Fathom Architects


Blackfriars almshouses planning consent!

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


Welcoming new talent to the studio

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.

Welcome team!


New project at Kings Cross for Argent

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.


Moving on up

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!


Kingly Street refurb completed and fully let

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!


Abbey Road residential scheme moves toward planning

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.


Justin reviews Bartlett crits

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.



Fathom discusses shared ownership with RIBA J

As part of their Intelligence series, RIBA J approached Fathom for our plans for a post-pandemic office. We explain our experiment in shared ownership.

‘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.


The Academy of Urbanism: Justin in conversation

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 to restore Lambeth heritage asset

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.


NLA spends five minutes with… Justin Nicholls

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.


Blackfriars Rd scheme features in NLA Tall Buildings Survey 2021

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


Fathom Futures: The High Street Re-imagined

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.


Stephanie joins the team

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 Department of Digital Futures

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.


CreateMore: Fathom’s story

As we approach our 5th birthday, Justin Nicholls opens up to Ben Stuart in this season’s Create More podcast, discussing the importance of collaboration, creating a business from nothing and where do we go from here?

Listen here.


Wallpaper Magazine: The Pod features in favourite pavilions

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.


Justin appointed to Oxford d:se design review panel

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’re looking for a part 3 Architect to join us

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 hello@fathomarchitects.com


Savile Row appointment

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.


Hopes and fears for 2021

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.

read more…


Congratulations to Oxford’s Jenner Institute

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.



Sustainability 2020 round-up

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.



Planning application validated for Southwark Charities’ almhouses

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.


Refurbishment projects nearing completion in The West End

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.


Off-Site on the Isle of Wight

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.


RIBA Part 3 Handbook – new edition

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!


Heritage Award – Wilbury Grove, Brighton

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.


Sharing practice insights

This Autumn we’ve been sharing our thoughts on contemporary practice with graduates and postgraduates at Birmingham City University and the University of Greenwich.

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.

In Greenwich, Justin teamed up with landscape architect Jennifer Mui of MRG Studio. Each talked about their collaborative approach to our new designs for Blackfriars Road Almshouses.

Thanks Ian Shepherd and Tony Clelford for the invitations.



Kennedy work progressing well

Construction is progressing well at The Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology for University of OxfordBeard 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.


Design presentations for a Zoomed-in world

Justin shares his do’s and don’ts for successful online presentations in the latest RIBA Journal.


London’s hidden past

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.


Justin judges Festival of Place, Pineapples awards

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



Imaginative designs by University of Greenwich Architecture students

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.


Blackfriars scheme gaining press interest

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.


Blackfriars almshouses proposal revealed

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.


Bishop’s Terrace submitted for planning

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.


New Associate at Fathom

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.


If the future of retail is digital, what is its physical manifestation?

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.


Beautiful bespoke materials samples

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


NLA Knowledge Networks: London and the Ox-Cam Arc

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.


New Almshouses for the elderly in Southwark

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.


NLA: Reclaim the street

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.


Design Guide: Identity

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.


Work starts on site at University of Oxford

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.

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. For more details, click here.



Bartlett Crits take on a new look this year

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


3D printing face shields for the NHS

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.


What will life after Covid-19 look like? asks Ike Ijeh of Building Design

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?

The Fathom team have contributed their thoughts on a post-Covid world. Read the full article here (url) or here (pdf).


Architecture Den meets Fathom Architects

Architecture Den‘s Bill and Ben are joined by Justin Nicholls, founding partner of Fathom Architects. They discuss what it’s like to start a practice, how Covid-19 is effecting the industry and much more: Brexit (remember that), the importance of good laboratory design, Fathom’s novel approach to structuring a practice, cloud computing, combating lockdown loneliness, research-led design, pandemic park design and urban mapping Pret-style.

Listen to the podcast here:

Spotify – Episode 18 – ‘AD Meets: Fathom Architects’

Apple Podcasts – Episode 18 AD meets Fathom Architects

YouTube – ‘AD Meets: Fathom Architects’ – Architecture Den Ep. 18



Working through these difficult times

Dear Friends

First, we’d like to extend our best wishes to everyone through these difficult times.

As a practice founded by three working parents, we are fortunate to already have well established systems in place for remote working and the studio have all been doing so successfully since last week. We are still currently undertaking site visits for new projects and those in construction, whilst keeping face to face interaction to a minimum via virtual DTMs and planning meetings.

Our technology is 100% cloud based – no servers, no desk-based machines. We always believed this would be the future of work – sadly we didn’t see it arriving quite this way. Fathom is a network of creative experts. Our collaborators are geographically dispersed and well-practiced in our working methodologies. In particular we have established relationships with drawing production teams outside of Europe.

For now, we’re focusing on work, our families and looking out for our wider communities. Stay safe and be there for one another.

The Fathom Team



We are looking for a part III Architect to join us

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 hello@fathomarchitects.com


Planning approval for terracotta-clad church extension

We are proud to announce that, as detailed in the Architect’s Journal today, our Christ Church Woking project has received planning approval. The bold project to transform a Grade II listed church gained planning consent under delegated powers following support from Historic England and Woking Borough Council. We’re really looking forward to developing the design, focusing on materiality now. Check out the project here.


FX Design Seminar: A Vision for compact living

According to the National Housing Federation, an estimated 8.4 million people in England are living in unaffordable, insecure or unsuitable housing. This issue strikes right at the heart of society and becomes more pressing every day.

FX has brought together experts from across the architecture sector to consider the challenges and opportunities of compact living, whether the concepts of ‘luxury’ and ‘space’ are forever intertwined. Fathom’s Justin Nicholls was part of that lively round table, kindly hosted by Forbo. Read their discussion and conclusions here.


The Rotunda features in AJ Buildings Library

The Rotunda, White City Place, re-purposes a redundant, former BBC social club built in the 1990s, into 325sqm of flexible incubator and performance space for emerging musicians and artists.

With the circular economy as a driver, the project made use of recycled materials and equipment from across the White City Place development in order to deliver workspace in an affordable and sustainable manner. And working closely with the end-user gave a clear understanding of their requirements and future aspirations, enabling built-in flexibility for further phased development to reduce waste and redundancy.

See the project on AJ Buildings Library or on our project page.


London Festival of Architecture Sitting Pretty

We are proud to announce that Fathom has been shortlisted for the London Festival of Architecture and Network Rail ‘Sitting Pretty’ design competition to develop new station seating across some of London’s largest train stations.

Our shortlisted design seeks to brighten the experience of Londoners, commuters and visitors alike, and takes its inspiration from the seaside destinations of train journeys leaving from four of Network Rail’s key London stations.

See our submitted design here.


Planning granted for 19 Queen Street

We’re delighted to announce that Westminster Council have granted planning permission and listed building consent for the redevelopment of Grade II listed 19 Queen Street on behalf of Morgan Capital.

This Georgian townhouse has been empty for 20 years and suffered some insensitive alterations in the 1980s. Fathom’s scheme will reinvigorate this beautiful building, providing state of the art office accommodation within a heritage setting.

Work on site is due to start imminently. For details of the scheme, click here.


A Fathom Christmas

This year Fathom celebrated Christmas with a delicious lunch at our local French bistrot, Pique Nique, close to the studio in Bermondsey.

We carried our full bellies to Shoreditch to test our skills playing shuffleboard, which turns out to be really hard but great fun! The victor of shuffleboard remains hotly debated within the office however the same cannot be said for fussball…

For the second year running, Harry was crowned fussball champion, closely followed by Amy and Fred lost. Again. Poor, poor Fred.


Crits at UCL Bartlett’s postgrad in Bio-integrated Design

Justin attended end of term crits at UCL’s Here East campus. Cutting-edge facilities range from robots and fabrication equipment to environmental chambers and test rigs and is a unique collaboration between The Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment and the Faculty of Engineering Science.

The Bio-integrated Design Master’s programme is for students who are fascinated by advanced technology and things that grow – architecture and biochemical engineering. A mind-blowing range of work was up for discussion from robot extruded non-rotting food waste structures to the design carbon capturing clay kilns. Many thanks Professor Marcos Cruz for the invitation.


AJ Awards Judging

For a second year running, Justin sat on the judging panel for Architect’s Journal Higher Education Project of Year. This year the panel visited seven shortlisted projects in locations including London, Cambridge, Edinburgh and St Andrews. The winner, announced at the prestigious awards ceremony on 4th December was UCL’s new The Student Centre in Bloomsbury, London. Congratulations to Nicholas Hare Architects for creating a wide range of study spaces within an architecture very much in the robust character of UCL.


Architects Declare summit

We are delighted to have been part of the first ever Architects Declare event at Battersea Arts Centre. Responding to the escalating climate crisis, over 300 architects and built environment professionals representing 753 signatories came together to share knowledge, raise awareness and advocate for faster change. We heard from some fantastic speakers across a range of disciplines, all with a shared commitment to change the way we build.

This was followed by an afternoon of workshops exploring the areas where architects can make most impact. The mood was really positive. Whilst it is early days, there is real and ubiquitous desire to change.


How can we make London better?

We love London, but there’s always room for improvement. Marking the 40th edition of New London Quarterly, the NLA asked for ‘the best blue-sky but workable concepts to improve the city, expressed, where possible, as a pencil or pen sketch on a napkin’. Fathom answered the call, with a range of ideas.

Inspired by the climate protest bridge closures, let’s create a sustainable garden bridge by closing an existing one to traffic and planting it up with trees and grasses. Or a cycle lane for people who don’t wear Lycra and want a more leisurely commute. Floating parks edging the river. Or a fast lane in pubs for ‘professional’ drinkers (order the Guinness first, no cocktails, no sampling before you choose). Let’s enjoy our City.

See the best ideas from across the capital in New London Quarterly.



Sensitive infill housing for Lambeth charity

Fathom have been appointed by the Walcot Foundation, a charity that works to break cycles of financial deprivation in Lambeth, to design new homes on an infill site in Lambeth’s Walcot Square Conservation Area. The new homes will be retained by the Foundation as part of its permanent endowment and the income used to extend its good work.


Pool with Graphics

Fathom and Graphic Structures joined forces for one night only to showcase their talents (or lack thereof for some) in the beloved art of pool. The evening started well and for some their skills proved unbeatable, for others however it was further proof that bar sports just aren’t their forte. Ahem, Freddie. The night ended with more drinks and food – everyone left full, merry and pooled out for the foreseeable future.

The coveted Fathom pool trophy remains unclaimed as no-one could agree who won!


Climate Action Day

Following the illuminating NLA summit on Tuesday, Designing for a changing climate: towards zero-carbon London, we used Friday’s Climate Action Day as an opportunity to re-examine our processes internally and externally. In a whole studio workshop, we identified areas to focus our attention where we can have the most positive impact: designing out waste in the construction process, early proactive engagements to reduce over-engineering, best practice within different sectors. The day was finished with a walk to the pub for locally brewed ale.

Meanwhile, Becky led some of our more militant representatives on the march toward Westminster.


Blueprint Awards: Rotunda shortlisted for Best Building Re-use

As our first completed build to fully embrace re-use, we are very proud that The Rotunda, White City Place has been shortlisted for Best Building Re-use Project in the Blueprint Awards 2019.

Transforming a redundant BBC nightclub into a new creative incubator, music studios and performance space for emerging artists, we worked closely with both the tenant to minimise waste and maximise adaptability and also with Stanhope, reusing and recycling as much as possible from the White City Place site and adjoining buildings.

Fingers crossed for the 17th Oct.


New Housing Models – RICS talk

Fathom’s Justin Nicholls was invited to give a presentation at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors for The Residential Construction Network on how new housing models can help deliver the Government’s target of building 300,000 homes a year.

His talk focused on innovative ways the sector is addressing housing including; designing homes targeted to specific stages of life, broadening of tenure types and how we are finding more space to build in. Justin highlighted some of Fathom’s recent work including: MacBean Street, Woolwich for Legal & General’s build-to-rent portfolio, Taxi House, Westminster co-living proposals for The Collective and an affordable housing infill site, Westminster for Craig Ewan.


Under wraps – Babmaes Street, St James’s

Construction is now well underway on The Crown Estate’s discreet Six Babmaes Street project in St James’s.  Fathom are undertaking Architectural and Interior Design services and we have now been novated to the construction team.

More details to follow soon!


Wilbury Grove completed

Wilbury Grove is now completed.  One of our first projects is a sensitive mixed use development of a mews site within the Willett Estate Conservation Area in Brighton.  The scheme removed a series of insensitive additions to an existing three storey Victorian mews, and reworked the site by extending and refurbishing to provide four apartments and a ground floor 620sqft office unit with a coherent architectural language.  In addition to the client brief, by closing off a redundant vehicle access route, we were able to create an additional ground floor apartment with a valuable south facing courtyard garden.

Currently being marketed by Oakley Property.  Read more about the project.


Jevington Gardens secures planning

Planning permission has been granted for Fathom’s new ground floor entrance vestibules at 31-39 Jevington Gardens, Eastbourne for South Downs Residential. These changes improve the aesthetics of the former hotel frontage and reinstate residential entrances. SDR provide serviced accommodation to local councils for much needed short-term emergency housing.


Justin reappointed to Brighton and Hove DRP

Justin has been reappointed for a further three years to the Brighton and Hove DesignPLACE Review panel managed by Design South East. The new panel incorporates 28 disciplines, is diverse and gender balanced. Through design reviews, training, workshops and charrettes, the panel will work with the Council on social, community, sustainability and environmental issues ensuring a future for the city as a resilient, low-carbon economy with regional and international cultural significance.


Kennedy Institute planning approved

We are happy to announce that planning has been granted for the new extension of University of Oxford’s Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology. Currently out to tender, construction is expected to begin later this year. We are really excited the University is pushing their sustainable agenda by working to Passivhaus standards.

Read more about the project.


640 homes submitted for planning in Woolwich for Legal and General

This comprehensive regeneration project, one of Legal and General’s largest, proposes 640 much needed new Build to Rent homes together with 21,000 sqft of flexible commercial space for local businesses, as well as a sequence of public spaces that knit the development into the urban fabric.

Working to a tight eight month programme, Fathom has presented designs for the site to the GLA, CABE and the Royal Borough of Greenwich, ahead of the submission in July 2019.  The project was designed in collaboration with DLA Design.

Read more about the project.


Rotunda features in FX Magazine

Located in White City Place, The Rotunda is home to a social enterprise for up and coming artists and musicians. But with money to fund the project tight, creative upcycling was needed for this unique space. Read FX Award’s full article hereRead more about the project.

fxmagazine.co.uk / fxtalks.co.uk / designcurial.com


Queen Street office planning submitted

We’re pleased to announce that our planning application for the refurbishment of a Grade II listed Georgian building in Queen Street, Mayfair has been validated. Plans repurpose a currently disused heritage asset into a modern workspace, embracing future of the office concepts, whilst also respecting the original building fabric.

Read more about the project.


Fathom Architects declare…

The twin crises of climate breakdown and biodiversity loss are the most serious issues of our time.

Buildings and construction play a major part, accounting for nearly 40% of energy-related CO2 emissions whilst also having a significant impact on our natural habitats. The research and technology exist for us to improve, but we lack the collective will. With a growing number of other UK architects, we now pledge to change. We pledge to improve our working practices to create architecture and urbanism that has a more positive impact on the world around us.

For more details,  click here.


LSE team visit

We like to take a positive approach to Continued Professional Development at Fathom. This month we visited the London School of Economics’ Centre Building – a state of the art flexible and highly sustainable academic and teaching building designed by Roger Stirk Harbour + Partners. Thank you to our friends at Mace who, as contractor, gave us a full rundown of the building’s innards including the perfectly coordinated exposed soffits, blemish-free steelwork and seamless timber to concrete floor interfaces. Ye Old White Horse next door provided the perfect spot to download our learning!


Visualising a Remarkable City

Jonathan Smales, Executive Chairman of Human + Nature and former Trustee of Greenpeace, hosted a workshop this week reflecting on 40 years in sustainability; exploring ideas for a ‘Remarkable City’. His vision is compact, urban, intense and is the greenest city ever built – zero carbon, zero waste and fully connected.

Justin was invited to join a group led by Keith Bradley (of Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios) which measured and drew options for locally grown food, energy and water supplies. The role of topography was tested as a means of giving identity to generic city models.

Thank you to Jonathan for his inspiring insights and to Feilden Clegg Bradley for being great hosts.


Mayfair maison retail

Berkeley Square Estate and Astrea Asset Management have appointed Fathom to re-envision 30 Bruton Street, until recently the home of Stella McCartney. The 12,500 sqft Grade Two listed building sits in the heart of the Mayfair Conservation Area. Our remit is to enhance the heritage assets whilst providing much improved ‘maison retail’ space for occupation by another global fashion brand.


University of Oxford planning submitted

Our planning application has been submitted to provide a third floor extension of The Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology. Creating space for 64 more research staff, 7 meeting rooms, a collaboration area and an open plan workspace. To be built to PassivHaus standards, the project is expected to begin on site in November 2019.

Read more about the project.


Cultural pavilion for Canary Wharf

We are excited to have been appointed by Canary Wharf Group to design a sculptural pavilion to enrich their growing arts and cultural programme. Canary Wharf currently displays one of the largest public art collections in the country, and Fathom’s pavilion will extend this into an alternative cultural offering.


Welcome Amy!

Amy Gaspar-Slayford joins us from Marks Barfield where she worked for three and a half years on a series of cultural, civic and mixed-use projects, as well as being a guest critic at University of Westminster. Prior to this, Amy worked on luxury retail and exhibition design projects at Universal Design Studio and at Sean Godsell Architects in Australia. Happy to have you with us Amy.


Bartlett launches ‘radical’ compressed course

Congratulations to The Bartlett UCL for launching a compressed degree course that allows students to pass RIBA Parts I and II in five years, allowing an undergraduate to become a registered architect in seven consecutive years.

The architecture MSci will involve four years of study followed by a fifth-year research placement in practice. Justin has been involved for over two years in consultation with the school and separately with the RIBA on developing the concept of compressed courses. More info here.


Southwark Business Excellence Awards finalist

We are very proud to have been shortlisted for Best Small Business 2019 in the Southwark Business Excellence Awards.

Sponsored by property industry leaders, the awards recognise the best of Southwark’s vibrant business community. Small companies make up a significant proportion of this community, across all sectors and this award encourages their start up, growth and long-term sustainability. It’s rewarding to have our business strategy, model and culture validated in this way by our peers. Fingers crossed for the ceremony in June.


The future has arrived…

Our much anticipated Ultimaker S5 is here. Fresh out of the box.

Printing two materials at once in super fine layers and double the volume of its predecessor. Its tiny webcam means we can watch it beaver away whilst around the corner in the comfort of our local, The Rose.

We look forward to sharing the results…


Welcome Tom to the team

Tom Bulmer joins this month, bringing with him a wealth of experience on residential and civic design, as well as in-depth urban development knowledge, having led a research study exploring brownfield locations for residential and industrial use. Welcome Tom.


Tate Modern tour

Many thanks to Dr Caroline Levitt who led us on a gallery tour last night of The Tate Modern. Really insightful. This was followed by drinks at Flat Iron Square where Amy and Tom, joining us soon, had a chance to meet the team. Also insightful.


FX Magazine focus on Fathom

February’s issue profiles Justin and Fathom, discussing our approach to house style, materiality and place. Justin reveals what led him to become an architect – view the article


Fathom welcomes The Bartlett’s Unit 20

The Architecture MArch at The Bartlett, UCL has an international reputation for encouraging a rigorous professional approach to architecture within a highly creative context.

This year the Fathom team are tutoring the Design Realisation module for Unit 20. The Unit, which is led by Marjan Colletti and Javier Ruiz, focuses on Post-Digital Practices. Following a field trip to California, students have selected various sites from the LA waterfront to abandoned underground military compounds. Project briefs range from algae farms to underwater astronaut training facilities.

The Unit is privileged to be also supported by Structural engineers Atelier One and Environmental Engineers Atelier Ten.



Fathom is hiring

We’re looking for a post-part II Architectural Assistant and a recently qualified Architect.

Creative and confident, with a good working knowledge of Revit and/or AutoCAD and experience of projects at both planning and detail design stage in the UK.

To apply, please email your CV and portfolio to hello@fathomarchitects.com


Jonathan shares his admiration of Le Corbusier

Jonathan joined students of The Courtauld Institute and Dr Caroline Levitt to share his thoughts on Le Corbusier and some of Fathom’s recent work. The students are studying for a BA in Art History and Jonathan was reminded that Corb’s work and influence spread well beyond architecture, which is something we are keen to do at Fathom. The Courtauld have recently relocated to Veron Square in Kings Cross whilst Somerset House is renovated to provide improved facilities for this world leading institution.


Autonomous Landscapes exhibition

Harry Godfrey and Yiping Zhu present Autonomous Landscapes: a beautiful exhibition of photographs and films documenting the life and impending urban change of two self-built Buddhist academies in the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, shortly before their doors were closed permanently to foreigners. The pair were able to capture this rare moment in time of dramatic resettlement.

The exhibition runs daily from February 7-13 (11am-6pm) and is on at dn&co’s Ground Floor Space in Bermondsey, London.


Fathom appointed on Woolwich residential scheme by Legal & General

Legal & General has appointed Fathom, in collaboration with DLA Design, to design its largest build to rent site in Woolwich. With Fathom focusing on urban design, massing and facades, the high-density scheme aims to meet the growing demand created by Crossrail.


Architectural Association Crits – MA Housing and Urbanism

Justin joined an eminent panel of critics including Chris Lee, Professor Harvard University, Carlos Villanueva Brant from the AA and formerly NATØ to review the final work of the MA Housing and Urbanism course. Projects sited in London explored the positive transformation of urban areas. This included new forms of high density living including co-living, the emergence of private rental housing, with close integration of new forms of workplace. Full course details here:


Fathom Christmas lino-cut

Following the success of our ceramic grotesque last year, we were keen to try our hand at another collective artwork. Under the careful eye of talented illustrator Kaylene Alder, for an afternoon the Fathom studio was turned into a lino-cut printing studio. Inspired by natural forms, laughter and with all our fingers intact (nearly), the result of our labours was combined into a Fathom festive polyptych.

This was followed by a great evening out in Peckham, where Rich secured best Secret Santa, Harry was crowned fussball champion and Fred nearly won (but didn’t).


The Rotunda completed

The 1st phase of works has finished at The Rotunda, White City Place for Stanhope, creating an incubator space for emerging artists and musicians. The ground floor includes co-working and amenities, whilst the dynamic and versatile upstairs space plays host to live performances, rehearsals and installations. The plan for phase 2 is to install recording studios on the 1st floor. A stripped back, but calm aesthetic reflects the new tenant’s values.

Project architect Harry completed his post-occupancy review, bagging an invite to a private gig at the same time.


AJ Architecture Awards 2018

This year, Justin sat on the judging panel for Higher Education Project of Year, visiting five shortlisted projects across the UK. The winner, announced at the prestigious awards ceremony on 4 December, was The Royal Academy of Music – Theatre and New Recital Hall. Congratulations to Ian Ritchie Architects on an immaculately detailed building.


Gingerbread City at V&A Museum

71 sites designed and built by 71 different architects, coming together to form a sugar-coated view of the future city. Collaborating with Graphic Structures, Fathom explored a subterranean collective, focusing on high-density living and maximizing green spaces for its inhabitants. The result features a reinterpretation of a traditional gingerbread terrace, undulating candy landscape and is lit by a sugar dome roof. The installation, curated by the Museum of Architecture and featured in The Evening Standard, is open 8 Dec – 6 Jan at V&A Museum.


University of Oxford appointment

Fathom Architects, together with laboratory specialists NovoSpace, have been appointed to develop plans to extend medical science facilities for University of Oxford at Old Road Campus, Oxford – Fathom’s third appointment with the university since our launch.


Novartis moves HQ to Westworks

Today pharmaceuticals giant Novartis announced it is relocating it’s UK HQ to Westworks, White City Place, which it considers to be London’s latest life sciences cluster.

Following Fathom’s viability report earlier this year, which explored options for accommodating medical science in Westworks, including Category Two labs, Mitsui Fudosan and Stanhope have secured several exciting technology and innovation companies, including biotechs Autolus and Synthace – Novartis is the latest and biggest. We were able to draw on years of experience working with University of Oxford medical sciences to quickly flush out efficient and attractive options for potential tenants – good to see it has been useful.

Read more here and here.



Hoxton Hotels round table

Last night Tom shared some of our architectural ideas and research at a round table of trend forecasters, writers and designers, hosted by Hoxton Hotel owners, Ennismore. The discussion revolved around the future use of public-private spaces, exploring the needs and wants of the digital nomad generation. Thanks to Philippa Wagner for an interesting evening.