MELBOURNE COUNCIL HQ

11th of May 2020

The new Council HQ in Melbourne is nearing completion. Our Library for Maroondah Council opened in 2016 on the new Eastland Town Square. Since then, we have worked with QIC on the next phases of the masterplan. 2018 saw the opening of our Sage Hotel, built over the retail and parking structures completed two years earlier. The next phase is the new Council Headquarter in Ringwood/Maroondah, constructed above the David Jones department store.
Maroondah Council needed a new council building that moved them closer to Realm, the new library, and the Council's constituents. The new office building is designed as a lightweight volume floating above the department store, linked with a bridge to the library. Angled timber fins provide shading to the glazed facades and ensure that the building achieves 5 Green Star rating for its highly sustainable features.
The concept design is by ACME for QIC, while Peddle Thorp has been appointed as Executive Architect from the Maroondah Council.
The building is due for completion in June 2020.


SWANSEA ARENA RISING

29th of April 2020

The erection of the steel frame for Swansea’s new 3,500 capacity Arena is gathering pace. Located between the marina and the city centre, the building will form the centrepiece of the Council's city centre regeneration. The assembly of the Arena structure should complete by July 2020 and will reach a height of 24 metres.
The steel frame work is being undertaken in innovative ways, to ensure safe, social distancing measures are adhered to. Each of these measures helps keep numbers down at any one time in any location on site, whilst allowing the work to continue to help protect Swansea’s future. Swansea Council leader Rob Stewart said: “The arena scheme is a transformational regeneration project that’s key to delivering a 21s tCentury Swansea. Once the crisis is over we will all be able to enjoy it."


ACME AUTOPILOT

21st of April 2020

The ACME London and Berlin offices might look deserted, but are magically alive and well, while everyone is safely at home. We continue to work at full capacity, with staff connecting to their office computers from their living room, balcony and garden.
We have quickly adapted to our regular meetings moving online. Some parts of communication take a bit more effort, some parts are getting a bit easier. We would not have imagined this four weeks ago, but the exchange of information, the sharing of knowledge and a drink together after work can function surprisingly well from home. We are certainly learning new ways of working, and it will change our thinking about work and collaboration long after this virus has passed.
We are grateful for the continuing support from you, our friends, clients and partners as we get through the coming weeks and months, distant in some ways, close in others.


TABERNACLE EXPANSION

17th of April 2020

ACME London is expanding. We moved into Tabernacle Street 5 years ago, occupying the ground and first floor of the building. Our landlord has managed to vacate the other floors over the last few years, and we have signed a new lease to take over the whole five floors of the building.
In mid February, we have started refurbishment works, stripping the floors back, demolishing 1960s toilets and polishing the concrete floors. We intend to use some of the new floors ourselves and invite a number of friends to join us. 
The long-term plan is to create a community building with a flower shop and lunchtime restaurant on the ground floor, a tequila bar and furniture workshop in the basement, hairdresser on the second floor, and a rooftop garden and terrace. While all ACME staff have been working from home over the last weeks, the contractor has worked with a reduced team to finish some of the most noisy and disruptive building works, and we remain on target to finish the works in time for a proper summer party with friends and family, once we're all allowed out again.


SAB LEIPZIG - CONCRETE STAIRS

2nd of April 2020

Oval staircases will link the floors at the SAB Bank HQ. The stair design was guided by a desire for lightness and openness. The steps smoothly emerge from a supporting wall, to create the impression that the staircase is floating.  The construction of the staircase was a technical challenge due to the complex shape and the curvature of the soffit. To replicate the geometry, Doka opted to 3d-printing the most complex part of the formwork on the basis of a detailed 3D CAD model developed and provided by ACME. Using Powder Binder Jetting Printers, the elements of the formwork were produced with a gauge of 21mm in thin layers of sand and resin. The precision printed formwork allowed assembly on the site within hours. This was the first time that 3d printing for formwork had been used at scale in a commercial project in Germany. Using this innovative process enabled the construction team to save time and to obtain a smooth and seamless concrete mould and showed ways how complex geometry can be delivered cost effectively on site.
Image credits: DOKA


PLANNING FOR VICTORIA GATE HOTEL IN LEEDS

12th of February 2020

We are delighted that the Leeds City Council plans panel has approved Hammerson’s plans for the Victoria Gate Hotel.
Located opposite the newly refurbished Leeds Playhouse, the 15-floor hotel will include 205 rooms, a restaurant, bar, conference facilities, and a gym. Hammerson and ACME have worked over the last decade to start the transformation of this part of the city centre, including the opening of Victoria Gate in 2016, creating new links between existing commercial and cultural uses such as the newly refurbished Leeds Playhouse.
The hotel expands the existing Victoria Gate family of buildings with a tower expressed with a dia-grid facade, with windows of varying dimensions arranged to create a pixelated diamond pattern. The tower meets the ground with three-dimensional terracotta tiles while the restaurant will be glass volume to creating a visual connection between the dining space and the playhouse.

 


COUNCIL HQ CONSTRUCTION IN EASTLAND

11th of February 2020

Construction has begun in Eastland/ Melbourne for our new office building for Maroondah Council. Sitting above the David Jones department store that we completed in 2016, the new council offices will support Realm, the library and Arts Centre on the town square and allow the council to move more of its core functions closer to the community. The new office building on the podium joins the Sage Hotel that we completed in 2019, and is a further step in QIC's transformation of Eastland Centre into a truly mixed-use development.


SWANSEA BRIDGE UNVEILED

7th of February 2020

The final design of Swansea footbridge across Oystermouth Road has been unveiled. The new structure will seamlessly connect the city centre with Swansea Arena and the Marina, and will become a stepping stone to connect to the beach.
The design of the bridge by Ney and Partners and ACME is intended to celebrate the city through the form and appearance of the bridge.
The pattern on the side panels is inspired by an abstracted silhouette of swans, the result of a close collaboration with the Wales-based artist Marc Rees.
The selected colour and lighting acknowledges the historical link Swansea has to the local copper industry and the feature lighting will be timed to be in synch with the digital facade of Swansea Arena.


FOLKESTONE HARBOUR WINS LANDSCAPE INSTITUTE AWARD

4th of February 2020

Folkestone Harbour has won the Landscape Institute Awards 2019 for Best Heritage and Culture project.

The Harbour Arm, the Harbour station, the swing bridge and the railway viaduct remained in the town centre following the closure of the line.
ACME and Macfarlane & Associates have used these remnants to create a new pedestrian route utilizing the remaining rail tracks and points, to connect the town centre to the Harbour Arm. 

The shingle beach is the habitat of a number of plants like sea kale, and a team of volunteers have worked over the years to create further community gardens in the harbour station. Plants from these gardens have been incorporated into the planting of the station and harbour viaduct, to create sustainable coastal gardens suited to the harsh coastal environment.
Image courtesy - Macfarlane & Associates


AJ SPECIFICATION AWARDS JUDGING

28th of January 2020

Catherine Hennessy will be on the Judges for the AJ Specification Awards for the second year running. The Awards recognise completed projects that successfully combine products with design and fruitful collaborations between architects and product suppliers/manufacturers.
The winners will be announced during the awards ceremony which will be taking place on Wednesday 25th March at FORA, Spitalfields. 


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