XAPO (pronounced ‘sapo’) provides online banking services for cryptocurrencies. The company’s Director, Wences Casares, commissioned Lagranja to create its flagship headquarters; the first physical HQ for XAPO, and the first transformation of a historical building for Lagranja..

Several years after 3deluxe transformed the downtown Noor Island into a green, urban paradise, the German architecture office is designing a vibrant, attractive urban beach with a marina as part of more comprehensive tourist infrastructure measures in Sharjah City – a metropolis that is home to millions.

It’s been more than 18 months since the majority of office workers have been in the office full time. While it’s too soon to say exactly what lasting impact the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have had on the UK’s office culture, it’s clear to see that for the time being at least there is likely to be a significant shift towards a more flexible, less regimented approach to workplace-based work, with staff splitting time between home and the office, which has led to a boom in refurbishments as landlords refresh their facilities.

Niralee Casson came to architecture slightly later than most, having already achieved a degree in law before deciding to make the switch. With her student loan already used up, she undertook all of her architectural education on a part-time basis whilst working full-time at Assael Architecture; in 2018, she was finishing her Part 2, starting her Part 3 and working all simultaneously. Here, we talk to Niralee about her switch from law to architecture.

After studying architecture at Robert Gordon’s in Aberdeen, Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago and The Royal College of Art in London, David Kirkland undertook his first practical year out at Nicholas Grimshaw’s practice in London, where he ended up staying for 18 years. Since 2000, he has run his own practice – Kirkland Fraser Moor. Here, FC&A talks to David about his career and finds out when his passion for architecture began.

Product testing and certification is high on the construction industry agenda, particularly in relation to fire protection. Giving specifiers the ability to design with confidence, product certification delivers assurances that the solution has been proven to perform as expected in the event of a fire.

Since graduating from the Welsh School of Architecture in 2002, which included a year out in practice working for Travis McEwen Group (now Architectus) in Sydney, Australia, Gareth Woodfin started his UK professional career at Capita.

With the rise of home working and virtual meetings, the way we work and interact with our colleagues, customers and suppliers has changed dramatically over the last year. We may still need to keep our distance, but as Andrew Cooper – National Specification Manager for aluminium fenestration solutions manufacturer Senior Architectural Systems – explains, close collaboration within the supply chain has never been more important.

Before Myles Taylor first stepped into an architectural office, he was ushered to work on site as a labourer by his step-father – a Property Surveyor who thought that if Myles was going to design buildings, then he should know how they fit together first. Here, FC&A finds out how Myles went from learning on site to starting his own architectural practice and discovers just what he learnt along the way.

The latest RIBA CPD theme focuses on the ‘bubble’ that surrounds us as we live, play and work indoors. It suggests that as the physical boundary between the conditioned and unconditioned environment of a building, the building envelope must keep its users safe while also addressing the practicalities of day-to-day living. Many of the manufacturers and service providers which these CPDs feature are industry leaders in providing that protection. It reminds us that many of their popular seminars are still available online. Below are a selection of other pre-spring observations.

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