Collaboration with RCA

In 2017, Royal College of Art invited Atelier Ten and AKT II to help shape and establish the new programme of Technical Studies for their MA Architecture course.

Meredith Davey and Ivan Jovanovic gave a series of technical lectures and design reviews on holistic environmental design and engineering to help get the course off the ground.

In the winter term, they were also invited to provide technical expertise for the studio that works on “Architecture at Zero” competition to design zero-net energy (ZNE) education and visitor’s centre for the San Francisco Bayside community. The competition engages architecture, engineering and planning; and attracts students and professionals worldwide. The aim is to infuse enthusiasm for San Francisco State’s ambitious commitment to zero energy infrastructure and buildings, provide the proof of concept for “zero-energy” and build institutional support for deep green energy projects in SF State.

The ZNE definition assumes that a building project produces at least as much energy as it uses over a year within the boundaries of the project and includes all forms of energy used on the site.

This is one of the most ambitious and challenging sustainable development goals and Atelier Ten is one of the few companies in the world that was able to deliver it in practice.

Recently, Ioannis Rizos and Ivan have visited the studio to give a lecture on the Atelier Ten brand, our values and our approach to design of ZNE buildings. We have also reviewed their emerging ideas and provided steer for their designs. Young and unencumbered by realities of our industry, some proposals are (expectedly) overambitious. But there is no shortage of great ideas and motivation which we hope to channel in the right direction.

RCA was looking for support from the industry to send the students to visit the competition site in Tiburon, California. Atelier Ten Foundation will provide traveling scholarships for RCA students as a support to Atelier Ten’s ongoing initiatives with RCA to educate the next generation of architects and environmental designers. Whilst visiting the bay area in January, the students will also visit our San Francisco office. As they are one of the leaders in ZNE buildings design in California and US, they will get the best insight into the local context and also the chance to adopt best practice sustainable design principles. For us in London this is an opportunity to build new bridges between with San Francisco office.

Many of us do a great job in teaching around the world. Our collaboration with RCA opens the opportunity for more Atelier Ten staff to get involved. James Lacy-Smith, Pablo Gugel and Volkan Doda from our London office have already started taking part in organising and running practical workshops at RCA. They helped students learn basics of environmental design and building services by dissecting our flagship project such as Kroon Hall, Gardens by the Bay, Turkish Contractors Association, WWF-UK Living Planet Centre to name a few. And recently we have helped them survey their own building (RCA) using measurement tools such as thermal imaging camera, laser gun, lux meter, IAQ meter.

We will follow the progress of RCA students’ designs for “Architecture at Zero” and aim to share an update following their visit to Bay area and the competition submission.