2hD Director Chris Heuvel appointed RIBA Fellow

Tom Hughes

Our director Chris Heuvel is one of only 15 architects to be awarded Royal Institute of British Architects Fellow status in the 2018 list. The RIBA says of the award that "Fellow Membership gives us the opportunity to recognise our inspirational Chartered Members, the sometimes unsung heroes of the profession, who have made a real contribution to architecture, and the community."


Chris' full citation reads as follows:

"Chris is a Director at 2hD Architecture Workshop and a lecturer at Nottingham Trent University (NTU), where he delivers the professional practice elements of both the undergraduate and postgraduate architectural programmes, in addition to acting as Professional Studies Advisor for students in practice. He also runs the Design Studio module followed by first year undergraduates.

Chris champions architectural education as an integral aspect of professional practice, and is currently undertaking a major research project on behalf of NTU into how practitioners’ engagement with their local communities can be compatible with their business development objectives. All his teaching is substantially informed by a lifetime of active involvement in community engagement projects – previously in Norfolk and now in Nottingham, where (in conjunction with 2hD Ltd) he is currently helping a local group develop a business plan for the revival of their recently closed community centre."

Congratulations Chris, the recognition is thoroughly well deserved!

Tom wins BSRIA competition, with "practical and interesting" idea

Tom Hughes

Back in April I entered the BSRIA ideas competition "Make Buildings Better". My idea is simple but might be quite radical, if it could be realised...

Jayne Sunley, Knowledge Manager at BSRIA said, “We’re delighted with the variety and inventiveness of the entries submitted. Tom’s idea stood out as a genuinely practical and interesting way of tackling the performance deficit of buildings. So many problems occur at junctions, rather than within components themselves, it is an obvious place to focus attention”.

You can read more about my entry and the other great ideas from the runners up on the Designing Buildings Wiki.

Low energy house shortlisted for architectural awards

Tom Hughes

We're very proud to say that the low energy house 2hD designed for a Nottinghamshire village has been shortlisted for an RIBA East Midlands 2014 award!

The annual awards celebrate architectural excellence in the region, and the New House in Maplebeck is one of just eleven projects on the shortlist.

Replacing a 1980s bungalow, the design of the house had to complement the Conservation Area setting whilst achieving extremely high performance as a “zero carbon in use” eco-home. Designed using the PassivHaus Planning Package and executed in a palette of brick, oak, slate and zinc, the house includes a central frameless glazing porch and open stair, an integrated balcony and an extensive built-in photovoltaic array.

The shortlisting is credit to a great client and consultant team, including:

Alina at the East Centric Architecture Triennale

Tom Hughes

Alina is in Bucharest this week at the invitation of the East Centric Architecture Triennale — where she has presented her shortlisted entry for the Essay Contest. The jury was chaired by renowned Finnish architect and theorist Juhani Pallasmaa.

Her entry, titled 'Conservation Versus Modernisation in Romania  — Through the Lens of Transylvania's Saxon Villages', has been published in the Architext book 'A World of Fragments: Essays on East and Central European Architecture'.

It is part of her ongoing research at Nottingham Trent University into these fascinating historic villages and the controversy surrounding their conservation by foreign agencies.


Portfolio project
A low-energy house in a conservation area

Tom Hughes

Replacing a 1980s bungalow on an infill site in a Nottinghamshire village, the design of this house had to complement the Conservation Area setting whilst achieving extremely high performance as a “zero carbon in use” eco-home. Designed using the PassivHaus Planning Package and executed in a palette of brick, oak, slate and zinc, the house includes a central frameless glazing porch and open stair, an integrated balcony and an extensive built-in photovoltaic array.

The south facade, designed to maximise winter solar gains while providing shading in summer, . Photovoltaic panels and rooflights are integrated into the slate roof.

Our client required a contemporary home that could be built to achieve extremely high energy performance in use. Their site was carefully selected within a characterful village setting, approached from the main village street to the North and having a good southerly aspect for solar collection. Alongside the development of our client’s brief and requirements, we carried out a careful analysis of the village layout and the materials and massing of surrounding buildings.

The house has performed well and we are very happy with its aesthetics, comfort and technical performance. It blends in well with the village despite being obviously modern. Many passers by stop to enquire and pass comment on the house, usually very favourably. We often see cars slowing down in the road outside, almost stopping to catch a second glance.

All the energy bills for the first year of occupation, plus the running of an electric car and water rates, were covered by the return from the solar panels, leaving us only Council Tax to pay!
Roger Bell, client

In a sensitive planning context the design was developed in close consultation with the local planners and community, documented through an in-depth Design and Access Statement. The delicate balance between achieving PassivHaus design targets and satisfying Conservation Area planning requirements meant that the design was evolved and presented in various contexts. A consultation on site in the existing bungalow saw a 20% turnout of the village giving unanimous support for the scheme.

The design uses the north facade to address the village setting and large windows and solar roof to the south to maximise useful solar gain and collection. The requirement to reduce north facing glazing to meet PassivHaus design targets is offset by the provision of a frameless-glazed porch, which prevents the escape of warm air whilst providing an open welcome to visitors.

The North facade and street front, a contemporary response to the surrounding buildings of the Conservation Area.

The smaller windows and variegated massing on this side of the house respond to the scale of the village, whilst the private rear of the house presents a single expanse of roof for solar collection, free of any self-shading projections. An integrated system of flush-fitting photovoltaic panels and rooflights was selected to create a smoothly integrated roofscape. Excess heat gain is controlled by the use of integrated external louvre blinds to the large sliding glass doors on the south elevation.

The integrity of the design is maintained by the simple palette of materials: red brick, oak cladding and beams, slate roofs. A small area of zinc roofing over the glazed porch expresses the articulation of the house plan around the double-height circulation zone.

This project was shortlisted in the 2014 RIBA East Midlands Awards.

Design overview (click to enlarge).

Project credits

Contractor: Nick Martin with Branch Construction
Executive architect: Parsons + Whittley

2hD's inflatable pavilion wins RIBA East Midlands Award

Tom Hughes

We're proud to announce that our inflatable pavilion for Lille Museum of Modern Art has been awarded an RIBA East Midlands 2011 award.

The annual Awards celebrate 'excellence in architecture and encouraging sustainable design' and were held at the Athena in Leicester on 22nd September.

Tom and Alina accepted the award from Ruth Reid, ex-president of the RIBA and were joined at the ceremony by Nick Crosbie of Inflate, who did the specialist design, fabrication and erection of the pavilion.

2hD shortlisted for the World Architecture Festival Awards!

Thibaut Devulder

Our inflatable pavilion for the Lille Museum of Modern Art, in France, has just been shortlisted for World Architecture Festival Awards 2011. No need to say we are chuffed! We'll be presenting the project to the jury in Barcelona on 3rd November. We are shortlisted in the Display category, along with seven other projects from all around the world.

Our shortlisted pavilion at night, next to the Lille Museum of Modern Art and its sculpture park

Our shortlisted pavilion at night, next to the Lille Museum of Modern Art and its sculpture park

Two 2hD projects shortlisted for RIBA EM Awards

Thibaut Devulder

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced the shortlisted projects for the 2011 RIBA East Midlands Award for Architecture, celebrating the finest examples of architectural excellence in the region.

We are delighted that two of our projects have been shortlisted for this year's award:

Our stone memorial for the Nottingham Progressive Jewish Congregation

Our inflatable event space for the Lille Museum of Modern Art (LaM).

Portfolio project
A pavilion for a Museum of Modern Art

Tom Hughes

2hD were commissioned by the Lille Métropole Museum of Modern Art (LaM) to conceive an innovative pavilion to host the ceremonies, celebrating the museum’s re-opening after five years of refurbishment and extension works.

Challenging the existing negative paradigm of event tents, we designed a diaphanous inflatable textile structure to create a mesmerising spatial experience for visitors to the art museum and a striking backdrop for its high-profile public events.

The pavilion at dawn, against the rectilinear backdrop of the museum (Photo: Yves Morfouace)

The pavilion's diaphanous inflatable skin

Our collaboration with LaM started in March 2010, when the museum invited us to submit ideas for an event structure to host up to 350 people for large scale events, ranging from official receptions to dance performances.

Excited by our proposal of a large scale inflatable structure but unsure about its feasibility, the museum initially commissioned us to produce a comprehensive study covering all relevant aspects of feasibility, including the erection process, structural modularity, internal micro-climate, functional analysis, budget simulations and health & safety.

We then teamed up with Inflate, experienced makers of successful inflatable event structures, to produce a custom-designed pavilion that was versatile enough to host the wide spectrum of events envisaged by the museum and that fitted within the tight budget of this not-for-profit art organisation.

Complementing the orthogonal lines and hard materials of the existing buildings and the urban park surrounding them, the lightweight translucent envelope and organic lines define a transient space between the park’s outdoors and the museum itself, welcoming and orienting visitors in their exploration of the extensive art collections. The pavilion also acknowledges and creates a playful dialogue with the many large-scale modern sculptures inhabiting the museum grounds.

The pavilion is designed to adapt to a wide range of future uses, from public reception to theatre performance.

The structure was first installed in September 2010 to host thousands of visitors for the week long opening festivities. Beyond this, the pavilion will also provide a flexible and iconic new space to host the wide variety of future events to be held on the museum grounds, ranging from theatre performance to public lectures and outdoor interactive video installations.

Press releases and high-resolution images suitable for publications are also available in our press section.

The enjoyment with this wonderful pavilion is so great that everyone — despite the summer weather outside — wants to be inside it, and all faces are lit up with joy!
Barbara Gaul, invited artist from Düsseldorf


This pavilion received an architecture award from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) East Midlands in the Out of Region category, in September 2011.

This project has also been shortlisted for the World Architecture Festival Award 2011.

At night, the integrated lighting system transformed the structure into a beacon, softly glowing in the park.

At night, the integrated lighting system transformed the structure into a beacon, softly glowing in the park.