Neil is co-founder and partner of Metropolitan Workshop LLP. He oversees the practice’s architecture and urban design work and his expertise lies in major residential-led mixed-use projects and buildings in sensitive urban locations. He is particularly skilled in design leadership and co-ordination of collaborative design where several practices may be involved, and designing in historic contexts and sensitive urban and rural locations.
His experience in this field covers the development of Adamstown District Centre, Dublin, Ireland, for which Metropolitan Workshop created the concept and Urban Design Guidelines, and co-ordinated the design of six collaborating architecture practices and the creation of 160,000 sq m of mixed-use development. Recent projects have included a 375-home scheme on a prominent waterfront site in Poole where an historic planning refusal was reviewed and sensitive revised design proposals won the support of local residents groups and the local authority. In London, the practice has recently been appointed by the Canary Wharf Group to refurbish a traditional warehouse site in Tower Hamlets and convert it to 115 affordable homes in a Conservation Area.
Neil has undertaken several urban design commissions for city councils, including Dublin, Oslo and Bergen and he has also designed two major district centres for new towns, and he was commissioned to create a masterplan for Ballymun, Ireland and the West Cambridge Masterplan for Cambridge University – giving him a deep understanding of the relationship and interaction between residential masterplanning and town planning.
As a member of Design Council CABE’s National Design Review Panel since 2007, Neil has reviewed numerous projects of national significance. He is chair of LB Newham’s Design Review Panel and a member of the London Legacy Development Corporation’s Quality Review Panel. He was also LB Wandsworth’s representative members on the Design Review Panel for the new US Embassy at Nine Elms, Battersea in Wandsworth. Metropolitan Workshop are also design advisers to the Greater London Authority, and are often asked to provide third-party design review for private developers and social housing providers.
Neil is particularly interested in the creation of homes. He guided the practice’s research into the evolving needs of the UK’s private rented sector, to produce a winning entry for the RIBA/Wates Private Rented Sector Open Ideas Competition – against international competition. The practice’s concept created a highly flexible, suburban density composed of houses and maisonettes surrounding a variety of communal and social spaces.