Acquisition International - Global Excellence 2020 145 Acquisi International - Issu 8 2020 1 Paul Vick architects – right time, right place for today and tomorrow’s challenges. How to live longer The benefits of creating places that can ‘help you live longer’, was one of the mission statements behind their early work on a low energy, first age to third age home they designed. Since then, their ideas and work have continued to develop, and currently are being rolled out at scale at a care home site in West London. Watch this space. Vick’s philosophical approach was honed at Cambridge, where he took his first degree in architecture, and during a Masters in Development Practices that saw him working in China (a corner of Quangzhou will be forever associated with Paul Vick), Jamaica and – at a mid-part of his career – Paris. He then went on to work at Michael Hopkins’ practice, the aspiration for all young architects committed to outstanding technical design. A stint at visionary architects, Ian Ritchie, followed, where he led on the then largest architectural development in Europe, White City Shepherd’s Bush, created a vision for an 8000 home zero carbon site, and master planned the British Museum. Even then, he was laying the foundation for his views on cultural commerce, green development, and technical innovation. His client base is catholic in the broadest sense of the word, or, in some instances, Church of England. Under his own banner, he wrote a vision for the Diocese of London that identified how the Church’s 1400 year old unbroken (longer than the monarchy) existence would change. ‘The Church has more people in development than the government,’ says Vick. ‘It is the only organisation in the UK that is public, private and charitable. The Church started many educational establishments that are inclusive including a Church of England school with more muslims than Christians. They understand the inherent importance of the arts and outreach to others. Their approach is enlightened.’ As a result, more than others Vick tangibly appreciates that spirituality carries an important role in people’s understanding and experience of built space. He has consulted on memorial spaces, and planned a future pathway for three churches’ development, which he enjoys as a linking of the invisible structure of spiritual needs to the visible manifestation of architecture. Especially focussing the mind at this time of pandemic, these questions about mortality, connection to each other and why we do what we do and to what end, seem more relevant today than ever to us all. Connectivity Connectivity is an important theme in the practice, and a glass bridge created to link two buildings for a global telecoms HQ in London is a poetic expression of this. (see fig 1) - possibly the holy grail for work and office design as well as economic regeneration. Paul Vick architects is currently working on a plan for a new welcome and entrance to Keats House which recently was granted planning and listed building consent. His work with the Corporation of London also includes creating a new Innovation Hub in Smithfield for Innovation Warehouse which claims to be the first of its kind for the co-working model and all that followed – possibly the holy grail for work and office design as well as economic regeneration. Brunel’s miracle, Regeneration and our future The practice is working on a major listed regeneration site. The Royal Ordnance Depot, in Northampton is a mixed use, regeneration project of 22acres of grade 2 listed site, begun over 200years ago and demilitarised in 1954. Paul Vick architects developed a vision with client Michael Chittenden for the phased, sustainable improvement of the site and is undertaking a phased sequence of planning and listed building consents. Careful review of the demography, past heritage and building and landscape typologies on the site led to an integrated, phased future legacy for the site. The vision includes mixed size, low energy new build homes, flats in converted store buildings, high performance broadband to offices, suitable retail, an 80 room care home and independent living units, boutique hotel and a visitor centre. Centred around the spur of the Grand Canal that runs through the centre of the site, landscape and building spaces are anticipated to overlap inviting various users from other areas in as well as offering employment, homes and a wonderful and uplifting place to be. Culture underpins the social, economic and environmental regeneration (see fig 2). Paul Vick and his practice have built a body of work that addresses so many of the questions and challenges we face today around work, life, health and even spirituality. Maybe that’s where Brunel’s miracle lies. Paul Vick architects 020 7993 6573 www.paulvick.co.uk Fig 2 1816-2021. Past and Future Legacy. Regeneration of the Royal Ordnance Depot, Northampton. The vision of the 22acre grade 2 listed site by Paul Vick architects with their Client includes mixed use office, retail, flats, low energy homes, boutique hotel, care home and independent living and visitor centre. The architects are bringing their 100% planning record to bear. Planning permissions are being gained on a rolling basis by the architect.