Northampton | 14th November 2016
The first MCW designed footbridge was lifted in to place on Saturday 12th November. The footbridge will link the University of Northampton’s new Waterside Campus with Becket’s Park. The Waterside campus (designed by MCW) will regenerate a 58 acrebrownfield site in the local Enterprise Zone and is due to open in 2018.
The footbridge will provide an entrance to the new campus for pedestrians and cyclists along an elegant sinusoidal route of approximately 180m long. It will create an exciting journey that offers ever changing perspectives of Waterside Campus, the river and the surrounding landscape. It changes in direction and elevation and is an interpretation of the curving nature of the river banks.
Weathering steel work is used for both the structure and the balustrades, which minimised maintenance requirements and reflects the tones and colouring of Northampton’s local ironstone. MCW worked together with engineers Smith & Wallwork and CH2M.
Luton, UK | 13th October 2016
The University of Bedfordshire formally opened their new library on October 13.
Ex-student, author and Man Booker Prize nominee, Stephen Kelman spoke about the value of the library as an inspirational space before unveiling a commemorative plaque with Vice Chancellor, Bill Rammell.
The new building is open 24/7 and 365 days per year and provides a much broader range of study environments than were previously available to the student community- in response to student consultation and feedback. Whilst still offering printed material as a primary resource, the new building also incorporates space for collaborative and group study as well as carefully arranged space for silent, individual study. A Study Hub acts as a focus for those needing assistance and support in relation to coursework and assignments. The building is connected to the adjacent Campus Centre and Business School at first floor level – continuing and extending a network of linking bridge spaces that run throughout the campus. The design brings high levels of daylight into the depth of the building- with full height glazing and a top-light above carefully located light wells through the upper four floors. At 9 storeys, including an open access archive space on the lower ground, it is the tallest academic on campus and the top floor has a dramatic double height study room that enjoys long views to the south including a steady stream of arrivals and departures from Luton Airport.
The scheme is the latest project that has been delivered following the Development Framework that we produced for the University of Bedfordshire in 2007, setting out the long term strategy for their estate. The completion of the new library is an exciting continuation of our successful relationship with both the University and the design team involved in the campus redevelopment.
Germany | 25th-26th September 2016
The annual away-day became an ‘away weekend’ this year with a great trip to Berlin in late September.
We had a fascinating time walking and cycling the streets of this wonderful city- learning about its history and development. We also made a very inspirational visit to the Neues Museum, restored by David Chipperfield Architects.
Cambridge | 18th September 2016
This year MCW entered two teams at the annual local race Chariots of Fire, in aid of Papworth Hospital Charity. Teams of six run a 1.7mile course in relay format.
MCW team A once again improved the total team time from previous years, to an impressive 1h 07min, placing them 21 out of over 200 teams on the mixed category. Well done to all the participants!
Northampton | 9th August 2016
The University of Northampton’s new £330m Waterside campus development has reached a milestone as the new road bridge (designed by MCW, Smith and Wallwork Engineers and CH2M) was lifted in place. The bridge spans 55m across the River Nene and will provide the primary vehicular access to the campus. The development also includes a new pedestrian bridge (also designed by MCW) linking the campus to Becket’s Park which is due to be installed in September this year.
The campus masterplan was designed by MCW architects and our work also includes the design and delivery of the 20,000sqm Learning Hub, the Sports Pavilion, a new low carbon Energy Centre and the refurbishment of the former Engine Shed into the Student Union, in addition to the new pedestrian and road bridges. Waterside will regenerate a 58 acre brownfield site along the River Nene in the local Enterprise Zone and is due to open in 2018.
Volker Fitzpatrick are currently on site installing all infrastructure works including the bridges. Bowmer & Kirkland have been appointed as main contractor for the academic and public realm works and commenced on site earlier this year. Kier and Vital Energy have been appointed for the delivery of the student residences and the Energy Centre.
Current works on site include:
• Development of the existing A428 Bedford Road;
• Installation of the new highway bridge;
• Precast concrete piling for the Creative and Learning Hubs.
Cambridge | 27th July 2016
We are delighted to announce the promotions of Constantin Blank to associate, as well as Paula Mejia-Wright, Hien Nguyen and Besnik Bijo to senior architects with immediate effect. The promotion reflects their dedication to working with our clients on a variety of our projects and is a recognition of their ongoing contribution to the success of the studio.
Since joining MCW in 2014, Constantin has worked on the new library for the University of Bedfordshire and is currently instrumental in the implementation of the University of Northampton Waterside Campus.
Paula joined MCW as one of the first staff in 2011 and has played a leading role in a number of our major projects including the Masterplan for Cardiff University, Newcastle University Student Accommodation, Bucks New University Estate Strategy 2024, the University of Bedfordshire New Library in Luton and new teaching building in Bedford. She is currently working on the arts venue at Stapleford Granary.
Hien also joined MCW in 2011 and has been a key member of the teams working for clients such as the University of Hertfordshire, University of Bedfordshire, University of Northampton, and Selwyn College.
Besnik joined MCW in 2014 and has worked closely with Colin and Murdoch implementing the Waterside Campus in Northampton. He has led the design of the sports facilities and the site wide energy centre, currently also leading it's delivery. He has also worked on the delivery of the construction phase of a New Library scheme for the University of Bedfordshire in Luton.
We would like to congratulate them for their achievements and look forward to developing the studio with them.
Hatfield | 21st June 2016
As architects working in the higher education sector, we are always on the lookout for opportunities to include student projects as part of our masterplan and design projects with Universities.
Having been appointed by the University of Hertfordshire as lead architect for the £28m refurbishment of the Main Building on their College Lane Campus, due for completion in 2019, presented us with a unique opportunity to team up with the University Estates & Hospitality Department, as well as the A-IAD (Architecture – Interior Architecture and Design) course to include students into the process.
The building forms the core of the original 1950’s estate and has at its core ‘Corridor D’ - the primary internal circulation spine running some 300m linking the various teaching blocks. The space has been inhabited over the decades with ad-hoc extension of adjacent space and has lost much of its original historical clarity. Following discussion with the course lecturers, Corridor D was identified as a ‘live’ student project for students studying A-IAD (Architecture – Interior Architecture and Design) – Level 5 – Design Studio 4. The brief was to rediscover this spatial clarity and provide a functional, attractive and exciting space that reflected the University’s strategic vision core values and supported the needs of students and staff.
MCW Architects, in conjunction with the University Estates & Hospitality Department, worked closely with senior lecturers to set the brief and collaborated with students reviewing the brief and their initial design proposals. 50 design proposal were submitted with 8 being shortlisted. A final review of the shortlisted scheme was completed with representation from MCW, UH Department of Estates & Hospitality and senior lecturers. A winner and two highly commended proposals were unanimously selected.
Cambridge | 6th April 2016
In celebration of our 5 year anniversary, we have launched our new visual identity, including a new logo. The new logo and branding guidelines are a natural development of our practice name and previous branding, providing continuity and ensuring consistency.
Northampton | 16th Feb 2016
The MCW designed Energy Centre at the University of Northampton’s new £330m Waterside Campus has received Planning Approval from Northampton Borough Council. The building will be the first to complete on the new Campus development and will provide low carbon heat to all Academic, Residential and future Commercial buildings via a district heating network.
While the building form is effectively ‘box’ like due to its technical nature, the external envelope has been developed to create a visually strong elevation to the north responding to the primary aspect from the University’s ‘arrival square’. All boiler flues are collected and rise through a 26m high tower that naturally develops out of the building’s internally lit ‘saw tooth’ facade giving a positive landmark statement of the University’s commitment to sustainability. The building has two primary levels housing a woodchip biomass boiler, gas boilers, thermal storage vessels together with associated ancillary plant equipment. The energy centre has been future proofed to allow the installation of combined heat and power plant.
MCW have been retained by Vital Energy to complete the detail design and construction. The building is due to complete in June 2017.
Cambridge | 12th February 2016
As part of this year’s CSR activities, Hien Nguyen, architect at MCW, supported e-Luminate’s 2016 Cambridge Light Festival with their organisation of the Photography Competition.
The Festival is a modern arts festival for a city at the forefront of technology and research. The flagship event offers a unique opportunity for residents and visitors to discover, or re-discover, the richness and diversity of Cambridge’s iconic buildings and public spaces through a range of Light art installations, family activities, talks and concerts.
“Good lighting, like good water, is something we take for granted. But it can also be an opportunity for technology, playing a vital role in improving energy efficiency and reducing energy demand. When this is further augmented by artistic creativity the opportunity for exciting results is even greater. e-Luminate Cambridge Festival will show just how lighting can be more than taken for granted and demonstrate innovation and inspiration simultaneously.”
Hugh Parnell, e-Luminate Foundation Co-Founder and Chairman
The festival runs from 12th to 17th February across Cambridge.
Cambridge | 19th January 2016
The next phases of the transformation of Stapleford Granary has received Planning Approval from South Cambridgeshire District Council.
The Victorian Granary, owned by the ACE Foundation has undergone significant works to date and is a vibrant centre for education, culture music and the arts with a full programme of events and courses.
This next phase of development, undertaken by the Foundation and designed by Moses Cameron Williams architects, will see the renovation of the remaining farm buildings and barn into a reception, meeting rooms and workspace, connected to the main granary building with a new glazed link and entrance space. A walled garden will be created to the east of the barn. The barn conversion incorporates passive, low energy principles to create a comfortable, well-lit and flexible office environment with large sliding glazed screens that will allow direct access to the garden in the summer.
Colin Moses Director at MCW said: “We are delighted to be involved in such a unique and rewarding project. Our collaboration with the ACE Foundation has been a very positive experience. These previously redundant buildings will be given a new lease of life and will make a highly valuable contribution to the life of the wider community. We have worked hard to create a considered and sustainable scheme within this sensitive context.”
The project is due to complete in 2017/18.