21 September 2011

Thank you!

Thanks so much to those of you that came to our party last night, it was so great to see everybody, we were overwhelmed by the lovely feeling of celebration and appreciation, and felt so lucky to have been and to be able to work with such great people - as clients, contractors, consultants and friends.

Keep us in mind for future projects, we're a bunch with wide ranging interests, and love doing something different, as well as developing our core interests.

Thanks to Ben Croxford for the photo!

Read the AJ Footprint post here.

20 September 2011

Reflecting on 20 years of practice and new directions

Anne Thorne Architects
Reflecting on 20 years of practice and new directions
In conversation with Hattie Hartman, architect and AJ sustainability editor
August 2011

ATA have put together a small publication to celebrate their 20th birthday and the 1st of ATA LLP. Download it here.

Green Sky Thinking

'Green Sky Thinking' took off this week with breakfast launch in splendour at Carlton House Terrace, home of the Royal College of Pathologists - as Paul Morrell pointed out in his address, their strapline 'the science behind the cure' is entirely appropriate to describe our work.
It then moved (I hope significantly) nearer Westminster to the Energy Saving Trust, focussing on 'Engaging People in the Retrofit process'  where Peter Rickerby introduced the Institute for Sustainablility retrofit guide sequence. These look as if they are going to be really useful, obtainable through the FLASH programme.

I and Matt Bush from Metropolitan Housing Trust spoke about joint 'Retrofit for the Future' and other projects, and getting residents to get the best out of low energy houses through understanding how the building works. The design of heating controls seems like a perfect challenge for some really creative 'green skies thinking'.

19 September 2011

At the AECB conference

The AECB conference was in Nottingham University this year, and we got to hear a bit about the Hopkins campus and see the demonstration houses there (and observe some of the many things that can go wrong with low energy design and how not to install MVHR).
As usual the greatest pleasure is talking to the people one only gets to meet at AECB conferences, and catch up on the years' events, but equally the workshops I went to were fascinating and the discussions were really good...
I chaired the 'does language matter?' workshop - a rhetorical question of course, people had such a lot to say and it reminded me that AECB people aren't just the most knowledgeable people around about low energy design and building, they are also incredibly thoughtful and interesting on wider political/social matters. A great pleasure - as always.
More here

10 September 2011

Inside Housing Discusses the Realities of Retrofit Roll-Out

There's been so much interest in our Retrofit for the Future projects which is fantastic as reducing CO2 emissions and increasing comfort and fuel security in our existing housing stock is a prescient issue.

Inside Housing focused this week on some of the pragmatic issues, and the issue of the sheer numbers of dwellings that need to be improved.

Read Full Article Here...

7 September 2011

Johnathan Porritt at the TCPA

Jonathan Porritt gave the Frederic J Osborn Memorial lecture 2011 for the Town and Country Planning Association on monday night - a witty and devastating appraisal of the Localism bill - where 'sustainable development'  is mentioned uncountable number of times, but is never defined  and is therefore meaningless. 

He identified a number of government papers on environmental limits and ecosystem services which were clearly not referenced, and pointed out the lack of reference to 'place making, well-being of communities and health - all of which are not mentioned at all.

So its over to us all to take it up: we want a definition, the sustainable development commission gave us the pretty useful 5 principles, they need to be embedded in the document.

Chatting afterwards to one of the few developers in the room, I was told that 'meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs' was in there somewhere,  so maybe it needs to be brought to the front of the document!

Get writing all!

1 September 2011

ATA Teaching at CAT Summer School

Fran and Junko spent a most enjoyable couple of days at the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) architecture diploma summer school, talking about projects and about participatory design. A workshop in which we played the architects and students were allowed to be clients had us all laughing, but illustrated a great truth - bringing all the participants into the design process makes it much more interesting!

Delightful too to see the setting out drawings for the timber building in the woods, and the photos of the build in action, we love the bird hide, even if birds might hide in it better than humans

Click here to see a fantastic video by the CAT students of their bird hide construction, and here for photos taken by the students.

ATA Celebrates 20 Years!

Anne Thorne Architects invites you to celebrate its 20th birthday and the 1st of ATA LLP