Research has always underpinned much of the work we do. Our dedicated research working group, that now includes in-house researcher, Dhruv Sookhoo, formerly Head of Design at Home Group, and now visiting lecturer at Newcastle University, will be working towards publishing quarterly ‘Prospects’ that capture the research themes working within the practice. The publications will be a Berliner format newspaper, concise and easy to digest.
The first of which will be entitled ‘A New Kind of Suburbia’ and captures the ideas we have developing on what suburban housing might become in the 21st century, building upon the considerable body of work of our former colleague and mentor, the late Sir Richard MacCormac.
Architects Making Suburbia, Suburbia Making Architects is a series of reflective accounts by practitioners working within our London and Dublin studios. The series aims to explore how living in suburbia in the past or present, has shaped practitioner perspectives on the value and potential of the suburban developments and how this informs our aspirations for the suburban places we are involved in shaping.
We intend to supplement these accounts as our programme progresses. If you would like further information or would like to contribute to our Architects Making Suburbia, Suburbia Making Architects, please contact Dhruv Sookhoo, Head of Research and Practice Innovation (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Click here to read ‘A New Kind of Suburbia’ (Dublin Edition).
Click here to read ‘A New Kind of Suburbia’ (London Edition).
Designing sustainable communities – a blueprint for UK housebulding
At Countryside, we’ve always taken a landscape-led approach to our developments. This stems from my late father, Alan Cherry, who founded Countryside and was an original member of The Urban Task Force, which sought to promote social wellbeing and involve neighbourhoods in urban planning processes. As a result, our work is shaped by the belief that we don’t build houses but create communities. Graham Cherry, Chief Executive, Communities, Countryside. Read more.
A Convivial Community
Richard Robinson has worked in architecture and communication for the last twenty years. As Studio Manager, he is responsible for improving the appearance and operation of the office, organising social events and ensuring that staff are having fun! Previously he worked at MJP Architects, and Design for Homes.
Richard enjoys dinghy sailing and gardening. He designed and built a shed, to house a bicycle-powered radio station, a recycled plastic bottle greenhouse at his local primary school and helped construct two green oak timber-framed buildings at the local nature reserve. Read more.
Community Through Play
Tom Mitchell is Associate Director at Metropolitan Workshop, having been with the practice since its inception in 2005. He has contributed to the design and development of several suburban projects, including Roding Lane (London Borough of Redbridge), Sunleigh Road (London Borough of Brent) and Oakfield (Swindon). Tom was instrumental in the development of the successful Wates/RIBA Private Rented Sector Ideas Competition entry, which proposed a more socially purposeful allocation of land for communal gardens, allotments and recreation alongside retail and workspaces, as a new form of suburbia offering advantages for investors and residents alike. Read more.
The Other Way is Essex: The Suburb and its Social Potentials
I would like there to exist places that are stable, unmoving, intangible, untouched
and almost untouchable, unchanging,
deep rooted; places that might be points
of reference, of departure, of origin.”
Georges Perec (1974:91).
Ewan Cooper has worked for ten years in commercial and domestic interiors and redevelopment and worked on a variety of public and private sector projects.
His work includes large urban regeneration, mixed-use developments, community, healthcare and specialist housing for older residents. He is currently the Project Architect on Oakfield Village. Read more.
Jonny McKenna, joined Metropolitan Workshop in 2006, becoming Director of the Dublin studio in 2017. As an architect and urban designer he has played a leading role in co-ordinating large-scale multidisciplinary teams to deliver masterplans in sensitive urban and suburban contexts such as the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Masterplan and the Swindon Town Delivery Plan. He is currently working on town renewal plans for Kildare and Newbridge, residential led masterplanning schemes for Clonburris Strategic Development Zone and a housing scheme in Ranelagh. Read more.
Sputnik over Suburbia, and Serendipity
David Prichard founded Metropolitan Workshop with Neil Deely in 2005, having worked together at MacCormac Jamieson Prichard. He has contributed to the development of suburban developments across the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, including contributions to the new towns of Milton Keynes and Warrington, and the London Docklands. At Metropolitan Workshop, he led the Ballymun Regeneration Masterplan.
A chance encounter in suburbia 1960s and serendipity saw him apply to the Bartlett School of Architecture, where he met Richard MacCormac in crits. After graduating, he travelled overland to India, won a scholarship to work at the Swedish Building Research Institute, later joining Alex Reid’s research unit at UCL/ LSE to contribute to a project into the ‘Impact of Telecommunications on Planning’. He spent another year out working on site building a crematorium, before returning to the Bartlett where he won the Sir Andrew Taylor Prize for a suburban housing competition entry, joining Richard MacCormac and Peter Jamieson when they formed their practice in 1972. Read more.
NLA Ideas for Housing London
Pocket Regen has been shortlisted as one of 100 ideas that will be on display in a free public exhibition in The Building Centre from 15 Oct to 17 Dec, examining London’s housing crisis.
Working with Pocket Living, Pocket Regen presents an alternative estate regeneration strategy, that provides a better offer to existing residents, and other stakeholders, than the received logic of demolish and rebuild. The intention is that the new model utilises a bottom-up approach to estate regeneration, offering residents compelling incentives and choice. Key to the idea’s success will be the ‘alignment of incentives’ across all key stakeholders – Residents, LA, GLA, etc. Read more.
12 Year Anniversary Book
12 years ago we set out to practice architecture differently. We wanted to make more useful, more beautiful, more inspiring buildings and places, but to do this we knew that we had to find a better process that harnessed the full spectrum of society’s talent. We could see that there needed to be greater recognition of the power of collaboration and creative exchange in the design process and that this needed to change before architecture and urbanism could evolve. Read more.