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APRIL 2014

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.

Link to the Architects Journal
Link to BD OnLine
Link to the Evening Standard


APRIL 2014

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.’ ”

To listen to the full interview click here.


APRIL 2014

Top Award for Chapel at Civic Trust Awards

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.