The Cork House by Matthew Barnett Howland + Dido Milne and Oliver Wilton

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Matthew Barnett Howland with Dido Milne and Oliver Wilton
Structural Engineers / Fire Engineering.- Arup. Whole Life Carbon Assessment.- Sturgis Carbon Profiling LLP. Cork machining and fabrication.- B-Made at The Bartlett UCL. Cork CNC machining.- Wup Doodle
Matthew Barnett Howland + Dido Milne
General Contractor
Matthew Barnett Howland (assisted by M&P Construction)
Internal area.- 44.00 m². Weathered external room (11sq.m.) is an integral part of the building structure
Date of completion.- January 2019

Matthew Barnett Howland

Matthew Barnett Howland studied architecture at Cambridge University and the Bartlett UCL, and has worked in architectural practice at Buschow Henley in London and Jestico & Whiles in Prague.  As a co-director of MPH Architects (with Catherine Phillips and Dido Milne), from 2015-2018 he led a research team of industry and academic partners on ‘Solid Cork Building Envelope’, part-funded by Innovate UK and EPSRC. The subsequent Cork House, completed in 2019, was designed with Dido Milne and Oliver Wilton, and self-built by Matthew. He is currently Director of Research & Development at CSK Architects in Eton. 

Matthew has initiated, designed and managed property developments, including 66 Brick Lane which won the RIBA Downlands Prize 2004 for Urban Regeneration (with Dido Milne), and villas in Ibiza with his father, William Howland (winner of RIBA Building of the Year 1989 with Nelson Mandela School in Birmingham).  He also designed the sets for Opera North’s production of Cosi fan Tutte, directed by Tim Albery.

As an architectural tutor, he has taught diploma units at the Architectural Association (with Peter Karl Becher), Cambridge University (with Oliver Wilton) and London Met, where he was awarded the RIBA Tutor Prize in 2004 with David Grandorge.  He is currently a postgraduate thesis tutor at The Bartlett School of Architecture UCL.

Matthew is currently working on an all-timber prefabricated house raised up amongst the trees on a hillside in Somerset.

Dido Milne

Dido Milne. DipArch RIBA. Dido studied classical ballet professionally up to the age of sixteen, but after an injury whilst training with the New York City Ballet, she turned to architecture.  Dido studied at Cambridge University, where she was tutored by Eric Parry and a 1st class degree led to a scholarship at Harvard, studying under Rafael Moneo.  She completed her formal education back at Kings College Cambridge in Peter Beard’s studio winning an ideas competition in collaboration with Tom Russell to design a Visitor Centre for Kings College Chapel. She was a RIBA bronze medallist nominee and won the Kings College GHW Rylands prize for Architecture. 

After qualifying, Dido worked for Jestico and Whiles in Prague and later for Eric Parry Associates in London before joining Corrigan + Soundy + Kilaiditi Architects in 1995. She became an associate of the practice in 2000 and a partner of Corrigan + Soundy + Kilaiditi Architects in 2007. The founding partners retired in 2016 and the practice was relaunched as CSK Architects (Ltd), with Dido as one of three directors shaping a design studio specialising in bespoke, crafted buildings which have a real sense of ‘place and belonging’.

Over the past five years Dido has become increasingly interested in bio-renewable design.  In collaboration with Matthew Barnett Howland and Oliver Wilton (UCL) in her role as co-designer and client she has recently completed the Cork House in Eton.  Cork House is a highly innovative project built with structural solid cork walls and roof. The project was carbon negative at completion, has exceptionally low whole-life carbon, and has been ‘designed for disassembly’ so that all its material resources can be easily recovered at the end of its life. The house has won a RIBA National Award and the RIBA South Sustainability Award, and has been longlisted for RIBA House of the Year.

Dido has also collaborated with Matthew Barnett Howland for the design of a new build house in Brick Lane, which won a RIBA South-East Downlands prize and on the design of a private house in Ibiza.

In the medical sector, Dido has overseen the design of a new doctor’s surgery in Dedworth and new Scanning Clinic in Ascot. She was project architect for Thorp Architectural Modelmakers which won local and regional design awards and is one of only ten buildings featured in the joint English Heritage and CABE publication ‘Buildings in Context.’

Dido sits on the local Design Review Panel and was the chair of the RIBA South-East Awards in 2017.

Oliver Wilton

Oliver Wilton is Lecturer in Environmental Design at The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, where he is responsible for leading academic agendas in environmental design across the School. This is a complex, cross-cutting field and Oliver’s research, teaching and consultancy cover diverse matters including operational environmental and energy performance, inhabitation, material technology and the development of new forms of construction. This is informed by over two decades of experience in practice as an architect and adviser on complex projects and by his research and consultancy on building design and performance.

Oliver is Director of Technology, appointed in 2019, working with the Chair, Director of School and colleagues in developing, augmenting and leading the School’s strategy for technology in architecture. This involves harnessing the School’s reputation for innovation in technology and offering support to new initiatives, ways of thinking and future strategies.

From 2014 to 2019 he served as the inaugural Director of Education, working with colleagues including the Chair, Director of School and Vice-Dean Education on strategic education matters and the academic planning, development and performance of the School. This was a period of significant change and evolution, including moving into expanded and upgraded accommodation at 22 Gordon Street, developing a presence at the new UCL facility at Here East and developing and delivering eight innovative new taught masters programmes that draw on expertise within the School and more broadly within UCL. MEng Engineering and Architectural Design is an interdisciplinary 4-year integrated masters developed and delivered in partnership with the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering and the UCL Institute of Environmental Design Engineering; MLA and MA Landscape Architecture were developed in liaison with the Landscape Institute, and the Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) is a new UCL qualification; MArch and MSc Bio-integrated Design are two new 21-month programmes developed and delivered in partnership with the Department of Biochemical Engineering; MArch Design for Performance and Interaction, MArch Design for Manufacture and MA Situated Practice are highly tailored 15-month programmes utilising the unique facilities at UCL at Here East.

In addition to his work in academia, Oliver has over 20 years of experience working as an architect and environmental design consultant in practice, with involvement on a range of innovative and award-winning built projects. He has co-founded a small practice and worked for a number of progressive companies including Brian Ford & Associates, Studio E Architects, Foster & Partners and RH Partnership. He also undertakes specialist consultancy including acting as a technical assessor for the Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy since 2008 and delivering Sustainable Urban Development consultancy to the Taiwanese government with UCL colleagues in 2014.



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