VICTORIA GATE WINS RIBA NATIONAL AWARD22nd of June 2017
Victoria Gate has won a RIBA National Award 2017 from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). The awards are given to to buildings across the UK recognised as significant contributions to architecture.
Hammerson as clients, ACME as architects and McAlpine as contractor are proud to have worked on a project for Leeds that challenges the conventions of commercial architecture to create three different buildings, each rooted in the materiality of the place and tied together by a formal language that re-interprets the history of Leeds arcades.
MINORIES SHORTLISTED TO NLA AWARDS20th of June 2017
Delighted to learn that Minories for 4CHotels has been shortlisted for the New London Architecture Awards 2017.
Located in Aldgate, on a site with a rich historic and cultural background spanning centuries, the proposal aims at reinstate lost streets and create new urban squares and landscaping as well as three new buildings, an office block, a residential tower and a hotel. A new green courtyard is created between these three buildings, and the Paleys upon Pilers installation built for the London Festival of Architecture in 2012 will be reinstated here for public enjoyment.
CEILING COMPLETE IN VICTORIA GATE ARCADES13th of June 2017
In the coming weeks, Leeds Victoria will get two new rooftop restaurants with great views over Kirkgate. A spiral stair and oak lined atrium connects them to the new arcade, lit from above by a sculptural ceiling. The computer generated dome design was built with 18,000 pieces of stained oak. The offset in three dimensions between the oak pieces allows daylight through and creates sensations of levity and movement, despite the weight of 4 tonnes. The continuity of oak on walls, balustrade and the domes seeks to unify walls and ceiling, to evoke the visual sensation of a tall and mysterious contemporary grotto.
BERLIN BRIDGE LIGHTING9th of June 2017
First lighting tests have been undertaken on site for our footbridge in Berlin. The continuous light track in the handrail reveals the structural steel pattern by emphasising the changing perforations cut into the thickness of the balustrade.
The bridge will be seen from the S-Bahn next to Dan Flavin's light installation for the facade of the Hamburger Bahnhof, and we remain keen to find an acceptable coloured light for the bridge to complement this.
SWANSEA CENTRAL GETS PLANNING PERMISSION6th of June 2017
Swansea Central, ACME's major new culture, leisure, employment and residential quarter in the centre of Wales’ second largest city, has received Outline Planning permission. Located on the site of the former St David’s shopping centre and the old Coal Drops of Victoria Dock, the new development is part of the £1.3bn Swansea City Deal signed by the government earlier this year.
Our project will re-establish a network of pedestrian streets and squares aligned to the historic character of the city. New North-South routes will create a clear and direct path from the centre to the beach, bringing the city back to its coastline at Swansea Bay.
BERLIN BRIDGE MOCK-UP31st of May 2017
The mock-up for our footbridge over the Berlin-Spandauer Schifffahrtskanal has arrived on site. This footbridge will connect the newly developed Europacity area to the east, across the canal where the Berlin Wall separated Berlin from 1961 to 1989.
The 2m long mock-up gives a first impression of the steel work for the laser cut balustrade which forms the main structural beam of the bridge. The degree of openings of the perforation reflects the gradient of forces within the structural balustrade, more solid to the abutments, more open to its centre.
VICTORIA GATE WINS RIBA YORKSHIRE BUILDING OF THE YEAR26th of May 2017
At last night's awards ceremony in Hull, RIBA Yorkshire awarded Victoria Gate the award for Best Building of the Year and an RIBA Regional award. It is a great honour to see a decade of work from many people at Hammerson, ACME, McAlpine and the wider design team recognized in this way.
The RIBA Yorkshire awards follows on from recent success of Victoria Gate at Mipim in Cannes where it won the award for Best International Shopping Centre and from the Irish Concrete Society where it won the award for Best International Project.
We look forward to the next award ceremony in Melbourne, Australia, where our Library and Public Square in Eastland has been shortlisted for the Victorian Architecture Awards by the Australian Institute of Architects.
LEIPZIG BANK HQ GETS PLANNING PERMISSION23rd of May 2017
Planning permission has been granted for the new headquarters of the Sächsische Aufbaubank (SAB) in Leipzig. Located in the city centre close to the main station, the building will include conference, consultation and office space for 600 members of staff spread over 20.000sqm, as well as a major new public space. While bank buildings are historically characterized as temples of stability and wealth, the new SAB Forum seeks to find a contemporary interpretation of the traditional typology of a bank as an imposing institution representing stability, permanence and strength. Construction of the basement box has started in February 2017, and the Bank is scheduled to move into the new building in late Spring 2019.
SAGE HOTEL MELBOURNE PROGRESS15th of May 2017
The installation of the fritted glass panels for the facade of our Sage hotel in Eastland, Melbourne is due for completion in June with the hotel opening in September.
The facade has been designed to mimic externally the pattern of a curtain through a graded pattern of screen printed diamonds varying in size and proximity. Internally, the facade provides solar shading and allows for unobstructed views across Ringwood to the surrounding hills of the Yarra Valley.
LEIPZIG BANK EARTHWORKS PROGRESS15th of April 2017
Preparation works for the construction of the excavation pit are progressing on site. A diaphragm wall construction will go down to ca. 31 metres below ground in order to deal with the high water levels and enable construction of the retaining walls for the basement. Construction started with the installation of concrete guide walls to set out the position of the diaphragm walls around the site measuring 100 m x 100 m. Currently four drills are on site to carry out the drilling of ca. 6.400 metres length. Two diaphragm wall grabs are preparing the diaphragm wall in which the retaining walls will be inserted as sheet piles. Explosive ordnance surveys were carried out in advance of construction as this part of the historic city centre of Leipzig had been severely bombed in 1943.
BUMPERS HALL STARTS ON SITE27th of March 2017
Bumpers Hall in Kent, our contemporary interpretation of the traditional Oast House of the Marden region, has finally started on site, with the shape of the building appearing on site as the first concrete slab are installed. Without anything else for scale and reference nearby. The construction of the timber walls will commence in the coming weeks, and we hope to have the house completed before the end of the year.
CONSTRUCTION PROGRESS MELBOURNE HOTEL24th of March 2017
The installation of the fritted glass panels for the facade of the Sage hotel in Eastland, Melbourne has commenced. The facade has been designed to mimic the pattern of a curtain when seen from afar, through a graduated pattern of screen printed diamonds that vary in size and proximity. The hotel is built above the mixed use development of Eastland that we completed last year, utilizing some of the extra capacity of the stuctural columns and beams that had been allowed for in anticipation of future expansion.
VICTORIA GATE WINS MIPIM WORLD'S BEST SHOPPING CENTRE AWARD17th of March 2017
Victoria Gate has beaten strong competition from Europe, Japan and China to win the Award for Best International Shopping Centre at the World's largest property conference in Cannes, Mipim.
Hammerson, ACME and Waterman were delighted to collect the award on behalf of the entire design team which has worked incredibly hard over a period of 9 years to deliver the first new retail arcade in decades.
VICTORIA GATE WINS BEST NEW BUILDING IN LEEDS 20163rd of March 2017
Victoria Gate Arcades has won the award for best building of 2016 at the Leeds Architecture Awards. We are delighted that the building has been recognised in this way to acknowledge all the work from a large group of dedicated people across Leeds City Council, Hammerson, Waterman Structures, Hoare Lea, Gardiner & Theobald, ACME and others.
LEIPZIG BANK CONSTRUCTION STARTED15th of February 2017
Construction works have started on site in Leipzig for our new headquarter building for SAB. Concrete guide walls have been installed to set out the position of the diaphragm walls around the site, making the extent of the 100 m x 100 m site visible for the first time. Contaminated groundwater is expected 3m below ground level, so a watertight wall around the site has to be installed before any further works can commence.
SOUTHAMPTON OPENING9th of February 2017
Following the soft launch of the Watermark Westquay in December last year most of the restaurants and the bowling alley at Watermark are now open. This Friday, 10th February, the project reaches another major milestone with the opening of the ten screen Cinema. From it's elevated position the foyer offers fantastic new views to the waterfront and the plaza below, between the curving stainless steel tubes of the facade.
More than 12 years have passed since the inception of the project, we can't wait to see this last key piece of the Watermark puzzle in place and the people of Southampton enjoying a new corner of the city and a stroll through the new square along the medieval city walls.
HOUSE OF FRASER ANCHORS CHESTER NORTHGATE6th of February 2017
We are delighted that House of Fraser have agreed to come to Chester as the main department store anchoring our Northgate scheme.
The Department store will move into a 10.000 sqm building on the western edge of the site at the end Stone Street, our new axis linking Northgate to ChesterCathedral and Northgate Street. The building will include a large beauty section as well as a rooftop restaurant with great views of the Chester Racecourse.
If you have missed our public consultation last year, or if you would like an update on the latest scheme developments, please feel feel to drop into our next public open day at Chester Town Hall on Wednesday 8 February from 3pm to 5pm
SWANSEA CENTRAL DRAFT PLANNING SUBMITTED31st of January 2017
ACME has been working closely with the City & County of Swansea Council to bring forward Swansea Central, the mixed-use education, retail and leisure-led regeneration proposals for the heart of the City. New shops, restaurants, residential units, a library and educational facilities form a new civic heart around the historic Churches of Swansea, along with quality landscaping and public realm. A new Concert Arena and a Hotel Tower will act as landmark buildings and extend the City Centre towards the Sea. The proposals have been submitted for pre-application consultation and are available here:
HAPPY 201719th of December 2016
ACME wishes you a happy 2017!
WESTQUAY WATERMARK LAUNCHES12th of December 2016
WestQuay Watermark celebrated the first restaurants opening their doors to the public over the weekend. A city wide light show with a parade through the city's streets and a light projection onto the historic city walls in the scheme's stunning new Esplanade marked the opening. The city's new plaza will host over 100 events and activities throughout the year.
WESTQUAY WATERMARK FIRST RESTAURANT OPENINGS5th of December 2016
The first wave of restaurants at WestQuay Watermark will open this week, which will be marked with a public opening ceremony in the The Esplanade on the 10th and 11th of December. Celebrations will launch Luminate Southampton, a light show that begins with a parade through the city followed by a spectacular light projection onto the historic city walls in The Esplanade.
We are excited to see the public's reaction to this first phase of openings at WestQuay Watermark and look forward to the remaining restaurants and leisure operators opening throughout December and into the new year.
AUTHENTICITY - ADAPT OR DIE30th of November 2016
The International Council of Shopping Centres has asked ACME to give a lecture and workshop as part of the 2016 ICSC conference in Madrid to illustrate how Authenticity in Architectural Form can be used to anchor a scheme like Victoria Gate in its location and time, and to create a place that has meaning and relevance for the local citizens, engendering a sense of civic pride.
EMERGING DEVELOPMENTS IN LEEDS16th of November 2016
Friedrich Ludewig will give a brief presentation on Victoria Gate on Thursday the 17th of November at Central Square.
To attend please RSVP to the email below.
THE KITCHENS ROBINA OPENS3rd of November 2016
The Kitchens, our new market hall in Robina, have opened today. The large market hall is covered by an undulating timber-clad roof which creates a shaded day-lit space below for market traders, restaurants, show kitchens and food labs. The new market hall, designed by Landini, will host 55 new traders including butchers, fish mongers, restaurants and a micro-brewery, all of which are dedicated to celebrating local/regional produce to supplying the very best local products available.
WATERMARK WESTQUAY CLADDING PROGRESS28th of October 2016
Watermark Westquay, our 25.000 sqm cinema and leisure building and new public square for Southampton city Centre is racing to complete all major works for the opening on the 8th of December. The installation of the 14.000m of curved stainless steel pipes on the cinema façade has picked up in speed, and one can start to see the east elevation to the new town square appearing in view. The site is the location of the old Pirelli Factory for the production of underwater telegraph cables to connect across the Atlantic, which were previously woven on site and stored in large drums prior to shipment off shore. The pipes used on the façade of the building are the same dimension as the historic telegraph cables, but the new pipes were manufactured by Seele using computer controlled bending machines to achieve the unique radius needed for each pipe.
VICTORIA GATE LEEDS OPEN21st of October 2016
We are delighted to have played our part in the regeneration of the City Centre, and to see citizens taking ownership of the new buildings we have designed for them. We are very grateful for the support from Hammerson as client and Leeds City Council as Planning Authority, who have trusted us as a young practice in 2007 to design and deliver a £165m development, and to create a new Leeds arcade that continues the great tradition of arcades in the city. We have tried to push the boundaries of retail architecture to create an exterior and interior experience that responds to the rich heritage of built form around us. It has been a large team effort, with special thanks to Waterman, Hoare Lea and Gardiner who have been great colleagues, alongside Thorp, Seele and Techrete who have been great manufacturers to work with. We are thankful for the relationship we have built with Sir Robert McAlpine as contractor over the years, and for whom we have worked intensely for the last 30 months to innovate with materials, deliver the scheme on time, and build to last. Last but not least we are immensely grateful to the 40 architects at ACME who have been part of the project team over the last 9 years, dedicating a ridiculous amount of their time and energy to this project.
VICTORIA GATE LEEDS OPENING17th of October 2016
After 9 years of work, we are delighted to see Victoria Gate finally open its doors on the Thursday the 20th of October. Its been a pleasure and a pain to get it this far, and we are delighted to release the project from under our wings and let it take its first steps on its own in the public gaze. We have spend so many years with our little Victoria Gate as proud and pushy parents that we are rather unable to judge anything objectively, but if you are anywhere close, please come and have a look and let us know what you think. We hope it shows the time and effort we have poured into it, and that it becomes a set of buildings that people in Leeds take on as their own over the years to come.
NATIONALITIES12th of October 2016
ACME works across a wide range of countries. Having architects from varied backgrounds and nationalities is important for the work we do. ACME is proud of the wide range of nationalities present in the office (25 in total), it is part of our DNA, and we happily communicate this to anyone we meet as we strongly believe in the benefits of a multi-national office. A mix of people fosters cross pollination in architectural experience and delivers more successful and engaging buildings shaped by experience from many diverse backgrounds. If we became less international, our buildings would be poorer. As of today, we are based in London, Berlin and Melbourne, and we are: 21% UK, 16% other Commonwealth, 50% other EU, 13% others. The graph shows the changing nationalities of the office over the last 9 years.
WATERMARK PIPE FAÇADE10th of October 2016
Installation has finally comenced on the stainless steel pipe facade for Watermark. When completed, the 14km of pipes will creating an expressive linear pattern that accentuates the cinemas gently shifting contours. The Pirelli Underwater Cable factory that formerly occupied the site served as inspiration for the pipework, as it produced transatlantic telegraph cables which were looped in concentric circles on site and on the ships that took them out to sea. Windows in the inner skin of the cinema will provide views out to the plaza below and the sea in the distance through the pipework.
MANSELL ESTATE SUBMITTED FOR PLANNING6th of October 2016
The Mansell Estate is one of only three areas of housing created in the City of London since the war, alongside the Barbican and the Middlesex Estate. It has been providing close to 200 affordable homes to a close knit community since 1980. ACME has been working for many years with residents and the Guiness Partnership to bring forward regeneration proposals, with the aim to create new larger homes for all residents on site, alongside additional affordable homes, new private housing, public realm and landscaping. The proposals for the estate have been submitted to the City of London for consideration in the largest residential planning application to come forward since the Barbican
CHESTER PLANNING PERMISSION15th of September 2016
Our proposals for Chester Northgate has been unanimously approved this evening at an extraordinary meeting of the Cheshire West and Chester Planning Committee. Northgate will bring residential spaces, a 6 screen cinema, restaurants, a new Chester Market and Department Store into this quarter of Chester, reconnect old streets, create new ones and open up new vistas to the Cathedral and Storyhouse, the new Chester theatre. Northgate was recognized by Councillors as the key project to regenerate this part of the historic centre of Chester, and to strengthen Chester's position as a regional and international destination.
FOOTBRIDGE INSTALLED AT WATERMARK WESTQUAY7th of September 2016
Watermark WestQuay has passed a major milestone today as the new bridge connecting the Watermark to the car park has been lifted into position. The bridge spans 42m, and supports itself on its own two columns, as it is not able to impose any loads onto the buildings at either end. While we are all a bit disappointed with the greyness of the bridge colour imposed upon us by the local council, we live in hope that we can work with coloured light on the bridge to make the crossing experience as interesting as possible.
MELBOURNE HOTEL CONSTRUCTION20th of August 2016
Our Sage Hotel Project in Eastland, Melbourne has commenced construction above the carpark and David Jones store which opened last year. The hotel will have 120 bedrooms and will become part of the Silverneedle Group. The facade will be glazed curtain wall patterned to appear as an oversized curtain. A webcam is up and running for anyone interested in hourly construction updates and can be accessed here.
SOUTHAMPTON FOOTBRIDGE ON THE MOVE19th of August 2016
The first half of the bridge destined for Watermark in Southampton has left the SHS factory in Yorkshire. This is one of two sections that form the full 42m long footbridge to join the existing carpark with the new Watermark building which is due to open
at the end of the year.
SOUTHAMPTON FOOTBRIDGE25th of July 2016
Our 42m long footbridge for Harbour Parade in Southampton is taking shape in the Yorkshire factory of SHS, our bridge subcontractor. The bridge is designed as an economical diagrid through the truss to limit the size of the under-deck structure. Each of the landing points of the bridge was not able to take any vertical load, so the bridge has to look after itself with two mid-span columns, leaving one end to cantilever into the existing carpark, and the second end towards the new Watermark building.
The bridge steelwork was intended to get painted in orange/ pink, but sadly the elected council members of Southampton City Council Plans Panel thought this would be far too exciting for Southampton. It will now have to be painted in a light grey instead, to fit in with the predominant colour of everything in Southampton. We will be working with our client Hammerson to see if we can install bright orange coloured lighting for the bridge to at least turn it into a Dan Flavin/ James Turrell type experience at night.
The bridge steelwork is intended to get installed before the Boatshow in September this year.
LEEDS WINDOW TRACERY19th of July 2016
The main entrance of Victoria Gate Leeds has seen the installation of the final glass and tracery in the last few days, with an interlocking metal pattern that is a reverse of the John Lewis facade, starting with steep angles at the top that relate to the rooflight steelwork and dissolving into the horizontal transom of the large sliding doors below.
NORTH ARCADE ROOFLIGHT7th of July 2016
The roof pitches of the North Arcade and the South Arcade meet in front of the John Lewis Store to form a large new covered public space, crowned by a third pitch that rises above the other two to a height of 22m above the ground. The facades for the restaurants under the rooflight are starting to become visible, and the first cladding panels for these walls will arrive in late July.
ROOFLIGHT COMPLETED7th of July 2016
The installation of our new rooflight for the Victoria Gate North Arcade is progressing at speed, with the metalwork now extending outwards from the central feature in all directions to cover the entire casino soffit above. Backlit acrylic panels will be installed between the metal ribs to create a ceiling with varying light levels during day and night.
A NEW STREET FOR LEEDS7th of July 2016
Now that the final rooflight scaffolding has come down, a new north-south vista is appearing, linking Kirkgate Market to the Arcade and to Eastgate via Blomfield Street. We hope that we can extend this new street into the Phase 2 site in the near future to create a vista that extends northwards to the Lady Lane Chapel and Lyons Works.
JOHN LEWIS REVEALED7th of July 2016
The main West Facade of the John Lewis Building can be seen for the first time without scaffolding, showing the concrete diagrid in its most transparent form, with clear windows into all 5 levels of the department store under the arcade rooflight.
ROBINA KITCHENS PROGRESS16th of June 2016
The 7000sqm roof of our new market hall in Queensland/ Australia is rapidly progressing, with all of the south-facing glazing installed and the zinc standing seam roof cover complete. The roof is structured in 4 rows of undulating timber bands, to create a continuous roof structure over the market that produces filtered daylight with no direct sun exposure.
The new exterior landscaping, the public space and the market stall units beneath the roof are under construction, and the installation of MEP equipment is progressing to achieve handover to the new tenants for the Robina Kitchens in late summer, to get ready for opening in November 2016.
Image Copyright: Rix Ryan
JOHN LEWIS ROOFTOP RESTAURANT15th of June 2016
The brass coloured diagrid facade for the restaurant above the 5 level John Lewis store is complete. The restaurant will have a separate entrance on street level and will open late into the night, with a large outside terrace facing westwards towards Leeds city centre.
JOHN LEWIS TERRACE15th of June 2016
Cladding is complete for the rooftop terrace of the new John Lewis Store in Leeds, with golden Tecu Shingles used to overclad the back of the Reconstituted Stone Diagrid facade. The views across the terrace and the rooftops of Leeds is amazing, with Kirkgate Market and the Corn Exchange in the foreground and the entire Leeds silhouette as a backdrop.
VICTORIA GATE NORTH ROOF13th of June 2016
First view of the central roof feature in the North Arcade, designed to funnel daylight through the casino into the space below. The steel structure is in place for the upper parts, and installation of the horizontal parts in the arcade are due to commence shortly.
SAB MODEL10th of June 2016
The ACME Berlin team have completed our new working model for the Saechsische Aufbaubank in Leipzig, testing column density and distribution in the public space in front of the building and checking the effect of differential column diameters ranging from 40cm to 110cm, each one sized depending on individual column function and position in the scheme. The column density has been heavily optimized compared to the competition design, with a much reduced number of columns, and a more defined set of rules for column positions developed with Knippers Helbig for structural efficiency.
VICTORIA GATE ROOFLIGHT8th of June 2016
The final glass is being lifted into place by Seele for the central part of the arcade rooflight, at the junction with the John Lewis Store.
The rooflight is rising in three peaks to meet the diagrid of the department store facade, the central peak is the highest, the two lower ones either side transform into the North Arcade and South Arcade. Openable panels are integrated into the rooflight to allow for natural airflow through the arcades.
VICTORIA GATE SOUTH ARCADE8th of June 2016
The final part of rooflight scaffolding has finally been removed, and the scale of the South Arcade can been seen for the first time from Sidney Street all the way to the John Lewis Store. The rooflight is flat in the entrance zone in the foreground and rises slowly towards JLP, ending in a steep pitch that matches the diagrid facade of the store. The arcade is gently curved to create a loop between the North and South arcade.
WATERMARK CANTILEVER6th of June 2016
The 26m cantilever of the Watermark Cinema has finally been de-propped. For the last 8 months, Hollandia has been assembling the steel structure on temporary supports that held the beams in place while they were incomplete. With all the concrete seating elements now lifted inside, the props have finally been removed, and the building is holding up the cinema screens without any more temporary assistance. As per the AKT calculations, the structure moved by 35mm when the props were removed, and will move a few millimetres more in the next few months as more and more weight is added on the cantilever in the form of walls, seats and popcorn machines.
LEEDS CAR PARK5th of June 2016
View from the John Lewis Leeds fire escape staircase towards Quarry Hill. The installation of aluminium fins on the North facade of the carpark is nearly complete, and the fins do a reasonable good job of hiding the fixings and the transfer structure for the future NGT route that was previously scheduled to pass through below. We look forward to see the facade at night with the internal lighting installed.
CHESTER NORTHGATE PLANNING SUBMITTED2nd of June 2016
Following an extensive planning and consultation period, plans for Chester Northgate have been submitted by ACME on behalf of Cheshire West and Chester Council. The £300m retail-led mixed-use development comprises around 500,000 sq ft of retail and leisure facilities which, if approved, would be delivered over two phases of construction.
Phase one, which would start in autumn 2017, includes the development of a six-screen cinema together with cafes and restaurants set around a new market square. A market hall will replace the current Chester Market and a new 167-bedroom, 4-star hotel and conference centre will be built as a replacement for the existing Crowne Plaza hotel. The second phase includes the demolition of the existing hotel together with the Forum shopping centre and several other buildings in 2019 so that work can begin to construct a new department store, several new streets and a number of new buildings comprising, retail, residential and office uses. Both phases are designed to connect seamlessly into the historic fabric of Chester, with new routes opening towards Watergate Street in the south, the cathedral in the east and the racecourse in the west.
Northgate has been under consideration for several decades, and a number of developers have tried to create a viable scheme for the site but work never commenced beyond planning stages. In 2011, the council decided that Northgate was of vital importance for the city centre, and that the best way to create a viable and deliverable scheme benefiting all of Chester was to terminate development agreements with third parties and develop their own proposals.
The ACME led design team was appointed in a competitive tender process in 2012, and has been working with the council over the last 4 years to develop a new vision for this part of the historic city centre. In December 2013, the council purchased the Forum shopping centre – formerly owned by ING – and it now owns around 85% of the 14-acre site. It is expected that the application will go to the council’s planning committee for a decision in the early autumn. If approved, it is anticipated that the whole development will be completed and opened during 2021.
VICTORIA GATE PARKING27th of May 2016
The steel structure of the carpark for Victoria Gate is nearly complete, and the first cladding panels have been installed on the north facade. The twisted aluminium fins are intended to create a light and airy carpark interior while creating an interpretation of the diagrid John Lewis pattern when seen from afar. Four types of fins will be installed, straight, 27º twist, 45º twist and 90º twist. All column and bracket steelwork is painted black to recede into the background against the silver of the fins.
VICTORIA GATE AERIAL25th of April 2016
Updated aerial picture of our construction site in Leeds showing the Arcade rooflights with 50% glass cover installed, the completed facades for Arcades and John Lewis and the ongoing work to rooftop restaurants and the final corner of the car park.
EASTLAND OPENING20th of April 2016
Join us for the opening of the next phase of Eastland Melbourne on the 5th of May, when our Shard, Library, David Jones and Town Square will be officially joined to the East Mall designed by Softroom and Universal Design Studio with Seventh Wave.
SHARD CONSTRUCTION18th of April 2016
In order to fit the cladding panels for the ACME Shard in Melbourne, the structure was pre-assembled by UAP in their factory to create a precise basis on which to measure and set out each of the cladding panels. Following assembly of all elements, the structure was disassembled and transported to site in Melbourne and re-erected in its final position.
VICTORIA GATE FLOOR15th of April 2016
Fifteen Shades of Grey Granite are used to create the Arcade floor for Victoria Gate, fading from dark at the edges to light in the centre. The floor pattern is an interpretation of the herringbone woollen cloth patterns traditionally produced in Leeds for the Savile Row tailors in the 18th and 19th century.
WATERMARK TOPPING OUT14th of April 2016
After three design competitions, 12 years of stop and go, and countless man-hours and man-month of design and negotiation, Southampton City Council, Hammerson, ACME and Sir Robert McAlpine were delighted to celebrate the topping out of the Watermark building with a large group of assembled subcontractors. We have six months left to complete the building and new public square, ready for opening before Christmas this year.
JOHN LEWIS LEEDS WINDOWS10th of April 2016
The last curved windows for the new John Lewis Department Store in Leeds have been installed, making the building weather tight and allowing the interior fit-out to commence. The glass has been placed in the façade to relate to the internal functions of the store, increasing in size where public functions could be placed, for example on this corner where the ‘Place to Eat’ Restaurant will be. Where the glass is passing in front of the floor slabs, fine grey dot fritting has been applied to the glass to hide the slab edge.
ARCADE ROOF STEEL COMPLETE8th of April 2016
The last elements of the Arcade steelwork have been installed, rising sharply from the arcade end to the John Lewis Building to meet the reconstituted stone diagrid at the right angle.
ARCADE ROOF8th of April 2016
The scaffolding has finally been removed from 50% of the arcade, revealing the sweep from North Arcade to South Arcade on Harewood Street. The glazing to this part is now complete and installation of the fading grey stone floor and curved shopfronts can commence.
WATERMARK FACADE PRODUCTION25th of March 2016
Production has commenced of our stainless steel tube facade for the Watermark Building in Southampton, which will have 14.000m of individually computer controlled curved tubes installed.
WATERMARK VIEWS25th of March 2016
First views from the Cinema Foyer floating 22m above the ground with a majestic perspective over Southampton Harbour and the Cruise Liner Terminal.
WATERMARK ANIMATION20th of March 2016
The new animation for Watermark Southampton shows the building with new cladding consisting of 14.000m of stainless steel pipes as well as an updated design for the link bridge and public realm.
VICTORIA GATE FACADE12th of March 2016
The final elements of brick and terracotta have been installed, completing the Market Entrance on George Street which is designed to relate to the richly textured historic brick and terracotta buildings of Vicar Lane and the Victoria Quarter. The windows have a somewhat annoying blue solar control tint, but on a good Leeds day with blue sky, the colours work together as they were intended.
WATERMARK CANTILEVER12th of March 2016
The Steelwork for our 26m deep cantilever is complete, and we are eagerly awaiting removal of the blue temporary steel props that were holding the steel in place during assembly. The Cinemas in the volume above will be floating 21m above the ground, preserving below them the unobstructed views to the cruise liner terminal in the Southampton Port.
We shall remain indebted to AKT2 as structural engineers who were instrumental in helping to convince client and contractors that making building float can be efficient and affordable.
CANOPY LONDON CITY BY HILTON7th of March 2016
Hilton has partnered with 4C Hotel Group and ACME to bring Canopy by Hilton, its new lifestyle hotel, to the United Kingdom with Canopy by Hilton London City. The hotel will welcome its first guests in early 2018.
“London is a city of many incredibly eclectic neighbourhoods. Located within the historic City of London and adjacent to areas such as Whitechapel and Spitalfields, Aldgate is an ideal fit for the introduction of the UK’s first Canopy by Hilton,” said Patrick Fitzgibbon, Senior Vice President of Hilton.
The new development will feature a residential and an office building alongside the hotel, as well as a public garden and a new city square. The interior design of Canopy by Hilton London City will draw on the legacy of the Whitechapel Gallery and the melting pot of cultures in the surrounding area.
MINORIES EXCAVATION22nd of February 2016
During the ongoing basement demolition in the City of London for our hotel and residential buildings, we have uncovered the steel supports for the bonded warehouses and rail infrastructure of the Haydon Square Goodsyard Station which occupied this part of the site from 1840 to 1962, operated by the London and North Western Railway Company. The station was connected with a branch line from the Blackwall Railway to the West India and East India docks, and was flanked on each side with lofty brick warehouses containing five or six floors, each having a tramway running into it to admit goods trucks being shunted in for discharge.
The warehouses were used for the storage of vast quantities of merchandise including woollen bale, whisky, hops, paraffin oil, salpetre. Much of the outgoing traffic through the station were newspapers and parcels travelling from the printing works in Fleet Street towards Essex.
VICTORIA GATE ARCADE ROOFLIGHT19th of February 2016
The glazing to the arcades rooflight is progressing at speed and the majority of the glass has now been installed. The rooflight sweeps from the North Arcade to the South Arcade to terminate against the John Lewis facade, and consists of 1020 unique glass pieces made by Seele in Austria. The arcade will be naturally ventilated, and the rooflight includes for 82 ventilation openings to ensure that the space under the roof remains cool in summer.
JOHN LEWIS DIAGRID COMPLETE15th of February 2016
The solid facade for the John Lewis Department store in Leeds has been completed, with installation of the flat and curved corner windows progressing at speed. The Rooftop restaurant structure is in progress, with most of the glass installed ready for the external brass coloured diagrid that will commence next week. John Lewis has taken possession of the interior today to allow them to start the internal fit-out works for the sales areas and the back of house.
MINORIES DEMOLITION15th of February 2016
The very slow and gentle demolition of No.15 Minories in the City of London has completed, preserving the adjacent No.16 Minories and clearing the way for the construction of our new Hotel Extension to create the 300 bed Canopy London City by Hilton for 4C Hotels.
MANSELL ESTATE PUBLIC CONSULTATION13th of February 2016
We have been working for a long time on proposals to regenerate the Mansell Estate in the City of London. The aim of the project is to create 194 new replacement dwellings for the existing residents, as well as new affordable housing and private housing alongside. We would like to create better quality homes, with larger rooms compatible with contemporary standards, and better quality play spaces, pedestrian routes and landscaping on the ground and in the sky. We have so far consulted with the residents of the estate, the City of London, the Greater London Authority and Transport for London, and have incorporated their feedback into our proposals. We are now finally able to show the scheme to the wider public to get feedback from locals and other interested parties. Please come and join us on the Friday the 19th and Saturday the 20th of February at the Green Room in 14-16 Little Somerset Street, E1 8AH, and tell us what you think of our proposals.
ROBINA ROOF PROGRESS5th of February 2016
The construction of Robina progresses, with the 2.800sqm roof for Phase 2a complete and the 6.000sqm roof for Phase 2b advancing rapidly to complete the new Robina Food Hall and Market in time for Christmas 2016.
SOUTHAMPTON WATERMARK PROGRESS28th of January 2016
Construction of the new Watermark Cinema structure has commenced, with the trusses holding up the main screens starting to appear on Level 5. The Cinema screens will eventually cantilever up to 26m over the great staircase, preserving the historic view beneath it from Catchcold Tower to the Cruise Terminal and the sea. On the other side of the development, the public realm works have commenced in earnest to create a major new square for Southampton facing the historic City Walls.
ACME WIN SWANSEA CITY CENTRE REGENERATION COMPETITION22nd of January 2016
Acme have been appointed by Swansea Council to undertake the long-awaited £200m redevelopment of a number of plots in the city centre. Our proposal will create a new extension of the existing centre to connect the city to the sea and create a new mixed use quarter combining offices, residential, retail and restaurants, hotels and a new concert arena. We will be working with the Council and Rivington Land as development partner to refine the masterplan over the next 6 months with a target submission date for a planning application by early 2017.
BUILDING WITHOUT PLANNING: ACME AT THE AA19th of January 2016
Cities face profound urban regeneration challenges, often without a tradition of successful municipal urban planning. This leaves the domain of planning at the mercy of commercial developers who may or may not have the city’s best interest at heart. Using three current projects in Leipzig, Melbourne and Leeds, Friedrich Ludwig illustrates some of the strategies employed by ACME to create buildings that shape and inform their urban context where little or no urban planning guidelines exist.
The Evening keynote lecture at the Architectural Association is now available online on the AA website here.
AA LECTURE12th of January 2016
ACME have been invited to give one of the Jury Week Keynote Lectures at the Architectural Association on the work of the office and our approach to urban planning. We look forward to returning to the AA and illustrating some of the lessons we have learned in the last few years trying to regenerate city centres in the UK, Germany and Australia. We would be delighted if you would join us on the 18th of January at 6pm in the Main Lecture Hall of the Architectural Association, Bedford Square, London.
SAB EXCAVATION COMPLETE8th of January 2016
Archaeological ground excavation works for the new SAB bank headquarter in Leipzig are now complete. The team of archaeologists unearthed some interesting finds on site including a selection of pottery beakers, a bank safe, a beautiful jade green glazed relief-work tile and several animal tusks and horns left behind from a time when the local trade in the area was leather tanning.
HAPPY 201621st of December 2015
ACME wishes you a very happy 2016!
VICTORIA GATE PROGRESS21st of December 2015
Our Victoria Gate facades are finally taking shape now. Most of the intricate re-constituted stone cladding of John Lewis is now in place and awaiting the arrival of the geometric, pale stone and metallic-glazed terracotta tiles. The brick, concrete and terracotta facade that wraps the new Arcade is now complete on Eastgate, and the market facade should be up and complete early in the new year.
BRIGHTON WATERFRONT17th of December 2015
Following an invited competition in the summer, ACME have been selected by Standard Life as part of the professional team to extend and transform the central part of Brighton between Western Road and Kings Road, uniting the city centre with the sea front and creating a new Churchill Square.
ENCHANTING EASTLAND8th of December 2015
Our new Eastland Town Square in Melbourne designed by ACME has opened in time for Christmas, with a Christmas tree designed by YourStudio, inspired by our library facade which is lurking in the background.
MINORIES DEMOLITION COMPLETE7th of December 2015
Demolition of the above ground structure at 15 Minories is now complete. The construction phase of our new basement box will commence in February, to serve our new 330 room hotel tower, office building and residential tower which will start to join the silhouette of the City of London from late 2016 onwards.
CHESTER NORTHGATE PUBLIC CONSULTATION1st of December 2015
In 2013 we presented initial proposals for Chester Northgate, a 60,000sqm mixed use development in the heart of the Chester. Since then we have worked hard to develop the scheme further to improve the commercial viability, to create a better Chester Market and department store and to bring forward proposals for a replacement of the existing Crown Plaza Hotel.
We are keen to hear feedback from the wider public on our proposals so that we can consider everyone's views before we submit our planning application for the entire scheme in the Spring of 2016. If you are close to Chester between the 4th and 6th of December, please feel free to drop into the Town Hall where you will find us with revised images and plans to illustrate the progress we have made since 2013.
VICTORIA GATE TOPPING OUT30th of November 2015
Victoria Gate has topped out. The topping out ceremony took place in the rooftop restaurant space of John Lewis, and was attended by many of the construction workers, the client and design team, as well as many of the Leeds City Council planners, past and present, that we have worked with since 2006 to get this development off the ground. Traditions were observed as is customary for these occasions, including bagpipers, ringing of bells, pinning of branches, drinking of beers and the appropriate sacrifices to appease Gods and spirits.
VICTORIA GATE ARCADE FLOOR26th of November 2015
The floor for Victoria Gate Arcade has been laid out in the factory to sign-off all stone shades and transitions. The pattern is a tessellation of 14 shades of grey granite tiles in a dégradé herringbone pattern, based on the weave traditionally used for Yorkshire's woollen cloth. The tile pattern fades from lighter in the centre of the arcade to darker edges that merge with the black glass shop fronts. Each stone of the floor is now being labelled and placed in crates ready for shipping and re-assembly in Leeds.
EASTLAND LIBRARY COMPLETE31st of October 2015
The Australian Minister of State, the Honorable Mal Brough, and the Major of Marrounda, Les Willmott, today opened our 'Realm' library building located in the Eastland development in Melbourne, Australia. The library occupies the main corner between town square and train station, and is designed to function as the main civic building for Marrounda Council, offering vital public services to this part of the Yarra Valley.
The building is designed with a double-skin to control solar gain, incorporating an inner glass curtain wall and an outer layer of precast panels to create differing degrees of transparency depending on solar orientation and internal functions. The ground floor, shaded by the cantilevering structure above, is designed to be as transparent as possible to invite passing flaneurs into the art gallery, play spaces, reading rooms and the business incubator centre above.
EASTLAND TOWN SQUARE COMPLETE30th of October 2015
Our new Town Square for Eastland is complete. We have created a new outdoor space for the eastern suburbs of Melbourne by designing five buildings containing restaurants, cafes, ice cream parlours, a department store and a library, between which is framed an open central space of 70m x 45m. We have designed consistent frontages, signage and shading elements for all the restaurants, and worked with multiple levels in the public space to create elevated seating zones.
For the first time, ACME has also taken on the role of landscape designer, creating proposals for all the paving, soft landscaping, seating and furniture for the space. It has been a pleasure to work on facades and public realm in Australia, as there is a wealth of local stones to work with. All the sculptural facades for the restaurants have been milled from solid sandstone, and all the public realm is created from three stones, dark local bluestone, grey granite and cream coloured limestone.
DAVID JONES DEPARTMENT STORE OPENING30th of October 2015
Ian Moir, the Chief Executive of David Jones, today opened our new Eastland David Jones Department Store, the first new store the company has opened since 2011. The store expands over two floors, linking to the lower level adjacent to our Shard and with an upper level located to one side of the new Marrounda Town Square and the High Street. The interior of the store demonstrates the ambition that David Jones have set for themselves to be the most exclusive, fashion-oriented department store in Australia, and to create a store experience that is architecturally inspiring.
EASTLAND CAR PARK COMPLETE30th of October 2015
The first phase of our new 2000 space carpark in Eastland, Melbourne has opened. The carpark sits prominently alongside Marrounda High Street, above the David Jones department store and a large space for the retailer H&M. Large serrated concrete fins positioned in a rotating geometry create a changing perception of openness and closure for passing cars and pedestrians, and allow for transparency and ventilation to the interior space beyond.
EASTLAND SHARD COMPLETE30th of October 2015
Our sculptural entrance pavilion to the Eastland Project has opened today. The structure consists of a single warped steel element, rising to form a large entrance on one side, and a wide panorama window on the other. The structure is supported on two points either side of the entrance where the ground plane of the town square has been folded up to create resting points for adventurous children and for the steel structure. The Shard sculpture provides daylight and cover to a three storey void with sculptural escalators leading down to the Eastland shopping centre and underground carpark and invites people up from the lower floors to the new town square.
REALM FAÇADE FINISHED19th of October 2015
The last panels of Realm building in Eastland have been placed, completing the façade of the building. Realm will host a library, a Council Customer Service Centre, an art gallery, learning spaces, a café, an interactive local history display, a regional Knowledge and Innovation Centre and a BizHub. Realm is located at the entry of Ringwood town square creating a highly visible civic landmark, conceived as a shaded box floating above an open and transparent ground floor. The opening of the finished building will be on the 30th of October, please come if you are close by.
ACME STAIRCASE COMPLETION15th of October 2015
Our new walkable sculpture is complete. Designed in 48 weeks, manufactured in 4 weeks and constructed in 5 days. Consisting of 120 pieces of cross-laminated CNC routed timber. The stair is designed to nestle into the irregular and constricted dimensions of our studio corner. The concept evolved from a spiral stair that was to hug the column, into a free-standing, bifurcating double spiral that supports itself from the ground, not touching the column or the floor above. The sides of the steps curve inwards to form the handrail and edge protection.
DAVID JONES DEPARTMENT STORE MELBOURNE13th of October 2015
The vertical finned façade of the new David Jones store in Eastland is finally visible. The building is covered by a series of slender concrete fins, formed of repetitive units arranged in different combinations, to create difference and interest along the length of the highway.
EASTLAND CLOSE TO COMPLETION12th of October 2015
Our library, town square and shard in Melbourne are progressing fast towards completion. First parts of the town square pavement are now visible, cladding works are ongoing atop the Shard and the car park façade starts to take shape with the fins installed and the canopy in progress.
EASTLAND PROGRESS9th of October 2015
Our Eastland Melbourne project is progressing at speed to get ready for opening in 4 weeks time. Most of the lattice façade panels of Ringwood Library have been installed final works are ongoing to complete the Town Square and landscaping.
EASTLAND CONSTRUCTION VIDEO3rd of October 2015
Video capturing the last two months of construction for Phase 5a of Eastland in Melbourne by Probuilt, our main contractor.
VGA ROOFLIGHT2nd of October 2015
The Leeds Victoria Gate rooflight installation has reached the entrance at Harewood Street, and one can begin to see the slow sweep of the roof from the Southern to the Northern arcade. The rooflight is scheduled to be completed by February 2016.
INFLUENCE EXHIBITION18th of September 2015
ACME has designed and built an installation made of 12,000 m bricks for the exhibition INfluence - Design Across Continents, part of the London Design Festival. The exhibition features contemporary Indian design in 4 installations designed by different architectural studios, including ACME, Studio Egret West, Haptic Studio and Project Orange. The exhibition room, at Studio Egret West, is located at 3 Brewhouse Yard, EC1V 4JQ London. Come and visit us! For more information on visits, click here. Image credit: Sophie Mutevelian.
VGA PROGRESS18th of September 2015
Seele have begun the installation of the glazed roof which covers the North and South Arcades of Victoria Gate, and have placed the feature roof-light over the North Arcade.
JOHN LEWIS LEEDS PROGRESS16th of September 2015
Techrete's façade panels for John Lewis Leeds have been installed to form the ground floor plinth. The main diagrid cladding of the upper levels, formed by polished and acid-etched panels, is progressing at pace.
VGA ON LEEDS TV16th of September 2015
Last 16th of September Victoria Gate Arcade and John Lewis Leeds were featured in "On the Aire" programme in Made in Leeds TV Channel.
WATERMARK WESTQUAY PROGRESS2nd of September 2015
Construction of Watermark Westquay is gathering pace, with all three tower cranes assembled, piling and ground floor slab completed and the first two cores starting to rise. Orders have been placed for the cladding of the cinema, and the steelwork for the main part of the building has commenced fabrication off-site. The completion of the first phase is due in late 2016.
MINORIES DEMOLITION PROGRESS26th of August 2015
Demolition is under way at 15 Minories in the City of London to clear the final building on the site before Christmas, with piling and the basement construction starting in January for your 330 room Hilton Hotel and 16 storey residential building, which will start to rise from the ground in May next year.
CHESTER NORTHGATE UPDATE25th of August 2015
Our masterplan for Chester has evolved, as we have managed to come to agreements with the owners of the adjacent Crown Plaza Hotel to include their building in our scheme. The demolition of the current Hotel and the construction of a new one within Northgate with allow us to create a much better, larger and more beautiful hotel, as well as improving the Northgate Masterplan by opening up more views to the Welsh Hills, removing a 1980's Carbuncle, and creating a more prominent and accessible Department Store than can now be seen from Northgate as well as from the ringroad. The revised and enhanced masterplan will be submitted for planning in early 2016.
KRASNOGORSK DESIGN STAGE COMPLETED20th of August 2015
Having won the international competition for a large mixed-use scheme, including residential, commercial and educational facilities in Moscow region in 2014, we have worked over the last six month to conclude the first concept and feasibility stages, and prepare the project for presentation to the local authorities, including this animation which illustrates our approach to subvert the typical contemporary high rise typology of the region into a more fluid, meandering set of spaces that allows the forest to flow through the blocks and creates courtyards with a larger sense of containment and enclosure.
EASTLAND AERIAL PICTURES17th of August 2015
EASTLAND ON 9NEWS13th of August 2015
Our project in Eastland Melbourne project has been featured in 9News, Australia together with the new Ringwood station and interchange.
SHARD PAVING9th of August 2015
The paving at the base of the Shard at Eastland Melbourne has finally been completed, having caused some headaches for the stonemason wrestling with the warped surface of the shard support rising from the ground.
EASTLAND MELBOURNE PROGRESS4th of August 2015
Updated fly-through of our Eastland project for QIC in Melbourne, including a new town square, a civic library for Maroondah Council, a David Jones Department store and a new Sage Hotel.
ROBINA COLES COMPLETION20th of July 2015
In order to create the new Robina Food Market Hall, we had to demolish the existing Coles store and create a new Coles Superstore as part of our Phase 2a construction. The timelapse shows progress over 10 months from demolition to opening in May 2015. Construction of the main new Market Hall is now underway as part of the next phase.
WATERMARK WESTQUAY ANIMATION15th of July 2015
A new animation has been completed to show the Phase 1 part of Watermark WestQuay project in Southampton, which is currently under construction, as well as the Phase 2 part which is currently in design development.
VICTORIA GATE PROGRESS10th of July 2015
The first set of panels for our cladding for the Victoria Gate Arcade buildings in Leeds has been completed by Thorp. The first elevations in process are Harewood Street and the inward facing facades which will need to be completed to allow Seele to commence construction of our rooflight below.
ONE NEW CHANGE COMPLETED9th of July 2015
Our new stair for One New Change has opened on the 20th of May. ACME and AKT2 were asked by Land Securities to design a feature stair to connect the lower and upper ground floors of One New Change, opposite St. Pauls in the heart of the City of London. The exterior stair is meant to improve public accessibility and footfall to the lower ground floor, and at the same time be a new focal and gathering point. The grand stair's geometry is a curvilinear re-interpretation of the existing architecture, with the mirror fritt glass balustrade playing with reflection and transparency through the structure. When reaching the lower floor the balustrade transforms into a bench that allows for sheltered rest.
SAB SITE EXCAVATION6th of July 2015
Excavation has commenced for the SAB Bank Headquarter building in Leipzig to clear the site of any remaining structures, and undertake the required Archaeological investigations of any below ground structures that may have historic significance. As reported in the National News yesterday, a pre-war bank safe has been found recently, which must surely be a good omen for our new bank building that is due to commence construction in early 2016.
Image credits: Sakosta
EASTLAND MELBOURNE PROGRESS2nd of June 2015
Eastland Melbourne is progressing at pace. The new town square slab, the structure of Ringwood Library and the David Jones Department Store are also completed. The AU$ 575 million extension of Eastland is scheduled to open in time for Christmas 2015.
DFB COMPETITION1st of June 2015
ACME was shortlisted in December 2014 as one 35 international offices for the second phase of the competition for the German Football Academy Headquarter in Frankfurt. We submitted a prroposal that preserved all the mature trees on site, and created a floating communal building shaped as a perforated disk, with a number of Ivory Towers housing the specific functions of the General Secretary, the Centre of Excellence, the Boarding rooms and training facilites for the German National team and Youth team. In March, our designs were selected as one of 12 entries for the third and final phase of the competition, and the June the Jury made their decision, with our design coming 5th out of 135 initial expressions of interest. The exhibition of the third round submissions will take place from the 3rd to 15th of July at Atrium des Planungsdezernates (Kurt-Schumacher-Straße 10, Frankfurt, Germany).
ROBINA COOKERY CLASSES28th of May 2015
Our newly completed second phase of Robina Town Centre has been host to a week of cookery classes by renowned Australian chefs. The new timber clad space is the beginning of a new food retail destination for Queensland's Gold Coast, with our main market hall and third phase now under construction with an anticipated opening date in late 2016.
ROBINA PHASE 2A COMPLETED21st of May 2015
The first two phases of our new Market Hall in Queensland / Australia have been completed. The first part of the hall has opened at the 21st of May, with a Coles supermarket and 15 food and retail units under an undulating timber roof. Southfacing rooflights have been integrated to provide shaded natural light without solar gain, and this roof will extend into the next phases which have now commenced construction. The exterior facade of the first two buildings consists of lasercut aluminimum panels that allow for natural ventilation and break down the horizontal scale of the forms. The main market hall will open in 2016.
ACME BERLIN20th of May 2015
The ACME Berlin office has officially opened at Gipsstraße 14. We are located at the ground floor of a Gründerzeit building from the 1880s in the Spandauer Vorstadt, the historic centre of Berlin, close to Alexanderplatz and Hackescher Markt. Our Berlin team will continue to develop the SAB Forum bank headquarter building in Leipzig and our bridge in Berlin's Europacity, both of which are due to commence on site in early 2016. Our ACME Berlin address is: Gipsstraße 14 10119 Berlin +49 (0)30 2404 8012.
ISTANBUL TOWERS COMPETITION10th of April 2015
ACME has won the second prize in an invited competition for two office towers with a commercial podium on the Asian side of Istanbul. The two towers were designed as independent structures on a shared base, utilising vertical fins to create a self-shading building envelope with external terraces in the façades between the towers and rooftop gardens with public amenities at the top.
JOHN LEWIS PROGRESS9th of March 2015
Techcrete have completed the first parts of our cladding for the John Lewis building in Leeds. The 5m panels will start to arrive on site in spring to get installed over the summer as the concrete frame of the building continues to rise.
SOUTHAMPTON WWQ UNDER WAY16th of January 2015
Construction has finally commenced on Phase 1 of Watermark Southampton, the long awaited regeneration of the vacant land along the historic town walls. The first part of the project consists of a landmark new cinema, 24 restaurants, a new bridge and a new public plaza, located right in heart of Southampton City Centre. Sir Robert McAlpine have commenced demolition and preparation works, with piling due to commence in March, and a scheduled project completion in late 2016. ACME is working with the Phase 1 contractor on site, while progressing Phase 2 proposals for Reserved Matters application in late 2015.
PFORZHEIM KAUFHOF COMPLETED11th of January 2015
ACME has completed the refurbishment of Galleria Kaufhof shopping centre in Pforzheim, Germany. The project seeks to achieve a continuously changing façade, integrating the existing programme in the building -retail, offices and restaurant- by adapting the permeability of the design in order to achieve necessary amounts of sunlight. The façade, made of aluminium laser-cut panels, covers an area of around 4,300 m². The methodology for creating the facades mirrors the processes used today in the jewellery industry of Pforzheim, consisting of cutting, bending and pressing of elements from simple sheet metal. The proposal obtains volumetric qualities and depth by utilising elements of the typical guilloché pattern making process and utilising triangulated cut-outs. The resulting openness and reading of the façade varies according to the spectators location and distance.
HAPPY 201522nd of December 2014
ACME wishes you a very happy 2015!
STUTTGART LECTURE22nd of December 2014
ACME has been invited by the University of Stuttgart to speak as part of the long-running Schwarzbrotreihe lecture series. Please join us on the 21st of January at 7pm at K2 Tiefenhorsaal 17.02, Universitat Stuttgart, Keplerstr.17.
VICTORIA GATE SITE22nd of December 2014
The demolition of Milgarth Police Station at the far east of the site is finally complete, leaving the site ready to commence construction of the Victoria Gate Carpark.
JOHN LEWIS LEEDS PROGRESS15th of December 2014
Construction of the new John Lewis department store in Leeds construction is progressing with the completion of piling and the basement slab. A first full scale mock-up for a high level terracotta element has arrived on site showing our hexagonal bronze glazed pieces installed in a number of rotated positions to create a non-repetitive pattern that will vary for each element and each elevation.
SOUTHAMPTON WESTQUAY PROJECT3rd of December 2014
A brief animation journey through the exterior spaces of Watermark WestQuay in Southampton by ACME, due to start on site in January 2015.
ROBINA UNDER CONSTRUCTION28th of November 2014
Our new market in Robina Town Centre (Gold Coast/ Australia) is continuing at pace. Following completion of Phase 1 in early 2014, Phase 2a has been under construction since June and the superstructure of the roof is nearly complete, The undulating roof is pierced regularly with south-facing roof lights for daylight with minimal solar gain. The final market hall will spill out into a stepped square and landscape with access to new car-parking, an auditorium, water feature and restaurants.
KATOWICE LECTURE27th of November 2014
ACME will present some of our recent works within the Masters of Architecture lecture series curated by the Association of Polish Architects (SARP) in Katowice. Please join us on the 27th of November 2015 at 7:00 pm at the ING Bank Auditorium Hall of Silesia, Katowice (ul. Sokolska 34).
ACME JUST MOVED1st of November 2014
ACME has moved to larger offices at 76 Tabernacle Street, London EC2 4EA. Our new general phone number is +44 (0)20 7251 5122.
NEW LONDON OFFICE31st of October 2014
We are delighted to announce that the move to our new home in Shoreditch is almost complete. We have been working to get the new home ready and make the transition as smooth as possible.
EASTLAND PROGRESS27th of October 2014
Demolition and excavation works up to Ringwood street are complete, and the concrete frame for the David Jones Department Store has reached Level 4, with the slab to the new town square due to complete in the coming weeks. The AU$ 575 million extension of Eastland is scheduled to open in time for Christmas 2015.
ACME BERLIN23rd of October 2014
As we are contemplating world domination, we have decided to look for office space in Berlin, please get in touch if you know of a lovely and central space around 200sqm
NEW LONDON OFFICE PROGRESS22nd of October 2014
We are moving to larger offices around the corner from our current home. The time we have to get the new home ready has been very limited, with three weeks from possession to completion, and while we hope to finish the basics like electricity, gas and water, some things will probable have to get completed once we're there.
KAUFHOF PFORZHEIM14th of October 2014
Construction of the new department store facade is progressing on schedule to complete in time for the Christmas season. The design interprets the original 1960's facade into a new metal curtain with varying degrees of openness. Transparency is created through simple cutting and folding processes utilising traditional Pforzheim jewellery techniques.
RAUMWELTEN10th of October 2014
Lecture - 24th of October 2014 Interior / Exterior Spaces are formed and defined by surfaces, by elements often described as walls, floors and ceilings. These elements create separation and subdivision, creating interior spaces separated from exterior, private spaces separate from public, light & warm spaces separate from dark & cold. Using a number of recent projects, we will illustrate a number of differing approaches can be explored to question the simplicity and quality of these defining surfaces. In contemporary architecture, the boundary between inside and outside, private and public, have solidified greatly when compared to historic typologies. It may be useful to question again our preconceptions of the depths of these surfaces, their materiality, their permeability and their relationship to movement between inside and outside, thus exploring new definitions of space that are more temporal, transitional and complex. 1:30pm, Academy of Performing Arts, Stage tower, Akademiehof 1, 71638 Ludwigsburg Stage tower, Akademiehof 1, 71638 Ludwigsburg
VICTORIA GATE TIME LAPSE7th of October 2014
Construction of the Victoria Gate Arcades has finally commenced.
LEEDS SOCIETY OF ARCHITECTS11th of September 2014
Lecture - 25th of September 2014 Eastgate to Victoria Gate - 2006 to 2016 Friedrich Ludewig and Catherine Hennessey will speak about the evolution of Leeds Eastgate from the initial masterplans of 2004 to the 2007 Eastgate scheme, the new ACME Masterplan from 2010 and the subsequent evolution of Phase 1 into Victoria Gate. Please reserve your ticket by contacting the Leeds Society of Architects. 6:00pm, Lecture Theatre A, Rose Bowl, Portland Crescent, Leeds
VICTORIA GATE DEMOLITION COMPLETED25th of July 2014
Demolition of the Eastgate Terrace building has been completed. The Site is now ready to commence construction works for the Victoria Gate Acades. We hope to get possession of the Milgarth police station, the last remaining part of the site, in the next two months to allow construction of the new carpark to start.
VICTORIA GATE DEMOLITION PROGRESS15th of July 2014
Demolition of the Eastgate Terrace building has been progressing at speed.
UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY SYDNEY11th of July 2014
Lecture - 14th of August 2014 Friedrich Ludewig will speak about a number of recent Australian and international projects of the office. Please join us if you are in town, entrance is free 6:30pm, Faculty of Design, Architecture & Building, 702-730 Harris Street, NSW 2007
STARNBERG COMPETITION WIN10th of July 2014
Steidle Architekten & ACME have won an invited competition in Starnberg for a new mixed use complex including a bus terminal, public space, retail and education buildings adjacent to Bahnhof Nord. The station plaza is transformed into a shared space and a new open roof links the plaza with bus terminal and the shopping areas.The scheme has found unanimous approval by the city council and a planning submission is expected in the first Quarter of 2015.
ACME WINS CHESTER NORTHGATE, AGAIN9th of July 2014
Procured under European Union regulations, ACME has been announced preferred bidder for the £300m Chester Northgate scheme. Our design team includes AKTII, Vogt, WSP, AECOM, Donald Insall, Oxford Archaeology & GL Hearn. The team will be charged with achieving planning determination for the vital mixed leisure and retail development by autumn next year.
Yesterday’s announcement is the first step in a programme that will see the completion of the multiplex-cinema, market hall, car park and food court by late autumn 2017 with the construction of the new retail centre in the following two years.
ACME completed the initial Northgate masterplan in 2013 and have extensive experience in urban regeneration, having worked on Victoria Gate Leeds, Watermark Southampton, Smithfield Birmingham, Sevenstone Sheffield, Bishopsgate Goodsyard London, Robina Town Centre in Queensland and Eastland Melbourne.
ACME project director Catherine Hennessy said: “Chester is a special place – we have greatly enjoyed working on the masterplan concept for Northgate with the city and its people over the last two years, and we think it is a privilege to be a part of the team that will see the Northgate scheme move forward from vision to reality.”
The Northgate Masterplan envisages the creation of a new retail & leisure quarter, anchored by a department store, a new market hall, a multi-screen cinema, and a new multi-storey car park for around 1,000 cars.
VICTORIA GATE DEMOLITION30th of June 2014
After decades of talking and planning by successions of architects, Victoria Gate is finally becoming real. The Union Street carpark has closed, Sir Robert McAlpine (SRM) have taken site possession, hoardings are up, demolition of the Eastgate Terrace building is progressing and piling has commenced for the Arcade. We hope to get possession of the Milgarth police station, the last remaining part of the site, in the next two months to allow construction of the new carpark to commence.
ACME WINS BERLIN BRIDGES COMPETITION27th of June 2014
ACME has won an international competition for the design of a pedestrian and cycling bridge in Berlin in collaboration with structural engineers AKT II. The jury awarded the first prize for our design of an elegant minimalist bridge spanning across the Berlin-Spandauer Schifffahrtskanal where the new urban quarter of the Europacity is currently under construction creating a new East-West link.
Our proposal for a second bridge was awarded the third prize in response to the brief for concept ideas for a pedestrian link. This is to be located south of the first bridge, linking the future arts campus with the Invalidenfriedhof.
ACME WINS NOVO RIGA COMPETITION26th of June 2014
ACME was chosen from a group of 6 international architectural practices as the winner for an invited international competition for the design of a 140,000 sqm mixed-use scheme in Moscow, Russia.
PLANNING APPROVAL FOR WWQ25th of June 2014
ACME has received Planning Approval for its ?70 million Watermark WestQuay development by Southampton City Council, forming Phase 1 of our consented masterplan for Watermark Westquay.
The leisure-led scheme was unanimously supported by councillors and will deliver a landmark 10 screen cinema, up to 20 restaurants and a major public plaza for the city. The design of Watermark WestQuay includes upper and lower promenades to mediate the level difference between the historic town and Western Esplanade, which will be lined with restaurants and cafes, with the leisure and cinema building set above.
The new public square located in front of the city's historic wall has been inspired by the waterfront which bounded the walls prior to the land being reclaimed at the beginning of the 20th century and includes a waterfeature. The plaza will be used during the year for events such as open air cinemas, concerts and the annual boat show.
Following approval of the application, works on site are expected to start on site later this autumn with Watermark WestQuay set to open in autumn 2016. The second phase of Watermark Westquay scheduled to include a hotel, a residential tower as well as leisure and office will be progressed to the next level if design concurrently.
Hammerson's Development Manager, Guy Wells, said: "This site offers a unique opportunity to deliver an exceptional leisure & dining destination for Southampton. We have been encouraged with the level of support we have received on the scheme from stakeholders and we have worked hard with the council to create a scheme which is already generating strong interest from potential occupiers."
ACME are the masterplanner & architect for Watermark WestQuay, working with AKTII for structure, Grant Associates for landscape and Barton Willmore as planning advisor.
PLANNING APPROVAL FOR MINORIES15th of June 2014
Our Minories proposals for a 380 bedroom Hilton Hotel, a 90 unit residential tower and an 18.000 sqm office building in London EC3 has been granted planning permission by the City of London Planning Committee. Councillors were hugely supportive of the scheme and the application was passed unanimously. The first phase of construction is scheduled to start later this year.
ROYAL ACADEMY 201413th of June 2014
The Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition has been held annually since 1769. Of the 12.000 works of painting, sculpture, photography and architecture entered this year, the SAB model was among those selected to be included in the 2014 Summer Exhibition, and will be on show from the 9th June to the 17th August at the Royal Academy of Arts on Piccadilly.
ACME SYDNEY2nd of May 2014
The ACME Sydney office has officially opened at 3 Hickson Road, The Rocks. The team will be sharing a beautiful 1885 building located in Sydney Harbour adjacent to the international cruise terminal. ACME Sydney will work closely with ACME London on Australian projects in Gold Coast, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, as well as looking at a number of opportunities in the wider region including China and India.
VICTORIA GATE CONSTRUCTION STARTED7th of April 2014
Leeds Victoria Gate has finally started construction.
The last business tenants of the existing buildings moved out or closed over the last few days, and Sir Robert McAlpine (SRM) has taken site possession this morning, with hoardings and the site office starting to go up today. Demolition is scheduled to commence in phases, concluded with the police station that will come down once the new station at Elland Road is operational.
MELBOURNE EASTLAND START26th of March 2014
A panoramic view of our Melbourne Eastland site this morning. Demolition is complete and piling as well as soil removal due to commence next week. The first phase of the $575 million extension of Eastland is scheduled to open in time for Christmas 2015.
ACME SOUTHAMPTON21st of March 2014
Lovely advertising work on the edge of our Southampton site for Watermark Westquay, noticed a little while ago. We would like to see it as an expression of the strong local support of the scheme we have had over the last weeks of consultation as we prepare for detailed planning submission due shortly.
Photo by James Clarke.
ACME PAPER V & VI HAVE ARRIVED18th of March 2014
ACME Paper V, containing work from 2011-12, and ACME Paper VI, focused on work from 2012-13, have finally left the printers in Hong Kong to make their way to London for stamping and numbering. Previews of the content have been added to the Paper section.
PLANNING APPROVAL FOR OAST HOUSE1st of March 2014
We are delighted that our Oast House in Kent has been granted planning permission by Maidstone Borough Council. Despite the recommendation for refusal by the officer, and following a heated discussion late into the evening, the application passed with 7 votes to 4. The majority of elected members felt that the Code Level 5 sustainable home represented a high quality design that would respect and enhance the relationship with neighbouring properties and contribute to Kent's rich rural built heritage.
The house is scheduled to be on site in early 2015.
DEPARTMENT STORE REFURBISHMENT GERMANY25th of February 2014
First glimpse of the mock up for our new department store refurbishment in a Golden City in Germany. The proposed design incorporates the main production methods currently employed in the local jewelery industry of the area, consisting of cutting, bending and pressing of elements from simple sheet metal. The proposal obtains its volumetric qualities and depth using elements of the typical guilloch? pattern making process. The resulting openness and reading of the building varies according to the spectators location and distance.
HAPPY 201420th of December 2013
ACME wishes you a very happy 2014!
MINORIES LONDON SUBMITTED2nd of December 2013
ACME has submitted a planning application for the Minories Redevelopment in the City of London for our client 4C Hotel Group. The development includes a 20,000 sqm office building, a 16,500 sqm Hampton by Hilton Hotel with 370 rooms, and an 8,000 sqm residential building. The scheme has at its heart a new landscaped park and a number of smaller urban squares.
EASTLAND MELBOURNE PLANS REVEALED4th of November 2013
Our proposals for Eastland Melbourne have finally been revealed to the public. ACME is responsible for the design of a new town square surrounded by commercial units and restaurants, a new David Jones department store, the public realm and a new central library for Ringwood as part of the $575 million extension of the Eastland Centre.
QIC Global Real Estate managing director Steven Leigh and Victorian Premier Denis Napthine celebrated the launch, having worked closely with the Victorian Government and Maroondah City Council. "The creation of a world-class town square with quality retailing, contemporary dining, as well as generous public space for an integrated mix of activities will re-energise Ringwood's urban centre," according to Steven Leigh. The first stage of work will take 18 months to two years and will be open in time for Christmas 2015.
VICTORIA GATE FACADE29th of October 2013
First glimpse of the mock-up of the brick fa?ade for the Victoria Gate Arcades: the outer brick cladding is a pleated skin responding to the rhythm and articulation of the Blomfield buildings on the Headrow and the adjacent Victoria Quarter.
ACME WINS LEIPZIG COMPETITION2nd of October 2013
ACME has won an international competition for the design of the new headquarters of the S?chsische AufbauBank (SAB) in Leipzig, Germany. Chosen from submissions by 20 architectural practices, ACME's design was referred to by the jury as "an innovative and [...] visionary solution, which is manifested in a striking, distinctive appearance. Especially noteworthy is the symbiotic unity of building and open space design." All submitted competition designs will be on display in Leipzig from 7 to 18 October 2013.
The Sachsische AufbauBank is the federal development bank of the state of Saxony, providing grants, subsidies, loans and guarantees to businesses, technology companies, investors, developers and homeowners. The SAB has a major presence in Dresden and is planning to build a new headquarters building in Leipzig to accommodate 600 members of staff, a conference centre, canteen and parking space, along with a major new public space. In previous centuries, the site was the location for the city?s stock exchange and tanning district. More recently, it was occupied by offices of the East German computer manufacturer Robotron. The site context provided a rather heterogeneous context, dominated by socialist apartment and hotel towers alongside 19th century grand hotels and late-20th century office blocks.
ACME's proposal for the SAB develops the traditional typology of a bank as an imposing institution representing stability, permanence and strength into a contemporary design for a bank of the 21st century. The traditional columns, acting as a transition between inside and outside, have been dissolved into a forest of supports carrying an overarching roof that covers the entirety of the site. Beneath this roof, a number of spaces are new public routes, and spaces are created like clearings in a forest, inviting inhabitation and passage. This open, partially green space recalls the site?s past as part of Leipzig?s pleasure gardens: acres of formal gardens with long, sweeping avenues, down which the city?s residents strolled together on balmy summer evenings in the 18th century. Some of the clearings will be occupied by landscaping, some by permanent artworks, while the largest open space provides amphitheatre seating and staging grounds for events.
The columns and roof provide a sense of visual and acoustic enclosure towards the adjacent highway and integrate shading and passive cooling functions for the office spaces. This allows the offices to be open and transparent towards the new public space, creating an efficient, yet loose array of stacked and overlapping office floor-plates to accommodate the many differing departments of the SAB.
Efficient shading and insulation in combination with activated exposed concrete surfaces and decentralised ventilation will create a simple, yet highly sustainable bank of the future ? and an important new public institution in the centre of Leipzig.
DEPARTMENT STORE HAMBURG1st of October 2013
Recently, ACME provided a schematic design for this existing five-level department store in the centre of Hamburg. The building is located on one of the busiest shopping streets which links the central railway station with the city?s main square. Built in the early 1960s, the existing store is an example of postwar modernist department stores in Germany, with its typical fa?ade of small ceramic modules forming the outer fa?ade layer which has now reached the end of its lifespan. The proposed new fa?ade is inspired by the city?s century-old brick tradition in general and in particular by the adjacent 1930s-era Kontorh?user, built in the style known as Brick Expressionism.
The facade plays with three-dimensional large-scale surfaces, lending the building a sculptural quality, as one?s perception varies according to distance and location. Different types of brick bonds are used to generate differentiated degrees of perforation and transparency, allowing the building to receive natural light during the day and to glow at night.
Using advances in building technology, the fa?ade is designed to be a self-stabilising 25m-tall brick wall with a fa?ade depth of one standard 9cm brick. The prefabricated glued contruction makes sole use of the standard brick format and will be assembled offsite by robots controlled by computer scripting. This will enable the fa?ade to be extremely economical and sustainable ? keeping the use of materials to an absolute minimum, reducing embodied energy and minimising construction energy and wastage.
PLANNING SUBMISSION FOR OAST HOUSE30th of September 2013
ACME has submitted a planning application for Oast, a new building in Kent's protected countryside.
Kent is characterised by rolling landscapes, apple orchards and oast houses, used to dry hops as part of the beer-brewing process. Oast has been designed as a 21st century interpretation of the formal language of Kentish architecture. A radial plan in which four towers are slightly pulled apart balances the requirement of external views with a form that reinterprets the oast typology. Smaller windows perforate the building?s conical form, and a central glazed connecting space houses the public living functions. This allows for 360-degree views of the surrounding countryside, whilst more private requirements such as bedrooms and service spaces occupy each tower. For landscaping, an orchard once present on the site is reinstated.
PLANNING APPROVAL FOR VICTORIA GATE26th of September 2013
ACME has received approval for its £130m Victoria Gate development by the Leeds City Council's plans panel.
The formal decision by councillors at Civic Hall marks an important next step towards construction work starting on the 37,000m? (Phase 1) of retail space in Spring 2014.
Phase 1 of the Victoria Gate Development for developer Hammerson is set to generate 2700 construction employment opportunities, as well as more than 1500 retail and hospitality jobs when it opens in Autumn 2016.
As well as housing more than 30 retailers, the development will anchor a 24,000m? flagship John Lewis store featuring a striking fa?ade that draws on Leeds? proud textile heritage. The John Lewis store will also link to the existing Victoria Quarter in an elegantly-designed two-street arcade and include a multi-storey car park for more than 800 cars.
Hammerson's Director of Retail Development, Robin Dobson, said: "The positive decision from Leeds City Council's plans panel is a major next step towards getting construction underway in the spring. We are fully committed to creating a retail development that will not only reaffirm Leeds' status as a top retail destination for luxury and aspirational brands in the UK, but will also add value to Leeds' local economy and community."
Leeds City Council executive member for the economy and development, Councillor Richard Lewis, said: "This approval in fantastic news for the city as Victoria Gate is going to provide a huge boost to the Leeds and wider city region economies. The scheme will help regenerate that area of the city centre and will complement the well-established Victoria Quarter and the brand-new Trinity Leeds to further enhance the exceptional retail offer in the city. Victoria Gate will also mean the creation of hundreds of new jobs to help local people, and I look forward to seeing work get underway on site in the coming months to bring this development to reality."
ACME achieved outline planning consent in July 2011 and submitted detailed designs to the council in July 2013. The designs have received overwhelmingly positive feedback during the consultation process and were also recommended for approval following the determination report submitted to the council.
GREEN LIGHT FOR NORTHGATE SCHEME11th of September 2013
The battle to reverse Chester's decline as a top retail centre has begun, with the go-ahead for the £300m Northgate Scheme.
At a special meeting, Cheshire West and Chester Council has unanimously backed ACME's plans for the redevelopment of an iconic retail and leisure development in the historic city centre. Members agreed to approve the finance to get concept plans to the planning application stage by Spring 2015. They had considered a report from CACI ? the London-based specialist consumer and retail research company ? warning that, in terms of cash spend per head of the population, the city had dropped from 27th out of 4000 retail centres in 2006 to 59th in 2012. Councillor Les Ford, Executive Member for Resources said: "The evidence is clear ? 'develop or decline'. We have no alternative."
The Northgate Development Concept scheme includes:
· A vibrant new leisure square adjacent to the new theatre and library complex, a replacement market and an eight-screen cinema, complementing the 120-seat cinema.
· 375,240 sq ft of retail floor space ? including an anchor department store ? 51 standard unit stores; two kiosks and five Major Store Units; a small food store of 6555 sq ft; and 79,233 sq ft of food and beverage units.
· Parking is proposed both underground and in a multi-storey car park. The total number of spaces is 954, which include replacement, new and upgraded parking spaces.
· Direct public transport access into the site with three bus lay-bys for dropping off/picking up adjacent to a new market hall.
Chester Councillor Samantha Dixon, a member of the all-party Northgate Working Group, said: "Chester is the retail engine that needs to carry the rest of the Borough. I believe we should be using public sector funding to enable development on this scale. We should do this because it will create jobs, thousands of them for the teenagers currently sitting in our local schools. It will bring revenue to the Council in business rates and vitality back for our local retailer."
PLANNING APPROVAL FOR WATERMARK WESTQUAY23rd of July 2013
ACME's design for Watermark WestQuay (WWQ) has received outline planning consent from Southampton City Council.
The 88,500m? mixed-use leisure-led scheme will create approximately 2000 jobs and will transform the currently underused area in the city centre adjacent to the existing Watermark WestQuay Shopping Centre, most of which has been derelict for years.
The scheme was developed by ACME over a number of years and will be delivered in two phases, with the first phase comprising a 15-screen cinema and up to 15 restaurants, along with a new public plaza in front of the city's historic town walls and extensive public realm along this historic monument. The second phase of the £70m scheme is planned to include a residential tower, a hotel, flexible office space, restaurants, additional public space and gardens.
ACME's proposal aspires to mend the dysfunctional urban fabric and lack of access by bridging the existing level difference between the Old Town and the site by introducing two sloped promenades leading onto the new plaza. Promoting activity through a strategic mix of uses, WWQ will introduce direct pedestrian routes from the Old Town to WWQ and beyond to Harbour Parade and the waterfront. The new plaza will be framed by restaurants along the promenades, providing views of the town walls.
Guy Wells, Development Manager for Hammerson, said: "The site offers a unique opportunity to transform a redundant brownfield site and will ensure that Southampton continues to provide residents and visitors with a fantastic retail and leisure offer in the city centre. We have been extremely encouraged by the support we have received during the planning process and ? following the determination of the application ? we will now begin work on our detailed designs for the first phase."
VICTORIA GATE PUBLIC CONSULTATION17th of April 2013
Our design for Victoria Gate and the John Lewis Store in Leeds is being presented to the public ahead of a planning application to be submitted mid May 2013. Acme and the design team will be delighted to answer questions about the scheme at the stand in Victoria Quarter from the 17th to the 20th of April 2013.
ACME has designed the three buildings comprising the first phase of Victoria Gate. The cente of the scheme is a flagship John Lewis store, with a terracotta facade inspired by Leeds' textile heritage. The Victoria Gate arcade will link Victoria Quarter to the John Lewis store with stores, restaurants, cafes and leisure space. The eastern part of the site will be occupied by a multi-storey car park for up to 800 cars clad in a twisted metal skin. Victoria Gate will regenerate a part of Leeds city centre currently used mostly for surface parking, and deliver up to 1,500 retail and hospitality jobs and 6,000 employment opportunities.
ACME have worked to the brief of creating a 21st century arcade which adds to Leeds' rich arcade and textile history. Taking inspiration from the prevailing buildings in the city context, the designs re-interprets a mixture of traditional Leeds materials like white terracotta and red bricks in a contemporary manner.
A few more images can be found here:
080 JLP Store
089 Victoria Gate Arcades
099 Multi Storey Car Parking
ACME ISO 9001-CERTIFIED8th of April 2013
ACME is pleased to announce that our quality management systems have been assessed and approved to ISO 9001:2008 standards and guidelines. ISO 9001:2008 is the internationally recognised standard for an organisation?s quality management systems and procedures.
BEIRUT OPENING4th of April 2013
Beirut City Centre in Hazmieh was opened yesterday and had its first 50,000 visitors through the doors within a few hours. We are very excited to see the rooflight completed together with the majority of the 200 shops over three levels. We are looking forward to the opening of the top floor and the outside restaurants and terrace next month which will allow visitors to get a bit closer to the steel fins and enjoy the view from the top.
THE NEW EASTGATE QUARTERS1st of March 2013
ACME has won an invited international competition to design Harewood Quarter, the first phase of the new Eastgate development in Leeds. A detailed planning application for the £130m scheme would be submitted in June with a start on site in 2014 and a launch two years later.
ACME created the revised outline masterplan for the scheme and following a design competition involving leading national, international and Leeds-based architects, it was appointed to design the first phase, which includes the John Lewis anchor store.
ACME have designed cultural, commercial, residential and retail projects including Northgate Chester, Eastland Melbourne, Beirut City Centre, Saturn Hamburg and Hammerson's John Lewis department store and cinema complex in Leicester.
Joe Swindells, Hammerson project director for Eastgate Quarters, said: "While the great architecture of Victoria Quarter will be hard to recreate, we want the first phase of Eastgate Quarters to complement its heritage but with a modern twist. It will be a big challenge to achieve this but we're more than confident that the team at ACME can create a new landmark within the city." The masterplan introduces a direct pedestrian route from the Victoria Quarter to the new retail stores in the first phase, which will comprise up to 30 retail units for "aspirational" brands, restaurants, additional leisure space and a 600-space multi-storey car park.
ACME won the first JLP competition in Leeds five years ago, and we are delighted that many years of intensive work on the Eastgate masterplan have finally allowed the scheme to progress to the next stage. We're very proud to be creating a new 21st century landmark for Leeds, inspired by the architectural heritage of the city.
The Victoria Quarter is one of the great places of retail architecture in the UK and an outstanding neighbour to have alongside the first phase. We look forward to sharing initial proposals for the next generation of Leeds' retail architecture with residents and retailers in the coming months.
Hammerson & ACME have started the initial detailed design work and stakeholders will be able to view the proposed designs at a public exhibition later this spring. A detailed planning application will then be submitted and subject to achieving planning approval, construction works will start in Spring 2014.
Councillor Keith Wakefield, leader of Leeds City Council, said: "This announcement marks the first major milestone in what will be actual proposals for building work to begin on Eastgate. I am absolutely delighted that we have achieved this and that Leeds is forging forward as a city, despite the obvious economic challenges.
OXFORD COMPETITION17th of January 2013
ACME has submitted its entry for an invited competition for a commercial building in Oxford, creating a building with stepped corners and a reconstituted stone skin with varying densities of sculptural expression, articulation and transparency to react to the context and interior use.
BCC PROGRESS14th of January 2013
Our Rooflight for Beirut City Centre is finally complete, including the curved central feature which proved quite a challenge to the local contractor. Most of the tenant fit-out is in progress with a target opening date of 4th of April 2013.
HAPPY 201321st of December 2012
ACME wishes you a very happy 2013!
JLP LEEDS WON AGAIN11th of December 2012
ACME have won the second design competition for the new John Lewis Department store in Leeds.
We were initially invited to a design competition in Dec 2007 competing against a shortlist comprising Kengo Kuma, Carmody Groarke and Jacobs, and ACME were announced as winners of that competition in 2008 but could not progress the scheme beyond Concept stage as Eastgate Quarters went on hold in late 2008.
Between 2010 and 2012, we managed to revise the Eastgate masterplan and Leeds City Council granted outline consent for the new scheme, enabling the new Eastgate scheme to recommence.
ACME was invited again to a shortlisted competition for the JLP store in Leeds in 2012. The building had shifted to a new site in our new masterplan, with new massing, new neighbours, new internal requirements and very different context. Consequently, our winning submission to the second competition differs widely from our 2008 design. The full design will be unveiled in April 2013 as part of the pre-planning public consultation. A full planning application is targeted for Summer 2013.
PUBLIC CONSULTATION NORTHGATE21st of November 2012
The Public Consultation for our Northgate Chester masterplan has opened on the 26th of November and will run until the 11th of January 2013. An exhibition takes the visitors through the new concept for Northgate whilst a physical model of the scheme can be explored and views can be discussed, and leaflets have been distributed widely to invite comments.
CWaC Council announced: "The new Concept for Northgate will underpin the city's future. Chester will become a flagship shopping & leisure destination, meaning more jobs as well as a long-term economic boost. A cross-party working group has been set up by Cheshire West and Chester Council to drive forward these plans which have been drawn up by ACME."
ACME IS HIRING7th of November 2012
ACME is looking for exceptional, enthusiastic individuals to join its team of architects.
There are opportunities within diverse projects for both architectural assistants (Part II with 1-2 years experience) & qualified architects (5+ years post qualification) with a strong track record in cultural, retail, affordable housing or education buildings. Required are Excellent design skills, Interest in experimentation and design challenges, Proven construction detailing, Expertise in Rhino and Autocad, Excellent rendering skills (ie. 3d max - vray), Fluent in spoken and written English. Expertise in Revit would be a plus. Please post CV, examples of work and cover letter either digitally (pdf, max 6 MB) to firstname.lastname@example.org or preferably as hard paper copy to ACME HR, 2-6 New North Place London, EC2A 4JA United Kingdom.
ACME is an equal opportunities employer.
COUNCIL TO UNVEIL NORTHGATE MASTERPLAN31st of October 2012
Cheshire West and Chester Council's exciting masterplan for the vital Northgate Development project will be unveiled next Wednesday, 7 November 2012.
Critical to the future economic success of Chester, this will create around 1,600 permanent jobs, plus construction posts; an annual increased spend of £143m and additional rates of around £8m. Councillor Herbert Manley, Executive Member for Regeneration, said: "In January the Council made a clear commitment to Northgate as the key to the future of Chester and we are determined to move forward with the scheme. "I believe our masterplan has the potential to provide a major boost to the regeneration of Chester and to establishing the city as national and regional leisure and visitor destination." Next Wednesday, members of the executive will consider the result of the Councils pledge to produce its own master plan to safeguard the city's future. If accepted, it will form the basis of a comprehensive program of consultation and public engagement, resulting in a report back to Executive early next year.
The scheme includes a significant range of new retail units, together with an increased leisure offer, including a large number of restaurants, cafes etc and a multi-screen cinema. Replacement of the ground level market at a key location for customers arriving by car, bus or on foot, closely linked to the new theatre/library, restaurants and the cinema. New and refurbished car parking for circa 1000 cars. A new open setting for the refurbished Town Hall, together with new 'courtyard' open spaces within the scheme and a comprehensive approach to the re-design and use of Town Hall Square. And a return to the former street pattern of the Northgate area; improved linkages to the rest of the City ? particularly though the redevelopment of 14/20 Watergate Street ? and a scale of development in keeping with the city.
The new concept has been produced by a top design team supported by a Member Working Group drawn equally from both major political parties and chaired by Councillor Les Ford, Deputy Leader of the Council. The design team comprises: ACME, scheme architects; Davis Langdon, cost consultants; WSP, covering transport, archaeology and structures; and DTZ providing commercial support.
GLOBAL DESIGN NYU EXHIBITION15th of October 2012
Acme was invited to exhibit at the Global Design NYU Exhibition in London. The exhibition will explore the question: How can designers and architects ensure that global solutions do not come at the expense of local traditions, cultures and environments? The London event follows the inaugural Elsewhere Envisioned exhibition, which took place in May, 2011 in the Jerry H. Labowitz Theatre for the Performing Arts and the Gallatin Galleries and featured projects by some 25 designers and architects addressing the problem of global warming.
The exhibition is running from 20 september until 19 October 2012.
BEIRUT CITY CENTRE PROGRESS15th of August 2012
The curved steel fins are being intalled in the central main hall of the Beirut City Centre Rooflight in Hamieh!!
5 YEAR ANNIVERSARY ACME21st of July 2012
ACME has celebrated its 5th Anniversary!! We had the pleasure to inaugurate our new office space & celebrate our anniversary with friends, colleagues & clients!! Thanks to all who joined for making this a wonderful celebration!
BCC PROGRESS25th of May 2012
The steel fins in the central walkway are up!
ACME HAS MOVED15th of March 2012
We have moved!!
Our new address is 2-6 New North Place, EC2A 4JA, London - UK
ACME BOXES ARRIVE IN QATAR31st of January 2012
Our largest architecture model to date, packaged in 30 boxes, has arrived via Qatar Airways in Doha, ready for assembly and presentation in a purpose-build presentation tent. We'd hope to be able share a few more details and to show a few model photos once the competition is concluded in the coming months.
HAPPY 201221st of December 2011
CURTAIN ROAD DEMOLITION PARTY29th of October 2011
No. 2-6 Curtain Road, the ACME office for the last four years, will finally succumb to the long-feared demolition contractor, necessitating an office move and Demolition Party in the old premises. ENDOFTHELINE provided the special visual backdrop and the British Council sponsored the UV lighting for the night. We're sad to leave but happy to have given 2-6 Curtain Road an appropriate send-off.
BCC PROGRESS7th of October 2011
The first 12 steel fins have been installed for the Beirut City Centre rooflight in Hazmieh. Currently without any of the opaque soffit panels but giving a good first impression of scale. These fins are part of the lower middle section, spanning 16m from the wall to the restaurant side.
THE REAL FIGHT CLUB5th of October 2011
Concept design has been completed and detailed design work commenced on The Real Fight Club in Worship Street, London EC2. Construction is due to commence in November 2011, with a planned opening in early February 2012. The 500sqm space will consist of a mirrored basement hall with boxing rings and a padded ground floor entrance reception. This new Fightclub will house the boxers displaced by the demolition of the adjacent old Fightclub in 2-6 Curtain Road.
LEEDS EASTGATE QUARTERS WINS PLANNING CONSENT8th of July 2011
Leeds City Council's City Centre Plans Panel has resolved to grant consent for Hammerson's proposal for the regeneration of Eastgate Quarters.
The 92,900m? (1,000,000ft?) retail-led scheme will create approximately 4,000 retail and leisure jobs and will transform the site north-east of Leeds city centre, most of which has been empty for the past four decades.
Eastgate Quarters will make provision for two of the UK's largest names in retailing, John Lewis and Marks & Spencer, alongside 130 new retail and restaurants units.
The scheme, designed by ACME, includes major changes such as a new civic square and the pedestrianisation of all the streets within Eastgate Quarters. The £600 million scheme also includes the restoration of historic buildings, a two level shopping arcade which will complement Leeds' rich architectural heritage, refurbished offices and the largest shopper car park in the city with around 2,500 spaces.
Commenting on the decision Andrew Hilston, Project Director for Eastgate Quarters said: "I am delighted with the positive decision from Leeds City Council. Hammerson has been working hard over the past few years to develop the best possible scheme to put Leeds firmly on the retail map. The scheme will create thousands of jobs, boosting the local economy, and will strengthen Leeds' status as a leading European city destination."
Adding his thoughts, Jeremy Collins, Property Director for John Lewis said: "We welcome the news that Hammerson has been granted planning permission for Eastgate Quarters, which will bring John Lewis one step closer to having a retail presence in Leeds. We firmly believe the development will successfully regenerate the area and lift the city to a new level in the hierarchy of UK shopping destinations."
LEEDS LOW CARBON ENERGY CENTRE WINS DETAILED CONSENT7th of July 2011
Leeds City Council's City Centre Plans Panel has resolved to grant full planning consent for a low-carbon energy centre adjacent to the new Eastgate Quarters development by Hammerson.
The scheme, designed by ACME, will provide heating, cooling and electricity required by the development, with the opportunity to also support neighbouring homes and businesses.
BEIRUT RAMP LIGHTS INSTALLATION30th of June 2011
The first lighting mock-up of the car parking ramps in Beirut has been completed. Taking inspiration from Dan Flavin's work with light and space, the concept uses simple coloured fluorescents on back-painted coloured walls to indicate the upper and lower ramps to the three underground parking levels. This method aims to enhance the driving experience with little additional expenditure.
WEBSITE26th of May 2011
The new ACME website is finally up and running, replacing the rather cumbersome site that we threw together in a matter of days in 2007. The new site is meant to be an improvement for our visitors and for us, making it easily update-able by everyone in the office, intuitive to navigate, readable and searchable on all kinds of devices and with more content than the rather bare-bones site of old. Thanks to all the people in the office who helped as well as LOOM for the coding.
BEIRUT CITY CENTRE PROGRESS20th of May 2011
Concrete works are progressing on site in Beirut and the third level of the retail circuit is well in progress, leaving only one more floor slab to come before construction of the rooflight can commence in August/ September of this year.
LCEC PLANNING27th of March 2011
Following on the heels of the Leeds Eastgate Outline Planning submission, the Detailed Application for the Low Carbon Energy Centre adjacent to the Eastgate scheme has been submitted yesterday to Leeds City Council. The scheme will provide heating, cooling and electricity required by the development and possibly neighbouring homes and businesses. and we hope that the scheme receives planning in July of this year.
EASTGATE PLANNING10th of March 2011
Our Masterplan for Leeds Eastgate has finally been submitted to Leeds City Council for Outline Planning.
From the Hammerson Press Release:
HAMMERSON SUBMITS APPLICTION FOR LARGEST REGENERTION SCHEME IN LEEDS
Hammerson has submitted an outline planning application to Leeds City Council for its 100,000m? retail led, mixed used regeneration scheme. Over the past two years the consented regeneration scheme has been fully reviewed and the new proposal better suits current retailer requirements and improves connectivity with neighbouring parts of the city. The £600million scheme will transform the 6.9 hectare Brownfield site, most of which has been empty for the past four decades, creating a new focus for the North East of the city centre and delivering in the region of 4,000 new jobs.
Designed by ACME, the revised proposals feature a two level shopping arcade, complementing Leeds? rich architectural heritage; a new civic square; the restoration of historic buildings; the largest shopper car park in the city with around 2,500 spaces; refurbished offices, and the pedestrianisation of all the streets within the scheme including Eastgate.
Eastgate Quarters will have in the region of 130 new stores, creating space for top end high street retailers, international and independent brands and an extensive catering offer. The scheme will be anchored by a flagship John Lewis and Marks & Spencer.
MANSER MEDAL12th of November 2010
Hunsett Mill on the Norfolk Broads by ACME has scooped the Royal Institute of British Architects' (RIBA) prestigious Manser Medal 2010 for the best new house in the UK. The presentation of the award took place at a ceremony at the RIBA last night, at which we received a prize of £10,000 and a new specially commissioned trophy designed by artist Petr Wiegl from presenter, designer, author and host Kevin McCloud.
From the RIBA press release:
Acme has won the award for its arresting extension to Hunsett Mill, a nineteenth century Grade 2 listed mill keepers house on the Norfolk Broads. Building a major extension that more than doubled the size of the original house on a uniquely picturesque site was challenging. Acme created an extension in the form of a shadow of the original house, which the judges describe as "more akin to a piece of art than a piece of rural, domestic architecture."
THE TIMES: THE NEW GENERATION OF ARCHITECTS4th of October 2010
We are very honoured to be included in Tom Dyckhoffs article on The New Generation Of Architects in The Times, where ACME are joining an illustrious line-up including Nord, Carmody Groarke, DSDHA & dRMM.
from the article:
"ACME: Goodness this lot are ambitious. I haven't seen a firm of young architects so adept at marrying experimental shapes with commercial nous for yonks. Acme has been going three years and already is working on massive projects in Bahrain, Damascus, Beirut and, er, Swansea.
How come? Experience. Friedrich Ludewig, its co-founder, cut his teeth at Foreign Office Architects, managing projects such as the Highcross shopping centre in Leicester, with its lacy, filigree fa?ade, before setting up Acme with Stefano Dal Piva in 2007.
This love of the "skin" of a building, spun like fabric into decorative patterns then twisted into all manner of forms, seems to be Acme?s forte. Its first completed project, Hunsett Mill, a holiday home in the Norfolk Broads, won a RIBA award this year and is up for the Manser Medal for Britain's best new house. It's stunningly confident for a first project: tripling the size of a 19th-century miller's cottage with a "shadow" of charred timber, folded, like origami, into angular shapes both modern yet, evoking the area's timber barns, traditional and cosy. Its next big British project is masterplanning and designing a chunk of central Leeds for the Eastgate development, stalled for a couple of years, but now back from the dead."
Photography Jon Enoch
HUNSETT MILL RIBA AWARD8th of July 2010
Hunsett Mill has won an RIBA Award and been shortlisted for the Stirling Prize, the Stephen Lawrence Prize and the Manser Medal.
LUSAIL SOUK BRIDGES2nd of February 2010
ACME has been invited to a shortlisted competition for two Souk bridges in Lusail, Qatar, by Qatari Diar.
BEIRUT CITY CENTRE1st of February 2010
ACME has been selected as architectural designers for the rooflight of the Beirut City Centre shopping mall in Lebanon.
DAMASCUS VISITOR GALLERY14th of January 2010
ACME has won an invited competition for a Visitor Gallery in Damascus, Syria, to be constructed in 2011 as the first building of the Sabboura Masterplan.
LEEDS EASTGATE6th of December 2009
ACME has been selected as Masterplanners for the £600m Leeds Eastgate Development by Hammerson. ACME will work with the wider team of consultants and Leeds City Council to create a vibrant new mixed use city quarter, with 100.000spm of new retail arcades, department stores, cafes and restaurants around a new civic square, with a new Outline Planning Application to be submitted in early 2011.
RIHD BAHRAIN25th of October 2009
ACME has won an invited competition for the Royal Institute of Human Development, to be built in the Court of the Crown Prince in Riffa, Bahrain.
SWANSEA HISTORIC CENTRE21st of August 2009
ACME has been commissioned by Coastal Housing Group to design a number of buildings in the historic city centre of Swansea, Wales.
WEILBURG 1ST PRIZE4th of March 2009
ACME has won the first prize from the voting public and the second prize from the professional jury in a shortlisted competition for the Rathausterrassen proposal in Weilburg, Germany. The city administration has declared that it will commence talks with investors based on the ACME proposal, with a view to take the scheme forward to planning submission in the next 12 month.
ISA TOWN BAHRAIN27th of February 2009
ACME has completed its review of Isa Town City Centre, Bahrain for Majid Al Futtaim Properties L.L.C.
RHINE BRIDGE15th of January 2009
ACME has been shortlisted with Buro Happold and Vogt Landschaftsarchitetckten for a competition to design a new bridge across the Rhine in the UNESCO World Heritage Rhine valley close to Koblenz, Germany.
UN MEMORIAL5th of January 2009
ACME has been shortlisted with Yooshin architects & engineers and Handam architects for a competition to design the UN Memorial in Choongjoo City, Korea.
ACME SHORTLISTED FOR RIHD18th of December 2008
ACME has been shortlisted for a competition to design the Royal Institute of Human Development in Riffa to form part of the Court of His Highness the Crown Prince of Bahrain.
GREAT MALL DUBAI14th of November 2008
ACME has been invited to work with Mindfolio on a strategic masterplan vivion for the Great Mall of Dubai located in International City, UAE for developer, Nakheel.
BRISTOL CASTLE PARK4th of July 2008
ACME has won an invited competition to design an 800sqm public building at the corner of Castle Park in Bristol. The building will form part of the Cabot Circus development by Land Securities and Hammerson.
PARC TAWE SWANSEA27th of May 2008
ACME has been shortlisted for an invited competition for Parc Tawe in Swansea, comprising options for an Innovation Campus for Swansea University, a green park and public square as well as a supermarket, caf?s and a large underground car park.
KAUFHOF DEPARTMENT STORE16th of May 2008
ACME has been shortlisted as one of two offices for the final phase of an invited international competition for a Kaufhof department store in the Ruhrgebiet/ Germany for Metro Asset Management (Dusseldorf).
ACME JOINS LDA PANEL9th of May 2008
ACME has been selected by the London Development Agency (LDA) as one of 26 practices appointed to the Architecture, Landscape and Urban Design Framework Panel.
JOHN LEWIS LEEDS23rd of January 2008
ACME has won an invited competition to design the new John Lewis department store in Eastgate/ Leeds. The John Lewis Store will be part of a wider masterplan with neighbouring buildings by McAslan, Thomas Heatherwick and the Jerde Partnership. Work is scheduled to commence towards a planning application submittal in 2010 with an anticipated start on site in 2011.
SEVENSTONE SHEFFIELD17th of January 2008
ACME has been commissioned to design an open roof cover to New Burgess Street as part of the Sevenstone project in Sheffield.
STRATEGIC MASTERPLAN IN ALABAMA21st of November 2007
ACME has been invited to work with Mindfolio on a strategic masterplan vision for the next expansion phases of The Summit in Birmingham, Alabama.
KAUFHOF DEPARTMENT STORE14th of November 2007
ACME has been shortlisted for an invited competition to design an extension and new exterior cladding for a Kaufhof department store in the Ruhrgebiet/, Germany for Metro Group Asset Management (Dusseldorf).
HUNSETT MILL PROGRESS12th of November 2007
Works have started on the enlarged Flood Defences around Hunsett Mill, Norfolk to enlarge the site area and form the raised land levels on which the new house extension shall be built in 2008.
BLOCK 2 SEVENSTONE QUARTER27th of September 2007
ACME has been appointed for Block 2 of the Sevenstone Quarter in Sheffield, UK by the developer Hammerson PLC. The project occupies the most visible plot of the development and will form the new visual gateway into Sevenstone when completed in 2013. Construction work for the first blocks is intended to commence in 2008, with Block 2 scheduled to start on site in 2011.
BISHOPSGATE GOODSYARD10th of August 2007
ACME has been invited to work with Mindfolio on a strategic masterplan and retail vision for Bishopsgate Goodsyard and Bishops Place/ London by Ballymore/ Hammerson PLC.