Cullinan Studio expands co-working hub at the Foundry

ASBP member Cullinan Studio welcomes sustainability engineers Etude and structural and civil engineers Mason Navarro Pledge to the ‘Foundry’, its low-carbon retrofit office by the canal in Islington, London.

The Foundry by Regent’s Canal, London (Image courtesy of Sarah Munro)

Cullinan Studio has taken the opportunity presented by the lockdown to create a multi-disciplinary co-working environment, made possible by the greater level of homeworking that will be a permanent part of the architecture practice’s culture going forward.

These new members join design practice Maynard, Neil Dusheiko Architects, environmental consultants ech2o, and the Sustainable Development Foundation; representing an alliance of pioneering organisations within the sustainable buildings movement, including the Alliance for Sustainable Building Products.

All the organisations look forward to expanding their existing networks, collaborating on joint initiatives, and contributing to a dynamic shared events programme.

“The Foundry is a fantastic place to work and we have been delighted to co-host numerous events there alongside Cullinan Studio over the years. We look forward to returning to the office post-Covid and meeting the new arrivals.”

Simon Corbey, Director, Alliance for Sustainable Building Products

Roddy Langmuir, Practice Leader of Cullinan Studio said: “I’m really looking forward to a new buzz at our offices, and the chance for us all to learn from each other. We want the Foundry to be a place that better reflects the collaborations needed in the construction industry going forward.”

Cath Hassell from ech2o said: “We are excited about the new arrivals at the Foundry and look forward to the potential for collaborative working with like-minded companies.”

Will South from Etude said: “We can’t wait to move into this open, thoughtful and friendly workspace. It is a great time to move somewhere so social as we start to work out how an office post Covid works. Plus it has a heat pump and is net zero carbon ready!”

Stephen Vernon, Director of Mason Navarro Pledge said: “We are very pleased to be relocating our London office to this exciting space on the canal-side. The Foundry gives us our identity within a hub of impactful and innovative engineers and architects, and this BREEAM Excellent building is a perfect fit for us.”

Julian Maynard, Managing Director of Maynard said: “Design is a collaborative process and having other specialists all together in the Foundry will enable us to share ideas and support each other on future projects.”

Neil Dusheiko from Neil Dusheiko Architects said: “We love working in the beautiful canalside studio alongside like-minded people. We are really looking forward to bringing our team back to share in the wonderful collegial atmosphere alongside our new studio mates Etude and Mason Navarro Pledge.”

Jon Bootland, CEO of the Passivhaus Trust said: “Delivering a successful Passivhaus requires a collaborative approach across the whole of the team, so it’s great to exemplify this behaviour in an office that functions as a multi-disciplinary, collaborative hub.”

Full list of Foundry members

  • Cullinan Studio – architects and masterplanners rethinking the places we design to make room for nature.
  • ech2o – environmental consultants providing technological and behavioural solutions that reduce the UK’s carbon footprint, focussing on sustainable water and low carbon systems.
  • Etude – sustainability engineers working to improve buildings and reduce carbon emissions in response to the climate emergency.
  • Mason Navarro Pledge – consulting civil and structural engineers delivering new and refurbished buildings across every sector with innovation and sustainability at our heart.
  • Maynard – a multi-disciplinary design practice specialising in wayfinding strategy, user experience, graphic information and product design for curated spaces that better the lives of the people who use them.
  • Neil Dusheiko Architects – award-winning design studio with a passion for designing beautiful homes people love.
  • Sustainable Development Foundation – the SDF aims to drive the property and construction industry towards exemplary sustainable practices and helped to set up a number of leading non-profit organisations, who all operate out of The Foundry:
    • Alliance for Sustainable Building Productsleading the transformation to a healthy low carbon built environment by championing demonstrably sustainable building products.
    • Building Performance Networkworking to make mainstream the use of building performance evaluation and post-occupancy evaluation to ensure our buildings are truly, measurably sustainable, providing us with resource efficient, healthy and comfortable environments.
    • Good Homes Alliance – promoting quality sustainable homes and communities for a healthy, low carbon future.
    • Passivhaus Trust advancing the adoption of the Passivhaus standard to reduce energy use and carbon emissions from buildings in the UK, at the same time as providing high levels of comfort and building health
    • Sustainable Traditional Buildings Alliance – aims to develop policy, guidance and training to minimize risks and maximise benefits to traditional buildings and their owners.

About the Foundry

Cullinan Studio completed the award-winning BREEAM Excellent retrofit of the Foundry in 2012. Named in a nod to its original life as an iron works, the Victorian canal-side warehouse was in poor condition and required radical change to become a low-energy, low-carbon collaborative workspace. Cullinan Studio took a fabric-first approach to the retrofit, retaining 80% of the existing building fabric whilst creating a naturally ventilated office. A new steel frame structure interacts with the existing Victorian steel frame and masonry, stabilising the existing building fabric, including the locally listed and leaning south wall and supporting the listed timber roof trusses. A new void between canal-level and street-level floors unifies the studio and reveals the scale of the canal elevation’s double-height windows, allowing generous views of the peaceful canal basin and maximising daylight. The first floor is self contained and open plan, leaving the assembly of existing roof trusses undisturbed.

Low-Energy Strategy

The walls, roof and floors are highly insulated; for the north and south walls a thick layer of blown recycled newspaper was used. After maximising insulation, and providing as much natural light and ventilation as possible, we employed low-energy technologies to provide space heating and energy generation. An air source heat pump provides domestic hot water and under-floor heating. Photovoltaic panels on the south slopes of the roof generate electricity, and mechanical ventilation with heat recovery services the toilets.

Towpath Garden

Canal towpath garden © Cullinan Studio

Since moving in to the Foundry, members of Cullinan Studio have embraced their new connection to the canal towpath, transforming what was once a litter-strewn patch of dirt into an Islington in Bloom award-winning amenity for the building’s occupants and the local community.

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