Project Partner: LendLease

Artisan Studio will be working in collaboration with Lendlease, a global construction, property, and infrastructure company. They manage building projects in over 40 countries across the world helping to shape cities and create strong and connected communities.
Since January 2020, Lendlease have been managing the repair, refurbishment, and partial restoration of Manchester Town Hall. Neil Martin, managing director, construction at Lendlease, Europe, said: “Manchester Town Hall is one of the city’s most recognisable and well-loved landmarks. Lendlease has a long track record of working with heritage buildings and enhancing them for contemporary use and we will bring all of this experience to bear at Manchester Town Hall.”
Find out more about the projects that Lendlease are currently working on through their website and social media links.
Instagram - @lendlease
Twitter - @lendleasegroup
LinkedIn - @Lend-lease
Posted 2 Mar 2021 08:11
Project Partner: Our Town Hall Project

Artisan Studio will be working alongside the Our Town Hall Project which was set up by Manchester City Council in January 2018. This project consists of the restoration and refurbishment of Manchester Town Hall to preserve its architectural character for generations whilst also upgrading it’s facilities to meet modern safety and accessibility requirements. In addition to this, there are plans to renovate, resurface, and improve Albert Square as a public space and popular meeting place.
The scheme aims to boost public access and ensure that the building and square continues to play a role at the heart of city life. During the course of the planned work, The Our Town Hall Project hopes to create many exciting opportunities, including apprenticeships and a range of jobs and training schemes.
Keep updated with the Our Town Hall Project with the links below!
Posted 2 Mar 2021 08:12
Skills & Activities

Participants will be able to explore various aspects of the design through discussions, model making, software workshops and guest lectures from people of the industry about the construction trades involved such as gilding, mosaics, heritage metalworks of the Town Hall. The process will benefit the group in expanding knowledge and networking in the restoration field.
Posted 2 Mar 2021 08:13
Social Engagement

This studio will provide a service to the wider community in the form of a space utilised to upskill, collaborate, and educate locals/employees in the kind of trades employed during the renovation of the town hall such as gilding, mosaics, heritage metalwork as well as providing opportunities for locals to work on the town hall project, and engaging with local schools and colleges to provide students with experience of the construction trades. A space where the local populace, made up of a diverse range of backgrounds, can come together and learn and work towards a common goal is important in fostering a strong community and will help equip school leavers and students as well as people later in their career paths and looking to retrain with knowledge and skills that can be put to use in their future careers.

The nature of the “Artisans Studio” project will provide an opportunity for collaboration between a wide range of stakeholders within the community and will be designed to minimise its impact on the environment using locally sourced materials, adaptive reuse of existing materials available on site and employing environmentally friendly energy solutions.

Posted 2 Mar 2021 08:14
Introducing Artisan Studios' group members: Rosalyn

Hey, I’m Rosalyn.
When I first started studying for my BArch at Sheffield School of Architecture, I felt unsure of whether I had picked the right course for me and lacked confidence in my own ability. It was only until my final year at undergraduate level that I began to find my own rhythm and interests within architecture. These things can take some time!
Having spent my RIBA Part 1 at a small practice in Manchester, I am now a 5th year MArch student at Manchester School of Architecture. I am currently working on a re-use project for the Pankhurst Centre as part of the feminist atelier, Praxxis. I always aim to design projects that address local social issues whilst being sensitive to the surrounding urban fabric. As part of the Artisan studio project I am looking forward to learning more about the heritage skills that will be used to restore Manchester Town Hall and how our designs can help to accommodate these crafts.
Outside of Architecture, one of my biggest interests is music. I’m at my happiest when going to see artists and DJ’s perform and have missed it a lot since lockdown began last March. I’m hoping that I will be safe to do so in the next few months.
Posted 2 Mar 2021 08:16
Introducing Artisan Studios' group members: Luke

Hi, I’m Luke! I’m a 5th year MArch student currently in the &rchitecture atelier. I am originally from down South from a town in Buckinghamshire. I studied my undergraduate degree at Oxford Brookes in 2015-2018, then decided to take 2 years out to work in industry. During my first year in industry I moved to London and worked at Scott Brownrigg in their Covent Garden office, working on a range of large scale educational and commercial projects. However, I enjoyed getting paid and having free weekends too much so I decided to take another year out, but instead I shifted to a smaller practice, Spratley & Partners, where I was able to gain a wider experience and see a new perspective to the architectural industry.
Throughout my architectural education I have always enjoyed addressing social issues within my designs and placing the user experience at the heart of architecture.
To me sport is a big part of my life as it keeps me balanced and focused, primarily from my background as a swimmer but I have more recently learnt to love running, as it’s a perfect escape from work.
The Artisan studio is a really exciting project and a great opportunity to potentially put your stamp on Albert Square for the next 4 years! We can’t wait to get started!
Posted 2 Mar 2021 08:17
Introducing Artisan Studios' group members: Claire

Hi, I’m Claire. I am originally from Brighton but have moved about the UK- I have lived as far south as Guernsey (the Channel Islands) and in Scotland where I studied at the University of Edinburgh. Since then, I have worked in both small and large practices in Wiltshire, Brighton and Bristol. I have gained experience working on a variety of projects, from country houses to an underground museum at the Tower of London, and even a centre for robotics. Now in Manchester, I am beginning a project involving parasitic timber structures and vertical farming as a part of the MSA &rchitecture atelier. Currently, I am really enjoying the creative 'blue-sky thinking' that student projects foster, as well as thinking about architecture as a means to help address much broader social issues.
Our MSA Live project seems to offer the best of both worlds: a real client and a real project - that may even get built - and the opportunity to work in a collaborative student-led environment in order to come up with some exciting ideas!
Posted 2 Mar 2021 08:17
Introducing Artisan Studios' group members: Cherilyn

Hi, I’m Cherilyn and I’m a 5th year MArch student currently in the Advanced Practice atelier. I am Malaysian and did my bachelor’s degree at Taylor’s University Malaysia in 2016-2018. I decided to take a year out to work in the industry and ended up working at Archiconic Sdn Bhd, a local firm based in Kuala Lumpur. Being involved in the initial design phases of high rise and low rise residential buildings, shophouses, industrial design and a school renovation project has exposed me to some of the local authority requirements and new software skills such as Sketchup and Lumion. Even though I have been involved in many project types, I found myself to be more passionate about public buildings and I intend to focus on user experience in these types of spaces in the near future.
The Artisan studio offers a great learning experience to be involved in designing for the wider community in real life, making it more meaningful to the society. Upon success of the project, it even allows the structure to be built in Albert Square for the next 4 years! I can’t wait to meet new people who are as passionate about contributing to the community!
Posted 2 Mar 2021 08:18
Introducing Artisan Studios' group members: Aaron

Hi, I’m Aaron and I’m a 5th year MArch student at MSA from Salford. I am currently in the Advanced practice atelier working on a proposed redevelopment of North Manchester General Hospital. I studied my BAHons at MSA from 2013-2016 before taking a few years out to gain experience in practice. I moved to London in 2017 to join Adamson Associates Architects where I worked on the Gehry Partners designed “Prospect Place” residential project at Battersea Power Station where I worked on-site for 1 ½ years. I then moved back to Manchester taking a job at AECOM before my return for Masters where I gained experience working on various industrial and governmental projects. My main interest in architecture is the design and upkeep of sustainable social housing and communities, stemming from my own background growing up in a working-class community in Salford, as well as the potential for Modern Methods of Construction to mitigate the built environments ecological impact.
Posted 2 Mar 2021 08:19
Introducing Artisan Studios' group members: Diana

Hi, I’m Diana! I’m a 5th year MArch student currently in the USE atelier. I am originally from Constanta, Romania. I studied my undergraduate degree at Sheffield School of Architecture in 2016-2019, then decided to take my year in practice.
During this year I moved to Bucharest, Romania and worked at a small office called Metropolis Architecture, where I engaged on a range of medium scale residential and commercial projects. During these 13 months I was able to gain a lot of experience with building regulations and the collaboration between client and designer. Being part of a small team of architects was really valuable as I got the chance to contribute to all RIBA stages of the projects.
Throughout my studies I became attracted to the practicality of my designs and its responses to the community needs. I believe that good architecture starts from thorough environmental research and a good contextualization of the design.
Out of the architectural field, I enjoy painting, mostly due to the fact that I did visual arts at school. My favorite time of the day is the evening with a cup of coffee in one hand and a provocative belletristic book in another.
The Artisan studio is a really engaging project with the potential of being actually built in the heart of Manchester! Having a relationship with a real client is what makes this project especially interesting. Being part of a team that is student led gives us the opportunity to get a taste of all steps, challenges and decisions that are going to get this project up and running for 4 years.
Posted 2 Mar 2021 08:20
Guest Speaker: Tamara Karim

We're excited to announce our first guest speaker, Tamara Karim from Lendlease! Tamara will be joining us on Monday 10th May at 11:15am for a live presentation followed by a Q&A session and open discussion.

Her role as a Social Value Assistant, with our project partner Lendlease, will provide some helpful insight when developing our brief. This is a great opportunity for our team to get to know the needs of our clients and the future users of the artisan studio.
Posted 9 May 2021 20:44
Day 1 round up!

Our team spent some time virtually exploring our site and it's surroundings today. Using Google Maps and Google Street View we were able to take a closer look around Albert Square in Manchester. Our team members each picked out an architectural detail that interested them from around the site and produced an image in a medium of their preference. We later shared these on MIRO and collated them to create some visual journeys through our site.
Posted 10 May 2021 23:54
Guest Speaker: Heritage trade specialists

We're looking forward to being joined by individuals who work within heritage trades, such as stone masonry and gilding, on Tuesday 11th may.

This session will be invaluable for our team as it will give us a chance to really get to grips with the specialist work they will be carrying out on the town hall. We plan on asking lots of question to find out what the requirements for these users might be.

Posted 11 May 2021 00:01
Welcome to the team!

Our team is made of first and second year BArch students from Manchester School of Architecture.
We're looking forward to working together over the next two weeks.

Posted 11 May 2021 17:02
Guest Speaker: Tomaso Boano

We were joined by our third guest speaker today, Tomaso Boano.
Founded in London in 2015 by Jonas Prišmontas and Tomaso Boano, Boano Prišmontas is a studio that fosters a creative and hands-on approach to propose design solutions in the urban environment. Their projects, ranging from bespoke furniture designs to public space interventions, often adopt modular systems that can be assembled with ease, This discussion was really helpful for our team considering our brief requires a temporary structure that can be moved around site.

Thanks for joining us Tomaso!

Take a look at some of Boano Prišmontas ingenious designs with the link below :
Posted 11 May 2021 21:10
Guest Speaker: Richard Denney

We were joined by our second guest speaker today, Richard Denneny.
A stonemason working on the Manchester Town Hall refurbishment, Richard’s talk opened the student’s eyes to the realities of stonemasonry work on restoration projects like this as well as highlighting the specific spatial and programmatic requirements for a stonemason’s workshop.
Posted 13 May 2021 10:25
Day 3 round up!

Our team had an intensive design day. We did lots of sketching, laying out our programme on site before presenting our initial designs using Miro. It was great to see everyone's ideas on paper and we can't wait to combine them over the next days as we begin to finalise our designs.
Posted 13 May 2021 17:39
Guest Speaker: James Altham

A big thank you to James Altham for joining us today to provide us with a great SketchUp workshop. James provided the team with some really helpful top tips when it comes to building SketchUp models to create renders. This will be really beneficial as we start to consider our design proposals as three dimensional spaces that fit into a wider site context.
Posted 13 May 2021 18:02
Day 4 round up!

During day 4 of MSA Live, our team further expanded on the design work of the previous day. Moving from the initial conceptual stage of the design to a more detailed one, we focused on the spatial requirements of the programme of the workshop and classroom, as well as analysing precedents and making tentative decisions on materiality and structure, laying the groundwork for further exploration.
Posted 13 May 2021 21:42
Guest Speaker: Joe Dempsey

Our team are pleased to invite Joe Dempsey of dag_Architects to join us this morning for some advice and feedback on our designs for the Artisan Studio so far. We intend to take full advantage of Joe's experience of delivering spaces which are people focused and contextually driven. This discussion will mark the end of the first week of MSA Live 2021 for our team putting us in a great position to start signing off on our final design at the beginning of week 2.

Take a look at some of Joe's work from practice with the link below:
Posted 14 May 2021 10:20
Guest Speaker: Covadonga Maldonado Suarez

We're kicking off our second week with guest speaker, Covadonga Maldonado Suarez, an Architect and visual artist from Bristol. Covadonga produces beautiful digital collages and illustrations to support her architectural designs. Our team are looking forward to finding out how she puts her images together as she gives us a some top tips in her presentation that will be followed by a Q&A session.

This will come in handy as we start to think about the final images we are going to create this week of our proposed scheme for the artisan studio in Albert Square.

Check out some of Covadonga's work on her Instagram page linked below:
Posted 17 May 2021 10:21
Week 1 round up!

Today we spent some time consolidating our ideas and design proposals for the Artisan Studio from week 1 of MSA live. Our team has created some great work including atmospheric collages of internal views, sketches of structural elements, and images placing our proposed facades in context. This week we're hoping to streamline some of our ideas into a cohesive design and produce a set of drawings with a shared vision.
Posted 17 May 2021 15:07
Client Presentation

Our team presented our design proposal for the Artisan Studio to members of Manchester City Council and our partner, Lendlease, this morning. We had some fantastic feedback, commending our experimentation with form and materiality, and are hopeful that some of our key concepts will be implemented in the future design of the Artisan Studio that is set to be constructed later this year.
With this in mind, we are all set now to make some final touches!
Posted 20 May 2021 13:35
Day 9 Round Up!

Following our final presentation to our clients and partners at Manchester City Council and Lendlease, our Team have created some amazing visuals to support our designs for the Artisan Studio. These images really help to capture the atmosphere we have created through our choices of materials and the flexible design strategies we have employed in the final scheme.
Posted 21 May 2021 13:06
Submission Time!

We're so happy to see all of our hard work and ideas presented within the final publication . This publication allows us to create a narrative of the scheme showing it's development and progression. Our team has proposed a thoughtful scheme for the Artisan Studio that is considerate of it's urban context and it's temporary life span.
Posted 21 May 2021 13:15
We asked our team members to reflect on some of the tasks and workshops they have experienced over the past two weeks with MSA Live 21 whilst designing the Artisan Studio.
Anastasia Stavrou, a BArch second year student commented;
'I really enjoyed the workshops. They gave us advice which I wouldn't have had the chance of learning. I also really enjoyed hearing how everyone approached some tasks in a different way, it made me think of new ways I can do sections and axos'
Posted 21 May 2021 19:01