design case: connecting people to environments

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Above: Alan Stanton (left) and Paul Williams. Image copyright: Morley von Sternberg.

Established by Alan Stanton and Paul Williams in 1985, the London design studio Stanton Williams has been recognised with more than 90 awards. These include the 2012 RIBA Stirling Prize, awarded to the architects of the best new European building built or designed in the UK, the World Architecture Festival Best Education Building in both 2011 and 2012 and two nominations for the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture Mies van der Rohe Award.

Stanton Williams also won the international architectural competition for the Stadtmuseum, Berlin. The project will create a major new city museum through the adaptation and redevelopment of Berlin’s existing Marinehaus.

Together with the neighbouring Märkisches Museum, the building will form the new Stadtmuseum, exhibiting displays relating to the history and development of Berlin. The new museum will provide approximately 6,860m² (net floor area) of display areas and museum accommodation.

Another project is the Valovaya Office Headquarters in Moscow, Russia. Stanton Williams has created new workspaces for a real estate investment firm in central Moscow. Its design responds to the company’s aspiration for an open, high quality, contemporary working environment.

The firm says: "Through our commitment to high quality architecture, our attention to detail and our passion for connecting people to their environment, we have built up an international reputation. Our design approach draws on the knowledge and experience of the whole studio with the five ‘hands on’ directors who lead each design team.

"Our appetite for collaboration, communication and commitment to create inspirational spaces has led to a high level of client satisfaction, evidenced by repeated commissions and invitations to participate in high profile design projects both in the UK and abroad."

In Autumn 2009, Stanton Williams won an international competition to transform the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Nantes, one of the six largest Fine Art Museums outside Paris, alongside Lyon, Grenoble, Montpellier, Rouen and Lille. On completion, it will be known as the Musée d’Art de Nantes.

Jean-Louis Jossic, the joint culture delegate of the Ville de Nantes,said:"These are not only additional square metres, but a distinct cultural action. With this Musée d'Art de Nantes, we are inventing something that has not been done before. Experiment, dare, propose. To make it live!"

At the time of writing the studio has 85 staff and is a firm believer in the creative future of its home market.

The partners say: "The UK has an excellent reputation for design innovation in almost every field from architecture to fashion and digital media. It is a country that has made a significant investment in driving the creative workforce forward, with a major future growth in the creative sector. As the UK creative sector continues to thrive, working here provides the opportunity for us to be part of this tremendous creative centre.

"London is in many ways the design capital of the world. Our studio in London places us at the heart of a strong art and design culture and gives us access to some of the best international design talent and technical support available."

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