2018 The Year Ahead - Lauren Hawkins

2017 was a busy, challenging and hugely rewarding year and we hope to make 2018 even better. The new year brings new opportunities and we’d like to share with you some of the exciting project milestones that lie ahead.

These include the completion of two bridges, a station on one of London's newest tube lines, a collaboration with Dyson and the re-purposing of a vacated industrial landmark.     

Starting off in the deep depths of winter, we received the fantastic news just last week that WilkinsonEyre has officially been chosen to design two new stands at Lord’s cricket ground! The latest designs will see the reconstruction of the Compton and Edrich Stands, neighboring the existing Stirling Prize winning Media Centre.         

February sees the launch of our King's Cross Gasholders scheme, a residential project sitting within the larger King's Cross urban redevelopment area, one of the largest regeneration projects in Europe. Our architectural concept comprises three cylindrical units sitting inside the Grade II listed guide frames, creating an altogether new narrative for the old industrial space.

Looking outside of London our work on the North West Cambridge development is nearing completion. The masterplan, currently being delivered by a number of architects is to be named Eddington and through the development of the 150-hectare site will create a sustainable local community for approximately 8,500 people. WilkinsonEyre are delivering Lot 1; an area comprised of residential units, a marketplace and public spaces, due for completion in March.

While spring is usually associated with daffodils in bloom and the arrival of lambs dotted throughout the British countryside, here at WilkinsonEyre we're looking forward to completing a duo of European bridges.    

Since the practice began, we have built up an extensive archive of striking bridges. From our Stirling Prize winning Gateshead Millennium Bridge to the Royal Ballet School's Bridge of Aspiration, from Poole’s Twin Sails bridge to the Living Bridge for the University of Limerick; our bridges provide important civic connections whilst enhancing the public realm.

This year, we're extending our output, as our bridge team finishes construction on two bridges; the new St Lazare Footbridge in the north of Paris and our Vester Voldgade bridge in Copenhagen. Our St Lazare bridge offers a much-needed physical connection between the classic Haussmanian areas of the city and the newer Clichy-Batigonolles urban development. While our bridge in Copenhagen opens the public realm on both sides of Voldgade and Langebrogade, creating more public space for residents of the city.

The summer brings with it the completion of our latest collaboration with Dyson. WilkinsonEyre's relationship with Dyson is long standing, beginning in 1999 with the design of the new factory and headquarters for Dyson, at the time one of the fastest growing companies in the UK. Our latest instalment takes the form of student accommodation for young Dyson engineers. The project encompasses both pre-fabricated residential living pods and a large scale communal area, allowing the next generation of Dyson engineers to live, study and work on site, with the first students moving in for the new term in September.     

In a different architectural sphere, our work on Crown Aspinalls casino will also see completion in the summer months. The site, sitting between residential space in London’s Mayfair was previously dated and inaccessible. The new interior spaces and exterior refurbishments will help to create a space which suits both the context of the site and the needs of its users.  

All aboard the Elizabeth Line...  

Finally, as we plunge back into the longer nights and colder days, we're eager to see the completion of Crossrail, Liverpool Street, a project which was first established back in 1993. Crossrail, Liverpool Street will be a key station on the majestically titled Elizabeth Line, opening in December. The construction of London's 12th tube line aims to better connect the ever-increasing population in the capital with easier and quicker transport.  

This is all just a brief glimpse of what's to come this year. As our projects develop and our practice continues to grow, 2018 will be sure to bring a host of new and exciting opportunities, contributing to the social and architectural fabric both in the UK and further afield.