Only connect! New learning hub

Available knowledge is one thing, but 'getting it' is another. Continuing its ambitious development programme, the London School of Economics has instituted LSE Life - a new centre to support students in academic, professional and personal development. An innovative student service in a newly provided space. ZZA is researching the effectiveness of this extensive facility. ZZA's evaluation outputs are used both to inform future development as well as to optimise the space researched.


The increasing number of new tower buildings is fuelling concern across cities like London + New York, especially where tall structures stray from existing clusters and disrupt familiar views. ZZA has a strong grounding on these issues, from our earlier research with Londoners' to inform city policy on tall buildings + panoramas, and 'Tall Buildings: Strategic Design Guide' (BCO / RIBA) edited by Ziona Strelitz. Our newest take, 'From Guidance to Action', reviews the emerging reality of London's skyline against the starter propositions.

What's 'smart'?

Concepts get embedded in what the supply chain provides, with applications often lifted + shifted between projects. Targeting relevance + strong alignment, ZZA is working with a big government department to forge strategic principles for smart-er working suited to its operations + culture.

Recycling buildings for value add

Since Ziona Strelitz's book, Buildings that Feel Good, ZZA has championed good adaptive reuse, and our user research features numerous adapted buildings. Ziona judges this sector of entries again in this year's World Architecture News Awards.

Knowledge share in Helsinki

ZZA is delighted once again to share perspectives on the changing workplace + its changing context with built environment professionals in Helsinki.

Revisiting London's Skyline

Ziona discusses the trajectory over the past two decades with the Urban Design Group.

Design + curation

The endless discourse on building productivity assumes that architecture can do it all. But settings need curation to achieve the outcomes we want: ZZA is working with the occupant of a fine new building to drive user benefits.

Big, small, third place

ZZA's thinking on the evolving nature of the preferred workplace reads the cultural tea-leaves. Our international study on hub environments was ahead of the curve. Why Place Still Matters in the Digital Age lays the ground for this sector of the workplace market, describing its traction with users + suppliers. Our empirical research report on workplace transformation, Improved Productivity at Lower Cost critiques the died in the wool business case for workplace consolidation, presenting an evidence-based proposition for smaller, more distributed workplaces that chime with users. Ziona Strelitz is speaking to these hot tops in panel session on offices + workplace design at the London Real Estate Forum.

Knowledge before the event

We are recognised for our thorough approach to Post Occupancy Evaluation. But drawing on deep knowledge of building use before construction helps to optimise built outcomes. ZZA is continuing our work in holistic pre-evaluation, with the most recent project reviewed a forthcoming wharfside building in Paddington.

Work-life : workplace

ZZA has deep roots in research on how we live + work, and how these change with shifts in demographics, technology and culture. Ziona Strelitz has distilled this rich evidence base in a new critique, focused on aspects of the physical workplace that really matter to users now, including the influence of austerity.

Tall buildings : referencing hindsight

ZZA has a record of research on Londoners' opinions of tall buildings. Given current concern about the increased concentration of new tall buildings, we're asked if the skyline has evolved as Ziona Strelitz envisaged when she edited 'Tall Buildings: A Strategic Design Guide'. Not exactly!

Active by design

The irony of innovation that brings negative states and new words to describe them: obesogenic! Contributing to rising interest in healthy cities, ZZA's presentation on 'Active by Design' at the Reform Club's symposium: 'Building the Walkable and Healthy City'.

Promoting student awareness of LSE Life and its programmes (top left); spaces in the centre (top + second right ©2016 LSE/Nigel Stead); the large site for the LSE's new Centre Buildings development (secondf left)
Take-homes from travel: minding the 'P's
(third and fourth right and left):
Picturing, Paving, Parking, Pzazz
The Digbeth area of Birmingham, now with vibrant, creative workplaces, and with legacy buildings + urban character poised for more.
Engaging workspace at Zellig (fifth left)
Skygarden, 20 Fenchurch Street (bottom left).
Brunel Building, Paddington. Client: Derwent London;
Design: Fletcher Priest Architects; Image: INK (7th right);
Disability + charity as sculpture:
Sculpture in the City (8th right);

River Skyline (bottom right)

Highights 2015

responsive user environments