Tom Holbrook will speak at the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland Annual Conference at the Royal Dublin Society, 6-7th October. The conference theme is Challenge, Change and Collaboration and Tom will be a protagonist in The Great Debate: The Generalist vs The Specialist.

Leading on from his book, Expanding Disciplinarity in Architectural Practice, Designing from the Room to the City, Tom will be defending the role of the generalist in architectural practice, with Dr Alan Mee of University College Dublin, speaking for the specialist.


Tom Holbrook will be taking part in a week-long urban design workshop at the Università IUAV, Venice, 18-22nd September.
Other participants include Hernan Diaz Alonso (Director of Sci-arch, Los Angeles) Marjan Colletti (University of Innsbruck), Enric Luis-Geli, Barcelona and Tom Kovac and Mauro Baracco from RMIT Melbourne.

Tom will be discussing 5th Studio’s work seeking to integrate infrastructure with successful city making. Material from the workshop will feature in the International Architecture Biennale, Venice in 2018, and the workshop forms part of the Malaysia Biennial 100YC.

At a lecture at the London School of Economics Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London launched City Hall's Good Growth by Design programme and announced the appointment of Founding Director Tom Holbrook as one of his Design Advocates to help steer the programme.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, launched his Good Growth by Design programme to enhance the design of buildings and neighbourhoods for all Londoners. In a major speech at the London School of Economics, the Mayor spoke of his vision for the future of London as the city’s population heads towards 10 million peopleIn his first major intervention on this topic, the Mayor is calling on London’s architectural, design and built environment professions to help realise his vision of London as a city that is socially and economically inclusive as well as environmentally sustainable.

London needs to provide space for 46,000 new jobs and build 50,000 new homes a year just to keep up with demand, as well as build the social infrastructure to support both. Good Growth will enable this, leaving a legacy of world-class buildings, outstanding public realm and large-scale regeneration for Londoners of the future.

The Good Growth by Design programme will:

  • Set ambitious design standards.
  • Apply these standards and undertake rigorous design reviews.
  • Increase capacity by launching a new social enterprise - ‘Public Practice’ - that will plug the skills gap in local authorities.
  • Support diversity to tackle the under-representation of women and people from minority groups in the built environment professions.
  • Use open procurement processes such as design competitions to seek the highest standards for public projects.
  • Lead by example, with the Greater London Authority being champions of good growth by advocating best practice to support success across the sector.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “My vision for London is a city that enables all Londoners to reach their potential, a city that is inclusive and a city where growth brings benefits to communities.

5th Studio's new Oxford office are taking part in Oxford Green Week event 'Greening your historic home' on 21 June at Lady Margaret Hall. Iona is presenting the recently completed project at Trinity College Cambridge which upgrades the Grade 1 listed building to current energy standards.

Oliver and Iona will be in a panel discussion with other building experts from the University, Oxford City Planning and the construction industry and answering questions on how to save energy within the constraints of a heritage building - of which there are many in Oxford. The 5th Studio Oxford team will be holding a stall and Helena will be introducing 5th Studio's 'Top Trump' green cards of projects completed.

This event is free and can be booked through eventbrite.

More information about our award winning work for Trinity College, Cambridge can be found on our website here.


Tom Holbrook will be speaking at the Launch Event for Open City’s Green Sky Thinking Week on the theme of ‘How to Build an Open City: three projects changing how we think about London’.

The event will be chaired by Sarah Cary, Head of Sustainable Places and British Land, and Tom will be debating the topic with Holly Lewis of We Made That and Patrik Schumacher of Zaha Hadid Architects.

This year’s Green Sky Thinking is centred on the theme of Building the Open City. Over 50 events are planned: workshops, seminars, hackathons and debates, all run by industry experts. Each takes place in a unique location in London. More details here.

Ongoing work on this project – spanning over ten years for a number of different clients and commissioners – connects strategic thinking with highly practical problem solving to create a new London park in one of London’s most complex post-industrial landscapes. 5th Studio’s involvement has spanned strategy, policy-making, public advocacy, programming and curation, landscape and architectural design, project management and realisation.

This exhibition explores the past, present and future of the project, showcasing current and planned works that are leading the evolution of this former industrial backland.


The exhibition has a number of associated events, including a Breakfast Talk by Director Tom Holbrook on April 7th and two guided walks on the valley- on Wednesday 12th April and Saturday 22 April.

We would like to hear your thoughts on the Lea River Park and Leaway - if you use social media you can use the #Leaway

5th Studio are designers of a new transport interchange and public realm improvements at Vauxhall, London, which together seek to re-establish the lost space of Vauxhall Cross: an important threshold to central London.

The project is catalysed by the replacement of the car-dominated road gyratory, established by transport engineers in the1970s, with a two-way highway arrangement. The project integrates this more urban road plan with one of London’s busiest bus station and interchange with rail, riverboat and underground services. The project also creates a new set of public spaces, including a station square.

A network of public realm spaces in the wider Vauxhall area will create a unified and connective landscape with the transport interchange at its heart. Our work builds on the rich character and history of Vauxhall, and this set of spaces and streets is intended to work as an urban ensemble, articulating the area’s distinct character.

More details - including a series of engagement events - are available here:

https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/roads/vauxhall-cross/


Tom Holbrook is Visiting Professor at the Scuola di Architettura e Società at the Politecnico Milano and will take part in the Milan International Architecture Workshop (MIAW) in February - March with other practitioners including Olav Kristoffersen of Brendeland & Kristoffersen, Norway, Ippolito Pestellini of OMA, Oliver Thill, Atelier Kempe Thill, Lisa Fior of Muf and Luis Basabe Montalvo of Arenas Basabe Palacios, Madrid.

Each research workshop focusses on a specific question related to the urban transformation of Milan. This year the research will concentrate on developing urban scenarios around the Farini rail yard (circa 618.000 m2) as part of an ongoing discussion seven rail yards in Milan about to be vacated by the Ferrovia Statale - a total area of 125Ha returned to urban use.

5th Studio's Trinity College, New Court refurbishment project has been featured in this month's RIBA Journal.

The article sets out the collaborative research project which was key in the development of the detailed designs for renovating this Grade 1 listed building and the conflicts which had to be managed along the way.

Read the article here.

We have been working in Waltham Forest on the council-led regeneration of the Ive Farm Sports Ground in Leyton (4.9ha). The site is categorised as Metropolitan Open Land yet has been neglected and largely inaccessible for many years, with a derelict former pavilion. The proposal includes two all-weather multi-use sports pitches that address a critical shortfall in outdoor sports provision for schools, club and community use across the borough. The project also includes an international standard beach volleyball arena, 60m sprint track, a new sports pavilion, landscaped perimeter jogging trails and natural gym facilities, a woodland car park, community allotments, new and relocated pedestrian and cyclist bridges across the Dagenham Brook and an outdoor petanque area.

The design incorporates a comprehensive sustainable drainage proposal with landscaped reedbed area. The scheme opens up the site as publicly accessible open space and provides crucial links in the network of cross-borough pedestrian and cycling routes.

We are excited to announce that Richard Thompson has joined 5th Studio from Dixon Jones, where he was Associate Director.

At Dixon Jones since 1996, Richard worked on a number of projects including the Royal Opera House, Saïd Business School, Oxford, Chelsea Barracks masterplan, and £100m Kings Place, London - home of the Guardian newspaper.

Richard brings a wealth of experience to 5th Studio and strengthens our ability to deliver complex large-scale commercial projects. Having worked across education, residential and commercial sectors, he also brings experience of all aspects of the design process, managing programme costs and delivery through a variety of contract types and procurement approaches, and through all phases of the design and construction process.

Richard enjoys working closely with clients and consultants to fully understand the functional and commercial drivers of projects, and believes that successful schemes stem from a truly collaborative approach to design and construction.

See Richard's profile on the People section here.

Tom Holbrook will be speaking at Cambridge Ahead’s Annual Seminar on 18th January 2017, which will highlight placemaking, asking ‘What makes for a Successful UK City in the 21st Century?”.

Cambridge Ahead’s annual seminar, will take place on the morning of 18th January 2017 at Granta Park, Great Abington. The seminar will cover a variety of topics but will highlight place-making and its relevance to Cambridge. This is a widely debated issue, especially its contribution to quality of life. It is arguably more so in high growth cities, where demand for those other aspects that contribute to a strong quality of life – housing, commuting, education and leisure – can rapidly outstrip supply.

More details are available here, and registration which is required can be carried out here.

The University of Westminster's Ambika P3 gallery is proud to present ADAPT-r, a major exhibition exploring research processes of working artists, architects and designers – revealing the diverse approaches and how they do what they do. From digital designers to landscape architects, brand designers to design activists, painters to performance artists, and many different types of architects, including 5th Studio's Tom Holbrook.

The exhibition is on display from 26 November - 18 December 2016, open daily from 10am - 6pm, more information on the exhibition can be found here.

ADAPT-r is a partnership of seven European Universities - Aarhus School of Architecture (Denmark), University of Ljubljana (Slovenia), KU Leuven Faculty of Architecture (Belgium), Estonia Academy of Arts (Estonia), Mackintosh School of Architecture - Glasgow School of Art (UK), RMIT Europe (Spain) & University of Westminster (UK). For more information see: http://adapt-r.eu

This project has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 317 325.

Tom Holbrook will be taking part in a discussion on the regeneration of the Ligurian city of Imperia, co-commissioned by RMIT University, the Politecnico di Milan, the local council and Confindustria - the town’s business organisation.

Tom will be speaking on examples of collaborative regeneration projects in the UK: 'casi di progettazione in collaborazione allargata, in Inghilterra’
Friday 18th November, 9.30-13.00
Auditorio Camera di Commercio di Imperia, Via Belgrano 10, Imperia Oneglia, Imperia.

Tom Holbrook’s book - Designing from the Room to the City: Expanding Disciplinarity in Architectural Practice, has been published by Routledge. The book emerged from Tom’s PhD at RMIT University, supported by an EU Adapt-r fellowship.

A launch event and talk with Dr Tom Holbrook, Prof. Kester Rattenbury and Prof. Leon van Schaik, will be taking place at Ambika P3 - Westminster University. The launch is part of a series of events to conclude this EU Adapt-r funding programme, and there will be an opportunity to preview an exhibition of the creative practitioners who have been part of this process.

Registration for the event is free and should be made on Eventbrite.

Thursday 24 November 18.30-20.30

Ambika P3, University of Westminster, 35 Marylebone Road, London, NW1 5LS

Credits: Photograph by Claus Peder Pedersen

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