Architecture today demands the same skills of design and environmental awareness as it has for hundreds of years but the challenges imposed on our resources and the opportunities offered by technology have been opened up as never before.
At Astudio, the company are focused on shaping the city's future by reusing existing structures, developing new material technologies (with their link to Greenwich University AVATAR group), e.g. living technologies that generate bio fuels, and master planning the future shape of cities. This research is driven by a desire to mainstream the work in collaboration with developers, building on existing buildings, maximising their client's asset, reducing their carbon footprint and most importantly driving a philosophy on how to mitigate further damage to the world's limited resources (Image 1).
Environmental engineering is therefore imbedded within the Studio to help shape concept design and inform their work at every level. This has resulted in an energy use of only 22kg CO2/m2 (60% reduction) for Astudio's first school (Image 2).
By working innovatively with stakeholders, they maintain a strong influence over the overall strategic and aesthetic design. Their approach has been commended by CABE as an exemplar process. www.cabe.org.uk/buildings/myplace (Image 3).
After just four years Astudio have enjoyed the acknowledgement through a number of awards including; the Big Urban Project Award Winner at MIPIM for their Opera House (Image 4), to worldwide recognition for the Best Public Building Award for their Wigan Life Centre. Public buildings at this scale allow them to incorporate new public space, this approach is central to their design philosophy.
Richard Hyam, Director of Astudio, is active on a number of design review panels; Kensington and Chelsea, Home Office and Design Council CABE and as a practice they are teaching in a number of universities trying to bridge the gap between architectural education and practice. This link with teaching and research stretches and challenges Astudio to collaborate and communicate in a creative studio environment.
Astudio believe they are strategic thinkers, environmental innovators, using technology to create award winning architecture.