Saturday, 18 December 2010

Click on image for animation. E-card by knuk

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Spot the difference!

Two images of Sidell Gibson Architects' with Atelier Jean Nouvel's One New Change: One is the computer generated visualisation from planning stage, the other was taken this week. Can you spot which one is which?

Monday, 1 November 2010

First Look: One New Change

Sidell Gibson Architects with Ateliers Jean Nouvel's One New Change opened to the public last week and architectural photographer Billie Yao sent us his first impressions form the opening night.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Sidell Gibson in Top 10 for Built London Office Space

The Top 10 Architects for office space built over the last 10 years have created about 3.3m sq m (36m sq ft) of new buildings according to City Offices - a web-based construction news, analysis and tender opportunities service.

Top Architects (London) 2000 - 2010 (Built Office Space)

1 Foster + Partners (24%)
2 Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF) (14%)
3 Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) (11%)
4 Sheppard Robson (11%)
5 Pelli Clarke Pelli (10%)
6 HOK (8%)
7 Sidell Gibson (6%)
8 Rolfe Judd (6%)
9 EPR (5%)
10 Fletcher Priest (5%)

The Map above shows Sidell Gibson Architects' built office projects in the City of London.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

One New Change Opening

Sidell Gibson Architects with Atelier Jean Nouvel's One New Change project officially opens this week 12 noon, 28th October 2010.

In October 2009 the RIBA Journal published the following article on the delivery of One New Change by Pamela Buxton:

Ways of Seeing

Paternoster Square seemed to have set the ‘classical’ tone for buildings around the City’s most significant structure – St Paul’s Cathedral. But Jean Nouvel has reinterpreted how to approach the area with his design for One New Change, and Sidell Gibson has the job of making it happen

There’s no false modesty at One New Change, the approximately £168m building taking shape just across the road from St Paul’s Cathedral on surely the choicest development site in the City of London. Developer Land Securities claims the office and retail building will be ‘a breathtaking monument to modernism’ created by someone with ‘extraordinary brilliance, shining talent and rare vision’. It’s some claim to live up to, not only for architect Jean Nouvel, who won a design competition for the project back in 2003, but for Sidell Gibson, the executive architect charged with delivering the 52,000m2 build.

Prince Charles reportedly sought to have Nouvel replaced with an architect he’d consider more suitable for such a sensitive site. But with the French architect’s building due to be topped out this month, such matters now seem rather academic. Nicknamed the ‘Stealth building’ after Nouvel revealed that the design was influenced by the form of a Stealth Bomber, the scheme is fast taking shape on site as its distinctive multi-coloured glass cladding is hoisted into place.

And what a site it is. Situated on Cheapside and New Change, it was formerly occupied by the post-war Bank of England annexe and is bounded on the south by Watling Street and on the East by Bread Street. It’s not the only new kid on the block; just opposite is 150 Cheapside by Michael Aukett Architects. St Paul’s may stay the same but the City keeps changing around it, as it always has done.

Ron Sidell, who co-founded Sidell Gibson 36 years ago, is leading the executive architect team. He’s an old hand at building in the City of London, and as executive architect on two of the Paternoster Square buildings has first hand experience of ultra-sensitive locations. One New Change’s enormous scale makes this extra challenging – Sidell has never before been involved in such a huge single building, which accommodates 31,662m2 of offices above three floors of retail on lower ground, ground and first floor.
It was Sidell Gibson’s solid City experience that appealed to Land Securities when the developer first contemplated what to do with the site. ‘I hate the phrase, but we’re seen as a safe pair of hands,’ says Sidell.

Back in 2003, the developer asked the architects to come up with options to refurbish or redevelop the site but the practice concluded that to successfully deliver the desired significant retail component of the scheme, a new building was needed. Sidell advised the client during the design competition and was the natural choice for executive architect when Nouvel was declared winner. Using two architects gave Land Securities a design team with both creative flair and practical, technical expertise, according to Neil Paterson, head of project management at Land Securities’ London Portfolio. ‘We set out to appoint two architects from the outset: one to deliver the concept for the scheme; and the other to deliver the construction and steer the project through the London planning and regulatory process,’ he says, adding that this approach was made possible by clearly defined roles and responsibilities.

Sidell didn’t know Nouvel previously, but was impressed by his convincing and scholarly arguments for a building that was both ‘powerful and robust’ yet appropriate for the exceptional surroundings.

His own French still isn’t up to much, he says, despite the initially weekly, then monthly design/executive architect meetings throughout the long project. But thanks to the linguistic talents of colleagues in both practice’s offices, the partnership hasn’t suffered.

‘We’ve had a fantastically good relationship,’ says Sidell of his collaboration with Nouvel.

He draws an analogy with film-making – Nouvel writes the script, but Sidell Gibson is the production team making it happen, illuminating and helping solve any problems along the way. After a while, the executive architect ‘engine room’ inevitably takes over from the design architect as the project moves towards construction. Sidell Gibson has had a team of 20 on the project but this is still, Sidell stresses, very much Nouvel’s building.

‘Land Securities expects us to interpret Jean’s building exactly. If there are changes, we have debates,’ says Sidell.

He thinks that the key to being a good executive architect is being a good partner, which sometimes means ‘sitting on your ego’. Experience, common sense and a sense of humour are also essential. And when there is debate, it’s important to make sure that both parties are satisfied they’ve ‘got a yes’ from the outcome, he says.

Sidell’s team was responsible for the production drawings and the specification and he is pleased with the quality of materials they’ve selected. York stone will be prominent in public areas – it will be used extensively on retail floors and on the roof terrace. One of the biggest technical challenges has been the glass, not only because of the need to reduce glare but also due to the complex roof geometries in Nouvel’s design. Sidell Gibson brought in its own glass technologist to deal with the intricacies of working with such irregular shapes.

Another challenge was the variety of shades and fritting on the building skin, each chosen to respond to the specific facade context. Working with artist Hiroshi Maeda, Nouvel’s scheme initially involved 250 different ceramic frit patterns that ranged from clear to opaque. In addition to this, a palette of 22 colours from light stone to dark grey and dark red was devised. On New Change, for example, the panels will be beige while on Cheapside, they will be light grey to red to beige. Sidell Gibson was able to find ways of duplicating glass effects on different parts of the building to greatly simplify the process by reducing the number of unique pieces. On the most exposed elevations on the west, there will be triple glazing with fritting and fritted double-glazing on less exposed elevations.

After two years on site, construction of the concrete and steel framed building is close to completion. Walking around it, it is now possible to get a sense of the massive scale of the new development, and also the way that the design pays homage to both the cathedral and the traditional narrow City street pattern.

Nouvel’s design slices into the heart of the plan to create a route from New Change into the centre of the building. This not only admits light into the deep plan, but frames views out towards St Paul’s, ensuring that the building retains a sense of place inside as well as out.

On the ground floor, this slice forms part of a new pedestrian route through the retail-lined ground floor from New Change to Bread Street. A second route crosses from Cheapside to Watling Street, giving greater permeability to the site than the previous Bank of England building. ‘You have a connectivity that didn’t exist before,’ says Sidell.
The two routes meet in the centre, where the general public will be able to take a panoramic lift up to the new rooftop plaza. Here, views of St Paul’s and the rest of the City promise to be spectacular – and the space will surely become a popular lunch spot.

Sidell is looking forward to what he hopes will be a splendid outcome when the building completes at the end of next year to the satisfaction of both design and executive architect.  Land Securities asked the executive architect to ensure One New Change met a BREEAM standard of Very Good, but Sidell says they should be closer to getting Excellent. This was helped by the huge investment in the building services infrastructure, which has included installing 219 pipes, 150m deep to facilitate groundwater heat exchange.

Commercially, the development is off to a good start with a third of the space pre-let to American law firm K & L Gates. Each floor plate can easily accommodate four separate tenants, or even eight if necessary, says Sidell. There will be a separate office entrance leading to a second floor reception giving more views of the cathedral. Below the six floors of office accommodation, the 70 retail units will greatly increase the shopping offer in the City, and will, it is hoped, give greater life to the area outside office hours and at weekends. Already these are 30% pre-let.

For Nouvel, One New Change will be his first City of London building. Sidell Gibson already has a portfolio full of them but from this one, says Sidell, the practice will gain a confidence that it can build a 1 million ft2 building in one of the most complex sites in the world. ‘It’s a real pleasure to know that we can achieve that,’ he says.

One New Change is scheduled to open in time for Christmas 2010. Whether it can live up to its own considerable hype will become clearer as the glass goes on and the all-important effect of the variations in colour and opacity so crucial to the success of the design becomes evident. Its uncompromising, robust approach in such a sensitive location will inevitably divide opinion. But setting aside the style debate, one thing that everyone can agree on is the quality of the views towards St Paul’s. Even within One New Change itself, the cathedral remains the star of the show.

(c) RIBA Journal 2009

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Sidell Gibson amongst Building Industry's Top 250 Consultants

Building Magazine has just published its annual survey of the top 250 consultants in the construction industry in the October 2010 issue. Sidell Gibson Architects came in at number 106 in the overall list, slightly up on last year and at number 47 in the list of architectural practices.

Monday, 11 October 2010

New French School, Kentish Town - Update

Works at Sidell Gibson Architects' New French School, Kentish town are now in full flow.

Main Contractor John O'Neil & Partners (JONAP) have been on site for about three months and are now starting to re-roof the large areas of exisiting slate roofs. About 50% of the exisiting Welsh Penrhyn slates can be re-used and will be installed on the external, public facades in accordance with planning requirements.

All timber windows have been removed for conservation repairs and are currently being prepared to receive new double glazing units which will improve thermal and acoustic performance.
Internally, downtaking and demolitions are nearly complete and new lintels and steel beems have been introduced to form new openings. Areas of the exisiting ground floor slabs were broken up and are now being replaced by new concrete floors which rationalise the previously varying floor levels.

An area within the heart of the building which is to receive the new lift and staircase core has been surgically cut open and is now nearly ready to receive the steel structure and pre-cast concrete lift shaft. Very soon foundations for the new extensions will be dug and poured with the focus moving on to new-built elements and internal finishes of the school.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Visit London & Time Out Awards

Sidell Gibson Architects’ Discover Greenwich visitor centre has been shortlisted in the Best New Tourism Experience category at the BT Visit London Awards 2010 following a record number of entries.

All shortlisted entries stand a chance of winning an award at the ceremony being held at The Bloomsbury Big Top on Wednesday 8 December 2010. There will be up to three winners for each category: Gold, Silver and Bronze.

The shortlist includes other major and prestigious London tourist attractions which openend this year:

Best NEW Tourism Experience (New for 2010)

 - Centre of the Cell
 - Jewish Museum London
 - Fourth Plinth – Antony Gormley's One and Other
 - The Galleries of Modern London at Museum of London
 - Discover Greenwich Visitor Centre
    at Old Royal Naval College
 - SEA LIFE London Aquarium
 - Victoria and Albert Museum
 - Rainforest Life / Night Life at ZSL London Zoo

 The Discover Greenwich visitor centre's Cafe/Restaurant/Bar/Microbrewery has recently won Best New Design at the Time Out London Eating and Drinking Awards

The Old Brewery is run by local brewer Greenwich Meantime, Sidell Gibson Architects designed the spectacular three-storey-high brewing tower, the new kitchen, a new glass link, restored the brick interior of the Old Brewery Bar, and enlarged the outdoor courtyard as well as enabled Greenwich Meantime to use the existing 18th Century basement for food preparation and brewing. Further interior design is by Real Studios with whom we also collaborated on the Main Hall exhibition fitout.

Monday, 9 August 2010

New French School, Kentish Town

Sidell Gibson Architects are undertaking a major conversion and extension of the vacant Grade II Listed Victorian Board School Building in Kentish Town, London. This dynamic project aims to serve the needs of the French speaking community by imaginative and sensitive reuse, together with essential development of the existing buildings, to create a New French School serving 700 pupils ranging in age from 5 to 15 years old.

The site is bounded on three sides by roads forming part of the Inkerman Conservation Area, with the southern boundary flanking rear gardens. Pupil entrances are dispersed and relate to discrete outdoor play spaces for each age range served. The reuse of an existing entrance to the East frontage onto Cathcart Street provides access to new Infants accommodation. Similarly, on Cathcart Street, a new entrance gives access into a self-contained playground and entrance to the primary school. 

The secondary school access is created on Willis Road, with a new porte-cochère and colonnade leading through the south-facing playground to the secondary school entrance hall, lift and staircase. Staff and visitor access is via the existing school entrance, off the busy Holmes Road to the North.

The design, as far as possible, makes use of the existing spaces and is organised within the grain of the original layout, but with significant qualitative improvement throughout. The essential elements of adaptation relate to meeting modern legislation for schools, including disabled access, means of escape requirements and improving environmental standards and sustainability to attain a BREEAM rating of Very Good.

New interventions include the following:

The expansion of the multi use hall to accommodate dining for the whole school population (in separate sittings), within a carefully designed side aisle to compliment the form of the existing linked assembly spaces in plan and section.

A new entrance and glazed roof corridor linking the refurbished laundry building space for pupils and staff to new single storey playground changing room and WC accommodation on the southern boundary as a replacement of the embedded existing outbuildings.


A new classroom block with new escape staircase, extending the provision of secondary school accommodation on first and second floor levels within the existing envelope, while at ground floor creating new infants classrooms with open and covered play spaces with separate entrance. This accommodation partly replaces existing accommodate in single storey temporary buildings.

The new build has been carefully proportioned and sensitively designed aiming to compliment, but not copy the existing. The simple form and scale of the new is recessive being kept back from sight lines of the existing main facades as seen from the public realm.

Having now achieved Listed Building Consent and Full Planning Permission, construction work has started on site with completion programmed in July 2011.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Westrovia Apartments, London

This residential building by Sidell Gibson Architects in SW1 on Vauxhall Bridge Road occupies a high-profile site by the grade one listed St James the Less Church in the centre of the Lillington Estate Conservation area.

The building's forty units vary from affordable housing to luxury apartments and penthouses. The form of the building responds to the surrounding listed buildings and their rights of light.

Detailed planning permission and conservation area consent were obtained for the client Westminster City Council to enable the sale of the site, formerly known as Brabazon House.

The building has now been completed following detailed planning design and has been re-named Westrovia.

Friday, 23 July 2010

International Architecture Award: Old Bailey

The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecure and Design and The European Center for Architecture, Art, Design and Urban Studies have awarded Sidell Gibson Architects' Old Bailey project with a 2010 International Architecture Award for the best new global design.

The 2010 Awards jury consisted of

México City, D.F., México

Office of Legorreta + Legorreta

Arq. Arturo Coronel
Colegio de Arqitectos de la Cuidad de México
Sociedad de Arquitectos Méxicanos

Mtra. Louise Noelle Gras
Architecture Critic
Academia de Artes, México City, D.F., México

Mtro. José Luis Cortés Delgado
Dirección de Educación Continua
Universidad Iberoamericana
México City, D.F., México

Dr. Xavier Cortés Rocha
Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios de Posgrdo
Facultad de Arquitectura, UNAM
Ciudad Universitaria
México City, D.F., México

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Discover Greenwich - New Images & Video

Architectural Photographer Paul Riddle sent us his images of Sidell Gibson Architects' newly opened Discover Greenwich Visitor Centre.

The Guardian's website features a new video of the visitor centre's microbrewery and Cafe/Restaurant.

Friday, 11 June 2010

The New Bailey - Concept Design Competition

The New Bailey was Sidell Gibson Architects' public vote winning entry to a design competition asking for iconic London landmarks to be re-imagined for the future. 

Main Sponsor Haworth Office Furniture announced that Sidell Gibson has won its Iconic Buildings competition at Designers Saturday with their re-creation of the Old Bailey.

 The Iconic Buildings competition ran alongside Haworth's 'Home Sweet Home' exhibition and invited a number of leading architectural and design companies (Gensler, Scott Brownrigg, BDP amongst others) to put forward alternative proposals in model form for a selection of London's most iconic buildings, such as Big Ben, The Gherkin and Tate Modern. Models and design boards were anonymous to allow visitors to consider the ideas behind the solution, as well as the visual appeal of the alternative building.

With a very clear lead, the winners were Sidell Gibson Architects with their re-design of the Old Bailey - 'The New Bailey'.

The solution looked to express:
- Transparency of the legal process
- Dynamic equilibrium expressed by a kinetic structure
- The court room as a jewel, a pure form
- A place of question - expressed in the structure shape
- A civic space with direct public access

The Old Bailey: The past

The Old Bailey has been the site of a court of justice since medieval times starting originally as the Justice Hall, then the Sessions House and finally the Central Criminal Court. Its name relates to its location on Old Bailey Street and it’s construction along the line of the fortified Roman city wall, called the “bailey”.

The original medieval courthouse, destroyed by the Great Fire of London in 1666, was rebuilt in 1673 and permitted the litigants, witnesses and court personnel to assemble together at the front in the Sessions House
Yard. The courtroom was open on one side, enabling better ventilation to prevent the possibility of contracting “gaol fever” or typhoid from the prisoners. Spectators could also gather in the Yard to view the Proceedings, for which they paid a fee.

Remodelling occurred in 1737, including enclosure of the courtroom and construction of a secure link to Newgate Prison where prisoners were held and brought to the Old Bailey for trial. The enclosure of the courtroom resulted in the deaths of 60 people from “gaol fever”, including the Lord Mayor and 2 judges. George Dance the Younger rebuilt the Old Bailey in 1774 and the number of courtrooms was subsequently increased from one to four.

Another fire in 1877 led to the demolition of the Court House and Newgate Prison, both replaced in 1907 by the Central Criminal Court building. The new design featured the 12ft high gold “Lady Justice” who holds a sword in one hand and the scales of justice in the other. This has become the iconic image of the criminal justice system in the UK.

The New Bailey: The future

The current building is therefore just a snapshot in time and a consequence of numerous interventions.

Criminal Justice and Legal Statutes continue to evolve in response to social and political pressures within the framework of British Common Law with the contemporary recourse to the European Courts of Justice. The function of law, through wisdom and truth, provides the guidelines that enable order rather than anarchy to prevail as the background to civilised life.

The iconic New Bailey manifests these ideals in a design, which expresses the following: dynamic evolution and a sense of balance, as portrayed by the “Lady of Justice” . transparency of the ideal legal process, supported by the administrative framework. the courtroom as a jewel, a pure form; an aspiration for the public’s sense of justice dynamic equilibrium of precedent and change expressed by a kinetic structure a place of question and debate expressed in the structure’s shape – guilty or not guilty? a civic space - Justice Square - from which direct public access is gained to the courts.

The Iconic New Bailey no longer gives the impression of being a monolithic, fortified and secretive institution – rather it is revealed as a dynamic assembly of its integral parts, visible to all, and supported by the Pillar of Justice, provided courtesy of the Haworth showroom.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Sidell Gibson in AJ Top 100

Sidell Gibson Architects moved up from 66th last year to 57th place in the 2010 AJ100, the Architects' Journal's survey of Britain's 100 most successful architecture firms.

The Architects' Journal, together with Imperial College London, has compiled in-depth analysis of this year's AJ100 survey which includes data on fees, salaries and workload.

Follow this link to read an interview with Sidell Gibson Partner Richard Morton featuring in this year's AJ100 section of the Architects' Journal website.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Special Mention for One Snow Hill, Birmingham

On Wednesday, 12 May 2010, at the British Council for Offices Regional Awards evening for the Midlands and East Anglia, Sidell Gibson Architects' One Snow Hill received a Special Mention from the awards judges, nominating it to go forward from the Midlands and East Anglia region to compete for a National Innovation Award.

Sidell Gibson have masterplanned a significant city centre site at Snowhill Station in Birmingham to provide approximately 52,000m² net area of high quality offices, up to 5,000m² of retail and leisure space, 330 residential units and a 170-bed hotel with associated conference facilities.

The site presents a complex 3-dimensional planning problem, involving the realignment of the surrounding roads and junctions giving significant increases in area, connection to the station concourse and new transport interchange, and the incorporation of a new tram line on its own viaduct. The development will form a strategic link between the business centre of Birmingham and the historic Gun and Jewellery quarters. To this end, the design will group the new buildings around a series of landscaped public spaces encouraging pedestrian movement between the areas.

We have also completed the detailed design of the two office buildings on the site, incorporating retail use at ground level. Detailed planning consent was obtained for these buildings in June 2006 and May 2007. One Snow Hill is now complete and in use with interior fit-out for Barclays by Sidell Gibson Interiors.


Thursday, 29 April 2010

BREEAM 'Excellent' rating for One New Change

Sidell Gibson Architects' One New Change project has been awarded a top BREEAM (Offices) rating of 'Excellent' with 71.43% by the BRE under the Code for Sustainable Buildings.

Sidell Gibson Architects believe that each building should respond to its location not only architecturally, but also in terms of its environmental performance. We make every effort to ensure that our buildings are as sustainable in their use and construction as possible, and our numerous ‘Very Good’ and ‘Excellent’ BREEAM ratings attest to this commitment.

Sidell Gibson Architects are proud members of the UK Green Building Council, The Green Register and the Association of Environment Conscious Builders.
One New Change is the largest and most innovative project currently on site in the City of London and includes a very large retail component.

Sidell Gibson Architects have worked on the design from the outset in collaboration and support to Jean Nouvel's concept design and now take the lead role in delivering what is, in technical terms, a hugely complex scheme.

The route to New Change is open to the sky and orientated to create a new view of St Paul’s Cathedral framed by the building. This 'slot' extends to the crossing at the centre of the site which forms an atrium running through the building.

The central atrium also provides access to the roof where there is a restaurant and café facilities and an extensive public terrace providing extensive views of the cathedral and London skyline.
Above the retail accommodation, the building has five floors of offices, arranged around four cores with an atria punctuating the floorpates. The building is serviced at basement level with vehicular access via a ramp off Bread Street. 

The design will be based on achieving 10% of the energy needs, from renewable sources in line with the Mayor of London guidelines for major developments.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Sir John Lyon House, London

This waterside residential building with 65 flats oposite Tate Modern on the banks of the Thames has recently been completed. The building incorporates small flats for weekday use as well as luxury apartments and penthouses. Complex planning, rights to light and St Paul's Heights issues were addressed by Sidell Gibson Architects in the course of the design.

The scheme is one of the first to exploit the potential of glazed terracotta rainscreen, providing a spectacular new façade to the retained and re-used structure of concrete floor slabs and frame of the original riverside office block.
With its striking design the building has won four major awards:
- European LEAF Award for Sustainability.
- Mail on Sunday British Homes Awards - Best Apartment Building.
- Daily Mail UK Property Awards - Best Architecture - Multiple Units.
- New York Times International Property Awards - Best Architecture Multiple Units.