RIBA St Margaret’s Church Tour & Talk

RIBA St Margaret’s Church Tour & Talk

Last week we hosted a RIBA talk at St Margaret’s Church, the free event gave anyone, and everyone an opportunity to visit the church and ask the design team questions regarding this brilliant scheme. Luckily someone had the foresight to record our talk and Q&A session, well worth a watch if you were not able to join us.

We were joined by the wonderful Andrew Malbon, a key member of the church team and also a fellow architect. He gives a great introduction to the project, offering an insight into the project from the church perspective – ‘Keep the thing the thing – no matter how gorgeous and lovely the (architecture is), and it is, it is here to support the people who come in the building.’

Andrew was also able to share some figures which highlight the positive impact the scheme has had on the local community. The food bank, for example, fed about 100 people a week throughout the pandemic, totally around 10,000 meals provided which could not have been done without the physical space of the church. The children’s soft play now hosts around 50 children visiting per week (not including those who use it over the weekend during services), it has become a safe and inexpensive space for families (not just from the congregation) to come together and use.

 

From the Q&A session, one question that really stood out for us was:

‘What has come out of this which wasn’t planned – any unintended happy accidents?’

Andrew explains how the project has expanded across the building; people no longer just congregate in the center of the church but have grown into all corners of the building. He explains how at the first wedding in the refurbished church there was an amazing, fluid use of space, which was amazing to see how the church could be utalised in such a way.

Darren explains how this project has taught Studio BAD the importance of starting each project without any preconceived ideas. Since the success of St Margaret’s, they have been asked to recreate the scheme elsewhere, however it is important not to just copy but to see the needs for each community and shape the project that way.

The future of a church is not just about Sunday, it is about community and what the physical building can offer.

 

The talk starts around 4 minutes into the video, Darren comes in around 22 minutes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bG07Y9BlReI

 

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.

 

 

Southampton City Vinyl

In May 2019 Studio BAD were commissioned to write, and curate a series of urban public realm interventions for Southampton, with a view of activating vacant retail shopfronts and redundant spaces.

The competitions are part of the ongoing, incremental strategy by GO! Southampton to enliven the public realm across the city centre. We were thrilled to see the first of the competitions brought to life, with vinyl artwork erected in place on an empty shopfront, located in the busy High Street.

The artist, Nathan Evans, won this first competition with a design concept for the vinyls, themed around a number of key phrases that represent the city and its inhabitants, reflected though the designs in an uplifting and positive way. Each artwork is crafted to be flexible, allowing them to be used to redecorate any dimension of shop front across the city centre.

The designs act to ask questions about the redundant space and place, what are the opportunities and how can the community get involved to reimagine and repurpose these spaces with new, vibrant uses.

A number of themes were identified in the initial briefing, representing the city in all its diverse forms and showcasing some of the best the city has to offer including: CITY OF LEARNING, CITY OF RESEARCH & INNOVATION, CITY OF CULTURE, CITY OF PLAY, GLOBAL CITY, ENTREPRENURIAL CITY and DIVERSE CITY.

GO! Southampton is the City’s Business Improvement District (BID) for Southampton City Centre. It was originally set up 2017 by a steering group consisting of local businesses and organisations who all share the vision for pushing Southampton to reach its full potential, through projects and improvements. Studio BAD are also collaborating with GO! Southampton on the Bedford Place reactivation scheme.