Seven chosen for the Architect Pitch – Crossing Boundaries

13 June, 2019

This special edition of the Architect Pitch aims to challenge the boundaries between architects and clients to show how practices can move outside traditional roles through their own startup projects. The winner of the Pitch will receive a marketing/PR package up to the value of £5,000.

The pitch is being supported by HOK London and  is part of the London Festival of Architecture, 2019. Tickets for the Pitch can be booked here.

The architects are: Amos Goldreich Architecture, Gbolade Design Studio, Miller Howard Workshop, HTA Design, Studio Bark, Turner.Works and Unknown Works.

Here the selected architects tell us why they want to pitch.

Amos Goldreich Architecture

@amosgoldreich

Tell us about your practice

We are an award-winning architecture practice., creating buildings and places which have a positive impact on people’s lives and are a joy to experience.Much of our work has a strong humanitarian focus – we are always aware of the positive and progressive values that buildings can deliver to people and communities. In times of political and social uncertainty, we strive to create “an architecture of hope” that is safe, encouraging and inspiring.

How old is your practice?

9 years

Tell us about your project

With 9,000 homeless people sleeping rough in England, a third of whom are in London, the capital has nearly 3m sqm of commercial floorspace empty for more than two years. Also, 2,700 hectares of land – the equivalent to the London Borough of Lambeth – has planning permission with no construction imminent.

Our project envisages the occupation of empty space for use as sheltered accommodation for the homeless, coupled with a co-working space for young entrepreneurs, young creatives and start-ups. This will provide transfers of knowledge and skills between members of the co-working space and the homeless to help the latter to up-skill. 

Why do you want to take part?

It would be a unique opportunity to present the ideas we have been developing internally,  informed by our close affiliations with a number of humanitarian charities. It would allow us to share our core values and beliefs – that architecture can transcend its physical form and offer shelter and solace beyond its walls. It would also be a great opportunity to get feedback from well-respected experts, as well as a wider audience.

 

Gbolade Design Studio

@taragbolade

Tell us about your practice

We are a small practice with big-practice experience in the residential sector. Our client base ranges from private SME developers to local authorities and housing associations. Our analytical approach allows each project to respond uniquely to its own context, creating places and developments that deliver added-value for our clients and experiences that enrich, empower, and connect lives.

How old is your practice?

1.5 years

Tell us about your project

I’ve co-created and launched the ‘MyPart3 App’ which is an iOS app designed to give architecture students high level information on how to ‘Run a Project’ and how to ‘Run a Practice’. It features a powerful ‘Resources’ section which gives users access to podcasts, design standards and industry events at their fingertips. The app has been well received by students and architects alike, and the number of downloads continue to rise, proving the concept and need for the product. 

Why do you want to take part?

I’d love the opportunity to take the app to the next level. This will be done by creating the android version of the app (currently only available in iOS format), and the opportunity to partner with additional sponsors so the app can continue to remain free for students and architects.

 

HTA Design

@htadesignllp

Tell us about your practice

HTA is an interdisciplinary design practice employing 200 staff across architecture, landscape design, planning, urban design, sustainability and communications. Leaders in urban regeneration, housing, sustainable development and user participation, we provide comprehensive design services for the delivery of a wide range of private and affordable housing, major redevelopment, regeneration projects and estate modernisation.

How old is your practice?

50 years

Tell us about your project

Neighbourhoods of the future will be formed from adaptable and flexible housing, fully responsive to the needs of an ageing population. With global manufacturers Tata and the Agile Ageing Alliance, we are developing housing solutions based on precision manufactured methods, for improved quality and speed of assembly, enabling future modifications and reconfigurations of layout throughout the lifespan of the occupants.

Why do you want to take part?

The best ideas are developed in collaboration with like-minded people working across diverse organisations and we welcome the opportunity to expand this network to interact with entrepreneurs who have founded companies and provide new services for the world we live in. We believe the services and systems of the future likely to succeed are best designed by collaborative teams made up of a mix of people mirroring the complexity of our future society.

 

Millar Howard Workshop

@livedinCB

Tell us about your practice

Livedin Custom Build is a startup that grew out of Millar + Howard Workshop. Livedin is changing the way housing is delivered in the UK by connecting landowners who want to develop their land directly with self builders who want to buy a plot. It creates an ecosystem for landowners, architects, plot buyers and home manufacturers to work together to deliver design-led custom build housing across the UK.

How old is your practice?

MHW

15 years

Livedin

5 years

Tell us about your project

Livedin is a platform business model providing a marketplace for landowners to sell their land ‘retail’ – direct to the homeowner – rather than ‘wholesale’ through a middleman developer. The landowner gets a better price with more say in what gets built. Homeowners have an input in design and construction, and architects can offer clients a new development model with additional professional services. A new market is opening up for innovative small scale home manufacturers to help invigorate the house building industry while local communities stand to get better quality housing and a greater sense of community and place.

Why do you want to take part?

Construction is one of the least digitised industries and is ripe for disruption. Rather than companies from outside the profession imposing change on the industry, we want architects to lead the way in inventing new business models, tools and construction systems. We are excited to have an opportunity to pitch and if we won, the marketing and development support would give us a fantastic boost to help promote and develop our idea and move it to the next phase of growth.

 

Studio Bark

@studiobark

@UBuild_UK

Tell us about your practice

A collaborative team of architects, designers and makers based in east London, Studio Bark is a young studio, dedicated to the transformational potential of the built-environment and outstanding environmentally-driven architecture. Our work incorporates best practice principles while attempting to push the boundaries of ecologically-conscious architecture, encompassing residential, commercial and community projects with a specialism in bespoke homes.

How old is your practice?

5 Years

Tell us about your project

U-Build is a flatpack self build kit, empowering individuals and community groups to build their own beautiful spaces. Our system comprises precision cut plywood boxes, tailored to bespoke designs using clever computer script, yet simple enough for anyone to put together. We aim to fill a niche in the market for custom and self build housing for those who want to get ‘hands on’ in the build process but lack the technical skills. The system is made of natural materials, which can be fully disassembled and reconfigured, or taken down at the end of use.

Why do you want to take part?

After a self-funded research and development programme, we now have a working product, a website, built examples, a feature on Grand Designs as well as a large order book of enquiries. We would like the support of some experienced consultants to help us scale up our offering, and guidance on refining our message so our route to market is seamless.

 

Turner.Works

@CarlCTA

Tell us about your practice

As Carl Turner Architects, we’ve grappled with shipping containers, car parks, old agricultural buildings and empty space. Every project has been with like-minded organisations committed to places with a new purpose. After 11 years it’s time for a new name and a new way of talking about ourselves. We are now Turner.Works. We are reimagining the way forward, embracing four words – imagining, designing, making, running – and are looking to work with a community group, a local council, an enlightened developer, or just someone with vision and a bit of courage.

How old is your practice?

New – just launching

Tell us about your project

We will develop business plans, feasibility studies, strategies and master plans. We will identify opportunities and rethink spaces and places. We will sketch, draw and make models and create buildings to live in, work in and learn in. Our services will be marketed and packaged as products and will range from client/developer training packages to deployable creative workspaces.

Why do you want to take part?

We are launching our new problem solving, boundary blurring organisation the day before the Architect Pitch so this will be a great opportunity to garner feedback from an audience and expert panel. We are keen to put architects back at the heart of the regeneration process and we want to build on our disruptive work around meanwhile spaces that goes right to the core of development. 

 

Unknown Works

Tell us about the practice

We are an emerging architecture and creative studio based in London. We are fascinated by the human condition and the development of settlements and cities. Alongside commercial, residential, and music studio projects, we are working on a series of six self-initiated projects that seek to uncover the impact of densification of cities. Space Gap (London), Residual City (Hong Kong), Village in the City (China), Floating Flight Theatre (Hong Kong)  and Beyond Borders (London).

How old is your practice?

1 year

Tell us about your project?

Brightbox ( see main image) is a prototype for an off grid interconnected classroom, clinic and community hub for communities without vital infrastructure. The compact structure provides a beacon of learning, care and opportunity for communities in areas such as refugee camps, ad-hoc and remote settlements and alongside disaster zones. We are currently working on Brightbox Phase 1 in the Bidi Bidi Refugee Settlement in North Uganda, until recently the largest refugee settlement in the world.

Why do you want to take part ?

We wish to promote the scope of the project and to widen its reach and public awareness. We wish to gain the funding in order to develop the project further and fund its roll-out internationally. We believe that the project has the ability to transform and support communities and become an instrumental and ingenious architectural product with a variety of different applications across different situations and geographies.

The Architect Pitch is on June 27th at HOK London. More details here