nla news

Cycle Super Highway Proposals Ė NLA position paper - 30/9/2014


Transport for London is currently consulting on the creation of two new cycling superhighways: an East West route from Acton to Tower Bridge and a North South route from Elephant and Castle to Kings Cross. The consultation period runs to 9 November 2014.

The new routes propose a fairer reallocation of road space, more in line with the actual usage of the road network, and reflect the growth in cycling which currently represents 24 per cent of rush hour traffic. Vehicle numbers in London have been falling in recent years - by 28 per cent on Victoria Embankment and by 30 per cent on Upper Thames Street - while cycling has more than doubled.

However, internationally London is lagging behind in the provison of cycling infrastructure. The latest "Copenhagenize" index of cycling friendliness London does not even appear in the top 20 cities, falling behind major European cities like Paris, Berlin, Barcelona and Dublin. The new super highways aim to reduce conflict between cyclists and motor vehicles and to provide safer, more comfortable journeys for cyclists.

NLA has always promoted the idea of a more human city as set out by Jan Gehl, a city where people rather than vehicles top the hierarchy in central locations. Cycling is a part of a global shift towards active transportation strategies which are healthier, cleaner, quieter and increase social interaction. These new proposals would provide a net increase of over 4,000 square metres of pedestrian space – widened footway, traffic islands, bus and coach stops - along the route. 

NLA has presented numerous events related to the development of healthier urban strategies including the FitLondon exhibition earlier this year. If such strategies are to have any real impact it is essential that cycling in London is made safer to allow all those who wish to ride, but are concerned at the perceived dangers.

NLA believes that London’s economy depends on attracting young talent to work in the capital. Cycling to work is a key consideration for many new graduates just joining the workforce, particularly in some of the dynamic young industries, such as TMT sector, that London is seeking to encourage.

While there would be some longer journeys for motor vehicles at the busiest times of day on some parts of the routes, journey times generally would increase only slightly and some journeys would be shorter.

The biggest increases in journey times would occur east of Tower Hill, although TfL will be employing techniques which were successfully used during the Olympic Games to reduce these. Techniques such increased enforcement against illegal parking and loading, a freight management and consolidation strategy, encouraging drivers to use alternative forms of transport, and ‘smart’ travel demand management to provide more comprehensive and specific travel advice to road users. We would urge companies and authorities affected by these changes to work with TfL to generate appropriate solutions rather than seeking to disrupt the progress of the project.

In addition, the proposals would encourage cyclists currently using other roads east-west through the West End and City, to transfer to the new route, reducing conflict between motorists and cyclists on these mixed-traffic streets.

The cycle superhighway is cheap infrastructure: it would have a capacity of around 3000 cyclists an hour in both directions. This is the equivalent of the capacity of around two and a half trainloads on the District and Circle Underground lines that run beneath a large part of the Cycle Superhighway. The Mayor’s Vision for Cycling needs to be seen in the context of a move towards an active transportation strategy for London where cycling, walking and public transport are seen as part of an integrated strategy instead of separate and conflicting silos.

The consultation documents for each of the routes and can be found here and here.

NLA urges its members to respond to the consultation; to comment on detail and support the overall proposals.

Peter Murray, Chairman, NLA



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Garden Cities
 - 26/9/2014


Urbed- Uxcester Overall-plan
Government should set up a task force or even a Royal Commission to push through the first of a series of Garden Cities to respond to the UK’s growing housing crisis.

So said Trevor Osborne, the chair of the Wolfson Economic Prize judging panel at a packed breakfast talk on some of the principles behind the winning schemes at NLA.

Osborne said that the only motive of Simon Wolfson in launching the prize had been his concern that there was a housing problem and that, as a political football it was just being kicked around with no solution for a growing population. ‘He wanted to bring on the debate’, said Osborne, ‘and a sensible debate at that.’ So, the competition offered £250,000 for the best idea, drawing 274 entrants which were whittled down to a shortlist of just five, all of which showed ‘an abundance of ideas’, ‘tremendous intellectual value’ and which were worth further study. If you want to plan for the future, said Osborne, it was not a bad thing to look to the past. But the main outcome was a ‘full room’ at NLA, and that ‘politicians from all parties are saying ‘hey, there could be mileage here.’

Andy von Bradsky, chairman, PRP and Toby Lloyd, head of policy, Shelter presented their ideas for around 55,000 new homes, predicated on an area of low value, underutilized land at Stoke Harbour on the Hoo Peninsular – a necklace of settlements connected to a main transport network. The vision was supported by KPMG, Laing O’Rourke and Legal and General. Von Bradsky added that the proposals were built around a green strategy, with a density of around 60 dwellings per hectare, 40% open space, a high proportion – 37.5% - of open space, and a similarly high ratio of self build. ‘We call it the town that built itself’, he said. Lloyd said it was important to break the traditional housebuilder business model, create as wide a range of tenures as possible to as many different markets as possible and as cheaply as possible, but that the normal levels of NIMBYism did not seem to apply, with the people of Medway being ‘quite warm’ to the ideas. There were also only 35 buildings in the red line of the site boundary, so the trick would be simply to compensate those people ‘extremely generously.’

Dr Nicholas Falk, director - London Office, URBED, showed the winning proposals he and David Rudlin drew up for the fictional settlement of ‘Uxcester’ – branded ‘bold’, and ‘daring’ by Osborne, which took on board some of the principles in successful settlements in Holland and Germany. Also borrowing from the main idea from Ebenezer Howard, the scheme proposes the near-doubling of existing large towns to provide 86,000 new homes for 150,000 people built over 30-35 years. It links places together using a ‘snowflake approach’ to the main diagram with ‘crystals’ growing gradually and allowing a doubling of population ‘without too much difficulty of intruding on people’s back yards’. The ideas also build on the Dutch approach to extending cities whilst taking inspiration from German cities such as Freiburg, which have controlled car use to encourage a switch to more cycling. Falk said Oxford, too, could accommodate the sort of scale of housing proposed through creating new neighbourhoods in surrounding towns, and needs to do that in order to help the University preserve its position as a world-leading institution as its researchers are finding housing increasingly difficult to come by. ‘The city is absolutely polarized, has had riots, and will have riots again’, said Falk.

London’s cause, moreover, could be helped through identifying the best sites for development, building on work done by Savills, and should, said Falk include extending New Towns such as Crawley and Harlow.

Discussion of the issues arising from the presentations ranged from an appreciation that compulsory purchase laws need to change; the need for politicians to grasp the issues in the run-up to the elections (it is rumoured the main parties will each use housing as a central theme); PRS; the possibility of re-establishing a Secretary of State for housing; and the need to see the issue as wider than simply housing alone, needing investment in infrastructure and the environment.

David Taylor, Editor, New London Quarterly 

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Made in London powered by PechaKucha - 18/9/2014


A large crowd of eager Pecha Kucha-goers crammed into the offices of Pollard Thomas Edwards last night to hear a series of presentations on the subject of ‘Made in London’ – introduced by the man who started the show-and-tell phenomenon in the first place, Mark Dytham.

Dytham explained that the first Pecha Kucha night – where presenters talk along to 20 images, each displayed for 20 seconds – was held in Tokyo in Klein Dytham Architecture’s SuperDeluxe gallery in Tokyo in 2003, partially because, he says, architects talk too much. PechaKucha nights now happen in over 700 cities around the world, in a bottom-up, not-for-profit, and very social format. But on with last night’s show.

Presentations kicked off with Sarah Considine of Cass Cities, who detailed the products and makers thriving in London, from umbrellas to Caterham cars to Sugar Puffs, noting that it was perhaps the ‘kudos’ of London that was drawing makers back to the city.

Considine was followed by PTE executive director Andrew Beharrell, who spoke about the history of the practice’s Diespeker Wharf premises, including its role in marble and terrazzo production, with asides on the rise of making at Fish Island and Hackney Wick.

An equally entertaining double-act of Kate Malone, Artist and Stephen Pey, Associate Director, EPR came next, describing a building in Savile Row, and the aptly bespoke ceramic tiles façade they collaborated on for it, after much experimentation.

Pipers’ Matt Quinn described how his own career path had taken him from making sets on films such as The Life Aquatic to creating architectural models, property apps, exhibitions and information tables, including for an Abu Dhabi client who specifically wanted a ‘London product.’

The presentation given by head of interiors at Squire and Partners Maria Cheung concerned the complex crafting of a metallic sheep as a window display for Brooks Brothers that is set to travel on to Milan and Japan.

Holly Lewis from We Made That showed a series of public projects including Croydon Meanwhile Uses, Blackhorse Lane Shopfronts and the Bamboo Bicycle Club, again with a nod to Fish Island and Hackney.

And finally, Hawkins Brown partner Nicola Rutt talked about her love of pottery as a counterpoint to the long process of architecture, as well as her work with tie-maker Drakes and at Here East in the former Olympic Broadcast centre, with its mix of digital and analogue craft space and ‘cabinet of curiosities’.

David Taylor, Editor, New London Quarterly  

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City of London On Location: Growth and change in the Square Mile - 15/9/2014


The City of London is forging ahead with initiatives to make it become a better, more attractive place to be in, and thereby help its businesses to lure and retain the best staff.

That was one of the key messages to emerge from a special On Location conference held at the Guildhall last week at which placemaking and cultural attractions were deemed to be just as important in attracting businesses – small and large – as the facilities they have behind their front doors.

Mark Boleat, Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee, City of London Corporation said that the Square Mile works ‘energetically’ toward keeping it as the premium international centre for business, focusing its planning policies towards meeting business needs. But – leaving aside bigger problems such as housing and slow broadband speeds in the City – the Square Mile has an ‘encouragingly high’ number of cranes and has become a very attractive place for people and a vibrant community. ‘That is critically important for us’, he said.

It was this kind of consideration that weighed heavily in Aon’s decision to up sticks from Chicago and establish its HQ in the Leadenhall Building, said the company’s COO, David Ledger. ‘The move was an opportunity fundamentally driven by our view of how we see and serve clients more effectively and actively to promote our global growth’, said Ledger. ‘Financial benefits also came into play, but being a part of this centre of excellence, and being able to deliver industry-leading solutions for our clients were the two critical elements of our decision’. The firm was drawn by the ‘vibrancy’ of the City, coupled with the quality of available talent. Unusually among insurers, Aon has taken soundings from other firms and embraced a new culture of agile working, with no offices for UK management, no fixed desks for colleagues and the use of storage and paper kept to a minimum.

JLL head of research Jon Neale said that the City is the single largest provider of office stock and will remain so for the next 10 years; provision of new space in the City – currently constrained – is ‘absolutely vital’ to the future of the London economy. The occupier base in the City has become more diverse, with much of the TMT sector taking up the slack. But an important trend in the wider central London market was that companies are becoming more footloose, and transport improvements such as Crossrail will only encourage that more. Occupiers are also thinking more ‘scientifically’ about where they are, and office densities are on the rise. ‘Companies see offices and the urban environment around them being essential parts of their brand and an important recruitment tool’, Neale said. It is, he added, as much about where you are today as it is about how you design your office.

For Grant Brooker, senior executive partner at Foster + Partners, ‘it’s all about the talent’, rather than the buildings, with a key trend in building design being to allow more internal communication within organisations, and another being how technology is impacting on space requirements. Everything is about ‘transparency, team spaces’ and sharing space, with better in-house facilities such as cafes and restaurants to improve morale and, again, attract the best staff. Those extend outside the front door to creating ‘place’, said Broadgate Estates CEO, Steve Whyman. The key themes, said Land Securities leasing director Matthew Flood, are collaboration, productivity, efficiency and talent retention. ‘Whether you’re a bank or a Google, those are the things that matter to the people at the top of those industries to make sure they are successful’, he said. Indeed, said Gensler principal Philip Tidd, we need to provide much richer and more diverse places, but it was fascinating to see the ‘sharing generation’ and how much work is done outside of buildings ‘because they can’.

The City needs to remember that it is business-focused, said Peter Bennett, City Surveyor, but his team is involved in creating a better street scene with greater retail and cultural activity. Victor Callister, assistant director for Eenvironmental enhancement, City of London Corporation added that a key balance is between congestion and the movement of traffic, with information collection contributing to accommodating growth in ‘softer forms’ like cycling. A major factor was the move to installing 20mph speed limits, and the need to design streets where that feels natural.

Finally, the conference also heard from a group of people who are involved in helping to raise the quality of culture and heritage in the Square Mile and how it can be improved and better integrated within the urban environment. Sir Nicholas Kenyon, managing director, Barbican Centre said that cities are ‘sensual, emotional experiences, for good and bad’, something which was ‘absolutely key to our experience of the Square Mile.’ But despite the Museum of London attracting a million visitors a year and Barbican two million, ‘we do not have the public realm that those people deserve.’ And given that cultural activities in the area produce £290m a year, ‘this is not an add-on. It is central to people’s experience of life.’ The vision is to maximize the City’s offer of cultural facilities such as the Guildhall School’s Milton Court or new Barbican cinemas, integrating them better into the life of the city.

Michael Cassidy, chairman of the City of London Cultural Hub Advisory Group, agreed. ‘We have become a financial hub for many of the world’s business transactions’, he said. ‘But, do you know? That’s not enough to make a marvellous global centre. You need to have more, and it’s the cultural contribution which adds that special dimension to those who choose to work here.’

There is only one road in the City, he added, at Farringdon – the rest are streets, because once you have arrived you don’t need roads. ‘Why is it that big companies are pretty much all moving to the heart of London? Because that is where the talent is, and what they enjoy is the cultural experience.’

David Taylor, Editor, New London Quarterly  

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News release - Donít Move, Improve! 2014 open for entries - 10/9/2014


Bermondsey Warehouse Loft by FORM design architecture - Charles Hosea
News release – Wednesday 10 September
Don’t Move, Improve! 2014 open for entries

Don’t Move, Improve! 2014 now open for entries, submission deadline 5pm on Tuesday 14 October 2014

NLA is inviting submissions by Tuesday 12 October 2014 for Don't Move, Improve! 2014 – a competition, now in its fifth year, to find London’s best new home extensions and interior design projects that deliver more space to live.

With London’s overheated property market continuing to restrict the delivery and purchase of new homes, many are adapting what they have to create more space. The competition in association with Heal’s, British Institute of Interior Design (BIID) and RIBA London seeks to find the best and most innovative ways to create more space to live London, and is open to architectural practices, interior designers and homeowners who have completed home extensions or interior design projects in Greater London within the last three years.

Shortlisted projects will be judged by an eminent jury including Peter Murray, Chairman of NLA, and Philippa Stockley, Former Deputy Editor of the Evening Standard, Luke Tozer, Director of Pitman Tozer, Carmel Allen, Creative Director of Heal’s, as well as representatives from BIID and RIBA within the following categories:

> Home Extension: Single unit homes that have been extended or structurally refurbished to create more space
> Home Interior Design: Home interior design projects which improve the design and usability of space

Across the two categories, special prizes may also be awarded for:

> Best Use of Timber
> Best Use of Brick
> Best Use of Glass
> Most Sustainable
> Most Cost Effective
> Best Historic Intervention

Shortlisted and winning projects will be showcased in a free public exhibition at NLA’s galleries in The Building Centre, WC1 over December 2014 and January 2015. Shortlisted and winning practices will also be invited to take part in the NLA Don't Move, Improve! open day, taking place on Saturday 24 January 2015, offering free design consultations and talks for homeowners looking to extend or improve their home.

How to enter:

> One project per entry form
> An entry fee of £120+VAT or £90+VAT for NLA members
> Projects must have been completed within the last three years and be based within   Greater London
> Deadline for entries: Tuesday 14 October, 5pm
> For further information please visit http://newlondonarchitecture.org/DMI14, alternatively please email jenine.hudson@newlondonarchitecture.org or call 020 7636 4044


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Public space and NLA exhibition unveiled at The Leadenhall Building - 18/8/2014


Agnese Sanvito
British Land and Oxford Properties have today opened the new public space at the base of The Leadenhall Building in the City of London, unveiling an exhibition in collaboration with New London Architecture which chronicles the construction of the building. 

Free to access and open until spring 2015, the NLA exhibition examines the vision behind the building and the cutting-edge construction techniques of London’s latest landmark. 

The exhibition is open in The Leadenhall Building public space from today.

www.theleadenhallbuildingexhibition.com

Address: The Leadenhall Building, 122 Leadenhall Street, London. EC3

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Olympic Park tours - 12/8/2014


Agnese Sanvito
With the legacy project of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park well underway and more and more of London Legacy Development Corporation's (LLDC) forthcoming plans coming into the public domain, it was timely for a tour of the whole site led by LLDC themselves.

During the first half of 2014, the south of the park reopened, including the system of waterways; the ArcelorMittal Orbit has fast become one of the city’s tourist attractions; and the park has already had over three million visitors. The VeloPark has opened to the public, as have the hockey and tennis centres. The London Aquatics Centre has quickly become a busy local swimming pool, reopening its doors in March.

But walking the full length of the park along the River Lea, the multiplicity and scale of this regeneration project is staggering. Five new neighbourhoods, including three new schools, commercial hubs, and with the new Olympicopolis initiative, a new culture and education quarter. 'We need to balance consumerism with culture,' said LLDC chief of design Kathryn Firth, referring to the Westfield shopping mall which predates the legacy project. Taking inspiration from London's great estates, LLDC intends to create a rich urban fabric closely integrated with the surrounding neighbourhoods.

The surroundings permeate the park physically with a complex infrastructure that is in a state of flux. There is mediation between levels, a system of bridges (currently 35, but there will be more) over renovated canals, roads, train lines and walkways. The infrastructure has adapted to meet the needs to its users, and bridges which were temporary have been made permanent.

This relationship between Games Mode and Legacy Mode means that the temporary interweaves with the permanent throughout. This is the nature of the landscape surrounding Hackney Wick, which has Europe's densest concentration of artists living and working in one area. This has filtered into the very bones of the park, with products developed in surrounding areas being used in the construction.

The local needs to relate to the international in a swift swoop as Fish Island comes face to face with Here East. A new hub for creative and digital industries, designed by HawkinsBrown, is already home to BT Sport.  The gantry on the south facing elevation will be a 'cabinet of curiosities,' creating adaptable spaces for pop-up uses, encouraging new businesses to take up space and linking to the many meanwhile uses over the water.

The personality of Hackney Wick informs that of the proposed International Quarter. The vision for the park is community-driven, the fringe projects integral to the success of the central areas. It is, as Firth puts it, 'A pebble in the pond working in reverse'. The excitement of what is possible in the park can be felt as you move around, something LLDC have managed to retain from the Olympics. 

By Lucie Murray, Programme Co-ordinator, NLA


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Crossrail: Delivering better public spaces - 23/7/2014


Moorgate © John Robertson Architects
Crossrail will have a transformational regeneration effect on London’s public realm even in places the new rail line does not touch as other areas are forced to ‘up their game’ to keep pace.

That was one of the key points made this morning at the NLA’s breakfast talk ‘Crossrail – delivering better public spaces’, which included presentations from architects involved in designing areas around stations both in inner and outer London.

The observation came from GVA associate Martyn Saunders, presenting some of the findings from a follow-up report to the firm’s original investigation into the uplift Crossrail areas might expect when the line is open in 2018.

Saunders said that Crossrail is much more than ‘an expensive train set for London’ and is already having an effect on the quantum and type of developments coming through along the line. As it becomes more visible, people will ‘start believing in it more.’ But as areas like Whitechapel will be ‘brought back into central London in a much more real way’ through Crossrail helping it to become an attractive place and Hayes and Harlington has become ‘a whole new economic story’, it will also influence places it won’t touch directly. Saunders said a good example of this is the Golden Mile near Hounslow, which has been forced to ‘sit up’, and ‘raise its game’ because of the better transport connections available elsewhere.

Crossrail chief executive Andrew Wolstenholme OBE said that the line is now 55% complete, with 80% of the tunneling finished, and is on time and on budget, ready to open in 2018. Although it has a ‘huge second half to go’ it was a ‘huge one-off opportunity for London’, he said, featuring exciting public realm schemes such as that around Tottenham Court Road by Gillespies. Wolstenholme added that there would be lots of opportunities to transfer the learning on what does and doesn’t work to other projects including Crossrail 2 and HS2.

‘This isn’t a pipe dream’, he said. ‘But it’s not limited to central stations – we’re equally excited about working with local communities in outlying districts.’

Andrew Tindsley, Director of Urbanism, BDP is one who is working on such projects, at public realm schemes around stations at Maryland, Forest Gate, Manor Park and Ilford. ‘Just because these are tiny stations, it doesn’t mean that the challenge is anything less’, he said, adding that funding projects will be difficult, so would be funneled into making small but significant changes. These include measures to improve wayfinding, the creation of new entrances and plazas, the use of better materials, new paving, and surfaces, improving retail forecourts, forging better connections to local shopping centres, as in Ilford, and creating new green areas and markets. ‘We’re trying to use the public realm as a device for new development’, he said.

In the centre, John Robertson of John Robertson Architects detailed his practice’s work at Moorgate and Farringdon, the former involving a huge opportunity for public space in the Moorfields area becoming like a public plaza, and a 88,000 sq ft building of stepped pavilions in green, red, and light green subtle faience. The JRA Farringdon work is based on the extra footfall the area will receive – some 250,000 people will pass through the interchange every day, 62,000 at the morning peak – through a new integrated ticket hall onto Cowcross Street. ‘Our work is about relating to the context of the site’ said Robertson. ‘We were keen to do an urban infill building and create urban repair’.

David Taylor, Editor, New London Quarterly

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Heathrow City - new urban visions - 16/7/2014


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Rick Mather ArchitectsHawkinsBrownMaccreanor Lavington
The three architects commissioned to come up with proposals for Heathrow City – the space created if the airport were to move east – were at the NLA this morning to outline their visions.

Gavin Miller, Partner, Rick Mather Architects, Darryl Chen, Partner, HawkinsBrown and Gerard Maccreanor, Director, Maccreanor Lavington talked through their schemes following an introduction to the topic by Richard Blakeway, Deputy Mayor for Housing, Land & Property, GLA.

Heathrow, said Blakeway, was ‘an accident in history’, that had a long history of public objections to its creation or indeed its expansion. But it was ‘set up by a government willing to be interventionist and ruthless in its objectives’ – perhaps there were lessons for London today, he suggested. Moving the airport to a new site in the estuary could also help make a considerable impact on London’s housing deficit crisis. Blakeway said that the Heathrow site is around the same size as Kensington and Chelsea and could provide 150,000 homes for 300,000 residents, whereas the 38 Opportunity Areas across the whole of London are projected to provide 300,000.

RMA’s proposal gives the opportunity to stitch Heathrow and its landscape back into its immediate context and wider London, said Miller. The scheme uses the former runways to define the structure of this ‘city’, connecting 10 different character areas with linear parks, terminal buildings redeveloped and meanwhile’ uses to aid the transition from airport to new piece of city.

Chen said the HawkinsBrown proposition was all about three big ideas required by a big site, and the ‘romance of the sky’.  These focused on creating UK’s first airship port to bring a boost to the way freight is distributed in the UK; a factory for homes, with 17% of the houses available to be delivered by self-builders, ‘putting power back into the hands of the people’, and ‘a green belt in the green belt’ – a continuous 9km long linear strip of green space at the centre of the site.

And finally, Maccreanor said his practice’s ‘liveable landscape’ ideas were about creating ‘a mixed use city within the city’, boosted by new rail infrastructure, including a new technology campus, civic centre and international conference centre, based on transforming what is an ‘ecologically inert landscape’ through bioremediation and forest planting. The Davies report on aviation is expected to make its recommendations in September.

A free exhibition of the proposals is on display at NLA until 9 August.

Visit www.heathrow-city.com for further detail on the proposals.
#HeathrowCity   

David Taylor, Editor, New London Quarterly 

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New London Awards 2014 honour Roger Madelin and key schemes in regeneration, housing and public spaces - 10/7/2014


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Peter Murray  - © Agnese Sanvito© Agnese Sanvito
•   Argent’s joint CEO Roger Madelin named ʻNew Londoner of the Yearʼ

•    King’s Cross Central masterplan wins top ʻOverall Winnerʼ award

•    19 winners announced across 15 categories representing all sectors of the built environment, including built and unbuilt projects from education to healthcare; office buildings to homes, and the temporary to civic, culture & sport.

NLA today honoured the capitalʼs very best architecture, planning and development as they announced the winners of the New London Awards at a lunchtime ceremony at the Guildhall in the City. 


The New London Awards celebrate the best schemes in the capital, both built and on the drawing board, temporary and permanent – giving recognition to the impact projects have on their surroundings and their contribution to London as well as to their architectural quality.

King's Cross Central, by Allies and Morrison & Porphyrios Associates for King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership, was awarded the prestigious ‘Overall Winner’ accolade: deemed by the judges to be succeeding in forging a new unique character and sense of place whilst utilising the area's rich industrial heritage. King's Cross Central's win was symptomatic of an overall theme this year - a push to sensitively revitalise a historic environment [such as the Old Vinyl Factory site, and Battersea Power Station]. Record numbers of entries were submitted to the Conservation & Retrofit category, showing a real appetite for this area. 


NLA Chairman and Chair of the jury Peter Murray, announcing the awards to some 680 guests at NLAʼs sell-out Annual Lunch, said: I like to think that the Awards celebrate the best in the capital whether winners or not but our international jury was particularly impressed by the no-nonsense approach adopted by the project teams responsible for Hayes Primary School and Tybalds Estate Regeneration. Amid a period when design in education is facing myriad pressures, not the least of them political, we are seeing perhaps the last vestiges of the good design that comes from proper education building funding. Likewise, in these straitened times, the imperative to conserve what you’ve got rather than spend on the new is a logical and sustainable one, exemplified by the sensitive regeneration of Tybalds Estate.”

There was acclaim, too, for Roger Madelin CBE, joint chief executive of Argent, who scooped the ‘New Londoner of the Year’ award in recognition of his role in the ambitious King's Cross Central scheme – the largest regeneration project in Europe, widely considered a resounding success. With many elements completed, London is looking to the example set by this development, a lesson in creating a robust dialogue between a site's new and historic buildings that is key for our developing capital.

Across the Awards, a total of 33 prizes were handed out in 15 categories – 19 winners, one special award and 13 commendations. These were selected from over 320 built and unbuilt entries that together demonstrate the quality and innovation evident in projects being delivered across the capital, with 23 of London’s 33 boroughs featured on the shortlist.

Winners range from the 'A-list favourite' Chiltern Firehouse, to homes created in difficult infill sites, supporting the densification of the city, such as The Junction by Autor Architecture for Sunny Popat, Number 23 by MATT architecture LLP, and Mint Street in Bethnal Green by Pitman Tozer Architects for Peabody. The rewards of the 2012 Games are evident, with three schemes awarded, including the newly opened Tumbling Bay Play and Timber Lodge, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park by erect architecture & LUC for LLDC, further proving the eficacy of the legacy.

Entries were once again judged by a panel of international experts in the fields of architecture and urban design, lending the process an objective view. The panel included David J Burney, Commissioner of New York Cityʼs Department of Design and Construction; Dominique Alba, Director of the Urban Planning Agency in Paris (APUR); Monica von Schmalensee, CEO/ VD, Partner of Swedish architectural firm White, and Riccardo Marini, City Design Leader of Edinburgh City Council and Senior Consultant for Gehl Architects in Copenhagen.

All shortlisted and winning projects will be on show in the NLA galleries at The Building Centre in central London in a year-round exhibition from August 2014 and are featured in a special publication available now.

The New London Awards 2014 are supported by the Mayor of London and sponsored by Broadgate Estates, The Cadogan Estate, Indigo Public Affairs, Luxonic Lighting, Pipers Design, Turley and Urban Space Management.

Photos of the event can be found here. Please credit Agnese Sanvito.
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