The Business

News and pictures from the design sector.

‘Built to last’ university library named UK’s best new Building

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has named The New Library, Magdalene College in Cambridge by Níall McLaughlin Architects, as the winner of the 26th RIBA Stirling Prize.

The exquisitely detailed new building provides students at the 700-year-old University of Cambridge college with a new library – open 24 hours a day – incorporating an archive and an art gallery.

Set within the college grounds in Cambridge’s city-centre, the new library replaces the cramped study spaces of the adjacent 17th century Grade I listed Pepys Library and extends the quadrangular arrangement of buildings and courts that have gradually developed from the monastic college site.

Visitors are met with an elegant brickwork façade and enticing large wooden doors, which open into a tiered, timber interior, bathed in light. A triple-height entrance hall leads into a central double-height reading room. Speaking on behalf of the 2022 RIBA Stirling Prize jury, RIBA President Simon Allford said:

‘A unique setting with a clear purpose, The New Library at Magdalene College is sophisticated, generous architecture that has been built to last. Creating a new building that will last at least 400 years is a significant challenge, but one that Níall McLaughlin Architects has risen to with the utmost skill, care and responsibility...This is an exemplary model to aspire to.’

ACTIU relaunch showroom for new visitor experience

ACTIU has relaunched its London showroom, which is now open to visitors keen on viewing the redesigned space.

The Clerkenwell space showcases the company’s latest offerings of furniture to create agile, innovative and inviting environments. It also features technology that measures parameters such as temperature, humidity, noise level, light and even air quality to help create the best environments for commissioned projects that are under consideration by specifiers.

Image Credit: ALBERT PALEN
Image Credit: ALBERT PALEN

ACTIU has also collaborated with its showroom partners, Aktura, for ceiling panels and partitions, Lightnet for lighting and iSiMAR for outdoor furniture.

To arrange your visit contact your sales representative or, alternatively, you can email

BW Workplace Experts make key appointment from its internal talent pool

Chris Pratt has been appointed to the position of managing director at BW Workplace Experts and will assume responsibility for one of two project delivery teams within the business; the other is led by Peter Nagle, managing director.

Chris Pratt
Chris Pratt

Anthony Brown, sales and marketing director at BW Workplace Experts commented: ‘We are delighted to be able to make this key senior appointment from within the existing talent pool at BW. We always strive to nurture and develop our people, investing heavily in their advancement within the profession. In this volatile market, stability through people and experience is vital as we continue to take market share from our competitors.’

Building for neurodiversity: Guidelines to address ‘final frontier of inclusive design’ unveiled

BSI has launched an industry standard on the design of the built environment for a neurodiverse society.

Neurodivergence includes people with autism, ADHD, Asperger’s, dementia and a range of other sensory and/or information processing differences.

The guidance from BSI contained within the new standard, PAS 6463, applies to buildings and external spaces for public and commercial use, as well as residential accommodation for independent or supported living.

Willmott Dixon given nod for medical training facility at Bolton Hospital site

Willmott Dixon has secured a major healthcare contract after it was chosen by Bolton College of Medical Sciences (BCMS) for a new medical and clinical skills training facility located at the Royal Bolton Hospital site in Farnworth.

The project is a collaboration between the University of Bolton, Bolton College, Bolton NHS Foundation Trust and Bolton Council, with a focus on practical, skills-based learning in a live hospital environment.

New Modular Research Centre in Czech Republic Completed

Architects CHYBIK + KRISTOF (CHK), in collaboration with KOMA Modular, has completed a new Modular Research Centre in the Czech Republic.

The project acts as a prototype of a new and adaptable modular system, by crafting unconventional shapes, the studio showcases a system of multi-functionality while pushing the boundaries of architecture.


Rooted in the concept of rotated containers functioning as columns, the architects have created a malleable and adaptable space full of light.

Set to become an innovation hub for the factory complex to develop and explore new undiscovered building methods with modules, the research centre, situated at the edge of the KOMA complex, carefully integrates the factory into its surrounding environment, creating an accessible, transparent and barrier-free area.

CHK said in a press release: ‘As the emerging trajectory for modular architecture and technologies continue to advance, we have positioned our capabilities in this area at the forefront of innovation to create promising solutions towards a future that we believe lies in modular architecture.’

Are you ready to win and party with FX?

Get ready to win and party the night away at the FX Awards which returns to the Grosvenor Hotel in London on 30 November!

As well as dinner, the night will be compared by comedian Miles Jupp, who will also be awarding winners from each award category with a prestigious FX Awards trophy, lovingly made by HIMACS. Later, there will be dancing until the small hours with a live band and DJ set.

Award entries and table sales are now closed, but do keep an eye on the website for details about next year’s event. We look forward to seeing you this year, and the next, and the one after!

Good luck, and see you on the dance floor!

Ryder Architecture completes 103 Colmore Row

A new 26 storey office building in the heart of Birmingham’s business district has now been completed by Ryder Architecture.

The new high rise – which replaces the former NatWest Tower – provides some 20,438 sq m of Grade A office accommodation over 20 floors. At the top of the building, a restaurant offers 360-degree views across the city, while also acting as a ‘lantern’ at night.


The building’s façade features screens of vertical silver blades, reflecting the light as it changes throughout the day and lending the building a vibrant quality.

The building design was conceived as a cluster of four forms, of varying heights, stepping up in profile to respond to neighbouring streets and buildings, included in the nearby conservation area. It has been awarded a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating, as well as an EPC A rating, making it a sustainable contribution to the city.

Hyundai fuels e-car-powered hotel

October saw a new electric car powered hotel concept, located in the Essex countryside, host guests over a two week period.

Hotel Hyundai – which was curated by Grace Dent – used a fleet of Hyundai IONIQ 5 electric cars to power a luxury cabin, restaurant, private cinema, lights and other amenities, such as an espresso machine, for guests to enjoy, using the car’s Vehicle-to- Load (V2L) technology.

Dent, the curator of Hotel Hyundai, commented: ‘We’re looking for unique, memorable stays now more than ever and this is a delicious blend of innovation, luxury and comfort that gets you thinking. With power coming from the car, where could Hotel Hyundai pop-up next?’

Blood campaign wins top Australian accolade

A blood donation campaign driven by the power of emotional response has been announced as the winner of NGV’s Rigg Design Prize 2022. Leo Burnett Australia has been awarded $30,000 for its concept of ‘Can creativity make you bleed?’. On display at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia since Friday 7 October, the 2022 Rigg Design Prize highlights the creativity underpinning the work of eight leading Australian-based agencies and resorts, among others.

Bristol creative business collective Istoria Group achieves B Corp certification

Bristol-based creative company Istoria Group is one the latest UK businesses to achieve a global standard of B Corp certification, awarded by B Lab. The B Corp concept envisions a global economy using business as a force for good and creating benefits for all stakeholders.

As leaders in the movement for economic systems change, B Corp companies build trust with consumers, communities, and suppliers, as well as attracting and retaining employees, among other benefits.

Restaurant & Bar Design Awards winners announced

1111 ONES, a restaurant in Hong Kong designed by M.R. STUDIO, and Curious, a bar in Melbourne, Australia designed by Hachem are the Overall winners of the 2022 Restaurant & Bar Design Awards.

Another five overall regional winners were also revealed at a London Awards ceremony held at Maison François and Park Row, and an additional 39 category winners were announced via Instagram.

Chelsea Barracks Unveils its Second Sculpture Trail

Chelsea Barracks has launched its second Sculpture Trail last month (October) as part of its new art programme.

The public art walk and free outdoor exhibition is curated around the theme of environmentalism. The trail features pieces by world-class artists, which includes two sculptures from the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.

The Chelsea Barracks development was awarded LEED Platinum status in 2021, making it the most sustainable development in Europe.

Nature gives life to Dulux’s Colour of the Year 2023

Dulux is celebrating two decades of Colour of the Year and has just launched its colour for 2023: Wild Wonder.

The colour is inspired by fresh seed pods and harvest grain that, as well as being designed to connect with nature, also creates a sense of energy and positivity.

Marianne Shillingford, creative director of Dulux UK, commented: ‘Our relationship with the natural world feels more precious and precarious than ever. As well as understanding the value of nature more keenly, with climate change becoming a reality for all of us, we also feel the urgency of reconnecting with nature and the necessity of working with rather than against it.’

The name Wild Wonder was created on the basis that ‘wild’ conjures up the freedom of nature and ‘wonder’ conveys the natural magic we see all around us.

Four decorative paint colour palettes have also been designed around Wild Wonder: Lush Colours, made up of vibrant forest hues; Buzz Colours, which include upbeat tones of pinks and ochres; Raw Colours, showcasing harvest shades that mimic nature’s raw materials; and Flow Colours, warm neutrals and deeper seashore tones.

To download the Dulux Trade Colour of the Year 2023 specifier brochure and for more information visit the website or follow #CF23 on social media.

2022 Design Shanghai postponed

Design Shanghai, one of Asia’s leading international design event series, has postponed its showcase to June 2023. Its latest edition was due originally to take place on 13–15 October 2022, but show organisers have now rescheduled it to take place on 8–11 June 2023. This will now coincide with the 10 year anniversary of Design Shanghai.

The decision was made in response to the continuing uncertainty and challenges to events during the ongoing Covid-19 outbreaks in China.

Next year, Design Shanghai is scheduled to return to the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Centre and to mark the 10 year milestone the show will see a major expansion including additional features and attractions.

Design Shanghai showcases more than 500 international brands from 30 countries and regions. It is a stage where the global design community can unite, converse and present solutions about cultural topics and challenges surrounding design, architecture and technology. Design Shanghai.

Turkey’s third largest border gate designed by Aura Design Studio

Located between the borders of Turkey and Iran, Gürbulak Border Gate and Transit Center has been redesigned by Aura Design Studio to help achieve a safe, efficient and user-centred design, as well as creating a spacious and welcoming border gate venue inspired by traditional Anatolian archaeological motifs.

The scheme features a form reminiscent of a double-headed eagle symbol – an important element of Turkish and Altai mythology – perched at Heaven’s Gate, which was designed for the Anatolian entrance gate. The day and night perceptions of all buildings in the border zone, which will operate around the clock, feature facade lighting systems.

Administrative and commercial buildings also feature as part of the 80,000 sq m scheme. Project construction is now underway on site.

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