Court Drove, Overton, Public Consultation; Monday 14 Aug 2017

A public exhibition and consultation looking at the design for the proposed development East of Court Drove, Overton was held at The Club Room in Overton Community Centre from 5:30pm to 8:00pm on Monday 14 August 2017.  The proposed residential development is for 12 new dwellings.  The purpose of this exhibition was to inform, consult and gain feedback from the local community on the proposed development. Members of the design team were present to discuss the proposals. 35 people attended and 21 feedback forms were received.


rhulrail edited web
Central to Founder’s Court, Royal Holloway College University of London is a statue of Thomas and Jane Holloway. The college was one of eight women’s colleges founded in England during the period 1869-1886, the only one outside Oxford or Cambridge. Designed by W. H. Crossland, the central coutryards of the college are grade I listed. A new railing by MBA subtly protects and illuminates the sculpture.

The statue is by Count Gleichen (1833-1891) who sculpted this and the corresponding statue of Queen Victoria in the northern court. Gliechen constructs his sculpture on a large base, with muses at the corners, in a baroque fashion, with a series of swags and scrolls at 45 degrees to the man axis, the corners of the base set out as ʻcircles within squaresʼ. This geometry has informed the setting out of the proposed railing.

The railing is designed to prevent casual access to the sculpture – a beer mug used to appear in the founder’s right hand from time to time – whilst offering good and safe circulation around. It designates ‘protected space’, performing a similar function to a rope or rail at an art gallery.  The rail houses eight up-lights which give optimal subtle illumination to the sculpture whilst making the barrier visible at night.

Saturday, 16 January 2016 / Projects

Archery Road on site

The Archery Road project at St Leonard’s Hastings is now on site. The residential development will provide 121 new homes, with more than half being affordable housing, a contribution to meeting the acute need for housing in the south east. MBA are working with developers Gemselect and social housing providers Orbit Homes.


MBA are working at New College, Oxford, supporting David Kohn Architects in the New Quad Project, and developing the Morris Garage project.

Thursday, 14 January 2016 / Projects

Fairlight Housing, Hastings

MBA are designing 16 new homes in Fairlight, near Hastings, Sussex, working with developers Gemselect, who have been developing award winning buildings throughout Kent and East Sussex for nearly 20 years. The Fairlight housing project will provide 16 new homes built to high standards of sustainability, on a constrained and wonderful valley site set one hill back from the sea.  Extensive consultation has been carried out with the local planing authority and with residents to ensure the right level of development and that the design properly reflects the local character. MBA made a careful study of local  Sussex vernacular housing and tile hanging in order to arrive at a 21st century version of the traditional Sussex house.

Great new photos from Marcus Peel of Marcus Beale Architects at Oriel, the Rhodes building, interior and exterior. Rooms among dreaming spires, new dormers looking over the shoulders of the old.

Saturday, 28 February 2015 / Projects

Archery Road, Hastings – Sussex

MBA have submitted a revised planning application for Archery Road. This includes various improvements and minor modifications to the previously approved scheme. The development is to be built by local developer Gemselect of Battle, social housing managed by Orbit Homes.

Oriel College Chapel reopened on 17 January 2015 with a service of rededication and thanksgiving after a programme of repairs and alterations. Work included redecorating the ceiling in trompe l’oiel coffer vaults, re-lighting the interior with purpose made stands for the stalls, and adjustments to improve accessibility and safety. Director of chapel music Dr David Maw says this of the space:

‘For the choir, the Chapel is a space for both physical and acoustical interaction. The recent work has enhanced the choir’s experience of this space in both dimensions. The removal of extraneous furnishings and the restoration of surfaces has refocused the sight-lines of the Chapel, giving the Choir a clearer place within them. So the choir’s central role in the ceremonial of liturgical rite – in processions and in leading participation – has been enhanced. Cleaned and repainted walls and ceiling and the opening of the Oratory have developed the Chapel’s acoustic. The warmth and intimacy of the environment remain, but there is a new brilliance that is telling in the choral sound. We are all delighted with the work.’

The Manor House, London, SW19, a listed farmhouse from the 17th or 18th century faced in brick, converted into offices, butch rear extension, the whole site car parked, is now about to breathe again as a residential house and garden. Alongside a barn-like new building containing 4 new residential eco-flats.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014 / Projects

A Subtle Presence in Oxford

The Rhodes Building on Oxford’s High Street, has an exceedingly subtle presence, but we have had the pleasure of being able to an extra storey on a grade 2* listed building – almost unheard of conservation-heritage circles.  MBA has carefully researched, and executed the work successfully, providing a new window onto the building, whilst at the same time looking over its precursor’s shoulder.