Creating beautiful, sustainable and connected places
We believe buildings should respond to the social, environmental and economic needs of the city whilst complimenting the infrastructure that supports our communities.
As designers, engineers and advisors, we have a responsibility to build back better by developing more resilient, regenerative and responsible solutions for our clients. Our approach has to be as multifaceted as the challenges we face and it is our responsibility to create very low energy, net zero whole life carbon, high-functioning smart buildings that promote wellness and have a low environmental impact.
At Arup we are building on 75 years of excellence, drawing on our experiences of the past but remaining unbound by convention. Through our collaborative relationships we contribute to the built environment in elegant and innovative ways.
We hope you enjoy our highlights from a year none of us are likely to forget.
Nigel Tonks and Jim Burridge
Buildings London and Buildings UK Regions Leaders
Creating sustainable cities
Cities around the world face many common challenges: regenerating neighbourhoods, managing critical resources, facilitating inclusive growth and building stronger communities.
Our work reflects all of these, with a clear focus on sustainable development as a constant and vital thread.
A sustainable revolution
We are in the midst of a sustainable development revolution. Alarmed by the natural disasters, fires, floods and heatwaves in recent times and prompted by the global climate protest movement, the environmental discourse has changed radically over the last 1-2 years, the “Climate Emergency” has finally hit home and suddenly everyone is talking about Net Zero Carbon. This was easily the biggest and fastest change to hit the property sector in decades.
And then came the global pandemic. A tragedy, and a fundamental change to our way of life. Office buildings stand empty whilst working from home has beoame the new normal. Though the way ahead is far from clear, there is a strong sense that this will change our long-term approach to health and wellbeing quite substantially, as well as to the way we work, and our workplaces are unlikely to go back to the way they were.
Out of tragedy comes opportunity: to take a leap forward in our application of Sustainable Development to the built environment.It is no coincidence that the new Arup Strategy (launched June 2020) defines our purpose as “Sustainable Development is Everything”.
Stephen Hill, Associate Director
A major part of the city’s strategy to be carbon neutral by 2025
We led the design of Denmark’s largest infrastructure project for 400 years, creating a new underground line to encourage people out of their cars and onto a low carbon network.
User centric and designed for modularity
The completion of Cityringen is a major part of the city’s strategy to be carbon neutral by 2025. With 17 new underground stations, most of Copenhagen’s residents are now within 600 metres of a train or metro station.
Arup led the architectural design, taking a user-centric ethos every step of the way. Inspired by Scandinavian design tradition, we created spacious, light-filled stations with unique identities that echo the areas they serve. Each station is designed as a kit of parts, allowing both modularity and originality. Stations are situated beneath existing parks and squares wherever possible to minimise impact on daily lives.
A vibrant regeneration programme of offices, retail, public realm and a new theatre
Arup has helped Derwent London regenerate the eastern end of Oxford Street, above a new Crossrail station. Once completed, Soho Place will offer a vibrant mix of offices, retail and public realm.
Collaborating to reduce risk and add value
The opportunity to redevelop Soho Place arose through the construction of the new Crossrail station at Tottenham Court Road. We engaged closely with Crossrail and London Underground on this complex project over a period of years. Early discussions led to critical modifications to the station design, making it possible to locate Soho Place plant rooms below ground, freeing up 2,600m2 of lettable area above ground. Aspects of the new buildings, notably the basement levels, have been constructed as part of the Crossrail and London Underground works, significantly reducing the construction programme.
Renovating our built environment
Working with existing infrastructures allows us to reinvigorate places and create new value to occupiers, both from an environmental and financial perspective.
More importantly, it refreshes characterful places to live and work, whilst preserving heritage value for communities.
Energy efficiency has been part of the language of building design for many decades now, and we have a high level of confidence around the impacts of specific design parameters on operational performance over the life of the building. There is still much work to do in getting to a place where all buildings perform as they were designed to, but we know what to focus on when we want to reduce a building’s demand for energy.
This helps us on a path to reducing operational carbon emissions – a lower energy demand moves us in the right direction for lower carbon emissions. We can amplify the improvement by switching to lower carbon fuels – and with the progressive decarbonisation of the UK’s electricity grid, that typically means switching our heating fuel from gas to electricity.
But this focus on operational energy – the part that we pay for in our gas and electricity bills – represents only part of the picture and in many ways the simplest, most visible part.
Transforming 1990s offices into one of the UK’s most sustainable HQs
We partnered with British Land to transform a 1990s office building for today’s workstyles. Together, we reused as much of the existing building as possible, while adding three extra floors and doubling the lettable area.
Collaborating to reduce risk and add value
When British Land asked us to adapt the building for today’s workstyles, we co-located our multidisciplinary team to encourage innovation, seating architects next to engineers, supply chain experts and acoustic specialists. Designed entirely by Arup, the reimagined building challenges the status quo.
We pioneered a circular façade that cut carbon and cost 66% less than a new equivalent. 3,500m2 of panels were refurbished at a pop-up factory, before being reinstalled. We also pioneered British Land’s first carbon fibre wraps to support the three new floors where possible, saving floor space.
Creating a new cultural destination in heritage buildings
We are contributing to the new home for the Museum of London, helping turn a group of beautiful yet dilapidated market buildings in West Smithfield into a world-class, 24-hour cultural destination.
Creating a top 10 London attraction
The Museum of London is to move to West Smithfield, which will secure the future of three neglected historic buildings in need of significant repair and renewal, while creating a memorable visitor experience.
It will have the capacity to welcome two million people every year and fulfil its ambition to reach every London schoolchild and enhance their learning experience. It will also expand its night-time offer to reflect the 24-hour Farringdon location. With more space to create blockbuster exhibitions with a broader appeal, the museum will secure its place as a Top 10 London attraction.
Nurturing future generations
The best facilities open up horizons and feed the imagination. Our expertise in education and technology allows us to respond to the expectations of learning environments and solve complex, technical challenges to give as many people as possible new, inspiring experiences.
Unlocking the power of Smart
If we were to design buildings to harness the power of modern technology, rather than accepting legacy approaches, how would these smart buildings look and what benefits would they bring to the people who use them? Perhaps more importantly, given that up to 87% of today’s buildings will still be occupied in 2050, how can we deliver similar benefits in existing buildings?
Smart buildings bring together real-time data and system controls to optimise asset performance, improving resource efficiency, moving towards predictive maintenance and responding to the climate emergency.
A smart building should deliver on three key criteria: Enabling connectivity between diverse building service systems, business systems, control interfaces and personal devices; automatically identifying issues and using machine learning to operate buildings more efficiently and effectively, including resources such as energy and space; and supporting the health and happiness of occupants through environments that are productive and comfortable.
Opening the first of 36 campuses for students to learn and grow
Arup is the strategic engineering partner for Whittle School and Studios, a global programme aiming to establish 36 campuses in the world’s major cities, all designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop. Shenzhen is the first of the campuses to complete.
Designing for learning and wellbeing
The Whittle School and Studios Shenzen campus is designed to be a place for 2,200 students to learn and grow. The 58,000m2 school is made up of two buildings; each level a ‘school within a school’, so pupils can get to know all the children in their ‘school’.
Natural daylight is a priority, and all classrooms have views outdoors. All classroom walls are glass, and acoustically designed to the highest educational standards. A suspended staircase increases visual connection and allows light to flow from a lightwell above.
Inspiring future scientists in a new education and outreach centre
As part of its mission to educate and engage the public in science, CERN is creating a new scientific education and outreach centre. Arup is working with Renzo Piano Building Workshop to shape this new hub to inspire people with the wonder of science.
Engaging audiences of all ages
With a footprint of 7,000m2, the Science Gateway will include inspirational exhibition spaces, laboratories for hands-on scientific experiments for schoolchildren and students, and a large amphitheatre to host science events.
Exhibitions will explain the secrets of nature, featuring CERN’s accelerators, experiments and computing, how scientists use them in their exploration and how CERN technologies benefit society.
Inspired by CERN’s unique facilities such as the world’s largest particle accelerator, the architecture of the Science Gateway celebrates the inventiveness and creativity that characterise the world of research and engineering.
Shaping people-centred spaces
Shaping a better world means helping people in every corner of the globe improve their lives and enhance their communities. We do that in a wide range of ways – from projects that support high-quality healthcare operations to inclusive urban dwellings that redefine living standards.
Wellness – an essential in placemaking design
The term ‘wellness design’ has crept quietly into our vocabulary over recent years. We might have been forgiven at first for thinking it was just another marketing term, with the push for increased ventilation and filtration in conflict with reducing energy demand in buildings, our key priority for sustainable development. Does ‘total design’ not already consider ‘appropriate’ wellness design elements?
The answer in part is yes, but increased self-awareness of health and wellbeing, combined with rapidly advancing technology and availability of data, means that ‘wellness design’ has in fact created its own identity. Organisations are starting to understand more clearly the link between wellbeing and productivity, and therefore financial outcomes, and want to measure and demonstrate this.
Creating a world-class city for all in Westminster
Arup is leading the delivery of 375 high-quality affordable homes in a ground-breaking redevelopment for Westminster City Council and the local community. The new Ebury Bridge Estate exemplifies Westminster’s City for All objectives.
Co-designing with the local community
Currently the largest regeneration project in Westminster, the renewal of the Ebury Bridge Estate will create new places to live, shop, work and relax, including public open spaces. This will be a pedestrian-friendly neighbourhood, healthy and sustainable, with high quality design across all tenure types.
A resident-led body is at the forefront of decision making. All new homes will be modern and well-equipped, bright with large windows, and around 90% will have dual aspect living rooms to open up different views. Wellbeing is enhanced by private balconies for every home.
Premier League ready stadium for an ambitious club
To support their ambitions, Championship football club Brentford needed a new home. We helped create a Premier League ready stadium for the ambitious club to pursue its goals and delight fans.
Working as a trusted advisor
When Brentford FC first drew up plans for a new stadium, the numbers weren’t stacking up financially. That’s when they brought in Arup. Our multidisciplinary team revisited every aspect of the project, seeking marginal gains to add value and reduce costs.
We worked together to reduce the overall area of the building by 27%, enabling the financial model to become successful and allow the project to proceed to construction. We also equipped the stadium with an advanced outside broadcasting centre and media facilities to open up valuable new revenue streams.
Creating beautiful, sustainable and connected places
Delivering sustainable design and engineering solutions for our clients is now more important than ever. Our Yearbook demonstrates where we have helped deliver more resilient and regenerative solutions that respond to the social, environmental and economic needs of cities.
We hope you enjoy our 2020-21 highlights.