The following are a range of articles on conservation, heritage, education, public, commercial, religious, residential and urban design by architects firm in London, Wimbledon, Marcus Beale Architects
New in 2021
New collegiate, public and commercial projects including at Oriel College Oxford and Merton Priory.
New uses for landmark historic buildings and urban design including researching and expressing the heritage significance of Oxford’s Covered Market.
New good quality housing in protected sites including developments at Colliers Wood and Mitcham, London.
A new pandemic-resilient arts centre in Tower Hamlets.
Completion of our new care home at Beulah Hill.
Core architecture skills coming even more in focus, building on our trusted networks of consultants and collaborators.
Evidence based conservation – doing imaginative, smart new things in old and new places. Here’s to 2021.
MBA drawing prize – the theatre of everyday life
Theatre of everyday lifeRead more.
Best of 2020 part 1. The MBA drawing prize 2020 delivered by zoom on 20 June. The prize has been given for ‘drawing space’ since 2016, and this is the first year it has been associated with the BA theatre course at Wimbledon College of Art. Four emerging artists aged about 21. Ruth Badila, Jawon Kim, Pip Terry, Youngjun Chang. The tipping point was “pertinence to us now… what we can learn about life by thinking artistically.”
MB’s comments on ‘the theatre of everyday life” begin at 2.07Read less.
A Creative New Year
2020 taught. We quipped at the beginning ’20-20 vision’. By March accepted modes of work were fragile and just-about adaptable: we could work at a distance. The role of a design director became, as a rhetorical joke, that of ‘a conductor with members of the orchestra in different houses’. And then the videos of choirs and orchestras doing exactly that – the limitations a-synchronicity. Construction is based on coordination and networks of trust. One brick on top of another. Persevering to principles of conservation, research, evidence, peace-making, professionalism and fairness. This is the basis of all business relationships, especially when tested. Construction cannot be stopped: as most of our economy ground to a halt, construction continued throughout. To our colleagues in this great Industry, and to everyone, we wish you a holy, peaceful Christmas and a creative and prosperous new year 2021.Read less.
Lion Gates at Oriel
New Lion gates at Oriel College, Oxford. We tried to make the lions minimal, scary, powerful and welcoming. Laser cut and hand worked by artist blacksmith Ben Prothero.Read less.
Photo recce at UCS
We have comissioned architectural photographer Marcus Peel to carry out a photo shoot of the UCS sports pavilion in north London. Here is shot of the Marci sizing up the south elevation.Read less.
Music for lockdown
Penguin CafeRead more.
I used to play in the Penguin Cafe with Simon Jeffes in the 1980s. We toured in Japan, USA and Europe. At this time such ego-less music was difficult to define. Simon turned me on to musical proportion in architecture and the books of Frances Yates.
Here is a lovely recording from the new Pengiuin Cafe Orchestra, led by his son Arthur Jeffes in 2019 Wheels within wheels. I love the synchronicity.
Music for lockdown.
Bestest MRead less.
Upper Green East planning approved
MBA’s scheme for an anchor shop and 20 new flats in Mitcham was approved on 20 August 2020.Read more.
Planning permission was granted on 20 August for MBA’s sophisticated, understated, highly sculptural mixed use scheme at Upper Green East in Mitcham.
The development will provide a shop unit of about 5,000 sq. ft. with twenty > all-dual-aspect< flats above. Councillors voted 9-1 in favour.
- “… Fantastic design, a fantastic addition to this part of Mitcham Town Centre “
- “I’ve lived in Mitcham for 30 years. This is the best, best thing I’ve seen happening to Mitcham right now”
- “… Great development. Mitcham needs new development. Mitcham does need new housing, we need to build this”
- ” No design work in this at all, it’s just squares, it’s not complicated.”
UCS pavilion – aerial shot
Aerial shot of UCS pavilionRead more.
Aerial shot of University College School pavilion – north is top – you can see from left to right: the circular water tank, the grounds building with solar panels and its yard, the oval coach drop off with jagged pavement, cricket nets to the south and then the east and west pavilions straddling the public footpath which runs from the bottom of the picture. Architecture and landscape embracing at an appropriate scale…
Rhodes House Oxford
Rhodes house gains planning and listed building consentRead more.
Planning permission and Listed Building Consent were granted on 11 August. This is our first collaboration with Stanton Williams Architects who are designing a £37 million scheme which will radically transform this Grade II* listed building. Our role was to research the cultural significance of the building, landscape and setting, advise Stanton Williams on conservation and design aspects of the proposals and help them overcome the many conservation challenges during prolonged discussions with Oxford City Council and Historic England. It was fascinating to go through the Rhodes Trust archives to track Herbert Baker’s design development and the late evolution of the plan to incorporate what is now the Rotunda, the original correspondence sprinkled with sketches and diagrams, some on folded scraps of tracing paper. I seem to be following Cecil Rhodes around, after spending 5 years on the Rhodes building at Oriel college, where a major refurbishment by MBA added an extra floor. By adding another layer of history architects can add nuance and cultural context to our built heritage.Read less.