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Chapter Board Members Meet AIA President

Fiona Mckay

While in London for meetings with the RIBA, National AIA President Russell Davidson, FAIA took the opportunity to meet with AIA UK board members. Bea Sennewald, Robert Rhodes, and Michael Lischer, all AIA UK past presidents and Fatos Peja, current AIA UK president elect met with Russell for a lunch meeting on the 3rd of October.

Russell described the AIA's efforts to raise the profile of the profession and make the AIA more inclusive. Efforts include launching programs for kindergarten through 12th grade students to introduce them to the profession and the importance of good design. This program is particularly appropriate for Russell as his 35 person New York practice specializes in education.

Another initiative currently being studied by the national board is to open the AIA's annual convention to the general public. The goal is to engage all those with an interest in architecture, including building owners, developers, contractors, users, and the public. This may require changes to the continuing education program and the design exposition.

The meeting with Russell was very informative and left us with the impression good things are happening at the AIA and the next few years promises to be very interesting for the AIA and its members.

By Michael Lischer FAIA

Construction payment charter updated – a missed opportunity?

Fiona Mckay

The Government’s Construction Leadership Council has published an updated Construction Supply Chain Payment Charter to reflect commitments in the original charter. In our view much more could have been done to strengthen the updated charter; the onus remains very much on the industry to tackle the issue of late payment.

READ our article which details what's new and what impact the new charter will have.

By Will Buckby and Andrew Croft

King's Cross Gasholders Tour - 16 September 2016

Fiona Mckay

On Friday the 9th of September 2016, AIA UK members and guests met at Argent's King's Cross redevelopment scheme to tour the Gasholder residential buildings.  Designed by Wilkinson Eyre, the three building 145 unit apartment project is scheduled for completion early next year.  The tour was led by Wilkinson Eyre's project architect, Jeff Lee.  Tour attendees earned 1 continuing education learning unit for participation.  

The Gasholder project is the "jewel in the crown" for developer Argent and provides the developments high end luxury residential offer.  The estimated construction cost for the three buildings is circa £125m.  This figure includes £16m for the restoration of four gasholder structures.  Studio apartments start at £800,000 and prices rise to over £10m for a three bed penthouse.

The key feature and design driver of the project is the reuse of three 1867 grade II listed gasholders.  Although not reconstructed in their original position, the gasholders really define the project's design.  The design concept provides three drums of accommodation at differing heights to suggest the movement of the original gasholders, which would have risen up or down depending on the pressure of the gas within.  A fourth gasholder structure is located at the centre of the gasholder structural frames and forms an open courtyard.  

The building volumes are contained within each of the gasholder structural frames.  This structural expression is further enhanced by a system of operable and static metal panels that can be used to control the environmental conditions inside the apartments.  The dark steel cladding contrasts with other elements of brass and bronze. 

Inside, the apartments are linked by a series of circular walkways around a central courtyard in each building.  This brings natural light into the building's core and circulation corridors.  Rooftop landscaping connects nature with the surrounding urban landscape. 

The project presented real challenges for the design team, as everything was dictated by the gasholder structures.  The result is a fantastic celebration of King's Cross' industrial heritage.  Wilkinson Eyre's design has brought the gasholders back to a new life and Argent is to be commended for having the courage to undertake such a unique project!

Article by Michael Lischer FAIA

AIA UK Membership Reaches 230

Fiona Mckay

The AIA UK continues to grow and reached a new high of 230 members in August! The Board of Directors would like to welcome the following 30 people that joined so far in 2016. We look forward to seeing you all at an upcoming event!

  • Keith Cady AIA
  • Yi-han Cao AIA
  • Samantha Cooke AIA
  • Andrew Court Int'l Assoc, AIA
  • Ozlem Tugba Ergen Int'l Assoc, AIA
  • Carolina Filippini Int'l Assoc, AIA
  • Paul Fincken Prof. Aff, AIA
  • Saumya Ganguli AIA
  • Karen Hassey AIA
  • Kevin Hayes AIA
  • Ashraf Ismail Int'l Assoc, AIA
  • Eric Kirwan Prof. Aff, AIA
  • Dragan Krstevski Assoc. AIA
  • Benjamin Lee AIA
  • Dong Min Lee Assoc. AIA
  • Ting Li Assoc. AIA
  • Patrick Magness AIA
  • Wai Sem Morris Int'l Assoc, AIA
  • Takeshi Obata AIA
  • James O'Callaghan Prof. Aff, AIA
  • Jose Marcos Silva Casimiro Palma AIA
  • Sara Pearce Prof. Aff, AIA
  • Nicole W. Portieri Int'l Assoc, AIA
  • Anna Reiter Assoc. AIA
  • Frederick Shands Assoc. AIA
  • Lucy Swift Other
  • Natalie Ward AIA
  • Lulu Yang Assoc. AIA
  • Madani Y. Zakri Int'l Assoc, AIA
  • Thomas Zapoticzny AIA


By: M. Lischer FAIA

Assistance with your legal issues

Fiona Mckay

Any uncertainty when it comes to the law can be a cause for concern.

AIA’s legal Partner Beale & Company can assist in respect of issues arising in connection with your practice by offering you a free legal helpline. Whether it’s a second opinion, an ad hoc piece of advice or clarification on an issue, Beale & Company can provide you with the guidance you need.

They can provide support in relation to:

Appointments and collateral warranties;

  • Assignment and novation
  • Non-payment
  • Disputes
  • Intellectual property rights
  • IT
  • Employment
  • Corporate and commercial matters

The helpline is available not just to individual members of the AIA but to the whole firm where they have individual members.

Beale & Company has a long history of acting for consultants and architects and their lawyers have a deep understanding of the needs and challenges your practices may face with many of them having gained in-house experience in leading construction companies.

To get in touch, call +44 (0) 20 7469 0400 (and quote AIA UK Helpline) or alternatively email:

Download our Legal Helpline Flyer to keep to hand should an issue arise and you need a second opinion.


The 2016 AIA National Convention

Fiona Mckay

The 2016 AIA National Convention was held in Philadelphia from 18-21 May, convening over 20,000 people from around the world in one of the largest and most exciting annual gatherings of architects and industry leaders. This year's keynote lecturers included Julia Louis-Dreyfus (interviewed by radio host Terry Gross), Neri Oxman (performing revolutionary digital morphogenesis research at MIT) and Rem Koolhaus. The star studded line-up also included Denise Scott Brown receiving the AIA Gold Medal for the duo, as Robert Venturi couldn't make it to Convention.

The AIA UK was well represented at Convention; a few members were even inducted into the Fellowship this year. Lester Korzilius and John McAlsan received the honour of joining the FAIA. UK chapter president Frederick Grier presented a lecture about architects working abroad which drew interest from the many American's considering such a career move in their future. 

After attending three days of lectures, workshops and presentation, the highlight for Fred was a special behind the scenes tour of the Barnes Foundation. This project, completed by Tod Williams and Billie Tsien (AIA UK keynote lecturers last year) is an outstanding example of how architects solve problems and make the world a better place for all. Sustainability, Education, Cultural Enrichment and Access made this a highly difficult and controversial endeavor which was met with grace and beauty from every angle. If you are visiting Philadelphia in the future, please make an effort to see this exceptional museum.