John McAslan + Partners is a UK based architecture firm founded by a British architect John Renwick McAslan in 1996.John Renwick McAslan was born on 16 February 1954 in Glasgow, Scotland. McAslan has MA and Diploma in Architecture in 1977 and 1978 respectively from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. McAslan joined Richard Roger’s and partners in 1980 after training in Boston, the USA with Cambridge’s seven associates. He is well known for his careful restoration and redevelopment of historic buildings in the UK and overseas. His remarkable design work on one of the iconic buildings of London, The Roundhouse, brings both new form and function to old structures. McAslan has also taught and lectured widely.

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In 1997 McAslan established the John McAslan Family Trust, a charity organization to support arts and educational projects both in the UK and overseas. By doing so, the trust acquired the Burgh Hall at Dunoon from a property developer for the token sum of £1 to restore the building and create a new community-focused center for contemporary arts. 

In 2004 his firm, John McAslan + Partners, jointly established a new bursary to recognize and support innovative design projects with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE). The firm has also co-launched the McAslan Architecture Travel Fellowship in 2019 which awarded two US Architecture students annually with a study and travel scholarship to work with the World Monuments Fund in the restoration program for the Madame Gauthier Villa in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

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John McAslan + Partners was named World Architect of the Year in 2009 by Building Design magazine where McAslan was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the New Year Honors 2012, for his architecture services. McAslan was also appointed Honorary Consul of The Republic of Haiti in the United Kingdom between 2012-2013, following the practice’s work and assistance in the wake of the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

In 2014 he was appointed Regent to the University of Edinburgh and was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor honoris causa in 2015. In 2019 McAslan was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. 

Below is a list of projects by the practice to be discussed briefly.  

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  • The Sydney Central Station
  • The Roundhouse
  • The Olympic Energy Centre 
  • The Burrell Collection 
  • The British School 
  • The Sacred Heart Cathedral
  • The Msheireb Mosque 
  • The Iron Market
  • The King’s Cross Station 
  • The Kigali Memorial Centre, Amphitheatre  
  • The Mandarin Oriental Hotel and Residences
  • The Max Mara Headquarters 
  • The Yapi Kredi Operation Centers  
  • The Oasis Academy Hadley 
  • The Malawi Schools 

1. The Sydney Central Station

Location- Sydney, Australia
Year- 2019 onwards

The Sydney central station is a jointly led metro system main entrance sequence design and Sydney metro upgrading project by John McAslan + Partners and Woods Bagot, an Australian practice. The project is akin to showcase a sound, regenerated, and most importantly refreshed architectural blend to Australia’s biggest public transport infrastructure project worth of $20billion. The successful joint effort of the two practices and their respective multidisciplinary design team brought a new looking and contemporary narrative towards the early 20th century and 112 years old station structure.

The Sydney Central Station - Sheet1
Sydney Central Station_©John Mc Aslan + Partners
The Sydney Central Station - Sheet2
Sydney Central Station_©John Mc Aslan + Partners
The Sydney Central Station - Sheet3
Sydney Central Station_©John Mc Aslan + Partners

2. The Roundhouse

Location- London, UK
Year- 2006

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Historically the building was designed by Robert B. Dockray and Robert Stephenson in the mid-19th century with a great Circular shape and Engine House purpose for the Birmingham railway. The building was then tenured for many uses like serving as a warehouse for a gin distiller. But later the roundhouse was repurposed by McAslan’s studio to a dramatic cultural hall and London’s leading art venue by including a spacious studio, auditorium, and acoustic mass on the roof. John McAslan + Partners has done a remarkable and RIBA award-winning renovation on the building in 2006 and 2007 respectively. The renovation has sensitively left intact the original Victorian architectural style and structural aesthetics. The building showcases juxtaposed and an imposing humanoid sculpture by Antony Gormley. The roundhouse is said to be a benchmark model of a multicultural society in accentuating the blend and harmony of contemporary architecture and history.

The Roundhouse - Sheet1
The Roundhouse _©Hufton+Crow Photography
The Roundhouse - Sheet2
The Roundhouse _©Hufton+Crow Photography
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The Roundhouse _©Hufton+Crow Photography
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The Roundhouse _©Hufton+Crow Photography

3. The Olympic Energy Centre 

Location- London, UK
Year- 2012

The Olympic Energy Centre is designed with inspiration from London’s historic great power stations to present power generation as a new kind of monumental presence in two east London communities. Located at the eastern edge of the Olympic park, the energy center provides biomass heating and a cooling system for the Olympic venues and the legacy developments on the Olympic site through developing an urban character, firmly charming look, and scenery of the Lea Valley. The energy center has a red and meshed corten steel envelope to screen louver and fenestration adaptations in the underlying weathering envelope, creating a flush, uniform, monolithic appearance. John McAslan + Partners practice has successfully strived in introducing and showcasing a pleasantly bold visual communication of the highest distinction in both architectural form and function. 

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The Olympic Energy Centre  - Sheet1
Olympic Energy Center_©Hufton+Crow Photography
The Olympic Energy Centre  - Sheet2
Olympic Energy Center_©Hufton+Crow Photography
The Olympic Energy Centre  - Sheet3
Olympic Energy Center_©Hufton+Crow Photography
The Olympic Energy Centre  - Sheet4
Olympic Energy Center_©Hufton+Crow Photography

4. The Burrell Collection 

Location- Glasgow, Scotland
Year- 2012

The Burrell Collection building houses a diverse themed art collection of Sir William Burrell, a local wealthy industrialist. It contains some 9,000 internationally significant medieval, Islamic, Chinese, Egyptian, and French Impressionist works of art. John McAslan + Partners did an interesting restoration and modernization work on the Burrell Collection landmark building which was originally designed by Barry Gasson, British academia and modernist architect in 1983. The restoration and modernization works include volumetric and layout interventions, internally, to create new learning spaces, open-access storage, special exhibition areas, updated café, and retail facilities. By incorporating the site’s immediate foliage and terraces into the design, the museum building offers a circular peripheral route or criss-cross route to the museum down the narrow galleries in which the exhibition visitors are privileged to take basic entrants route options.  

The Burrell Collection - Sheet1
The Burrell Collection_©John Mc Aslan + Partners
The Burrell Collection - Sheet2
The Burrell Collection_©John Mc Aslan + Partners
The Burrell Collection - Sheet3
The Burrell Collection_©John Mc Aslan + Partners
The Burrell Collection - Sheet4
The Burrell Collection_©John Mc Aslan + Partners

5. The British School 

Location- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Year- 2016

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John McAslan + Partners has designed a low energy award winning and  £10 million invested building for the British School in Rio de Janeiro. The original elongated and low-rise building before its educational task had a classic modernist style with circulation routes and core areas in the voids between classrooms formed as a hub for the British team during the 2016 Rio Olympics. The McAslan’s practice has also introduced a landscape environment strategy that unifies the school’s accommodation, creating a coherent green setting as a framework for educational and recreational facilities designed to Sport England specifications. The main obstacle for the practice was to incorporate the volume of the triple-height main hall which later became a key generator of the design. The school’s teaching spaces strongly stick to the values and cultures of the British school’s education which increases pedagogical philosophy, learning technologies, and collaboratively creative knowledge.

The British School - Sheet1
The British School_©John Mc Aslan + Partners
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The British School_©John Mc Aslan + Partners
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The British School_©John Mc Aslan + Partners
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The British School_©John Mc Aslan + Partners
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The British School_©John Mc Aslan + Partners
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The British School_©John Mc Aslan + Partners
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The British School_©John Mc Aslan + Partners

6. The Sacred Heart Cathedral

Location- Kericho, Kenya
Year- 2015

The Sacred Heart Cathedral, the second-largest cathedral In Kenya in accommodating a congregation of almost 1500 followers. The building has an eye-catchy, remarkable, and inclined roof structure with a volume of more than 1,375-meter cube which remains to showcase an urban character and visual flavor to the Kericho area and more. By fusing the historic and African styles of decoration and ecclesiast, the ascending internal form negotiates with the lateral and vertical natural light sources. The interior space has a focal cross made from brass by local artist Tums whereas the plumbing and water management of the building is interestingly linked to irrigation purposes. This simple and certain design has won many building, architecture, and design awards.

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The Sacred Heart Cathedral - Sheet1
Sacred Heart Cathedral_©Edmund Sumner
The Sacred Heart Cathedral - Sheet2
Sacred Heart Cathedral_©Edmund Sumner
The Sacred Heart Cathedral - Sheet3
Sacred Heart Cathedral_©Edmund Sumner
The Sacred Heart Cathedral - Sheet4
Sacred Heart Cathedral_©Edmund Sumner
The Sacred Heart Cathedral - Sheet5
Sacred Heart Cathedral_©Edmund Sumner

7. The Msheireb Mosque 

Location- Doha, Qatar
Year- 2015

Msheireb Mosque is designed precisely based on the traditional Qatari mosque styles, Islamic resemblance, and architectural legacies. The simple and calm looking geometry of the building generously renders smooth pattern, spirituality, dope functionality, and modernist use of dappled light for interior purposes. The building has a rectilinear architectural form and, cuboid volumed stone minaret which is circular in section and tapers towards the top, requiring each course of stones to be cut differently to achieve the overall form due to its reducing radius. The Mosque has been designed to ‘LEED’ gold standard and utilizes passive and active sustainable techniques including photovoltaic and solar water heaters. 

The Msheireb Mosque  - Sheet1
Msheireb Mosque_©Hufton+Crow Photography
The Msheireb Mosque  - Sheet2
Msheireb Mosque_©Hufton+Crow Photography
The Msheireb Mosque  - Sheet3
Msheireb Mosque_©Hufton+Crow Photography
The Msheireb Mosque  - Sheet4
Msheireb Mosque_©Hufton+Crow Photography

8. The Iron Market

Location- Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Year- 2011

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John McAslan + Partners was commissioned to rebuild and restore the Marché de Fer in Haiti language or the Iron market in time for it to re-open on the first anniversary of January 2010’s earthquake. Originally built in 1891, the Iron Market building is a cultural, historic, and architectural landmark in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Even if the market was partially damaged by a fire in 2008 and then in 2010, a powerful earthquake, the orange iron structure was helped to resurrect with its thoughtfully preserved or repaired key elements in a way it firmly can resist earthquakes and fulfill seismic requirements. 

The Iron Market - Sheet1
Iron Market_©Hufton+Crow Photography
The Iron Market - Sheet2
Iron Market_©Hufton+Crow Photography
The Iron Market - Sheet3
Iron Market_©Hufton+Crow Photography
The Iron Market - Sheet4
Iron Market_©Hufton+Crow Photography

9. The King’s Cross Station 

Location- London, UK
Year- 2012

King’s Cross originated in west London and is perceived as an iconic architectural gateway to the city. The King’s Cross Station is seen extraordinarily transformed by McAslan’s practice. The station remains to feature and own Europe’s largest single-span station structure. By applying diverse phased and layered design thinking to the building design processes, the practice has successfully implemented three very different styles of architecture: re-use, restoration, and new build. Archdaily’s part read about the station found generalizing about the essence, transformation, and elegance as put here “The ambitious transformation of the station creates a remarkable dialogue between Cubitt’s original station and 21st-century architecture – a quantum shift in strategic infrastructure design in the UK.”

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The King’s Cross Station  - Sheet1
King_s Cross Station_©Hufton+Crow Photography
The King’s Cross Station  - Sheet2
King_s Cross Station_©Hufton+Crow Photography

The King’s Cross Station  - Sheet3

The King’s Cross Station  - Sheet4
King_s Cross Station_©Hufton+Crow Photography
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King_s Cross Station_©Hufton+Crow Photography
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King_s Cross Station_©Hufton+Crow Photography
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King_s Cross Station_©Hufton+Crow Photography

The King’s Cross Station  - Sheet8

The King’s Cross Station  - Sheet9
King_s Cross Station_©Hufton+Crow Photography
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King_s Cross Station_©Hufton+Crow Photography

10. The Kigali Memorial Centre, The Amphitheatre   

Location- Kigali, Rwanda
Year- 2007

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The new Amphitheatre designed by John McAslan + Partners marks the first phase of the practice’s masterplan for the Kigali Genocide Memorial in Rwanda. It was formally inaugurated on Tuesday 8th April 2014. John McAslan + Partners have a considerable body of work in Africa. One of the studio’s key projects in Africa is the masterplan for the Kigali Genocide Memorial in Rwanda. Established in 2004, The Kigali Genocide memorial aspires to set a new paradigm in Africa’s ability to respond constructively and sustainably to the catastrophic loss of life that occurs through violent genocidal repression and tragic ignorance. The masterplan includes several landscapes and building interventions focused on creating a memorable and dignified environment that supports the importance of the Memorial as a national and international center for peace and reconciliation. The master plan consists of remarkable amphitheater structures consist of the stage and the audience which create one open area. To mark the 20th commemoration of the genocide, a 1,200 seat amphitheater was constructed at the memorial. The amphitheater hosts memorial events, educational workshops, dramatic performances, cultural and historical events, and film screenings. The construction of the amphitheater was made possible with support from the UK Department of International Development (DFID), the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Government of Japan, and the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOIKA)..

The Kigali Memorial Centre, The Amphitheatre    - Sheet1
Amphitheatre at Kigali Memorial Center _©kgm.rw
The Kigali Memorial Centre, The Amphitheatre    - Sheet2
Amphitheatre at Kigali Memorial Center _©kgm.rw
The Kigali Memorial Centre, The Amphitheatre    - Sheet3
Amphitheatre at Kigali Memorial Center _©kgm.rw
The Kigali Memorial Centre, The Amphitheatre    - Sheet4
Amphitheatre at Kigali Memorial Center _©kgm.rw

11. The Mandarin Oriental Hotel and Residences

Location- Doha, Qatar
Year- 2018

The design of this distinctive 5-star hotel and residences complex for the Mandarin Oriental Group in Doha is a flagship project within the 35ha, $5bn Msheireb Downtown Doha regeneration project. John McAslan + Partners’ scheme took its cues from traditional Qatari buildings, sikkat alleys and courtyards and reinterpreted them in a contemporary Modernist language. The buildings and spaces are carefully articulated in plan to avoid any sense of heavy massing and to create a shaded, restful oasis within the hotel and apartment buildings, which form one end of the Al Baraha Square, the centerpiece of the Msheireb redevelopment, with John McAslan + Partners’ Cultural Forum at its opposite end.  

Source: https://www.mcaslan.co.uk/work/mandarin-oriental-hotel-and-residences 

The Mandarin Oriental Hotel and Residences - Sheet1
Mandarin Oriental Hotel and Residences_©John Mc Aslan + Partners
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Mandarin Oriental Hotel and Residences_©John Mc Aslan + Partners
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Mandarin Oriental Hotel and Residences_©John Mc Aslan + Partners
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Mandarin Oriental Hotel and Residences_©John Mc Aslan + Partners
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Mandarin Oriental Hotel and Residences_©John Mc Aslan + Partners
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Mandarin Oriental Hotel and Residences_©John Mc Aslan + Partners

12. The Max Mara Headquarters 

Location- South Milan, Italy
Year- 2004

The Max mara building complex is headquarters complex for this leading Italian fashion house, Max Mara. The building resembles an entirely glazed modernist character by exposing concrete, steel, brick and glass with the layout of the structures and park inspired by the mixture of open and closed vistas of the surrounding agricultural field patterns. The complex include an environment friendly eco-park designed in collaboration with the leading American landscape architect Peter Walker. 

The Max Mara Headquarters
Max Mara Headquarters ©John Mc Aslan + Partners

13. The Yapi Kredi Operation Centers  

Location- Gebze, Turkey
Year- 2000

The operational headquarters of Yapi Kredi Bank is located on a large steeply sloping site overlooking the Sea of Marmara and was one of John McAslan + Partners’ earliest corporate schemes. The campus for 2,500 staff of this leading Turkish retail bank is composed of 10 linked modular courtyard buildings that step down across the hillside. John McAslan + Partners, working with Arup, was responsible for master planning, architecture, space planning, interiors, and landscaping. Opened by the President of Turkey in 2000, the headquarters complex includes administrative, operational, training, conference, and social amenities, connected by a series of fabric-covered internal streets. These interconnecting, covered routes are a reference to the historic bazaars of Istanbul and provide a distinctive heart space for the low-energy extendable headquarters campus. 

Source: https://www.mcaslan.co.uk/work/yapi-kredi-operations-centre 

The Yapi Kredi Operation Centers   - Sheet1
Yapi Kredi Operation Centers_©John Mc Aslan + Partners
The Yapi Kredi Operation Centers   - Sheet2
Yapi Kredi Operation Centers_©John Mc Aslan + Partners
The Yapi Kredi Operation Centers   - Sheet3
Yapi Kredi Operation Centers_©John Mc Aslan + Partners

14. The Oasis Academy Hadley 

Location- London, UK
Year- 2013

The Oasis academy is  a specialist Maths, ICT and Music school – on a former industrial site in Enfield for whom John McAslan + Partners was appointed to design a new building. The building is at the heart of a wider urban regeneration plan for Ponders End and South Street. It includes spaces for the cultural and sports activities (indoor sports hall, dance studios, changing rooms, and an all-weather pitch and multi-use games area. The building has some interesting sustainable features including reduced carbon footprint, and generation of renewable energy. Moreover, the building has features including roof-mounted solar thermal and photovoltaic panels, heating plant configured to allow future connection to a Combined Heat and Power Plant (CHP), orientation to reduce solar gain, heat pumps and batteries and solar control glass.

The Oasis Academy Hadley  - Sheet1
Oasis Academy Hadley_©John Mc Aslan + Partners
The Oasis Academy Hadley  - Sheet2
Oasis Academy Hadley_©John Mc Aslan + Partners
The Oasis Academy Hadley  - Sheet3
Oasis Academy Hadley_©John Mc Aslan + Partners
The Oasis Academy Hadley  - Sheet4
Oasis Academy Hadley_©John Mc Aslan + Partners
The Oasis Academy Hadley  - Sheet5
Oasis Academy Hadley ©John Mc Aslan + Partners 34

15. The Malawi Schools 

Location- Rumphi, Malawi
Year- 2010

This project is a partnership project by the Clinton Global Initiative and the Malawi Ministry of Education and the design is developed by John Mc Aslan + Partners in partnership with Arup to create low-cost, environmentally responsive, naturally-lit classroom buildings for rural schoolchildren. This model remains to be a continually adopted school prototype in Malawi, one of the world’s least developed, most densely populated countries. In addition to re-establishing the existing school as a focal community building for all family activity – education, health and social; the  ultimate aim of the model design was to introduce the quality of light and environmental performance for an existing school in Rumphi. The familiar communal activities incorporated to the prototype building design has brought a successful association and familiarity with the building encourages parents to send their children to school. 

The Malawi Schools - Sheet1
Malawi Schools ©Eldson Chagara
The Malawi Schools - Sheet2
Malawi Schools ©Eldson Chagara
The Malawi Schools - Sheet3
Malawi Schools ©Eldson Chagara

References: 

  1. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_McAslan
  2. https://peoplepill.com/people/john-mcaslan/
Author

Nahom is an interdiciplinary Architect and built environment practitioner who strives to use the untapped potential of architecture and experiential design for working on the holistic betterment of livelihoods. He has an initiative which works to build and re-build proactive urban community in Ethiopia.

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