entry high school in East London features a dedicated sixth form centre, state-of-the-art science laboratories, music, theatre facilities and a sports pitch on its roof. It has been designed by FCBStudios and along with the new leisure Centre by FaulknerBrowns is part of the first phase of The Britannia Project to be delivered.  

The Mayor said: “The new Shoreditch Park Academy represents our continuing ambition for education in Hackney, seeing over £40m of investment not just into one of the finest school buildings in the country, but even more importantly the future of our young people."

Project partner Sara Grohmann and the team also attended the opening ceremony.

Shoreditch Park Academy officially opens its doors
Latest NLA Local London

Despite current uncertainties around the longer-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on London, it is undeniable that town centres and high streets can play a pivotal role in recovery and resilience.

Local London, this latest research paper from NLA explores new ways to create compact, liveable and sustainable neighbourhoods to build urban resilience. The research is supported by a showcase of projects that demonstrate how our high streets and town centres can integrate a new mix of uses, enhance public realm, improve infrastructure, and ultimately strengthen the capital’s polycentricity, advocating for a balanced recovery of London as a whole.

FCBStudios’ Battersea Exchange Masterplan and Phase Two of the Great Eastern Quays development are two of the case studies that showcase how London’s High Streets and town centres have shown great resilience in the way in which they have responded in swift, agile and innovative ways to the pandemic. 

Latest NLA Local London
November 2021

Hayle Harbour Regeneration highly commended at WAF Awards

Hayle Harbour Regeneration has been awarded Highly Commended at this year’s WAF Awards in the ‘Masterplanning – Future Projects’ category - the only UK shortlisted project (out of 16 on the global shortlist).

Our work to date on the £350m regeneration of Hayle Harbour includes over 500 dwellings, arts centre, retail, creative workspace, watersports centre, hotel, community centre, improved maritime facilities with a wide range of new public spaces and landscapes.

The World Architecture Festival category winners will present to the Super Jury on 3 December 2021 live-streamed via the WAF App.  All category presentations will be available to view on-demand via the app from 29 November, and all the live streamed Keynotes from 1-3 December. 

Hayle Harbour Regeneration highly commended at WAF Awards
FCBStudios appointed to create ‘cultural heart’ for Huddersfield

Huddersfield council have assembled a world-class team to deliver the £210m regeneration vision for Huddersfield town centre. Working with the council the project team will transform Huddersfield’s Queensgate area into an inclusive, vibrant hub and ‘Cultural Heart’ for the town.

The plans include; a new entertainment venue (1,200-2,500 capacity), an art gallery, a new library, a food hall, a museum and a multi-storey car park. There will be potential future additional commercial uses including hotels, restaurants, bars, offices and residential.

FCBStudios will work alongside Turner and Townsend as Strategic Delivery Partner and Arup on the engineering aspects.

The Huddersfield Blueprint is a ten-year vision to create a thriving, modern-day town centre that will be accessible, busy, inclusive, family-friendly, sustainable and a safe environment that will stay open longer.

It focuses on regenerating six key areas of Huddersfield Town Centre: Station Gateway, St Peter’s, Kingsgate and King Street, New Street, the Civic Quarter and a new Cultural Heart in the Queensgate and Piazza area.

Peter Clegg, Senior Partner at FCBStudios commented “We’re excited to have been appointed to work on the development of the Cultural Heart of Kirklees. The combination of a new art gallery and library together with a museum and music venue provides a unique project where Huddersfield will be leading the way in town centre regeneration.”   

FCBStudios appointed to create ‘cultural heart’ for Huddersfield
Planning approved for Sheffield's historic Leah's Yard
An application to transform historic Leah’s Yard on Sheffield's Cambridge Street into a creative hub for independent businesses has been approved by Sheffield Council and Queensberry as part of our work on the Heart of the City project. The project aims to breathe new life into the building by transforming it into a new 14,500 sq ft destination for local independent businesses and retailers, socialising and enterprise.

It will see the existing Leah’s Yard complex refurbished largely in its current form, bringing the building - which has long been listed on Historic England’s ‘Building at Risk’ register - back into a viable and sustainable use.

A bustling central public courtyard will be surrounded by small boutique shops, while the first and second floors will host around 20 independent working studios. New-build structures will adjoin the southern side of the development, behind the retained 24-26 Cambridge Street frontage.

George Wilson, Associate at FCBStudios said: "By celebrating and working with the existing fabric of the Listed building, we plan to create a place that is distinctly 'of Sheffield' and truly unique in its character and setting. It will also reflect the city’s bold ambitions and responds to the future of city centres as experience-led destinations."

Leah’s Yard will sit alongside the upcoming Cambridge Street Collective and Bethel Chapel developments – both currently under construction – that will feature a contemporary food hall, cookery school, fine dining experience and live entertainment spaces. If the application is approved, construction work is expected to begin later this year with a target completion and public opening date of Christmas 2022. 

Planning approved for Sheffield's historic Leah's Yard
University of Kent selects architects FCBStudios for new creative space in Medway

The University of Kent’s Institute of Cultural and Creative Industries (iCCi) has announced FCBStudios as architects for The Docking Station, its new creative industries’ accelerator space on Medway’s Historic Dockyard Chatham.

The project will involve the conversion of the Homes England-owned Police Section House – a Grade II listed Scheduled Ancient Monument at The Historic Dockyard – into a flagship building designed to inspire future development in the region and beyond. 

John Southall, Partner from FCBStudios, said: ‘The Docking Station at The Historic Dockyard Chatham, is a project with the potential to make an enormous and catalytic contribution to the development of the emerging cultural quarter, and we are very excited to contribute our skills and experience. The essence of the project will be to imbue a sense of the history and permanence of Chatham Dockyard, contrasted with the evolving digital technologies and creations. This contrast will be linked to, and surrounded by, nature and the human interaction with it. We are committed to net zero carbon and will give this a clear sense of design priority.’

University of Kent selects architects FCBStudios for new creative space in Medway
October 2021

Peter Clegg introduces the Architects Declare Practice Guide

Firstly, this guide has been put together by many practitioners coordinated by members of the Architects Declare steering group. It is intended as a live document, providing an introduction to the issues we all face having signed up to the declaration. As such we would welcome your feedback at any time and will ensure that your comments and contributions feed into the development of this document

 Secondly, Architects Declare is part of a wider group of professionals in Construction and Environmental Design (CED) and as such we are part of a global and local collective of signatories. CED in the UK has ten regional groups which meet regularly to share problems and solutions. Join the group in your region, and get to know what is happening locally, or if you are working internationally join the AD global network which meets every 3 months and which currently has representatives in 25 countries around the world and more than 6000 practices.

Thirdly, the next decade is going to be crucial to the survival of the planet, and because as designers we are at the front end of carbon expenditure on the built environment we need to change our approach now to designing projects that may take several years to reach completion. It is worth developing a practice road map to zero carbon in line with or exceeding the Architecture 2030 targets, and a skills development process to guarantee we can deliver projects that help us find our way out of the climate and biodiversity crisis

In summary, it is worth planning your own and your own practice’s trajectory towards becoming, as Mike Berners-Lee has said, ‘Carbon-fit’. His seven-point plan reads as follows:

 1 Understand your carbon footprint
That of your practice, and the wider footprint of your projects you deliver 

2 Cut your company’s carbon
In your own workplace, transport and equipment as well as that of your suppliers and collaborators

3 Develop a whole company carbon culture
Go for collective and cultural immersion with strong collaborative leadership

4 Develop a business strategy for a low carbon world
Anticipate the future and be ahead of the game in developing a practice responsive to the emergency

5 Create a communications strategy around it
Tell everyone what you stand for and share with people how you deliver it

6 Aspire to become Carbon negative
Go beyond sustainability: commit to regenerative design

7 Be part of the bigger picture
Changing our practice and our lifestyle is part of a process of changing the world

And finally, remember that those of us working in the built environment have a much greater responsibility than most for the climate and biodiversity crises because of the long-term impact of the buildings we design. Our legacy can make a real difference.

Download the AD Practice Guide here

Peter Clegg introduces the Architects Declare Practice Guide
Refurbishment Architect of the Year Win!

FCBStudios have been awarded the Building Design Award for Refurbishment Architect of the Year.

As we face the climate emergency, the retrofit of existing buildings is more important than ever. Reusing the buildings in our cities, either as a simple refurbishment or retaining the structure or façade not only reuses valuable resources and their embodied carbon, but also preserves the history and character of a place.

The award focussed on four case studies that represent the breadth of our current refurbishment work: The adaptation and extension of the 1960s Senate House for the University of Bristol to deliver a high quality and flexible student commons; a light touch, but high impact refurbishment of the V&A’s Raphael Gallery; the refurbishment of the Grade II Listed Mountbatten House , an exemplar environmental office known as the Hanging Gardens of Basingstoke, to become a flexible, sustainable and healthy workplace; and a section of Sheffield’s Heart of the City development which includes a listed building, retention of the historic building fronts and a new build office.

Using FCBS CARBON, our whole life carbon review tool, we have been able to assess the carbon cost of new and replacement elements in our refurbishment projects, informing material choices and layout decisions and preparing for future improvements. In tandem with a fabric first approach, to minimise on operational carbon, we are cutting the carbon footprint of all projects.

FCBStudios were also shortlisted for Sustainability Architect of the Year and Higher Education Architect of the Year. 

Refurbishment Architect of the Year Win!
New gallery dedicated to art of the Spanish Golden Age opens at The Auckland Project

The first gallery in the UK dedicated to the art, history and culture of Spain, the Spanish Gallery has been conceived to contextualise Francisco de Zurbarán’s paintings Jacob and His Twelve Sons, which have hung in nearby Auckland Castle for over 250 years.

Having acquired the paintings to preserve them for the nation, The Auckland Project’s Founder Jonathan Ruffer began to collect other artworks from the Spanish Golden Age which form the Gallery’s permanent collection.

FCBStudios have transformed two previously vacant historic buildings in Bishop Auckland’s Market Place into the new Gallery. The building features ten galleries spread over three floors, including a dramatic double-height space in an extension to the Backhouse building created to accommodate larger works. Each gallery has been designed by Edinburgh-based exhibition designers Studio MB to stage a particular story of Spanish art and evoke a sense of theatre.

Jonathan Ruffer, Founder of The Auckland Project, says: “Perhaps the most ambitious of all The Auckland Project’s initiatives, the Spanish Gallery has required the formation of a permanent collection as well as the transformation of two historic and previously vacant buildings. It has been a long journey, but my hope, which is pipe dream country, is that in 10 years’ time, anybody who wants to study Spanish art of this period, comes to do it in Bishop Auckland.”

This is the fourth destination to open as part of The Auckland Project, a visitor destination founded in the market town of Bishop Auckland in 2012 by investor, philanthropist and art collector Jonathan Ruffer with the purpose of revitalising the historic region through art, faith and heritage.

New gallery dedicated to art of the Spanish Golden Age opens at The Auckland Project
Corn Exchange restoration reveals its magnificent timber frame

The latest stage in the refurbishment of Brighton Dome Corn Exchange has seen the completion of extensive repairs to keep the 200 year-old Grade I listed building safe, and preserved as part of the city’s history.

An internal ‘birdcage’ scaffold was installed to allow architects and contractors to inspect the deterioration and implement strengthening solutions to protect and conserve the widest single span timber frame building in the country. Following 18 months of works, the scaffold has been removed to reveal the original wooden beams, restored to the designs by architect William Porden for the Prince Regent as his riding house in the early 1800s.  

Architect Tim Healy, from FCBStudios, said “The Corn Exchange is a unique historic building dating back to the Regency period, and to some extent we didn’t know what to expect when first investigating the18-metre structural timber frame. Once the layers of paint were removed, we could better understand the condition of the original structure. We were able to find an engineering solution that meant the frame could be repaired and strengthened to make it structurally sound, as well as housing essential production equipment such as the lighting and audio rigs. Seeing the repairs completed and the building restored to Porden’s designs has been really truly rewarding.”

During the restoration, Roman numerals were found carved into the wood by carpenters who would have had the skilled task of assembling the heavy beams into the roof. The numbers enabled the workers to interpret the architect’s plans, with each timber identified in the correct order before being fitted into position.

Corn Exchange restoration reveals its magnificent timber frame
Feilden Foundation 2021 Newsletter

The Feilden Foundation was set up in memory of Richard Feilden - an indefatigable ‘can do’ architect and champion of education for all. The Feilden Foundation seeks to use its resources to empower communities. It aims to improve both the educational infrastructure and the teaching and learning opportunities that are available for children and young people in Africa, which will serve as exemplar models of practice to others.

The annual newsletter includes a new Zecobricks project in Zanzibar, the new Outdoor Learning Toolkit online publication and a link to view the Climate Responsive Design event hosted jointly by FCBStudios and The Feilden Foundation.

Looking forward we plan to work on a new Ugandan School Design Guide and continue our Community of Practice project, funding an initiative to provide the 11 schools in the programme with new handwashing stations and water sanitation systems.

You can read the whole newsletter here, sign up to the Feilden Foundation mailing list here and visit the website here

Feilden Foundation 2021 Newsletter
New Roman Gym opens at the Roman Baths, Bath

Newly revealed sections of the Roman Baths in Bath, one of the most visited heritage attractions in the UK, will open on Friday 22 October 2021.

Never seen before by the public, the Roman Gym and Laconicum (a type of sauna), will be brought to life by exciting projections and interpretation.

Councillor Dine Romero, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, Communities and Culture at Bath & North East Somerset Council, said: “The Roman Gym is a great new addition to the award-winning Roman Baths experience. For the first time, visitors will be able to walk into the Roman exercise yard, find out how the Romans kept fit and see one of the few remaining Roman Laconica.”

The Roman Gym is part of the wider FCBStudios Archway Project which will soon see the opening of a new World Heritage Centre celebrating the city’s status as a double-nominated World Heritage Site and the Roman Baths Clore Learning Centre, set to create new learning opportunities for schools and community groups at the Roman Baths.

New Roman Gym opens at the Roman Baths, Bath
September 2021

Archiboo Awards shortlist includes V&A Raphael Gallery film

'A Light Touch' - a film made by FCBStudios about our recent renovation of the V&A's Raphael Gallery - has been shortlisted for an Archiboo award in the 'best use of video' shortlist

This film celebrates the collaborative approach taken by the architects, the lighting designers, and the client to transform the Raphael Court through subtle interventions. It explores how the modified architecture becomes a backdrop to the artworks which themselves offered inspiration for colour schemes and carpentry. 

This is not a film which needed overlaid animation or cutting edge technologies. It is a film which mirrors the space in which it is set – quiet, calm, contemplative. It is a film which, like the subject matter, takes a light touch. 

Watch the film here.

FCBStudios have also sponsored the new Archiboo Activism Award, to be awarded to a group or individual addressing one of the built environment’s pressing challenges – from issues of inequality and diversity to homelessness. FCBStudios Partner, Rachel Sayers is on the judging panel. 

All the awards winners will be announced at a ceremony on 14 October. 

Archiboo Awards shortlist includes V&A Raphael Gallery film
Shaping Swansea – preferred development partner announced

Swansea Council has announced that it has appointed award-winning regeneration company Urban Splash as its preferred development partner for a number of key sites in the City.

The transformation of the 23-acre seafront site into a new city waterfront district for Swansea will include the Civic Centre, Swansea Central North and a plot of land running alongside the River Tawe in the St Thomas area of the city.

Jonathan Falkingham MBE, Urban Splash co-founder, said “We have plans for a world-class environment of great architectural quality, that recognises and enhances the existing historic fabric of the local area and its beautiful location. We hope to achieve this through multi-authorship and partnering with brilliant designers to evolve the most appealing and sustainable designs for each area of this new neighbourhood.”

Andy Couling, Partner, FCBStudios said “We’re thrilled to be part of the Urban Splash winning team, focussed on the regeneration of the Central North area to provide a sustainable solution to a key brownfield site - bringing a range of workspace, residential and leisure use to the heart of the maritime city of Swansea.”

Read the full Urban Splash release here

Shaping Swansea – preferred development partner announced
V&A Raphael Court shortlisted in NLA Awards

The refurbishment of the V&A Raphael Court has been shortlisted for an NLA Award in the Experiencing Culture category. 

The project set out to effect a radical transformation of the ‘Raphael Court’ with finely calibrated physical intervention into a Grade 1-listed interior.

This called for a rigorous design response, rebalancing the relationship between artworks and architecture to improve the visitor experience.

A clear focus was placed on Raphael’s Cartoons which have a luminous ‘light box’ quality within a darkened space, while new bespoke gallery furniture presents a more inviting and dynamic experience. Curved acoustic panels reduce noise and visual distraction, creating a calmer, more contemplative setting.

Watch ‘A Light Touch’ to find out more

V&A Raphael Court shortlisted in NLA Awards
FCBStudios supports the Global Climate Strike on 24 September
It's time to act!
On Friday, FCBStudios are joining the #GlobalClimateStrike - from the streets, from our homes, from our studios - to come together to take action on climate change. 
FCBStudios will be looking back on the past two years of action, and our achievement so far. We have developed FCBS Carbon, our open source Carbon Calculator, to help the industry reduce the embodied carbon in new buildings.  We have trained four of our architects as Passivhaus Designers. We have continued to contribute to initiatives including LETI, Part Z and Architects Declare and initiated new research collaborations.
We will look forward to the next steps of achieving our Carbon Zero route map - in our work, but also as a practice and as individuals.
Find all strikes and actions on this global map and see more of what FCBStudios are doing to address the carbon impact of architecture here.  
FCBStudios supports the Global Climate Strike on 24 September
Designs for Three Chamberlain Square submitted to planning

A detailed planning application for a new 180,000 sq ft commercial building, called Three Chamberlain Square at Paradise Birmingham, has been submitted to Birmingham City Council.

The new office, designed by FCBStudios, is at the forefront of the future workplace agenda. Its design is centered on sustainability, wellbeing and place, to create a transformational working environment for the West Midlands.

George Wilson, Associate at FCBStudios said “Our approach to Three Chamberlain Square has been to design an inspiring future working environment while pushing sustainability aspirations. Office floors are integrated with outside spaces and optimised to benefit from key views, daylight, and natural ventilation, resulting in desirable and flexible spaces that reduce energy use.

Three Chamberlain Square sits in an important part of the city. While paying homage to the built heritage, the new office building will also deliver new standards of modern environmental design, bringing with it opportunities and jobs to Birmingham.“

This submission is one of three planning applications that make up phase two of Paradise Birmingham. 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

Read the full press release here

Designs for Three Chamberlain Square submitted to planning
FCBS Carbon named AJ100 Sustainability Initiative of the Year 2021

FCBS CARBON is a free and simple-to-use carbon calculator, designed to be used at the earliest stages of a project. The platform uses benchmarked data from the ICE database and EPDs to give insight into the whole life carbon impact of a project and inform design decisions accordingly.

One judge noted: ‘This is the right tool in the right place. The early-stage aspect is really good because that’s when you can have an impact. When an architect is pushing diagrams around, you also need to be able to push carbon around. Otherwise carbon comes in as an engineering clip-on much later on. If a practice made a decision to adopt this tool and have reviews at every stage using it, that would impact its work.’

The calculator has been designed as a user-friendly platform that would empower the design team to have informed conversations during design, and with clients and consultants about the carbon impact of a project.  ‘It’s not about a perfect estimate; it’s about the relative impacts of different moves, such as adding a storey, taking out a basement, or changing glazing ratio or type,’ explains FCBStudios associate Joe Jack Williams.

FCBStudios is endeavouring to use the calculator on all our early-stage projects, upskilling our team to be able to intuitively design low-carbon buildings. Download it here.

FCBS Carbon named AJ100 Sustainability Initiative of the Year 2021
FCBStudios appointed to extend and improve Octagon Theatre in Yeovil

FCBStudios has been selected to help design and develop proposed improvements at the Octagon Theatre in Yeovil as part of a multidisciplinary team.

The extension and refurbishment of the existing theatre will increase seating capacity, add additional performance, cinema and rehearsal space and improve the front of house as well as making the theatre more accessible to more people, in a facility that strives to be net zero.

Colin Cobb, Associate from FCBStudios said: “We are excited to support the resurgence of performing arts through what could be a major cultural refurbishment project.

“Our aim is to provide a plan which will significantly upgrade and extend the 1970s building to create a modern, multi-faceted venue that is fully accessible and provides up-to-date facilities for a range of arts and community uses.”

Community consultation takes place this month, with the aim of creating a venue that can house some of the best shows in the country and become a hub for culture. 

FCBStudios appointed to extend and improve Octagon Theatre in Yeovil
Jo Gimenez joins PedElle Charity Cycling Event – One week to go!

It’s just one week to go until architect, Jo Gimenez from FCBStudios joins 40 other women from the construction and property industry in the PedElle charity ride.

This year sees the riders navigating a hilly three-day cycling challenge through the Cumbrian and Yorkshire hills from the 16th -18th September, covering a distance of 412km and a total climb of 6569m.

The event is part of Club Peloton, a grant-making charity that specialises in using cycling to build business networks within the property industry. It uses challenge events to bring together a love for cycling with business networking and the opportunity to raise money for great causes.

The ride will raise money for Club Peloton’s charity beneficiaries; Coram who champion the rights and welfare of children will receive 60% of the grant.  Cyclists Fighting Cancer, MSA Trust, and Tom’s Trust will also receive a proportion of fundraising.

If you’d like to support Jo and these incredible charities, please click here.


Jo Gimenez joins PedElle Charity Cycling Event – One week to go!
Keith Bradley joins judging team at WAF

Keith Bradley will be one of the judges at the World Architecture Festival 2021.

He will be judging the best use of certified timber category as part of a panel that also includes Carin Smuts, CS Studio Architects, Darryl Condon, HCMA Architecture + Design, and a representative from the Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification – who sponsor the category.

The shortlist is made of eight projects, highlighting the work of practices across the world, from Denmark to Tokyo. Each practice will present their project to the panel, and the winner will go on to present to the super jury for the overall WAF award.

FCBStudios is also represented at the awards by three future projects, the New Academic Building for University of Portsmouth, shortlisted in the future education category; Hayle Harbour in the Future Masterplan category and Paradise, which won the WAFX climate, Energy and Carbon Prize.  

WAF takes place in Lisbon on 1-3 December

Keith Bradley joins judging team at WAF
Stretford High Street Consultation Event

FCBStudios are working with Bruntwood Works and Trafford Council, making plans to transform Stretford town centre, providing new places to play, work, shop and live.

Join us at Stretford Mall on Saturday 11th September for a public consultation event, where you can meet members of the development team Bruntwood Works, Trafford Council, Avison Young FCBStudios and Studio Mutt and discuss the plans for King Street, the new heart of retail and leisure in Stretford, as well as the wider Area Action Plan.

There will be models of the future scheme on display and a games corner to keep the kids entertained, so head down anytime between 8am - 6pm for an informal discussion and share your thoughts for the future of Stretford Town Centre.

 For more information and to have your say: futurestretford.co.uk

Stretford High Street Consultation Event
Senate House named as Building Awards Refurbishment Project of the Year finalist

A retrofit project to refurbish and extend the University of Bristol’s Senate House is one of eight projects shortlisted for the Building Awards Refurbishment Project of the Year Award.

Senate House was originally constructed in 1961 as an administration building for the University. Now refurbished and repurposed, it is a welcoming, student-centred ‘heart’ to the University that delivers high-quality flexible student commons. It incorporates elements of the current Student Union including the SU Living Room and Loft, and provides a space to launch a new student-facing service at the “front door” of the University. It sets a precedent of design for student wellbeing as well as significantly improving the building's environmental performance.

It is the second major retrofit project the practice has completed in recent years for the University, following on from the renovation of The Richmond Building in 2016.

The winners of the Building Awards will be announced at an event on 2 November. 

Senate House named as Building Awards Refurbishment Project of the Year finalist
Sara Grohmann – NLA Expert Panel on Healthcare

Sara Grohmann is a Partner at FCBStudios and leads our Healthcare sector work. She has been an active contributor to the NLA Expert Panel on Healthcare over the past year, and we are delighted to share that she will be continuing this role through 21/22, helping the new group of experts deliver on the goals set out over the past year.

As a member of the expert panel, Sara contributes to a year-round programme of panels, round tables, and discussion groups engaging with the challenges and opportunities of working within the healthcare sector.

The Expert Panels embody the NLA mission of bringing people together to shape a better city. They play a transformational role in how the NLA formulates and disseminates their programme informing the direction of architecture in London.

Sara Grohmann – NLA Expert Panel on Healthcare
August 2021

FCBS shortlisted for three categories in Architect of the Year Awards

We are delighted to announce that we have been shortlisted in three categories in the Architect of the Year Awards 2021: for Refurbishment, Higher Education and Sustainability.

Our entries showcased recent projects that demonstrate our expertise within each category, which you can find more about below:

Renovation of The Raphael Court at the V&A
The repurposed Senate House for the University of Bristol
The Grade II listed Mountbatten House in Cambridge
Block H, Heart of the City, one of Sheffield’s major current economic projects

Retrofitting for the future - Senate House, University of Bristol
Healthy sustainable workplaces - Paradise, London
Reducing embodied and operational carbon - Croft Gardens, Kings College Cambridge
Lean Design and Regeneration - The Beam, Sunderland

Higher Education
Victoria Park Building for the University of Portsmouth
Senate House, University of Bristol
School of Digital Arts, Manchester Metropolitan University
Design and Engineering Building, University of Plymouth

All winners will be announced at the awards ceremony taking place on Thursday, 14th October 2021 at the Park Plaza Hotel, Westminster Bridge.

FCBS shortlisted for three categories in Architect of the Year Awards
The Beam wins RIBA North East Award

A new speculative workspace called The Beam stands as a landmark building on the former Vaux Brewery site in Sunderland, and is part of an ambitious regeneration project to extend the city centre.

The building provides five floors of Grade A office accommodation with panoramic views of Sunderland and beyond to the sea, as well as retail, café and restaurant offers at ground level. Office spaces wrap around a courtyard atrium which opens to the sky, bringing daylight and fresh air deep into the building’s core. Floorplates are designed to be flexible for multiple layouts, and future proofing is around not only flexibility and adaptability, but also around climate change adaption.

The judges said “The building's design has a sophisticated and refreshing approach to sustainability and creates a healthy environment for its users… The Beam is a remarkably well designed building that has been delivered within challenging circumstances. It serves as an exemplar for sustainable office design and successful speculative regeneration, and the key to this success is the way the design connects to its context.”

Efficient and lean in its construction, the project has not only ensured its embodied energy is minimised, but also that it is cost effective. This has been achieved through an innovative low embodied energy, hybrid steel and pre-cast concrete frame that was quick to construct.

Click here to read the full judges comments.

The Beam is one of four projects awarded by RIBA North East. RIBA National awards will be announced on 9 September. 

The Beam wins RIBA North East Award
St Albans Place named as RIBA Yorkshire Building of the Year

The first VITA development in Leeds, St Albans Place is a 7, 11 and 18 storey serviced apartment building which brings a sense of home and belonging to its residents

In the northeast of Leeds City Centre, St Albans Place is of simple and elegant proportions. The building is a gateway to a developing cluster of tall buildings and student accommodation. Its bronze ceramic façade is a subtle nod to Leeds' traditional industries, creating an elegant form on the skyline that responds to the changing light.

The judges said “The viability of most student accommodation schemes demands large numbers of bedrooms and this scheme has skilfully broken down the large mass and added interest to the skyline. The scheme was delivered with a Design and Build contract and the architects also delivered the interior design, which again is well detailed and popular with the students, despite having to operate the building through the pandemic over the last 16 months. This is a challenging sector to design in and this project deserves to be Building of the Year.”

Click here to read the full judges comments

St Albans Place named as RIBA Yorkshire Building of the Year
The Centenary Building announced as RIBA South Award winner

The Centenary Building provides shared learning and teaching facilities for the University of Southampton’s Highfield Campus.

Responding to recent shifts in learning patterns and the emergence of new technologies, the Centenary Building provides modern spaces for flexible and collaborative learning: made up of a 250- person lecture theatre, a ‘Harvard’ style lecture theatre, nine seminar rooms, independent study spaces, computer room, an MBA suite and a café.

The judges said “The Centenary Building is a high-quality addition to the urban realm and the result of an enlightened estates team and a talented and experienced architect. This is a building that will endure for many years, calm, academic, and flexible with a modest identity. It is a backdrop for academic life that will be animated by the students and teachers who will occupy it.”

The Centenary Building is one of thirteen projects awarded by RIBA South. RIBA National awards will be announced on 9 September. 

Read the judges comments in full here.

The Centenary Building announced as RIBA South Award winner
Transformational development plans submitted for Sheffield's historic Leah’s Yard

An application to transform historic Leah’s Yard on Sheffield's Cambridge Street into a creative hub for independent businesses has been submitted by Sheffield Council and Queensberry as part of our work on the Heart of the City project. The project aim to breathe new life into the building by transforming it into a new 14,500 sq ft destination for local independent businesses and retailers, socialising and enterprise.

If the planning application for the main construction and fit-out work is approved, it will see the existing Leah’s Yard complex refurbished largely in its current form, bringing the building - which has long been listed on Historic England’s ‘Building at Risk’ register - back into a viable and sustainable use.

A bustling central public courtyard will be surrounded by small boutique shops, while the first and second floors will host around 20 independent working studios. New-build structures will adjoin the southern side of the development, behind the retained 24-26 Cambridge Street frontage.

George Wilson, Associate at FCBStudios said: "By celebrating and working with the existing fabric of the Listed building, we plan to create a place that is distinctly 'of Sheffield' and truly unique in its character and setting. It will also reflect the city’s bold ambitions and responds to the future of city centres as experience-led destinations."

Leah’s Yard will sit alongside the upcoming Cambridge Street Collective and Bethel Chapel developments – both currently under construction – that will feature a contemporary food hall, cookery school, fine dining experience and live entertainment spaces. If the application is approved, construction work is expected to begin later this year with a target completion and public opening date of Christmas 2022. Read the full press release here.

Transformational development plans submitted for Sheffield's historic Leah’s Yard
Murrays’ Mills wins RIBA Northwest Regional Award

FCBStudios and Manchester Life's transformation of Murrays' Mills was a flagship project for the regeneration of the Ancoats Conservation Area: Known as the 'first industrial neighbourhood in the world', Ancoats has now emerged as a lively, individualistic residential community on the eastern edge of Manchester city centre.

Murrays’ Mills is the oldest surviving steam-powered cotton mill. Alongside the new build Wing Mill, which completes the fourth side of the central courtyard, the development delivers 124 dwellings in a strongly domestic environment.

The judges said:” A particular success of the scheme is the carefully considered organisation of the apartments with the majority, despite the constraints of the existing buildings, having dual aspects. Duplex apartments at ground level are designed to maximise the number of entrances from the courtyard, animating this important space, and this communal focus to the scheme is further enhanced through the orientation of living spaces towards the courtyard. The variety of the existing structures is evident in the character and layout of the apartments, many of which benefit from large open plan living areas determined by the structure and features of the historic buildings.

The project was one of eight RIBA North West award winning schemes which will make up the RIBA National Award shortlist.

Murrays’ Mills wins RIBA Northwest Regional Award
Construction starts on Martin Naughton E3 Learning Foundry

A sod-turning ceremony, attended by Irish Minister for Education Simon Harris and Entrepreneur Philanthropist Martin Naughton, marked the start of construction of the Martin Naughton E3 Learning Foundry for Trinity College Dublin.

Trinity College Dublin Provost, Patrick Prendergast said  “With E3, Trinity is pioneering 21st century challenge-driven education and research which confronts the great challenge of our age: sustainability. ‘Balanced solutions for a better world’ is E3’s motto.”

The building will help the E3 Institute to help strengthen the interdependence between technological innovation and our natural capital stock - through world-leading research, education and entrepreneurship - by providing 1,600 new STEM places for students in a flexible and adaptable building designed with sustainability at the fore.

The Martin Naughton E3 Learning Foundry is due to open in October 2023.

Construction starts on Martin Naughton E3 Learning Foundry
July 2021

High Density, Low Rise, Zero Carbon.

As part of the London Festival of Architecture 2021, exploring the theme of care - for people, in our work, for our environment - FCBStudios Associate Andy Macintosh looks at how early-stage masterplan design can influence the carbon impact of the buildings delivered years later.

"We shouldn’t underestimate the impact of the masterplan design on embodied carbon, even though no materials are decided. Decisions about the height of taller buildings within a masterplan will have a major influence."

Read the full article on LFA2021 Views. 

High Density, Low Rise, Zero Carbon.
Industry unites to launch ‘Part Z’, a proposed amendment to the Building Regulations tackling embodied carbon

Leaders from several major firms including developers Grosvenor, contractors BAM, architects Allies & Morrison, and global consultancy Arup are backing the need for embodied carbon to be regulated in the UK. This comes after a group of construction industry sustainability leaders launched a proposal for an amendment to the Building Regulations under the name of “Part Z”, in order to demonstrate a mechanism for introducing embodied carbon into law.

The authors, who include FCBStudios Associate Tim den Dekker, have published the proposed amendment and approved document online at www.part-z.uk, and are calling on industry leaders to visit the website and add their support for the need for embodied carbon regulation.

Peter Clegg, Senior Partner at FCBStudios said “Embodied carbon regulation is essential if we are to create a level playing field to enable the construction industry is to make its contribution to meeting our governments climate change targets over the crucial next decade. We can hope for carbon capture and a rollout of renewable energy, but any new building we build now will have released between 50 and 75% of its lifetime carbon before it is even occupied, so our focus has to be on the embodied carbon in construction. Regulation will help the industry focus on a new generation of low carbon materials.”

Will Arnold, lead author of the document and Head of Climate Action at the Institution of Structural Engineers added: “Over the last two years, developers, designers and contractors have come together from across construction to tackle the climate crisis at an unprecedented pace. We are ready for embodied carbon regulation and we hope that the government will engage with industry to introduce Part Z into law.”

The proposed amendment comes one month after the Climate Change Committee delivered their 2021 Progress Report to Parliament, recommending that the government sets out plans for phasing in mandatory whole life carbon reporting and limits for all buildings, roads and infrastructure by 2025.

The UK is in the unique position of already having most of the tools in circulation. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ whole life carbon assessment guidance document has been used as the  industry standard since 2017, and a free to use Built Environment Carbon Database is currently being developed by the industry (www.becd.co.uk) in the hope of adoption by the government for Part Z assessments.

With such tools either in use or in development, and with both the private and public sector already assessing carbon on an increasing number of projects, it’s hoped that the government will see Part Z as an ‘easy win’ for the UK’s COP26 plans, and its roadmap to Net Zero.

For more information or to pledge support, contact hello@part-z.uk

Industry unites to launch ‘Part Z’, a proposed amendment to the Building Regulations tackling embodied carbon
FCBStudios appointed to design new Bristol Zoo site

Bristol Zoological Society has appointed specialist creative team FCBStudios and Grant Associates to deliver its new vision for a world-leading zoo in the South West.

The Society looks set to develop a new, world-class Bristol Zoo at its Wild Place Project site on the northern edge of Bristol, which aims to set the standard for a modern, forward-looking zoo in the 21st century.

Due to open in 2024, the new Bristol Zoo will offer spacious facilities, significant growth in conservation and education work and a ground-breaking, innovative visitor experience.

The plans will be brought to life by an award-winning team of architects, designers, engineers and environmental experts, chosen specifically for their insight and approach into this world-leading project.

Peter Clegg, Senior Partner at FCBStudios, said: Our vision for the new zoo is based around landscape, biodiversity and a sustainable future. We are thrilled to be appointed to the project and to continue to develop close relationships with the zoo to further their conservation and research work. We are looking forward to preparing plans that make the most of the existing buildings on site and creating new facilities for the visitors, the staff and most of all, the animals.”

Bristol Zoological Society has previously worked with both FCBStudios and Grant Associates on the development of a new conservation research centre in Madagascar, where conservationists from the Society work to protect threatened lemurs and their habitats in the wild.

To find out more about how Bristol Zoological Society is safeguarding its future, visit www.bristolzoo.org.uk/our-future.

Read the full press release here.

FCBStudios appointed to design new Bristol Zoo site
Planning approved for sustainable neighbourhood at Grappenhall Woods in Warrington

Grappenhall Woods, a new development by House for Urban Splash, has been granted planning consent.

Approved plans will allow for a new kind of sustainable suburban neighbourhood of 228 contemporary homes set in a green wooded landscape.

The masterplan led by FCBStudios, with landscape designers Planit IE, creates a sense of community with streets and open spaces as opportunities for play, activity, dwelling and meeting people. It will create a better balance between indoor and outdoor living whilst future proofing to changing lifestyles and technologies such as electric cars.

Andy Couling, Partner at FCBStudios said: “We are delighted that this scheme has received detailed planning permission. Our masterplan includes a range of terraced, detached and semi-detached house typologies, designed by or fellow architects shedkm. The designs include our ‘Long House’ typology which will be a new addition to the House by Urban Splash product range.”

The designs feature a central green spine of 2,800 sq m of new public green space, play areas and over 900 new trees running through the length of the site open to all members of the local community. The homes are strongly contemporary in look with outstanding environmental performance credentials, high insulation, and low energy usage, and are built using modern methods of construction (MMC) in Urban Splash’s own factory.

Read the full press release here

Planning approved for sustainable neighbourhood at Grappenhall Woods in Warrington
Proposals for Three Chamberlain Square revealed

With 180,000 sq ft of space over ten floors and active uses at ground floor level, Three Chamberlain Square at Paradise Birmingham will be a welcome addition to the Birmingham’s commercial offering and a fitting neighbour to the Grade I listed Town Hall.

Designed for Paradise development managers MEPC, within the Paradise Birmingham development, it will be a new type of commercial building that has sustainability and post- COVID requirements built in from the very beginning.

 The building design is pioneering in its approach to sustainability to reduce embodied and operational carbon to achieve a low energy, low carbon building. The commitment to using minimal resources is also reflected in its inside-outside ethos that makes the most of features like winter gardens, an abundance of natural light and natural ventilation, contributing to the wellbeing of the future occupants.

George Wilson, FCBStudios Associate, introducing the project said: “Three Chamberlain Square will be at the forefront of reimagining the types of spaces we will want to inhabit in the future. By promoting health, sustainability and wellbeing, we’ll create desirable agile spaces for people to come together and exchange ideas in, within an inspiring low carbon building.

Three Chamberlain Square is respectful to the classical Town Hall mirroring its pitched roofline and vertical fluted columns. The winter gardens and terraces create the opportunity for dramatic views of the surrounding major landmarks including the Town Hall, Council House, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery and St Philip’s Cathedral.

Have your say: https://www.paradisebirmingham.co.uk/phase-two/three-chamberlain-square/#explore

Proposals for Three Chamberlain Square revealed
Stretford Mall shortlisted in Pineapple Awards

Our masterplan for Stretford Town Centre, for Bruntwood Works and Trafford Council, has been shortlisted in the Future Place Category at The Pineapple Awards.

The masterplan aims to transform Stretford Mall into a high street to create a self-sufficient and sustainable town centre with revitalised retail, solar street lighting, district heating systems, 800 homes and new public spaces

The Pineapples, run by The Developer, and in partnership with Design Council celebrate the best in place, recognising developments that thrive, where people want to live, work, play, shop or learn

The project will be presented live at the Festival of Place, 12 -16 July
Book here

Stretford Mall shortlisted in Pineapple Awards
WAF Future Projects Awards shortlist includes three FCBStudios Future Projects

Our current portfolio of work is diverse and strong.  It has been announced today that three of our projects have been shortlisted in the WAF Future Projects Awards, to be presented to the judges and audience at the World Architecture Festival in Lisbon this December.

In the Education category, the New Academic Building for University of Portsmouth has been described by the University VC Prof Graham Galbraith as “An outstanding example of a sustainable and environmentally responsible building for the University… it will enable us to become a centre for collaboration, creativity, innovation and above all inspiration and interaction.”

Hayle Harbour is the only UK project on the international future masterplan shortlist of 16 projects. We have been working since 2010 as masterplanner and architect for the regeneration of Hayle – a historic Cornish seaside town within a UNESCO world heritage site – and are currently engaged on nine discreet projects including harbourside wharf houses, an arts centre, retail and public spaces on East Quay, a watersports hub and harbour improvement, the Grade 2 Listed Stable Block and new residential communities.

Paradise has already been announced as a WAFX winner of the Climate Energy and Carbon prize. The zero carbon central London office development is to have an exposed timber structure and is targeted to reach BREEAM 2018 Outstanding, Well Gold and Wired Platinum. 

We are looking forward to presenting the projects to the judges.

WAF Future Projects Awards shortlist includes three FCBStudios Future Projects
Paradise wins WAFX award

Paradise, a proposal for a speculative, net zero carbon healthy workplace for Bywater Properties, has been awarded a WAFX Award for its approach to Climate Energy and Carbon.

Paradise will be presented live by the FCBStudios team at the WAF Futures online festival on 12 July. WAF Futures showcases solutions from WAFX prize winners which tackle some of the biggest issues facing the world. , talking about how the project came about, and the route to designing a net zero carbon speculative workplace.

Commenting on WAF Futures, WAF Programme Director Paul Finch said: ‘In a period of profound change across the world, architects will play an important part in creating buildings, cities, public places and landscapes that respond to the challenges we have identified. There are immense amounts of research being undertaken across the profession which we hope we can draw attention to, and which we intend to support through publication, exhibition, and funding initiatives.

‘These are big-picture initiatives which concern architects both individually and collectively, and we want WAF to play a part in promoting initiatives which are aimed at making life better.’

Free tickets can be booked here 

As a WAFX winner, Paradise is automatically shortlisted for the WAF awards, which will take place in Lisbon in September. 

Paradise wins WAFX award
Feilden Foundation Outdoor Learning Toolkit *now available*

Bringing the educational approach of Active Teaching and Learning (ATL) to the outside environment, this practical guide from the Feilden Foundation is packed full of examples, ideas and photographs to help inspire those who wish to develop their teaching practices.

This guide has been written by Feilden Foundation Field Officer John Cleverley, for education practitioners in Uganda who wish to develop their teaching practices.

Bringing the educational approach of Active Teaching and Learning (ATL) to the outside environment, this practical guide is packed full of examples, ideas and photographs to make it as relevant to the user as possible.

Find out more and download the guide here.

John taught in the UK for several years and spent a year as a teacher and educational adviser whilst living in Uganda. He has written this guide to help others investigate the opportunities of Active Teaching and Learning in the outdoor environment.

Feilden Foundation Outdoor Learning Toolkit *now available*
June 2021

Unanimous Support for Cardiff Reservoir Visitor Centre at Planning Committee

FCBStudios’ designs for a visitor hub on the banks of Lisvane and Llanishen reservoirs for Welsh Water / Dwr Cymru have received unanimous support for a resolution to grant planning approval.

Lisvane and Llanishen reservoirs were built in the late 19th Century, and cover 110 acres just a few miles from central Cardiff. Both reservoirs are part of a SSSI, and much of the remaining site is a SINC.

Welsh Water took over the site in 2016, with the vision to bring the reservoirs back into operational use and create a hub for recreation, health and wellbeing, where local residents can connect with the water and the environment.

The Cardiff reservoir visitor hub building will be located northwest of Llanishen Reservoir, with spectacular views over the landscape. The carefully designed two-storey building will include watersport facilities, a public café/restaurant and meeting and training rooms available to local groups. The wider project will create circular paths and a nature trail around the reservoirs, bird hides and conservation areas, encouraging people to learn about and enjoy nature and the environment.

Akos Juhasz, Associate at FCBStudios said “Welsh Water with FCBStudios are creating a place where people can meet each other and interact with water and nature in a meaningful way. The visitor hub has a wide range of public and intimate spaces, and generous balconies with uninterrupted views over the two water bodies. It will hopefully bring great social benefit to Cardiff by opening up the reservoirs for the public to enjoy watersports and recreation in a stunning location. These real experiences and encounters with water and the impressive infrastructure that allows us to have clean tap water, make us realise that it can’t be taken for granted.”

Designed to have a light impact on the natural environment and a low operational energy strategy, the timber-clad centre and its surroundings will integrate a sustainable drainage solution with water chains, rills and bioretention gardens.

Unanimous Support for Cardiff Reservoir Visitor Centre at Planning Committee
Explore infinite mirror mazes with FCBStudios and Forest of Imagination

For Forest of Imagination 2021, FCBStudios have collaborated with Alf Coles Professor of mathematics at The University of Bristol to bring maths to life with a series of Mirror Mazes.

The digital and VR exhibition recreates the experience of standing inside a series of mirrored boxes, and offers an immersive experience of Infinite symmetry and tessellation. 

Alf explains: “Children and adults are fascinated by infinity. If you have looked in a kaleidoscope you will have a sense of what a triangular or hexagonal mirror space might look like; if you have been in a mirrored lift you might have an idea about a square mirror space. But I had no idea what it would be like inside a pentagonal shape mirror. I was pretty confident, however, that the contrast would be striking and, I hope, an experience that will lead to questions about why are the patterns so different? “

Mathematics is at its most engaging when it is experiential, and the virtual mazes allow you the experience of being in the space without your body getting in the way! The immersive virtual reality experience and films can be seen at mirrormaze.fcbstudios.com.

Forest of Imagination is a Bath-based festival celebrating the creative arts and nature. This year's festival is subtitled 'The Travelling Forest' and runs in a number of locations within Bath and virtually.

Explore infinite mirror mazes with FCBStudios and Forest of Imagination
New purpose built home for Bath Abbey Choir

The Bath Abbey Choir has now resumed singing in their new home as another significant milestone in Bath Abbey’s multi-faceted Footprint project was reached.

A new purpose-built Song School for the Abbey’s choirs, visiting choirs and musicians has been in development for the last 2.5 years. These new facilities feature a number of upgrades to the previous Choir vestry including a dedicated rehearsal space, changing rooms and a music library. The main rehearsal room, which is a double-storey oak-lined space, was designed with the necessary acoustics in mind, and will be large enough to comfortably fit 40 people.

Alex Morris was the project  Associate from FCBStudios. He said: “The new choir facilities are part of a series of reimagined spaces, hidden within the interior of the early 19th century Kingston Buildings, that are providing the facilities the Abbey need to deliver its full and varied religious, educational and community programme.  Their refined new interiors have been created from largely redundant previously cramped, dark and damp basement spaces within the Georgian building, to form rehearsal spaces which are generous, warm and light, with acoustic characteristics designed specifically to suit choral music. We hope they will inspire those who use them.”

The Abbey is well-known for its choral music with the Abbey Choir at the heart of its worship for centuries.

New purpose built home for Bath Abbey Choir
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.

FCBS Carbon shortlisted for AJ100 Sustainability Initiative of the Year
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.

G7 spotlight on Cornwall
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.

Two more FCBStudios architects become Passivhaus Certified Designers
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. 

Podcast: How to Be a Green Pioneer
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.

Kings Cross Build-to-Rent Development starts construction
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. 

Leeds Temple Development gets underway
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

Former Gasworks agreed as preferred site for Eden Project Dundee
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.



WRK/LDN: Office Revolution?
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.

Belfast collaborative art workshop nominated for NI Arts and Business award
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.

V&A's Raphael Court renovation completed
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.  


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

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

Next phases of Hayle Harbour regeneration secures planning consent
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.

Plans for St Mary le Port Bristol open for consultation
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.

The Hangar District shortlisted for residential award
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

Once in a lifetime moment at Bath Abbey
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.

FCBStudios collaborate on Whole Life Carbon Roadmap project
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

Altrincham’s Stamford Quarter transformation plans revealed
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

Birkenhead 2040 consultation starts
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.

Spanish Gallery in Bishop Auckland nears completion
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.

Watford Borough Council selects FCBStudios to revitalise Colosseum and Town Hall
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.

 Collaborative offices complete at Circle Square Manchester
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.

Plans submitted to revitalise Stretford’s Town Centre
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..!

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

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

Space for collaboration at Lancaster University Management School
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

Centenary Building shortlisted in 2021 BREEAM Awards
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.

Tenants move into Circle Square Apartments.
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.

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

Climate Responsive Design
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.

Planning approval for first phase of Kirkstall Forge residential
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. 

AJ Retrofit Awards Shortlisting for Murrays’ Mills
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

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

Trafford Civic Quarter Area Action Plan opens for consultation
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.

Final ledger stone relaid in Bath Abbey