citylab: towards a new modernism

Testing the limits

Citylab aims to be a free-thinking, out of the box, design consultancy, testing rigorously ideas both obvious and obtuse, in order to create innovative contextual designs that answer a wide range of complex urban problems.  Many of the schemes we have designed, have used state of the art technology (eg Biodiesel cogeneration, inter-seasonal stores, algae arrays) to develop carbon-neutrality when allied to sympathetic place-based forms.  Citylab aims to be complimentary to the urban design and architecture team, supporting decision-making with careful and rigorous analysis and design.

Research-based Design

Our combined expertise in the fields of Urban Design and Sustainable Design is supported by advanced research activity undertaken through postgraduate level programmes at Universities in Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester. This rich environment allows innovative concepts to be developed, tested and delivered in a rigorous, critical manner exemplifying our belief in the mutually beneficial relationship between practice and theory. This is aligned with a commitment to disseminate our work through international collaboration, publication and exhibition.

World-class Practice

Our recent practice portfolio includes Manchester University Precinct transport strategy with Arup;  Salford Vision with Kees Christiaanse, Rotterdam; Skelmersdale Vision with Wayne Hemingway; and Whitefield, Nelson with MacCreanor Lavington, Waterside redevelopment at Preston Dock for Waterliving, we are also completing sustainability work for Kirklees Council, and have performed a heritage audit for English Heritage using our own appraisal methodology ‘true heritage value’. 

World-class research

In academic research, we have produced papers on Urban Regeneration and popular culture: ‘Compost Cities: Underground Music and Urban Renewal’;  Urban Branding: ‘What brand is this city?’; Urban Shrinkage ‘Salford reflective urbanism’.  Urban regeneration and solar energy: “Phenotypic Climatically Derived Urban Form Adapting to Seasonal and Daily Environmental Forces and Rhythms”;  Productive Urbanism: ‘Bio-port’; and Sustainable interventions in historic neighbourhoods: ‘Total Synergistic Insertion’.