At Chetwoods we’ve had an exhilarating 2022. From ascending the AJ100 ranking to number 44, to welcoming more than thirty new colleagues and working on a wide range of interesting schemes, it’s certainly been fast-paced.
Along the way we have been shortlisted for nine awards, collaborated with several top universities on research projects, and spoken at industry events and across the press on the topics that really matter to us.
Throughout the year we’ve remained constantly inspired by progressive clients who work with us to buck trends and are willing to take risks and push boundaries in the design of their buildings.
We’re passionate about many things, so we have spread the word over the last 12 months.
During 2022 we’ve spoken passionately about pushing the boundaries of design at industry events and in the press, including Building Design, New London Architecture Magazine, Pro Landscaper Magazine, FC&A Future Constructor and Architect, AD Magazine and Building Magazine.
We have also been campaigning to strengthen the relationship between architecture, art and landscape architecture. Rather than treating landscape and artistic elements as ‘add-ons’ or self-contained parts within the overall design of a built scheme, we seek to engage from the earliest stages with our partners to explore ways of ensuring that each component of a design approach is not only integrated but also complementary.
Our Chairman Laurie Chetwood talked to the RIBA Journal, as part of its Hindsight series, about pushing boundaries and how closer collaboration between architects and landscape architects from the outset can enhance design and lead to a more successful scheme (below: UN Biodiversity Plaza).
“Rather than treating landscape and artistic elements as ‘add-ons’ or self-contained parts within the overall design of a built scheme, we seek to engage from the earliest stages with our partners to explore ways of ensuring that each component of a design approach is not only integrated but also complementary.” Laurie Chetwood, Chetwoods Chairman
We love design. Our work over the last 12 months reflects this passion.
We have worked on lots of vary varied and interesting projects across different sectors.
We’ve been developing new typologies for metro stations internationally that go beyond basic functional and regulatory requirements to change people’s expectations of what transport hubs can offer to visitors. The stations are designed not merely to be points of transit, but as memorable spaces that provoke emotions.
“Our station designs reflect the evolution of simple modern futuristic design into a more complex and subtle blend of stories about national, regional and site-specific priorities and cultures to inform and benefit investors, rail users and local communities.” Reza Esmaeeli, Chetwoods Director
From the outset our proposals for a new preparatory school boarding house in the Midlands focused on designing in happiness for its pupils, staff and visitors. Once we’d concluded the initial concepts we trialled cutting-edge data-centric technologies to measure and analyse whether the design evoked happiness (below).
As part of our ongoing research into designing happiness and wellbeing into the built environment, we developed innovative concepts for a tree house design for Kew Gardens based on principles of biomimicry and biophilia, and adaptable for performance, education and collaboration uses (below).
In November the City of London Corporation confirmed it would deposit a Private Bill in Parliament to seek approval for Chetwoods’ £1bn scheme to relocate Billingsgate and Smithfield wholesale markets to Dagenham Dock in Barking and Dagenham (below).
“We’re delighted that the plans to relocate London’s historic wholesale markets to a single combined site in Dagenham will go to Parliament for final sign off shortly. The scheme was given planning approval last year.” Philip Stanway, Chetwoods Director
We are developing an industrial scheme in London that includes the deconstruction of existing site buildings, reusing the materials in the design, a core of themes based on context, history and materiality and the use of technology to enable the process.
“We believe aiming to retain and repurpose any existing buildings should be the starting point for considering all project briefs. By retrofitting the existing built environment, we’re adding to the history and narrative of a place and saving embodied carbon.” Yianni Kattirtzis, Chetwoods Studio Director
We also designed Baytree Fenny Lock Milton Keynes, a high-spec industrial warehouse which is the first in the sector to incorporate a pioneering Digital Twin approach, and completed Mammoth 602 at G-Park Doncaster, the largest and most sustainable logistics building in the North of England constructed as net-zero carbon in line with the UKGBC framework.
Our worldwide ambition continues. We opened two new studios.
We have continued to grow the Practice this year to support our expanding portfolio of work, welcoming 32 new starters to our teams across our UK and international offices, as directors, architects, architectural technologists and Part I and Part II architectural assistants. We celebrated their arrival with a big ‘Springmas’ party in London in April.
We’re expanding our locations too: in the spring we opened another office in the Midlands and over the summer our London team moved to a new space in Clerkenwell designed for us by our Studio team. We also opened a new studio in Cologne to manage our growing portfolio of work in Germany.
“We are working on a range of exciting projects across the logistics, industrial, hospitality, retail, commercial and residential sectors, which until now we have been managing from our Hamburg office so we are delighted to have a second studio from which to support our expansion in Germany.” Jost Kreussler, Head of Chetwoods Germany
Industrial intensification is a rapidly expanding sector. We kept up with its pace this year.
We continue to power ahead in the industrial intensification sector, developing new locations and architectural templates for siting and co-locating different uses. Our recent survey of over 100 UK industry experts came up with some interesting results in terms of perceptions, constraints, and time frames in the evolution of this rapidly expanding landscape.
Our CEO Tim Ward, who is a member of New London Architecture’s Expert Panel on Industrial and Logistics, was invited to join the panel of the NLA’s Industrial & Logistics Conference.
“I was pleased to be able to communicate my view on the future of the landscape, including multi-storey schemes and co-location with residential. These matters had been raised time and time again behind closed doors on the expert panel, and now it was the opportunity for an open discussion with an engaged audience.” Tim Ward, Chetwoods CEO
During the year we raised many celebratory glasses of bubbles with our peers.
In May we rose to number 44 in the AJ100 2022 ranking of top UK architectural practices.
We were also shortlisted for four AJ100 awards, and five further awards including the Building, Digital Construction and West Midlands Property Awards. These were for initiatives including our industry-leading projects, research, innovation, industry collaboration and sustainability, and our human emotional response to design research programme.
The technological revolution continues. And we’re loving all our experimentation.
We’re continuously developing processes and tools that allow us to deliver net-zero buildings, and to scientifically measure the impact of their design on the wellbeing of the people who use them.
We’ve been looking at how our design practice and creative processes could be aided by the recently launched DALL-E 2 AI software, which can create hundreds of images in seconds from written descriptions. The visuals can be in any style, including painting, crayon drawing, sketch, 3D-render or digital photograph (below image created using the software).
“A Data-centric approach puts data at the heart of design decision making. By pairing project and design data and adding information captured from building management systems and occupants, insights can be reached into how buildings are going to perform, and how they perform in use.” Dr Erika Parn, Chetwoods Works Lead Strategic Consultant, and Research Associate at the University of Cambridge
We’ve continued to be mad about new materials. How else are we going to hit the 2050 Net Zero target?
We’ve been exploring and experimenting with new construction materials this year. From stone ramps to environmentally friendly facades, we’ve been pushing the boundaries.
We have designed one of the largest timber buildings currently being constructed in the UK for Rhenus Logistics at Baytree Logistics Properties’ Nuneaton development (below).
“We hope this approach to embracing timber in design will be adopted across the wider industry in the years to come, setting a precedent as a small part of the solution to reducing our sector’s carbon emissions. The building’s users will also benefit from the aesthetic of the timber, contributing to a natural, biophilic internal environment, which has been proven to help reduce stress and increase productivity.” Andrew Hall, Chetwoods Director
Following a CPD on structural stone, our Studio team visited the Stone Masonry Company’s construction yard near Peterborough to gain a better understanding of the potential of using structural stone in our work.
“We travelled there with some plans and a card model of our latest industrial co-location scheme, and returned with some valuable sketches and a better understanding of the potential of using structural stone.” Sam Lyons, Chetwoods Project Architect
How do you design ‘happiness’ into a building? This year we made serious headway in answering this key question.
In June we held a Studio Late event during the London Festival of Architecture. Attendees could test some of the experimental technologies to trial new cutting-edge technologies to analyse human emotional response to design that we’re working on with the University of Cambridge.
We’ve been bringing these insights into some of our projects including a new school boarding house designed to evoke happiness and wellbeing.
“The technology we used creates artificial neural networks which are applied to computer visualisations and in turn are used for affective computing, which recognizes, interprets, processes, and simulates human feelings, emotions and moods. The programme analyses even the smallest facial movements to deliver data on emotional responses.” Sagal Rooble, Chetwoods Digital Strategy Co-ordinator
Did you know that 99% of the water on earth is unusable? This year we campaigned for our industry to do more to protect our planet.
World Water Week, Net Zero Carbon Week and COP27, all provided opportunities for us to communicate our mission to tackle carbon emissions, materials use, and water and biodiversity issues associated with construction in a series of articles on our website journal.
“When considering the climate and ecological emergency there are a great many contributing factors and we must be sure not only to focus on reducing CO2 associated with buildings but to ensure that we design buildings holistically in line with 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.” Philippa Birch-Wood, Chetwoods Thrive Director
Our Materials Workshops are now available to all our clients, giving them a crash course in embodied carbon, an introduction to materials health and an interactive analysis of our materials library to investigate how different items compare against each other.
We’re also collaborating with and advising a world-leading interdisciplinary team from the universities of Cambridge and Birmingham that has recently secured £1.3m in funding to research the reuse of structural steel in construction.
We found inspiration in the wider world by taking numerous trips out of our Studios.
Over the summer we continued our Studio Explorations to see the work of our peers and other creatives in the wider industry, including visiting the Serpentine Pavilion and the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition.
“We find the sessions aid our creativity and we often like to draw or create architectural models at the sites we visit.” Setare Nosrati, Chetwoods Studio Architectural Assistant
2023 will be here before we know it. Bring it on!
We have plenty to look forward to in 2023 including a ground-breaking and particularly exciting new project on the horizon – encompassing art, architecture, landscape, and emotional response to design – which we’ve been working on for the past 12 months and hope to be able to share in the New Year. The image below is an artwork by Laurie Chetwood which is inspired by the scheme.
“It’s amazing what you can achieve when you raise the expectations at the very beginning of a project, and with the right team, we can push the boundaries of what has been done before.” Laurie Chetwood
Our continued growth is a result of our loyal clients, exciting new project opportunities and our hard-working teams. We look forward to the next 12 months ahead.
To be the first to receive our latest research, industry articles, event invitations or news updates, please provide your details below to subscribe. You can unsubscribe at any time.