Monthly Archives: June 2019

dRMM design ‘London is… a city to live in’ for Seoul Biennale 2019 - 25-06-2019

London is… the theme for the 2019 London exhibition at the Seoul Biennale has been curated by Peter Bishop and Creative Director Isabel Allen.  As a city London is constantly adapting, which is why it has remained one of the major capitals in the world. The exhibition considers the key strengths and attributes that London will need to develop to remain a paradigm of 21st Century urban living. 

dRMM is delighted to have been invited to contribute to the exhibition, alongside nine emerging and established architectural firms. Each studio has been asked to consider a different aspect of London and what the city needed to do to remain a leading global capital over the next 30 years, ours is ‘a city to live in’.

With the city’s population constantly increasing and a heritage of dense, sprawling low-rise villages, making space for people is becoming more and more challenging. Our concept is inspired by ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’ and imagines London as a healthy, prosperous and live-able London which creates a sense of ownership, belonging and togetherness for everyone.

We believe that the way we design, plan and build in London needs to change, so we created a set of rules that formed the basis for our speculative drawing:

  • Housing is infrastructure
  • Everyone has a space to cultivate & grow things
  • Streets are for people – with secondary roads optimised for AI cars, emergency vehicles and logistics transport
  • All buildings are flexible and predictive
  • Urban spaces should encourage activity and sport
  • Districts, neighbourhoods and buildings are truly ‘mixed-use’, creating local communities and nurturing small-scale economies.
  • The river is re-imagined as place to live and work
  • Industrial land is reimagined, intensified, opened-up, and celebrated.
  • Cyclists are safe everywhere they go.
  • Everyone has a place to play & to gather, through connected green spaces.

Will Howard, the Associate leading the project said ‘we’ve loved working on the London exhibition with Peter, Isabel and the team.  We believe that design can transform people’s lives and for London to remain a leading global capital we need a new set of design rules to guide developments and create spaces that put people’s quality of life at there heart. Hopefully we can all work together to create this for London’s future.

Other participating practices include Weston Williamson + Partners – London is…a polycentric city; Foster + Partners – London is…a city to converse in; PiM Studio- London is…a city to be a child in; Studio Egret West – London is…a city to grow in; 8FOLD – London is…a smart city; 5th Studio – London is…a city to work in; Assemblage – London is…a city to get lost in; IF_DO – London is…a city to connect in and Hildrey Studio – London is…a city to be heard in.

The exhibition which opens on the 6th September 2019 and runs until 10th November 2019 will also showcase visions for a future London by students from the Bartlett School of Architecture.

Peter Bishop said ’The Seoul biennale is establishing itself as one of the principal forums of debate about the future of cities not just in Asia but globally and I am excited to have been given the opportunity to curate London’s contribution to this debate. It will be an opportunity to showcase the wealth of ideas and architectural talent from both students and new and established practices. The theme ‘London is…’ will pose propositions concerning what the successful city will look like by the middle of the century. Although based on new ideas for London, we hope that our exhibition will strike a resonance with other cities across the world.

For more information visit London is… exhibition and Seoul Biennale

Sadie awarded AJ100 ‘Contribution to the Profession’ 2019 - 20-06-2019

Photograph: Jim Stephenson for the Architects Journal

We’re overjoyed that Sadie has been recognised for her ‘Contribution to the Profession’ at the AJ100 awards ceremony at the Tower of London.

The award celebrates her role as a design champion at the highest political levels, including pivotal positions with the Independent Design Panel for High Speed Two, Commissioner for the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC), Chair of the NIC’s Design Group and Mayor’s Design Advocate.

It also acknowledges Sadie’s contribution, with fellow founding directors Alex de Rijke and Philip Marsh, in pushing the boundaries of design through projects like Sliding House, One Centaur Street, Kingsdale School, Trafalgar Place, Maggie’s Oldham and the Stirling prize winning Hastings Pier.

Sadie said “I’m honoured to be recognised for my contribution to the profession, especially as this award has been voted for by my peers.

When Alex, Philip and I founded dRMM, we set out to create architecture that was innovative, high quality and socially useful, bound by an aspiration to improve people’s lives. The belief that good design can be transformative has been integral to both my professional practice and advisory roles.

I am incredibly grateful and privileged to work in a profession where you can make a genuine difference in people’s lives. By helping government to think creatively, to question the norm, the profession can regain the initiative and  build an environment that is  fit for purpose, designed for the needs for all and are not wasteful of the world’s resources.”

Sadie joins an illustrious list of previous winners which includes David Adjaye, Zaha Hadid and Thomas Heatherwick to name a few!

To read the Architects’ Journal article on Sadie award, click here.

Full steam ahead for Wintringham Primary School - 17-06-2019

Planning permission has been granted for a new primary school for St Neots which is set to open in September 2020.

The £14.2million school forms part of the Wintringham development, which alongside Loves Farm, is part of the eastern expansion of St Neots. The school will be managed by Diamond Learning Partnership Trust which also runs the nearby Round House Primary Academy, on Loves Farm, and will provide places for just over 700 pupils aged 3-11.

The school will sit at the heart of the first phase of Urban&Civic’s 162 hectare development which will be a sustainable new development with 2,800 homes and a range of community and sports facilities, health and green space.

Our design for the new timber school provides an inspirational learning environment surrounded by nature, both inside and outside. At the centre of the building is a woodland grove, providing a learning resource that embodies the ethos of the academy. The distinctive character of the new academy will contribute to the vibrancy of the new civic square at the heart of the development.

A slender, curved roof offers shade and protection to the outdoor learning spaces beneath. Wrapping the elliptical form is a façade which draws inspiration from the seasonal colours found within the surrounding landscape.

Councillor Simon Bywater, Chairman of the Children and Young People Committee at Cambridgeshire County Council, said, “Today marks a significant milestone in the building of a much-needed new primary school for St Neots and is the culmination of many years of working together in partnership to get where we are today.”

Tracy Bryden, Executive Headteacher for the Wintringham and the Round House Primary Academies said: “This is fantastic news for Loves Farm and the community of St Neots.  I have been excited to be involved in the development process of the new school and look forward to this continuing during the building phase.  The new school promises to be an inspirational learning area and a focal point for the community.”

Tim Leathes, Development Director for Urban&Civic, said: “We are really pleased with the strong partnership and shared vision which has gone into creating the plans for this inspiring school. It will be a centrepiece within the first phase of development, with safe walk and scoot to school routes through the green corridors coming forward, and playing a huge role in defining the public realm and civic square which will be the heart of the new community. We look forward to working with all the partners to bring these plans into reality for our first residents next year.

Patrick Usborne, Associate at dRMM and Project Lead for the school, said: “We’re delighted that Wintringham Primary School has been granted planning permission. The new school will create a healthy learning environment for the children and brings nature right into the classroom. The use of engineered timber improves well-being, with studies* showing that children who learn in a timber classroom have a lower heart rate (8,600 times less a day!) than those in a standard room.

*‘School Without Stress’ study undertaken by Weitzer Parkett, ProHolz Austria and partners.

Philip joins Lambeth Design Review Panel - 11-06-2019

dRMM director Philip Marsh has been appointed to the Lambeth Design Review panel to provide design guidance on proposed developments in the borough.

The panel brings together leading practitioners across architecture, planning, urban design, conservation, access, landscape design and engineering. Panel members will visit sites, review emerging developments and advise on proposals.

As a passionate advocate of great architecture and urban design, Philip’s approach has always been to question the norm and think laterally to raise the ambition and possibilities of each project. His in-depth understanding of the planning process and excellent success rate in securing planning permission are testament to his ability to balance both commercial requirements and design quality.

Philip commented ‘I’m delighted to be joining the Lambeth Design Review Panel. The development proposals in Lambeth present an important opportunity to provide the jobs and housing London needs, which require high quality architecture and placemaking.

I am looking forward to helping match the emerging developments in Lambeth with the council’s aspirations, and create places for people to live, work, play and relax that improve the quality of their lives.’

Philip is an award-winning architect and industry leader. Over a 25-year career he has gained expertise in residential, education and urban design, having delivered numerous significant projects. These include major regeneration projects in London such as King’s Cross ArtHouse, the first residential project in the King’s Cross Central, Faraday House at Battersea Power Station and the 2016 Stirling Prize-shortlisted Trafalgar Place at Elephant and Castle. His education experience includes the transformation of Kingsdale School in Southwark and Clapham Manor Primary School, which was shortlisted for the 2010 Stirling Prize.