It’s been a busy few weeks at Reid Brewin Architects HQ – with plenty of visits to site, the return of a handful of faces to our London and Paris studios, and a number of CPD sessions with our friends across the world of building, construction, and design. So, without further ado, here’s a little look at some of the highlights…
At RBA, we’re always looking for interesting opportunities within our projects – and we aren’t afraid to push the envelope when it comes to design.
This recently-completed data centre project in central Paris needed to tick the sustainability box, so we transformed the otherwise-empty rooftop into a landscaped garden which is partially-accessible by the local community.
CPD session: Flowcrete
Our April learnings commenced with a session hosted by Flowcrete, where we looked at resin, screed, underfloor heating, and insulation.
To kick off, we considered the various types of screeds and the best-practice when it comes to laying the flooring, as well as the surface regularity and ‘drop hammer’ tests which seek to establish the integrity of the product – the latter being the British standard.
The session also covered the causes of delamination of resin and vinyl, how to avoid such failures, and best practice when it comes to deciding which product to use. Forewarned is forearmed, and we’re looking to putting everything we’ve learnt into practise on our next project.
CPD session: Going Through The Roof with Nicholson
A few weeks later, we joined Tom Tuffin from Nicholson roof products to find out a little more about some of the issues surrounding roof level service penetrations – including the key considerations relating to maintaining the integrity of the all-important weathering layer where ducts, pipes and cables exit the riser on to the roof.
The team gathered to examine the various methods and protocols that are essential for the effective and durable execution of this often challenging detail – something which is particularly important when it comes to the design of data centres, which often incorporate flat roof systems.
Site visits in Paris
We were back on the road again this month, with visits to sites across Paris. First up, some of the team took a trip to Marne-la-Vallée – an architecture school designed by architect Bernard Tschumi. Our very own Alex Reid followed this project during site phase in the late 1990s, and it was nice to take a look around.
Some of the team braved the rain to take a trip to an ongoing data centre project, just south of Paris. Work is coming along quite nicely and Sophie Doolin and Ilanit Dahan even got hands-on while looking at the finer details.
CPD session: Lighting as a Key Layer in New Urban Design
We typically spend so much time thinking about the interior of our buildings, but it’s important not to forget the impact the ‘view from the street’ can have too. Consideration should always be given around how best to light external space in order to provide an experience through the hours of darkness.
This CPD, hosted by LED lighting specialist, Zumtobel, looked at the ways we could apply light in layers and create an ‘identity that captures the community’, as well as managing the movement of people, and how technology is enabling us to change the way we design, encouraging us to value external space more than ever.
Leaving the session, it was clear that a ‘lighting masterplan’ is a key component of any successful, multi-disciplinary, design.
We’re looking forward to the days when business as usual finally makes a comeback for the RBA team – and in fact, the world as a whole. Here’s a flashback to better times, in 2017.