Frank Anatole​, Principal Architect, Network Rail

For this episode of Architecture Masters we’re joined by Frank Anatole, Principal Architect at Network Rail.

Network Rail oversees a vast network of built environment infrastructure across the UK including over 2,500 stations, 30,000 bridges and tunnels, as well as countless maintenance depots, signal boxes and other infrastructure buildings that all too often go unseen.

Frank Anatole. Image Credit: Julia Anatole

Frank and his team don’t generally design  new projects themselves – much of that is done by external architecture practices – but rather they oversee the process of setting design standards, policy and long-term planning, as well as the process of assuring that external designs are fit for purpose.

But both Frank and his colleague Anthony Dewar, Network Rail’s Professional Head of Buildings and Architecture, have focused improving on the organisation’s design ambition, including through ambitious new design principles.

All forms of design have long played a role in the evolution in British Railways. The iconic double arrow logo, originally of British Rail, is still one of the countries most recognised logos.  And an exhibition at the Design Museum in London currently celebrates the graphic design legacy of Margaret Calvert’s work on the railways.

Frank started his career working at Hampshire County Council Architects, before spending a formative period working in Paris on a number of French Station designs.  Back in the UK he worked for a number of practices, including a decade at Marks Barfield where he worked on the London Eye, and i360 in Brighton,

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Dale Sinclair, Director of Innovation, Aecom

On the programme today we’re joined by Dale Sinclair, Director of Innovation for the global infrastructure consultancy Aecom.  

Over the years much of Dale’s work has focused on the future of the architecture profession, and much of our conversation today involves future gazing. 

Dale grew up in Edinburgh and went on to study architecture at the Mackintosh School of Architecture in Glasgow

Dale Sinclair. Image courtesy of the practice

I first met Dale in 2012 whilst I was working at the RIBA, and he was chairing the committee overhauling the RIBA’s Plan of Work, the document that sets out the formal stages of procuring, designing and constructing buildings.   The changes dale steered through in the run up to 2013 were the most significant change since the plan of work’s introduction in 1963 – taking into account many of the profession’s new ways of working and new procurement methods.  He subsequently authored the most recent set of changes to the Plan of Work in 2020. 

Dale literally wrote the book on the RIBA Plan of Work, as well as authoring many other titles on the profession including The Lead Designers Handbook and Leading the Team: An Architects Guide to Design Management.

Dale joined Aecom in 2014 as Director of Technical Practice after 10 years as a Director of Dyer Architects, and 16 years as an Associate Director at BDP.

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Sheng-Yuan Huang

On the programme this week we’re joined by Sheng-Yuan Huang founder of Fieldoffice Architects.

Sheng-Yuan was born in Taipai and initially studied architecture at Tunghai University in Taichung – Taiwan’s second city – where he graduated in 1986.

Sheng-Yuan Huang. Image courtesy of the practice.

Taiwan – officially the Republic of China – was governed under Martial Law until 1987, which marked the start of a transition to more democratic freedoms.   It was perhaps this early desire for greater freedom which led him in 1989 to the United States,  where he later gained his Masters Degree in Architecture at Yale.

He subsequently stayed on in the States and worked for Eric Owen Moss Architects in Los Angeles and then taught at North Carolina State University, before returning to Taiwan in 1993, having failed to find the freedom he was looking for.

Sheng-Yuan founded Fieldoffice Architects in 1994 in Yilan, a rural town in North East Taiwan, where the practice has pursued mainly community driven projects.

Indeed, the vast majority of the practice’s work is extremely local – with virtually all projects taking place within a 30 minute drive of the studio.  Despite this Sheng-Yuan’s world has been widely exhibited internationally – including at the 2018 Venice Biennale with the exhibition ‘ Living with Sky, Water and Mountain: Making Places in Yilan.

My colleague Andre Holmqvist visited Taiwan in February this year with support from a British Council grant. You can find Andre’s write-up in the Views Pages off the LFA website.

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Sofie De Caigny, Director, Flanders Architecture Institute

On the programme this week we’re joined by Sofie De Caigny, Director of VAi, the Flanders Architecture Institute.  

The VAi is based in Antwerp – across two buildings – with gallery space and public programmes taking place in the International Arts Campus deSingel.

Sofie De Caigny. Image Credit: Dries Luyten

As well as their extensive public programme, every two years the institute produces the Flanders Architecture Review, a major publication presenting a generous selection of recently completed projects across Flanders and Brussels.  Now in its 14th edition the review presents as snapshot of the architecture of a certain place and time, with an analysis of the trends and successes. 

I spoke to Sofie last week down the line from Antwerp, where the VAi’s offices are slowly starting to re-open. 

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Giovanna Borasi, Director, Canadian Centre for Architecture

For the eleventh episode of Architecture Masters at Home,  we’re joined by Giovanna Borasi, Director of the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal.

Giovanna joined the CCA in 2005 as the Curator for Contemporary Architecture, going on to become Chief Curator in 2014 and then Director of the Centre at the beginning of this year.

Giovanna Borasi. Image courtesy CCA.

Having first trained as an architect in Milan, in her native Italy, she went on to work as editor of the Italian architecture magazine Lotus International.

Giovanna has an impressive track record of exhibitions, but it was her highly acclaimed 2011 CCA exhibition, Imperfect Health: The Medicalisation of Architecture, co-curated with the Centre’s previous Director Mirko Zardini, that rather presciently explored projects and research in relation to health issues including disease and epidemics.

Indeed, as well as its strong exhibitions and curatorial programme, research is central to the CCA’s mission of making architecture a public concern.

The CCA was founded in 1979 by the Canadian Architect and philanthropist Phyllis Lambert, consciously as an international centre for architecture, rather than say, a museum of architecture or an institute for architects.

Her family’s business interests included the Seagram Company. In 1954 Phyllis Lambert, whilst still in her 20s was instrumental in persuading the company to change architects and commission Mies Van De Rohe to design the firms US headquarters – resulting in the iconic Seagram Building in Midtown Manhattan

While the CCA’s building in Montreal is temporarily closed -including its museum galleries,  bookstore, and study room – the CCA continues its public programme, holding conversations, and actively publishes the research and discussions it is involved with.

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Roger Hawkins, Co-Founder, Hawkins\Brown

On this week’s Architecture Masters at Home we’re joined by Roger Hawkins, co-founder of Hawkins\Brown.

Russel Brown and Roger Hawkins founded the firm in 1988 after having worked together at Rock Townsend in the 1980s.

Roger Hawkins. image courtesy of the practice

The two partners started the firm with an initial determination, as they saw it, not to get trapped working on smaller residential projects.

The strategy paid off. The firm is now one of the ten largest architecture practices in the UK according to the AJ100 list, and they continue to work on large scale projects – including three key stations for London’s huge Crossrail project.

The firm is also working on the Thames Tideway – now one of Britain’s biggest infrastructure projects –  to modernise the 150-year old Bazalgette-designed network of underground sewers.

When London’s original sewerage system was developed, it changed the look and character of the city with the creation of the Chelsea, Victoria and Albert Embankments.

In a similar way, the Tideway scheme will create new areas of public realm along the foreshore of the River Thames – with Hawkins\Brown leading the design of these new public spaces.

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Ellie Stathaki, Architecture Editor, Wallpaper* Magazine

For the ninth episode of the LFA’s Architecture Masters at Home, we’re joined by Ellie Stathaki, Architecture Editor at Wallpaper* Magazine.

Ellie Stathaki. (c) Anna Stathaki

Wallpaper* Magazine was founded in 1996 and quickly became one of the world’s most influential international lifestyle titles.  

Wallpaper* – with tagline “the stuff that refines you” covers design and architecture, fashion, travel, art, and lifestyle in its own super stylish way. 

Ellie studied architecture in Greece, before moving to London in 2002 to continue her studies at the Bartlett School of Architecture and later joined Wallpaper* in 2006. 

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Laura King, Director, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates

Laura King. (c) Agnese Sanvito

For the eighth episode of Architecture Masters at Home, we’re joined by Laura King, Director at Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates in London.

Over the last few weeks many of us have been getting used to the new normal of remote working.  But for many global architecture firms like KPF, working on international projects with clients and design teams based across the world, remote working – at least between offices – is nothing new.

For this episode also wanted to discuss some of the broader communications issues related to remote working – and how international experience might help equip you for the challenges we’re all now facing.

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Yinka Ilori, Designer & Founder, Yinka Illori Studio

For our seventh episode of Architecture Masters at Home we’re joined by the artist-designer Yinka Ilori – described by The Financial Times as one of the world’s most in demand designers.

Born in London, much of his work references his West African heritage.

Yinka established his studio in 2017 with a loan from the Prince’s Trust, producing up-cycled furniture that were as much furniture as works of art.

In 2018 he won the LFA’s competition with Wandsworth Council to improve a gloomy underpass of the Thessaly Road Railway Bridge in Battersea. The competition called for designs to improve the experience for pedestrians and cyclists. His winning concept Happy Streets was designed and delivered for the 2019 LFA and transformed the underpass into a riot of colour.

Yinka together with architects Pricegore also won the LFA’s 2019 competition for the LFA’s second Dulwich Pavilion to be placed in the grounds of the John Soane-designed gallery for the duration the festival.

Their winning entry – the Colour Palace – proved a huge success attracting nearly 100,000 visitors to the south London gallery. The pavilion’s lattice structure and geometric patterns were described as mesmerising by The Guardian.

Yinka is now in huge demand from companies around the world from fashion brands to television stations.

With his studios space now closed, we joined Yinka down the line from his London home.

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Architecture Masters at Home – Episode 6 – Maria Louise Long

For the sixth episode of Architecture Masters at Home, we’re joined by Maria Louise Long, Senior Associate at Chris Dyson Architects.

Maria Louise Long. Image courtesy of the practice.

Maria Louise grew up in South West Ireland and went on to study architecture at the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture in Aberdeen before moving to London some 10 years ago in search of work during the global financial crisis.

She joined Chris Dyson Architects after a short period working on a construction site – and then worked her way up from Part 2 student to Senior Associate – now leading many of the practices projects

The practice, founded in 2004, has won great acclaim for its conservation and restoration work, and is increasingly working on larger commercial schemes. We spoke to Chris in episode 5, back in 2017.

Having outgrown their original studio, in 2014 the studios moved to a former pub – The Queen’s Head – on the corner of Commercial Street and Fashion Street in London’s Spitalfields. The practice proceeded to completely re-design, overhaul and restore the building whilst working from it.

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