Architects’ Journal: Returning to the office? There’s no one-size-fits-all solution by Kunle Barker

Covid-19 has changed the way we do business forever, but it is for each practice to assess what works best. Studio Anyo’s Non-Executive Director Kunle Barker writes about this predicament that companies have to weigh and decide on.

Over the past few months, architectural practices have had to adapt to remote working – and Zoom and its like have grown in importance. As with the adoption of CAD in previous years, practices that have flourished have adapted quickly. However, unlike CAD, remote working is not seen as an inevitable evolution, but a necessity brought about by unprecedented circumstances.

Click here to read the full article or download the file.

Posted in Blog | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Get acquainted with Architect Conor O’Keefe

Conor O'Keefe profile picture

Conor O’Keefe comes from a quiet, small village of about 1000 people in Newtownbutler, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland – surrounded by small lakes and bogland. Conor vividly recalls having a great childhood while growing up on a farm. He says everyone in the village knows one another, so when he gets back home for a visit they all ask about him and what it’s like living in London. Such a close-knit community!

What are you working on now?

I am currently working on two projects: Basildon – GREAT OAKS, a 300 unit residential scheme with public space; and Vicarage Road – a residential site of 36 units, opposite to the conservation area and close to the Watford football ground. It’s a red brick scheme and will be built using modular construction. The project was supposed to be a traditional build, but it has been interesting to have to translate the design into a format that could be delivered in a modular way.

What do you love about architecture?

Every person lives in a house and even though people don’t think about architecture, an architect has been involved in making their home or workplace. We think of things, sometimes small things that make a big difference in how people live and work.

What’s your favourite building?

Chapel of the Holy Cross, The Woodland Crematorium, The Woodland Cemetery (Skogskyrkogarden), Stockholm, Sweden, Scandinavia, Europe

The woodland cemetery, also known as  Skogskyrkogården, on the outskirts of Stockholm. It’s a beautifully designed building. Its design, by Gunnar Asplund and Sigurd Lewerentz, reflects the development of architecture from Nordic Classicism to mature functionalism. In 1994, the World Heritage Committee decided to make the Skogskyrkogården number 558 on the World Heritage List.

What’s the best project you have worked on?

Downs Road, Hackney Wick. It’s a big planning project that I worked on the edge of Hackney down park. We designed 4 separate buildings in 1 site that ranges in scale – not just a building, but a new street, we created courtyards and improved the space.

Posted in Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Meet James Walsh, Founder of Studio Anyo

James Walsh

James Walsh has had an interesting and impressive architectural career date. Here are a few facts that you may not know about the founder of Studio Anyo.

James hails from Limerick, Ireland’s third-largest city, founded by the Vikings in 812. Limerick is one of Ireland’s oldest cities, with a Charter of Incorporation older than that of London’s, dating back to 1197! He is an Aikido enthusiast; he has been practising for 20 years now and even earned 2 brown belts! That is a remarkable achievement!

What are you working on now?

As founder James oversees all Studio Anyo’s projects. As one of the UK’s foremost modular design experts, James is currently working with a very high-profile client on the development of a new leisure concept which unfortunately we can’t say too much about at the moment. So lookout for the official announcement over the next months.

What do you love about architecture?

I love complex design challenges and I particularly enjoy solving them. I like the 3D elements because they are very stimulating and I love stories in architecture.

I always wanted to be an architect, my grandfather was a carpenter, and the love of building things didn’t seem to run in the family. I never wanted to be anything else but an architect. I liked building stuff as a kid – bridges, and houses. When I was a kid playing with train tracks I was always more interested in building the actual tracks than playing with the trains. I built these amazing bridges and structures over the train tracks.

What’s your favourite building?

Church of 2000 / Richard Meier & Partners

Richard Meier and Partners – Church of 2000. I like stories – I am more interested in the narrative and how that affects the architecture. As you walk around the church, it tells you a story, it imparts a narrative.

The Church of 2000 is conceived as a composition of basic elements, clearly referred to the purity of the cube and the sphere, and the in-between spaces and connections. The goal was to show and highlight the basic role that architecture plays in holy and religious spaces and to demonstrate that the connection with contemporary architecture is the key to improve the quality of life in suburban areas.

What’s the best project you have worked on?

Malton Road. We refurbished the former Elderly Persons Integrated Care Services building into high-end office space for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to accommodate the staff of its Children and Adult Services unit.

A drop-in centre underneath the west way – we really pushed the story on what this building should look like, how it would engage and be part of the existing buildings. It’s a lot more fun. There’s a lot more colour and light – it takes the colours of the passing traffic and streaks them across the elevation.

Posted in Blog, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Michael Lynas: “Architecture is the perfect combination for me; I liked Maths, Science and Art – not many jobs are combinations of all of those things.”

Michael Lynas

Michael has a close relationship with his family, who lives around Guisborough – a lovely ancient market town. He shares that the best thing about his hometown is that it’s surrounded by beautiful countryside, a wonderful place to grow up.

Michael also studied Architecture at Edinburgh College of Art, The University of Edinburgh – Scotland’s most prestigious institution. It is ranked as one of the best universities in the world for arts and humanities, as well as for computer science. Students have the privilege of studying in some of the oldest and most enchanting buildings in the city. Amazing!

What are you working on now?

Orford Mews – First carbon & energy-positive scheme in the UK, it is also zero waste. It’s the first residential scheme to capture so many sustainable elements. We have really thought about all aspects of sustainability, so every single decision is made to make the scheme as sustainable as possible. We are using solar glazing – a film on the back of a glass with a cable linked to a normal panel. It’s really exciting.

What do you love about architecture?

As a kid, I was always interested in buildings. None in the family were architects. We used to draw plans of houses; they would always have big bedrooms for me, rooms for my toys, snooker rooms, table tennis while the rest of my family had little rooms. I was also into photography and wanted to be a commercial photographer – but I did some work experience in an architectural practice, and they talked me out of it. I think I always wanted to be an architect. My older brother did architecture, but stopped and went off to be an engineer. Architecture is the perfect combination for me; I liked Maths and Science and Art – not many jobs are combinations of all of those things. I enjoy working with people; drawing buildings for me is like playing computer games. I would happily sit and do it in my spare time. There is not just one thing I like about being an architect, one day I’m looking at buildings, the next I’m drawing and then later  I’m speaking to clients, it’s just so varied.

What’s your favourite building?

Villa Savoye , Le Corbusier

The impact that Villa Savoye , Le Corbusier had on me as a first-year architecture student was incredible. I went to Paris as a student and it was the first time that I saw architecture as art. It had a real impact, this has happened several times since but this was the first and it stayed with me.

What’s the best project you have worked on?

Warehaus – As a company, we really enjoyed it. It was the first time that we said: “This is what we do”. It’s a mixed-use residential scheme, and we made some extraordinary bits, and the atrium is one of our nicest spaces, beautiful brickwork and a rooftop swimming pool, with a glass bottom so you look up from the atrium and you can see people swimming above your head. It’s just a rectangle we worked very hard to create something that showed what we think about as architects in terms of spaces and how people live and work in them.

Posted in Blog | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment