Main Project Info
dMFK won a competition in 2015 to radically rethink Maxwell Ayrton’s National Institute for Medical Research on The Ridgeway in Mill Hill. Set deep in green belt, this curious building is known both as a landmark, and a negative contributor to the Conservation Area. Working collaboratively with Hawkins Brown on the wider masterplan for over 450 residential units, dMFK have focused on the main ‘Cruciform’ building which had dominated this part of the Ridgeway, blocked views of the Totteridge Valley beyond, and had an austere, forbidding visual quality.
Our idea was to radically alter it’s cruciform shape, detaching the low wings attached to the main copper roofed ‘landmark’, and replacing them with 4 pavilions. In doing this, the sense of openness to the green belt is markedly increased, a key NPPF test. We are proposing a new village pond, 3 storeys of work space in the best part of the building, a restaurant overlooking the valley and residential uses elsewhere across the site.
Originally conceived as a conversion, the benefits of re building as an ‘augmented facsimile’ are many and the final scheme takes this route.