Monthly Archives: May 2016

Rundeskogen chosen for RIBA International Prize jury visit - 11-05-2016



The RIBA has announced the 30 buildings selected to be visited by its awards committee this summer under consideration for the inaugural RIBA International Prize. dRMM/Helen & Hard Architects’ residential project, Rundeskogen, in Sandnes, Norway has been included in the selection.

The selection will be streamlined to 20 of the best buildings, after which six finalists will be chosen and visited by the Grand Jury in autumn. The prize will be judged by an expert panel led by world-renowned architect, Richard Rogers.

From hundreds of entries, the 30 buildings selected range in size and budget. Projects range from large urban infrastructure schemes to private residential projects; cultural destinations to civic spaces; academic buildings to places of worship. The RIBA International Prize will be awarded to the most significant and inspirational building of the year. The winning building will demonstrate visionary, innovative thinking and excellence of execution, whilst making a distinct contribution to its users and to its physical context. Unlike any previous RIBA award for architecture, the RIBA International Prize is open to any qualified architect in the world. Read RIBA’s full press release on the selected projects here.

Photo by Alex de Rijke

dRMM wins 2016 London RIBA Award for Trafalgar Place - 05-05-2016


Trafalgar Place is the first phase to be delivered as part of Lendlease’s regeneration of Elephant and Castle. Comprising 235 tenure blind, high-quality homes, including 25% affordable housing, integrated within a vibrant landscape and mature trees, the project transforms the built environment whilst referencing the historic fabric of the neighbourhood.

Elephant and Castle suffered huge damage during the Second World War. Redevelopment in the 1960s resulted in vast structures such as the Shopping Centre, the Heygate Estate and the Northern Roundabout which gave priority to vehicles and created a disconnect between the buildings and landscape. The Elephant Park masterplan for the redevelopment of the Heygate Estate aims to enrich the qualities of the area, creating a thriving, desirable place to live, work and visit.

Trafalgar Place is infused with local context, having been developed through extensive public consultation with local residents. The massing and height of the Trafalgar Place buildings provide variety through scale with a mixture of mini-towers, apartment buildings and townhouses. Each apartment has been designed from the inside out to maximise natural daylight, ventilation and internal usable space.

The design has sought to reconnect the dislocated adjacent neighbourhoods that were previously fractured by the elevated walkways and monolithic architectural interventions of the Heygate Estate. The retention of 25 mature London Plane trees serve as a memory of the former estate and now define a number of distinctive character landscapes. New public spaces have been created, along with a landscaped courtyard at the heart of the scheme that serves as a community space for residents to cultivate and for neighbourliness to flourish.

Two of the Trafalgar Place buildings are constructed from cross-laminated timber (CLT) and demonstrate our commitment to environmentally aware and responsible building. This is the first completed development for Lendlease in the UK using this form of construction.

As London densifies and seeks to cope with its chronic housing shortage and improve inner-city living, we believe that quality of life and an awareness of the effects of the built environment at a local and global level should be paramount. Trafalgar Place provides homes with a unique sense of identity – steeped in the surrounding context whilst addressing its impact on the environment around it.

We are delighted that the scheme has been recognised by the RIBA Awards. We would like to thank our clients, the extended project team, and all our collaborators for their commitment to the project.

How soon is now

Director Sadie Morgan gave a lecture at last week’s National Architecture Conference ‘How Soon is Now?’ in Adelaide, organised by the Australian Institute of Architects’.

Bringing together her roles as Design Chair for High Speed Two (HS2), member of the National Infrastructure Commission, and Director at dRMM, Sadie explained why design is the key to success in a shared vision of building for the future.

The conference focused on four key themes; Building Resilience, Transforming Populations, Creating Equity and Advocating Futures. Its programme sought to inform a constructive discourse to ‘empower architects to actively participate in the massive transformations that are occurring to cities, to global as well as local societies and to the sustainability of our planet’.

Sadie’s was one of a long list of leading industry voices being heard at the event. These included the former Chief Architect of Barcelona City Council, Vicente Guallart, half of founding duo at Klein Dytham Architecture, Astrid Klein, and the Dean of the College of Design at the University of Minnesota, Thomas Fisher.

Image by Tania Davidge