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Pilbrow and Partners speaks on sustainability and design at our Venice discussions

Above: Keb Garavito Bruhn, a founding partner of Pilbrow & Partners

Future Cities Forum is delighted that Keb Garavito Bruhn, a founding partner of Pilbrow & Partners is joining our September discussion event at the Procuratie Vecchie in Venice.

Keb has over 20 years experience working on residential, civic, commercial, educational, and master-planning projects in the UK, Canada, Europe and the Middle East.

He joins Generali Real Estate's CEO of CityLife, Paolo Micucci, who has over-seen the re-development of the Procuratie Vecchie, San Marco, where Future Cities Forum is holding its discussion event, as well as Professor Jacopo Galli of IUAV University Venice / Università Iuav di Venezia , who is helping the Venice Sustainability Foundation develop a new city/university quarter in the old port district of the city.

Keb is a passionate design advocate and is instrumental in the early proposal stages of projects in the Pilbrow & Partners office. He is leading the team on the practice's design proposals for EDGE London Bridge at St Thomas Street, currently under construction. EDGE, a Dutch-based developer with an international reputation for pioneering work on sustainability and wellbeing, has embarked on the St Thomas Street building by London Bridge station as their first London Project. They selected Pilbrow & Partners for the commission on the basis of environmental analytical capabilities and work with smart buildings.

60-68 St Thomas Street will form a notable addition to the emerging tall building cluster around the Shard. The building is drawn to the edge of its site to form a new public park between St Thomas Street and Melior Street. Landscape extends into the base of the building which is conceived as an integral part to the public realm.

The design of the building marries well-being and productivity with broader social and environmental sustainability goals. Its varied workspaces will support both established businesses and local start-ups. The building integrates EDGE’s pioneering research into smart technology and the ‘internet of things’ – Innovations that will resonate widely in future London buildings.

The building envelope has been designed to respond to the proposed surroundings and environmental conditions, enabling access to daylight whilst limiting unwanted heat loss in winter and reducing overheating in summer. The new public park to the south and west of the building will be lush and green, increasing the site’s horticultural diversity and offering new green space in an area of landscape deficit. The firm states that people feel (and work) better when in contact with nature. Verdant internal landscaping, a characteristic feature of EDGE buildings extends the garden into the base of the building.

As design partner, Keb has also led on the design of The Kensington Building, securing planning approval for the reconfiguration of the building, including office accommodation, a new retail arcade and improvement of its surrounding public realm. The proposals remodel the bleak 1970s building to transform the quality of its architecture, public realm and internal working environment. They will also improve connectivity to Kensington High Street Underground station through the creation of a new retail arcade, linking to Wrights Lane. The existing building is a purpose-built department store built in the 1970s but occupied principally with offices. The retail is poorly configured and routes to the adjacent Kensington High Street Underground Station are informal through the ground floor Boots unit. It is recognised as being of low architectural quality and its large, blank ground floor frontages detracting from the public realm along Wrights Lane. The orthogonal planning of the existing building breaks the alignment of the historic street wall, leaving awkward residual spaces on this frontage. The proposals restore the definition of the urban block with new facades of Roman brick and Portland Stone. The building scale along this frontage is modulated as a series of bays – a remediation of the relentless mass of the existing building and a restoration of its civic nature.

Below: The Kensington Building - Wrights Lane and Kensington High Street, London W8 (Courtesy Pilbrow & Partners for Ashby Capital)


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