New London Architecture

Contemporary conservation in London

Tuesday 17 November 2020

Current winners
View full shortlist

David Taylor

Editor, NLQ and New London Weekly

This year’s conserving category is to do with the restoration and reuse of buildings across any sector, concentrating on the efficient use of existing fabric and embodied energy and ranges from historic restorations to contemporary insertions and retrofit. 

Trends and challenges here concerned climate change, with this sector particularly moving away from ‘energy-greedy buildings’ often employing natural ventilation and LEDs, sustainable drainage, CHPs and ground source heat pumps. Carbon zero issues are a box ticked here in longevity of resource and long-life, loose fit and circular economy, while the use of wireless technology has allowed some buildings a greater opportunity for re-use and accessibility another consideration finding better solutions along with an increased use of cycling parking and storage. 

Finally, placemaking was another key issue improved by the retention of an older building in providing continuity, stability and, importantly, identity to an area. Conservation should have a contemporary, forward-looking dimension too.

Quotes from the international jury

1 Finsbury Avenue
Dominique Alba: ‘It’s very interesting because it is a huge project that is very symbolic for London. The way they treated the spaces to give more sense to this building and find the old routes is very interesting and may help the people to feel well inside because they are much more connected to history’. 

Unbuilt: EMD Walthamstow
Benjamin Prosky: ‘I have an affection for trying to find new uses for these old theatres; this had some merit’

Highly commended

Fairfield Halls, Croydon by MICA
York House, Islington by dMFK Architects

CONSERVING

The restoration and reuse of buildings, across any sector, where efficient use is made of existing fabric and embodied energy: from historic restorations to contemporary insertions and retrofit buildings.

1 Finsbury Avenue, City of London by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
21 Soho Square, Westminster by Buckley Gray Yeoman
47-69 Notting Hill Gate, Kensington and Chelsea by Squire & Partners
Bracken House, City of London by John Robertson Architects
Dept W, Tower Hamlets by Buckley Gray Yeoman
EMD Walthamstow, Waltham Forest by Pilbrow & Partners
Fairfield Halls, Croydon by MICA
Newson's Yard, Westminster, by Stiff + Trevillion Architects
Qingliang Buddhist Centre, Southwark by Knox Bhavan Architects
St Mark's, Westminster by Donald Insall Associates
The Farmiloe, Islington by AWW
The Gaslight, Westminster by dMFK and Bureau de Change Architects
The Wallace Collection, Westminster by Purcell
York House, Islington by dMFK Architects
Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Westminster by Purcell

See more content from the Conversation & Heritage programme


News Video Conservation and heritage programme

Current winners
View full shortlist

David Taylor

Editor, NLQ and New London Weekly


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