Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
Ken Shuttleworth, A Journey of Design and Discovery

August 17, 2016
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SYDNEY – CTBUH Sydney held a collaborative event with UNSW Built Environment, welcoming British architect Ken Shuttleworth, founder of Make, to Australia. The event, titled ”Ken Shuttleworth: A Journey of Design and Discovery” was sponsored by Brookfield, Schindler, and WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff. It celebrated the expansion of Make’s Sydney office, and their work with local practice Architectus on the soon to start 34-story Wynyard Place in the city.
Ken Shuttleworth, founder of Make Architects, gave the feature presentation at the Ainsworth Theatre, UNSW.
Over 200 attendees, including students, academics, practitioners, and the public, were present at the event..
The evening was opened by Professor Helen Lochhead, Dean of the Faculty of Built Environment, UNSW, who welcomed Shuttleworth to Sydney, as well as over 200 attendees, including students, academics, practitioners, and the public, who had gathered at the Ainsworth Lecture Theatre UNSW to hear his presentation.

Shuttleworth started by charting his early life and interest in architecture and cities, formed from growing up in the Midlands in the UK. He then went on to talk about his work with Foster + Partners over a 30-year period, and in particular his experience on seminal tall building projects such as the HSBC HQ in Hong Kong, and 30 St Mary Axe, “the Gherkin,” in London.
Professor Helen Lochhead, Dean of the Faculty of Built Environment, UNSW, welcomed Mr. Ken Shuttleworth to Sydney.
In 2004, Shuttleworth left Foster + Partners to set up his own practice, Make. He talked through setting up the firm, and the importance of every employee being a partner in the business, and as such, a part-owner and benefiter of its success. Twelve years later, and Make has offices in London, Hong Kong, and Sydney, and have completed over 40 buildings. However, it is a building about to start on-site that brought Shuttleworth to Sydney – Wynyard Place. This 34-story office tower is the result of a design competition won by Make and Sydney-based Architectus. Shuttleworth introduced the project to the audience by talking through the key strategic decisions that had made it stand out from other designs. In particular, the architects decided to jack the lift cores up, to provide greater access to the metro station beneath – creating an open and exciting ground floor realm and link to the transit hall below. The aim, according to Shuttleworth, “was to pull the adjacent Carrington Gardens right into, and almost under the building, so that it almost feels like an extension of the gardens going through the project – a big public gesture.” In fact, the theme of public space in and around buildings, and especially towers, was common throughout the presentation, with as much emphasis on the ideas of creating courtyards, urban rooms, and drawing the public realm into the architecture, as on the buildings themselves.
Shuttleworth talked about his early career as an architect, including his 30+ years at Foster + Partners.
The presentation progressed to projects from Make, including the recently completed 5 Broadgate in London.

Shuttleworth went on to talk about Make’s other work around the world. For the recently completed 5 Broadgate in London, he discussed how the design team used a range of modelling techniques – from carving to casting – to explore strategies to reduce the building’s mass, and to celebrate the activities within. For the Temple House in Chengdu he discussed how the design team had reinterpreted the typical Chinese courtyard house configuration for the hotel towers and integrated a Qing Dynasty heritage building as the entrance to the site.
Professor Lochhead then oversaw a series of questions from the audience, including a question from a student who asked what advice Shuttleworth would give to engineers who wanted to work closely with architects. “Engineers have to tell architects ‘no’ more often!” was the lively response, as he noted how engineers need to stop architects “getting away with things they shouldn’t be doing.

This marked the end to an excellent and engaging lecture, with wine and cheese served to the audience at a networking event that followed at the UNSW Built Environment Red Centre Gallery.
Mr. Shuttleworth discussed how his team approached the design of the Temple House in Chengdu, integrating a Qing Dynasty heritage building as the entrance to the site.