We are very chuffed after receiving an award in this year’s Aylesbury Vale Design Awards. Our Timber Frame House was ‘highly commended’ from a list of seven shortlisted projects completed in the last 12 months. The Design Award scheme has been run annually by the council to recognise and celebrate examples of good building design in the district. 2014 is the 21st year of the Design Awards. http://www.aylesburyvaledc.gov.uk/environment/2013-design-awards/
Circular windows on our Purple House in Catford….the project completed earlier this year extends the existing house to the limits of permitted development. More information here. The purple pop-out accommodates the double height kitchen, from which we stole a sneaky view to the neighbour courtesy of the porthole windows. Thanks to Step Haiselden for the photos http://www.chronological.co.uk/
Planning permission has been submitted for a new build house near the Thames. The house is designed to capitalise on views toward the Thames which are just visible from the upper levels of the site. The building mass is developed with respect to achieving this view whilst mediating between the various scales of buildings that surround the site. The building will be constructed out of a highly insulated SIPS panelling system, and clad with fibre cement and photo-voltaic panels to achieve a passive house performance in terms of heat loss and low carbon on-site energy consumption
Working with designer Ingrid Hu and sound artist Andy Pink, A-ZERO was selected as one of five winning submissions for installations in the proposed tidal lagoon in Swansea, Wales. The lagoon, due for completion in 2018, will use Swansea’s significant tidal swing to generate hydro-electrical power. The proposal is to accommodate a series of floating misting water jets moored parallel to the promenade which encompasses the lagoon. The water mists, which are activated during times of energy generation only, will rise and fall according to water levels in the lagoon, and according to the 25 hour cycle of the tides. This dynamic of changing height of water, changing weather and changing time of energy production will constantly vary the effect, with the mist sometimes blown thin, sometimes forming a fog behind the shelter of the pier. A-ZERO worked with the design team to explore how the installation could work best with its immediate environment to achieve and control these effects.
We are very excited to be contributing a project to the redevelopment of Elephant & Castle – we have just lodged planning permission for a new development behind Strata tower. It will include an extension to an existing nursery at ground level, and three terraced houses independently accessible off the street. The project aims to achieve Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4,
A career ambition was reached on Friday – we now have a piano in our studio. Thanks to Rob from Wired Canvas and Phillip (and a Zip-van) we man-handelled a piano from Clapham and it is now installed (and reasonably in tune) in our studio in Borough…
Photos from this Saturday’s MUSARC concert in the Barbican – rain almost stopped play – but didn’t in the end… The performance included Ernst Toch’s Geographical Fugue and Walzer; some of Francis Poulenc’s Chansons Françaises; and a new work for the choir by Jan Hendrickse which recently premièred at Töne Festival.
Two new projects started on site this week – a house in Dulwich which we are extending with an oak clad pop out, and a Grade II listed property in Kennington which we are extending and refurbishing to achieve PassiveHouse standards.
Photographer James Whitaker came up to the completed Timber Frame House to take a series of photos. The external works have yet to happen, but everything else was photographed, including a very orange sunset.
A photo from the Musarc concert two weeks ago at Sir John Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design, London Metropolitan University. Giles along with the rest of the choir was singing music by Monteverdi, Lauridsen, Di Lasso, LeJeune and the magnificant Historia de Jephte by Carissimi (worth a listen on Spotify)
Planning permission has been received for the extension and refurbished of this grade 02 listed house in central London. The project, due to go on site in May 2014, will substantially improve the building fabric with the aim of achieving Passive House standards of insulation and air permeability, whilst still respecting the existing listed fabric. The new build parts will be made of recycled brick and zinc, and the new south facing fenestration will provide a new connection to the garden, as well as improving passive solar gain to the property.
Photographs from the completed house no. 18 project complete with Boris the dog. The project extended an existing Victorian house to the side and rear, using roof-lights to maximise day-light into the space, and create a new indoor-outdoor relationship from the dining area to the garden via the folded brick elevation.
Our competition proposal for new housing in the Hebrides, Scotland. The scheme makes use of existing abandoned or self-build structures in the landscape, which are then capped with a prefabricated roofing element, and lined with internal serviced wall panels. The aim of the proposal is to maximise the amount of ‘sweat equity’ that a home owner can invest in their own home, without compromising on building performance.
Cladding on the east face of Timber Frame House. British feather edge larch has been used for the main cladding of the building, with planed Siberian larch for the lower areas. The cladding has been taken across windows where there are concerns over privacy. The eaves detail has been designed with an integrated gutter detail to ensure there are no overhangs over the larch, and discolouration further down the line.
As a part of the annual ‘Culture Crawl’ in aid of Maggie’s Centres, a_zero partook in a 15 mile walk around London taking in various buildings open as a prt of this years Open House. The midnight ramble finished at 4am on the top of the Gherkin. Thanks to lots of generous donations, we exceeded our fund-raising target of £1000. Thanks to all. Watch a short film of our adventures on our facebook page.
This summer we have three houses on site, all due for completion in the next few months.
The first is a typical end of terrace Victorian house in which we have extended outward and sideward at ground level, using cranked steel beams to support the floors above. The second is a 3 story 1950’s house, on to which we have built a timber frame 2 story extension as a part of a total reconfiguration of the main house. The third is an internal reconfiguration of an early Victorian house, including a new pop-out window from the kitchen to provide additional space and connection to the garden.
As a part of feasibility stage development for House no. 46, a new commission in London, we hired a cherry picker to see at what point in the site we would achieve views to some amazing London landmarks. At 21m in height, the views are breathtaking, even if the height is a trifle unsettling….
Work is now complete on the refurbishment of this penthouse apartment. A number of the building elements were harvested from sustainable sources including the maple floor which has been recycled from a School Gym in Hackney, and a work top cast out of recycled glass bottles.
Giles was in Budapest last week, presenting an update of the Central European University design at the Sustainable Building Conference. The project, in which a_zero is working as envronmental consultant with O’Donnell + Tuomey Architects and Teampannon Architects is currently in design development, seeks to create a unified and occupant-friendly campus. The presentation highlighted elements that will reduce energy demand for heating and cooling systems and take advantage of natural lighting and ventilation, while delivering an optimal working environment. More details here.
a_zero has submitted a competition entry a new city centre for Kiruna, Sweden, with Tham & videgård arkitekter and Territorial Agency. Submissions from the nine shortlisted teams are under consideration by the jury, with a decision due in February. Media links here :
Work has started on the first phase of this low energy barn conversion. The initial phase comprises demolition of existing structures, and removal and crushing of large areas of concrete. Almost all of the materials harvested in this initial phase will be reused as a part of the new build construction for both structural and landscaping elements, so that there is almost minimal removal of material offsite. The main contract for the construction of the new house and barn is due to start in the New Year….
a_zero to present seminar as a part of the Open City’s Green Sky Thinking Event entitled ”Proving Things Work as You Hope They Will”. Open-City’s Green Sky Thinking 2012 gives an inside view from top experts, industry leaders and collaborative teams of how we could move towards successfully ‘greening’ entire districts and neighbourhoods, as well as buildings, to inform better decision-making. More details here
a_zero has been appointed shortlisted for competition to design a new city centre for Kiruna, Sweden, withTham & videgård arkitekter and Territorial Agency. Kiruna is a unique city which has evolved since the first iron ore deposits in the area began to be exploited a hundred years ago. The underground extraction of iron ore is causing movements and subsidence which, sooner or later, will render a large part of Kiruna’s existing urban settlement uninhabitable. This is a dramatic scenario, necessitating the relocalisation of many of the city’s functions over a period of twenty years. Parts of the city will be gradually phased out, and buildings demolished or moved elsewhere.
Planning permission has been granted for the extension of a house in South West London. A new open plan ground floor plan incorporating living, dining and seating area will be provided, with new rooflights and bi-folding doors providing connection to the sky and garden.
a_zero has been appointed to work with award winning Irish architects O’Donnell + Tuomey as environmental consultants for the master plan redevelopment of the Central European University Campus in Budapest.The four-stage international competition was won in November. The design incorporates a number of existing historic and new buildings and seeks to create a new route through the city block with new and existing courtyards functioning as environmental mediators throughout the campus. More details on the O”Donnell Tuomey website.
a_zero worked in collaboration with Green Party councilor Jonathan Essex to produce a public exhibition in Redhill town centre highlighting the possibilities of sustainable community regeneration in the area. The event, which focused on the importance of community participation, was attended by 487 local residents. One feedback sheet starts: “What a good idea! Started chatting with your volunteer and didn’t realise I had so many ideas!” This was typical of the many discussions that were inspired by the exhibition. The work shown prompted awareness and discussion on the importance of community in sustainable development. More details on the LoveRedhill website .
TS-02 Environmental Design in Practice –Lecture series
This year’s TS-02 Environmental Design in Practice kicked off in the upper studio, in far more luxurious surroundings than last year. The seven week course is taken as an optional course by 30 second year architecture students, and looks at how environmental concerns can be a driver for architectural innovation instead of being an obstacle to creativity.
TS-01 First Applications
The new ‘First Applications’ course introduces Environment concepts to first year units through a series of ‘Environmental Walkabouts in the City of London. The walks each chose a route through the city to allow students to experience the spectrum of environmental conditions in the city, and measure them through various instrumentation. Walk no. 2, exploring the theme of Temperature in the City found temperatures variations from -4°C to +38°C without stepping inside once!
a_zero have completed the refurbishment and fit-out of a commercial premises for E&L Treatments. The unit, formerly used for making Spitfire components (so we are assured), has been completed refitted, with day-lighting to the main office space dramatically improved the the introduction of a new sky light.
Giles was teaching in his alma mater for the day. In addition sitting in on 2nd year reviews, Giles delivered a lecture entitled‘Environmental Deisgn : how should architects approach it?’. A great turn-out of both staff and teachers, and no difficult questions at the end!
The new MBS Community Centre was officially opened on the 19th October following one year of operation, with a full house of Youth Club members, MBS staff and some invited guests who helped fund the project, including ,Intaj Ali MBS Chairperson, Cllr Nickie Aiken (Cabinet Member – Children, Young People & Community Protection) Cllr Barbara Graham (Church St Ward Councillor) Cllr Abdul Aziz Toki (Church St Ward Councillor)
a_zero were delighted to participate in London’s largest architectural event: Open House London. The Battleship Building, for which a_zero completed the fit-out for BDSP Partnership earlier this year, opened its doors to 294 visitors (yes! we were counting, and Giles gave tours around the building telling the building’s history from Hamilton’s orginal design to AHMM’s refurbishment to a_zero’s fit-out. A long, but enjoyable day…
We have moved into new studios in Iliffe Yard. Sharing the space with Thomas & Spiers Architects and a dress-maker, we now enjoy lots of daylight and the delicious smell from the Electric Elephant Cafe on the floor below us.
Giles was a unit tutor on this year’s Architectural Association Visiting School to the University of Tehran, Iran. For 2 weeks eight AA tutors and 102 Iranian students sweated blood to fill an exhibition hall with 1:1 prototypes exploring the General theme of ‘Manufacturing Simplexities’. Together with Wolfgang Fresse, Giles’ unit explored the theme of ‘Responsive Simplexities’ asking the students to develop systems of response to the natural environmental and climate of Tehran. The students came up with some fantastic projects which can be seen on the AA blog . The unit brief is downloadable here., and there are some interesting audio snippets from the five units here .
Photographer Step Halisdon (www.chronological.co.uk) took a series of photographs of the recently completed Battleship Building offices for BDSP Partnership, marking the conclusion of phase 01 of the development of the premises.
This weeks AJ has profiled a_zero in its New Practices Section. One of their questions was…
Q : How optimistic are you as a start-up practice?
A : There were many raised eye-brows one year ago, but we are still here and still working away. One of our strengths is that we are involved in various activities that all feed into one another – teaching in the AA, architectural design and environmental consultancy. Diversity is a good trait these days, so as long as we keep our wits about us, we should be grand.
Practical completion on apartment 190a, with the completion of the garden fencing. A self-build conversion of a south London Victorian property from a 1 bed apartment to a 2 bed property – this has been advancing slowly for almost three years. A very big thanks to everybody who has given their time and energy to realise the project.
a_zero has submitted a proposal as a part of the 2011 IEE (Intelligent Energy Europe) call for submissions to develop an online tool to assist home owners with domestic energy consumption reduction strategies. The pan-european team comprising members from Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Germany and the UK will collaborate over three years to develop the tools, with a_zero managing the graphical interface and usability of the final product.
Giles was one of this year High Pass jury for the Technical Studies submissions for both Intermediate and Diploma Units. After a marathon day, some 60 submissions and models were reviewed by the panel. Congratulations to all the students who were successful in achieving the High Pass.
Phase one works on the Battleship Building have reached practical completion, with the installation of the engineered oak floor in the main Reception and Exhibition space. The new space occupying 1,000m2 of the Grade 2 listed Battleship Building provides open plan seating, meeting space, and social space for up to 90 employees of BDSP Partnership. All carpets are 70% recycled content, all timber joinery is FSC certified, entrance matting is made of recycled car tyres, and a series of full height electro-chromatic glazed panels were salvaged from another site in London
All submissions to the Salford Housing 4 Life competition, including a_zero’s design, are on display from 5 April 2011 – 21 April 2011 in the Cube Centre for Urban Built Environment. An online gallery of entries is now live and can be viewed here.