Building Visit: The Standard

Series: Membership & Alumni Event
Date: Monday 27 January 2020 : 17.30
Speaker: Orms

John McRae, Director of Orms, and project architect Simon Whittaker will lead AA Members on a tour of their recently completed project in King’s Cross, which saw the conversion of the brutalist former offices of Camden Council into a boutique hotel.

As lead consultant, Orms was responsible for the exterior architecture / shell and core, and worked alongside interior designer Shawn Hausman Design and interior architect Archer Humphryes.

Orms began the conversion from offices to a contemporary boutique hotel by retaining and cleaning the original brutalist concrete frame. The façade’s existing precast concrete panels formed an integral part of the building’s structure and so could not be removed or altered without significant structural remodelling. Adding three new-build storeys to the existing structure was a key component of Orms’ brief, and to accommodate the additional weight of the three new floors, Orms collaborated with Structural engineers Heyne Tillett Steel to add new steel columns to the existing structure. These were threaded like needles down through the existing waffle slabs to the 1st floor transfer slab and concrete columns below.

Please meet at 5:20pm at the entrance to The Standard, 10 Argyle Street, London WC1H 8EG. The tour will last for approximately 1.5 hours.

Open to AA Members (including AA Students & Staff). Become a member.

Booking is essential. Book your place at

AA Students go for free – the booking fee will be refunded to students if they attend the event

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The Architectural Association receives Taught Degree Awarding Powers by the Lords of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council.

The Architectural Association (AA), the oldest independent school of architecture in the United Kingdom, is pleased to announce that it has been granted the power to award its own degrees. As of 1 October 2019, the AA has the right to establish new academic programmes and degree awards and is working to create some of the world’s most pioneering courses in architecture to shape and build the future.

Taught Degree Awarding Powers (TDAP) give UK higher education institutions the right to award bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Prospective students worldwide can apply to the AA Foundation Course (Foundation Diploma), Experimental Programme BA(Hons), Diploma Programme (MArch), and nine taught postgraduate programmes encompassing History and Critical Thinking in Architecture (MA), Projective Cities (Taught MPhil) and Sustainable Environmental Design (MSc/MArch), amongst others.

AA Director, Eva Franch said, ‘since our founding in 1847 we have never ceased to create new horizons, institutionally and academically. This is a significant milestone for the AA and demonstrates how we have grown and progressed as an institution that has always valued independence. Receiving TDAP marks a new era for our institution; these are exciting times for the AA. The process has required considerable work from all members of staff and students. I would like to take this opportunity to credit them for this major achievement’.

President of the AA Council, Victoria Thornton added, ‘the TDAP process has recognised our strong governance, academic standards, scholarship and teaching as well as the environment supporting the delivery of taught higher education programmes’.

The School’s application for Taught Degree Awarding Powers was supported by the Architects Registration Board, the Royal Institute of British Architects and The Open University.