The Bartlett School of Architecture


The Bartlett Forms Knowledge Partnership with the Aluminium Federation

13 May 2021

The Bartlett will team up with the trade body to explore the potential of building with aluminium.

Image courtesy of Michael Stacey Architects. The Hive designed by Wolfgang Buttress, fabricated from aluminium in Yorkshire, UK for Expo Pavilion in Milan and now permanently at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. London.

The school signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Federation (ALFED), outlining how the two organisations can work together and share expertise. The partnership aims to advance expertise on the potential and capabilities of the material, and how it can be applied innovatively and sustainably in building design. It also encourages research and development into new uses for aluminium to improve the quality of human life in the build environment.

The partnership was spearheaded at The Bartlett by Prof Michael Stacey and Dr Christopher Leung. As part of the agreement, ALFED experts will deliver lectures on the material to Bartlett students, and Design for Manufacture MArch students will be able to access expert advice on projects that involve aluminium fabrication.

ALFED represents the aluminium industry in Britain, and has built similar strategic relationships with manufacturing bodies and other educational institutions, but The Bartlett is the only architecture school it has partnered with.

The Bartlett's pioneering work in design thinking with sustainable materials is well-known, and this relationship will be of significant benefit to ourselves as a research-led university in both teaching programmes and academic as well as practice-based research.” 

- Tom Jones, CEO, ALFED

The architects, engineers, researchers, and educators of The Bartlett are delighted to have formed a knowledge partnership with ALFED. This collaboration is a set of opportunities to inform and explore the benefits of using aluminium to reform the built environment and tackle climate change, by accelerating technology transfer into the built environment, underpinned by the resourceful use of materials in a circular economy informed by Design for MADE (Manufacturing, Assembly Disassembly and End-of-Use).”

- Prof Michael Stacey and Dr Christopher Leung

More information

Image: The Survey probe by Sixteen*(makers) was designed and fabricated by Bob Sheil, Phil Ayres, Emmanuel Vercruysse, Nicholas Callicott and Christopher Leung from aluminium alloys by water-jet cutting, machining and folding. It was created during an architect's residency in the Kielder Forest, Northumberland as a manufactured autonomous survey device in response to a manufactured landscape. Image courtesy of Sixteen*(makers).