5th Studio’s spatial study for the National Infrastructure Commission illustrates how growth in the 100-mile Oxford-Milton Keynes-Cambridge arc can be realised, securing the future of this critical engine of the UK’s knowledge economy. The study proposes the establishment of the first New Towns in a generation, as part of a diverse range of development typologies that draw upon exemplars from around the world to make strong and beautiful places rooted in their locale. The study identifies optimal relationships between transformational growth and associated infrastructure, including East-West Rail and the proposed Expressway.
The cities and towns across the arc are some of the UK’s most productive and innovative places, but their continued success and vitality is not guaranteed. Oxford and Cambridge have some of the most expensive housing in the UK; the lack of suitable, affordable housing in the corridor threatens sustainable growth.
The corridor is currently hard to negotiate, and needs connective infrastructure to make stronger, more functional relationships between its constituent cities and towns. A lack of integrated metropolitan transport infrastructure results in congested cities, affecting productivity and blighting the environment.
Without swift and determined action this innovative landscape will fall behind its international competitors and fail to attract and retain the talent and skills it needs. With a finite amount of land, it is critical that this scarce resource is used in the most optimal way. 5th Studio’s study explores the consequences of accommodating up to 1.9 million additional people in the corridor by 2050.
NIC Commissioner Sadie Morgan said:
“The work of 5th Studio was instrumental in framing the ambition of the NIC final report on Cambridge Milton Keynes Oxford arc. Their work is rigorous, thoughtful and credible and they have been a pleasure to work with.”
Both our study and the NIC’s report to Government - Partnering for Prosperity: A new deal for the Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford Arc - are available for download as PDF documents.
Our multi-sports and parkland project for Ive Farm in Leyton has started on site. Piling is now complete for the community pavilion building that will be at the heart of the new development.
5th Studio have been working closely with London Borough of Waltham Forest on the strategically important regeneration of this previously neglected public open space within the Borough.
The plans include a full size 3G pitch, competitive standard hockey pitch and a 4 court beach volleyball arena. Landscaping includes a publicly accessible green roof, raised spectator seats in the landscape, community allotments, wetland reedbed area and fitness/jogging trails around the park.
The project is due to complete in summer 2018.
Tom Holbrook has been appointed as a member of the RIBA Planning advisory group.
The RIBA advisory groups are made up of expert advisers appointed following an open call to the profession, these advisers bring with them specialist knowledge and experience to help inform RIBA policies and guidance.
Read more in RIBA's Practice News post.
The Construction Industry Council is the representative forum for the construction industry, with a mission to improve the industry by collectively representing and supporting the built environment professions, research organisations and specialist business associations.
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:
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.
On 23rd May associate February Phillips took part in the Panel discussion at the Cambridge Associate of Architects annual event, alongside Prof Wendy Pullan, head of Cambridge University Department of Architecture, and Colin Brown, chair of the Cambridge Forum for the Construction Industry.
The evening was a huge success with stimulating and provocative discussion on current and potential future issues surrounding the Greater Cambridge area as well as a celebration of 30 years of the Cambridge Architecture Gazette.
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.
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:
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.