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Saunders Boston’s celebrations showcase century of progress

Saunders Boston Architects director Nick Green introduces the night to the crowd. Picture: Matthew Power Photography
Saunders Boston Architects director Nick Green introduces the night to the crowd. Picture: Matthew Power Photography

As part of its centenary celebrations, Saunders Boston Architects held an event at Allia Future Business Centre “to gain insights into how innovations in technology may shape the architecture industry and support sustainable living in the future”.

Titled SBA100: Looking Forward and held at the King’s Hedges facility – itself a Saunders Boston Architects project – the event consisted of a range of presentations and an interactive workshop conducted by the Saunders Boston Architects team and guest speakers from Allia, Polysolar, the University of Cambridge and Sika AG.

Led by Margherita Cesca, senior architect at Saunders Boston Architects, one of the first presentations of the evening focused on education, schools of the future and green technology.

As part of the talk, representatives from the University of Cambridge presented research on plant-generated electricity and autonomous vehicles, discussing the roles they could play in future education building design.

Hamish Watson, CEO of solar innovation company Polysolar, explored how buildings can be sources of power when architects collaborate with solar energy specialists.

Company director Darren Heffer and Allia Future Business Centre CEO Martin Clark joined forces to present innovative ideas on adaptable living and care housing, specifically the role that technology will play in shaping human habitats in the future, and how architects can innovate to design better smart buildings.

Saunders Boston Architects’ director Nick Green then presented on the future of the Fen, a vision for self-sustaining settlements in unique environmental contexts. Under the same theme, architectural assistant Nick Jackson led a presentation on material and energy flow in the 21st century, which explored the growing need for a circular economy for sustainable development.

The final presentation was conducted by Henri Villanueva, the Eproject architect at the Newmarket Road-based architects, and Maxime Liard, of Sika AG, who discussed additive manufacturing technologies, such as 3D printing, and the future role they will play in the future of construction. Running in parallel of the presentations was a futuristic and interactive workshop that utilised VR technology to envision living underground as a possible solution to climate change and overpopulation.

Mr Green said: “The SBA100: Looking Forward event marked the end of a series of fantastic celebrations for the company.

“We have enjoyed looking back at our history and legacy both in Cambridge and further afield, and future gazing to how we will innovate as a practice over the next 100 years; using architecture and design to lead innovation in sustainable solutions.”

The event marked 100 years since inception and 50 years in Cambridge. The festivities have included a series of architectural walks through its past projects, a 110km bike ride from its original office in London to its current headquarters in Cambridge, and a centenary event that launched the practice’s new branding at the Fisher Building in St John’s College, Cambridge – a project delivered by Saunders Boston Architects in 1989.

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