Monthly Archives: January 2013

BIG, BRIGHT, BOLD - 31-01-2013

Four Dwellings Academy

Said Oliver Wainwright of the Guardian on dRMM’s Four Dwellings primary school in Birmingham.

In his article, which outlined the new UK government restrictions on school building design, he hails Four Dwellings as a sophisticated and efficient building. He described the school as being “full of simple touches that make a big difference”. Wainwright mourns the fact that the newly enforced standardisations may prevent buildings like Four Dwellings from paving the way for a future of inventiveness in school design.

Four Dwellings was conceived as a elliptical form arranged around a central hall. The design focuses on the typical day of the student with a determination to extend learning both to internal informal learning zones as well as to the outdoors.


Athletes' Village

Last summer’s trip to Portland Square has paid off and dRMM join in celebrating the Olympic marketing ban lift.

In August of last year dRMM joined the marketing ban protest spearheaded by Peter Murray and Angela Brady. The protest took place outside the RIBA headquarters in London, fighting a ban which prevented design and construction firms from advertising their association with the London 2012 Olympic games.

dRMM were appointed in 2008 to develop proposals for two gateway plots of the East Village masterplan which formed the 2012 Athlete’s Village. We are proud to put our name on it.


St Albans Academy

Alex, Michael, Ryoko and Daniel braved a snowy journey for the official opening of St Albans Academy in Highgate, central Birmingham.

Lord Adonis and The Rt Reverend David Urquhart, Bishop of Birmingham, officially opened the new £17.6 million building (18 January). They were joined by Principal David Gould, the teachers, staff and student choir of St Alban’s, as well as Prof. Peter Marsh, Chair of the St Alban’s Governors, and Lucy Heller, Chief Executive ofARK Schools.

Initiated within the Birmingham BSF programme, and complicated by its eventual cancellation, the challenging budget led to a highly rational, yet inspiring design. The Academy includes two autonomous vertical small schools and a new 6th Form, which bridge across a covered Link space to specialist facilities, including sport, art, music, multi-faith prayer space, and the schools specialism, design technology and engineering. Physical and visual connections create a cruciform in plan, connecting through to St. Alban’s the Martyr, a Grade II* listed church by John Pearson (1881), and to the city centre. The facade reinforces the entrances and axes, while picking up on the colours of the fine brickwork to the Church. The compact footprint also allowed the retention of mature trees on the site, and maximised green space for both students and community. The project was delivered ahead of time and to budget by Lend Lease.

Image © Edward Shaw


Battersea Power Station

dRMM’s Battersea apartments attract enormous interest after going on sale on January 10th 2013.

Predominantly dual aspect, the apartments will have views of the internal landscaped courtyard as well as to the south west or views of the Thames. Units have both east and west facing balconies with full height sliding glazing to optimise views and light.

The interest in the Battersea scheme has been described by the Evening Standard as a ‘Battersea sales bonanza’ (read full article here). Phase 1 of the scheme, designed by dRMM and Ian Simpson Architects, was granted planning permission last December and work is set to commence later this year.

Images © Battersea Power Station Development Company