For the first time in the Royal Academy’s 252-year history, Varnishing Day couldn’t happen this year due to Covid-19, and the Summer Exhibition was delayed. As a result, Niall and another 99 of his fellow Academicians created a piece of work on 1st June; the ‘RA Varnishing Day Edition 2020: a Moment in Time’, to support the RA and thank our Friends for their ongoing support.
Brought together in a beautifully designed portfolio by award-winning production house Hurtwood, this is a unique collection of never-seen-before work by some of the most illustrious artists from across the world. The portfolio represents the first time in history that the RA’s community of Royal Academicians have collaborated on one piece of work – a taking of the temperature of British art at a crucial time, documenting what our RAs were doing, thinking and making on 1 June.
Our exhibition piece Presences that was our contribution to the 16th International Architecture Exhibition, Biennale Architettura 2018 is to be part of an exhibition at Messums Wiltshire.
Their architectural models exhibition at Messums, which this year is centred on the role of creative spaces and set against the backdrop of Elisabeth Frink’s Woolland Studio. We will look at both the importance of creative space and highlight the beauty in the making of an architectural model with an exhibition including those designed for artists’ studios, galleries, arts schools and libraries.
The exhibition runs from 12th September until the 18th October. More information can be seen on the Messums website here.
On the 12th September Niall will be part of a panel discussion alongside Peter Clegg, Piers Taylor and Jenny Jones. Chaired by Kate Goodwin ‘A Place Together’ will examine the future of the city centre and high rise architecture; airports and theme parks.
The discussion takes Elisabeth Frink’s reconstructed Woolland Studio – and her creative environment as the backdrop. A Place Apart (starts 10:30am) and A Place Together (starts 2pm), which recall Frink’s statement about her studio and solitary practice and a contrasting talk about how collective spaces need to be reimagined and how architecture is adapting to a post Covid-19 society.
An article by Andrew Carr has been published in Architectural Research Quarterly examining themes in the work of our practice. “Repeating linear elements organised into arrays and lattices are commonly manifest in the work of Níall McLaughlin Architects.” The article “describes a series of projects that explore the use of this ‘architecture of line’ in the work of the practice.”
Please click here to go the the ARQ website for a preview of the article.
The Bishop Edward King Chapel is among the shortlist of 10 buildings for the International Prize for Sacred Architecture judged by the Frat Sole Foundation. The Jury was composed by the following members of the Scientific Committee of Frate Sole Foundation: don Valerio Pennasso, arch. Giorgio Della Longa, prof. arch. Esteban Fernandez Cobian, arch. Caterina Parrello, prof. Walter Zahner, arch. Luigi Leoni.
The Winner of the VII edition of the International Prize for Sacred Architecture, will be voted by a second and will be announced in late July.
On Tuesday 23rd June at 19.00, Arch-ive will be speaking to Níall McLaughlin about the literature that has influenced his practice, as part of the Architecture Foundation’s ‘100 Day Studio’.
Arch-ive is an online platform that investigates the books that have been influential to leading practitioners. It aims to showcase architects’ relationship to books and the way they utilise, interrogate, and display architectural resources.
The ‘live’ interview will take a slightly different format, focusing on specific buildings completed by Níall McLaughlin and the literature that surrounded their investigation. The discussion will focus initially on the Alzheimer’s Respite Centre in Dublin and Níall McLaughlin Architect’s work at the 2016 Venice Biennale, ‘Losing Myself’. Secondly, the conversation will focus on three projects from Níall’s early career, ‘The Shack’, ‘Phototropic’, and ‘Wandsworth House’. Finally, we will discuss ‘Bishop Edward King Chapel’ in Oxford.
On May 14th as part of the Architecture Foundation 100 day Studio NMLA hosted a collective drawing event. At a time where people are physically separate, we were delighted to bring a large group together to draw. The event allowed a new level of participation in our studio’s collective drawing practice.
Participants were split into a series of ‘breakout rooms’, each led by someone from NMLA. A journey was narrated that encouraged people to draw themselves in the windows of their homes, then come to the street to clap and interact with one another, and finally to collectively design a public space. This narrative created a series of detailed, imagined scenes that have been combined into one colourful tapestry.
The event finished in unison with Thursday’s Clap for Our Carers, with the drawing revealed alongside a soundtrack by composer Kevin Pollard.
To view the final drawing and watch the video please go to our Instagram feed here.
We are happy to announce that in recognition of their long service, hard work and dedication we have added 3 new associates to our management team. Congratulations to Jacqueline Stephen, Holly Galbraith and Claire McMenamin. We wish them many more happy years with us continuing to deliver successful projects with the team.
We are delighted to announce that Niall McLaughlin Architects has been appointed to design a new, multi-purpose auditorium and public space. This follows an international competition (organised by Colander Associates) which had a total of 69 entries from an impressive calibre of architectural teams. Eight teams were shortlisted which included Adjaye Associates, Barozzi/Veiga with DRDH, David Chipperfield Architects, Flores Prats with AOC Architects, Haworth Tompkins with Citizen’s Design Bureau, Snohetta with Orms, Studio Seilern, and Niall McLaughlin Architects. The jury, comprising Jonathan Reekie (Director, Somerset House Trust), Julia Barfield (Architect), Martine d’Anglejan Chatillon (Trustee and arts producer), Brian Eno (Trustee and artist/musician), Sarah Gaventa (Director of Illuminated River), Paul Goswell (Trustee and MD of Delancey) and Paul Purgas (Artist and Somerset House Studios resident), was unanimous that Niall McLaughlin Architects’ presentation gave a strong sense of design direction and clarity of thought, with an unmatched commitment to sustainability and a distinctly creative and collaborative approach. The jury felt confident that in our hands, the team would deliver Somerset House’s vision of creating a world-class performance space to make and showcase new, cutting-edge multi-disciplinary work to new, younger and more diverse audiences.
From the 4-6th December Niall was in Amsterdam Judging at the AR Emerging Architect Awards during this years World Archietcture Festival. The World Architecture Festival is where the world architecture community meets to celebrate, learn, exchange and be inspired.
Clay, Terracotta and Brick in Art, Architecture, Archaeology
On the 11th November Niall will be speaking at the British School at Rome’s event ‘Clay, Terracotta and Brick in Art, Architecture, Archaeology’ at The Royal Society of Sculptors. He will be focusing on the use of bricks in 2 of our projects, The International Rugby Museum and Magdalene College Library.
Our project Hampshire House was featured on Grand Designs on the 30th October as one of the long list on this years RIBA House of the Year. You can view the episode, Surroundings, by going to the Channel 4 website here.
Piling is due to commence on the site of our International Rugby Experience in Limerick. The tight urban site is on the edge of a conservation area within the city’s Georgian Quarter and the challenge for us is to create a civic building that sits comfortably within the fine grain of the Georgian context. Once complete, the building will be a will be a new cultural institution and visitor experience to showcase the worldwide game of rugby.
Two of our projects will be taking part in this year’s Open House. Our Stirling Prize shortlisted social housing scheme, Darbishire Place in Whitechapel, and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, will be opening their doors with architect led tours on the 21st September. Open House London is the world’s largest architecture festival, giving free public access to 800+ buildings, walks, talks and tours over one weekend in September.
Níall was featured on Songs Of Praise which was aired on the 8th September. The programm filmed at St Paul’s Cathedral looks at Heavenly Designs and how Christopher Wren has been an inspiration to Níall. The program can be viewed on BBC iplayer until the 7th October. Click on this link to view the episode.
Shropshire Society of Architects Autumn Lecture Series
On the 11th September one of our associates, Claire Chawke, will give a lecture at The Hive in Shrewsbury. Claire will be talking about Niall McLaughlin Architects in practice and having a more indepth look at 3 of our projects, The International Rugby Experience in Limerick, Auckland Tower in County Durham and the Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre in Oxford. Information about the lecture can be found here.
Our two projects, LAMDA and Hampshire House, have both been awarded RIBA National Awards.
The judges commented on Hampshire House “With a dignity and unmatched considered simplicity, this home is a strong reflection of the immediate landscape and a distinguished architectural achievement”. The judges commented on LAMDA “In contrast with his own Oxbridge work, Níall McLaughlin at LAMDA shows he can do gritty, hard-edged form, this project’s performance spaces being carved from a tough urban site.”
Niall Elected as a Royal Academician in the Category of Architecture
The Royal Academy of Arts has elected Níall as a Royal Academician in the category of Architecture following a recent General Assembly. John Akomfrah was also elected as a Royal Academician in the category of Painting and in addition, international artists Kara Walker and Carmen Herrera have been elected as Honorary Royal Academicians.
The Royal Academy of Arts is governed by 80 Royal Academicians who are all practising artists or architects. On reaching the age of 75 they become Senior Academicians thus initiating vacancies for new Members. Elections are held at regular meetings of the General Assembly, when new Members are voted in by existing RAs.
The Royal Academy of Arts was founded by King George III in 1768. It has a unique position in being an inde-pendent, privately funded institution led by eminent artists and architects whose purpose is to be a clear, strong voice for art and artists. Its public programme promotes the creation, enjoyment and appreciation of the visual arts through exhibitions, education and debate.
We are happy to announce that our project Hampshire House has won a RIBA Regional Award.
The project is a new build house situated in a riverside setting in Hampshire. The client wanted to create a contemporary house with a connection to the surroundings. The house is arranged in a series of staggered volumes, which are conceived of as an entrance to the landscape. The spaces frame the three key views; meadows, lakes and gardens. In the centre is the top lit, double height kitchen, around which daily life revolves. The walls are flint quoined in Purbeck stone and the main frame is precast concrete. Windows and cladding are made from oak which is untreated and will weather to match the colour of the locally sourced stone and flintwork.
We are delighted that our project The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) has won a Regional RIBA Award.
The 5,600m2 building on Talgarth Road houses ten new flexible drama/dance studios, a 120-seat black-box studio theatre, a 200-seat training theatre, foyer, meeting rooms, offices and ancillary accommodation with projecting fly tower. The accommodation is organised into a three-storey teaching block and a four-storey theatre volume.
Niall has been elected as one of six new members of Aosdána.
Founded in 1981, Aosdána was established by the Arts Council to honour artists for their contributions to Irish society and to support them in their artistic endeavours. Membership is capped at 250 living artists from a range of creative disciplines. All members are elected by their peers.
Visual artist Aideen Barry; film and video artist Clare Langan; Man Booker prize winner Anna Burns; writer Doireann Ní Gríofa; and painter and printmaker Margaret Irwin West were also elected.
As part of the Bartlett’s Spring International Lecture Series where experts, visionaries and skilled professionals from across the world come to share ideas and give invaluable insight, Niall will be giving the inaugral lecture on the 20th March. Niall’s talk titled ‘Six Pockets of Time’ will look at how architecture is, at heart, an embodiment of time. Niall will show different conceptions of time evident in six projects.
One of our associates, Tom McGlynn will be giving a talk as part of the TEDx Cambridge University Conference 2019 on the 16th March. It is an annual, independently organised event which aims to spark discussion and create a platform for the sharing of new and important ideas within the local community. Tom’s talk titled ‘There is Music in Every Building’ will be looking at the parallels between architecture and music. Please click here to visit the TEDx website.
Níall McLaughlin Architects Lecture, Exhibition and Book Launch at the RIBA
Níall McLaughlin has been invited by the President of the Royal Institute of British Architects, Ben Derbyshire, to exhibit the practices work from this year’s Venice Biennale at the RIBA building in London which will be on display in the RIBA’s Florence Hall from 10th – 28th January 2019. Niall will give a lecture on the work on the evening of the 15th January. The lecture will be followed by an event in the Florence Hall to celebrate the installation and its contributors, and to launch Twelve Halls, the book accompanying the exhibition.
We are delighted that The Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre has won one of this years Wood Awards in the Education and Public Sector. The Wood Awards is the UK’s premier competition for excellence in architecture and product design in the world’s only naturally sustainable material. The Awards aim to recognise, encourage and promote outstanding design, craftsmanship and installation using wood.
A case study of our Stirling Prize shortlisted project Darbisher Place has been included in the second edition of The Housing Design Handbook by David Levitt and Jo McCafferty. The book looks at a range of cases to illustrate the way that different issues in the design of housing have been approached and what makes successful housing design.
Niall is taking part in a collaborative lecture at the Royal Academy on the 22nd October alongside Laura Lee, the Chief Executive of Maggie’s Centers and Clod Ensemble. The talk titled Embodying space: Can architecture create a palcebo effect, will look at how our physical relationship to the spaces we inhabit affects our health and experiences of care.
Films have been made by the BBC and the Architects Journal for this years six Stirling Prize shortlisted buildings. To view the BBC film please click here. You can view the Architects Journal film below.
At Sadlers Well’s on the 16th October Niall will be giivng a lecture alongside Kim WIlkie titled Cultivated Land. ‘The mythical state of man living in nature never existed. We have always significantly altered and managed our landscapes for practical and symbolic reasons. We will explore the relationship between man and cultivated land, how this shaped our world and gave rise to the possibility of architecture. We will explore the future of our relationship with nature in these islands’. Tickets can be reserved through the Lignacite website here.
Twelve Halls – A Book by Niall McLaughlin Architects
We are proud to announce the publication of our first book about the work of the practice. ‘Twelve Halls’ contains a collection of built and unbuilt projects, published to coincide with our contribution to the 16th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.
The publication is available in a number of architectural bookshops including the RIBA, the AA and the RIAI.
Níall McLaughlin Architects will be speaking at the Architecture Big Event in Leicester on 1st October alongside Sir Peter Cook and Piers Taylor. The programme for the event at De Montfort University will include a range of activities exclusively for the school of architecture and will include a design charrette.
On the 13th September, Niall will be a visiting professor at the Academy for Architectural Culture in Hamburg. He will be giving a lecture titled ‘Centre and Encirclement’ and taking part in student crits.
On 25th September, Níall McLaughlin Architects will be contributing to the RIBAJ PIP Educational Buildings Seminar, hosted at the RIBA Headquarters on Portland Place, London. Alastair Crockett will be presenting the Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre as a case study, alongside presentations from Dixon Jones on their Marlborough Primary School project and Isherwood and Ellis’ Castle Tower School.
For further details and to book a place, please see the registration page here.
Following the exciting announcement of our inclusion on this year’s Stirling Prize Shortlist for our Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre in Oxford, Niall will be taking part in the RIBA’s Stirling Stories. The talks take place on the 11th September at London’s RIBA on Portland Place and on the 27th September at York’s Everyman Cinema. The shortlist consists of six buildings and these events provide an opportunity for the architects to present and discuss the unique stories behind their projects.
Niall McLaughlin Architects are delighted to announce that the Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre for Worcester College in Oxford has been shortlisted for this years RIBA Stirling Prize.
The practice was selected through a competition in 2013. The Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre is a new building housing a large lecture theatre, a student learning space, seminar rooms and a dance studio. The project is not simply the provision of new facilities, but also the development and enhancement of the setting of this significant part of the College site. Whilst the relationship between the new buildings and the listed parkland is important, it is only one part of a complex arrangement.
The Provost of Worcester College, Sir Jonathan Bate, said: ‘We are thrilled that our building has been shortlisted for the Stirling Prize, the UK’s most prestigious award for architecture. Thanks to the vision of Níall McLaughlin Architects and the immense skill of our contractors, we have a breathtakingly beautiful venue for lectures and conferences that benefits our students and visitors alike. We are delighted that RIBA regards it as one of the best modern buildings in Britain today.’
Our project The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art has won one of this year’s NLA Award in the Built Education category. The New London Awards recognise the very best in architecture, planning and development in the capital. 30 projects were announced as winners at the awards which were held at the Guildhall and was attended by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan who gave the keynote speech.
On the weekend of the 7th July Niall will be taking part in Studio In The Woods, a 3 day workshop that explores the testing of ideas through making with timber at 1:1. Over the course of the event workshops will be led by architects including Kate Darby, Meredith Bowles (Mole Architects), Je Ahn (Studio Weave), Lee Ivett (Baxendale), Gianni Botsford, Lynton Pepper (Architecture 00), Laura Mark, Charley Brentnall, Zoe Berman, Piers Taylor (Invisible Studio), Susanne Tutsch, Barbara Kaucky, and Erect.
An article on dementia has been written by Sarah Wilson for the City Metric Online. The piece looks at how innovative home design could revolutionise dementia care and even slow down symptoms. It draws on our projects Losing Myself created for the Venice Biennale 2016 and the Alzheimer’s Respite Centre in Dublin on approaching dementia friendly design.
The Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre for Worcester College in Oxford and West Court Jesus College in Cambridge have been awarded 2018 RIBA National Awards. The Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre has already won RIBA South Building of the Year and project architect Tom McGlynn was awarded the RIBA East Project Architect of the Year for Jesus College.
Our project the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art was the winner in this years Schueco Awards in the Cultural Building category and also received an overall commendation. The awards highlight and celebrate the collaboration between architect, fabricator and specialist contractor.
On the 22nd July Niall will be giving a talk at the Galway International Arts Festival. Niall’s lecture will be based on The Ghost Chapel, a web–like structural negative of the existing St. MacDara’s Chapel constructed by the Bartlett’s Unit 17. Ghost Chapel will sit on Galway’s famous Claddagh Basin with the accompanying exhibition Taking Time on show within the Festival Hub at the Festival Gallery. The festival runs from the 16th – 29th July.
Opening Lines: Sketchbooks of Ten Modern Architects
From 30th June, some of Níall’s sketchbooks will be on display in Berlin as part of an exhibition at the Tchoban Foundation, Museum for Architectural Drawing. The exhibition presents a variety of sketchbook and sketch practices by architects whose built work has been largely formed through drawing by hand on paper. Curated by Dr Tina di Carlo and Dr Olivia Horsfall Turner, with Niall Hobhouse, it includes sketchbooks from Hans Poelzig, Le Corbusier, Alberto Ponis, Adolfo Natalini/Superstudio, Álvaro Siza, Tony Fretton, Marie-José Van Hee, Peter Märkli and Riet Eeckhout.
The 2018 Venice Biennale opened to the public on the 26th May. This year’s theme “focuses on architecture’s ability to provide free and additional spatial gifts to those who use it and on its ability to address the unspoken wishes of strangers”.
Our contribution is a collection of six large-scale models, each representing a hall for gathering that the practice has designed. These models are placed upon a rotating table which is a calendar and a cosmic machine. Each hall has a different purpose yet they all bring people together in a rhythmic and cyclical fashion daily, weekly and annually. The specific uses of each building are regulated by a calendar of events, rituals and times of congregation. Their calendars are inscribed on the outer rim of a turning table. The table can be rotated by hand. When you turn it, varying light falls upon the models representing the passage of the sun through the day from dawn to dusk. It is a manual and mechanical process.
The intention of presenting these models in this way is to emphasise the relationship between the enduring frames of the buildings and the endless procession of fugitive elements that pass through them periodically.
Auckland Tower model included in RA Summer Exhibition
A model of our proposals for the Welcome Building at Auckland Castle is now on display in the Architecture Room of the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition. Representing one of the two projects we are working on at Auckland Castle, the model is titled Auckland Tower, The Auckland Project and is made out of walnut and brass. The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition celebrates its 250th anniversary this year. It has been curated by Grayson Perry CBE RA with the Architecture Room selected by Royal Academician Piers Gough. The exhibition runs through the summer until the 19th August.
We are delighted that our project West Court for Jesus College Cambridge has won an RIBA Regional Award and Tom McGlynn was awarded the RIBA East Project Architect of the Year. The project design includes the refurbishment and extension of the Grade II listed Webb Building with new café pavilion and basement bar, and the remodelling and extension of the 1970’s Rank Building fronting Jesus Lane.
The judges commented “This extension to Jesus College manages the difficult trick of feeling entirely old fashioned in its use of hand crafted materials … while remaining entirely modern in its loose geometry, use of daylight and simplicity of forms. Jesus College now offers a sequence of rational, thoughtful spaces that seems inevitable, but we know took a great deal of architectural skill and determination to deliver”
We are delighted that our project Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre has won one of this year’s RIBA Regional Awards and the RIBA South Building of the Year. The project for Worcester College was won through a competition in 2013 and provides a new auditorium, dance space, seminar rooms, an e-hub and ancillary facilities on a site overlooking the spectacular Worcester College sports field.
The judges commented “To not only preserve but enhance this context would require a building of assured calm and grace. It would need to use materials with a tactile gravitas and be imbued with a timelessness which would make it feel as if it had always been there and need never leave. The Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre does all this and more.”
Planning Permission Granted For Wong Avery Gallery
Planning permission has been granted for the construction of a small new music practice and performance space for Trinity Hall, Cambridge. The stone-built music practice and recital space will sit in the centre of Avery Court, on the College’s central Cambridge site, adjacent to several listed buildings including the chapels of both Trinity Hall and Clare College. It will be named the Wong Avery Gallery in recognition of its primary funders, the family of the late Dennis Avery, the College Fellow after whom the Court is named. The addition of the new building will greatly improve the College’s offer for students and staff participating in or studying music and enrich the cultural life of the College as a whole.
It is a simple loadbearing construction made of thin stone columns and beams. It is a composition of cubic forms, with a Greek cross plan-form. Performances will take place in the centre, with audience seating in bay windows at the ends of each arm, the walls of which are lined with shelves to store sheet music. Over the crossing, a glazed lantern brings light into the centre of the building and is lined with acoustic shutters which allow the reverbera- tion time of the space to be finely tuned according to the number of musicians and audience members for each rehearsal or performance. As part of the proposals, the court will be landscaped to designs by Kim Wilkie, with a large paved area surrounded by borders filled with predominantly green shrubs and climbing plants.
The project is due to start on site during the academic year 2018 -19.
Níall McLaughlin Architects are delighted that our West Court project for Jesus College Cambridge has been announced as the overall winner of the American Institute of Architecture UK Awards 2018. It was selected from a strong shortlist of 20 projects including Bloomberg European Headquarters by Foster + Partners, Inagawa Cemetery by David Chipperfield and the Royal Academy of Music’s Theatre and New Recital Hall by Ian Ritchie Architects.
Three fantastic projects were awarded commendations including the Smithsonian Nation- al Museum of African American History and Culture by David Adjaye Architects, Kings Gate London by Lynch Architects and Weston Street by AHMM. IF_DO won the Young Architect category for their Dulwich Pavilion and Part 1 student Ross Gribben won the Unbuilt category with his project Hydra.
The new entrance to Natural History Museum is now complete and open to the public. The two new planters to the NHM entrance are now populated with Macaronesian plants. Some of these have been grown in a dedicated space at Kew Gardens over the last several months. To view the full press release please click here.
Drawing Matter are exploring the role of sketch books “in the development of an architect, an artist and their architectural and artistic ideas”. Entitled Wandering Routes, a selection of Niall’s sketches and drawings for the Alzheimer’s Respite Centre in Dublin are featured alongside a transcript of a conversation with Tina di Carlo and Olivia Horsfall Turner. To go to the site please click here.
Our project for Jesus College Cambridge has been featured on Detail Online – “Niall McLaughlin have restored and expanded the historical buildings of Jesus College with a convincing concept that creates a harmonious relationship between old and new.” To see the feature please click here.
We are delighted that our West Court Phase 1 project for Jesus College has won this year’s Cambridge Design and Construction Award in the Conservation, Alteration and Extension category. The annual awards celebrate recent, high quality developments that have been built in the city. To visit the awards page please click here.
We are delighted to be part of this year’s 16th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale 2018. The exhibition, titled ‘Freespace’, is being curated by Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara and will run from 26th May to 25th November 2018.
Niall will be giving a public lecture at The Bangalore Workshop at the Indian Institute of Management. Richard Leplastrier, Peter Stutchbury and Madhura Prematilleke will be conducting the workshop which is held from the 1st to the 8th of April, 2018.
On the 15th February a 4-month exhibition opened at the Center of Architecture in New York. The exhibition is based on Karakusevic Carson Architects’ book ‘Social Housing, New European Projects’ in which our Stirling Prize nominated project Darbishire Place was included.
The exhibition is curated by Karakusevic Carson Architects and features projects and contributions by:
Adam Khan Architects (UK), Assemble (UK), Avenier & Cornejo Architectes (France), Chartier Dalix (France), Hans van der Heijden (The Netherlands), Einszueins (Austria), Hawkins\Brown (UK), Haworth Tompkins Architects (UK), Karakusevic Carson Architects (UK), Lacaton & Vassal (France), LAN architecture (France), Mae (UK), Mecanoo (The Netherlands), Mikhail Riches Architects (UK), Mole (UK), muf architecture/art (UK), Niall McLaughlin Architects (UK), s333 architecture + Urbanism (UK), Sergison Bates architects (UK & CH), TVK (France), Witherford Watson Mann (UK) and zanderroth architeckten (Germany). The exhibition was first shown at the Royal Institution of British Architects in London from 18 April to 28 May 2017.
We are delighted that 3 of our completed projects have been featured as building studies in the Architects’ Journal, 11/01/18 edition. There is also a piece about the practice set around a meeting between Niall and the AJ editor Robert Wilson on site at our Auckland Castle projects. The building studies include The Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre for Worcester College in Oxford, West Court Phase 1 for Jesus College in Cambridge, and the London School of Music and Dramatic Art in London.
To view the articles on the AJ website, click here.
Our new Instagram account for Niall McLaughlin Architects has now gone live. Follow our posts to view a variety of past and present drawings produced by the practice. Click this link to go directly to it.
Camden Council granted planning permission to Camden Goods Yard at the end of November, voting unanimously in favour of the scheme. The extensive development reinvents an existing Morrisons supermarket and car park on Chalk Farm Road and in close proximity to the Roundhouse and Camden Locks. The project will deliver 573 new homes of mixed tenure, including nearly 40% affordable homes.
Niall McLaughlin Architects designed the mixed-use building marking the main point of access to the Camden Goods Yard site off Chalk Farm Road. It incorporates an existing petrol filling station into a mixed-use building that accommodates workspace alongside retail, a cafe, restaurant and winter garden.
The shop units are placed between heavy brick piers with riveted steel beams above, referencing the language of the ‘Great Wall of Camden’ that once stood in its place and the historic industrial structures nearby. At the corner, the building is a celebration of public activity, enlivened by the inhabitants of its cafes and restaurants, and a winter garden at the top level. The adjacent office accommodation has a vitreous and delicate outer facade with a layered and dynamic inner skin offering depth, texture and changing transparency.
The project is a collaboration with Allies and Morrison, who are the overall masterplan architect and, together with Piercy & Company, designers of the individual buildings.
We are delighted that Tapestry has been announced as one of the seven winners from 100 projects entered into this year’s Camden Design Awards. The awards celebrate and reward exceptional design being delivered in projects across all sectors of the built environment in the London Borough of Camden.
The judges commented “The building is the best so far on the Kings Cross estate and its elevations are the most special and accomplished of the 2017 awards”
On the 7th November the Oxford Preservation Trust, which is now in it’s 40th year, announced the Nazrin Shah Centre as one of the winners in the New Buildings category. The Oxford Preservation Trust was founded in 1927 to preserve the city of Oxford, England. The Trust seeks to enhance Oxford by encouraging thoughtful development and new design, while protecting historic buildings and green open spaces.
On Wednesday the 18th October the Nazrin Shah Centre for Worcester College in Oxford was officially opened by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall and HRH Sultan Nazrin. The opening ceremony included musical and theatrical performances by Worcester students in the Tuanku Bainun auditorium, a speech by the Sultan and the unveiling of the dedication plaque by The Duchess.
On the 21st September Niall will be speaking at the 2017 AIA Colorado Practice + Design Conference in Keystone, Colorado. The annual conference is to inspire and educate the architectural community, celebrate excellence in design, and explore highly relevant practice topics through a series of insightful presentations on a wide range of issues.
Tapestry has won The Sunday Times British Home Awards in the Mixed-Use Development category. The awards recognise the talent, effort and innovation of architects, designers, housebuilders, affordable housing providers and developers working across the residential property sector today.
Niall has received an honorary doctorate for having attained outstanding distinction in his field from University College Dublin. The other semester’s honorary doctorate recipients included cancer support advocate and public sector chief executive Sir Ciarán Devane; poetry anthologist Niall McMonagle; diplomat David Donoghue; and scientist Alistair Hetherington.
Tapestry has won a 2017 Schueco Excellence Award in the residential category. Judges stated that they ‘liked the beauty and proportion that the practice had brought to a deceptively complex project’ Steven Kennedy, the associate principal at Grimshaw said ‘ There’s an elegance there, a level of quality and attention to detail’.
Niall will be taking part in a talk alongside Kim Wilkie and Audrey Carden on the 17th September at the Design Centre Chelsea Harbour to discuss the changing face of architecture and design in a decade that’s been described as a new ‘golden age of the English country house’. The event will be chaired by Interiors Editor, Giles Kime.
Tapestry in Kings Cross has been Shortlisted in the Housing of the Year category in the 2017 Building Awards. The winners across the 23 categories will be announced on the 7th November at the Grosvenor Hotel.
The café pavilion that we designed in collaboration with Peter Brett Associates for Jesus College Cambridge has been shortlisted in the Structural Awards 2017. Now in it’s 50th year, the Structural Awards celebrate the world’s most outstanding structural engineering achievements, celebrating excellence through exemplary engineering solutions. Winners will be announced on the 17th November.
Niall attended the Natural History Museum VIP opening of Hintze Hall and the introduction of Hope – the new blue whale skeleton suspended from Alfred Waterhouse’s wrought iron roof structure.
This new exhibit marks a new chapter in the Museum’s engagement with the public on scientific issues. Meanwhile Dippy the Dinosaur has embarked on a UK-wide tour which will culminate in the skeleton being cast in bronze before taking up its new home in the NMLA-designed Museum grounds.
The first phase of this project involves the restoration and introduction of accessibility to the Museum’s famous main entrance and is due to complete in November 2017.
The Stage has written a piece about our newly completed building for the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. The article talks of the challenges of the site, the significantly improved facilities and the enthusiastic response from staff, students and alumni.
To celebrate the completion of this significant project, our office will be going to see Lamda’s production of Cyrano in the new Sainsbury Theatre in July.
Niall is taking part in Studio in the Woods from the 7th-9th July. A 3-day workshop that explores the testing of ideas through making at 1:1 involving architects and students run by Invisible Studio. To view the project on Invisible Studio’s website please click here.
Science Fiction Meets Architecture – London in 2080
As part of a new Bartlett series called Science Fiction Meets Architecture, Niall will be taking part in a talk with Vernor Vinge, a five time Hugo Award science fiction writer, where they will discuss designing for an aging population.
Our newly completed building for the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art has its official opening on the 14th June. Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra, the Royal Patron of LAMDA will be in attendance. The project included the formation of a new black-box studio theatre and associated front and back of house facilities to the existing building, construction a new 6,000m2 building providing ten new flexible drama/ dance studios, a second black-box studio theatre and foyer, a full size training auditorium and ancillary accommodation.
Our Tapestry building in King’s Cross has been shortlisted for a New London Award under the Mixed-Use category. The award recognises the very best new and proposed architecture, planning and development in the capital. Winners will be announced at a lunch on the 5th July. All shortlisted projects can be found at the link here.
We are delighted that our West Court development project for Jesus College Cambridge has achieved practical completion. All new and refurbished buildings have been handed over to the College and are in full use. West Court is home to the new Jesus College Intellectual Forum which, in conjunction with the Cambridge Refugee Resettlement Campaign and Cambridge City of Sanctuary, will host a seminar in the new Lecture Hall entitled “Acting locally and thinking globally: how can cities and regions respond to refugees and forced migrants?”. The event takes place on 21st June and free tickets are available from Eventbrite.
We are delighted that our building Tapestry in Kings Cross has won an RIBA Regional Award. The building is located at the southwest corner of the North Site at King’s Cross Central and forms part of a 67 acre redevelopment in central London.
Tapestry contains open market and affordable apartments, a multi-use games area, a cafe/restaurant, an energy centre, a retail unit and a multi-storey car park.
Our new student accommodation scheme for Somerville College, has been awarded planning approval unanimously by Oxford City Council. The project, known as the Catherine Hughes Building, will provide 68 bedrooms, allowing the College to accommodate all their undergraduates on site. This is our third building for Somerville College, further to our work on the ROQ student housing and the extension to the Philip Dowson designed Wolfson building.
The new building has a frontage on to Walton Street, with a Graduate Reading Room at ground floor level. The use of red brick will reflect the neighbouring buildings, with articulated brickwork elements around generous windows to provide a rhythm to the façade. Framed setbacks at third floor level allow the new building to align with key levels on the adjacent Penrose Building and to provide variety to the roof line. Internally, bedrooms are arranged in to clusters with kitchens and circulation spaces utilising direct and borrowed natural light and forming focal points for social activity.
Enabling works, involving the demolition of existing buildings, are due to commence in the next few months, with the main construction expected to start on site at the beginning of 2018.
On the 8th March at the Excel Centre in London, Niall will be in conversation with Will Gompertz, the BBC’s arts editor, talking about where he feels our future challenges lie particularly in terms of sustainability and regeneration.
On the 6th March Niall and Yeoryia Manolopoulou are giving a talk to the Welcome Trust on their Losing Myself collaboration that explores dementia, architecture and drawing, particularly through the contrast between the architect’s intention for a building and its subsequent inhabitation. The work represented Ireland at the 2016 Venice Biennale.
On the 2nd March Niall will be giving a lecture to the Société Française des Architectes in Paris. The society promotes selected works of architecture, urbanism, landscape planning, as well as research, thought and debates in the history and theory of architecture.
In collaboration with acclaimed international land artist Charles Jencks the masterplan for Ayr has been given planning consent. The project has been conceived as an urban square next to the River Ayr that will be used for festivals and events.
The scheme, focuses around a new glazed structure, that will open up a number of views blocked by post-war development and includes commercial, cultural, leisure, community, hotel and residential buildings. South Ayrshire Council has already committed to building a new council office for 350 of its staff as part of the scheme.
Ayr Renaissance began purchasing the mainly 20th century buildings on the site almost four years ago with funding from the council and the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund.
Demolition will begin immediately on the buildings within the plot, which falls inside the Ayr Central Conservation, following the approval for the masterplan by South Ayrshire Council last week.
Archaeologists will work alongside the demolition contractors in preparation for a six-month dig.
James Knox, chairman of Ayr Renaissance, said: ‘This decision marks a turning point in the fortunes of Ayr. Decades of blight will be swept away, opening up the river to the town’s people for the first time in generations. ‘Our masterplan offers a humane and beautiful solution to the transformation of this key site, which will act as a magnet for visitors, office workers and inhabitants alike. It marks a sea change in the economy of the town.’
Somerville College Student Accommodation in Oxford was awarded a certificate of commendation for the RIAI Silver Medal for housing 2011-2012. The award is to encourage excellence of design in housing by giving public recognition to architects responsible for buildings of exceptional merit. It is awarded five years after the competition so the building can be evaluated in a mature setting.
On the 9th February Niall will be attending the 3 day Architecture Foundation Ozetecture Diversity and Community Conference in Melbourne to deliver a key note speech. Drawing speakers from Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America and Australia, the theme Diversity + Community is a unique opportunity for architects to explore some of the less-charted terrains of architectural practice and to consider the role of architecture as a positive force in uncertain times.
On the 11th January Jesus College held a topping out ceremony to celebrate the laying of the final stone on the roof of its West Court development. The project provides state-of-the-art conference and lecture facilities, hotel and student accommodation, and social spaces including a new café and bar.
Professor Ian White who led the ceremony said: “We are delighted that the chance has arisen to restore the college site to its original boundaries and excited by the opportunity it brings to take the facilities we can offer to students, fellows, alumni and the wider world to a new level of excellence. Our West Court Development has an outstanding selection of spaces and accommodation, suitable for a wide range of different uses”
The below image shows the Managing Director of Cocksedge Building Contractors Steve Nugent, the Estates Burser Christopher Pratt and Professor Ian White at the topping out ceremony.
We are working on a new project for Bushmills Distillery in County Antrim. The proposed buildings include a new café, tasting rooms and a new bonded warehouse. The design for the new buildings is to be situated around a sequence of terraced ponds and waterfalls and frame key historic buildings on the site. A new landscape setting and approach has also been developed for the site.
We have been appointed as the architect by the Shuttleworth Trust to assist with the planning phase of a major development project for new visitor facilities and enhanced visitor access to a heritage engineering hangar for Old Warden Park in Bedfordshire.
The competition winning design for major alterations to London’s Natural History Museum, by Niall McLaughlin Architects and Kim Wilkie Landscape Architect, has been given planning approval by the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea. We will create a new civic square at the junction of Exhibition Road and Cromwell Road, a new entrance from South Kensington Underground Station and a series of garden galleries, extending the life of the museum out into its grounds.
To read Dezeen’s feature on the project, click here.
Darbishire Place, our housing project for the Peadbody Trust, will feature in the public exhibition ‘New Urban Housing Ideas for Sheffield’ which runs from 22nd to 30th October at Sheffield Train Station. The event, staged by the Sheffield Civic Trust, aims to showcase the best, most innovative examples of new urban housing from across the UK and Europe. Also exhibited are projects by O’Donnell + Tuomey; Project Orange; Henley Halebrown Rorrison; Pitman Tozer; Ash Sakula; and Claire and David Kemp.
Niall has been announced as winner of the Charles Jencks Award 2016, which is given annually to an outstanding architect or practice that ‘has recently made a major contribution to both the theory and practice of architecture’.
Explaining the judges’ choice, RIBA President Jane Duncan said: ‘Niall’s body of work exemplifies the spirit of this award, which recognises the ability to seamlessly, and, in this case, beautifully, build theory into one’s practice. I am in awe of the materiality and the craftsmanship, of the dedication, the collaborative relationships and the contextual sensitivity with which Niall’s buildings are created.’
According to Charles Jencks, Niall ‘is a great inspiration for architects today, especially the young, because of his masterful skill in drawing from all traditions – Classicism, Modernism, Postmodernism. All the ‘isms’ are under his belt, not on his back, and he extends them all through the commitment to architecture as an art and professional practice’
Previous winners of the award include Herzog & de Meuron, Benedetta Tagliabue, Rem Koolhaas, Stephen Holl and Zaha Hadid.
Niall will receive the award at a public lecture, chaired by Charles Jencks, at RIBA on 25th October.
‘Certain buildings have an extraordinary vividness, a sense of being more intense than others. That special presence is renewed every time I see the Berkeley Library’ – Niall
To mark the publication of the 20th Century Society’s publication of their new book, ’50 Architects, 50 Buildings’, Niall will be speaking at RIBA on 27th September about a building which has inspired him and made a lasting impact on his work: the Berkeley Library at Trinity College Dublin, by ABK.
Peter Barber, Sarah Featherstone, and Cany Ash will also speak about buildings that they regard as critically influential to their work.
On the 9th September, Niall will give the RIBA Lecture to the Oxford Presentation Trust at St Luke’s Chapel in Oxford. He will discuss his personal involvement with the city of Oxford and present his perspective on how to create contemporary architecture in that context.
Darbishire Place, our housing project in Whitechapel for the Peabody Trust, will be open to the public on the 17th September as part of Open House London 2016. Niall McLaughlin Architects will be provide guided tours of the building, which was shortlisted for the 2015 Stirling Prize.
On 25th June Niall McLaughlin Architects will open up our practice for the RIBA London Open Studios 2016 as part of the London Festival of Architecture. We moved into our new offices in Bedford House in 2015 and share the building alongside David Kohn Architects and Cousins & Cousins Architects who will also be opening their doors for this event.
To see more about the event visit the London Festival of Architecture website here.
We are delighted that one of our drawings The Bishop’s Palace at Auckland Castle has been selected as part of this year’s Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy. The show will run from the 13th June until the 21st August.
The collaborative project between Yeoryia Manolopoulou and Niall McLaughlin ‘Losing Myself’ opened on the 27th May for the Irish pavilion at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia. An opening speech was given by the Irish Ambassador for Italy Bobby McDonagh.
The project is a reflection on the lessons learned through a decade of designing buildings for people with dementia. It has two complementary components: a website that collates a mosaic of conversations, drawings, stories and experiments around the subject of dementia; and an immersive installation that tries to envisage a building we designed for people with dementia through their own experiences. The installation questions the notion of the building as a singular conception, and by extension, those architectural representations that insist upon buildings as finite and whole objects.
Please see below for a list of articles on Losing Myself
The website has now been launched for our project for this years Irish pavilion at the 15th international architecture exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia. It documents the research and design in a series of interdisciplinary conversations with experts across a range of fields – neuroscientists, psychologists, health workers, philosophers and anthropologists – as well as people with dementia and their families. It will collate stories of personal interactions with dementia and record the process of developing our central Venice installation.
On the 22nd April Niall will give a lecture at the new architectural school at the University of Reading. The event was part of the pan-European architectural research network and focused on the subject of design research.
Preparations for Biennale Architettura 2016 have begun in earnest: concepts advanced; collaborators recruited; designs developed. Niall and Yeoryia (Manolopoulou, of AY Architects) have met with a number of experts on the subject of dementia and design, including scientists at UCL; the Centre Manager at the Alzheimer’s Centre in Dublin; the Vice-Chair of the European Working Group of People with Dementia and experts from the Dementia Services Development Centre at the University of Stirling. We are excited by the emerging details of the various elements of this year’s exhibition, and look forward to unveiling our contribution in May.
The Radcliffe Primary Care Building in Oxford’s Radcliffe Observatory Quarter recieved practical completion in January. The building has been redeveloped to provide office accommodation for The University of Oxford’s Department of Primary Care Health Sciences.
On the 15th of January to celebrate the West Quad building reaching its highest point, the College held a ‘topping out’ ceremony. The new Vice Chancellor of Oxford University, Professor Richardson marked the occasion by filling cement on the building’s rooftop. Professor Richardson, remarked on the use of ‘creativity in such a constrained space and sensitivity to the surroundings’.
Niall McLaughlin Receives an Honorary Royal Designer For Industry Award
The title ‘Royal Designer for Industry’ is awarded annually by the Royal Society of Arts to designers of all disciplines who have achieved ‘sustained design excellence, work of aesthetic value and significant benefit to society’. The RDI is the highest accolade for designers in the UK; only 200 designers can hold the title and non-UK designers may receive the honorary title Hon RDI.
This year there were 8 RDI’s awarded. Alongside Niall McLaughlin were Ronan Bouroullec and Erwan Bouroullec who both also received an Hon RDI for their progressive and influential work across products, furniture and public spaces and impact on contemporary design culture, Michael Anastassiades RDI for his excellence and innovation in lighting design and supporting young designers, manufacturing and making in the UK, Kate Blee RDI for contributing her outstanding expertise in textiles to social investment projects and therapeutic public spaces, Kim Colin RDI for her sustained excellence in product design and applying design thinking to create thriving and sustainable enterprises, Karen Nicol RDI for pushing new boundaries in fabric and stitch design, promoting recycled textiles and designing for Fine Cell Work that teaches creative needlework to prisoners and David Pearson RDI for his distinctive and innovative contribution to British publishing and commitment to design education.
The Royal Society of Art’s Chief Executive Matthew Taylor commented ‘The RSA is committed to encouraging and rewarding outstanding designers who challenge convention, discover new insights, and improve our quality of life. These eight leading practitioners are from wide-ranging disciplines and are united by a driving commitment to innovate, create, educate and inspire others through design’.
Current architects with the title of Royal Designer of Industry are; David Chipperfield, Peter Clegg, Edward Cullinan, Norman Foster, Eva Jiricna, John Pawson, Alan Stanton, Sarah Wigglesworth, and Paul Williams.
Current architects with the title of Honorary Royal Designers are; Mario Bellini, Andrea Branzi, Antonio Citterio, and Peter Zumthor.
As part of an ongoing commission we have been liaising with photographer Crispin Hughes to capture some of the residents in their homes at Darbishire Place. To view Crispin’s blog about the project please click here.
Niall McLaughlin Architects have been selected to represent Ireland at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice in 2016 with Yeoryia Manolopoulou of AY Architects. Their proposal reflects their interest in working as architects to understand and improve the quality of life for those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
The theme of the 2016 event is entitled ‘Reporting from the Front’. Alejandro Aravena the Biennale artistic director, stated, ‘there are several battles that need to be won and several frontiers that need to be expanded in order to improve the quality of the built environment and consequently people’s quality of life…at this Biennale, we want to see stories worth telling and exemplary cases worth sharing where architecture has, is and will make a difference in winning those battles and expanding those frontiers’.
Teamed with Scott Brownrigg, Niall McLaughlin Architects have been shortlisted for the LSE 44 Lincolns Inn Field redevelopment competition. Also on the shortlist are AL_A, David Chipperfield Architects, Diller Scofidio + Renfro with Penoyre & Prasad, Grafton Architects and Herzog & de Meuron.
In October Niall was one of 5 judges for this years RIBA President’s Silver Medal alongside Alexander Brodsky, Alan Jones, Carme Pinós and David Gloster who chaired the judging. The awards are given to the most outstanding design portfolios from work submitted by schools of architecture worldwide. The 2015 Silver Medal went to Finn Wilkie from the Mackintosh School of Architecture and the Bronze to Boon Yik Chung from the Bartlett School of Architecture. Marie Price from The University of Westminster won the Dissertation Medal.
World Architecture Festival 2015 will bring together over 2,000 architects and designers to Singapore for 3 days of presentations, debates and celebration. On the 4th November Niall will be taking part in a debate to discuss ‘why and how can architecture be discussed in terms of aesthetics? What does the practice of architecture contribute to the discourse of the aesthetic? And, are aesthetic values ‘eternal’ or contingent?’ On the main stage Niall will also be taking part in a presentation on Designing for Age.
Niall McLaughlin Architects are delighted to have won the competition for a proposed new development for Balliol College in Oxford. The project brief is to increase and upgrade the College’s undergraduate and graduate student accommodation and provide conference facilities and a sports pavilion. The commission gives the practice the opportunity to revist the design of the student room cluster and create a series of buildings arranged around quadrangles and gardens.
Our project The Fishing Hut in Hampshire has been announced as winner of the Stephen Lawrence Prize 2015. The prize is to award the best examples of projects that have a construction budget of less than £1million.
Niall McLaughlin Appointed Professor of Architectural Practice
Niall has been appointed Professor of Architectural Practice at The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. Niall has been teaching at the Bartlett for 25 years and alongside his new role will continue to teach on the MArch Architecture Unit 17 with Michiko Sumi and Yeoryia Manolopoulou, as well as continuing to develop his design research folio in building design, material behaviours, building use, cultural meaning and user experience.
Professor Bob Sheil, Director of The Bartlett School of Architecture said ‘Níall takes up this new role as one of our most admired and influential design tutors. Throughout his time at the school his profile as a skilled and significant practitioner has grown to international status and throughout this period we have witnessed his considerable investment in architectural research both through UCL and Níall McLaughlin Architects.’
On the 11th October Ben Hayes, Holly Galbraith, Tamsin Hanke, Chris Hildrey and Alastair Crockett took part in the Great Eastern run half marathon as part of a group of 90 runners to raise money for the charity ‘Hunts Community Cancer Network.’ They put in months of training and so far the group have raised a massive £34,000.
As part of their Stirling Prize coverage, the BBC and the Architects’ Journal have made short films of each shortlisted building. In the films, they speak to the clients and users of the building in order to understand the impact the building has on the people who use it.
On the 7th of October Niall gave 2 talks entitled ‘Creating Space for Worship’ and ‘Creating Space for Community’ at the invitation of Bishop Brendan Leahy in Limerick, in preparation for the Diocesan Synod in 2016.
At the RIAI Annual Conference on the 4th of October Niall McLaughlin will give a talk titled ‘ Town and Country’ and will be looking at four recent projects: Two urban housing projects in London and a chapel and hut in idyllic rural locations. The chosen theme for the conference is Strength, Utility and Grace, reminding delegates of the three qualities that Vitruvius demanded of his work, and qualities that posses an enduring relevance for today.
Niall McLaughlin and Kim Wilkie will be giving a talk together on the 5th of October at the Royal Academy to talk about their plans for the entrance grounds of the Natural History Museum, and share some of the conceptual and creative conversations they are having as a result. This is part of the Royal Academy’s Dialogue series.
On the 30th of September Niall will open the Bartlett International Lecture series. He will present some of his recent work and will speak about the relationship between education and practice. He will discuss the principle of lifelong learning as a way to create a reflective design discipline.
On the 29th of September Niall is taking part in a talk at the RIBA alongside Neil Gillespie at Reiach and Hall for Maggie’s Lanarkshire, Roisin Heneghan at Heneghan Peng for University of Greenwich, Graham Stirk at Rogers Stirk + Harbour for Neo Bankside, London, Paul Monaghan at AHMM for Burntwood School, Southwark and Stuart McKnight at MUMA for the Whitworth Gallery, University of Manchester to tell their stories behind their Stirling shortlisted projects. The event will be chaired by Deyan Sudjic, director of the Design Museum.
Jersey RIBA Delegation and Stirling Prize Shortlist Event
On Friday the 18th of September Niall attended an event in Jersey alongside all the other Stirling Shortlisted architects to participate in a unique RIBA Delegation day at the Radisson Hotel, as part of the 2015 Jersey Architecture Biennale (JAB15) celebrations in September. Curated by RIBA President 2014-15, Stephen Hodder, the Stirling Award Day on September 18th was a first for Jersey, including personal presentations from the architects shortlisted for the 2015 Stirling Award, a film screening about James Stirling, the pioneering and celebrated modern architect, and accompanying talk about the history of the Stirling Prize.
Niall McLaughlin Architects are one of six shortlisted for the Tintagel Castle Bridge competition run by Malcolm Reading. The new footbridge will link the ruins of the 13th-century coastal castle, the mythical home of King Arthur, and the nearby headland. The winning scheme will stand 28 metres higher than the current crossing and spanning more than 70 metres. Also on the shortlist are Dietmar Feichtinger Architectes, Marks Barfield Architects, Ney & Partners Civil Engineers, RFR and Jean-Francois Blassel Architecte and Wilkinson Eyre. The competition jury which is chaired by Allies and Morrison partner Graham Morrison said ‘The competition’s first stage attracted high-level interest from around the world and we were delighted with the response. In choosing the shortlist we looked for designers likely to produce a range of imaginative ways of making a beautiful and economic structure that is right for this very particular setting”.
Harris House recieved practical completion this month. Harris House is an affordable housing development for CBHA, a part of the Peabody housing association working exclusively in Waltham Forest that also provide employment to their residents.
Niall McLaughlin Architects are delighted that our project The Fishing Hut in Hampshire has made the shortlist for the Stephen Lawrence Prize. The prize is to award the best examples of projects that have a construction budget of less than £1million and was set up in the memory of Stephen Lawrence.
Niall McLaughlin has written an essay for the Architects Journal titled ‘A Lifetime of Renewal’. He explains his view that ‘it should no longer be possible for an architect to finish their education. I propose a more comprehensive model of life-long learning. If practitioners return to education throughout their careers, they will be constantly invigorated and, by extension, so will the schools to which they return’.
Images show Episodes in a journey through the East Midlands Local Assembly in Leicester. A student project by Emily Doll at Unit 17 in the Bartlett. Darbishire Place by Niall McLaughlin Architects and A School for Mothers with Children. St. Matthew’s Estate in Leicester. A student project by Joanne Chen at Unit 17 in the Bartlett.
Our project the Fishing Hut in Hampshire has been selected to join the shortlist of 20 buildings for this year’s Wood Awards. The Wood Awards are the UK’s premier competition for excellence in architecture and product design in the world’s only naturally sustainable material. The awards aim to recognise, encourage and promote outstanding design, craftsmanship and installation using wood.
Niall McLaughlin Architects are thrilled that Darbishire Place, Whitechapel Peabody Housing has been shortlisted for this year’s Stirling Prize.
Writing about Darbishire Place in a piece written for the Guardian, Olivier Wainwright said ” Filling in the gap of a second world war bomb site, the building follows the sobriety of Darbishire’s designs for “cheap, cleanly, well drained and healthful dwellings for the poor”, but updates it with generous internal spaces and sharply-crafted details that make it as near to a model housing scheme as you could find”.
The RIBA President Stephen Hodder, says: “The shortlisted projects are each surprising new additions to urban locations – hemmed into a hospital car park, in-filling an east London square, completing a school campus. But their stand-out common quality is their exceptionally executed crafted detail.”
The other 5 buildings making this years shortlist are Burntwood School in Wandsworth, designed by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris; the Maggie’s Cancer Care Centre in Lanarkshire, by Reiach and Hall; the NEO Bankside luxury apartments in Southwark, Rogers Stirk Harbour; the Library and Teaching Building at the University of Greenwich, by Heneghan Peng; and the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester, by MUMA.
Niall took part in the event We Built this City, which was created to raise awareness and celebrate the contribution Irish people have made to the built and cultural fabric of London, from historic to contemporary times. Niall’s contribution titled ‘London Made Me’ looked at the role of the city as a place of emancipation for the immigrants from around the world.
Two of our projects have been awarded both Regional and National RIBA Awards. The Fishing Hut in Hampshire which is a shelter and tackle store for anglers to fish on the river and Darbishire House on the Whitechapel Estate for Peabody is low-cost housing comprising 13 social rented units in 1/2/3 and 4-bed configurations.
The Bartlett School of Architecture prepared a series of folios to showcase research work by its own staff. Niall took part by producing work on three projects, the Block N14 façade, Olympic Village, Stratford, the Alzheimer’s Respite Centre, Dublin, and the Bishop Edward Chapel, Oxford. All of the portfolios can be downloaded via the following link
The Bartlett Summer Show 2015 opens from the 26th June until the 11th July at The Bartlett School of Architecture, 140 Hampstead Road, London NW1 2BX. The show is one of the world’s biggest architecture degree shows presenting work from over 500 students. Niall teaches Unit 17 with Yeoryia Manolopoulou and Michiko Sumi.
These images show students from Unit 17 – taught by Niall, Yeoryia and Michiko – preparing for the show and installing their collective model. Each student designed a building in Leicester based upon a theme that asked them to re-imagine a regional British city in the light of the Government’s new proposals for devolved powers. The model is interactively linked to an array of mobile phones mounted around the edge that show short films of the students describing their work in detail.
On the 26th of May Niall joined architect Will Alsop, and poets Katharine Kilalea and Matthew Gregory at the RIBA for a discussion on whether poetry and architecture can together reveal something new about our contemporary experience of space. How do the two art forms inform each other, and what can poetry and architecture and their intersection tell us about modern habits and habitation? The event was curated by Catherine Hamilton from the arts association Store. Niall’s piece ‘My Portfolio in Poems’ looked at particular poems that directly influenced his projects.
Niall completed teaching his Advanced Studio for the Spring Semester in the School of Architecture in Yale University. The students presented projects based upon the theme Unreal City. They looked at the impact of devolved powers on the development of London as a quasi-independent global city, almost without a hinterland. Niall taught with faculty member Andrew Benner.
The final review was attended by Billie Tsien, David Kohn, Jennifer Leung, Pier Vittorio Aurelli, Petia Morozov, Frida Escobedo, Alan Organschi, Mike Tonkin, Michael Schlabs, Tatiana Bilbao and Bob Stern.
Pre-cast concrete panels for our T1 project at Kings Cross are currently being manufactured at the Techrete factory in Ireland with installation of the first panels due to commence in the next week. Here are some ‘as struck’ images of the capital panels that will be fitted to the top of the piers.
Niall will give a talk to the Architectural Association of Ireland in Dublin. The lecture will look at all new projects including the Peabody Housing at Whitechapel, The Theatre at Worcester College in Oxford and the Tapestry Building at King’s Cross in London.
We have won planning and listed building consent for the first phase of a significant development for Jesus College, Cambridge.
The West Court development includes the sensitive refurbishment and extension of a Grade II Listed building to provide research facilities, offices, social spaces and accommodation. A new café pavilion and basement bar extends the building’s north elevation and provides a prominent link to the rest of the College.
A 1970s building closes the courtyard to Jesus Lane and will be refaced, refurbished and converted to provide a lecture theatre with research facilities and two floors of academic accommodation. Linking the two existing buildings, a new entrance building houses conference facilities and serves the lecture theatre, research spaces and an exhibition room. It will provide access to future phases of the development including a new purpose-built auditorium, formal courtyard and nursery along with storage, archive and sports facilities.
The Master of Jesus College, Professor Ian White, said “We are excited by the opportunity the West Court development brings to take the facilities we can offer to students, alumni and the wider world to a new level of excellence.”
We have received planning approval and Listed Building Consent for the restoration and extension to Auckland Castle in Co. Durham. The project involves repairs and alterations to the existing listed buildings, a new museum extension and a visitor reception building facing the town square. Given the high sensitivity of this unique site, the planning process took almost one year, involving a very constructive dialogue with English Heritage and Durham County Council. The designs had overwhelming support from local people.
Niall gave a presentation to the RIBA Education Review at a specially convened Forum and Council, which debated significant changes to the structure of architectural education. Niall spoke about the relationship between education and practice, arguing for a lifelong cycle of practice and education.
“Education should not end with RIBA Part III, or even limp along through minimum prescribed CPD events. It should no longer be possible for an architect to finish their education. I propose a more comprehensive model of life-long learning. If practitioners come back to the schools throughout their lives, they will be constantly invigorated and, by extension, they will constantly invigorate the schools to which they return. This would constitute a discourse – in the sense of a ferrying back and forth – in which practice and education are both part of a seamless continuity. The purpose of education is not so much the acquisition of set skills but – to borrow a phrase from John Hattie – learning how to learn. Once you have done this, you have built an engine for a lifetime of renewal.”
Jacob’s Ladder, the first stand-alone house built by this practice has been put on the market fifteen years after it was built. In a special article in the Sunday Times Property Supplement it was described by Kevin McCloud as “The only house in the whole country that takes my breath away… This is how 21st-century rural houses should be designed,”
Building has started on our project for St. Cross College in Oxford. It will accommodate a library, seminar rooms and 53 post-graduate rooms just behind St. Giles. Soon after excavation started, we uncovered the shrouded remains of a woman buried in 1642 during the English Civil War. Oxford Archaeologists dated her from the coins that had been placed on her eyes. After a pause to remove the remains, the builders have started foundations around the historic walls. Completion is expected by May 2016.
A Ground Breaking Ceremony was held on the site on 27th February. Practical Completion of the building is anticipated in May 2016. You can follow progress on site by accessing the contractor’s webcam here (un:stcrosscollege; pw:oxford)
A Ground Breaking Ceremony was held on 25th February for the commencement of the Nasrin Shah Building in Worcester College, Oxford. The event was attended by Beard the main contractor, members of the design team and representatives of the College. The Provost Sir Jonathan Bate and the Client’s representative Dr Afifi Al-Akiti conducted the ceremony, allowing work to commence on the construction of ground works. The building is expected to be completed in late summer 2016. You can follow progress on site by visiting the contractor’s webcam here.
Niall delivered the Giles Worsley Memorial Lecture at the British Academy, at Carlton House Terrace on the 11th of February. The lecture focussed on three projects, a country house in Hampshire, a chapel and the extension and restoration of Auckland Castle.
Niall gave a lecture at The School of Architecture at Yale University on the 22nd of January. It is part of his role as Sir Norman Foster Visiting Chair for 2015. The talk was titled Origins and Translations and it described the thinking behind projects including Bishop Edward King Chapel, Auckland Castle Museum and the Athlete’s Housing for the 2012 Olympics in London. The talk coincided with the publication of an extended interview with Nina Rappenport in the spring issue of the Yale architecture magazine Constructs.
European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award 2015
Niall McLaughlin Architects have been shortlisted for the main European architecture award, the Mies Van der Rohe Prize. Only three UK projects have received this recognition in the past five years. The Bishop Edward King Chapel is the shortlisted project. It will form part of a travelling exhibition of schemes in different European cities. The winner will be announced in summer 2015.
We have completed our housing project for the Peabody Trust in John Fisher Street in Whitechapel, London. 13 families now occupy the building. It was built on an empty site in Henry Derbyshire’s Peabody Estate from 1870. The building is made from brick with deep precast concrete reveals, framing large windows and balconies. It is a real pleasure to see the balconies occupied by plants, bikes and carpets; people hanging out the windows watching their children playing in the courtyard below.
Tim Hunt from Argent gives an update on the progress being made on site at the Tapestry (T1) Building at Kings Cross. The building is roughly half way through the construction programme and will soon start to be clad in beautifully ornate terracotta coloured concrete panels. The video shows the impressive views across the city as well as the relationship of the building to nearby landmarks including Regent’s Canal and Gas Holder Number 9. Tim also gives an update on the wider area which is an exciting and rapidly regenerating part of London.
Tapestry is Niall McLaughlin Architects’ largest project to date, the team completed their role as Concept Architect for the project and now have continued involvement as a part of the Client Monitoring Team.
“Small projects allow you to do something singular and very memorable…..Through small projects you discover yourself.” NM
Niall McLaughlin joined Maria Smith, co-founder of Studio Weave, to discuss the merits and challenges of small building projects at the launch of the 2015 Small Projects Award. The award seeks to recognise the best architecture built for less than £250,000. This year’s event was chaired by Rory Olcayto, acting editor of the AJ and was held at the Building Centre in London.
The practice is delighted to have won the competition for a new development within Jesus College, Cambridge. The practice secured the appointment from among a strong short-list that that included Wright & Wright, Haworth Tompkins and Cullinan Studio.
The project forms the first part of a three-phase development, to create a new outward-facing research centre for the College that includes a communications facility and 150-seater auditorium. The scheme involves the reordering and renovation of the site’s existing buildings and incorporates the western half of the historic Wesley House.
Work is due to start on site early next year.
Key Note Lecture at Conference on Modern Sacred Architecture
Niall McLaughlin has given a keynote lecture on the theme of ‘Sacred Spaces’ as part of a conference on Modern Sacred Architecture in Ireland and Germany, hosted at Newman House in Dublin. The conference was hosted as a collaboration between University College Dublin, Goethe-Institut Ireland and the National College of Art and Design. The other key note lecturers were Kathleen James-Chakraborty, Professor of Art History at UCD and Amandus Sattler, principal of the award-wining Munich practice, Allmann Sattler Wappner.
The three day event explored themes of abstraction and innovation, together with conservation and re-use in the design of churches, mosques and synagogues from 1920s to the present day. The lectures and panel discussions focussed on sacred architecture of the period within Ireland and Germany. Niall spoke on themes surrounding the practice’s ecclesiastical work, including the Bishop Edward King Chapel and the Carmelite chapels in London and Dublin.
Niall McLaughlin spoke at the latest All-Party Parliamentary Group meeting on Housing and Care for Older People, which was held at the House of Lords this month. The meeting explored the relationship between housing and dementia, with contributions from invited architects, academics and practitioners in the field.
The aim of the APPG, which was set up in 2009 and is chaired by Lord Richard Best, is to highlight the importance of the role of housing, alongside social care and health, in the development of support and services for older people. The forum aims to encourage an integrated approach to care for the elderly in relation to these three areas and provide a forum for setting government agenda.
In their August issue entitled ‘Home’, the Architects’ Journal has featured an article on the practice’s remodelling of Duncan Terrace, a Grade II-listed Georgian house in Islington. After winning a private competition held by the clients in 1999, the residential project has spanned over a decade and is now complete. The internal arrangement of the house has been extensively remodelled and a dedicated gallery space built at the end of the courtyard garden, to house the clients’ collection of contemporary art and ceramics.
The main house is linked to the gallery space through a double-height passageway, formed between the existing listed flanking garden wall and a new screen of cast plaster blocks, set behind translucent glass. The screen gathers light from both sides making the cast volumes appear to float, with light able to penetrate around each block held in the array.
The Bishop Edward King chapel has been featured in the June 2014 edition of the Korean journal C3. The piece provides a detailed exploration of the themes behind the design and the construction processes for the award winning project. It includes technical drawings and photographic images to support the text.
‘Eternal Problems’, RIBA Journal Exhibition Review by Niall McLaughlin
Niall McLaughlin has written a piece for the RIBA Journal on the symbolic use of architecture within early Renaissance Art. The essay describes observations based on a visit to the ‘Building the Picture’ exhibition, currently on show at the National Gallery in London. The exhibition gathers together architectonic works by the Italian masters of the 14th-16th centuries that explore real and imagined architectural space.
The article observes how the Renaissance artists’ enthusiasms for displaying their newly discovered skills of perspective and knowledge of the classical forms are conflated with a religious symbolism. The tropes of classical architecture are used as visual metaphors for the divine and eternal. The article explores the effect of these spaces on the viewer and the reasons why the idealised architecture tends to alienate rather than engage.
The Japanese journal a+u has published an account of the practice’s student accommodation for Somerville College, Oxford. The theme of this month’s publication is ‘New Landscapes of Wooden Architecture’ and features an international selection of projects that explore new aspects of wood technology and its potential within cities. The article gives a description on the themes and processes behind the project, placing it within the context of the historic university city and the surrounding Radcliffe Infirmary Quarter.
It is illustrated with working details of the bespoke timber glazing for the stair tower lanterns, as well as the prefabricated timber projecting bay window units for the student bedrooms, with their integral desk and bench seat overlooking the street.
‘We chose to make the glazed elements in the stair towers and student rooms in wood because we wanted them to be like warm lanterns, internally lit in the evening, bringing light to the narrow street…Wood allowed us to make more three-dimensional details…we owe a debt to Louis Kahn’s work at Philip Exeter Academy Library.’ NM
Collaboration with Kim Wilkie wins Natural History Museum Competition
Niall McLaughlin Architects with Kim Wilkie have won the bid to redesign the setting of the Natural History Museum, in a two-stage international competition, organised by Malcom Reading. The team was the unanimous choice of the jury, who included Graham Morrison of Allies and Morrison, former cabinet minister Michael Portillo, Sophie Andreae, a Trustee of Historic Royal Palaces and Dr Michael Dixon, Director of the Natural History Museum.
Jury chair, Ian Henderson said of the scheme, ‘The challenge was to find a team which would consider the changing nature of the Museum, a team who would think holistically, both spatially and intellectually, considering the Museum and the Grounds together. Niall McLaughlin Architects did this brilliantly.’
The commission gives the opportunity to re-imagine the extensive entrance grounds to the world famous museum in South Kensington, London and provide a fitting context for the architectural excellence of the 19th century Waterhouse building. The museum is a global leader in scientific research, housing over 80 million species from around the world and is one of the top visitor attractions in the UK.
The team is looking forward to working with the museum to develop a proposal that will transform the experience for the 5 million visitors that the museum welcomes each year and showcase the museum to the wider cultural quarter centered on the newly redeveloped Exhibition Road.
Whilst visiting New Zealand as guest lecturer for the 2014 Futuna Lecture Series, Niall McLaughlin was interviewed by Kim Hill for the Saturday Morning Show on Radio New Zealand. During the 40 minute conversation they discussed ideas behind a range of the practice’s projects including a private house on Ireland’s west coast, the athletes’ housing scheme for the London Olympics and an apartment block for the Peabody Trust in Silvertown.
The conversation also drew in wider architectural themes, touching on contemporary attitudes to construction and sustainability, Modernism’s tendency towards introversion, and the increasing disconnect between abstract ideas and built form.
Niall concluded the conversation saying, “I do think that buildings should be embodiments of ideas, and people working with architects should be confident to say, ‘These are my ideas. What kind of buildings can you make out of them.’ ”
Niall McLaughlin Architects were delighted to receive the National Panel Special Award for the Bishop Edward King Chapel at this year’s Civic Trust Awards Ceremony, held in Blackpool earlier this month. The award is one of eight Special Awards that are presented in addition to the Civic Trust Awards, to celebrate projects that are deemed to be outstanding in a specific area. The National Panel Award is given to the scheme that the National Panel members select as their favourite from among the Award winning projects. David Pritchard, chair of the Civic Trust Awards National Panel, described the Chapel as ‘an uplifting building’ and said that their decision to give the Chapel this top award had been unanimous.
Niall McLaughlin Architects and Purcell have won the competition to transform Auckland Castle in County Durham into a national museum of religion and religious art. The former historic home of the bishops of Durham, the castle is considered to be the third most historically significant ecclesiastical complex in Europe, after the Vatican and Avignon. Auckland Castle was bought by businessman and philanthropist Jonathan Ruffer who aims to turn it into a major visitor attraction and heritage site in the North East. The client hopes to receive funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund in support of the project and set up the Auckland Castle Trust to oversee the restoration and development of the castle and grounds. The central attraction will be the rare paintings by Spanish artist Francisco de Zurbarán, considered to be some of the most significant religious treasures in Europe and part of the castle’s history for more than 250 years.
The new Carmelite Chapel for the Discalced Friars in Clarendon Street, Dublin is now complete. The Chapel forms part of St. Teresa’s Church and Priory and uses a pared-back post-and-beam framework to create a space which is conducive to prayer, song and private contemplation. The series of cross-laminated timber frames are turned at right angles to enclose the four sides of the space and form a woven structural lattice.
Niall McLaughlin has been invited to present the annual Futuna Lecture series in New Zealand in March. Niall will speak on the work of the practice at both Auckland and Christchurch Universities and lecture as part of the open day at the Futuna Chapel in Wellington.
Tamsin Hanke writes article on Russia for the Architectural Review
Tamsin Hanke, member of the practice and recent winner of the Dissertation Medal at this year’s RIBA President’s Medal Student Awards, has written an article for the Architectural Review, commenting on the current political and urban landscape in Russia. Under the title ‘Don’t get Distracted: Russia under the Spotlight’, the piece gives context to the built fabric of the country, explaining its links to rapid industrialisation during at the first part of the 20th century. The article calls for an understanding of the complexities of contemporary Russia beyond recent attention grabbing headlines and stresses the need for new urban methods to solve the historic contradiction between policy and infrastructure.
The German publication Bauwelt has published a cover article on the Bishop Edward King Chapel this month. The article explores the influences and inspiration for the project, including that of the early 20th century architect German architect, Rudolf Schwarz.
Niall McLaughlin has been named one of Britain’s 500 Most Influential People by Debrett’s. The 500 List is a positive endorsement and recognition of achievement and influence. It includes people from across all fields of expertise, chosen by an independent panels of specialists who provide nominations for selections to Debrett’s. Other architects on the list include Zaha Hadid, Richard Rogers and David Chipperfield.
“Niall McLaughlin was first drawn to architecture by the curved windows of the Berkeley Library in Trinity College Dublin. When he first emerged as an architect in the late 1990s he was tipped for great things, winning Young British Architect of the Year in 1998 and recognised as one of the BBC’s Rising Stars in 2001. The Irish-born architect has progressed to exceed all expectations. Garlanded with awards for everything ranging from houses to chapels, McLaughlin is also a very influential teacher in the field at Britain’s most highly-regarded architecture school, the Bartlett. His design of the Bishop Edward King Chapel was shortlisted for the esteemed RIBA Stirling Prize in 2013.”
Niall McLaughlin has been invited to participate in a conference on Milson Island on the Hawkesbury River in Australia. Organised by the Architecture Foundation Australia, the residential event gathers an international field of speakers to explore a chosen theme. It will take place between the 28th and 30th of March 2014. This year’s theme will be ‘trace de la main’, taken from the comment by engineer Peter Rice that “whereas a Gothic cathedral will express the real and physical presence of the stone from which it was made, and of the masons who laboured over its construction so many years ago, very few modern buildings carry the same physical presence of the materials of which they were built. In short, ‘the trace de la main’, the evidence of those who built it, is not there.”
Niall McLaughlin Architects are delighted to have been announced as winner of the competition to build a new theatre for Worcester College, Oxford. The scheme was picked from among a strong shortlist, including proposals by Hawkins/ Brown, Ian Ritchie and Purcell Architects. The competition brief was to design a 160-seat theatre, together with flexible studio space, seminar rooms and a small bar to be situated within the sensitive site of the College’s listed gardens. The scheme aims to improve the spaces between the old and new buildings of the College and resolve the relationship between these structures, the gardens and the network of small courts around the edge of the site.
The practice’s most recent housing scheme for the Peabody Trust has received planning permission from the London Borough of Waltham Forrest. The scheme comprises of seventeen new homes for the social rented sector at a central location in Leytonstone. The project is due for completion in March 2015.
The Bishop Edward King Chapel has been announced as the winner of a 2014 Civic Trust Award. The Civic Trust Awards are judged by both a local and national panel from amongst an international field of entries. The awards ceremony will take place in March.
Simon Bishop becomes an Associate and Ruth Ryan Practice Manager
We offer our congratulations to Simon Bishop who has been made an Associate. He joins Tim Allen-Booth, Tilo Guenther and Joanna Karatzas in this leadership role within the practice. Simon joined Niall McLaughlin Architects in 2008 and has worked on a range of projects including the Athletes’ Village housing in Stratford and the Somerville Student Accommodation in Oxford.
We are also pleased to announce Ruth Ryan as Practice Manager. Her long-standing experience in all areas of office management, finance and HR is proving invaluable.
Norman Foster Fellowship at Yale University for Niall
Two members of the practice have won the main awards at this years RIBA President’s Medals Student Awards. The two medals were chosen from over 300 submissions, the best student work from 65 schools around the world.
Ben Hayes received the President’s Medal for his project entitled Kizhi Island, which proposes the restoration and reassembly of 250 wooden Orthodox churches on the small island in northern Russia. The proposal is for a curated museum landscape that incorporates the re-located ecclesiastical structures and an associated restoration and research facility.
Tamsin Hanke received the Dissertation Medal for her thesis, Magnitogorsk: Utopian Vision of Spatial Socialism. The work explored how the political ideology of the city was expressed spatially in the city during the years 1930 to 1953 and how the urban form has manifested in a social-economic legacy that remains to this day.
Ben and Tamsin studied with Niall and his teaching partners Yeoryia Manoloupoulou and Michiko Sumi in Unit 17 at the Bartlett School of Architecture in University College London. Tamsin’s Dissertation Supervisor was Sophia Psarra.
Collaboration with Kim Wilkie makes Natural History Museum Shortlist
Niall McLaughlin Architects and Kim Wilkie have been shortlisted in a competition to re-imagine the grounds of the Natural History Museum in London. The practice was approached by the landscape designer Kim Wilkie to collaborate on a scheme for the invited competition. The brief is to create an innovative exterior setting that matches the architectural excellence of Waterhouse’s iconic 19th century building.
The five other architect and landscape architect teams shortlisted for the competition are Bjarke Ingels Group with Martha Schwartz Partners, Grant Associates with Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Land Use Consultants with Design Engine and Stanton Williams Architects with Bradley-Hole Schoenaich Landscape Architects.
The practice were delighted to receive two awards at the Oxford Presentation Trust Awards earlier this month. The student accommodation for Somerville College and the Bishop Edward King Chapel were both among the winners in the New Buildings category, with the Chapel described by the judges as a “particularly popular award in an extraordinary year.”
The Bishop Edward King Chapel was among the winners of the ‘The UK’s Best Modern Churches’ competition which celebrates the best churches built within the last 50 years, announced at a ceremony held at Lambeth Palace in London. The open competition was run by the National Churches Trust, in association with the Ecclesiastical Architects and Surveyors Association and the 20th Century Society.
Of the top ten selected winners, the Chapel for Ripon College was the most recent nomination, with eight of the ten built in the late 50s and early 60s. The scheme was described as “a treat to look at” and “architecturally elegant, with a lovely intimate reflective interior.”
The Bishop Edward King Chapel has been named as the Gold Award winner at this year’s Wood Awards. The project was selected as overall winner from among over 300 entries and was also announced as the recipient of the prize for the structural category.
The chairman of the judges described the chapel as “a stunning and worthy Gold Award winner.” He went on to say that the project “…embodies the Wood Awards’ celebration of excellence in design and craftsmanship in wood, and even exceeds the hope that the building might be a ‘work of art that would touch the spirit’.”
Niall McLaughlin Architects are pleased to be continuing their work for Somerville College, Oxford with the design of the Oxford India Centre, which will house the Indira Gandhi Centre for Sustainable Development. The new building forms part of the redevelopment of the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter and is to be positioned at the north west corner of the College, adjacent to the new Blavatnik School of Government building designed by Herzog de Meuron. The design includes a theatre, exhibition and teaching space, new postgraduate accommodation, as well as a new archway entrance to the College.
The Bishop Edward King Chapel has been hailed as the Building Project of the Year in the under £3 million category at the British Construction Industry Awards. The judging panel was chaired by Peter Hansford, Chief Construction Advisor to the Government. The Construction Awards recognise overall excellence in the delivery of the building, encompassing quality, client satisfaction and delivery to time and budget.
Michael Webb Writes a Feature on Niall McLaughlin in Mark Magazine
Under the title ‘London Maverick’ Mark Magazine has profiled Niall McLaughlin and a wide ranging showcase of the practice’s work. The article includes projects from the Bandstand at Bexhill-on-Sea in 2001 to the Chapel for Ripon Theological College completed last year, the latter being described as a project that “restores one’s faith in the capacity of architects to reinvent traditional forms.”
The work of the practice is described as defying categorisation and characterised by “poetry and invention”. Drawing on the broad theme of materiality, the review reflects on the design process for a selection of projects including House at Goleen, the student accommodation for Somerville College, the Information Centre in Hull and the Housing for the London Olympics.
Niall McLaughlin has spoken on the themes surrounding two of the practice’s recent projects, the Athletes‘ Housing for the London Olympics and the Bishop Edward King Chapel in Oxfordshire, at an event hosted by the Building Centre in London. The evening was entitled “Concrete Elegance – Exploring Light and Spatial Creativity.”
In a conversation on BBC Radio 4‘s Front Row, journalist and broadcaster Tom Dyckhoff has described this year’s Stirling Prize shortlist as representing “a completely new outlook on architecture…the voice of a new generation.” Together with architect and chair of the judges Philip Gumunchidan, the two critics reflected on what the shortlist says about the state of British architecture and the growing appetite for commissioning innovative contemporary buildings. During the broadcast, Front Row’s John Wilson described the chapel as an “absolutely stunningly beautiful” geometric structure.
Niall McLaughlin took part in a live discussion evening at the RIBA, chaired by the Observer architecture critic Rowan Moore. The event brought together the six practices shortlisted for this year’s Stirling Prize, to reflect on their individual entries and to participate in a wider conversation about British architecture. The panel discussed the stories behind the projects and took questions from the audience.
Niall McLaughlin Architects are among six practices to have been shortlisted as Public Building Architect of the Year. Other practices on the shortlist are Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, Duggan Morris Architects, erect architecture, Pringle Richards Sharratt Archtiects and Wilkinson Eyre Architects.
Niall McLaughlin writes LA Article for Architectural Review
Niall McLaughlin has written an article for the Architectural Review, entitled ‘Street Life: Michael Maltzan’s Social Housing in Los Angeles’. The piece examines the history of the infamous area of LA known as Skid Row and three housing projects by the practice Michael Maltzan Architecture for this fractured part of the city. The piece draws out common themes between the projects, which are all low-cost accommodation for the previously homeless, exploring the successful spatial relationships between the private space of the individual rooms, the areas of common sheltered space and the public realm of the street.
“The formal virtuosity of each composition is Maltzan’s own special skill and they suggest that high architecture can give pleasure and dignity to all of us….I hope that the different spatial experiments, linking and articulating pavement, common sheltered space and private rooms, will become subjects for further reflection and analysis. It speaks of our common need to situate ourselves and participate in public life.” NM
Niall McLaughlin Architects are delighted that the Bishop Edward King Chapel has been shortlisted for the RIBA Stirling Prize for the best building, considered to be the most prestigious award for architectural excellence. The RIBA describe the shortlisted buildings as revealing, “the pinnacle of current architectural talent.”
The Chapel is one of the six on the shortlist which includes projects by Alison Brooks Architects, Hawkins\Brown, Witherford Watson Mann Architects, Heneghan Peng and Grafton Architects. The announcement has received widespread media coverage in shortlist that has been reported as “refreshing for its wave of new names.”
This year’s judging panel are Sheila O’Donnell (O’Donnell and Tuomey Architects), Paul Williams (Stanton Williams), Stephen Hodder (RIBA President Elect), Dame Vivien Duffield (philanthropist) and Tom Dykchoff (journalist). A short video of Niall McLaughlin talking with the judges about the Chapel building is featured below.
Under the tile ‘Happy Ending’, Jan-Carlos Kucharek has reviewed the Chapel for Ripon Theological College in Oxfordshire. The article reflects on the conversations with the client to develop the design, together with the stories and architectural precedents that worked together to inform the building’s final form. Kucharek writes, “…there’s no questioning the positive effect of McLaughlin’s £2.6m chapel on the picturesque Ripon College, both functionally and aesthetically.” He goes on to describe the elliptical form, accessed on the diagonal between the long and short axes, as “a master stroke.”
Design blog Dezeen has featured an article on the Bishop Edward King Chapel. It highlights the project as one of those to recently win an RIBA Award and includes a link to the practice’s House at Goleen project, previously reviewed on the on-line design magazine in October 2012. The article for the Chapel includes a full project description, together with a large selection of images and drawings.
With direction from tutors Niall McLaughlin, Yeoryia Manolopoulou and Michiko Sumi, this year’s Unit 17 Masters students have designed and fabricated a thirteen-seat table as the focal point of their exhibition space.
The table is intended to become a platform around which architects, artists and academics can debate the ideas and questions raised by the students’ work in relation to the wider context.
The exhibition opened on Friday 21st and has since held the first of four lively debates. The next will take place on Wednesday 26th at 12:30pm.
Unit 17 exhibition space, The Slade Galleries, UCL, Gower Street, WC1E 6BT
The Tapestry Building in King’s Cross has been shortlisted for a New London Architecture Award in the Residential Category. The awards look to showcase the best of architecture and development in the Capital. The residential project is part of the large scale redevelopment of King’s Cross in a joint venture between developer Argent, London and Continental Railways and DHL Supply Chain.
A short film has been made about the practice and the design of the Tapestry Building, a large-scale mixed-use development on the edge of the Regent’s Canal in King’s Cross. The scheme forms one element in the wider regeneration of the 67-acre site adjacent to King’s Cross station and the Regent’s Canal.
In the film Niall McLaughlin describes the design influences behind the woven tapestry-like facade and places the building within a tradition of masonry buildings looking to imitate “the intensity and the enmeshed, thicket-like quality of tapestries” that goes back to the origins of architecture, where hanging tapestries were used to enclose space.
The Athletes’ Housing for Olympic is among one of the projects shortlisted for a New London Architecture Award. The scheme was nominated in the Masterplanning Category, as part of a group submission for the Olympic Village development for the London 2012 Games.
Rowan Moore Writes about Bishop Edward King Chapel in the Observer
Architecture critic Rowan Moore has written a review of the Bishop Edward King Chapel with the title “The Answers to their Prayers” that was published in the Observer Magazine. The article touches on the broader themes of the interpretation and appropriation of religious symbolism in architecture, and in this context praises the paradoxical nature of the chapel; “It is…heavy and light, a bastion and a boat, a wall and a drape. It has presence, but doesn’t dominate.” Describing the form and materiality of the building Moore writes, “The building is crafted and considered: it makes ideas physical: it has intentions and carries them out in its space and matter.”
Niall McLaughlin was the invited speaker at the Age UK Conference entitled ‘Later Life: Better Health and Care in Tough Times”. The subject of the talk was the role of the architect in designing for dementia, focusing on insights gain from the design of the Alzheimer’s Respite Centre in Dublin, as well as the practice’s consultation work for the London Borough of Camden in their design for new residential care homes. The lecture also touched on broader themes of how we develop spatial understanding and language from birth and how this abstract awareness is affected with the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease.
The April edition of the Architectural Review features an article on the Bishop Edward King Chapel, written by Peter Salter. The article contains images by Dennis Gilbert, with a detailed view of the branched timber structure on the magazine’s cover. The review describes the Chapel as a “subtle synthesis of nature and the sacred” with Salter concluding that the project is a reflective and sensitive response to the “spiritual challenge of this commission.”
Mary Ann Steane Article in Architecture Today on Ripon College Chapel
Author and Cambridge academic Mary Ann Steane has written on the Chapel’s “lyrical embodiment of liturgy and light” in an article published in Architecture Today. Dr. Steane previously included the Carmelite Monastery project in her book ‘The Architecture of Light’. The article in Architecture Today elucidates on the Chapel’s filtering of natural light through the internal timber structure, as a means of tying the building to its surroundings.
“On a sunny day the upper surfaces become an animated embroidery of light and shadow in tune with the surrounding windblown foliage, but even on a dull day the way that light is held within the tall enclosure is critical to the project’s narrative of tethering.”
The Tapestry Building has received reserved matters approval by the London Borough of Camden in a unanimous vote. The building contains residential dwellings, commercial premises, multi-storey car park and the site-wide energy centre.
The energy centre will meet the majority of the heating and power demands for the whole regeneration site. The leader of Camden Council said of the scheme’s approval, “We welcome the continued commitment to helping create a sustainable future environment for King’s Cross.”
‘Niall McLaughlin triumphs in King’s Cross canopy competition.’ Building Design
Niall McLaughlin Architects was announced as the winner of the Cubitt Square competition at King’s Cross. The practice was chosen from among a strong shortlist, including Amanda Levete Architects, Asif Khan, Duggan Morris, Carmody Groarke, Ian Ritchie and Jamie Fobert.
The competition brief was to create a canopy structure for the southern end of the square, to provide a covered space for public events. In response the practice’s intention was to create an object that will read beautifully against the dark brick of the train sheds, whilst echoing their inner structure. The canopy will be made from very slender rods of stainless steel that will form a fragile framework. The ephemeral nature of the structure will allow views between the the existing listed buildings and significant structures, such as the Triplet Gas Holders.
Niall McLaughlin has been invited by the University of California, Los Angeles, to give a lecture on the work of the practice as part of the International Lecture Series 2012/13. The lecture will take place on the 4th of March 2013 on the UCLA campus.
The Bishop King Edward Chapel at Ripon College, Cuddesdon is now complete. The theological college celebrated the opening of its new chapel with a service of dedication attended by the Bishops of Oxford, Gloucester and Dorchester. The services were followed by a dinner and presentation ceremony for those involved in the project.
The Sisters of Begbroke, who are resident on the college campus and who have funded the project, expressed their delight at the finished chapel, ‘We knew that what was needed was not just a building but a work of art which would touch the spirit. We are thrilled that this is what Niall McLaughlin has delivered.’
We offer our congratulations to Joanna Karatzas who has been made an Associate. She joins Tim Allen-Booth, and Tilo Guenther in this leadership role within the practice. Joanna joined Niall McLaughlin Architects in 2007 and has worked on a range of projects including the Bishop Edward King Chapel in Oxford, a private house in Hampshire and the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter masterplan.
The development of Park Hospital has been granted Outline Planning Consent by the Oxford City Council. The project will redevelop the existing Park Hospital site into additional biomedical research facilities for Oxford University’s Old Road Campus.
The campus is one of the foremost biomedical research campus’ in the UK. As part of the University’s vision to remain a world leader in this field, the redevelopment of Park Hospital will provide an additional 48,000 square metres of accommodation for research and laboratory facilities.
The site is located in a challenging planning environment as it is adjacent to a local wildlife site, connected to the Lye Valley, a site of special scientific interest. Wide ranging consultation took place during the pre-planning phases of the application, on account of the ecological sensitivities of the site and to ensure that the development would benefit the local area.
The extension and refurbishment of the Wolfson Building in Oxford is now complete. The Grade II Listed building, originally designed by Arup Associates in the 1960s, forms part of Somerville College in Oxford. The extension provides the college with additional gathering space in the hall on the ground floor and gives the building a clearer presence on the College’s main quadrangle.
Niall McLaughlin Architects will continue their work for Oxford University, having been announced as the winners of the competition to complete the West Quadrangle of St. Cross College.
The brief asked for a scheme that would provide ‘In whole and in detail…continuing satisfaction and unexpected moments of delight.’ Sir Mark Jones, master of St. Cross College stated, ‘It was felt that Niall McLaughlin was the designer who would best meet the needs of the College.’
In an interview for Building Design, Niall McLaughlin commented, ‘St Cross is an Oxford college with a special atmosphere based on a community that is very democratic and informal. It enjoys a lovely situation, tucked behind a busy thoroughfare on a site of significance for the history of the city. The competition process was collaborative and inclusive so we already share a good mutual understanding with the client. We are delighted to have won, particularly given the strength of the shortlisted practices.’
Niall McLaughlin Architects was confirmed as the winner of the Brick Awards 2012. The Somerville College student accommodation for Oxford University was given the award under the category of Best Housing Development of 26 Units or more.
The judges considered the project to be ‘impressive’ and of a ‘high quality’ and paid tribute to the ‘neat and sharp’ details throughout and the careful consideration of the existing surrounding brickwork.
The practice has been awarded the BPCF 2012 Creativity in Concrete Awardfor their treatment of the facade for the Athletes’ Housing Block N15 within the Olympic Village. The precast cladding panels sample fragments of the Elgin Marbles, which were scanned digitally from the British Museum in London. The scans were used to make fibreboard positives using a 5-axis router, which then became the formwork for the latex moulds from which the panels were cast.
Planning Consent Granted for Private House in Hampshire
The practice has received planning consent from Winchester City Council for the construction of a new private house in a sensitive area in the Hampshire countryside.
The site sits next to the river Arle, an area designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) by English Nature and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) under the EC Habitats Directive. Permission was granted following extensive consultations and a positive response from the Winchester and Eastleigh Design Review Panel, as well as the support of Natural England and the Wildlife Trust.
The house will have high sustainability credentials including high levels of thermal insulation and airtightness, passive solar heating, ground source heating technology, PV panels and substantial enhancement of the ecology of the site through extensive landscaping works.
RIBA Honours Committee Panel Chooses Royal Gold Medal Winner
Niall McLaughlin was invited to be one of the six members of the RIBA Honours Committee Panel, a group selected to choose the winner of the Royal Gold Medal. The other members of the panel were architects Peter Clegg, Yvonne Farrell, Professor Adrian Forty, and Sarah Wigglesworth. The panel has nominated the Swiss architect Peter Zumthor as the 2013 recipient of the award.
Niall McLaughlin Architects’ housing project in Whitechapel for the Peabody Trust will start on site at the end of the month. The project makes use of an infill site on the existing Victorian Peabody Trust estate. The scheme completes the courtyard enclosure formed by the existing blocks whilst retaining ‘open corners’. This strategy prompts easy pedestrian access and views between the courtyard and surrounding streets.
Bell Tower Installed for Bishop King Edward Chapel
The bell tower for the Bishop Edward King Chapel has been installed. The new chapel building has been designed by Niall McLaughlin Architects for Ripon Theological College in Oxfordshire. The project, which was won through an RIBA competition in July 2009, is due for completion in 2013.
The Somerville College student accommodation for Oxford University has been shortlisted for the Brick Awards 2012 under category of the Best Housing Development of 26 units or more. Other contenders on the shortlist are Hawkins Brown, Haworth Tompkins, Glen Howells and Cartwright Pickard.
In the run up to the London Olympics, the Athletes’ Village housing block N15, is now occupied with athletes’ preparing for the games. Niall McLaughlin Architects have designed the external skin of the housing block on a ‘chassis’ designed by Glen Howells. The facade samples fragments of the Elgin Marbles, scanned from the British Museum and converted into 3D pre-cast panels depicting galloping horses from the Parthenon Frieze.
Niall McLaughlin commented on the practice’s approach to the unusual commission in Building Design. ‘I was very interested in the principle of the facade being delaminated from the building’s core form. Usually it’s something one tries to swim against to retain a sense of ‘authenticity’, but here we decided to embrace it….I like the idea of setting Ruskin’s conception of the craftsman against the absolute Taylorism of the construction process. Through digital reproduction, these deracinated stones are now doubly lost.’ (Building Design 27.01.2012)
Niall McLaughlin Architects’ Whitechapel housing scheme for the Peabody Trust was the recipient of a NLA Special Award. The New London Awards seek to give recognition to schemes of the highest design quality in the capital. Images from the Whitechapel housing scheme are to be on display in the NLA galleries at the Building Centre, London.
Niall McLaughlin Architects is among those 30 practices shortlisted for the Wood Awards 2012 for the student accommodation for Oxford University’s Somerville College. The judges described this years shortlist as ‘exceptional’, stating that they had received an unprecedented 362 category entries for the awards.
The bell for the Bishop Edward King Chapel has been cast at the Whitechapel Foundry. Niall McLaughlin Architects won RIBA competition to design the new chapel for Ripon Theological College in Oxfordshire in July 2009. The project is currently on site and due for completion in early 2013.
The extension and refurbishment of the Wolfson Building in Oxford has started on site. The Grade II Listed building, originally designed by Arup Associates in the 1960s, forms part of Somerville College.
Niall McLaughlin Architects’ Somerville College Student Accommodation for Oxford University has been awarded a RIBA Award 2012. The project was one of only 50 projects in the UK to win one of the prestigious awards.
RIBA President Angela Brady said of the winning schemes, ‘What really stands out is that even in times of austerity, we can still deliver amazingly clever, high quality buildings…these projects are truly exciting and inspiring.’
Niall McLaughlin Architects has been shortlisted for the St. Cross College competition for Oxford University. Pringle Richards Sharratt, Walters and Cohen and Wilkinson Eyre are the other shortlisted practices. The brief asks for the new student accommodation to be a ‘natural companion and complement to the existing buildings’ and is described as a ‘rare opportunity to finish a tucked-away and much loved space.’
Niall McLaughlin Architects has received an American Institute Excellence in Design Awardfor the Somerville College Student Accommodation for Oxford University. The Institute stated that this year’s awards attracted the most submissions in its 18 year history.
Somerville’s Treasurer commented, ‘We love the buildings, and our students really enjoy living there. This award is a wonderful recognition of the results of all the inspiration, hard work and attention to detail that went into the project.’
Niall McLaughlin Sits on King’s College London’s Selection Panel
Niall McLaughlin has been invited to chair the selection panel for the competition redevelop the Quadrangle at King’s College London’s historic Strand Campus. He will act as the RIBA architect advisor on the jury panel to pick the winning proposal from among the international field of entries.
Niall McLaughlin nominated Herman Hertzberger as the recipient of the 2012 Royal Gold Medal. At the award ceremony in London this month Niall delivered the formal citation for Herman Hertzberger on behalf of the honours committee.
“For Hertzberger inhabitation is the key….architects should be specialists in the daily life of people. This is done not by asking people what they want but by undertaking a rational observation of what they are.”