as above so below directed by henrietta williams

Publica's new film casts an investigative eye over London's urban complexity

The new short film, As Above, So Below’, commissioned by Publica and directed by Henrietta Williams, traces London’s urban spaces, greens and waterways – from balconies and squares, down to the banks of the Thames – capturing the capital’s multi-layered, complexity. 

Screened during Clerkenwell Design Week the film describes Publica’s investigative methodology and observational approach which seeks to understand the character of the cities we live in. The film observes the theatre and drama of city life and moments of calm, played out day in, day out, in London’s urban spaces. It also functions as a visual field diary for urban designers to ask questions and investigate how people use public spaces, as well as the boundaries between different activities in the city.

The film also marks the practice’s fifth birthday celebrations in 2015.


A Publica Film Unit production
Directed and filmed by Henrietta Williams

Produced by Jessie Teggin
Edited by Simon Ball
Music by James Welland
Run time: 7 minutes 9 seconds 

Posted in: Events
Date: 25 May 2016

West Smithfield International Design Competition

Lucy Musgrave is delighted to have been appointed to the jury for the West Smithfield International Design Competition, launched in February 2016 by the Museum of London to select an architect to create a new museum at West Smithfield in the City of London. 

The Museum of London announced today the six architectural teams who have been shortlisted and full details on the competition jury. To view the press release and for more information on the competition please click here.

Posted in: Recent News
Date: 4 April 2016

Publica article in Historic England Conservation Bulletin

An article entitled ‘Restoration: infrastructure as a catalyst’ by Publica has been published in the spring issue of Historic England’s Conservation Bulletin.

This piece considers the ways in which an infrastructure project can catalyse restoration work. Publica is currently part of a team working on public realm improvements at Hanover Square, a project which illustrates this idea, as transport developments have triggered plans for sensitive changes to the entire square and the surrounding area. If you’d like to read the article you can find it here.

Posted in: Projects, Recent News
Date: 17 March 2016

Film of the Month: Utopia London

The documentary Utopia London charts, through a series of key buildings in the mid to late 20th century, the changing political and social landscape that gave rise to the architectural legacy of Modernism in London still visible today. 

The director Tom Cordell, who grew up in London, draws our attention to the social and political context that the architects worked within and how understanding the progressive political climate in post-war Britain is key to understanding their architecture. 

The highlights of the film are when the architects themselves are given the opportunity to walk a camera around their projects. Neave Brown takes a tour of Alexandra Road, George Finch of the Lambeth Towers, John Bancroft of the Pimlico School and Kate Macintosh of Dawson Heights.

Utopia London
Directed by Tom Cordell, 2010, 82mins

Watch the trailer and buy the film here.

Image: Photography by Alexander Short, © Utopia London

Posted in: Film Of The Month
Date: 31 March 2016

Names Not Numbers conference

Lucy Musgrave will be speaking at the annual Names Not Numbers conference on Wednesday 10 February at the Corinthia Hotel London. 

Lucy will join industry experts, Harvey Goldsmith, Sadie Morgan, Vicky Richardson and Ben Rogers to debate ‘Keeping London Human: Designing for a Fast Growing City’. 

For more information please click here.

Posted in: Events, Recent News
Date: 8 February 2016

Bond Street Development Plan Exhibition

Publica was invited to participate in a three day exhibition (26–28 January) for the Bond Street Development Plan, hosted by New West Company. 

The public exhibition was an opportunity to show the progress of the Plan and for attendees to find out more about the proposals for Bond Street. Publica’s proposals and visualisations were on display and Alex Arestis, Urban Design Director, was in attendance to answer any questions. 

In January 2015 Westminster City Council and the New West End Company commissioned Publica to carry out a detailed audit of the current public realm conditions and develop a concept design for Bond Street. 

For more information on this event please click here



Posted in: Projects, Recent News
Date: 29 January 2016

Urban Land Institute Europe Conference

Lucy Musgrave attended the annual Urban Land Institute Conference, held in Paris on the 2 and 3 February.  

The 2016 programme focused on economic, geo-political and urban development issues with particular focus on density, disruptive technologies, and global capital markets.

For more information please click here.

Posted in: Events
Date: 4 February 2016

Barbican and Golden Lane Area Strategy adopted as City of London policy

Publica is delighted to announce the City of London Court of Common Council has officially adopted the Barbican and Golden Lane Area Strategy as policy. 

This follows a successful consultation period on the strategy and accompanying Vision for the City of London Cultural Hub, which was developed over a year-long process. The strategy sets out a series of recommendations and projects for improvements to the district’s public realm in light of anticipated future changes, including the arrival of Crossrail at Farringdon and Liverpool Street in 2018, and the City’s ambition to develop the area into a London-wide cultural focal point.

Posted in: Projects, Recent News
Date: 3 December 2015

Bank junction to be comprehensively redesigned

Publica is delighted the City of London will be undertaking a programme of improvements at Bank Junction, a major project which will take five years to complete. 

With consent from TfL an initial “Interim Traffic Order” will be in place from late 2016. A complete redesign will then be consulted on to determine the best long-term solution, which will not only improve safety pedestrians and cyclists but also create a better public space for all users. The Corporation’s Streets & Walkways Committee will meet on 30 November to approve the start of the design process for Bank Junction.

In 2011 Publica was commissioned by the City of London to develop a public realm vision for the streets and spaces of the Bank area and to suggest positive ways in which the public realm could be improved and upgraded. The Bank Area Enhancement Strategy was then developed by Publica and adopted by City members in Summer 2013. 

Following the development of this strategy over two years of extensive work and further traffic modelling was carried out by the City of London to reach this pivotal stage in the project. 

Posted in: Projects, Recent News
Date: 20 November 2015

Publica working at Hanover Square

Publica is currently developing public realm concept designs for Hanover Square, in line with the planned opening of the Crossrail Bond Street Hanover Square station exit in 2018. The new station will see the square and its environs transformed into a primary gateway into the West End. The project follows from Publica’s 2010 work to set design and programming principles for a new courtyard space and connecting routes between Hanover Square and Bond Street, for the Hanover Square Masterplan and over-station development. Designs will consider the square’s role and potential as a key central London public space, alongside integration and links with surrounding shopping streets and retail destinations.

Posted in: Projects
Date: 16 August 2015

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