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
A new private office for a senior partner of a major European hedge fund is nearing completion in Wimbledon Village, London. The strikingly modern building is in a conservation area, and includes a number of measures to improve its environmental performance including timber cladding, planting, solar shading and renewable energy.
A new sports pavilion for King’s College School at Raynes Park has been submitted for planning. The building’s location, identified by the head groundsman, involves no loss of playable pitches, as well as a grandstand view of the playing fields. MBA worked with this idea to design a wedge-shaped building, carefully adapted to the path of the sun. The roof is a solar farm of photovoltaic panels generating 20% of the building’s energy requirements, fed back to the grid when the pavilion is not in use.
The new library for the London School of Pharmacy has reached practical completion, and is being prepared for student use. The project involved remodelling the existing space including the introducing new roof-lights, new floor wall and ceiling finishes, and the provision of new book-stacks, study carrels, reception desk and study areas. The library is zoned acoustically, and highly absorbent materials are deployed in key areas to create zones for quiet study whilst achieving visual openness. The contractor was Parkeray.
MBA’s conservation arm Stow & Beale Conservation Architects are carrying out a feasibility study for English Heritage at the Dover ‘Secret Wartime Tunnels’, a system of tunnels, now over 1km long, originally cut into the chalk cliffs in 1793, brick lined in 1810, and extended during the second world war to form a combined HQ for admiralty, army and air-force, complete with an underground field-hospital.
The tunnels were used for planning and directing ‘Operation Dynamo’ – the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk in 1941 – and later for the invasion of Europe in 1944. Such was secrecy, those working in the tunnels did not know of their extent, access was allowed on a need-to-be-there room-by-room basis.
During the Cold War, the tunnels were upgraded and re-used as a Regional Centre of Government, before being declassified and handed to English Heritage in 1995. They are now a major visitor attraction at Dover Castle, and are to be represented as part of a regeneration programme aimed to make seaside towns thrive through improvements to heritage and tourism.
MBA’s specialist conservation arm, Stow and Beale Conservation Architects, has been appointed to direct a major conservation project at the Chapter House of Westminster Abbey for clients English Heritage.
The London School of Pharmacy have selected MBA as architects for a major renewal of the UK’s only dedicated library of pharmacy. The new facility will be a bright, modern, humane space for study, group work and research, incorporating the latest principles of sustainable, holistic library design. Work is due to be carried out in summer 2009.
MBA are developing proposals for a new play park at the Max Roach Centre in south London for the London Borough of Lambeth, in association with play specialists PLAYLINK.
MBA consultant Aileen Shackell, and PLAYLINK’s Phil Doyle are co-authors of Play England’s Design for Play: A guide to creating successful play spaces.
The new play park will be innovative, flagship facility and a community hub.
MBA have been commissioned to develop a master plan for Oriel College, Oxford. The award follows a series of successful projects for the college, alongside work completed on conservation and management plans by sibling company Stow and Beale Conservation Architects.
The plan will build on the methodical assessment of the site and its history, and map the medium term needs of the College to its historic fabric, identifying opportunities for improved use, accessibility and sustainability.
MBA’s first new theatre for Cumnor House School in Sussex will open in August 2008.
This education architectural project sits in an area of outstanding natural beauty, and the theatre seats 365 children and includes foyer, backstage facilities and music rehearsal rooms.
Using the natural slope of the land to achieve the raked auditorium. Its form responds to the historic crinkle-crankle garden wall nearby and to an ancient Yew tree adjacent to the building. Green credentials include locally sourced bricks – dug up form the earth within a mile of the site, untreated larch boarding and high levels of insulation and thermal mass, as well as a bio-diverse green roofs across the whole building.
The school describe the new space as ‘fantastic’, as the low ceilinged foyer, set sensitively within the existing landscape, gives way to the large auditorium.