A landscape that’s a joy to explore and that has everything you need. A place where natural beauty and historic artefacts are thoughtfully highlighted, and where every route is accessible, intuitive and suitably lit.
That is the vision for public realm in the Royal Docks, and now the Design Guides that set out a detailed code for how to achieve this have been published.
Developed by 5th Studio in collaboration with JCLA and Studio Dekka, the Guides draw on engagement sessions with stakeholders and the community on both the overarching strategy and their specific recommendations. These conversations are detailed in the Guides’ engagement appendices, and build on several years of prior consultations, such as Join the Conversation, which gathered perspectives from nearly 2,000 people during the course of last year.
The Design Guides provide a unified handbook for wayfinding, lighting and landscape, as well as guidelines for accessibility and inclusive design. They’re a detailed toolbox for architects, developers, community groups and designers – or indeed anyone who is creating design and public realm work for the area. The Guides will ensure that new projects in the Royal Docks contribute to a public realm that is coherent, legible and socially inclusive – a group of distinct neighbourhoods united by subtle and beautiful elements of continuity. Shaped by a culture of innovation, the Guides posit the Royal Docks as “an urban testbed… a site of innovation and experimentation for London”. They cover everything from light fittings, planters, species of trees and flowers, and how a banner might be attached during a special occasion.
Read more about the Guides and the GLA and LB Newham's work towards regenerating the Royal Docks here.
Tom Holbrook will be discussing 5th Studio's ongoing work in cities and landscape in RMIT's forthcoming webinar – The Future is Landscape.
The European Commission's €750B recovery plan to kick-start the economy and to invest in a long-term future for Europe prioritises the green and digital transition that Europe needs.
The commitment to a green recovery and a healthy environment has brought into focus the importance of our buildings and the impact they have on people’s lives. Homes, schools, hospitals and office buildings suffered the effects of the pandemic and had to be re-adjusted to the new reality.
This presents a unique opportunity to rethink, redesign and modernise Europe’s buildings and urban landscapes to meet the demands of a greener and digital society.
RMIT's Global Webinar brings together leading academics, designers, policy makers, industry leaders and practitioners to explore and discuss the crucial role of the built environment in creating a greener and more sustainable future.
More details here.
Tom will be contributing to a webinar on the UK Innovation Corridor at Real Estate Live 11.00am, Wednesday 7th October 2020.
The session will be chaired by Helen Crane, property editor, City AM, and will feature Monika Jain, Principal City Planner at Transport for London and Professor Greg Clark, Global advisor on future cities.
This year has been one of upheaval – and it has changed our outlook on life, work, and leisure, and on how we move between those parts of our lives.
Do the changes in the housing, labour, and transport markets offer a new set of opportunities for the places in the UK Innovation Corridor? Can there be a new mix of functions and activity in places like Harlow, Stevenage the Upper Lee Valley and towns close to Cambridge? Could there be a hybrid model in which we can find a new paradigm for our towns and cities?
Sign up here.
Earlier in the year we worked with Emily Seabrook, a graduate civil engineer based in Oxford, to develop and illustrate her winning entry to the Vision 2050 Competition organised by England’s Economic Heartland (EEH) - the collaborative partnership of 11 transport authorities and four local enterprise partnerships that covers the Oxford to Cambridge Arc.
The competition was aimed at students, recent graduates and apprentices, with the intention of encouraging fresh perspectives on the future of transport in the region – an endeavour that we wholeheartedly support.
The vision has recently been published and Emily will be presenting it today at EEH’s annual conference.
The judging panel was chaired by Professor Sadie Morgan OBE who said ‘Emily's vision covered many different aspects of connectivity, considering both urban and rural needs, and those of freight as well as people. It contained a number of innovations and was an example of the type of forward-thinking approach we need to meet the challenges of the future.’
Emily has commented that she ‘enjoyed trying to piece together all the interconnected features of a transport system and the varying nature of its users’ .
Here at 5th Studio we were really pleased to support the competition and to work with Emily to develop and illustrate the spatial and design aspects of her vision for future mobility as a continuation of our work in the Arc for the National Infrastructure Commission, and for England’s Economic Heartland – and as part of our commitment to support the next generation of designers and engineers to work in innovative and collaborative ways.
More information about the competition can be found here.
As part of New London Architecture's focus on London's Royal Docks, Tom Holbrook will chair a panel of experts on public realm and inclusivity to find out ways we can ensure our public spaces are fit for all.
The Royal Docks is providing a range of unique opportunities for London across Public Realm, Transport, Culture, Communities and the Economy. At this extraordinary moment as we struggle through a period of social unrest and the impacts of lockdown on our City, how can areas like the Royal Docks help to champion innovation? How can the built environment sector contribute to more democratised public space? And what is the role of public realm in equalising opportunity?
The panel will feature:
Daniel Bridge, Programme Director, Royal Docks
Maria Adebowale-Schwarte, CEO, Foundation for Future London
David Ogunmuyiwa, Partner, ArchitectureDoingPlace
Bridget Snaith, Senior Lecturer Landscape Architecture, University of East London
Fahmida Rahman, Research and Policy Analyst, Resolution Foundation and Commissioner, Newham Democracy and Civic Participation Commission
Wednesday 15 July 2020
14:00 - 15:00
Greater Berlin will be 100 years old this year, an occasion marked by a public exhibition at the Kronprinzenpalais, Berlin Mitte.
Over the past 100 years Metropolitan Berlin has changed and reinvented itself under a variety of influences. Exhibition themes include diversity of centres, planning, housing, transport, sustainability and major projects. A key focus of the exhibition will be a comparison with the peer cities of Moscow, Vienna, Paris and London.
The London contribution will illustrate key topics and projects shaping London and will feature two 5th Studio projects: The Crossrail Atlas (2010), and ongoing work on the Royal Docks.
The Mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller, is the lead patron; the main curator is Professor Harald Bodenschatz. The initiator is Berlin 2020, which is part of the Architekten und Ingenieurverein zu Berlin e.V. AIV in cooperation with the Architekturmuseum of the Technical University Berlin.
More on the exhibition here.
5th Studio has been invited by the IBA Internationale Bauaustellung 2027 to participate in the urban planning competition based in the Stuttgart Region of Germany.
The aim of the competition is to develop radical ideas for a sustainable urban quarter on a former industrial site in the town of Backnang in Baden-Württemberg.
5th Studio is one of six teams pre-invited to participate in the competition, joining Netherlands-based MVRDV, Herzog & De Meuron of Basel, KCAP from Rotterdam and Denmark’s Cobe. Invited teams will be joined by up to 12 teams of architects and urban designers qualifying through an international ideas competition. The competition will conclude in October 2020.
The Internationale Bauausstellung (International Architecture Exhibition) began in Darmstadt in 1901 and has been a consistent source of innovation and a platform to explore progressive thinking in architecture and urbanism.
More about the project here.
5th Studio has been appointed by regeneration specialist LCR to deliver a masterplan for Chester City Gateway.
Chester City Gateway is a bold vision to regenerate the historic railway station and its surrounding area, having the potential to attract significant investment into Chester and deliver the One City Plan.
Supporting lead local partner Cheshire West and Chester Council, and in collaboration with Network Rail, regeneration specialist LCR will lead on development management to advance the regeneration, public realm and transport connectivity improvements.
Following a highly competitive process, the parties have appointed 5th Studio as lead consultant, supported by a local team. Over the next six months, the team will create the masterplan and delivery strategy, working alongside engineering consultancy Arup together with CBRE and Faithful & Gould. LCR led on the appointments of the consultant team to develop the masterplan for the Chester City Gateway programme, the major regeneration and infrastructure project that will transform Chester’s railway station and surrounding land.
Alex Bowker, Development Manager in LCR’s regional North West team, said: “The formation of our consultant team marks a key milestone in a project that will help to create public value and unlock significant economic growth for Chester. Our masterplan will ensure that the railway station and its surrounding land reach their full potential, helping to deliver new homes, jobs and community assets.
“We’re excited to begin delivering on the Council’s exciting vision for Chester and realising the benefits of investment in the city’s key transport hubs, creating an outstanding experience for residents, commuters and visitors alike.”
Dr Tom Holbrook, director at 5th Studio, added: “Chester City Gateway lies at a crossroads of the key Northern Powerhouse economies of Liverpool and Manchester, the anticipated HS2 hub at Crewe, and is the North West’s gateway to Wales. This is an opportunity to maximise the potential of Chester’s railway station, cementing its role as a key Northern transport hub.
“We know that successful placemaking is greater than the sum of the project’s individual parts, and we’re excited to transform this site to tie it firmly into the life of the city.”
The Chester City Gateway regeneration project is being delivered through LCR’s ongoing partnership with Network Rail, which aims to realise the full potential of land around a portfolio of the UK’s of railway stations. Including Chester, the collaboration currently has 16 active schemes across the UK that have the potential to deliver over £2 billion GDV and 4,000 homes.
LCR and Network Rail’s partnership with Cheshire West and Chester Council will see all three parties contribute equally to the cost of producing the scheme’s masterplan and spatial framework.
LCR is a purpose-led, sustainable regeneration company that strives to maximise public value from underutilised public sector assets, with emphasis on those assets connected to the UK’s network of railway stations. Through collaborations and key strategic partnerships, LCR has delivered major regeneration schemes including the £2.4 billion IQL project in Stratford, Manchester Mayfield and the transformation of King’s Cross.
Our work on the New Cross Area Framework has been shortlisted for the Planning Awards 2020.
The Framework – jointly commissioned by the London Borough of Lewisham, the Greater London Authority and Transport for London – has been shortlisted in the Award for plan-making category. More details of the project are available here.
The Planning Awards reward excellence in professional planning work. The awards presentation will take place on 24 September 2020 at The Mermaid London – more details here. The New Cross Area Framework won the New London Award last year in the Masterplans and Area Frameworks category.
Our vision for the public realm of London's Royal Docks has now been published: the Public Realm Framework, describing the overall strategy, is available to download here. More information on our work in the Royal Docks can be found here.
The Royal Docks are the largest area of impounded water in the world: a globally significant man-made structure. Laid over central London, the docks would stretch from Marble Arch to Whitechapel.
The overarching principle of the Framework – ‘Occupy the Docks’ – reflects the ambition to create a more varied, rich, and well-connected set of distinctive places, converting a huge piece of infrastructure into a successful piece of city. Within the coherent overarching vision, the Framework will develop tactical interventions, each deploying a palette of landscape, wayfinding, lighting and design interventions keyed to the overall design principles.
The Royal Docks is one of the most significant regeneration projects in the UK – home to London’s only Enterprise Zone – with an ambitious £314 million investment programme over the next five years.
5th Studio’s work for the National Infrastructure Commission on the Oxford-Milton Keynes-Cambridge Arc illustrates the potential of well-planned and integrated growth around infrastructure. There is much work to do to develop this thinking, particularly around the potential for net-zero carbon and the creation of new landscapes to support sustainable growth.
Cranfield University, in association with the Arc Universities Group and the UK Collaboratorium for Research on Infrastructure and Cities is hosting a one and a half day conference on June 4th-5th on ‘Science and Innovation for the Arc’. The event will both give a voice to a selection of perspectives on delivering the promise of the Arc and showcase leading edge research aligned with the four policy pillars of Connectivity, Place Making, Productivity, and Environment.
Tom Holbrook will be speaking on the opportunity of creating well-designed places in the Arc on 4th June. Other speakers include Sir Anthony Seldon, Vice-Chancellor, University of Buckingham, Liz Varga Professor of Complex Systems at UCL and Will Hutton, Principal of Hertford College, Oxford.
5th Studio have been appointed to work with Westminster City Council’s Place Shaping team to establish a Permeability Strategy for North Paddington, addressing the severance caused by the Westway and Marylebone Flyover, the canal and the railway lines into Paddington Station.
Working with Jonathan Cook Landscape Architects, Studio Dekka and Daisy Froud, the strategy seeks to improve north-south permeability and create legible and attractive routes for walking and cycling.
The strategy will provide a holistic approach and guidance for future growth and development in the North Paddington area establishing a holistic approach to key development sites, the public realm and improvements to infrastructure in order to create new connections, public spaces and destinations.
There will be opportunities to engage with emerging thinking and proposals in due course.
As part of the Mayor of London’s Good Growth by Design programme, Designing a City for All Londoners is an event to celebrate the programme and its first term of activities. It will also be an opportunity to show the work to date on draft guidance for two important policies – ‘Good Quality Housing for all Londoners’ - new housing design guidance, which embeds quality at the centre of housing delivery, and the Public London Charter, which sets out new principles for the rights and responsibilities of the owners, managers and users of public spaces.
Tom Holbrook will be chairing a session on the Public London Charter, with a panel including Paul Harper from the GLA, Anisha Jogani, Placemaking Lead at LB Croydon, Professor Antonia Layard, Professor of Law, University of Bristol, Manijeh Verghese, Curator British pavilion Venice architecture biennale 2020 and Martyn Evans from developer U+I.
Compered by Sadie Morgan OBE, the event will celebrate the Good Growth by Design programme and progress made across a range of priority areas like circular economy, child-friendly cities and high streets. This work has all been summarised in a new compendium, edited by MDA Rory Hyde. The event will bring together local authorities, built environment experts, the planning sector and a public and civil society audience to showcase and recognise the role of design in improving development and delivering quality of life in a growing city.
5th Studio working in close collaboration with landscape architects, JCLA, recently put together a successful bid for the Royal Docks ward for The Urban Tree Challenge Fund organised by the Forestry Commission.
The project was awarded funding for 712 trees to be planted by winter 2020-21. The grant will fund the planting of trees and the first three years of their care to ensure they can flourish into the future.
Furthermore, 5th Studio were appointed by the Royal Docks Team to produce all public consultation material for the Tree Planting Programme and to coordinate the programme from inception to delivery.
Between October 2020 and March 2021 the Royal Docks Team hopes to plant trees across the Royal Docks which will not only create beautiful green spaces but also add to the environmental benefit for the Royal Docks as a whole. Walnuts, quinces, sweet chestnuts, white cherries, and ginkgos are a few of the proposed species, which have been chosen based on trees that were originally found in the borough.
London has almost as many trees as it does people, but don't underestimate the benefit of these familiar figures. Trees for Cities write that 2,367,000 tonnes of Carbon is stored in London's trees alone. They soak up pollutants, cool down urban heat islands, and lower stress levels. Last week, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, announced almost 7,000 new street trees across 20 boroughs, and over 900 of them will be in Newham.
The online consultation survey is now live.
To respond to the online Tree Planting Programme questionnaire by March 6th here.
To help transform Thames Barrier Park, respond to the questionnaire by March 15th here.
To find out more about the Royal Docks Tree Planting Programme here.
5th Studio were finalists for the Smithfield Market competition, making the final five from over 70 entries were received from across the world in a strongly fought competition that included BIG and Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. Our team included John O’Mara Architects, Estudio Martí Franch, Arup, Donald Hyslop, New Economics Foundation, Squint Opera, Counterculture and the Planning Lab. The other finalists comprised teams led by David Kohn Architects (the competition winners), ACME & b720 Fermín Vázquez arquitectos with James Corner Field Operations, Moreau Kusunoki Architects and Publica with Alejandro Echeverri & Shigeru Ban.
We can now reveal our submission which, as required by the competition, focussed on a design approach rather than a proposal.
The new markets will be the centrepiece of the £1.5 billion Smithfield development. Lendlease is Birmingham City Council’s preferred development partner for Smithfield and the Markets are central to the City Council’s Big City Plan, a 25-year vision to support the development of a world-class city centre.
Film above created by Squint Opera / Executive Creative Director – Oliver Alsop / Director – Jason Brooks / Producer – Yinka Obisesan