April 25, 2018

Design proposals announced for Glasgow Mental Health Estate

mental health

Keppie Design has announced a detailed design proposal has been submitted for Stobhill Mental Health Estate.

Appointed by hub West Scotland to deliver the project for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, the works will comprise a new Acute Admissions Unit (AAU) and hospital-based Complex Clinical Care Unit (CCC) in the grounds of Stobhill Hospital.

BAM Construction has been appointed contractor, with the project expected to be complete by March 2020.

Keppie said the the prominence of the site accords “great opportunities” for the design of the new units to become a “positive, welcoming and therapeutic” addition to the campus.

A statement from Keppie said, “The aim of the design is to exploit the surrounding context and focus on connection with outside space. The overriding design driver is to facilitate key stakeholder requirements such as a feeling of openness and light throughout the facility, views of green space and easy, safe access to therapeutic external spaces. A strong visual connection is created with the existing listed Water Tower – the main orientation and focal point on site.”

Keppie is providing architecture and interior design services. Mechanical and electrical design is by RSP. Structural design is by Baker Hicks, with Austin Smith-Lord in charge of landscape design. Armours are the project’s cost consultants.

Andrew Baillie of NHS Glasgow said, “I am delighted that we have reached this landmark stage for this new mental health facility on the Stobhill Campus, by our development partner hub West Scotland and their architect Keppie Design. This contemporary healthcare facility will provide high quality accommodation for adults and older people within Glasgow who require continuing mental health care.”

Ian Marley, CEO of hub West Scotland added, “The standard of our health projects is extremely high with 14 industry awards accrued to date. This complex project is no exception comprising of two bespoke designed buildings to meet different challenges that sit together harmoniously on one site. We are proud of the quality and functionality of the designs.”


Opportunity to create the first Garden City of the 21st century


World class ideas sought in design competition to develop a modern, healthy city at Ebbsfleet, Kent

Ebbsfleet in Kent will be the site of the first new Garden City of the 21st Century, creating 15,000 new homes, 30,000 jobs and seven city parks. It is also the largest of the 10 Healthy New Town initiatives being run by the NHS to show that land can be used to deliver health benefits.  This has created an exciting opportunity to take an innovative approach to the design and sustainability of the city and, in particular, the health of its community.

That is why the Ebbsfleet Development Corporation and the NHS are launching an international design competition, managed by the Landscape Institute, to ensure the best minds in the landscape profession take on the challenge of how best to create a truly modern healthy city. The Landscape Institute’s work on public health and landscape has gathered a growing evidence base that green spaces play a vital role in healthy living. By having green spaces integrated into communities, people have the opportunity to become more active and improve their health. Even short-term exposure to green space can have a huge impact on both physical and mental well-being. Driving forward this important link is at the heart of this project.

The site at Ebbsfleet is an exciting prospect for this competition. Located 17 minutes from Central London by high-speed rail and 2 hours from Paris and Brussels by Eurostar, it is a major railway hub between London and Europe. It also has a unique topography that could be incorporated into any design concept – from frontages along the River Thames, to lakes and extensively-quarried chalk hills and valleys, to historic sites such as the Gilbert Scott-designed church in Northfleet.

Ideas are invited from individual landscape professionals, or teams which include landscape professionals, with multidisciplinary teams incorporating artists and engineers particularly encouraged. Entries should address the shape of the whole city, rather than just one site, with the NHS hoping to look beyond Ebbsfleet at the wider health of the nation with the ideas that are submitted.

Michael Cassidy, Chairman of Ebbsfleet Development Corporation, said: ‘Ebbsfleet Garden City’s landscape with its white chalk cliffs, open, green spaces and lakes provides us with a unique opportunity to provide a landscape that challenges the norm.

‘Healthy living is also a great motivation for people and people taking part will be challenged to be as creative as they can to use the Garden City’s existing landscape to its full potential.’

Dan Cook, Chief Executive of the Landscape Institute said: ’We applaud the leadership Ebbsfleet Development Corporation is demonstrating in launching a landscape-led design competition to help plan the new site. This decision should be an inspiration to other cities as it is a real opportunity to make a step-change in how we think about ‘place creation’. We have the opportunity to take a truly modern and multi-disciplinary approach at Ebbsfleet which could end up becoming a model for the creation of healthy new cities across the world.

‘The competition will also challenge landscape professionals to demonstrate the leadership potential of their industry in showing the way towards creating healthy living environments and how good design can powerfully incorporate green infrastructure into a project. We are passionate about the role landscape can play in our everyday lives as well as developing the landscape architects of the future, which is why it was also important to us to have a student category in to the competition.’

How the competition will work & key dates
The competition is open to UK and international entrants and aims to recognise innovation and outstanding design.  There are two categories – one for students, and one for established practitioners.

Professional practitioner competition:
Entries from landscape professionals (Chartered or equivalent in each entrant’s country of origin) or cross-disciplinary teams including landscape professionals, will be part of a two-stage process.  All shortlisted professional teams will receive an honorarium of £3,000. The final winner will receive a further cash prize of £5,000.

  • Conceptual ideas need to be submitted online by Wednesday 18th April 2018
  • From these initial concepts judges will select up to five teams to proceed to stage two. These teams will be announced in May, when they will receive a second stage brief and will have the task of developing designs for a specific site within Ebbsfleet.
  • Submissions for stage 2 designs need to be received by Friday 6th July 2018
  • The stage 2 winners will be announced in early September as part of the Landscape Institute National Conference
  • The winners will also be showcased in Landscape, the journal of the Landscape Institute, and may feature as part of an exhibition about the competition

Student competition:
The student competition is open to those who are on a recognised landscape course, or part of a multi-disciplinary team with at least one member from a recognised landscape course, in either the UK and internationally.

For the best ideas submitted during the student competition there will be one first prize of £2,000, one runner-up prize of £1,000, and two highly commended prizes of £500.

  • Conceptual ideas need to be submitted online by Wednesday 18th April 2018
  • The winner, runner-up prize and highly commended projects will be showcased in Landscape, the journal of the Landscape Institute, and may feature as part of an exhibition about the competition

 Further information about the competition and how to enter can be found at www.healthygardencity.co.uk

Image: mattbuck

Multidisciplinary team win undergraduate Urban Buzz competition


A talented multidisciplinary team from some of UK’s best-known universities have won TRADA’s prestigious undergraduate Urban Buzz competition

Edward Shaw and Wing Lam Lo from the University of Sheffield, Katy Horner from Edinburgh Napier University, Will Evans from Coventry University and Jure Zibret from Leicester School of Architecture, ‘Team 6’, were victorious against eleven impressive rivals to win the £2000 top prize with their ground-breaking entry of a multi-storey timber car park.

Speaking on behalf of the winning team, Edward Shaw said: “We are so excited to win Urban Buzz 2018. Representing our respective universities, presenting our designs to a panel of eminent judges, learning to work under pressure in a multidisciplinary team and innovating with timber has all been a fantastic experience.”

Teams 11 & 12 also scooped ‘highly commended’ and secured £1000 to be divided between each team member.

60 students from 28 universities took part in an intense ‘charrette-style’ challenge at the Diamond, University of Sheffield, last weekend, to conceive ways that timber can be used in the creation of a timber multi-storey car park.

Entrants wowed a distinguished panel of judges with their unique designs, including: architects Carol Costello and Alex Abbey of Cullinan Studio, and Waugh Thistleton’s Kieran Walker; engineers Matt Caldwell of Buro Happold, Keerthi Ranasinghe from the TRADA Advisory Committee, and Arup’sSusie Gregory; and landscape architects Stephanie Crewe of HLM Architects and Kate Shearer of Ares.

 Tabitha Binding, Manager of the University Engagement Programme at TRADA, said: “I would like to thank Sheffield University, the judges and sponsors for this competition. Such a brilliant event could not happen without the time, dedication and support of everyone involved.  Congratulations to the winners and runners-up for their inspired designs. It was great to see the architectural, engineering and landscape students turn from individuals into design teams, embrace the challenge and deliver well thought through timber concepts. I am thrilled at the enthusiasm with which our multidisciplinary competition has been met.  I hope others will be inspired to enter TRADA’s undergraduate challenge in 2019.”

Competition judge Carol Costello, Practice Leader at Cullinan Studio commented: “Congratulations to TRADA for getting architecture and engineering students from all over the country to collaborate and create outstanding timber designs. Technology is blurring the lines between architecture and engineering. Young people entering this industry today need to be nimble, think on their feet and work together to understand the bigger picture.

“TRADA’s Urban Buzz competition prepares students for working life, by getting them to work in multidisciplinary teams to share knowledge, present ideas and come up with exciting new innovations.”

Susie Gregory, Structural Engineer at Arup, said: “Urban Buzz provides the perfect opportunity for students in architecture, engineering and landscape to come together for discussion and debate, and push boundaries in outstanding timber design. The students today have shown a real passion for timber, from the enthusiastic way they got stuck into the competition and their presentation skills, to the outstanding quality of their designs.”

Andrew Wharrier, Head of Marketing and Communications at Arnold Laver & Co, added: “Arnold Laver is a proud sponsor of Urban Buzz because we want future engineers, architects and landscape architects to know what is possible with timber.  As a business we are very mindful of how education can play a part in promoting timber and creating a more sustainable, built environment. If we can encourage students in schools, colleges and universities to consider timber as an alternative material for construction, that engagement will follow through for the rest of their lives.”

For background on TRADA’s University Challenge and details on how to enter next year’s competition, please visit: https://www.trada.co.uk/academic-competitions/urban-buzz-2018/


Industry collaboration is key as BREEAM UK New Construction 2018 prepares to go live


The updated BREEAM UK New Construction scheme goes live this week, following BREEAM’s most comprehensive industry consultation to date.

The revision of the world leading sustainability assessment method for real estate addresses key industry challenges around the performance gap as well as lifecycle assessment, offering benefits for developers, investors and users. It also adopts fresh approaches to sustainable travel and ecology to reflect evolving best practice.

BRE worked with industry to align the updated scheme to today’s sustainable development priorities. The learning from that collaboration has driven a string of improvements, the most important being:

  • Performance gap: The energy category now addresses one of the industry’s most pressing concerns, through potential action at design and occupation phases. It rewards detailed energy modelling in design, and allows for this to be reviewed as part of its new post-occupancy stage. This enables modelled and actual building performance to be compared easily.
  • Lifecycle assessment: The materials category now encourages whole building lifecycle assessment, in a move designed to help increase industry understanding and inform decision-making based on true impact of materials specified.
  • Ecology: New criteria for this category promote the integration of holistic, best practice ecology approaches across the lifecycle of the building. These criteria are based on BREEAM’s Strategic Ecology Framework, a pioneering methodology linking ecology with all aspects of development.
  • Travel: The transport criteria have been restructured to focus on rewarding positive action, rather than proximity to existing services.

Industry has recognised the potential benefits of the improvements.

Jane Wakiwaka, Sustainability Manager for The Crown Estate, says “BREEAM schemes provide our developments with a measurable and comparable benchmark against which to assess and improve environmental performance. We support the launch of the 2018 New Construction scheme as a means of driving the industry forward, as well as challenging design and construction teams to improve and innovate in the performance of the built environment.”

Alexandra Vella, Principal Engineer at Hoare Lea, says “BREEAM UK New Construction 2018 has adapted its method in the way energy use is predicted and the associated rewards gained. Verifying actual energy usage and using these figures when designing will better equip designers to accurately predict building needs and avoid oversizing services. Realistic records of energy use and carbon emissions could then be used to update guidelines in this area.”

The arrival of BREEAM UK New Construction marks the latest stage in the continuing development of the sustainability assessment method, which is now applied in 77 countries and has more than 2.2 million buildings registered under its schemes.


Remembering Mike Smith

Mike Smith

Mike Smith, founder of Macgregor Smith Landscape Architects, sadly passed away at the end of last year after being diagnosed with cancer. Known for his big smile and warmth of personality, he was once described as ‘the man who just couldn’t keep still’ – his energy and enthusiasm for his work and life was boundless.  Mike’s passion and excitement for landscape and his ability to communicate this to everyone he met made him a highly respected and inspirational colleague, leader and teacher.

Mike was educated at public school and came from an army family.  He nearly took up a place at Sandhurst but instead took a degree firstly in anthropology and geography at Durham, and then, following five years working as a planner for Devon County Council, studied for a masters degree in Landscape Architecture at Edinburgh.  Mike joined Gillespies in 1981 and whilst senior designer there was responsible for the Royal Docks Study and masterplan of the Liverpool Garden Festival, which was awarded ‘Most Influential Landscape Scheme between 1970 and 2002’ by the Landscape Institute.

Following a time at Company of Designers, in 1991 Mike founded Macgregor Smith with Gordon Macgregor,  developing his vision for the practice from a basement flat in Bath.  Over the last 26 years, under his leadership, the company expanded into an international, awarding winning practice, working for high profile clients and projects.  These award-winning projects have stretched across the UK and abroad.  In Wales these included the Garden Festival of Wales, Llanelli Millennium Coastal Park and Celtic Manor Resort; in England Mercedes Benz World at Brooklands, the Arlington/Goodman portfolio of business parks, a number of major British Land schemes across the UK, and the Brent Cross Cricklewood Regeneration for Hammerson and Standard Life in London.

Further afield, in Spain work included Puerto Venecia Leisure and Retail Development in Zaragoza; and in China the Shanghai Business Park was developed. It was here in China that Mike led a Shanghai-based team from concept through to implementation and maintenance, creating the Shanghai Business Park, which is still in further phases of construction today. At its conception, this collaborative model was believed to be the first of its type in China and ideally suited to the way of development in the country.

Mike was a great advocate of the partnering approach of collaborative working with some of the very best specialist fellow consultants, artists, contractors and suppliers, which he regarded as vital for assuring quality and best value. He said:

Our reputation for achieving success in implementation is founded upon a team of designers of the highest quality and a close partnership with a select team of the best landscape contractors and suppliers.  It is this team work which assures our clients are given the high quality and cost-effective product they expect from us, and the model we use throughout the world”.

Along with this, Mike was instrumental in developing specifications for procurement, many of which are now regarded as industry standard for high quality work.

Mike’s sense of partnership was also carried through to his associations with his clients. Building long term relationships were extremely important to him – he valued the friendships that he forged, and was never happier than when debating the issues of a day-long workshop over a well-earned glass of Rioja.

One client remarked :“Mike was a visionary who had a wonderful human touch and an ability to communicate to everyone with clarity and simplicity the picture in his head.  To be a visionary, like he was, is rare. To have the ability to be able to communicate was even rarer.  Therefore, to have been blessed with both made him incredibly special.”

Mike was a talented and accomplished artist in his own right, often expressing concepts through the craft of hand drawing and producing quick sketches to convey his ideas with ease and aplomb.  At leisure he would be found with his sketchbook always on hand to capture a view or a moment.

Within the practice, Mike was a motivational and optimistic leader, immensely proud of all his staff. He believed strongly in nurturing and bringing new graduates ‘up through the ranks’, and in the power of open, honest and collaborative teamwork, which has led to many of the original staff members still being with the practice to this day. As an employer he was fair, generous and had a tremendous sense of fun – always right at the centre of any occasion or celebration.

In his home life, Mike confessed that his own garden was something straight out of ‘The Good Life’, with an element of ‘cobbler’s shoes’.  Always experimenting with design, he would grow organic produce alongside trialling meadow planting in his orchard, all set amongst a menagerie of children, chickens, ducks and dogs.

A natural teacher and mentor, Mike had input into a landscape Post Graduate Urban Design Course at UWE, published urban design critiques and was a panel member of judges of landscape design for Hanover Expo 2000.  Recently he acted as a tutor and lecturer to the University of Bath Architecture students – a role he relished – and many of the students have been welcomed into the practice as interns to learn how important it is to marry the connection of architecture and landscape.

Mike’s rich legacy with live on – in the many places and spaces both in the UK and around the world, which started as a buzzing idea in Mike’s mind, and developed into reality.  Mike’s mission was to create landscapes in the public eye to be seen and used by people – and these landscapes are there, living and growing, and will be enjoyed by many people for years into the future. Mike continued to use his creativity throughout his illness and delivered his vision for the future of Macgregor Smith.  The practice is now owned equally by the Directors Justin Thomson, Rupert Grierson and Gemma Griffin with the shared goal being to maintain the culture and the success of the business that has been achieved under Mike over the last 26 years and to continue to deliver the passion for landscape and the quality of service that Mike has always been so proud of.

Mike is survived by his loving wife Diana and his children Francis, Hugo and Polly.

Many thanks to all who attended Mike’s memorial service at the Assembly Rooms in Bath and for the generous donations to Mike’s family’s chosen charities – The Somerset Wildlife Trust and Médecins Sans Frontières.