- Environment & Infrastructure
- Strategic consulting
- Specialist consulting
- The Living City
- Happold Consulting
A second language is best learned at an early stage - leave it too late and the effort required increases dramatically. The same goes for learning the nuances of different design skills in the built environment.
Ted Happold recognised this and sought to educate those who aspired to design for the built environment at the same time. Future architects, structural engineers and building services engineer studied together at the school Ted established at Bath University. They became fluent in the language of each other's disciplines.
An anticipated rise in the demand for student places in the '90s led to a proliferation of accredited undergraduate building service courses in the UK. Unfortunately the increase in student numbers didn't materialise and sadly several courses, including those at Bath, closed their doors as student numbers became dispersed amongst a larger number of schools - which was a shame.
In a bid to explore what has been lost Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios teamed with Buro Happold to stage a symposium at Bath University. The stars of the show would be eminent building environmental designers who had studied at Bath. The line up featured our own Neil Billett, Dave Richards (Arup), Ant Wilson (Aecom), Andy Ford (Mott Macdonald), Patrick Bellew (Atellier 10), Guy Battle (Deloitte), Klaus Bodo (BDSP). Two architects Keith Bradley (FCBS) and Selҫuk Avci (Avci Architects) also joined the line up of speakers.
It's rare to get a group of potential competitors in the same room, talking freely of the challenges they face and the solutions they have pioneered. This resulted in the 300 seat auditorium being filled to capacity by a mix of fellow designers, contractors and students.
For me the language which flowed highlighted the benefit of mutual understanding between architect and engineer, to seek integrated solutions and to recognise the need to compromise in order to yield effective design. It was great to see but also sad to reflect that the teaching which provided the foundation is now no longer available. In fact one of the striking things for me was the fact that all the speakers regularly taught on architectural undergraduate course, but virtually none were involved in the academic education of engineers.
Peter Clegg, Andy Ford and I were all left feeling that we need to do more…