Last week a delegation from Jan Kattein Architects travelled to Wiltshire to help Global Generation design and make an outdoor room for their camp site in the rolling hills of the ancient celtic landscape. Global Generation is an educational charity focused on enhancing…
Our second public building event at Blue House Yard in North London took place last Saturday. Around 20 volunteers from all walks of life joined us for a sunny day on the construction site, helping to build 9 affordable artisan worksheds enclosing a new civic space in Wood Green. Although we got a lot of work done, building together is not just a means to an end. It provides a forum for discussion and debate, allowing us to help shape the future of our city and generate opportunities for skills exchange and knowledge sharing. Simon Roberts – one of the volunteers – said: ‘I wish they had taught me all this at architecture school.’ Thanks everyone for coming! One more public building event is planned for May before the project finally opens to the public in early June.
Our Highams Park high street regen project for Waltham Forest Council is now finished on site. We worked closely with 8 independent businesses along The Broadway, E4 to develop design concepts that would help to boost the local town centre. Particular attention went into a strategy that supports the 24hr economy, using lighting and new signage to clearly signal that retailers are open for business, even on a gloomy November afternoon. The project complements a range of local initiatives including new public artwork, the conversion of a historic signal box into a wine bar and the annual Highams Park Festival.
JKA’s high street project in Finsbury Park is nearing completion. The unique tri-borough initiative in Islington, Hackney and Haringey is bringing investment to one of North London’s key town centres. We have been working closely with retailers on Blackstock Road, Seven Sisters’ Road and Stroud Green Road to repair shopfronts, re-paint signs, re-fit awnings and tiling stall-risers. A close collaboration with Office S & M will also bring a quirky programme of visual merchandising initiatives to local shops. Some 30 retailers are signed-up to the programme which aims to lift the visual appearance of the high street whilst strengthening the unique character of the area.
JKA’s new shopfront design guide for Merton Council is now out for consultation, ready for formal adoption as supplementary planning guidance in 2017. The guide is designed with a totally fresh approach, recognizing that many high street businesses find it challenging to employ an architect or designer for shopfront improvements. Instead, it takes the role of a helpful companion, equipping business owners with the skills to make the right decisions about effective branding, scale, colour palettes, display arrangements, sustainability and lighting.
JKA have submitted proposals for Haringey Council’s Meanwhile Campus for planning. The proposals for a disused car park and adjacent building in the centre of Wood Green include 9 artisan worksheds and a double-decker bus cafe arranged around community growing plots and a public space. The existing building will be converted to feature workspace for 10 small businesses and also provide a maker-space for small fabrication projects. The project is part of Haringey Council’s Meanwhile Campus project which seeks to introduce creative businesses into the heart of the town centre. The project is being delivered and managed by JKA and Meanwhile Space’s joint venture company, High Street Works. Works to convert the existing building are programmed to start before the end of the year, the artisan village will be implemented as a self-build project between January and March 2017. The self build programme will deliver further opportunities of engagement, learning and skills exchange. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to get involved.
Crown House creative, Morden’s first open access performance and exhibition space has just opened in the former HSBC branch on London Road. Our design for the space has created an open plan multi-use creative space and cafe with adjacent vault and back offices for specific installation projects. Straw bale seating, a piano, suspended lights, cable drum tables and mobile bookshelves create an informal interior in front of a backdrop of the 1960s concrete frame building. A programme of events and exhibitions will animate the space during the next 3 months. Log on to www.crownhousecreative.co.uk for updates.
Our UCAS accredited assessor, ACM have today issued our ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certificates. The ISO 9001 standard certifies our internal quality management systems and ISO 14001 certifies our environmental management system. The certification process involved a 3 stage audit during which ACM examined in detail how we run our business. Chrysanthe Staikopoulou who lead the accreditation process from Jan Kattein Architects said: “The whole office has been working on the documentation for accreditation for almost a year now and it’s amazing how serious everyone’s taken their contribution. It is a daring move to invite an external consultant into the business to examine how we work and I think that we can be very proud that an onerous process has ultimately lead to such a positive outcome.” Richard McCrilley from ACM said: “By managing the accreditation yourself [rather than appointing external consultants] you guys have not chosen the easy option and the benefits that this has brought are evident.” The first internal audit of the system will start in September with a management meeting scheduled for January 2016. ACM will re-inspect next April and annually therafter.
Jan Kattein’s new book The Architecture Chronicle – Diary of an Architectural Practice is on the shelves. “The Architecture Chronicle is a fascinating and provocative book which challenges the traditional approach to writing about and describing architecture. It dispels the myth of the individual genius, while at the same time describing in detail what architects do, revealing the genuine value they bring to the construction process.” Andrew Molloy writes in the London School of Economics Review of Books. Order your copy from Ashgate.
Jan Kattein Architects have just completed an ambitious high street regeneration programme for Southwark Council. Extensive shopfront and facade works form part of the Council’s investment programme in the local town center which will also includes a complete redesign of Nunhead Green and a new community center by AOC Architects.
Albert Crescent was officially inaugurated by Waltham Forest Council earlier today. The new square in the heart of South Chingford’s town center will host markets and serve as a communal hub for locals to meet and chat on the way to the shops. Together we restored two impressive art deco parades, fixed to historic clock and barometer, fitted new shopfronts, re-layed the pavements, planted new trees, installed new benches and lights and arranged a collection native songbirds cast in iron along the parapets. The opening event was hiving with people enjoying the first warm day this year.
Working on a new website is always a process of soul-searching. How do we want to be seen by the public? What decisions do we want them to make when navigating across the pages? We have once again decided to put our portfolio into the foreground because we think that the variety and quality of our past work shows best what we are capable of. Thanks to the new website structure it is much easier to find specific projects, catch up on some news, link up to our twitter feed or find our contact details. All this wrapped in the super simple and stylish page layout designed by me. postbranding. Welcome to our new old website!
Jan Kattein’s forthcoming book The Architecture Chronicle, Diary of an Architectural Practice is advancing to production with our publisher Ashgate. Lorens Holm writes: ‘The writing is concise and engaging; it is animated by moments of incredible insight and pathos, as Kattein negotiates his projects through the labyrinth of competing interests, priorities, procedures, and statutory instruments that mark the development of a project from inception to signoff. This is an incredibly insightful, beautifully crafted work that stakes out for practice, its proper poetics.’ Pre-order your copy now from the publishers website.
Our pop-up shop in Nunhead is opening. After an intense rush to get the paint to dry in below zero temperatures the shop’s finally ready for its grand opening. Southwark Council will establish the venue as a consultation hub to support our high street regeneration programme. As the project advances the shop will host residences by local designer-makers on a 7-week rolling programme. That way Southwark intends to allow artisans, artists and crafts people to have a go at running their own retail outlet. If things go well, the temporary residency can turn into a permanent venture occupying one of the vacant units on the high street.
Scaffolding is down on the first terrace in South Leyton. Waltham Forest’s high street regeneration project extends our award winning Leyton town center project southwards linking up the new entrance to the Olympic Park in Mill Lane with Leyton and the tube station. The facade colour scheme which prompted the press to label the area “The Notting Hill of the East” visually connects the two sections of the high street currently transected by the A12. Work in South Leyton will enliven the high street with a number of local cafes and patisseries receiving new, openable shopfronts with outside seating and spruced-up signage. We hope that on a sunny day the high street will be buzzing with people sitting outside the cafes and walking through the newly re-built Draper’s Fields.
Jan Kattein Architects are turning 10. When Jan Kattein left Peter Barber Architects to set up his own practice in November 2004 who would have though that we’d grow to an award-winning player in London’s architecture scene. Jan explains ‘There was not so much choice at the time, so I accepted whatever work came my way. Often those were the most difficult projects, the sorts of commissions that other architects would not touch with a barge pole.’ Resourcefulness was key to running the young practice. 10 years later we know that resourcefulness is essential to produce innovative work because there is hardly ever a one size fits all approach to architecture. Join us for life music and drinks (sponsert by Towaint) from 7.
Our synthetic forest for Anna Malunat’s Postcards from the Future has its premiere tonight in a sold-out auditorium. The stageplay is based on award-winning novel A chronicle from the Future by Russian journalist Svetlana Alexievich, The immersive environment that is inhabited by the 3 protagonists features 2700 bean plants, 2 km of irrigation tubing and three arrays of high pressure natrium lamps. Get your tickets for other dates at www.FFT-duesseldorf.de.
Our design workshop for year 5s at Newport Primary School in Waltham Forest is helping to shape the local high street. 90 pupils are working with shopowners along Francis Road to upgrade branding, come up with new retail strategies and help design shop signage and corporate identities. The aim of the workshop is to re-connect the local community with their high street but also to encourage shopowners to advance their retail offer to suit their customers of the future. See also our Francis Road project.
After outgrowing our original premises at 277 New North Road in November 2012 we can now finally stop the hot-desking and move into our new extension. The north-east facing rooflights bring light into the depth of the plan. There is not one single door on the premises, instead a fluid sequence of spaces that can be sub-divided with white, ceiling-high curtains create semi-private pockets of work-space that encourage dialogue and collaboration. Jan explains ‘There are studies that prove that the quality of the work environment is directly proportional to people’s enjoyment of their job. Your own office should practice what you preach and I think that people who work here recognize that.’