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African Nearly Zero Housing



African Nearly Zero Housing

In the Nigerian capital Abuja, Paul McAneary Architects were commissioned to design three different housing types: a single house, block of flats and a terrace. The aim is to make use of abundant but disregarded materials, such as stone and tropical hardwood, and cultivate a strategy of passive environmental control and ‘near zero’ energy use.

Residential development in Nigeria is characterised by a dependence on inappropriate and wasteful models more suited to a temperate European climate. By responding more thoughtfully to context and climate, this radical project reconceptualises the existing approach to housing provision in a way that could act as a prototype for future development across Nigeria.

Quarried stone, which would more usually be used in road building, is caged in steel gabions to form massive external walls. Tropical hardwood, traditionally used to make concrete formwork and then discarded, is salvaged to make external elements, such as window frames. Boreholes provide a natural source of water, which also helps to cool the interior, while hot air is dispelled through the stack effect, rising through the central atrium of each dwelling.

These natural means of ventilation and cooling sever the reliance on energy-wasteful air conditioning. Communal solar power plants provide energy, supplanting profligate diesel generators. [By Catherine Slessor*]

Contract Value Undisclosed
Location Abuja, Nigeria, Africa
Client Undisclosed
Date Current
Area Undisclosed
Design Team Paul McAneary Architects
Design Service From design concept to detailed design, interior design, landscape design, structural design, 3D visualisation

Mint Store



Mint Store

Described by Max Fraser in the London Design Guide as a ‘unique and dynamic design store’, Mint has become a fixture in the capital’s design scene. Founded in 1998, it is known for the discerning curatorial and commercial eye of its owner, Lisa Kanafani, who presents exclusive works by international designers and emerging talents, along with an eclectic mixture of furniture and objects.

For the remodelled store in London’s fashionable Brompton Cross, Paul McAneary Architects carved out the existing space and inserted structural glass floors to channel natural light down into a new basement, orchestrating a sense of drama and visual connection. A beautifully detailed staircase with rough sawn oak treads, flush glass balustrade and metal handrail is a design object in itself, elevating the act of circulation into a considered and pleasurable experience.

Synthesising modern and traditional references, the reworked timber facade experiments with the proportions of the existing Neoclassical building. And, in an ironic touch, the ground floor was originally occupied by a Bulthaup kitchen showroom designed by John Pawson, for whom Paul McAneary worked prior to establishing his own studio. The commission involved the removal of Pawson’s interior, a case of the talented pupil superseding his master. [By Catherine Slessor*]

Contract Value £200k
Location Knightsbridge, London
Client Private
Date From – 2009
Area 325m2
Design Team Paul McAneary Architects
Design Service From design concept to detailed design through to end of construction, interior design, lighting design, glazing design
Main Contractor Debowski
Supplier Direct Stone, Yello Submarine, Via Bizzuno
Press 2011 ‘Fresh as mint’, Interior Public Space, August 2011 RIBA London Directory Book 2011 2010 Max Fraser, ‘London Design Guide’, 2010 Edition

Kostyál Gallery



Kostyál Gallery

Dedicated to exhibiting and selling contemporary art, the Kostyál Gallery is located in the heart of Mayfair, on historic Savile Row. The client, a financial entrepreneur turned art dealer, commissioned Paul McAneary Architects to refurbish the Grade II listed Georgian building, involving the removal of non-original lobby, replacement of lighting and heating, together with new joinery elements.

Since the listed status required that any works should preserve the fabric of the building, the design strategy protects and enhances the most architecturally significant elements by using existing materials and restoring key features. A versatile bespoke lighting system and art library optimises day to day functionality while cultivating a spirit of refinement that seamlessly synthesises old and new. [By Catherine Slessor*]

Contract Value Undisclosed
Location Saville Row Westminister, London
Client Carl Kostyál
Date 2011
Area 145m²
Design Team Paul McAneary Architects
Design Service From design concept to detailed design through to end of construction, interior design, lighting design, furniture design, survey

Institute of Contemporary Arts



Institute of Contemporary Arts

Occupying a Grade I listed building on the Mall originally designed by John Nash, the ICA is a key player in London’s arts and cultural milieu. This project explores the nature of temporary structures and how they can be deftly integrated into historic fabric without compromising it.

The brief was to devise a trio of demountable, self-supporting glazed structures on the Neoclassical frontage. Paul McAneary Architects response was to design a series of wafer-thin sheets of glass that sit precisely within the existing stone balconies.

Detailing was especially challenging as the original construction was sacrosanct and could not be used to anchor the new interventions. The outcome is refined yet robust, a synthesis of old and new that subtly animates Nash’s famous ‘wedding cake’ facade. [By Catherine Slessor*]

Contract Value Private
Location Westminister, London
Client Institute of Contemporary Arts
Date 2007
Area 145m2
Design Team Paul McAneary Architects
Design Service From design concept, glazing design,3D visualisation