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Above: The Master Film Store for the British Film Institute from Cullinan Studio. Image copyright: Edward Summer, BFI.

Established in 1965, the London-based Cullinan Studio has adapted to the needs of a changing market and, in more recent years, also to evidence of a shift in the planet's climate conditions.

Edward ("Ted") Cullinan says: "Our particular expertise is in mitigating the effects of, and adapting to, a changing climate, masterplanning and designing buildings that develop from our special understanding of the local topography, climate and culture.

"We focus primarily on universities, schools and urban housing. However, globally, our work has involved masterplanning universities and cultural projects."

At the time of writing, the company was about to recommence work with the Libyan Engineering Office (LEO) on the education, health and other infrastructure projects for Shahat Garden City. Shahat is a carbon neutral town for 60,000 people in an area of high housing need in the Green Mountain Region, east of Benghazi in Libya.

Sami Jaouda, of LEO, says: “It has been a really great experience working with Ted Cullinan and his team for the past five years. The outcome of this experience would put Libya on the sustainability world map.” 

Other overseas partnerships have been developed with:

  • Lee Nicholls Hepler in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
  • Cubus in Bergen, Norway
  • Ho Kwon Ping, Chairman of the Singapore Management University
  • Prof Essy Baniassad, Research Professor at The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Awards won include the 2014 RIBA Regional Award and Sustainability Award for Maggie's Newcastle, 2012 RIBA National Award and Regional Building of the Year for the BFI Master Film Store, 2010 Building Awards - Architectural Practice of the Year for Cullinan Studio and a RIBA Royal Gold Medal in 2008 for Ted Cullinan. 


 Ed Cullinan

 Above: Edward Cullian praises the UK's architectural and engineering skills base.

Cullinan (pictured above) explains: "We have usually accepted invitations to work aboard when we think we are able to deploy our skills for the benefit of the client and we enjoy the support of great engineers in London. The UK generally and London in particular has an unprecedented concentration of architectural and engineering skills, growing out of our excellent universities.

"We have worked in London since 1965 – Covent Garden, Camden Town and for the last 22 years in Islington.  We have placed our practice close to the centre of international design excellence, working closely and sharing our offices with specialists in designing for a changing climate."

Asked to nominate a UK designer who is innovating in the sector, Cullinan cites Richard Rogers for "useful and poetically inventive design."

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