Twelvetrees ramp, one of the key interventions along the Leaway has topped out this week. The striking wayfinding structure has been installed at the head of the ramp to highlight the access down to the River Lea from Twelvetrees Crescent bridge.

This structure which draws on the maritime vernacular of daymarks, is designed to be clearly visible from the nearby A12 to the west, and to appear over the assortment of utility bridges to the north of Twelvetrees Crescent bridge.

The Westlegate Tower has been shortlisted by the Sunday Times for a British Homes Award.

The awards were established to celebrate and commend design excellence in today’s new homes, and feature a special category recognising the conversion and upgrading of existing buildings.

The Westlegate development transforms an 1960s office tower, creating exceptionally high-quality apartments as the centrepiece of a new mixed-use quarter in the heart of historic Norwich.

The sun is out, the external works have (almost) been completed and for a few moments before it becomes a car park again, New Court is returned to its former glory, providing a great opportunity for Tim Soar to photograph the project.

Progress has been made on the delivery of one of the first phase of Lea River Park projects at Canning Town Riverside. This previously overlooked space had become overgrown and had become an attractor for anti-social behaviour. Designs were developed to create a new public space which worked down to a new riverside clearing and are in the process of being delivered by London Borough of Newham. Hard landscaping has now been completed, including moments to pause and enjoy views along the river. New tree planting has been completed and the soft landscaping of the site to JCLA's planting plans will begin soon.

After several years of detailed planning and collaboration between the LLDC, LB Newham, LB Tower Hamlets and Transport for London, the signage strategy, which 5th Studio worked on, to incorporate the Leaway route into the Legible London family of products is coming to fruition. The Leaway route is being integrated into new Legible London signage being installed in the Lower Lea Valley, detailed updates have been carried out to incoroporate changes into the base mapping, and consideration taken into signing the route during its phased delivery.

After a summer of various Leaway projects progressing on site, the perches designed as an intrinsic element of the Leaway palette of street furniture have begun installation. They are illustrated here at the entrance to the pedestrianised Wharfside Road, an area formerly blighted by flytipping and on-street parking, which now acts as a key gateway into the developing Lea River Park.

5th Studio's New Court has been featured in the CIBSE Journal.

The "highly sensitive upgrade that sets the standard for the green retrofitting of UK’s historic buildings" received its first monitoring report in June, confirming the success of all planned sustainabilty improvements.

The full article is available to read on the CIBSE journal, and in the publications section of this website.

5th Studio’s renovation of New Court has been shortlisted for this year’s Architects’ Journal Retrofit Awards. These recognise and celebrate exceptional and innovative design, engineering and construction excellence that enhances the life of the built environment through the adaptation, retrofit and conservation of existing buildings.

The project provided 169 student rooms meeting contemporary standards of comfort, amenity and exceptional standards of sustainability within the historic interiors of this Grade 1 listed building. The completed project sets a landmark in the reconciliation of the potentially conflicting requirements of heritage and sustainability.

The winners will be announced at the AJ Retrofit awards in September.

5th Studio's work will be included in the forthcoming exhibition Occupied, at the the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology later this year.

The exhibition will bring together local and international practitioners to showcase proposals that anticipate the critical design approaches, ideas and strategies of the imminent future.

More information can be found here.

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The piling rig arrives at Twelvetrees, Lower Lea Valley, time-lapse courtesy of contractors, the Buckingham Group, action by WHH barges Van-Elle, piling rig operator.

Tom Holbrook & Kieran Perkins will be taking part in the London Stansted Cambridge Commission's fourth Growth Commission Inquiry Event - Implementing Change.

Organised by the London Stansted Cambridge Consortium, this event will explore the main opportunities and challenges to this major growth corridor. Tom will be addressing the issues of place-making for the tech economy and what the key requirements to create globally competitive locations and environments for tech and knowledge-based enterprise might be.

The event takes place between 9-11.30am on Thursday 12th May, at BL_NK, 25-27 Curtain Road, Hackney, London, EC2A 3LT.

Further information on the event and registration can be found here.

5th Studio's Tom Holbrook will be presenting the practice's investigations into the subject of the 'Entrepreneurial City' in his lecture at the Politecnico Milano, Department of Architecture and Urban studies. The lecture will take place on Tuesday 3rd May at 18:30 in Aula Gamma.

“How should we design and govern our cities? Although we are not prophets, we can investigate and imagine tomorrow’s city, research it by design. 2016’s International Architecture Biennale in Rotterdam, entitled THE NEXT ECONOMY takes the main challenges of the twenty-first century as its starting point. The biennale imagines the city of the future: the healthy and socially inclusive city, the productive city, and the sustainable green city. The city in which public space once again takes centre stage”

Maarten Hajer is the Curator of the seventh Biennale. Hajer is internationally renowned for his exploration of the relationships between public policies, urban development and environmental issues.

The biennale will incorporate 5th Studio’s Stour City proposition for a new city - on the East Coast of England - created through an active state delivering enabling infrastructure and promoting granular tract development and an intensive use of land.

5th Studio’s refurbishment of Westlegate House in Norwich has received a RIBA East Award. This project involved the redevelopment of the 11-storey Westlegate Tower, one of Norwich’s most high profile buildings, together with its immediate urban setting, blighted by the creation of the tower in the early 1960s.


"The Westlegate Tower project has redeveloped one of Norwich’s most high profile, and most unpopular buildings.…5th Studio decided to question the City Council’s planning policy, which recommended demolition of the tower; they saw that retention and reuse were not only possible but could bring real positives in terms of sustainability and a new social cohesion for the area.

In order to improve the proportion of the tower, its height was increased by three storeys. This, together with new cladding, means that the development now provides a landmark for the city rather than the eyesore that the unused tower became.

At ground level the development also repairs the urban grain in a most successful way. The new accommodation knits together a neglected area of the city’s urban fabric; a previously unloved car park in leftover space at the base of the tower. The development has helped to re-establish the historic grain of lanes, yards and passageways, rediscovering the lost Lion and Castle Yard as an enjoyable public thoroughfare, and enriching the pedestrian experience."

Extract from RIBA judges citation

New Court has been awarded the Cambridge Design and Construction Award for ‘Conservation, Alteration or Extension of an Existing Building’ and a Commendation for Sustainability - a special, discretionary award that may be awarded each year for good examples of sustainable design and construction.

The project, which provided 160 high-quality, sustainable student rooms within the historic interiors of a Grade I Listed building, sets a benchmark for reconciliation of the conflicting ambitions of sustainability and heritage. The integrated proposals have reduced the energy consumption, and will reduce the carbon emissions, by 75% and 88% respectively.

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