A Museum for Now
We’re delighted to announce the launch of a new project we’re very passionate about – A Museum For Now – a new website and forum that looks at what museums could and should be, now and in the future. It takes the form of ideas and essays by our own team, along with some fascinating future visions conceived of by the postgraduate class we’ve been leading at the School of Art, Architecture and Design at London Metropolitan University. Further guest writers to be announced. Link to the website here.
We Are Hiring: Part I, Part II and a Graphic Designer
Sutton Hoo in the Architects’ Journal
We’re very grateful to the Architects Journal for their superb, newly-published Building Study of the Sutton Hoo tower, a new-build intervention and just one part of our five-year project to rework and reinterpret the visitor experience at one of the jewels of the Anglo-Saxon era and one of the most archeologically-significant sites in Europe. Read the article here
The Human Touch Opens at the Fitzwilliam Museum
This exhibition at the Fitzwilliam that explores touch, has opened. There are many extraordinary artists displayed in this fascinating exhibition – including: Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Hogarth, Turner, Rodin, Degas, Frank Auerbach, Richard Long, and many more. We really enjoyed creating a sensory set of displays where the craft of making and tactility is explored throughout the displays. We were also thrilled to be invited to make a film about the exhibition’s themes that features at the Fitzwilliam. Read more about the exhibition here
The Museum at Wordsworth Grasmere opens
The Museum at Wordsworth Grasmere, the second phase of work at the former Lake District home of the great English Romantic poet William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy, is now complete and open to the public, with all gallery, exhibition design and interpretative overviews by Nissen Richards Studio. The first phase of re-design work encompassed the conservation and reinterpretation of Dove Cottage itself, where William and Dorothy once lived, plus the design of a new identity for Wordsworth Grasmere and the scheme’s signage and wayfinding.
Victoria: Women and the Crown Exhibition Wins Eastern Eye Award
We are so delighted that the exhibition ‘Victoria: Woman and Crown’ we designed for our client Historic Royal Palaces at Kensington Palace in London has been given the Eastern Eye ‘Editor’s Special Award’ for its great success in attracting a diverse mix of visitors. Congratulations to everyone who worked on the project! See the project here
Jim Richards chooses his Designer Playlist
Jim Richards was asked by online magazine Designerati to share a list of his 15 favourite tracks for their Designer Playlist page, as well as to talk about three of the most significant songs on the list. Jim’s list runs from The Smiths and The Clash to The Stone Roses and Interpol. Read about his choices and listen to the playlist here
Pippa Nissen a Judge at Design Week Awards 2021
Pippa Nissen has been invited to be a judge at this year’s Design Week Awards. Pippa very much enjoys this exposure to new work and upcoming designers and practices, as well as the inevitable debates with fellow judges! This is the second time Pippa has served on the Design Week Awards jury, having also judged at the Blueprint and FX Awards and for the AJ Student Prize in 2020 and 2019.
Boundary Yard, Newbury
Our new residential development in Newbury for Nelson Land is progressing well on site and the concrete frame is now ‘topped out’. The redevelopment of the former Sterling Cables site required extensive remediation and will eventually provide 167 new homes over two phases. The external two-tone masonry envelope to phase one will commence later this month and we look forward to completion in 2022.
RIBA Publication RETHINK Design Guide: Architecture For A Post-Pandemic World
Pippa Nissen has authored a chapter of a new RIBA book on post-pandemic architecture called RETHINK. The chapter concerns the future of the cultural sector and includes essays by Pippa, Jim Richards and Marie-Lise Oulmont from the practice, along with clients Sushma Jansari of the British Museum and Jane Samuels of the Natural History Museum, plus various of our regular creative collaborators; Zerlina Hughes of Studio ZNA; Lu Mansell from Factory Settings and Finn Ross from FRAY. It is now for sale in the RIBA bookshop!
New Installations at the Wallace Collection
We have worked at the Wallace Collection on two new installations to showcase highlights from the Collection – an exceptionally rare full set of medieval armour, one of only three in the world, and the works of Jean-Henri Riesener, France’s most important cabinetmaker during the reign of Louis XVI. Read more here.
New film in The Human Touch at The Fitzwilliam Museum
We made a film as part of our work on the exhibition design at the Fitzwilliam Museum, The Human Touch: Marking Art, Leaving Traces that opens on January 6th. We worked on the project during 2020 and the various stages of lockdown, reappraising our relationship with touch. The film explores the key themes from the exhibition as well as looking in detail at some of the artworks on display. Thanks to the director of photography Pete Bateson for his expertise as we experimented together with the objects and light. Watch the film here
National Portrait Gallery Interpretation Design
Nissen Richards Studio is delighted to have been appointed as Interpretation Designer for the National Portrait Gallery, London’s major transformation project, Inspiring People. The project involves a comprehensive re-presentation of the Collections and new interpretive approaches across the entire Gallery. It represents the Gallery’s biggest ever redevelopment since the building in St Martin’s Place first opened in the late 19th Century. Pippa Nissen, Director of Nissen Richards Studio, commented ‘We are very much looking forward to working alongside the existing design team – Jamie Fobert Architects and Purcell. The National Portrait Gallery is one of our favourite galleries and it will be a great pleasure to work with one of the largest and most significant portrait Collections in the world.’
Jim shares his inspirations for Architecture Magazine
Jim Richards, Director of of Nissen Richards Studio has talked about what inspires him in the new edition of Architecture Magazine. Jim namechecks the Birnbeck Pier, an icon of hometown Weston-super-Mare, the photography of Bernd and Hilla Becher and the uplifting experience – currently on hold – of being part of a crowd at a football match or music gig. Read the article here
Gold London Design Award
We are delighted to be awarded the Gold London Design Award in the ‘Interior Design – International Public or Institutional’ category for Opplyst, a new gallery space for the National Library of Norway. Opplyst, meaning ‘Enlightened’, refers to the new exhibition’s central concept: the display of thirty highly-significant objects from the country’s history – fragments that helped shape the nation. Read more about the project here.
Silver London Design Award
We are really pleased to have been awarded a silver award for Magazine London, in the ‘Architecture, Commercial, Constructed’ category. Magazine London is a major new event space for the capital by our clients Venue Lab, Vibration Group, Broadwick Live and Knight Dragon. The building, an 8m-high, monolithic, L-shaped black box, forms a dynamic new horizontal plane against the vertical cluster of City of London towers beyond. Read more about the project here
Diploma Unit at London Metropolitan University
We are excited to be starting a postgraduate teaching unit as a practice at London Metropolitan University this year, where we will be asking students to design a new Museum for Now. Our unit will be looking at architecture from the point of view of experience and how we can design a series of spaces as a carefully choreographed route. We are working on 2 projects over the year. Firstly a smaller building to house an exhibition, and then a new museum building in the Hackney Marshes. We will look at themes around light and materials, and how we can make our cultural buildings relevant today; how has the pandemic changed our view of culture and society? Read more here
Pippa Nissen Judges AJ Student Prize and Gives Advice
The AJ Student Prize 2020 will be announced on 30thSeptember, when the winners of the undergraduate and postgraduate categories will be revealed – as well as the winner of the sustainability award. Pippa Nissen of Nissen Richards Studio was delighted to be asked to be a judge of the awards once again this year and will additionally be giving the winners, finalists and other viewers of the virtual awards her top ten tips for starting up in practice.
Refugees: Forced to Flee Opens
We designed this moving exhibition that has now opened at the Imperial War Museum in London. The exhibition confronts common perceptions by exploring personal experiences of people who have been forced to flee their homes and the challenges they face in making their journey safe and re-settling.
Pippa Nissen features in FX’s Radical Thinking
Pippa Nissen was delighted to be interviewed in depth for the regular FX feature ‘Radical Thinking’ in the magazine’s September/October 2020 issue, answering questions from childhood influences to Pippa’s fascination with the 20thcentury movement from symbolism to Art Nouveau and Art Deco in Europe.
Orsman Road Development Granted Planning Permission
Planning permission has been granted for our proposed new development on Orsman Road in Hackney. This part 3/4 storey new building providing new studio office space is carefully integrated with the existing complex of buildings that sit alongside Regents Canal, and the new building reinstates the original historic wharf typology while making wider improvements to the surrounding hard landscaping as well as providing improvements to local ecology and biodiversity.
Dove Cottage Opens
As part of Reimagining Wordsworth, of the 250th anniversary of the birth of the great English Romantic poet, William Wordsworth, Wordsworth Grasmere has unveiled the first phase of a re-imagined visitor journey at Dove Cottage, Wordsworth’s former Lake District home which has now opened to visitors. The newly-expanded Museum on the site will open in spring 2021 in a second phase. Nissen Richards Studio has worked as the interpretation designer shaping the experience for the visitors – as well as exhibition, graphic, wayfinding and branding designers.
Photographer Ivan Jones shot a portrait of Nissen Richards Studio Director Pippa Nissen back in 2013, as part of a series on architects-who-happen-to-be-women. The series has now been revisited with the architects featured invited both to look back on that time and recap on what has happened since. Read what Pippa Nissen had to say here
Shortlisted for Design Week Award
We are thrilled that Sutton Hoo has made the Design Week Awards shortlist in the Exhibition design category. Fingers crossed on the 29th June when the winner will be announced. See the project here.
First Award of 2020
The temporary exhibition we completed in 2019 for the Wallace Collection, displaying the fantastical designs of master shoe designer Manolo Blahnik, set amongst the world-renowned paintings and objects of the collection’s 18th century rooms, has been granted a new plaudit to add to its double-award haul from last year. The project is a Silver Winner at the GOV Design Awards 2020 and was personally selected for the award by the Chairman of DRIVENXDESIGN.
Post Lockdown Exhibition Design
We have been thinking about the post lockdown landscape and what this means for exhibition design and how we can make adjustments to the layouts to take account of social distancing. We have come up with a list of suggestions – read them here
RIBA-Accredited Conservation Architect
Jim Richards has been awarded the status of Conservation Architect by the Royal Institute of British Architects, a prestigious achievement. We look forward to working on more fascinating projects where we can utilise his in-depth knowledge and expertise of working with historic buildings.
Pippa Nissen Interviewed by Architecture Magazine
‘I think we are unusual in that our process is quite open in the sense that, when we take on a project, we do a lot of research because we want to work really clearly with the clients’ vision. As a multidisciplinary practice, we like to work on a project and surrender ourselves to the process to get the very best outcome’
Read the full interview here
Opplyst opens at National Library of Norway
Opplyst, a new permanent exhibition at The National Library of Norway, has now opened. The title, meaning ‘Enlightened’, refers to the exhibition’s central concept: thirty highly-significant objects from the country’s history put on display together for the first time and based on a concept of light arising from darkness, with every aspect bespoke-designed by Nissen Richards Studio, including branding and graphics, in order to create this dramatic immersion into Norway’s fascinating history.
New identity for Clwb Ifor Bach
Nissen Richards Studio has designed a new identity system and website for Cardiff music venue Clwb Ifor Bach, inspired by the plan for the forthcoming venue revamp. The new logomark represents a vertical re-telling of the new building configuration, also designed by Nissen Richards Studio – whilst also referencing sound bars. This triple dynamism is further reflected in the new logotype, which uses a combination of different typeface weights to convey movement and music.
Planning permission has been granted in Upper Norwood
Wordsworth Grasmere new identity
Nissen Richards Studio has created a new identity and brand applications for Wordsworth Grasmere, bringing together the classic and contemporary through a bespoke set of characters initially inspired by Baskerville, the typeface used to print Wordsworth’s first editions. The logo’s unique ligature represents connection and references handwriting, as does its ink-and-water-stained background, created in a number of colours to reflect the site and surrounding landscape.
Opening at the Wallace Collection
Forgotten Masters: Indian Painting for the East India Company, guest-curated by renowned writer and historian William Dalrymple, has opened at the Wallace Collection, with exhibition and graphic design by Nissen Richards Studio. The exhibition features, for the first time in the UK, the Indian master painters originally commissioned by officials from the East India Company in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, recognising them as among the greatest masterpieces of Indian painting.
London Design Awards Double Success
Nissen Richards Studio has taken Gold and Silver at this year’s London Design Awards. Two of the studio’s London exhibition design projects were named winners in the ‘Pop Ups, Display, Exhibit & Set Design’ category: ‘An Enquiring Mind: Manolo Blahnik at the Wallace Collection’ took Gold, whilst ‘Victoria: Woman and Crown’ at Kensington Palace took Silver.
Your Stonehenge 150 Years of Personal Photos
We have designed a special exhibition at Stonehenge, which has been created using photos taken by visitors over the years. It creates a wonderful social history of Stonehenge, and also charts the changing technology of photography.
The Museum of Lost and Found Potential
To coincide with World Mental Health Day, ‘The Museum of Lost & Found Potential’ has opened in Covent Garden – a temporary exhibition revealing the stark and powerful picture of potential lost across the world to people, families, communities, businesses and society due to neglected mental health and suicide. The week-long exhibition will then go on tour internationally.
Magazine Music Venue Opens
Magazine London, a major new event space for the capital, has opened on the North Greenwich Peninsula. As visitors approach from North Greenwich Station, Magazine London forms a dynamic new horizontal plane against the vertical cluster of Canary Wharf’s towers on the north bank of the Thames. It is the result of a collaboration between innovative space creator Venue Lab, production specialists Vibration Group, experiential pioneers Broadwick Live and property developers Knight Dragon.
Retrospectrum Opens in Shanghai
The first retrospective exhibition of Bob Dylan’s visual artworks – Retrospectrum – has opened at the Modern Art Museum (MAM), Shanghai, marking the artist’s most comprehensive art exhibition to date anywhere in the world and enabling visitors to experience Dylan’s artwork in a uniquely immersive environment. Our design approach took inspiration from Bob’s artistic output, his huge cultural influence and the gritty bohemian settings he wrote about and lived in, de-constructing, abstracting and reworking archival images to evoke place and time.
Pankhurst Mews included in Open House
We are delighted that Pankhurst Mews has been selected to be part of Open House London this weekend. The scheme, in London’s Finsbury Park, is a new-build property on a plot that formed part of the garden of our client’s childhood home. The successful design had to navigate complex planning and infrastructural restrictions.
Linthorpe Road Success
We are excited to announce our proposal on Linthorpe Road in Middlesborough has been granted planning permission. The project is to replace an existing retail building with a new 6-storey mixed use development of student housing and ground floor retail space. The design uses carefully proportioned brickwork and faceted concrete on the base and upper levels.
National Waterways Museum in Specification Today
Specification Today Magazine has homed in on the fine detail of our National Waterways Museum project in Gloucester in a great 4-page feature this month. The project – the revitalisation of a Grade II Listed Building on the docks in Gloucester that tells the 200-year history of the docks – is now a successful heritage attraction.
Artists in Amsterdam opens at Dulwich Picture Gallery
Now open at Dulwich Picture Gallery, Artists in Amsterdam is a new display exploring the personal stories of Dutch Golden Age painters and showing how Amsterdam became a cultural capital for the young artists and an economic superpower during the 17th century. Graphic design on the exhibition was by our talented in-house team.
Pippa Nissen the ONE at Design Insider
Nissen Richards Studio Director Pippa Nissen was asked by the BCFA/Design Insiderto name her influences for the magazine’s regular ONE feature. Read more about Pippa’s answers, which include artist Gerhard Richter, designer Arne Jacobsen and Tate Modern’s Turbine hall, here – https://www.designinsiderlive.com/one-pippa-nissen/
Pippa Nissen on AJ Student Award Jury 2019
Pippa Nissen has been named as one of the jurors for the 2019 AJ Student Prize, serving alongside Edmund Fowles of Feilden Fowles, Ken Okonkwo of Haworth Tompkins and Meredith Bowles of Mole Architects. The free-to-enter contest is aimed specifically at UK architecture schools and is open to all students on RIBA-accredited architecture courses.
Finalist for the AJ Retrofit Awards in Two Categories
Our project the National Waterways Museum Gloucester, has been shortlisted in two categories for the Architects’ Journals Retrofit Awards 2019. Firstly in the Cultural Buildings under £5 million, and in the Listed Building under £5 million category. We worked on the architecture, as well as exhibition design, graphics and film design of this exciting project.
Judge for the Blueprint Blue Riband Student Awards
Pippa was a judge for the Blueprint Blue Riband Student Awards this week, that showcased students from around the UK. It was exciting to see all the new emerging talent around Clerkenwell in the architecture schools’ exhibitions.
Manolo Blahnik Exhibition at the Wallace Collection
Our new exhibition An Enquiring Mind: Manolo Blahnik at the Wallace Collection has opened. These exquisite shoes are placed throughout the Wallace in specially designed showcases, that resonate with the collection and different rooms.
New London Architecture Awards Commendation 2019
We are thrilled that Printworks has been commended at the New London Architecture Awards 2019 in the Meanwhile category, our project with Civic Engineers Ltd for Vibration Group.
Win at the Design Week Awards for Best Exhibition Design
We won! Life in the Dark, the exhibition we designed at the Natural History Museum, has won a Design Week Award 2019 for best exhibition design.
Victoria: Woman and Crown Opens on Queen Victoria’s 200th Birthday
This fascinating exhibition about Queen Victoria has opened at Kensington Palace. We worked on the 3D design as well as the graphics, and created two films. We really enjoyed working on this interesting exhibition that looks Victoria’s private life behind her carefully-managed public image.
Winner of a D&AD Award 2019
We have won a D&AD Pencil for Creative Excellence for Spatial Design / Installation Design for Life in the Dark at the National History Museum, for our exhibition design working in collaboration with Jason Bruges Studio. Exciting!
Yemen: Inside a Crisis Exhibition Opens at The Imperial War Museum North
The exhibition that we designed at the Imperial War Museum North about the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, opened last night. Through objects and films, it looks at the on-going conflict in Yemen.
You Say You Want A Revolution? Opens in Melbourne
Our exhibition about the counterculture of the 1960’s – and the impact on today, that started at the V&A has now opened in Melbourne Museum. The exhibition consists of over 500 objects from both the V&A and the museum’s own collection, as well as international loans.
Pippa Nissen writes for Architecture Today
‘I found my architectural voice in the collaborative creativity of the theatre’, says Pippa Nissen. Read how Nissen Richards Studio Director fused her formal Cambridge University architecture training with the initially-confounding freedom of an MA in Theatre Design at the Slade School of Fine Art – http://www.architecturetoday.co.uk/set-for-life/
New Cultural Venue Starts On Site
‘Magazine London’, a new cultural venue in Central London, has started on site. The Foundations have been poured and the steelwork has arrived on site.
Plans for Redevelopment of Clwb Ifor Bach in Cardiff
We presented our future plans for the redevelopment of iconic music venue Clwb Ifor Bach in Cardiff.
Exhibition Opens at the Wallace Collection
We are delighted that the exhibition that we designed at the Wallace Collection has opened – Henry Moore: The Helmet Heads. The exhibition displays Moore’s work alongside armour from the collection, and explores how the Wallace Collection inspired and influenced his work.
Clapton Square site
Planning permission was granted last night at Hackney Town Hall for our proposed infill of a vacant site within the Clapton Square Conservation Area. Comprising five residential units our contemporary yet complimentary design approach aims to address the tight urban mews while responding positively to the adjacent heritage assets. It was very pleasing to hear comments from the conservation officer praising the quality of our architectural response and we look forward to embarking on the next stages of the project with our client Paramount Apartments London.
Textiles Gallery Opens
We are really pleased to have worked on the permanent Textiles Gallery that is now open, within the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester. The gallery charts the history of the cotton industry, and the textiles story through innovations in design. The space includes daily demonstrations on various machinery, and an exhibition that looks at detail points in this history. We were so pleased to work within this beautiful building, and our approach was to clear the space before designing in precise interventions so that the building can become part of this story.
Planning Permission For The Conversion of Listed Building
Planning permission has been granted for the conversion of the upper floors of this locally listed building on High Street in Watford, which together with a roof-top rear extension will create four new residential dwellings. Following a refusal for a similar proposition in 2016, Nissen Richards were appointed by APG Property Management upon a recommendation from planning consultant GL Hearn, who advocated a design-led approach to unlock the site, and this referral was vindicated when members voted unanimously in favour last Wednesday as well as commenting on the quality of the design solution.
Electricity Exhibition Opens in Manchester
The exhibition Electricity: The spark of life has now opened at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester. This exhibition has been redesigned for this space, having originated in the Welcome Collection’s galleries in London, before touring to Teylers Museum, Haarlem in the Netherlands. The exhibition looks at how electricity is so fundamental to our lives, and traces how inventors, scientists and artists have worked with it.
HOOKED opens at new London venue
We were delighted to have designed the first exhibition at the Science Gallery, London that has now opened. We hugely enjoyed working with different artists that looked at addiction in all it’s forms, working with scientists from Kings College
Edward Bawden and Tiepolo at the Dulwich Picture Gallery
We are delighted to have designed two exhibitions that are currently on at the Dulwich Picture Gallery. The stunning Edward Bawden exhibition displaying his bold and graphic works pictured here, as well as the exhibition ‘Rediscover: Tiepolo’s Joseph Receiving Pharoh’s Ring’ that explores this painting focusing on techniques and details.
Photo by Gareth Gardner.
Finalist for the AJ Retrofit Awards 2018
We are thrilled that we are finalists for the AJ Retrofit Awards 2018 with the Sir Joseph Hotung Gallery of China and South Asia at the British Museum where we worked on the architecture, exhibition 2D and 3D design. We look forward to finding out the results in September!
Justice in the Balance
This permanent exhibition has now opened at the Shire Hall, Historic Courthouse Museum in Dorset, and runs through the whole listed building; connecting a series of new and existing spaces that we have brought to life through layers of interpretation, objects and films. We also worked on the branding, and designed a website to accompany the experience too that you can view here. We enjoyed bringing out the latent stories in each room, from the cells, waiting rooms, to the courthouse itself.
Great Exhibition of the North
We are honoured to be a part of the Great Exhibition of the North in Newcastle, which opened last week across the city. We designed two exhibitions – firstly ‘Which Way North’ at the Great North Museum, Hancock highlighting northern creativity, innovation and industrial heritage right the way through the museum through it’s different galleries; and also ‘It’s Rocket Science’ at the Discovery Museum celebrating the return of the iconic Stephenson’s Rocket to Newcastle. The exhibitions are bold and colourful, in the spirit of a museum takeover during the expo.
Scheduled Monument Consent Granted For Sutton Hoo
We are delighted that our exciting proposals for National Trust comprising a new viewing tower and landscaped route through and around the Anglo Saxon Royal Burial Grounds at Sutton Hoo has achieved Scheduled Monument Consent and Planning Permission. A HLF stage 2 application is currently being collated and we hope to start work on the next phase in late 2017.
Powis Castle Exhibition
A new exhibition ‘House of Portraits’ has opened at Powis Castle and Gardens for the National Trust. We designed a series of interventions throughout the castle that showcase the beautiful paintings of its collection in new ways, and explore our own relationship to portraiture. The centrepiece is a miniature by Isaac Oliver of Edward Herbert.
Creek Road Receives Planning Permission
Planning permission was granted last night for our mixed use scheme on Creek Road in Greenwich. The proposals include commercial and retail units at ground and basement levels, with a variety of residential units above. The volume of the building is sculpted to respond to its urban location, with balconies cut into the mass and fourth floor is set back to break down the overall massing. The façade relief is detailed to express the masonry frame and produce an elegant composition using high quality materials and robust detailing.
Printworks New Venue Open
The new live music space that we helped create at Printworks, Canada Water opened on Friday, with headliners Django Django performing live on stage.
National Waterways Museum, Gloucester
Our extension to the Grade II Listed Llanthony Warehouse creating a new main entrance to the National Waterways Museum at Gloucester docks, is now taking shape
The Clock Stops at Nostell Priory
We are excited to have designed this new exhibition at the beautiful Nostell Priory near Wakefield that is now open, for the National Trust. The Clock Stops showcases the handmade Harrison Clock from 1717 – and explores the life of Yorkshire’s famous clockmaker John Harrison. The artist Luke Jerram has created Harrison’s Garden with 2000 clocks as part of this 300 year celebrations of the clock’s birthday, that is on display at the same time. Photography Dan Dunkley