Our CEO, Richard Coutts, is participating in MIPIMWorld, the largest annual global property event. He will be part of a panel discussing the crucial issue of water in the context of property development. Panelists: Jean-Christophe TaretAlexandra NotayRichard CouttsHarold Spies Currently, 30 cities in France are facing water shortages even before winter ends, and special measures for water usage will be announced soon. Water sobriety is now the new buzzword in Europe as the continent copes with the effects of extreme weather conditions. Stay tuned for more updates as there are insightful solutions in South Africa. #sustainability #baca #propertydevelopment #water #southafrica #france #mipim2023 #watermanagement #waterconservation​

A Smart Vision for Monaco

“One Planet Living was a concept developed by Bio-Regional when I was a student. It spurred BedZED, by Bill Dunster - the UK's first major sustainable community. It’s a philosophy that has slowly gained traction. At Baca, we developed LifE (Long-term Initiatives for Flood Risk Environments), a body of work that would enable sustainable development and, in Monaco’s case, address sea level rise.” Says Richard Coutts, Director at Baca Architects.   So, when invited to speak at the Royal Yacht Club Monaco, organized by Monaco Marina Management, he posed a simple question to the audience and the club - Could the municipality of Monaco (Population 39,000), including the yacht club (a hub of marine innovation), become a self-sustaining community? Observing the marina, you get a glimpse of the built future: thin film photovoltaics wrap state-of-the-art monocoque catamarans – that use wind as their main source to carry them on hydrofoils across the Atlantic. Among other exhibitors, plans for hydrogen-powered tenders and ecoconcrete sea defenses (reduced carbon in production, designed for carbon capture, biophilic receptiveness). But like most countries and cities - one overriding issue: Monaco has no more space. Its positives include that because of its size, it can change policies quickly and has the financial means to enact change. Within the marina, luxury boats sit primed at 100% charge, but they do not work together, dumping waste energy. To an observer, possibly one of the most beautiful solar arrays on water. Could this flotilla of boats create a unified energy network and either capture surplus energy or use it for the benefit of the wider city? Monaco is also very urban, consisting of many hard surfaces - its roofscapes are prominently flat with little greening. So, there was a discussion alongside pioneers of energy, design, and materials, what is the future of the Smart Marina and could this be extended into smart city design that they sustain. The symposium was hosted by Sir Robin Knox and was great to share ideas with Maarten van de Vorde - West 8, And Nicola Beck - NBax Architecture & Design, Eduardo Gutierrez - On-A, Giovanni de Niederhausern – Pininfarina. Hopefully, these ideas will evolve into tangible deliverables. #architecture #design #innovation #marina #marinaarchitects​


Baca Director, Richard Coutts attended the launch of Flood-re’s ‘Build back better initiative’ at the House of Commons. Build Back Better is an innovative new way of thinking about home flood insurance. The initiative means families are out of their homes for a fraction of the time and insurers can have the confidence that the properties they cover are more resilient to flood events meaning much lower future claims    What Flood Re isFlood Re is a re-insurance scheme that began operation in 2016. It allows insurance companies to pool the potential costs of the higher risk to many properties by paying a special levy. Because Flood Re is a re-insurance scheme, it works with insurers rather than customers.The eligibility rules for Flood Re are however sometimes complex. The scheme excludes commercial properties as well as certain leasehold properties. It also generally excludes buildings constructed since 2009. This is to help dissuade developers from building on land at risk of flooding. Flood Re is due to end in 2039. By that time it aims to have paved the way to a free-market approach in which policy prices reflect risk.  How it came aboutThere had been earlier agreements between the Government and the insurance industry to help manage the market. But more severe floods (such as in 2007) had led to large payouts and subsequent increases in prices. This situation threatened a failure of the market in many areas. Parliament set out general arrangements for Flood Re through the Water Act 2014.  Performance so far and issues for the futureSince its launch, Flood Re has been able to report strong and clear benefits for most domestic customers in areas at risk. By 2019, for instance, four out of five households with a history of flood claims had seen prices drop by 50%. Flood Re has effectively stabilised the domestic flood insurance market. It now faces the challenge of helping to promote more sustainable approaches to flood prevention, resistance and resilience. These will ultimately be needed if the market is to be able to reflect risk. There is a paradox in this. If customers can buy cheaper flood insurance, they may be less concerned about taking wider action to manage flood risks. In addition, Flood Re doesn’t cover commercial or all residential properties. The Government has tended to highlight industry-led solutions to those problems. After prolonged and repeated flooding events over the winter of 2019-20, the Government announced the launch of the Blanc review, which considered the level and adequacy of flood insurance in affected areas. The report from the review, published in November 2020, found “worrying” levels of coverage in Doncaster, particularly among tenants. It has called for better information and support for both owner-occupiers and tenants, as well as better monitoring of progress. Defra launched a consultation on amendments to the scheme in February 2021. This reiterates the importance of supporting resilience and proposes no changes for general eligibility. 

Baca Architects update the 'Flood Resilient Design' chapter in the 6th Edition of the Metric Handbook

Baca Architects are honoured to update the chapter: Flood Resilient Design in the forthcoming 6th edition of the Metric Handbook.  The metric handbook is … … the major handbook of planning and design information for architects and architecture students. Covering basic design data for all the major building types, it is the ideal starting point for any project. For each building type, the book outlines the basic design requirements and all of the principal dimensional data, whilst also providing succinct guidance on how to utilise the information and any comply with design regulations.As well as building types, the Metric Handbook deals with broader aspects of design such as materials, acoustics and lighting, and general design data on human dimensions and space requirements. The Metric Handbook provides an invaluable resource for solving everyday design and planning problems. The updated chapter will feature the newly completed Shipston Road Flood Resilient Multiple Unit Housing scheme in Stratford-Upon-Avon in the UK - which is in close proximity to William Shakespeare’s birth-place! ​

Architecture & Design: 'Australia Underwater Ocean Discovery Centre'

The whale is making a big splash! Architecture and Design is ‘Australia’s largest commercial architecture, building, construction and design media network’ and have published an article on the new ‘Australia Underwater Ocean Discovery Centre’ designed by Baca Architects; of whom marine contractor, Subcon, appointed as lead architects for the project. A&D wrote:‘An underwater marine observatory resembling a huge whale surfacing from the sea will soon come up off the coast of Geographe Bay in Western Australia.’ ‘Designed by London-based architecture studio, Baca Architects for marine contractor, Subcon, the $30-million Australian Underwater Discovery Centre (AUDC) will be Australia’s largest natural marine observatory on completion. Located two hours to the south of Perth, the new marine observatory will be built at the end of Busselton Jetty, two kilometres out at sea, replacing an existing observatory that has reached capacity.’ ‘From the three designs developed by Baca Architects, the Cetacean design mimicking a whale emerging from the water was selected through a public voting process.’ ‘Construction on the AUDC is expected to begin in the middle of this year, with the underwater centre to open by December 2022. Once operational, the marine observatory is expected to draw more than 900,000 visitors annually.’ ‘The AUDC aims to become the world’s biggest natural marine observatory, complete with an underwater trail and dining facilities among others. Describing the approach to the observatory, the press statement says that guests will be taken ‘through a landscaped sequence from their moment of arrival, where they will leave their car behind in a park graced with rain gardens’.’ Read the full article here​

Dezeen: 'Australia Underwater Ocean Discovery Centre'

'The Australian marine observatory by Baca Architects [appointed as lead architects by Subcon] will resemble a whale emerging from wayer' is the headline used by Dezeen to cover the press-release of our Underwater Ocean Discovery Centre destined for western Australia. Dezeen wrote: ‘Baca Architects is a London architecture studio founded by Coutts in 2003. While the AUDC marks its foray into underwater architecture, the firm is familiar with building on the water and creating flood-resilient structures.’ Read the full article here​

The Brit List: 'Class of 2020'

Baca Director, Richard Coutts, has been officially selected for the '2020 Brit List'. Each year, Hotel Designs unveils The Brit List, a publication that lists the top 25 designers, top 25 architects and top 25 hoteliers who are operating in Britain.​ For more than four years now, The Brit List Awards has shone the spotlight on the designers, architects and hoteliers who are proving to be trendsetters on the international hotel design scene. The Brit List wrote:Designer of the UK’s first amphibious house, Richard Coutts recently featured on the Channel 5 documentary entitled “Sinking Cities – The Great Flood of London: Environmental Challenges, Food and Floating”, which referenced Aquatecture (architecture on water) and the need for consideration to be given to intelligent innovative ways of living by optimising water as a resource. From concept right through to completion, BACA Architects, founded and led by the talented Richard Coutts, has been a key collaborator and an inspiration for Tyram Lakes.Tyram is so much more than a hotel, spa and resort. It shelters uncompromised luxury within an eco-friendly and sustainable environment. BACA’s holistic approach is helping to create an environmentally-centred paradise from woodland and quarry pits, fishing and watersport lakes and an abandoned pub named William de Lindholme. See the full Brit List 'Class of 2020' at this link:Meet The Brit List Architects of 2020 • Hotel Designs 

Baca Architects Director, Richard Coutts, Shortlisted for Architect of the Year Award

Baca Architects director, Richard Coutts, has been shortlisted as a Brit List Awards 2020 finalist for Architect of the Year by Hotel Designs. Now in its fourth year, The Brit List Awards is Hotel Designs’ nationwide search to find the most influential designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers operating in Britain. To find out more, visit: https://hoteldesigns.net/industry-news/the-brit-list-awards-2020-shortlist-announced/



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