Reference: Door Handles
Reference: Door Handles
—On visiting several buildings designed by Alvar Aalto in Helsinki, we were struck by how many architectural elements were repeated across different projects. Fixtures such as these door handles were used frequently, with subtle adaptations in the design according to context.

References, reflections and studies capture the thinking, making and design stages within the studio

On Site: Albert Island  
—A plane lands at London City Airport, seen from our Albert Island site. The relationship to the airport is a key consideration in the masterplan design.
In the Studio: Samples  
—Carpet discussions for Theatre Royal Drury Lane
On Site: Texture  
—Play of light and shadow, mornings at the Bristol Old Vic
Reference: Entrance for Elephants  
—Entrance to the Malmö Stadsteater. Formerly used by elephants
In the Studio: Sketching  
—Overlay sketching on the Warburg Institute visuals
Reference: Handrail  
—Walter Segal handrail, London, 1950, steel and sapele
On Site: Etching Press at Knights Park  
—The etching press is now in the printmaking workshop at the Knights Park campus, Kingston School of Art
On Site: Grand Hall  
—Finishing touches to the Grand Hall plywood lattice ceiling at Battersea Arts Centre
From The Archive: Bridge Theatre light  
—The Bridge Theatre light is a pendant fitting made of copper mesh, each one is unique due to its hand formed nature.
On Site: Precast concrete  
—On-site processing plant for precast concrete paving at Fish Island
Reference: Markings in Porto  
—Planned and unplanned, formal and informal, anarchy versus order.
On Site: Corten steel shutters for the Bristol Old Vic  
—Prototyping waterjet cut artwork based on two interwoven poems. First by David Garrick from the Theatre Royal prologue written in 1766, he also did a spoken work performance to announce the opening of the original theatre. And second by Miles Chambers, former Bristol City Poet.
Study Trip: Porto  
—Alvaro Siza's Bouca Casas Socials, an alternative to British Standards: narrow entrance doors, stepped planting, stepped access and visible clothes drying opportunities.
In the Studio: Sarah and Safa  
—Placements for school leavers and students are well supported in the office and add to the culture and experience of the whole office.
In Progress: Working 'yard' spaces  
—This typology appears in a lot of our work at the moment. This is in response to the need to keep work places within the city, endeavouring to provide truly integrated city culture.
On Site: Concrete Testing  
—Thinking by doing: Exploring the range of interesting work undertaken by the labs at Kingston University, including these concrete stress tests.
On Site: NT Deck  
—The timber diagrid for the National Theatre’s new rooftop events pavilion is craned into place. The timber structure was pre-fabricated in workshops in York, assembled on the Southbank over three hours and then craned onto the third floor roof deck in under six minutes.
In Progress: 'Use-less' building research  
—Graham Haworth has personally led some research into multi functional buildings, including a mix of uses ranging from maker spaces, workshops and studio spaces. This is brought into live projects such as Fish Island, where the project is being developed in collaboration with the Trampery.
On Site: Colour options  
—A selection of painted sample boards tested on site in order to be developed into large scale mock-ups. The colours match historic precedents and some are made using traditional methods.
In the Studio: Design Review  
—Battersea Arts Centre: In-house design review exploring options for lattice ceiling perforation pattern. Using 1:25 large scale models allows us to ‘get into’ the space and test each configuration.
In Progress: Facades  
—In-house laser cut models, veneered, exploring facade depth and materiality on the corner gateway building to Phase 3. Full balconies, Juliette balconies, brick and metal spandrel panels with variable depth piers.
From The Archive: Working with Artists  
—Grenville Davey sculpture at Cobbs Lane. We enjoy collaborating with visual artists, and have built a number of fruitful ongoing relationships over successive projects. Artists bring a fresh, questioning energy to the design conversation, challenging linear thinking and opening up unexpected avenues of investigation.
On Site: View across Battersea  
—View from the Battersea Arts Centre Grand Hall scaffolding towards the Battersea Power Station redevelopment.
In Progress: Colour study  
—Prior to the current brick horizontal banded design for Network Housing in Wembley, we explored a very different material approach to the facades. Inspired by 1930's Metro Land architecture, smooth matt GRC panels with curved corner profiles contrasted with glossy concave terracotta vertical panels between the windows. Subtle terracotta colour variations created visual movement across the facade.
Study Trip: Porto  
—Our trip to Porto was a small ‘homage’ to Siza. We were all fascinated with Siza’s choreography of the arrival experience. The sequence from entrance, to threshold, to entry, and in this case, descent, is always masterfully accomplished and relevant across the studio.
In the Studio: Corner study  
—General investigation into facades with depth on Fish Island Phase 3 and Archway. Architectural language developed to create buildings of scale with a detail quality that takes the expression beyond a surface treatment.
From The Archive: Bespoke light fitting  
—We design bespoke fittings for many of our cultural buildings. This light fitting was designed for the North Wall Arts Centre in Oxford. Rusted mild steel was used for door fittings, handrails and light fittings throughout the public spaces.
Study Trip: Housing trip to Copenhagen  
—An intense study of housing in Copenhagen and particularly Kay Fisker's work, on bicycles! Fisker was of particular interest as research on contextual, but bold repetitive facades, made of beautiful materials and simply detailed in urban blocks forming a natural extension of the city.
On Site: Public consultation event at Battersea Arts Centre  
—This was held in the ruined Grand Hall and was the first time following the fire six months previously that members of the public were invited into the space to experience at first hand the damage caused and our design proposals for the rebuild project.
In the Studio: Project review  
—The studio design process - communication, talking, listening, learning and testing; our approach to the ‘making of buildings’ in order to achieve the user’s aspirations in physical and pragmatic terms, but also spiritually and emotionally.
In Progress: Ufford Street  
—Illustration of the West Mews and the renewed connectivity achieved in the new urban plan. An old street, Marlborough Street, was re introduced to create a finer grain, with more intimate scaled streets re- connecting The Cut with Ufford Street.