Sumita Singha for the next RIBA President!

Make the RIBA Work for ALL Members – Vote for Sumita!

The campaigns have started for the next RIBA President, with three candidates through to the final round to succeed Simon Allford and serve the RIBA members for the next two years.

Studio BAD are delighted to be nominating, supporting and assisting Sumita Singha with her campaign. Having worked and collaborated with Sumita over the years we believe she is the best candidate to tackle the current, challenging demands of this position and to bring about the ethical change we believe needs to happen.

To help you understand her values and position on the main challenges, here is an extract from her manifesto:

RIBA has the opportunity to not only support its members in the pursuit of these goals, but to establish itself as a leading industry body committed to effective, timely, and tailored support and sponsorship of its members’ activities. Let’s show other industries how it’s done!

There is much to be excited about. We can have a body of creative, progressive, and inclusive professionals who are committed to exploration, experimentation, and innovation, for the good of society.

Our actions must be underpinned by a commitment towards stopping environmental destruction, the climate crisis and societal justice. There is no time to waste!

Architects must design buildings and infrastructure that sustains, supports, and delights.

Education and practice must provide the right environment for us and our future colleagues.

We demand benefits for all RIBA members now. We ask that RIBA:

  1. Takes action to reduce business costs for all members
  2. Invests in benefits for RIBA members from outside London
  3. Introduces an ethical charter for employers and educators 

I will tackle these three areas of concern that can be achieved in two years of presidency and will benefit practitioners, employees, and students in practical ways

  1. For practitioners – Reduce insurance premiums – I will ask that competency tests be mutually recognised by professional bodies and that core CPD topics be offered with membership fees.
  2. A RIBA for ALL – RIBA in the Regions – I will press for a ‘RIBA presence’ in each of the 12 branches in the nations and regions of the UK to energise the volunteer commitment along with opportunities for members to network and meet with the regional staff.

    For members in other countries that feel excluded the UK based RIBA activities. I will press for a ‘RIBA presence’ facilitated by technology, with our valued members in the 115 countries it operates in.

    I would also like our headquarters to become a place of generosity for members, friends, and the visiting public, as such I will offer reduced rates for regional and International members to hire rooms at 66 Portland Place.  .

  1. For Employees and Future colleagues –
    Ethical charter – I will extend the remit of the ‘RIBA Compact’ to include an ethical charter for students and employees.  There will be zero tolerance for bullying and harassment, discrimination, and abusive behaviour in any place of learning- whether it be educational institutions or architectural practice.

    An annual Employers award – An award for employers who demonstrate the behaviours and modelling that is fundamental to the objectives set out above.

    Bringing Ethics into the Curriculum – I will advocate integrating into the curriculum a recognition and redress of predominant colonialist social narratives and emphasise the critical role that diversity and inclusion plays in fostering creativity, equity, and respect. 

A vote for Sumita will help save our profession, projects, and planet! For more information about Sumita you can find her at Twitter: Autotelic_Arch, Instagram: sumitasingha_riba, LinkedIn: Sumita Singha or www.ecologicarchitects.com

The RIBA Journal also carries interviews with all three candidates.

Please use your vote, it is open for all eligible RIBA members from 28 June to 26 July 2022, with results being announced on 2 August.

 

 

 

 

Site updates

Site updates

Over the last few months there has been a huge progress on site for our two residential projects currently in the construction phase. We haven’t been very vocal about the projects, the process on site is something we are used to and often take for granted, but it is sometimes good to take a moment to pause, and appreciate how far we have come with the schemes.

In Berkshire Cullverland Farm is looking fantastic. The two storey contemporary extension is making great progress, the fitting of the exterior cladding is nearly concluded, totally altering the appearance of the structure and taking the structure from looking very much like ‘work in progress’ and transforming it to look a finished home (although there is still plenty to do!). Once completed the dark, larch cladding will bring the home into dialogue with the rural, agricultural surroundings and help to blend the new addition into the site.

At Holly Cottage, a Grade II Listed home set in the South Downs National Park, the contemporary extension is starting to come out of the ground. Due to the historic nature of this type of building there have been slight complications along the way, which is to be expected when altering old properties and something we had been anticipating to work around.

RICS Award Shortlist 2022

RICS Award Shortlist 2022

We are so delighted to have the St Margaret’s Church redevelopment included in the shortlist for this year’s RICS Social Impact Awards 2022, in the Community Benefit category.

The awards were set up by RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) to annually celebrate the most inspirational projects that also have a positive impact on the local community, or natural environment. We feel especially proud to be included in the shortlist for this award, as throughout the church project the community has been at the heart of the design, so we are grateful to to have this celebrated and recognised by others.

We would like to thank the whole collaborative team who have helped to deliver this scheme, alongside our most wonderful clients at the church who have been so open and welcoming to our design ideas.

Congratulations to all the projects shortlisted, we are amongst some brilliant schemes which all deserve to be celebrated. The regional winners will be announced on YouTube on the 18th May.

This is our second inclusion in the RICS Awards, previously our October Books project was shortlisted in the 2020 awards.

Award Win – AJ Small Projects

We are thrilled, surprised, astonished and delighted to have won the Sustainability Award at the AJ Small Projects Award last night for our St Margaret’s Church, in Portsmouth.

The church had been one of the 20 projects shortlisted in this year’s awards, due to the high level of the other projects shortlisted we hadn’t anticipated coming home with a trophy, to be honest we were just going to enjoy the evening! It was such a wonderful shock when our project was announced.

As part of the process for these awards all those shortlisted were invited to present the project in 2 minutes! Followed by an in-depth Q&A session afterwards from the judges, which was slightly intimidating but a good way to really get to the heart of the project, it must be extremely hard for judges to understand the nuances of each scheme just from a standard award submission.

Thank you to all our wonderful collaborative team who were involved in this project, it could not have been done without us all working together. Also, this project could not have been achieved without our amazing and encouraging client, always so open to our ideas and really became an integral part of the design process, making for a richer and more successful scheme.

This award is so important to us, not the trophy but what it represents. As a practice we strongly believe that architecture hold the potential to be a vehicle for social and economic change for the better, we strongly advocate the idea of reusing and reimagining where possible as it can deliver more sustainable and far richer designs.

Congratulations to all those shortlisted in the awards and to Atkin Studio the overall winner for their Drovers’ Bough project, and to Unknown Works for Brightbox which took the People’s Choice Award. There is an exhibition running for the next month of all shortlisted projects at the APT studio at 235 St John Street, London. If you get a chance it is well worth visiting and is free to all.

RIBA Tour of St Margaret’s Church

As a recent MacEwean Award Commended project, the RIBA Hampshire Branch have invited us to host a tour of St Margaret’s Church for local members. We are thrilled to have this opportunity, to showcase how we have transformed the once condemned building though a minimal refurbishment and ‘meanwhile approach’, transforming it for the local community.

Do please come and join us, the event is free although we would encourage everyone who can to make a donation to the church’s fund. Pre booking your tickets is essential, get your here.

Date & Time:
Tuesday 26th April 2022
1800 – 2000

Location:
St Margaret’s Community Church
Highland Road, Southsea, Portsmouth, PO4 9DD

Reading University lecture

We were delighted to be invited by Reading University Architecture Society to deliver a lecture in their 2022 lecture series titled ” REFORMATION REQUIRES” which we gave last night; after so long presenting lectures across zoom it was a delight to be back talking to a real audience.

For the lecture I focused on our most recent community and public realm work, to highlight how architecture can be a vehicle for positive social change. This is an area which all of us at Studio BAD are really passionate about, in many ways it is a key pillar of the company and the reason I set up the business as I wanted to focus on this area of work.

We strongly believe in re-using what is existing, creatively engaging architecture to re-imagine the potential of a building, or a site, to make it fit the current needs. For example, St Margaret’s Church building had been condemned and likely set for demolition, through our work we have delivered a vibrant space for the whole community which is activated throughout the day and week with much needed services, such as a food bank, café, child’s play area and bicycle workshop. We touched the building lightly, only making physically alterations where vitally needed, such as the flooring where we replaced the wooden floor (which we sold, to help fund the works) and replaced with poured concrete, to work with the newly installed, zoned underfloor heating.

Architecture in the 21st century does not have to be just about a physical building, I believe many projects need architecture in a different which is not necessarily just about the bricks and mortar buildings. We have recently been working on projects that focus on reactivating the traditional high street; with these projects we interrogate how we can change the dynamic of the streets to create vibrant and engaging spaces. In Bedford Place, in Southampton, our project was a result of the community needs in the wake of covid, answering how to activate and reanimate the area to create opportunities off the back of temporary road closures. It has been a real pleasure to see the success of the scheme, now nearly two years later much of the scheme is still in place and the local council are looking to make it permanent. We are currently looking at similar reactivation projects in Gosport, Eastleigh and other areas of Southampton.

We truly believe Architecture can creatively problem solve many of the issues we are currently facing; without ego architecture can be immensely powerful, helping to reactive our cities, reduce waste, reduce carbon and deliver richer, long lasting and interesting projects.