John McAslan + Partners has picked up the World and Transport Architect of the Year Awards at a ceremony held last night, 5 November, at the Intercontinental Hotel, Park Lane, London. Tony Skipper, Managing Director at John McAslan + Partners, who accepted the awards on behalf of the practice, said, “We are thrilled to have John McAslan + Partners’ work recognized by the AYA and it is wonderful for our teams who have all been working incredibly hard. It has been a tough time for the architectural profession over the past year, so it is also important to congratulate everyone on the shortlist, which displays a fantastically diverse range of quality architecture.”
John McAslan + Partners has been operating internationally for many years. JMP’s most challenging recent pro bono project, set up through the $100m Clinton Hunter Development Initiative in Malawi, supports the Malawi government’s scheme to develop free primary education for all children in well-designed buildings. The first target was to provide 10 buildings across three sites, with a typical classroom block budgeted to cost a maximum of $20,000. The schools are now set to be rolled out across the country. In many of its projects, John McAslan + Partners - using up to 10% of its pretax profits - has set up linked pro bono schemes, some working in partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative, including a Strategic Development Framework for the School of Genocide Studies in Kigali, Rwanda, as part of the world-renowned Kigali Memorial Centre.
JMP is leading the remodelling and transformation of the historic centre of the Stanislavsky family in Moscow for new uses, as well as completing a prominent mixed-use and residential building. The practice has also recently completed the new British Embassy in Algiers, the first embassy building to have been assessed for its sustainability using BREEAM criteria, despite Algeria’s extreme climatic conditions. JMP has also designed 10 new metro stations in Delhi, India.
Of the World Architect of the Year award, the judges said that JMP “stood out in particular for the strong connection that was evident between the architecture, the place and the people. The world in 2009 is a very different place to the world in 2007 and the work submitted by John McAslan’s office exemplified a real commitment to sustainable development at every level."
The accolade for Transport Architect of the Year was given for a portfolio of projects. The practice is currently working on the £450M development of the Grade I listed King’s Cross station in the heart of London, a project that forms the centrepiece of what will be the most significant piece of urban regeneration in Europe.
It has also been chosen to work on the current Crossrail development in London to design the new Crossrail Station at the Bond Street. JMP’s massive and ongoing Oxford Road Corridor masterplan in Manchester, and the recent Oxford Street Transit Study in London, have proposed new surface transport systems that would not only re-cast traffic flows, but give these two vitally important thoroughfares an entirely new and revitalised character. The practice has also designed 10 stations for the Delhi Metro.
The judges commented that they were “impressed by the diversity and consistent high quality of the work from John McAslan & Partners. Bold gateway projects require bold designs — whether they are in conservation areas, such as at King’s Cross, or in the pulsing heart of New Delhi — and that is what McAslan delivered. While journeys are about efficiency and getting from A to B, the judges felt that McAslan also offered the experience of an architectural journey. Finally, the judges applauded the fact that each of the designs was faithful to its social context and celebrated the aspirations of the community it served.”