The story within

Welcome to our section "The story within". Through this series of articles we explore some interesting issues in construction and design by speaking to our directors and using our projects as instruments.
Discover the stories behind some of our work and current industry topics.

Engineering Timber: in pursuit of a sustainable ecology

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.

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Maggie's Yorkshire


Retrofit in the North West

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.

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The North map


Refurbish, reuse, and improve: the case for retrofirst

Structural engineers have been refurbishing and repurposing buildings for generations. As a matter of course in our profession, we have 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.

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100 Liverpool Street


Kingston University Town House

A signature building that set out to rebrand and relaunch Kingston University, AKT II worked alongside the RIBA Gold Medal-winning Grafton Architects on Town House. Directors Gerry O’Brien and Fabrizio Fortunato detail the story behind the structural design of Grafton's first London project.

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Town House


Duke of York Restaurant

Replacing the existing café, the new Duke of York Restaurant builds on the success of the previous structure located in Chelsea's Duke of York Square. Designed by NEX Architecture for our client Cadogan Estates, the unique curved structure has a distinctive story behind its design. Chris Blust, AKT II lead on the project, details the history of the site and the challenges behind the design of the new restaurant.

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Duke of York Restaurant


The Twist

Bridge, sculpture, gallery – situated in Kistefos Sculpture Park, north of Oslo in Norway, is The Twist, a warping structure that marries art and architecture. Designed by BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group, AKT II had the privilege of being a part of the design of this unique structure. Design Director Rob Partridge and Project Lead Richard Parker detail the story behind the design of The Twist in our video.

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The Twist


LSE Centre Buildings

As part of the major development of LSE's central London campus, we worked alongside Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners to deliver a new tiered structure for the university providing a balanced mix of public amenities, departmental space, and teaching facilities. Ricardo Baptista, Federica Ariu and Kieron Taylor detail the story behind the structural design of the LSE Centre Buildings.

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LSE Centre Buildings


Royal Albert Dock: speed and scale

Together with Farrells and ABP (London), Royal Albert Dock has transformed a disused dockyard into a new business hub in just under two years. Directors of the project, Steve Toon and Ione Varela, detail the story behind the swift construction.

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Royal Albert Dock: speed and scale


The Tide: fusing art and leisure

Located in Greenwich Peninsula, the Tide is a new elevated walkway that fuses art and leisure. Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro (Lead) in collaboration with Neiheiser Argyros, this is the first phase of the 5 km walkway. AKT II Technical Director Emmanuel Verkinderen details the story behind the structural design of the Tide.

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The Tide: fusing art and leisure


The Ray: home of LinkedIn

Continuing the regeneration of Clerkenwell in London, The Ray, designed by AHMM, adheres to the area’s aesthetics whilst housing the world’s leading professional social network, LinkedIn. Discover the story behind The Ray.

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The Ray: home of LinkedIn


Vessel: the heart of Hudson Yards

The team behind Vessel's structure details why this piece is not one to be missed in New York City's Hudson Yards.

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Vessel: the heart of Hudson Yards


Science and the workplace: a convergence of trends

With the life science sector growing, AKT II director Rob Partridge talks on how developers can provide the necessary facilities to turn research to business.

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Science and the workplace


The Neuron Pod: an inspiring learning space

The Neuron Pod is unique in both its architectural and structural design. Watch the story behind the creation of this ‘unusual’ addition to Queen Mary University of London’s Whitechapel campus.

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The Neuron Pod: an inspiring learning space