West London Home Completes!

09/05/2024

Abigail Baggley

Written by Abigail Baggley
Architectural Director | Architect | LDN Collective Member

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Welcome to the final stage of the construction journey for this remarkable new build home in West London. This particular site presented us with an amazing opportunity to embrace the timeless C.F.A Voysey style architecture, merging elegant architectural detailing with contemporary functional layouts, whilst meeting the needs of the modern 21st century family.

Originally appointed by a private developer, we undertook a review of the former care site, and concluded that a new build home alongside the renovation of the historic parts of the former care home, would deliver the most appropriate and sensitive scheme, ensuring that the site was not overdeveloped. The existing street was interesting to analyse, as contextually the buildings have varied materiality, style and shape, which enabled us to approach the new build home with a unique design proposition. Locally, we recognised some ‘voysey-style’ building features (for example, stone window surrounds) which led us to explore the architectural style and building forms, and within a short space of time, we felt that we had a strong design inspiration, and a clear vision for the front façade.

We successfully obtained planning permission in January 2021, at which point, our client decided to split the sites in two and sell each parcel. The new build parcel was bought by our now clients, and they decided to continue working with us to develop interior concepts and to produce the working drawings for construction.

To our delight, our clients loved and respected the vision and wished to execute the project with the care and attention it deserved. We worked together and made minor adjustments to the layouts to suit their exact needs, which included balancing bedroom sizes for their children and utilising an unused roof void to create a ‘den’ with feature hanging net. Additionally, we developed a series of 3D visuals for key rooms, to help our clients develop their ideas for the interior design, which included the feature staircase and balustrade design to wrap the triple height hallway.

Construction was completed in late 2023 and last month we had the pleasure of visiting the family to see how they have settled into their new home.


A Short Film : Transformation Newcastle

29/02/2024

Abigail Baggley

As part of the LDN Collective, we love participating in the annual study trip, which this year was hosted by the wonderful city of Newcastle. With snow on the ground, we met with Newcastle City Council and Invest Newcastle to discuss their ambitious plans for the city, as well as hosting our own presentation about the collective at the Farrell Centre. In a matter of minutes, this short film created by You See Media captures many of the trip highlights!


Howay and beyond: A trip to Newcastle

23/01/2024

Abigail Baggley

Written by Abigail Baggley
Architectural Director | Architect | LDN Collective Member

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One of the joys of being part of the LDN Collective is the opportunity to explore cities and places with passionate people and varied perspectives. This winter we took on Newcastle, where an eclectic mix of architects, video-makers, social and well-being specialists, urban designers and others, were led by LDN Collective CEO Max Farrell on a circular walking tour around the city, capturing many of the city’s interesting masterplanning and architectural projects.

LDN Collective kickstart the tour on Newcastle Quayside

““Last week the LDN Collective had an incredible study trip to one of my favourite cities, Newcastle upon Tyne. It’s a very special place, not just because of the warmth of its people, but also the magnificent architecture with probably the finest street in the UK and the most iconic bridge. I believe Newcastle is about to experience an urban renaissance, with newly devolved powers and the first ever Mayor to be elected in May, significant funds through levelling up and HS2 redistribution, as well as the richest football club in the world and the wider impact that investment will have. For me, the values that characterise the people are humility, hospitality, civic pride and an unbeatable sense of humour. All of which were there in abundance.”   
Max Farrell, CEO of LDN Collective

The Tour

Starting at the iconic Millenium Bridge on the River Tyne, we walked along the quayside, which was arguably one of Terry Farrells most important masterplan projects. What seemed radical at the time, was his ambition to open up the once industrial waterfront to the public, connecting the river to the city centre. This required a sensitive approach to historic buildings, carefully blending new and old architecture.

A view to Gateshead over Millennium Bridge

Our journey then led to the Stephenson Quarter, an area named after George Stephenson, the “Father of Railways”. We visited the heritage asset and listed Boiler Shop, a previous locomotive workshop, now with a new life hosting markets, concerts and exhibitions. Our next stop was the Centre for Life – a Life Science centre and also another well-known Terry Farrell Design, framing the city and forming a physical gateway to the previously inaccessible backlands.

Exploring the listed Boiler Shop
At the city gateway at Centre for Life
Centre for Life ageing well

Next stop was Helix, where Jenny Hartley, Director at Invest Newcastle, led our tour group around the new mixed-use development, bringing together business, leisure and residential. Each building has a unique design and personality of its own, which in time should nestle within the community as the landscape matures.

We then met with Louise Sloan, Assistant Director for Planning and Pamela Holmes, Principal Engineer at one of my favourite buildings, the grade II* listed Civic Centre, designed by George Kenyon for Newcastle City Council in 1967. Here we learnt about the wider ambitions for Newcastle, alongside more practical wants, like the funding required for repairs to the Tyne Bridge in time for its 100th Anniversary.

The Newcastle City Model
Grade II* Listed Civic Centre
Grade II* Listed Civic Centre - once external, now forms part of foyer experience

Our journey concluded at the Farrell Centre; an urban room, exhibition space and venue for debate on the future of planning and architecture. Socio-economic expert Tim Ashwin presented his recent research and analysis on Newcastle, which then flowed into a broader presentation about the LDN Collective and our specialists within the team.

Reaching a natural conclusion at the Farrell Centre

Newcastle has clearly been, and continues to be, a forward-thinking city; leading the way delivering iconic modernist architecture. The abundance of warm sandstone, found on its curving city streets, gives it a unique charm, which in the most part has been sensitively blended with new buildings. During our trip we saw exciting new structures and interesting forms with contemporary ideas, but I felt these could be offset and enhanced with a prioritisation of landscape and planting, softening the hard surfaces, increasing wildlife and in time, rooting the newer developments in place. As Architects and Landscape Architects we often see projects fall short in this area, and sadly, Newcastle is no different, suffering the same fate. What is exciting in the case of Newcastle is that the City Council recognise the need for urban greening strategies. They are proactively looking for ways to develop these ideas, aligned with local community engagement, as they wish to think more holistically about landscape and well-being, alongside the practical wants and needs of the community. More power to them!


Re-imagining Brixton | Collaborations

10/07/2023

Abigail Baggley

We are thrilled to share this fantastic short film produced by You See Media…giving a glimpse of our Re-Imagining Brixton Exhibition, which was part of this year’s London Festival of Architecture, with its focus on Brixton and based on the notional theme ‘in common’.

Through our own art and explorations, we have discovered more about Brixton ourselves, while opening our studio to the local community has been a wonderful, uplifting experience too.

We have enjoyed the opportunity to forge new connections with local people, charities, businesses and schools, as well as reinforcing existing relationships. We are always looking for more ways to engage and support the local community and look forward to continuing to develop these old and new associations.

A great example of this, was our project ‘Re-Generational’, which was an experimental collaboration between BoonBrown and South Bank University Technical College (UTC). Working with the school, we designed and printed a 3D model of central Brixton and chose five sites that could be re-imagined, with architectural interventions designed by the students. Although quite a challenge, the students were very inventive; using sketching and digital modelling to produce building and furniture designs, which were all printed in 3D. Through this, we discovered interesting emerging themes, focused on renewable technologies and a desire for more public ‘dwell’ space.

We’d love to thank all our partners who supported us in the creation of the exhibition, including South Bank UTC, Lawrence Barraclough at You See Media, support and promotion from the LDN Collective, and of course our wonderful guests, who attended our launch event and subsequent exhibition.

Due to the positive response we’ve had and continuing popularity, the exhibition has been extended for a few more days, so please do come down and check it out!


Elephant Park Tour with LDN Collective

26/06/2023

Abigail Baggley

Thank you to You See Media who made this fantastic film about Elephant Park in collaboration with the LDN Collective.

Architectural Director Abigail Baggley and non-exec Director Ed Watson make observations about the successes in architectural detailing, and discuss how the development has anchored itself within the community, creating a really exciting bustling working and living hub within Elephant and Castle.

For those who don’t know, Elephant Park is a residential-led mixed-use regeneration scheme creating 3,000 homes, 6,000 jobs, 50 shops, restaurants and cafes, with 1,200 trees (170 of which, were there already!)


Re-imagining Brixton Goes Live!

22/06/2023

Abigail Baggley

This week at BoonBrown we are delighted to unveil our Re-imagining Brixton Exhibition, which is part of the London Festival of Architecture!

Our exhibition explores Brixton’s cultural heritage and vibrancy, re-imagined as Common Land (this year’s festival theme), through our exhibition and façade installation. We’ll investigate an alternative Brixton, exploring the possibilities through visualisations and the re-elevation of our studio building.

Our exhibition is split into the following parts:-

 

A Brixton Colours Show | An art installation fixed to our studio’s façade symbolising Brixton vibrancy.

 

Brixton Mural Tour | Grab your free map so you can take self-guided tour of Brixton, exploring the historical and influential murals which reflect the cultural and political past and present.

 

Common Land Conception | A series of boards which will exhibit visualisations in the form of sketches, drawings and renders conveying what Brixton could look like if reinvented as common land.

 

 

Re-Generational | An experimental collaboration between BoonBrown and students from Southbank UTC, looking for opportunities for potential change in the familiar urban setting of Brixton’s key roads and node points.

 

 

The BoonBrown Experience | Take a deeper look into who we are and what we do at BoonBrown.

 

We kicked off our exhibition with a launch party hosted on the evening of the 20th June, with the exhibition open to the public for the remainder of the week.

Please come on down and check out our work – to do so, book your tickets here:

https://www.londonfestivalofarchitecture.org/event/re-imagining-brixton-exhibition/

We look forward to seeing you!

 

📸 Image credits to the fabulous You See Media, our friends at the LDN Collective!


Designing Equitable Spaces

08/03/2023

Abigail Baggley

Written by Abigail Baggley

Abigail is a qualified Architect and Architectural Director at BoonBrown with day-to-day responsibilities running our London Studio. She plays an important role shaping the company culture and is passionate about bringing holistic thinking to design with a focus on inclusivity and connectivity, finding opportunities for reuse and to recycle, and exploring ways to embed landscaping within design to maximise habitat creation.

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Understanding Equitable Design

Firstly, what is equitable design? The dictionary definition of equity, is to provide equal treatment to everyone whilst still acknowledging the differences between individuals. This implies that there are inherent differences between individuals’ circumstances, and for everyone to achieve the same equal outcome, they must be given tools and opportunities specific to their needs.

So how do these principles affect the design of urban spaces? To explore the concept, we felt it would be best represented as two graphics.

Scene One | Segregated access arrangements in urban space
Scene Two | Blended access arrangement in urban space

Scene one: from a practical perspective this succeeds in meeting the needs of its users, however, in this design there maybe experiential differences for those using the stairs vs those using the ramp. For example, how do the views beyond the space vary if you use the stairs or use the ramp, and are the lighting conditions different, and how do materiality choices change the feel of each space? There will be inherent differences between the users’ experience and therefore, we see an opportunity for more equitable design.

Scene two: in this option we explore another ramp and stair configuration delivering the same practical design outcome, however in this scenario it’s provided through a blended architectural design, where every user now has the same experience. People with all accessibility needs are catered for within one cohesive design, rather than segregated access arrangements where there will be inherent differences between what people experience.

We see equitable design as an opportunity to embed inclusivity within every design choice. This goes beyond equality and statutory requirement, and considers the detailed experience of each user, celebrating diversity and offering social experiences that are genuinely equal for everyone.