Architects Journal Sustainability Webinar

We were delighted to have taken part in the recent webinar with Architects Journal, discussing sustainability in small projects, hosted by their sustainability editor Hattie Hartman. It was a really interesting conversation which looked at the approach to sustainability in two very different projects, if you missed the seminar you can catch up with a recording here.  

We presented and discussed our St Margaret’s Church project, a large community hub redevelopment which won this year’s AJ Small Projects Sustainability Award. We were joined by Summer Islam from Material Cultures, who discussed their small Block House project which focused on experimental materials, and which had also been shortlisted in this year’s sustainability awards.

It is increasingly important to shine a light on projects that lead the way in sustainability, which is something that we all understand to be important within the build industry but unfortunately it is not always imbedded in design. During the seminar we discuss and explore ideas of retrofitting, collaboration and innovative use of materials.

The seminar concluded with some interested questions from the audience, including what the process was for focusing on the heating of the church, why we choose to use concrete within a historic building, how the church is now use by the community and what we would have done differently.

A really interesting conversation you do not want to miss!

Tayseer completes her Part 3

I am so thrilled to be able to share the happy news that my colleague and friend, Tayseer Kardash, has successfully passed her Part 3 studies. This is a huge milestone for her as it marks the final step to becoming an official Architect in the UK.

We have known each other for many years now, through university and also working together when we were both at PAD studio. When I set up Studio BAD I was delighted that she agreed to come and join the team, I knew she would be a perfect fit for what I had set out to achieve. Over the many years we have known each other it has been amazing to see her develop and grown, into the confidant and talented architect she is today.

To become an official Architect in the UK takes a lot of dedication. To complete the studies will take at least 7 years, so even with the fairest of winds behind you this can be a long journey. Over Tayseer’s journey she has also had to contended with the pandemic, lockdown, living away from family and job uncertainty. Many of us would have understandably buckled under the weight, but it is a sign of Tayseer strength and persistence to keep going with the biggest smile on her face.

RIBAJ – Dyslexia article

I was honoured to be interviewed by Helen Castle for the RIBA Journal, for a recent article looking at dyslexia within the architectural industry. It was a refreshing take on how this difference to learning can be a huge positive, especially a creative industry like architecture, rather than the hinderance it was historically perceived.

Having lived with dyslexia myself I found the traditional school system particularly difficult, which I believe was partly due to having it undiagnosed for so long. I was fortunate that I was able to find my passion for architecture (through a Youth Training Scheme & a very inspiring teacher in Roger Tyrell) and found that my dyslexia is not an obstacle, but in many ways it feels like a ‘superpower’.

Dyslexia has made me a more creative person; I am more innovative and adaptive with how I work which I have found to be a huge benefit to the company and my clients. I often believe I listen harder than most to my clients, it is obviously important to take onboard what all stakeholders are saying but I am extra conscious to ensure I am not missing any detail. To back this up I always write notes and often sketch out ideas, all to double check that I have understood the client properly and we are on the same path.

As a lecturer at Reading University, my dyslexia give me the tools to have honest conversations with my students. I believe my story, and less traditional education path, helps to break down barriers as it shows everyone that architecture is available to all,  creative problem solving can come from every walk of life.

The full article can be found here, it also includes interviews with Hannah Durham, lecturer at Oxford Brookes University (who recently won a RIBA Journal Rising Star Award) and Karen Mosley, Managing Director of HLM Architects.

Studio BAD collaboration

A few weeks ago, we had the pleasure of working with Katie from KLC Studio to have some professional photos taken of the team in our studio, for an upcoming brochure we are currently working on. Now this might not seem newsworthy to many of you, but a few important things struck me.

Firstly, the simple task of trying to get a date that everyone was available for the photoshoot was impossible! In the end we had to settle on a date when the majority could join us, which really highlighted to me how much the Studio BAD team has grown.

We have come a long way from me working on my own in my home office, and Studio BAD has become far richer from it! I am so proud of the collective of collaborators who are involved with Studio BAD. Every member of our team brings their professional (& personal) expertise, skills and experience to the team, helping to produce interesting ideas and design solutions. As we always shape our team around each project’s needs, we are able to be nimble and flexible to offer the best solutions for our clients, it also ensures that no two project teams are the same and no two projects are the same.

Secondly, we could host the photoshoot in our own studio space! Earlier this year we opened our first Studio BAD studio in central Southampton, which was a huge step for us but has been so rewarding.

We now have the physical space to get together, facilitate workshops and hold design crit, which has been tricky to do in the past when we had to rely on online meetings or hiring space. Having a ‘home’ that reflects the company, where people can find us and drop in is really gratifying and hugely beneficial to the whole team. Whilst I love technology as a way of keeping in touch, nothing quite beats sitting down over a coffee to talk through and solve a tricky design issue.

And finally, the simple fact that we are putting together a brochure for the company is brilliantly amazing to me. Initially we had started looking at putting a simple gatefold leaflet together, but once we started looking at the wide variety of projects that we wanted to include it quickly became obvious that this was not going to work.

The process of putting together the brochure has been another enjoyable collective endeavour. From the consideration over the design, to discussing the projects to include and the conversations over the copy text; we have worked in an open and honest way, to deliver the best outcome (which we hope to be able to publish very soon.)

It is incredible how this simple task has highlighted so much positive change in the company, but I wanted to share this as I know how important it is to occasionally take a moment and appreciate how far we have come.





Site progress

It is so rewarding when you head to site and see such progress has been made, at Cullverland Farm and Holly Cottage it was amazing to see how far they have come, the construction team have definitely made the most of the long, dry days to race ahead with the build.

Cullverland Farm, in Berkshire, is now practically completed. Externally all the vertical cladding has been installed which gives the feeling that the build is finished, although there is still more to complete internally and the landscaping needs some attention too! The two storey extension looks fabulous, one of our favorite moments in the building is the private terrace, just off the master bedroom, which offers stunning views out across the surrounding countryside – it is good to see some chairs have already made their way onto it so the owners can already take advantage of the views.

The external work on Holly Cottage is nearing completion, with some work still to be done on the roof and cladding. Despite the work that still needs to be done, you can get a real sense of the contemporary extension which looks amazing and will deliver the much needed space the family need. This project has been slightly delicate onsite, due to the nature of altering a Grade II Listed home set within the South Downs National Park.

First phase of Gosport complete

Phase One of our Gosport regeneration work has been completed, reimagining and activating the city centre through incremental and meanwhile design solutions. A key aspect of the plan was to install large scale art murals at key points across the town, to highlight and celebrate the heritage of Gosport and injecting bright, bold colours into the street scene.

One key area of town we looked to reactivate was the waterfront area, which hold such potential as a destination for Gosport. We selected a dated, uninspiring public convenience block to be the location for a new piece of public art, celebrating the maritime history. Working with a talented graphic designer, Nathan Evans, we created a unique graphic mural to wrap around the entire structure, visually lifting the dated building and injecting a sense of fun to the street scene. The artwork uses subtle, abstract graphics to commemorate the industrial maritime heritage, using bold blues and aquamarine tones inspired by the sea and air.

Already a local favourite, in a few well considered images this work brilliantly captures the story and rich maritime heritage of Gosport.’ Peter Fellows, Project Manager – Gosport High Street Heritage Action Zone.

Other work completed includes a large, abstract mural installed in the centre of the High Street, designed collaboratively with Amber Ryan coming up with the concept designs and Amanda Moore refining and delivering the project. The vivid design was inspired by the iconic ‘Dazzle’ camouflage used on navy ships during WWI and WWII, the designs consist of a complex patten of geometric shapes in contrasting colours, which have been reinterpreted and applied to a rundown, post war commercial block located at the cross section of the street, visually lifting the appearance of the structure at this main artery of town.

We look forward to seeing the additional aspects of the design come to completion onsite in following months.