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Assael Architecture News
2 Oct 2019
Assael Architecture becomes first UK architectural practice to join the UN Climate Neutral Now initiative to hit net-zero
Award-winning practice becomes signatory of UN-backed climate change mitigation programme
The pledge binds the practice to net-zero status immediately, making it the first UK architectural practice to join the UN initiative
Latest move in a series of practice-wide initiatives to help curb Assael Architecture’s impact on the environment
Legal & General’s Blackhorse Mills Build to Rent project in Walthamstow, which overlooks Waltham Forest and was designed with a special façade so not to disrupt the rare birds that mate on the protected wetlands:
image courtesy of architects
Award-winning architecture practice Assael Architecture has become the first UK architectural practice to sign up to the UN Climate Neutral Now initiative, binding the studio to measure, reduce and offset greenhouse gas emissions now, not in the future.
As a signatory of the UN-backed initiative, Assael Architecture must calculate and disclose the current carbon footprint of the practice, including international air travel, and show a clear pathway to reducing it year on year.
The current carbon emissions of the practice are then offset financially using UN certified emission reductions (CERs), where Assael Architecture can choose specific projects to support. The offsetting project that Assael has pledged to support through the CERs programme is the creation of a hydroelectric power station in Chile, South America.
The UN certified CERs are carbon credits generated by climate-friendly projects vetted by the UN following rules approved at intergovernmental level and with international oversight, providing a high level of credibility to the offsetting regime.
To help bolster the practice’s fight against climate change domestically, Assael has been rolling out a range of initiatives internally to help curb their emissions. These include achieving and maintaining the IS014001 certification, sourcing their food and drink locally to reduce food miles, supporting staff cycling schemes, experimenting with the roll out of vegan and vegetarian meals, encouraging international video conferencing over international flights and extending the audience of their annual Green Week, where industry leaders gather at the Assael offices to discuss sustainability.
In light of the race to net-zero, the practice’s Sustainability Working Group, launched back in 2016, is constantly looking for new ways the practice can reduce and offset its carbon footprint, domestically and abroad, with an eye on ensuring the practice is operationally carbon neutral from late 2019.
Rory O’Hagan, director of Assael Architecture, said:
“Climate change is here and it’s now. The effects and implications of our carbon emissions are clear to see, with many parts of the world already feeling the full force of climate breakdown. And as the social tide begins to change in support for more radical climate action, it’s our duty as a business to set an example to our staff and the communities we operate within. We want our clients to know that our activities will not contribute to their carbon footprint and that sustainability is embedded into everything we do as a practice, including design, and not bolted on as an afterthought.
“By making the UN Climate Neutral pledge, we are committed to being a Net-Zero Carbon organisation now, not in the future. As a practice, we understand the urgency of action required to tackle climate breakdown and will continue to push ahead of the UK’s legislated targets, providing a clear path for other businesses to follow.”
Niclas Svenningsen, Manager, Global Climate Action, UN Climate Change, said:
“Climate action is urgent. We are facing a civilization-ending threat. If we are going to succeed against this challenge, we need to incorporate sustainability into everything we do. That includes the design of the buildings we live in, the public spaces that we use and any other built environment. That is why we are glad to have Assael Architecture joining the Climate Neutral Now initiative. We invite them and every other designer around the world, regardless of their field of expertise, to prepare their proposals with full consideration to the climate and sustainability requirements to help our society succeed.”
5 Feb 2019
Assael Architecture Associate Director
Assael Architecture promote Tom Banfield to associate director after record profits
Award-winning architecture practice, Assael Architecture, have added to their senior management team with the promotion of Tom Banfield to associate director following the practice’s most profitable year on record.
Tom joined Assael back in 2011 as an architectural assistant, after gaining a wealth of experience across a range of sectors and tenures within the industry, working on both small-scale residential schemes and large infrastructure plans.
Since joining the practice, Tom has become an essential member of the Assael team and is heavily involved in some of the practice’s key Built to Rent and regeneration projects throughout the world. For instance, Tom worked directly on Hortensia Road in Kensington and Chelsea, a Build to Rent project for the UK’s largest listed residential landlord. Grainger plc.
Tom also played a pivotal role in the design and delivery of North Wharf Gardens in Paddington. This development will deliver 485 new homes and places a particular emphasis on creating a new neighbourhood in Westminster, with a park and communal spaces at the heart of the project.
In this new role as associate director, Tom will work across all RIBA stages at Assael, leading a team on various projects, from delivering residential developments in Barnet, Brentford and Chelsea, to designing large-scale Build to Rent schemes and masterplans in the Middle East.
As well as being an outstanding architect, Tom is a keen sportsman. He founded Assael’s tag rugby team, plays for the football and softball teams, and has twice won Assael’s charity pool tournament.
This promotion comes at a time of continued growth for Assael Architecture, having just enjoyed its most profitable year on record and scooping Building’s Good Employer Award in November last year.
Tom Banfield, associate director at Assael Architecture, said:
“It’s a huge honour to be given this promotion at a time when the practice continues to go from strength to strength. I am incredibly excited to take on a more wide ranging leadership role on some of Assael’s landmark Build to Rent and masterplan projects, both in the UK and beyond.”
John Assael, chairman of Assael Architecture, said:
“Tom has grown as both an architect and a person since joining us in 2011. He plays an instrumental role in the day-to-day operation here at Assael, delivering design excellence time after time for our clients. Tom has demonstrated he is a team player both in the office and on the sports field!”
3 Feb 2019
Assael Architecture Restructuring
Assael Architecture hands over the reins with ownership restructuring and appointment of Pete Ladhams as managing director
• Assael Architecture has become an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT), making staff beneficiaries and giving them a say in the company’s future
• Pete Ladhams has become managing director to drive the company through a new exciting chapter
• Restructuring is part of the practice’s mission to continue being one of the industry’s best employers
Following its most profitable year on record, Assael Architecture has become an Employee Owned Trust which has made staff beneficiaries of the business and appointed Pete Ladhams as managing director.
The transformation to an EOT is the latest move by Assael to reward their staff for their hard work and loyalty and maintain their recognition as one of the industry’s top employers.
Assael’s 99 employees will soon elect two new Trustees, selected from any level of the practice, to be their voice, enabling every individual to have a say in Assael’s evolution and success. An external independent Chair will also be appointed, joining co-founders John Assael and Russell Pedley as Trustees.
John Assael, chairman and co-founder of Assael Architecture, said:
“Since founding Assael Architecture in 1994, Russell and I have seen the business grow into a renowned and respected architecture practice. After much consideration – and an awful lot of consulting – we took the collective decision to turn the practice into an Employee Ownership Trust in order to put the future of the business firmly in the hands of those that have built it – our staff. We’re also delighted to announce Pete as MD; having started here as a young student, he is testament to our commitment to our staff’s development and he’ll continue to be an inspiration to the growing team.”
Russell Pedley, director and co-founder, said:
“Our staff have been integral to every success of Assael and therefore John and I believed it was only right that they’re rewarded for their loyalty. With new opportunities arising for the future, this is the perfect time for staff to engage in and have a say in our vision.”
Pete Ladhams, Assael’s new managing director, vows to continue with the staff-centric approach with an ultimate responsibility for the company’s performance, including personnel, resources and recruitment.
Ladhams joined the practice as a student in 2001, and has worked on many of Assael’s significant and award-winning projects including Clockhouse and Access House in Bromley-by-Bow, Macaulay Walk in Clapham and Ham Mill in Stroud. Pete will continue to promote design excellence and drive the aspirations of the company’s development, including growth into exciting new sectors, services and locations.
Pete Ladhams, managing director of Assael Architecture, said:
“It is an honour to represent Assael as managing director. Assael is built around its talented staff and understands how integral they are to its success. We have something very special here and by becoming an EOT we hope to maintain this culture and ambition by allowing all employees to influence the new exciting chapter at Assael.”
Assael joins 16 other AJ100 architects in becoming an EOT, according to figures from the Employee Ownership Association.
11 Dec 2018
New Homes in Abbey Wood, west London, England, UK
Mayor gives go ahead to ‘called in’ 272-home scheme in Abbey Wood
Eynsham Drive will create nearly new 300 homes and rehouse the PDSA pet hospital currently on the site
London Mayor Sadiq Khan ‘called in’ the proposed scheme earlier this year, overruling the council’s decision to block the development close to Abbey Wood Crossrail station
Solar panels, a wilderness garden and green communal spaces make the development environmentally friendly
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has given the go ahead to Eynsham Drive in Abbey Wood development, a mixed-use residential development that will create 272 new homes close to the new Crossrail station.
Designed by award-winning architecture practice Assael Architecture, and developed by Definition Capital, the Mayor ‘called in’ the Eynsham Drive project after the council deferred and then rejected the proposed plans earlier in the year. The Mayor ‘called in’ the project because he felt the scheme would “make an important contribution to affordable housing supply in response to London Plan policies.”
Assael Architecture and Definition Capital worked closely with the Greater London Authority (GLA) to make a number of amendments to the scheme, such as creating additional children’s playspace, increasing the amount of trees and adding more townhouses to the ground floor to create a greater sense of activity throughout the scheme.
Eynsham Drive is set to transform the site, which currently hosts a car wash facility and a PDSA pet hospital, creating an active frontage around the ground floor. The commercial space on the ground floor has been designed for use as either offices or retail, and will also rehouse the PDSA pet hospital in improved facilities, helping them expand their charitable work in the area.
The mixed-use development, located opposite the western edge of the Thamesmead estate at the junction of Harrow Manorway and Eynsham Drive, will also offer a variety of homes at different price points. 35 percent of the total housing provided will be affordable, made up of 28 shared ownership units and 67 social rent apartments, in line with the Mayor of London’s affordability targets.
The homes will be spread over three buildings ranging from seven to 17 storeys in height, and be a mix of studios, one and two-bedroom apartments, as well as three-bedroom family townhouses. To build a genuine community, all entrances will be tenure-blind, meaning no ‘poor doors’, while 10 percent of the homes will have full disability access.
Future residents of Eynsham Drive will also benefit from being only minutes away from Abbey Wood rail station, which will be part of the Crossrail network launching next year. Trains from Abbey Wood will be able to reach Liverpool Street in just 17 minutes and Heathrow Airport in 51 minutes.
Assael’s design has prioritised the long-term sustainability of the scheme, adding to biodiversity efforts in the area. By bringing substantial greenery to the public realm, incorporating solar panels on each building and creating gardens for both residents and the wider public, the project will make a significant contribution to the area, while minimising the development’s environmental footprint.
At the heart of the scheme is a podium wilderness garden, designed in collaboration with Spacehub, which will provide children’s play spaces and specifically chosen flora.
Complementary to this, Assael’s design has also aimed to improve the pedestrian access through the site, providing paths and cycle lands for the public. In addition, the scheme will provide visitor and staff parking for the PDSA pet facility.
Felicie Krikler, director at Assael Architecture, said:
“Eynsham Drive is set to be a great addition to Abbey Wood, an area undergoing astonishing change. The contribution of the scheme to the local community is significant, creating a wealth of green spaces, sustainable energy, job opportunities and improving the pedestrian experience through the site.
“Our design has sought to create an environmentally friendly development that brings nature and greenery into the area in a playful, interactive way. By opening up the site with luscious green spaces, we hope that residents and the public can interact and grow together as a community.”
4 Aug 2018
New Homes in Southall, Borough of Ealing., west London, England, UK
Architects: Assael Architecture
image courtesy of architecture office
New Homes in Southall
Southall set for major regeneration as Assael Architecture and Montreaux submits masterplan for over 2,000 homes in Ealing.
29 Jun 2018
Old Brewery Gardens Development, Manchester, North West England, UK
image courtesy of architecture office
Old Brewery Gardens
Prosperity Capital Partners and Assael Architecture have successfully secured planning for a £175m regeneration development in the centre of Manchester.
22 May 2018
Charter Square, Staines-upon-Thames, Southwest London, England, UK
image courtesy of architects
Charter Square, Staines-upon-Thames
Award-winning developer London Square has secured planning permission for the second phase of its £120m town centre scheme – extending the scope for the transformation already under way at the heart of Staines-upon-Thames.
3 May 2018
HBF Housing Pipeline Report Comment
Comment by Dipa Joshi, director of Assael Architecture for the HBF Housing Pipeline Report.
Dipa Joshi, director at Assael Architecture, said:
“The Housing Pipeline report encapsulates the changing approach to affordable housing, with approvals on social housing units up 27% on the previous year and an increase in the number of affordable projects given approval also up. Fixing the UK’s housing market requires a significant increase in the number of affordable units on the market and this report shows that initiatives like shared ownership, discount market rent along with the growing strength of housing associations, and private sector joint ventures are having a palpable effect on the market. There is still a long way to go, but this feels like a breakthrough moment in the years following the housing white paper.”
30 Apr 2018
New Housing Minister comment
Russell Pedley, director at Assael Architecture, said:
“Once again, we have seen a change at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. The point of changing DCLG to MHCLG was to highlight the major issues we have within the housing market at the moment. However, the Government’s actions here show that, once again, other departments take a priority over housing. If we are serious about fixing the broken housing market, delivering affordable homes at high volume and transforming the outdated delivery model, then we need consistent leadership at the top.”
27 Apr 2018
Public investment in AI
We post a comment below from Rory O’Hagan, director of Assael Architecture, on the recent annoucement of more public investment in artificial intelligence.
Rory O’Hagan, director at Assael Architecture, said:
“Genuine Artificial Intelligence will have deep and dramatic effects on the fabric of the built environment. While some may fear its advent, it will undoubtedly play a major role in future economies. Artificial Intelligence within the profession of architecture – combined with the already impressive advancements in BIM – will change the way we approach the design and delivery of buildings.
At a practical level, many of the formulaic parts of the design process could be automated and rigorously modelled, freeing up time for the more creative, problem solving side of the job. The profession need not fear the imminent arrival of robot architects and should make sure we embrace the exponential benefits of cutting-edge technologies. After all, we don’t want to be left behind.”
Dreamland Margate, Kent, England, UK
image from architects
Dreamland Margate – 14 Feb 2012
Assael Architecture has unveiled its vision for the Dreamland Margate site at a public enquiry into whether Thanet District Council will be allowed to compulsorily purchase the former fun park. Assael is the fifth architectural practice to be appointed and the only one to protect and reuse the Grade II* Cinema and Scenic Railway as part of a low density housing scheme designed to attract inward investment.
Assael Architecture – Key Projects
Major Developments by Assael Architects, alphabetical:
Century Buildings, central Manchester, England
Cleveland Street, London W1
Offices for City of Westminster Corporate Property Department
Great Northern Tower, central Manchester, northern England
Angled residential tower near G-Mex Centre
For George Wimpey City
Farm Lane, residential square in Fulham, south west London
40 houses on the site of a former garages, retaining an Edwardian arched entrance.
Great West Quarter, Brentford, west London, UK
Mixed-use development for Barratt West London
Green Bank, Leeds
For Harrow Estates Plc
833 apartments, offices, retail, restaurants
Payne’s & Borthwick Wharves, southeast London
Mixed-use development for George Wimpey Central London
Regency Apartments, southwest London
Residential property – 204 apartments for Barratt West London
Tachbrook Triangle, southwest London
Mixed-use development by Assael Architects for Barratt West London / Acton Housing Association
More Assael Architects buildings online soon
Location: 50 Carnwath Road London, SW6 3EG, UK
Assael Architecture Practice Information
Assael – architect office based in England
Assael Architecture : London Architects
Assael Architecture Limited is led by John Assael, Managing Director, shareholder & co-founder
DiplArch GradDip(Consv)AA MSc RIBA FRSA
Post Graduate Diploma in Building Conservation
Architectural Association School of Architecture
Masters Degree in Economics (Urban Regional Planning)
University of London
Diploma in Architecture
Oxford Polytechnic School of Architecture
London Architecture : news + key projects
Assael is an award-winning, London-based architecture practice that offers a range of masterplanning, urban design and architectural services. Established in 1994, Assael has over two decades of experience working in the residential, leisure and mixed-use sectors both domestically and abroad.
The practice is well known for delivering analytical and contextual design in the most difficult or challenging of circumstances.
Notable buildings designed by Assael include the Great Northern Tower in Manchester and the Renaissance masterplan in Lewisham, London.
Comments / photos for the Assael Architects page welcome