GKA wins Cambridge Pavilion design competition

We are thrilled to have been selected by developers Rail Pen and Socius as the winners of Devonshire Gardens Pavilion design competition. In collaboration with Tisserin Engineers our design proposal was chosen from a shortlist of five practices. We now look forward to working with the wider Devonshire Gardens team to develop and deliver our proposal to sit at the heart of this exciting new mixed use site.

GKA work selected for London Festival of Architecture 2024

We are delighted to announce that our competition winning collaboration with Grow2Know called “Regreen North Kensington” has been included in London Festival of Architecture 2024.

Join GKA’s George King and Catherine Booth as well as Grow2Know founders Tayshan Hayden-Smith and Danny Clarke at the opening of the garden on 28th June to hear more about the design and our mission to nurture healing and learning through nature.

This installation transforms a corner of North Kensington using the power of plants to reconnect people to nature and each other. It takes the form of a sculpted pocket garden formed entirely from upcycled oil barrels and recycled plastic to create a new undulating landscape for the community to explore, play, relax and perform.

A collaboration between George King Architects and Grow2Know, this project was the winner of a LFA / Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea design competition.

Organically starting out as a group of guerrilla gardeners, reclaiming space to heal in response to the Grenfell Tower fire, Grow2Know have positioned themselves as one of the biggest advocates in driving wider access to nature through beautiful, healing and purpose-lead space. Collaborating with architect George King, they have created a unique garden that draws on the colours, patterns, and traditions of the local community.

GKA wins competition to design Aberdeen Covid Memorial

We are honoured to have been selected as the designers of the Aberdeen Covid Memorial. The memorial will be located in the city’s Bon Accord Gardens and is being delivered by Greenspace Scotland and funded by the Scottish Government. We hope it will serve as a timeless tribute to those affected by the pandemic and a beacon of hope for future generations.

Aberdeen owes its nickname of “the granite city” due to the prevalent use of granite in its urban landscape. However, it also symbolizes the city’s endurance and strength, making it an integral part of the city’s identity. We wanted to reflect this within the design of the memorial by designing a contemporary reinterpretation of a traditional Scottish Cairn made entirely from upcycled granite salvaged from the city itself and given new life within the memorial.

For more details please visit our projects page.

GKA wins Keith Hayman Award for Public Art from Sheffield Civic Trust

We are delighted to announce our Sheffield Covid Memorial won the Keith Hayman Award for Public Art from the Sheffield Civic Trust at a ceremony in the city. The award celebrates and promotes public artwork in Sheffield. Two awards are given annually: one for a sculpture and one for a mural. The award commemorates Keith Hayman, a founder member of Sheffield Civic Trust who sadly died in 2013. This award was initiated in his memory and recognises an outstanding contribution to the experience of public art in Sheffield.

Sky Garden opens in London Academy

A brightly painted, timber clad ‘Sky Garden’ has been completed in time for the new school year, providing much needed outdoor space for students at an East London School. The project, a collaboration between Holt Architecture & George King Architects, is located at the London Enterprise Academy, a school for 11-16 year olds in Tower Hamlets, London’s most densely populated borough.

The school, a converted office building in Whitechapel, originally had no outdoor play space, a situation that became increasingly problematic during the Covid pandemic and so the designers were challenged to find a way to provide outdoor recreation on this confined site. As a result a pair of bright steel and timber terraces with planted borders have sprung to life above an existing car park and basement, providing an escape from stuffy classrooms.

Conceived as a series of interlinked timber clad tree houses, the bright yellow hyperboloid columns appear as tree trunks with multiple branches supporting the lightweight sky blue canopy above. The zig-zagging boundaries break down the mass and create a series of lookouts and semi-private balconies for students to unwind and enjoy lunchtime bites. A living plant border adorned with enlarged patterns reminiscent of botanical cellular structures hugs the edges, inviting biodiversity and offering a natural learning hub for students to grow their own plants.

The structure of the platforms is tightly knitted into the existing building, with columns carefully positioned to respond to the structural grid of the basement whilst allowing continued access to the car park and electricity substation directly beneath during construction and use. Access to the platforms comes directly from the existing school by modifying the landing of an existing fire escape stair to create a secure entrance. The hyperboloid column structure, designed in collaboration with Price and Myers Engineers, creates an extremely rigid geometry that is braced in multiple directions resulting in an efficient, lightweight structure with large spans from a minimal amount of material.

GKA chosen to create Sheffield Covid Memorial

GKA has won a design competition held by Sheffield City Council to design a Covid memorial for the city’s Balm Green Gardens. The sculpture takes the form of a willow tree and will be fabricated from stainless steel.

The individual branches of the tree twist and turn before coming together to create the trunk, symbolising that as a community we are stronger together and that by supporting each other we can withstand adversity. Architecturally the form of the Willow tree with its far-reaching branches hanging down to the ground creates a welcoming, sheltered, protected space underneath which can be used for people to gather, remember and leave flowers on anniversaries.

GKA has begun work on the project and is working with a local Sheffield based fabricator. The memorial is due for completion in Spring 2023.

GKA win LFA Notting Hill Gate competition

A collaboration between GKA and North Kensington based Grow2Know has been selected from a shortlist of six to design a series of sculpted gardens around Notting Hill Gate. Kensington and Chelsea council partnered with the London Festival of Architecture to run the competition with the aim of enhancing the high street.

The design will incorporate a series of small, sculpted pocket gardens that will create a new landscape for the community to explore and enjoy. The installation will draw upon the colours, patterns and traditions of the local community, including the Notting Hill Carnival and the nearby Portobello Road Market. Each garden will be formed from upcycled oil drums which will be painted and decorated to form planters, seating and insect habitats.

GKA and Grow2KNow will work closely with the council and the local community to create a landscape that will enhance the area and provide opportunities for locals to learn about nature and the role it plays in our cities.

Kings Square opens to the public

GKA’s project in King’s Square, Gloucester had its official opening this weekend, with a day of entertainment and family activities.

The £5m regeneration of the square takes its inspiration from the world famous Severn Bore, a spectacular tidal surge which occurs along the South West’s Severn River. Inspired by the beauty of the bore and the excitement it creates, Kings Square will be defined by a series of sculptural stone waves which flow around the four edges of the square. Weaving through the trees and soft landscaping the waves create a range of spaces from small pocket gardens to larger amphitheatres. 

Unit 3 visits Makerversity at Somerset House

George King and Alex Bilton’s Greenwich University design studio started the new academic with a visit to Makerversity at Somerset House. The second and third year students were taken on a tour of the creative workshop and listened to talks from some of Makerversity’s resident makers. This year’s studio brief is entitled ‘Out of Office’ and explores the new ways of working that have emerged since March 2020 and what this means for our cities. This is George’s fifth year leading Greenwich’s Unit 3 undergraduate studio.

GKA moves into Build Studios

GKA have a new studio! We have moved in Build Studios in Waterloo, a co-working hub for companies working in the built environment. The studio is located just 5 mins walk from Westminster, Waterloo and Lambeth North stations, so if you’re in the area why not drop by and say hi!