In a record breaking year for the awards with 5,400 entries from 90 countries, 6 Babmaes Street is one of 27 in its category which Dezeen and their judges selected as ‘the world’s best interior spaces’.
We had a wonderful time toasting Fathom’s talented team with our day of Summer in the City.
Big thank you to our social committee Jo, Jack, Richard and Connie for organising an inspiring itinerary with brunch at Granary Square, chugging down the Regent’s Canal, a visit to Theaster Gates’ Black Chapel, mooching around the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and finishing with dinner, drinks and cabaret!
Fathom’s debut on the architects’ softball circuit began with a storming victory over The Manser Practice, winning the series 2-1!
Despite having a depleted matchday squad, the Fathomites produced a number of magnificent home runs along with some expertly co-ordinated fielding and showstopping catches.
Thank you to The Manser Practice for letting us borrow a few seasoned regulars to produce a spectacle, and for the laughs at the pub afterwards. And big thanks to Jack for organising the game, and Enosh for the match report.
We’re excited to promote Richard Hanley Timmins to Senior Architect.
Since joining Fathom in 2021 he has successfully led our sustainable retrofit of St Mark’s Court in St John’s Wood through planning, and is currently working on the reimagining of an office building in Waterloo.
We love his passion for sustainable development and dedication to creatively re-using existing buildings. Find out more about Richard on our People page.
We had a fantastic tour of The Garden of Privatised Delights at The Building Centre, thanks to Manijeh Verghese who generously gave her time to share insights in co-curating the UK Pavilion for the Venice Biennale with Madeleine Kessler.
The installation addresses how perceived public spaces – such as high streets and playgrounds are under threat from increasing privatisation, and asks important questions about ownership and access.
Of course we had to take the obligatory team photo on the climbing frame before heading to the pub for a few drinks!
We’re very happy to welcome Kirah to Fathom for the summer. Kirah is a second-year Architecture student at University of Bath bringing her skills to the team and learning about life in practice.
A passionate advocate for how the built environment industry can address the climate crisis, she is keen to learn how social and environmental responsibility can be integrated into architecture.
Kirah is a member of the University of Bath’s Architecture and Civil Engineering (ACE) Climate Action Group and People and Planet society, as well as volunteering at The Green Hub – a Surrey-based charity supporting the mental health of young people through nature engagement.
The future of our planet needs more Kirah’s, and we’re excited to be part of her journey into architecture!
Director Jonathan Mitchell was in Manchester for the 2022 BCO Conference in June, and made it onto the BBC sofa (fully branded with a Fathom bag, of course)!
To read more about our takeaways from this year’s conference on the future of workspace – from retrofit and innovation to taking a regenerative ‘citizen led’ approach – visit our LinkedIn pages.
Some welcome post landed on Fathom’s doorstep this week, the lovely London Society Journal addressing their 2022 theme of Connections.
We’re delighted to have contributed an article by Director Jonathan Mitchell about how considered design can protect our connections with older Londoners.
Jonathan shares how our consented scheme for 62 contemporary almshouses in Blackfrairs was carefully created to support independent and active lifestyles, nurture neighbourliness, counter feelings of isolation, adopt dementia friendly design principles and connect to the wider community through architecture and landscape design.
We’re incredibly excited to have 6 Babmaes Street shortlisted for a Design Week award for Workplace Interiors!
This category recognises the best and most innovative workplace environments in terms of functionality, serving the needs of customers and the long-term goals of the project.
Hats off to our client – The Crown Estate – for their ambitious retrofit brief and collaborative approach to getting this new typology of social workspace right.
We’re looking for a creative and confident qualified architect and post Part II architectural assistant to join our team. Both positions require a good working knowledge of Revit and AutoCAD.
Architect applicants should have minimum two years’ post qualification experience of projects at planning and detail design stage in the UK. Working as part of a team – and with the support and guidance of a senior architect – you should be able to run your own projects.
Fathom operates a hybrid working model, supports part-time employment and encourages applications from diverse ethnic backgrounds, LGBTQ+ and those living with disabilities.
To apply, please send your CV and portfolio to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fathom is a young, collaborative practice in Bermondsey which offers a welcoming and supportive environment where everyone can thrive. We host regular social events to learn, grow and be inspired together, as well as a weekly studio bake!
6 Babmaes Street – our social workspace retrofit for The Crown Estate – was featured over four pages in FX magazine’s June/July issue in an article written by Assistant Editor Emily Martin.
The space was a new typology for our client, offering existing office customers in St James’s a welcoming space dedicated to social, collaborative and wellbeing activities.
Links to academia have always been an important part of practice at Fathom, supporting progress in new ways of approaching design, urbanism and architecture.
Justin was invited to The Bartlett School of Architecture’s Table Conversations for their Bio-ID March and MSc course. The innovative programme works with students in architecture as well as bioscientists, material engineers, nanotechnologists and urban designers to tackle broader questions around designing for climate change.
It was a fascinating session with students addressing experimentation, entrepreneurship and how scale affects impact in sustainability. Thanks for the invite Marcos!
Our social workspace retrofit for The Crown Estate – 6 Babmaes Street in St James’s – has been shortlisted for Project of the Year (workplace interiors 5-15k sqft) at the Mixology Awards 2022.
Big thanks to our forward-thinking client, the amazing Fathom team and all our collaborators.
And of course, Mix Interiors – we can’t wait for the awards ceremony next month!
Today we celebrated six years of Fathom!
Kicking off with champagne (and alcohol free fizz) in our London Bridge studio, we then headed onto Bermondsey Street to continue the celebrations.
We’d like to extend a huge thank you to our clients, collaborators and friends for an incredible first six years. But the biggest shout out goes to our talented and dedicated studio team, for everything you do to ensure we give the depth of thinking, collaboration and care that’s central to Fathom’s ethos.
Fathom is pleased to welcome to Rishita-Mahmuda Ahmed, joining our team for a second-year placement as part of her undergrad studies at the University of Bath.
Prior to architecture, Rishita received a Distinction for her Foundation Diploma in Art & Design at the University of Creative Arts.
With a talent for digital illustration, her skills have already been in hot demand for some recent competition proposals. Welcome Rishita!
Our reimagining of a dilapidated Mayfair townhouse to create a boutique workspace was featured in Designer magazine, and on sister website Designerati.
The five-page article describes how the project ‘brings a distinguished old building very much back to life’.
Justin was invited as a guest critic on a panel including William McLean, Rachel Wakelin and Francois Girardin to support the students of Design Studio 18 MArch at the University of Westminster.
The unit – led by John Cook, Ben Pollock and Laura Nica – focuses on the relationship between Air, Architecture and Climate. Follow the students’ creative journey on Instagram @ds18_westminster.
We’re excited to have gained consent for our sustainable retrofit of St Mark’s Court, extending the lifespan of a 19th century mansion block on Abbey Road in St John’s Wood. The scheme, for client Henigman, upgrades the outdated existing building to craft a new identity adding richness and character to the streetscape and its wider Conservation Area setting.
Originally built as a row of terraced houses, and later remodelled as an apartment block, our design sensitively repurposes and extends the brick building to significantly improve its environmental performance and create 29 accessible contemporary residences with secure cycle storage and a series of terraces, courtyards and communal landscape.
Thank you to World Interiors News who featured our retrofit of 19 Queen Street, a Grade II listed Mayfair townhouse now a homely and characterful workspace.
For more information on the project click here
Our 100% affordable development creates an active community for older people facing hardship, offering an opportunity to continue living locally and independently in a safe and supported environment.
We’re delighted that our almshouse development for Southwark Charities is one of eight Southwark projects featured in Opportunity London – led by the Mayor of London, London Councils and The City of London Corporation to promote sustainable investment in real estate, regeneration and green infrastructure across London’s borough and communities.
The highly sustainable 100% affordable housing development in Blackfriars creates 62 contemporary almshouses as an active and supportive community for local older people facing hardship, supported by neighbourhood uses, affordable workspace and public gardens.
Opportunity London is delivered in partnership by New London Architecture, London Communications Agency and London & Partners.
Justin travelled to The University of Edinburgh to talk about Life After University – helping students understand how to find the right job for their skills and experience, and what studios look for when building a team.
As a collective of specialists centred around a core team of architects, Fathom is founded on bringing the best people together in a collaborative working environment to support everyone to use their talents and allow clients to access a broad range of skills which address their particular needs.
Thanks for having us Edinburgh!
We plan regular trips out of the studio to keep us inspired. This month we were welcomed on site at the restoration of St Marylebone Parish Church by Sir Robert McAlpine Special Projects team.
We were able to see the restoration of this incredible Grade I listed building up close, and hear how this project will remove the church from Historic England’s Buildings at Risk register and create modern visitor and community spaces through The Changing Lives campaign.
It was a fascinating tour. Thank you to Sir Robert McAlpine for hosting (and for the drinks afterwards!).
Our revival of 19 Queen Street, Mayfair, was featured in Mix Interiors on Valentine’s Day!
Following 20 years sitting empty and unloved, we crafted a new identity for this beautiful listed Georgian townhouse to create a boutique single occupier workspace.
You can read the full article here
Our imaginative retrofit of an existing 1970s building was featured by World Architecture News as a sustainable and social workspace.
The project extends the lifespan of the vacant building for a further 10 years for client The Crown Estate in line with BREEAM and WELL principles.
Read the full article here
We welcomed Anissa to Fathom as a work placement student from the University of Birmingham.
Anissa researched brick finishes for a residential retrofit project, created a presentation for our client, visited site, attended a DTM, compared existing residential layouts with the London Housing Design Guide and created a CAD model of our studio to test some planned upgrades. She also helped with a highly contentious issue, choosing new office mugs!
It was great to have Anissa’s creative insight into different challenges and we wish her all the best for her continued studies. Big thanks to Connie for creating a great range of activities with support from Richard, Laura, Jack, Jo, Becky and Justin.
Fathom is pleased to welcome architects Richard Timmins and Enosh Subramaniam, and Practice Manager Jo to our growing team!
Richard is actively committed to the creation of a more sustainable built environment, a passion he combines with creative curiosity and technical rigour.
Enosh brings a wide range of experience in designing and delivering schemes including complex engineered buildings and projects in sensitive heritage locations.
Jo oversees our day-to-day operations, project management, bid coordination and finances – and ensures we maintain an organised but creative working culture where everyone can thrive.
Our social workspace for The Crown Estate was featured by Office Snapshots.
The California-based design resource curates projects from around the world and examines industry trends, and described 6 Babmaes Street as ‘a creative response to central London’s evolving office landscape’.
Read the full article here
Justin was invited to join FX magazine’s Design Seminar on Patterns – trivial pursuit or essential to design?
The session explored the history of pattern in design, how it relates to the natural world, its effect on how we experience spaces (particularly for the neurodiverse) and how pattern differentiates from ornamentation.
Full article in FX Magazine’s Jan/Feb 2022 issue.
Justin Nicholls shared his thoughts with Property Week on why tenants are demanding a fresh approach to workspace as the function of offices evolves to become more about people, community and networks, and what the essential components of this typology are.
Read the full article here
Justin Nicholls shared a formative moment on his journey to becoming an architect as part of Building Design’s 50 Wonders series to mark the publication’s 50th birthday.
Read here how a boring French lesson led to an inspiring visit to visit Team 4’s Creek Vean in Cornwall.
Happy Birthday BD!
We were over the moon to have 6 Babmaes Street included in Wallpaper’s curated selection of design-conscious coworking spaces around the globe which respond to evolving workplace behaviour with adaptable and appealing spaces.
Read the full feature here
New data from tenant platform Equiem and law firm Fladgate shows occupiers are seeking workspace where they can relax, connect and take care of themselves.
As hybrid working settles into a pattern for the working week, existing offices need to rethink their offer to attract tenants – moving away from desks to create more spaces for collaboration and wellness.
David Thame featured 6 Babmaes Street – our social workspace for The Crown Estate – in Mix Interiors as an example of this emerging type of workspace. Read the article here.
Adding to the conversation about shifts in working culture, 6 Babmaes Street for The Crown Estate was featured in Dezeen in an article by Amy Frearson.
Read here why we believe offices need rethinking, and how wellness and collaboration are essential for their future.
“6 Babmaes Street is for all the stuff that happens away from your computer screen. We developed an aesthetic more aligned with home and hospitality environments to encourage interaction between people.” Harry Godfrey/Fathom Architects
New York based Hospitality Design featured the launch of 6 Babmaes Street – our social workspace for The Crown Estate.
Harry Godfrey, Associate, was quoted as saying “We wanted guests to feel curious, exploring the different spaces and starting to appropriate them by finding their own favorite nooks to enjoy.”
Read the full article here
The team had a brilliant end of year trip to Oxford last week, where we were lucky enough to have a nose around Arne Jacobsen’s inspiring Grade I listed St Catherine’s College and gardens.
We also visited our recently completed laboratory extension for The Kennedy Institute at University of Oxford, before heading off for lunch and drinks by the river.
Thanks to Jo and Adam for arranging a fantastic day!
Part II of the Coaches on the Couch podcast featured Fathom Associate Tom Bulmer, as well as Natalie Corris/Core Five , Tom McCreesh/LDA Design and Connie Ivanova/Stride Treglown.
The group discussed the changing role of leadership and what appeal it holds for younger people coming through the ranks.
Listen to the 30 minute recording here
David Thame wrote for BISNOW on how our design for 6 Babmaes Street prioritises comfort and sociability over desks to create a new kind of workspace for The Crown Estate.
Read the full article here
Riya Patel included 6 Babmaes Street in her feature for FRAME on workspaces positively designed for interaction.
“Visions of future workplace agree it should facilitate more social interaction, but most are vague on how to achieve it.”
Read the full article here
We’re looking for Part II graduates and Architects to join our team.
Fathom is a young, collaborative practice based in Bermondsey, London. We deliver beautiful, logical buildings with a focus on complex briefs and sensitive sites. Our projects range from almshouses in Southwark, workspace in Mayfair, life science facilities in Oxford and retrofits of historic buildings.
We are looking for creative and confident people with a flair for design who will make a positive contribution to our caring and collaborative team. You should have a working knowledge of Revit and/or AutoCAD and at least one year’s experience in the UK. The role involves working as part of a team with the support and guidance of senior members.
In our drive to improve representation in our profession, we encourage applications from diverse ethnic backgrounds, LGBTQ+ and those living with disabilities.
To apply, please email email@example.com and include your CV, portfolio and why Fathom appeals to you.
We’re very excited to have our social workspace for The Crown Estate featured in global design publication designboom, describing 6 Babmaes Street as ‘an imaginative uplift of a 1970s building’.
Read the full feature here
Justin was invited by Rachel Birchmore and Louise Rodgers to join a special session of their Coaches on the Couch podcast talking about what motivates people into leadership roles.
The discussion included principles from three other practices – Core Five, LDA and Stride Treglown – sharing their leadership highs and lows, and will be followed by a session speaking to upcoming talent in the same four studios.
Listen to the 35 minute recording here
This month we took the team to visit the brilliant ‘Shaping Space – Architectural Models Revealed’ exhibition at The Building Centre.
Modelmaking is a craft we love and respect at Fathom. This glimpse into the world of historical and innovative contemporary models was a joy, thoughtfully designed by Roz Barr with Mathias Clottu.
Our consent for 143-157 Farringdon Road, for client BentallGreenOak, was featured in Estates Gazette and CoStar.
The scheme targets significant improvements to the carbon footprint of the assets, and creates a coherent new identity designed to enhance the tenant experience.
Read more about the design here.
Fathom were invited to submit a proposal for Property Week’s Centre Forward Design Challenge, where architects were asked to reimagine a tired 1970s shopping centre with a view to reinvigorating the UK town location.
Our idea for The Urban Fellowship translates the design principles of shopping centres – repeated grid layout, large floorplates, vertical/horizontal circulation, high loading capacity and DDA compliancy – to create a sustainable and inclusive community campus supporting shared activities across generations.
The proposal prioritises wellbeing, local food production, shared activities, skills sharing and long-term relationships with communities and institutions.
Our new social workspace for The Crown Estate, 6 Babmaes Street, was featured as OnOffice’s top story on Friday 19 November.
The imaginative retrofit of a disused 1970s building creates a standalone social space as a relaxed environment for events, collaboration, networking and wellbeing activities for use by the client’s office customers in St James’s.
Read the full story here
We took the team to visit 6 Babmaes Street just ahead of its launch. Project Associate Harry and interior architect Laura Maria Morales gave a guided tour of the retrofitted 1970s building, designed to give office customers of The Crown Estate in St James’s a dedicated space for networking, collaboration and wellbeing.
We were excited to partner with Paradigm Network on Thursday 11 November, hosting a session as part of their popular Professional Development series.
There was a great turnout to hear Director Justin Nicholls share case studies which highlighted the studio’s approach to curating identity in architecture across a variety of contexts to create places that connect deeply.
Fathom is proud to support Paradigm Network in their mission to champion Black and Asian representation within architecture and share knowledge across the industry.
As #COP26 was in full swing, Justin Nicholls shared how Fathom has been testing digital tools for early-stage modelling and metrics with RIBA Journal.
As a practice we use this data to inform building performance design which starts and continually evolves with a responsive and responsible relationship to their specific location and the planet.
“Intuitive digital twins and innovative software adds rigour to our processes and thinking . . not forgetting the importance of person-to-person collaboration and knowledge sharing. Our commitment to depth of thinking highlights that the first answer is rarely the right one.”
Last week we returned from Oxford with not one but TWO awards from the Oxford Preservation Trust, which celebrates the contribution that buildings and environmental projects make to the city’s character.
Our extension to The Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, designed to target ambitious PassivHaus EnerPHit standards, won the 2021 Green Award for Sustainability as well as being awarded a Certificate in the New Building category.
Chairman of the Awards Panel, The Rev Prof William Whyte remarked that the sustainability standards reached were an “extraordinarily difficult thing to do with laboratories”.
Our Blackfriars almshouse development for Southwark Charities was featured in The Telegraph on Saturday.
Dan Cruickshank highlighted the role of almshouses in “protecting the most vulnerable in society since the 10th century”, providing a safe space to live as well as companionship and community.
Interesting to hear from Nick Phillips, chief executive of The Almshouse Association that “more almhouses are being built now than at any time since the Industrial Revolution”.
At Fathom we’re proud to be supporting this movement.
We were over the moon on Tuesday when Southwark Council Planning Committee voted unanimously in favour of Southwark Charities’ sustainable development of 62 almshouses for local elderly people facing hardship, supported by community uses and a 21-storey workspace building on Blackfriars Road. It was quite emotional hearing their comments:
‘the most thorough consultation of any development that we’ve had in the area’ – Adelle Morris, Cathedral Ward Cllr:
‘One of the most impressive applications I’ve had the pleasure to read…I wish we had more like this across Southwark…I congratulate you all.’ – Cllr Martin Seaton, Chairman, Southwark Council Planning Committee
We’ve welcomed three distinction-grade Part II graduates to Fathom this summer – fresh from their studies please meet Connie, Jack and Sara. We’re also pleased to introduce Laura, a prize-winning architect and lecturer with specialisms in computational design and digital fabrication. Their combined skills, from environmental design to parametric modelling, builds on our strong team of talent.
Fathom is excited to be working with Argent in King’s Cross, reimagining one of the existing offices at Pancras Square to prioritise health, wellbeing and sociability as people return to workspaces post-Covid. We’re developing detailed designs to improve common areas, rationalise circulation, introduce greenery and enhance the existing rooftop terrace to provide flexible spaces for work, exercise, and gatherings.
It’s been a time of growth for Fathom, and we’re pleased to announce a series of promotions to recognise key people who contribute so much to the studio. Rebecca Thomas joins Justin, Jonathan and Tom as a Director, while Tom Bulmer and Adam Clemens become Associates. Congratulations to all and thank you!
Our 12-13 Kingly Street refurbishment is now completed and it was great to learn that it’s fully let prior to completion!
One of a series of projects to improve the quality of workspace within existing West End buildings, 12-13 Kingly Street, for Shaftesbury’s Carnaby Estate, sits within the Soho Conservation Area and has an active restaurant tenant at ground and basement levels. Our sensitive refurbishment of the 3,800 sqft office over four floors responds to the changing nature of central London offices and the unique context of Soho, upgrading the workspace to create a modern, homely identity which celebrates the historic fabric of the former Victorian schoolhouse.
Looks great – well done Harry!
We’re getting our teeth into a substantial retrofit of a residential building on Abbey Road for London development company Henigman. Working within the St John’s Wood Conservation Area, we’re carefully repurposing and extending the building to introduce new layouts, improve environmental performance and create contemporary residences with communal gardens and terraces.
For a fifth year, Justin has been reviewing Bartlett students’ undergraduate work.
Unit 2’s theme this year ‘Natural State’ explores architecture that encourages and embraces the visibility of its environment to dissolve the notion that it is separate and impervious to the natural world.
Lecturers: Barry Wark and Maria Knutsson-Hall
Follow on instagram @_biophile_ or find out more here.
‘Architects have put a great deal of thought into how clients’ changing needs might be met…Now, as architects prepare to return to the studio, many are considering how their own spaces and systems should adapt to the habits and preferences formed by many months of home-working. We asked four practices for an insight into their current thinking.’
Read the full article here.
In Friday’s Urbanism Hour for The Academy or Urbanism, Jennifer Mui from MRG Studio landscape architects and Justin Nicholls discussed strategies for creating relevant community-focused places in the digital age. Drawing on recent projects and concepts, they explored how we might reinhabit town centres, reinvent the high street and cultivate diversity in public green spaces.
The Duchy of Cornwall and Lucrum Holdings have appointed Fathom Architects to carefully restore and repurpose the locally listed Lambeth County Court building in the sensitive Kennington Conservation Area, Central London to provide much needed new homes for the community. Consultations are already well underway and we hope to reveal more very soon.
David Taylor catches up with Fathom Architects partner Justin Nicholls to get the lowdown on starting a business and surviving and prospering over the first five years, plus his crystal ball views on next five for the practice, retail, and London…
Read the full article here.
The NLA yesterday launched its Tall Buildings Survey 2021, with expert analysis of London’s current pipeline of 587 tall buildings, 90% of which are residential. This year’s report features our Blackfriars Road scheme, currently in for planning.
Download the report here
Find out more about the Blackfriars Rd project here
How can physical retail look beyond a point of sale to have relevance for communities and consumers? Justin’s comment piece today for Property Week presents retail as a series of highly adaptable spaces which respond to changing footfall according to time of day, week or season.
Fathom’s flexible model allows tenants and landlords to become high street curators, hosting immersive experiences during and beyond traditional retail hours. This broadcast potential across ages, backgrounds and interest groups could engage a far wider audience than the consumer profile for a single tenant.
Read the full article here and let us know what you think.
We’re excited to welcome Stephanie Stern to the Fathom team, who brings a wealth of knowledge in retrofit, heritage, residential and workplace projects as well as a passion for sustainable architecture and the lifecycle of buildings. Welcome Stephanie!
The team at Fathom were challenged by Property Week to propose a sustainable concept for redundant department stores across the UK. Tapping into our research on future retail and incubator models, we created The Department of Digital Futures to level the playing field for opportunity between regions.
Acting as a regional hub for digital innovation and collaboration, tech-enabled facilities including AI, VR and rapid prototyping – as well as recording studios for music, radio or podcasting – could support local schools, businesses and entrepreneurs.
Facilitated by collaborative workspace, last mile logistics and a curated platform of cultural and retail activity, The Department of Digital Futures has the potential to re-engage a wide audience with their local high street.
Read the full story here.
On the 4th anniversary of our first build, The Pod @whitecityplace is featured again in @wallpapermag in their ‘ongoing pick of the best of the finest architectural pavilions across the globe…’
Find out about its unique facade development in Projects or see it on Wallpaper* website.
A unique collaboration with @dnco @stanhope_plc @boxdeluxe @formatengineers.
We’re pleased to announce that Justin has been appointed as a member of the new Oxford Design Review Panel.
The City Council is committed to the process of design review and its particular value to the City of Oxford; a world-renowned city with a rich and diverse built heritage, which is also rapidly evolving to address change and growth. The new design review panel will continue to advise and support the council, creating a lasting legacy of high quality design and placemaking for the whole city.
With a 20 year history of working in the city and having built several significant research buildings with University of Oxford, we are especially happy to be able to continue playing a part in shaping its future.
We are looking for a creative and confident new member of the team with a flair for design. You should have good working knowledge of Revit and AutoCAD and at least one year’s experience of projects at both planning and detail design stage in the UK. Working as part of a team and, with the support and guidance of a senior architect, you should be able to run your own projects.
To apply, please send your CV and portfolio to firstname.lastname@example.org
We are delighted to announce our appointment, following a design competition, to redevelop a pair of existing buildings on Savile Row, totalling 90,000 sqft.
Following several preliminary studies, this major mixed-use project for The Pollen Estate is now moving ahead with the appointment of development managers Simten. We look forward to sharing more in the coming months.
With Coronavirus still raging across the UK – and through his own household – Justin shares his thoughts for the year ahead: addressing change, the opportunities and the challenges.
Congratulations to the Oxford-AstraZeneca team on the UK approval by the regulator of their Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use. This marks a tide change toward winning the battle against this sweeping disease, especially in low and middle income countries: AstraZeneca are committed to supplying the vaccine not-for-profit to these countries.
The news is especially sweet as the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was developed in The Jenner Institute, in the Old Road Campus Research Building, a project Justin Nicholls led in 2006 whilst at Make, and Jonathan Mitchell was Project Architect. Fathom continues to work with The University of Oxford and other research clients in the OxCam Arc, developing innovative approaches for Europe’s largest biomedical research cluster – see projects.
With the challenges 2020 has presented, at times it’s felt difficult to build on the momentum that’s been growing within the industry in response to our shared climate emergency. The start of a new year presents an opportunity to reflect on the what we’ve achieved, and what we hope to achieve over the coming months.
We are particularly focused on the need to address embodied and whole-life carbon in our work, and have highlighted this as our main priority for 2021. We continue to use our experience of unlocking sensitive and complex projects to extend the life of existing buildings, which is the most sustainable option open to us in most cases.
However, when new-build is the option, novel solutions are welcome: at Blackfriars Road, a complementary relationship has been designed, whereby waste heat from the offices will be used to warm the almshouses. All homes are being designed to achieve Passivhaus standards and natural light, views, and a connection to nature have underpinned our approach.
Southwark Charities move one step closer to creating a new community in Blackfriars as our planning application is validated by London Borough of Southwark in the week before Christmas. A great design team and client: a collaboration we are truly enjoying.
Fathom is working with Southwark Charities to create a highly sustainable, socially responsible, mixed-use scheme of 62 almshouses, 22,500sqm of flexible workspace and 950sqm of landscaped gardens.
For more details, click here.
The interiors team have been hard at work this year carefully refurbishing historic buildings in Central London. Works are progressing well on site at Kingly Street, Soho for Shaftesbury and in a Grade II listed Georgian Townhouse in Queen Street, Mayfair for Morgan Capital. Both projects are due for completion in Spring 2021. No.6 Babmaes Street for The Crown Estate is now due to open its doors in the Spring too, so plenty to show soon.
We are pleased to announce that Fathom have been appointed by NetZero Homes to develop designs for over 90 off-site manufactured, sustainable, luxury KAMPA homes on the Isle of Wight. Now a derelict holiday park, the stunning site overlooking the Solent, slopes gently down to the water’s edge.
Designs will draw identity from the maritime setting, making the most of the site’s beautiful mature trees and undulating hillside.
The new edition of the RIBA Part 3 Handbook by Stephen Brookhouse is now out.
Demystifying the process of becoming a fully qualified Architect. Fully updated and including up-to-date guidance on the 2020 plan of work. Plus an endorsement by Justin Nicholls on the back!
We are very pleased our sensitive redevelopment The Stables has just won a Sussex Heritage Trust Award for best medium sized residential development in the region. This follows a commendation for best refurbishment project in 2019 Housebuilder Awards. The mixed use development in a Brighton & Hove Conservation Area, reworks and extends an existing three storey Victorian mews to provide four apartments and ground floor work space. Many thanks River Oak Homes for doing such a great job delivering it.
In Birmingham, Justin Nicholls was joined by Tariq Shaikh of global practice Gensler and local disrupter Anna Parker of Intervention Architecture. Covering many corners of the RIBA Part III curriculum, they compared and contrasted their approaches. Justin shared tips learned setting up and running Fathom, including our innovative Fathom Collaborative Network.
Construction is progressing well at The Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology for University of Oxford. Beard Construction have continued to maintain a Covid-safe site meaning the team are still on target to finish by the end of the year. New glass is now in and, now the building is watertight, the pre-existing asphalt waterproofing is being lifted and M&E installed.
When completed, the extended building will accommodate an additional 64 research staff, many of whom are currently working on the response to Covid-19 pandemic. Read their exciting breakthrough vaccine news.
Justin shares his do’s and don’ts for successful online presentations in the latest RIBA Journal.
On a recent site visit, Jonathan and Tom were treated to a tour of one of London’s most beautiful remaining WWII air raid shelters – address undisclosed.
The Pineapples awards for place will be presented at the Festival of Place in association with the Design Council and The Developer. Our own Justin Nicholls forms part of the judging panel who will select the best mixed-use schemes from across the UK. Final judging will happen live on stage at the Festival in November with winners receiving a prestigious golden pineapple!
https://www.instagram.com/thedeveloperuk/ https://www.instagram.com/designcouncil/ #festivalofplace
As External Examiner for the University of Greenwich MArch Architecture course, Justin spent two days (on Zoom!) reviewing design portfolios, technical reports and dissertations of this year’s graduating students. The continually exceptional standard of work is testament to the talent and hard work of both students and staff which remains undented, even through the pandemic.
Thanks to Feilden Clegg Bradley partner, Simon Branson, for co-examining and to Greenwich’s Simon Herron and Mike Aling for hosting. Check out the full breadth of their work at the virtual show here.
After a well received public consultation, interest in the Blackfriars Rd almshouses and workspace is growing fast; this ambitious scheme has already appeared in several publications including Property Week and Estates Gazette.
The project aims to create a supportive community of elderly residents in a highly sustainable development – designed to Passivhaus standards – with flexible workspace and community assets.
For more details, click here.
Southwark Charities unveiled its proposed new 21st Century almshouse development on Blackfriars Road at public consultation this weekend. Over the four days, engagement was high and valuable feedback received that will help inform the evolving design.
Fathom is working with Southwark Charities to create a highly sustainable, socially responsible, mixed-use scheme of 62 almshouses, 22,500sqm of flexible workspace and 950sqm of landscaped gardens.
For more details, click here.
We’re pleased to announce that our planning application for the development of nine apartments and a community workspace on an infill site in the Walcot Square Conservation Area has been validated.
Sustainably designed to enhance the setting of the residential area, the scheme replaces a series of garages with a contemporary brick building which responds to the rich fabric of the Walcot Estate and reinstates the historic street frontage to Bishop’s Terrace. Read more about the project.
The homes will be retained by The Walcot Foundation as part of its permanent endowment, and the income used to in its work to break cycles of financial deprivation in Lambeth.
Congratulations Harry Godfrey on becoming an Associate at Fathom. Since joining the practice 3 1/2 years ago, Harry has delivered 3 buildings as Project Architect and contributed to countless others. His latest completed building is No.6 Babmaes Street for The Crown Estate, which he collaborated on with Laura Maria Morales. We’re really excited to show it off as the result is beautiful – it is planned to open as soon as safely possible.
Well done Harry, you are an integral part of the team.
Recent work completed by Fathom for the NLA Build Back Better initiative was included in a talk Justin gave this week to Gerald Eve on rethinking the holistic design of workplaces and retail in order to remain relevant.
Digital and physical environments should be designed to enhance one another, rather than compete for attention, opening up exciting new opportunities. Read here our thoughts on how this can influence the future design of retail fit-outs.
One of the most enjoyable moments of a project is when samples start to arrive. We’ve just received some really beautiful terracotta samples – from Koninklijke Tichelaar, the oldest ceramics company in the Netherlands and a leader in ceramics and glazes.
These bespoke glazes have been designed to provide a colour and texture which perfectly complements the life and warmth of our existing Victorian red brick. #koninklijke_tichelaar
The ‘Golden Triangle’ includes the strongest biosciences cluster in Europe studying genomics, digital health, artificial intelligence in healthcare, and neuroscience; it contains the greatest concentration of top universities in the world as well as clusters of global tech companies. This dynamic, world-class innovation ecosystem is key to harnessing transformative technologies to support the UK economy.
This new research paper explores exemplary projects that are having a transformational impact on the education, healthcare, technology and innovation sectors, including The Kennedy Institute of Rhematology, currently on site. View the report.
Southwark Charities have been helping the vulnerable in Southwark for over 400 years. We are delighted that they have appointed Fathom to design a development of world-class Almshouses on Blackfriars Road. The Almshouses will offer older people in need the opportunity to lead independent lives in a safe, secure and supported environment. Including a new community hub to facilitate the charity’s local grant-giving work, the development will also deliver generous public realm and a significant amount of market and affordable workspace.
We love London, but there’s always room for improvement. Another Fathom contribution to the 40th edition of New London Quarterly ‘of blue-sky but workable concepts to improve the city’ seems more pertinent now that we’re beginning to repopulate the streets.
Car sales were declining steeply even before Covid. There are alternatives to everyone owning cars. Until now, the heavy reliance on personal cars has meant that a large amount of space has had to be given over to the parking and roads required for personal cars. What should we do with the space if we no longer all have cars? Let’s create the kind of city we want to live in and create parks where there were cars. Let’s trade the smell of car fumes for lavender and the sound of hooters for tweeting birds. Let’s reclaim the street!
See the best of the rest in New London Quarterly.
Architecture is one of the few design disciplines which is still geographically fixed. It therefore has an important role in creating unique places and giving people a sense of belonging. As a Design Review Panel member, Justin was asked to contribute to the new Design South East planning guide, an addendum to the new National Design Guide.
Read here how simple creative interpretations of project briefs can help create a strong identity.
Construction has started at The Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology at the Old Road Campus. We are now novated to the construction team, led by Beard Construction, who have worked hard to safely keep the site open during the current Covid-19 pandemic. Jonathan has been able to visit site to inspect glass samples, a major component of the new energy efficient facade.
For the fourth year running, Justin has been reviewing Bartlett students’ undergraduate work. For the first time ever, this was done virtually using Zoom conferencing and Miro collaborative whiteboard. Students logged in from right across the time zones, from Canada to Korea!
Unit 2’s work, with the theme ‘between the project and the picturesque’, builds on a field trip to Jordan. Follow on instagram @_biophile_ or find out more at www.biophilearch.com
Barry Wark, Teaching Fellow and Unit 2 tutor, Bartett, UCL
Barbara Campbell Director of School, Bartlett, UCL
Prof Marcos de Cruz, Professor of Innovative Environments, Bartlett UCL
Laura Mark, Architecture critic and designer
Fathom is proud to have joined the growing band of architectural practices putting our 3D printers to good use and helping by printing PPE for the NHS. We’ve been working with 3D Crowd, an 8000-strong volunteer group who, together, last week delivered over 39,000 face shields to over 90 NHS Trusts!
How it works: an open-source pattern has been developed directly with the NHS for the 3D printer to manufacture plastic headsets. A product specification and simple, downloadable instructions are available on the website. Once printed, the headsets are then delivered to distribution hubs, fitted with visors, sterilised, and distributed to hospitals where the greatest shortages have been identified by the NHS.
The current coronavirus pandemic represents the world’s biggest political, social and economic shock since the Second World War. The way of life of virtually every person on the planet has been disrupted beyond recognition and in a manner that would have been utterly unthinkable just weeks ago.
But what happens when the outbreak has ended? Will things instantly revert back to normal? Or will there be longer lasting changes that will see the way of life we have all taken for granted for much of the late 20th and early 21st centuries permanently changed forever?