News

Ely Court selected as EU Mies Award 2017 finalist

ABA’s Ely Court has been selected as one of just five finalists from a shortlist of 40 for the prestigious 2017 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award. Ely Court is a 43-dwelling mixed-tenure scheme for London’s South Kilburn Estate Regeneration Masterplan for Brent Council.

The European Commission and the Fundació Mies van der Rohe announced the five finalists at a press conference on 15th February at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion.

Stephen Bates, architect and Chairman of the Jury said: “Our instincts could be summed up by the words of Peter Smithson: ‘things need to be ordinary and heroic at the same time’. We were looking for an ordinariness whose understated lyricism is full of potential”. 

Malgorzata Omilanowska, art historian, former Minister of Culture in Poland and member of the Jury, said: “social housing, memory and the problem of context and new constructions in the old city centres have proven to be important to us as a Jury. The finalist works show the problematic of our time; what has happened in the last year reveals the really deep problem of populism and the lack of memory. These 5 projects show the problem that we face as citizens, not only as architecture specialists, but as members of today’s society.” 

Anna Ramos, Director of the Fundació Mies van der Rohe, said: “The Jury’s selection consolidates the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture—Mies van der Rohe Award as a strategic element by which to promote research into, debate on and dissemination of contemporary architecture in Europe. Issues such as collective housing, the complexity of the European city—both contemporary and historical—and the ability of architecture to create symbolic spaces provide us with the opportunity to extend the debate on the finalist works beyond architectural circuits, because they respond to the concerns of today’s European society.”

The Prize is awarded biennially to works completed within the previous two years. The principal objectives are to achieve a thorough understanding of the transformation of Europe’s built environment; to recognize and commend excellence and innovation in the field of architecture and to draw attention to the important contribution of European professionals in the development of new ideas, the clients who support them and the citizens that enjoy them. The Jury will visit the five works in April and the Prize Winner and the Emerging Architect Winner will be announced in Brussels on 16th May. The process will culminate with the Awards Ceremony on 26th May at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion, marking several days of Open Doors throughout Europe during which sites of the shortlisted works will be open for visits by the general public.

The four other finalists are:

  • deFlatKleiburg, Amsterdam, by NL Architects and XVW architectuur, Amsterdam
  • Kannikegården, Ribe, by Lundgaard &Tranberg Architects, Copenhagen
  • Katyn Museum, Warsaw, by BBGK Architekci, Warsaw
  • Rivesaltes Memorial Museum, Rivesaltes/Ribesaltes, by Rudy Ricciotti, Bandol

 

Source
EU Mies Award
Claire.McGuinness

The Guardian: To solve the housing crisis we need new ideas, not garden cities

In her article in The Guardian, Frances Holliss uses ABA’s Newhall Be as an exemplar of design for home-based work.

‘Few contemporary home-based workers live and work in conditions that suit them. But they could. Instead of building miserable cookie-cutter housing, the home and the workplace could be combined in all sorts of ways to make “workhomes”. These could be built with street-facing workspace, like Alison Brooks Architects’ prize-winning Newhall Be scheme outside Harlow…’

Source
The Guardian
Claire.McGuinness

Ely Court shortlisted for EU Mies Award 2017

ABA is proud to announce that Ely Court has been shortlisted for the 2017 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award. Ely Court is a 43-dwelling mixed-tenure scheme for London’s South Kilburn Estate Regeneration Masterplan for Brent Council. The scheme is one of just four UK works shortlisted by the European Commission and the Fundació Mies van der Rohe for this prestigious prize.

The Prize is awarded biennially to works completed within the previous two years. The principal objectives are to achieve a thorough understanding of the transformation of Europe’s built environment; to recognize and commend excellence and innovation in the field of architecture and to draw attention to the important contribution of European professionals in the development of new ideas, the clients who support them and the citizens that enjoy them. The Jury members have shortlisted 40 projects and will select the 5 finalist works which they will visit in April. The process will culminate with the Award Ceremony on May 26 at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion, marking several days of Open Doors throughout Europe during which sites of the shortlisted works will be open for visit to the general public.

Source
EU Mies Award
Claire.McGuinness

Exeter College Cohen Quad update

We are pleased to announce that Alison Brooks Architects’ first major civic and educational commission, Exeter College Cohen Quad, University of Oxford, is nearing completion as the cloisters, cafe and junior common room are now in use.

Collegiate quadrangles form the basis of Oxford’s academic and urban fabric, providing learning, study and social spaces for academic communities. The Cohen Quad offers the first fully accessible, purpose designed social learning space in the history of the university. Ahead of the Quad’s full completion later this spring, the students have already started to enjoy the cloisters, cafe and junior common room. In particular, the ellipsoidal, cross-laminated timber arches of the cloisters are proving to be a popular gathering spot for the college community and fellows.

Click here to discover how we are creating a contemporary social heart for Oxford University’s fourth oldest college.

“It really is a superb building… the light and the quality of materials provide a stunning environment for living and working.”Exeter College

Claire.McGuinness

The Times: Is this the cleverest new town in Britain?

Cambridge University’s exceptionally ambitious North West Cambridge Development, including ABA’s Veteran Oak Quarter, has been featured in The Sunday Times’ property section.

“Is this the cleverest new town in Britain? A development on the edge of Cambridge will offer affordable housing for academics, as well as student digs and open-market homes.

“’We want this to be an exemplar development,’ says Heather Topel, acting project director for the North West Cambridge development… The residents won’t have to deal with the messiness of a weekly bin day. Instead, the 700 rental apartments will be served by underground bins, with an electronic monitoring system sending a message to a control centre whenever one is full. The university has commissioned a special lorry to do the emptying.

“A series of artificial lakes is being created on the edge of the development to contain excess rainwater runoff, which will then be recycled back into the system and used for washing machines and toilets, as well as to irrigate green spaces. Gravel dug out of the first lake has been piled up to create a grassy hill and block out traffic noise from the nearby M11. Once complete, the lakes will be a refuge for wildlife, walkers and runners, with public art installations designed to function like modern-day follies.

“A dedicated energy centre will provide hot water and central heating, doing away with the need for boilers in every property. In addition, the roofs will have solar panels and 20% of all the energy consumed will be produced on site.

“Cars will be parked underground, and running right through the development will be a “green superhighway” for pedestrians and cyclists. Residents will be able to cycle to the city centre or Cambridge North station (due to open in May) within 10 minutes.

“And because the development will be home to bookish types from around the world, each flat will have extra storage space for reading matter and suitcases, as well as a designated study area. Vents covered in noise-limiting material will allow fresh air to circulate without the need to open windows, which might distract hard-working researchers. All of the flats will have generous ceiling heights — reminiscent of older Cambridge buildings.”

“Rob Hall, deputy managing director of Hill Residential, the developer responsible for the homes for sale, sees the university’s project as being akin to Bournville, the village near Birmingham established by the Cadbury family in the late 19th century to accommodate workers at its chocolate factory. “It’s an employer trying to look after its staff,” he says. “Frankly, there is not enough accommodation in the city. The university is to be applauded for identifying and acting on this huge need.”

Source
The Sunday Times
Claire.McGuinness

Alison Brooks featured in The Spear’s 500

Alison Brooks has been featured in the architecture category of the 2017 edition of The Spear’s 500. Launched by Spear’s in 2014, the directory is the world’s first comprehensive guide to the top private client advisers, wealth managers and HNW service providers.

“‘I try to avoid styles and focus on ideas. The greatest work is always the result of a concept or an ideal that leads the design into uncharted territory’. So says the formidable Brooks, who, since founding her practice in 1996, has become one of the world’s most sought-after architects; she was recently named as one of Britain’s 500 Most Influential people by The Sunday Times.

Her London-based studio has a portfolio ranging from one-off houses to education buildings, high-end residential developments and masterplans. ‘Each of our projects is unique in its concept and detail: our designs respond in a very specific way to each client, place and brief,’ she says.

Brooks has won numerous awards, including Architect of the Year and Housing Architect of the Year 2012 and is the only UK practice to have won the RIBA’s three most prestigious awards for architecture; but the greatest achievement of her practice so far, she says, was winning the commission for the Cohen Quadrangle for Exeter College at Oxford University which is due to be completed in early 2017.”

Source
The Spear's 500
Claire.McGuinness