Adam West, Partner
A Hands-On Approach
We are committed to upholding our reputation for design and our collaborative and responsive way of working.
CZWG was founded in 1975. We have extensive experience in creating and delivering characterful designs that stand out from the crowd. We thrive on the vibrancy brought about by diversity and our original approach to architecture is inspired by context and the clients’ brief.
We are commercially astute; experts at maximising values and optimising the efficiency of sites in the knowledge that this will be beneficial to both our clients and the environment. Often projects have tight budgets and time frames. Squaring the need for financial feasibility with the desire to deliver form and flair takes both imagination and a thorough understanding of the needs of multiple stakeholders.
Our technical expertise and commercial understanding is carried through from first conception to completion on site.
A hands-on approach from our senior team adds real value. They act as the critical link between multiple consultants and stakeholders and remain involved with a project at all stages.
We are frequently asked to optimise existing proposals produced by others; to make them viable whilst injecting kerb appeal. But our preference is to get it right in the first place. We pride ourselves on our experience and understanding of the planning process and requirements, and our ability to quickly provide feasibility studies for sites which can unlock real opportunities.
If you have a potential development site, please do come and see us and we’d be delighted to show you our capabilities.
We’re based in Clerkenwell and our door is always open.
In 1927, the Bauhaus at Dessau started a new unconventional course in architecture unifying art, craft and technology. Students experimented with colour, shape and materials, as well as studying maths and construction. In 1965, the AA school of architecture offered a first-year course on the same basis. Four of its students, Nick Campbell, Roger Zogolovitch, Rex Wilkinson and Piers Gough, left in 1971 determined to create architecture that was a product of question and experiment - well-engineered, economic and even cheap (commercialism was definitely okay).
They worked independently, and often together, creating the trendiest boutiques, apartment interiors and house remodelling, until in 1975 they landed their first sizeable commission and CZWG was formed.
Inner-city living and working was being reinvented in vast, raw, post-industrial spaces and artists, designers, musicians and actors became clients. There was much experimentation with the new workspace with emphasis on ‘studios’ for small businesses in groups. Contact with the art world led to the design of temporary exhibitions, notably Lutyens at the Hayward, and a competition invitation for the National Gallery Sainsbury Wing. In contrast, at the same time, a new generation was shunning the suburbs and making for the centre, a trend that enabled us to show the house builder how to make the modern dwelling likeable and desirable, qualities it had been struggling to deliver.
It was new dwellings in a new city. The regeneration of London’s Docklands moved the city’s centre eastwards, and a very different scale of brown-field site, often edged by the Thames, demanded the re-emerging art of ‘masterplanning’, at which we showed considerable skill. These sites became the canvass of a new post-modern architecture, exemplified by four of the six CZWG buildings Listed by Historic England in 2018.
By 1989, we had bought, developed and moved into our current home in Clerkenwell. Similar streams of involvement continued – art with the National Portrait Gallery, workspace with the Inland Revenue in Glasgow contrasting the largest ever hire/work complex in London, retail with a shopping centre in the Netherlands, Thames-side housing at Bankside Lofts and Millennium Harbour, plus a new stream in education buildings at Bryanston and Uppingham Schools.
In 2006, the practice became an enlarged Limited Liability Partnership in response to this broadening and diversifying client base, and we have continued to evolve. But the origins, in challenge, question and experiment, are still informing a well-crafted, value-for-money, enjoyable architecture.
Building Information Modelling (BIM)
BIM is a process for creating and managing digital information which can be utilised across the lifecycle of a project. It uses computer generated 3D models and a common data environment to access and share information across the supply chain.
The benefits in the later work stages are well known - a full virtual mock-up of the building allows for extensive coordination and clash resolution before going to site. However, even at the earliest of work stages, the transparency of the BIM process avoids problems being hidden or forgotten and enables effective coordination between consultants. Our designs are much more refined as a result. Advanced workflows and production automation allow our design staff to spend less time on file management and more time designing.
Enhanced visualisation capabilities allow us to rapidly visualise, test and share our evolving design in the way people will experience our buildings – in 3D.
Typically, as lead consultant we will take on the role of BIM Coordinator. Our clients benefit from our extensive experience federating various consultants’ models into a single unified model and running clash detection workshops using Autodesk Navisworks.
We recognise the benefits of adopting a BIM process and its potential to change and disrupt the architecture engineering and construction industry in which we work. We are committed to continually improving our processes to consistently deliver data-rich BIM models that effectively reduce project risk and add real value to our clients.