We are undertaking a proof of concept study to enable early-stage client discussions. The solutions being investigated are founded on sustainability, renewable energy and achieving minimal environmental impact.
In association with David Ajasa-Adekunle
small., along with the support of WSP Design Studio, came up with an innovative
shelter design that uses low cost, lightweight and sustainably sourced
materials, namely discarded plastic bottles, bamboo and straw in a bid to
tackle plastic pollution and provide emergency shelter to disaster-stricken
communities in the light of the recent natural disasters.
WSP’s Design Studio put together a proof-of-concept study to take
Ricky’s concept a step further. The challenges were great, housing needed to be
readily portable but robust enough to protect its occupants from the elements,
while being made from only bamboo and scavenged plastic bottles.
As part of the study, WSP’s Design Studio tested several insulating
materials, that could be placed inside each bottle, to improve the structure’s
thermal performance and discovered that straw would provide the best level of
The team then proposed that these thermally efficient “bottle bricks” be
mounted on a formwork of bamboo struts arranged in a triangular form to ensure
optimum stability. The entire structure would then be anchored to the ground through
a unique set of bottle foundations weighted down by soil and sand to provide a
solid base. The resulting four-meter-high structure would be easy and quick to
build, in this case less than one day.
After collecting 2,000 bottles we built our
first prototype for the Clerkenwell Design Week in London in May, from the
bottles, bamboo and straw. Since then the Royal Academy has selected our design
for their Summer Exhibition, and we’re incredibly proud to have a model of the
shelter on display there.
In association with small.
Raynham Hall Pavilion
for Cosmic Roots Festival
was intended to be an impactful and interactive piece which changed throughout
the day to reflect the atmosphere of the festival. It takes inspiration
from the designer’s experience in Moscow and Russia at large, with references
to some of the ad hoc temporary structures that can be seen on construction
sites around the city.
challenges of this project came from the specification that it had to be a
temporary structure which needed to be easy to construct, deconstruct and store
for reconstruction the following year; that at night the sculpture was to be
lit internally and that the external appearance of the structure couldn’t differ
from the original design meaning all supports and bracing had to be internal.
In association with Matthew Hearn
IG Lintels - Suburban Villa
The competition was to design a sub-urban villa that included a variety
of IG steel lintels which would be
We worked with Black architects to develop a home which would have no
internal columns. This was to create a home which could change easily whilst
the family occupying it also did. We produced a design that was effectively two
separate homes joined by a centrally walkway which meant the building could be
used as: a single family, a single family home with a flat within, two separate
homes or divided into six individual flats.
We provided advice on the maximum spans a two-way spanning concrete slab
could achieve and how the building would gain lateral stability without having
any internal load-bearing walls.
In association with
Marco Miehling Selfridges Installation
provided advice to the artist Marco Miehling for a commission at Selfridges. Marco
is a sculptor based in both London and Berlin and was introduced to Design
Studio as a Bursary Award winner from the Royal Society of Sculptors. His work
displays large visible forces and combines industrial and natural elements.
Many of his pieces balance a sense of contemplation with a feeling of
For the plinth at
Selfridges Duke Street entrance, Design Studio worked closely with Marco to
realise his work “A Tree Is A Big Plant With A Stick Up In The Middle”. The
sculpture suspends a large trunk, taken from a diseased tree in Hyde Park, on a
steel ramp. The idea behind the piece is to convert a tree trunk from an object
of nature to an object of contemplation. To maximise the drama and jeopardy of
the piece (whilst ensuring the safety of the public and integrity of the
plinth) we used iterative design processes to optimise the trunk weight, ramp
angle and rope tension. We helped develop numerous concepts and contributed at
every stage of the creative process.
In association with
Network Rail Footbridges of the Future
We teamed with Hawkins Brown in an open ideas competition for the future
design of Network Rails footbridges across the UK. Our entry was selected has
highly commended out of over 120 entries.
The Challenge was to create a flexible design concept that could apply
in a huge variety of settings across the UK; from rural locations, listed
stations and urban cities. Whilst maintaining this flexibility in design for
the environment it was also important to base this design on a standard set of
components that could easily be constructed.
This is where our ‘Kit of parts idea’ shone through our adaptable pods
cantilever from the main vierendeel bridge deck structure – encouraging the
bridge to become more than just a path from A-B, but also tailored for the local
context (ie. A café space, a look out spot, a small library).
The basis of the structure was a dictated by the architecture as the
structure was fully exposed. The stair and lift cores provides the main lateral
support for the bridge while the span deflections and vibrations are minimised
by a lower truss and diaphragm action in the deck. Our structural challenge was to turn this
concept into a standardised kit of parts to reduce costs and promote off-site
construction; which would limit site works and disruption to network rail.
In association with
We have worked with RPP, the executive architects, to provide the structural engineering solution to the design provided by Alexander Brodsky, the artist.
The complexities came from the location, being in the middle of a park, the fact that there was no deviating at all from the artist aspirations, that it had to be kept as simple as possible so that the students at the Architectural Association could construct it and that any foundation system used had to be temporary so as at the end of the installation it could all be removed without making large disturbances to the grass.
In association with Alexander Brodsky and RPP
MSA Homeless Shelter