This year, AKT II has supported Sam Jacob Studio this festive period on the Electric Nemeton Tree, commissioned by King’s Cross. This tree is one of three installations to mark the arrival of the festive period in King’s Cross’ Granary Square.
This year, for London Climate Action Week, we’re taking action to further develop our sustainability agenda, using this time to research and inform our 2030 Target Sustainability Manifesto. Over the past week, we’ve been discussing how we can affect change at every level within our practice and beyond.
The human species must urgently reduce carbon emissions. With 49% of the UK’s carbon attributable to buildings, our increasingly decarbonised grid and improved fabric have made headway. But we face a further challenge: reducing embodied carbon within the building’s structure. In this article, director Nicola Carniato discusses what our industry can do to tackle climate change.
Westminster City Council approved plans on developer CO-RE’s proposal to redevelop Landsdowne House in Berkeley Square. We’re working alongside AHMM to deliver this project in Westminster.
The LSE Marshall Building, designed by Grafton Architects and engineered by AKT II (and nominated by GetJar Ltd.) has won the overall award at the Concrete Society Awards 2020.
Data is one of the world’s most powerful, sought-after commodities, but how does it affect the way we design? Edoardo Tibuzzi, director of AKT II’s computational research team p.art, outlines how the technology boom has changed and enhanced how we design the built environment.
As the world reflects on Black History Month, we celebrate the contribution made by our black colleagues and the many other professionals who together form our diverse team. We have always valued what diversity brings to our company: enriching the fabric of our practice, our culture, our projects, and in turn our built-environment industry.
“Ipsa scientia potestas est” – knowledge itself is power. We can observe this easily when we look at the role of the library throughout history. In this article design director Valentina Galmozzi and senior engineer Danae Polyviou detail how libraries have evolved and adapted through the centuries, from the ancient world to our modern era.
33 Charterhouse Street, our project with architects Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands for client Helical and Ashby Capital, has achieved the UK’s first BREEAM 2018 New Construction ‘Outstanding’ rating for the design stage of this project.
This year for the London Festival of Architecture, we hosted two digital talks with panel members from KPF, FCBStudios, Walters & Cohen, Studio Egret West, Oxford University and Hilson Moran. You can watch both of these talks back here.
Expectations of bland, monotonous, uninspired design, and of a product-driven by efficiency at the expense of quality and sensual experience, have plagued this form of construction. Although much discussed in recent times, offsite is not new. We have tried it many times in the past, and it has failed many times. It has been affected by social, political and economic cycles. It clearly has an image problem which needs to be overcome. It has not succeeded historically. So, the question is: how are we going to change this perception? How do we now make offsite succeed? Gerry O’Brien, Design Director, investigates.
Carbon.AKT is just one way our practice is responding to the climate emergency and the challenge of reaching Net Zero by 2030. This dynamic tool informs design decisions right from the start of a project, to assure a successful outcome.
We’ve had two of our projects shortlisted for the Building Awards 2020. Kingston University Town House, with Grafton Architects and The Twist, with BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group for Kistefos Museum.
The cantilever is unique in its ability to inspire awe and wonder in our structures by defying gravity. Yet so often it also appears excessive and obtuse, appropriated as a materially inefficient statement of power and wealth. It is a thoroughly modern structural element – the essential engineering problem solved by science born out of the Enlightenment period, and technologies forged during the Industrial Revolution. Design Director Martin Ocampo details what makes the cantilever unique as a structural element and why this makes it so difficult to get right.
Two near-identical structures sit side by side on the new St Paul’s School campus. The difference between them? The latest building saved over £1 million of our client’s money. Marta Galiñanes-Garcia, Design Director at AKT II and project lead, details how the team achieved this saving and the story behind the structural design of St Paul’s School – a project with a multitude of complexities and elegant, cost-effective solutions.
As we move further into the world where the embodied carbon of a building is outweighing operational carbon in its predicted lifetime, the impact of a building’s structure becomes more and more prevalent in the discussion and decision-making process of the early stage design. Design Director Steve Toon outlines how CLT/concrete hybrid structures can sometimes be more efficient than using alternate materials.
Working alongside Zaha Hadid Architects and Hilson Moran, we are collaborating to develop a digital architecture platform to create sustainable, environmentally-conscious residences for Roatán Próspera – a development on Roatán Island in Honduras.
It’s common knowledge that engineers like columns. As the ‘marmite’ of the built environment industry, both clients and architects sometimes feel that columns can be limiting to their developments and designs, respectively. Often, engineers find themselves trying to hide them even or remove them. But AKT II wants to celebrate the integral structural element. Design Director Martin Ocampo makes the case for columns as an element that should be celebrated.
After a century of domination by the heavyweights of the building industry, we are now living in an age of environmental awareness, and thus the use of timber in design and construction is gaining more momentum than ever before. Design Director Rob Partridge, Director Ricardo Candel and Associate Ed Durie detail the strides made in timber design and what more can still be done.
We’re thrilled to have three projects shortlisted for this year’s Concrete Society Awards with Grafton Architects and Walters & Cohen Architects.
Design Director Rob Partridge has been appointed as a member of the NLA’s Expert Panel for Science, Tech & Innovation. He sits alongside other prominent figures in the built environment to advise on the NLA’s core programmes.
We’re pleased to announce that our project with KPF for our client Tejat V Lux Sàrl, advised by Orion Capital Managers and Pella Real Estate Partners, has received planning permission. AKT II is providing structural, façade and bioclimatic engineering services to the 81 Newgate Street project.
Following on from the world and industry-wide reaction to the climate emergency, and the Architect’s Journal’s #retrofirst campaign, is retrofit truly the way forward for the built environment and to work towards achieving net-zero carbon? After AKT II’s many successful retrofit projects in London, the director of our Manchester Office, Raj Takhar, thinks so. In this article, Raj details how we can apply these successes to existing buildings in Manchester, Leeds and the entire North West of England.
Plans for the Museum of London’s new home have been approved by the City of London Corporation’s Planning and Transportation Committee. We’re excited to be working on this project with Stanton Williams and Asif Khan alongside conservation architect Julian Harrap.
The 23rd June marks International Women in Engineering Day – a day celebrating the achievements of women engineers around the world. 2020 marks the 7th year of this day of celebration. This year, we asked the women in our organisation what this day means to them and who has inspired them throughout their career.
We are pleased to announce that Maggie’s Yorkshire, which we worked on alongside Heatherwick Studio, is now completed and open.
To be frank – we’re missing our office! The nationwide lockdown rapidly made us adapt to remote working, which at first was exciting and novel. However, we’re now missing our space at the White Collar Factory and appreciate how unique and invaluable it is to all of us at AKT II.
Structural engineers have been refurbishing and repurposing buildings for generations. As a matter of course in our profession, we have to look towards the benefits of reusing existing structures as much as possible, becoming experts at breathing new life into buildings whilst working within their inherent limitations. Design Director Paul Hutter details how we can continue to improve on reusing existing buildings.
We feel that as a company, we would be failing in our duty to our staff and to the industry by staying silent.
Today, on the 5th June, it is World Environment Day – a day that encourages worldwide awareness and action to protect our environment.