Mcmullan Studio believes design is optimistic. Based in London, our team creates architecture of all types and scales. Whatever the project, we think every challenge has a perfect solution. To reveal it, we bring a disciplined passion for making the impossible, tangible. Empathy is at the heart of our approach. We immerse ourselves in other people’s worlds to put them at the centre of our work.

This positive vision of architecture is shaped by studio founder Andrew Mcmullan. Creating renowned global projects for fifteen years, he has shown that innovative design comes from multiple flashes of insight. Today, he brings together eclectic ideas and thoughtful pragmatism to create beautiful, buildable projects for progressive clients. People who want design to tell their story and make a deep human impact.

Zooming in and zooming out, we see beyond the obvious to create original work with deeper meaning for a place and its people. Even when the path isn’t clear, we never fall back on cliché or stale certainty. Instead, we dare to be generalists. Our breadth of perspective is our greatest strength. We connect dots that specialists are too close to see. Curiosity pushes us towards rigorous research. We question and test to exhaust possibilities and unlock creativity. Constantly adapting to answer the challenges of tomorrow.

Together, we will turn constraints into opportunities to be more inventive – from initial concept to construction in the real world. Out there is where our best ideas belong. In the evolving cities and communities that inspire what we do. Wherever our ingenuity takes us, the people and the place will be our guide.

Andrew Mcmullan (Director)

Andrew Mcmullan is a British architect whose fresh and optimistic approach to design has helped create renowned global projects that make a deep impact on places and people.

For over 15 years, Andrew has chosen originality over convention by daring to be a generalist. Whatever the type or scale of project, he believes breadth of perspective, passionate curiosity and rigorous research, all emerging through deep collaboration, will always reveal the perfect solution – one that turns real-world complexities into triumphs of design.

In 2018, he founded Mcmullan Studio to evolve his positive vision of architecture. Based in London, Andrew leads his team to create beautiful, buildable projects for progressive clients who recognise the capacity of original design to transform people’s lives.

Drawing on his senior-level experience leading projects at Allies and Morrison, Heatherwick Studio and HOK, he creates opportunities to add value to his clients at every stage of the design process. Andrew believes pragmatic challenges such as budget and environmental regulation can be the driving force for exciting architecture.

Andrew’s passion for innovative design shaped award-winning projects in New York, Singapore, London and Shanghai. A graduate of the Architectural Association and Cambridge University, he has sat on international award juries and taught at Central Saint Martins, Bartlett School of Architecture and the Architectural Association. Andrew is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Today, his studio creates ingenious yet meaningful ways to put people and places at the heart of every project.

News

‘Healthy City’ concept wins runner-up in top international prize

The studio is delighted to announce that our masterplan concept for Austrian city Innsbruck has reached an exciting new stage in Europan 15, the world’s largest biennial design competition.

In a unique decision, the international jury has invited us and another studio to develop our individual concepts to create a joint vision for Innsbruck. Answering this year’s Europan theme, ‘Productive Cities’, we took a holistic approach to making modern cities healthier, happier and more productive with designs inspired by Innsbruck’s natural surroundings and healthy lifestyle.

This year, Europan saw over 1,240 global entries compete for major projects in over 50 European cities. We’re thrilled to be given the opportunity to work with Innsbruck and Europan to create a productive city of the future.

Europan 15 Prize

Europan 15 Brief

The Flexstead wins RIBA Lakes and Dales competition

The studio is thrilled to announce that its design for affordable rural homes for young people has won an international competition run by Great Place: Lakes and Dales (GPLD) in partnership with RIBA. 

Yorkshire’s Lakes and Dales are spectacular. Sadly, many young people can’t afford to call them home. The area has 44% fewer 16-34-year-olds than the national average. To help tackle the problem, GPLD launched a competition for innovative architecture that would encourage young people to stay in the Lakes and Dales.

Chosen from designs from architects across the UK and worldwide, our winning concept is called ‘The Flexstead’ – a flexible dwelling inspired by the fluid layout of traditional local farmsteads that will give young people the freedom to create their own rural lifestyle on a budget they can afford. 

Due to be built in the village of Horton-in-Ribblesdale, our design centres round a generous two-storey stone shell with a pitched roof divided in two by a light well that will connect residents to their surroundings. The striking roof will also create a new local landmark visible (and Instagramable) from passing trains and nearby peaks.  Inside the double height space, a simple system allows the open-plan space to be adapted to suit the owners’ evolving lifestyle with minimal cost.

Designed with an ‘eco thrifty’ ethos, The Flexstead’s thermally-efficient construction will make it affordable for young people to run – a vital factor given that energy bills are considerably higher in rural areas.

To ensure the final homes meet the highest standards of affordability, sustainability and construction, we’re collaborating with some of the UK’s leading experts, including environmental design consultants and engineers Atelier Ten; construction cost analysts Moulton Taggart; structural engineering consultancy Elliott Wood Partnership, and award-winning landscape design practice Harris Bugg.

We’re looking forward to working with everyone at GLPD to create a dynamic new generation of countryside community. Here’s to a rural youthquake.

Architects’ Journal

Great Place: Lakes & Dales (GPLD)

Hefted Housing – a new model for rural communities

Designs revealed for ‘culinary cluster’ concept for Burneside, South Lakeland.

Landowners James Cropper plc, Ellergreen Estate and The Anglers Inn Trust are working on proposals to invest in the long-term, sustainable, mixed-use development of Burneside village. Regeneration specialists Igloo are development managers for the site.

Young people are transforming city life. The days of ‘dog-eat-dog’ are over. Sharing is everything. Home. Workspace. Food. Ideas. Sadly, new rural housing can dampen this co-operative spirit in young country dwellers.

We think there’s a need for a new approach. So we’ve designed a vibrant communal model that generates a vital natural resource: goodwill.  Aimed at the under 35s, our concept was inspired by a centuries-old farming method called ‘hefting’. Farmers graze their sheep on common land with no barriers between each other’s livestock. These hefted flocks are self-sustaining. They herd together, always find shelter and know the best place to find food.

Our design is for a rural enclave that encourages young people be just as self-sufficient. We call it ‘Hefted Housing’. 

Food is central to our model. Hefted Housing will give residents the chance to grow organic food, feed their families and become entrepreneurs. To kickstart this food revolution, design features includes a glass greenhouse on the front of each home; edible gardens, and a ‘Food Hub’ where the whole community can meet, make, eat and market – from throwing a harvest moon dinner to housing a micro-distillery.

Although inspired by rural living, Hefted Housing can create self-sustaining culinary clusters in villages, towns or even cities. We look forward to working with visionary partners to create our first community for the Goodwill Generation.

Architects Declare

Mcmullan Studio has signed the Architects Declaration issued by seventeen Stirling Prize winning practices declaring a ‘climate and biodiversity emergency’.

As advocates of sustainable construction we believe that architects need to engage in the defining issue of our age and be part of the solution. We are committing to strengthening our working practices to create architecture and urbanism that has a more positive impact on the world around us.

For details see the website.

Finalist in RIBA Lakes and Dales competition

We are delighted to have been shortlisted for an RIBA international competition for innovative housing within the Yorkshire Dales and Lakes. The project aims to attract young people back to the region through the provision of creative and flexible homes.

RIBA Chartered Practice

The Studio has been accepted onto the Royal Institute of British Architects’ register of Chartered Practices. As an RIBA Chartered Practice, we are committed to the highest standards of professionalism, best practice and ethics.

The Looking Glass

St Paul’s cathedral has been a London landmark for over 300 years. Intelligent planning policy means it can still be seen from Richmond Park. But visitors leaving St Paul’s tube station are sent in the opposite direction of the cathedral. So, Wren’s masterpiece is often stumbled on, not signposted with pride. We wanted to put his right with our concept for St Paul’s Plinth – a site-specific installation in the shadow of the world-famous cathedral. 

We proposed a new landmark for London called ‘The Looking Glass’. Inspired by the kaleidoscopic geometry and ornamentation inside St Paul’s dome, our concept was designed to create its own mesmerising effect on a human scale. At its heart was a sculptural structure constructed from mirrored acrylic sections that would reflect the constantly changing light and life around it.

From a distance, you’d see a field of colour changing throughout the day. Like all the best landmarks, it was designed to cut through the city bustle and make you stop, look and think. Come closer and you’d be met by a giant kaleidoscope suspended in the air. Looking up through the ‘funnel’, St Paul’s and its skyline would be reflected back in an ever-changing cascade of colours. At night, low-energy lights inside the structure would bounce off its mirrored panels into the night sky.

Tourist, resident or city worker – everyone would enjoy their own unique encounter with the famous landmark, encouraging them to look beyond the tourist attraction to see it in fresh and unexpected ways. By creating an exciting and dynamic human experience, ‘The Looking Glass’ would shrink boundaries between the city and its people, and become a new world-class landmark for London.

Pee for Pavilion

The Architecture Foundation wanted subversive ideas for its Antepavilion 2019. We were happy to answer the call of creativity – and nature.

The theme was ‘Beacon’. For us, that meant a symbol of hope for the modern metropolis – a celebration of the diversity and inclusivity you find in a city.  At the Great Exhibition of 1851 the world’s largest diamond was outshone by a man-made sensation. The first public toilets. Inspired by the Victorians, we wanted to create a shrine to the one experience that unites us all – going to the toilet.

Today, public toilets are being wiped out. In London, there are just 400 to serve 7.5 million people. That’s one loo for every 18,000 Londoners. Our proposal was designed to stop their decline and rethink the role of public toilets in the 21stcentury global city.

We proposed a fluid landmark visible, day and night, to kickstart a toilet renaissance. A bold geometric structure over six-metres tall, our pavilion’s unique shape was created by three toilet cubicles hidden inside. By day, visitors could gaze out to view the nearby canal and beyond. At night, the pavilion’s physical structures would seem to vanish, leaving a glowing presence on the skyline.

To achieve this free-flowing effect, we designed rope screens to drape over the exterior. Why rope? It connected the pavilion to its canal location. (You can still see tow rope marks on nearby bridges.) The decorative knots used to fix ropes in place evoked Victorian lavatory pulls. Above all, we wanted to create a dynamic space where light and shadow would constantly change as the ropes were moved by the wind or hands.

The demure Victorians created palaces to hygiene. Our vision was more radical. We wanted to launch ‘The Occupied Movement’.