Inside / Out Lecture of the year

RCA Online Lectures : A talk by Tina Norden from Conran + Partners

Reimagining Space

I joined the RCA's Reimagining online lecture and got a chance to listen to Tine Norden from Conran + Partners and asked questions. Enjoy!


· Graeme Brooker

· Tina Norden


Concept to reality

Main aim: Transforming abstraction to reality

Multidisciplinary – interior / architecture

Consider detail! - touch, see, smell, interact

Authentic Experiences (creating)

How people use the space (engaging people)


Immersion/ design/ realisation/ narrative

Researching: people/ businesses/ architecture/ surroundings

Creating a unique identity + programme

Materials palette / approach to details

Connecting inside and outside

Adaptive (re) use: reducing carbon footprint

Regeneration of Butlers Wharf = old/ new building

Old Design Museum

Michelin House, London

Thinking/ creating old buildings. History might be a topic to pick up from when designing.

Retaining/ capturing soul and personality of the buildings are key. – reinvention

Some examples of Conran & Partners Projects

Centre Point (Tottenham Court Road, London)

George Mars – architect

Residential areas/ material: marble strips

Picking up architectural motifs to the inside. (found on the walls/ floors)

Baylis Old School (Lambeth, London)

Henley homes – client

Public/private housing

Expressive concrete/ glazing

‘Brutalist idiom’

Affordable homes/ gardens

Keeping the English heritage

Was a school once

Blending old to new.

Blake Tower (Barbican London)

Redrow London

Solid concrete

Working around the existing building to add apartment spaces

Enhancing architecture at Barbican

(colours/ material palettes)

Motifs/ decoration of memory of heritage (original architecture)

Boundary (Shoreditch London) – hospitality

Victorian industrial building (hotel)

European hotel design award

Sits in context/ neighbourhood/ integrated

Maximilian Hotel, Prague

Entrance / looks straight into the café

Only opens from the café

Colours in Prague is used.

German Gymnasium (Kings Cross, London) - restaurant

Built to be a gym - to host National Olympic games

Barb stairs / airy balustrades

200 Gray’s Inn

Refurbishment for office

2 storey glass window/ glazing

Café/ workspaces/ lobby space

Stories/ capturing imagination

Motifs/ materiality

Clues integrated to history


1- How did masters at RCA had effects in your successful achievements in Conran & Partners?

- Out there

- Multi- disciplines working together. / product – fashion – merging relevant with each other

- Two teachers she mentioned: Clive and Davide Adjei

- The course doesn’t have a particular style, it’s all about what design means to you/ turning the camera on for yourself.

- Creative freedom

2- When you design, do you use feedback from the clients or use consistent style as Conran & Partners?

- Sensibility in design

- We do sometimes modernist/ sometimes decorative depending on the project

- Details/ narrative is key

- Working with clients are fundamental. We listen to clients and make sure they are satisfied with the outcome. Give them time of the days to think/ re – connect with us and deliver what they want us to create

- It is better if the client is challenging you, makes the project stronger


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