Merry Christmas from the team at BLA

A big thank you to all the wonderful people who we have worked with and for in 2019!

With the turbulent conditions of climate change, and growing injustice in resource distribution we continue to be inspired by the constancy of human kindness and creativity.

And the capacity to have FUN!

We look forward to more of both in 2020 and wish you all a cracking break.

Using Timber in Affordable Housing

We look forward to discussing disruptive approaches to centralised off site manufacture of timber construction with Wessex Community Assets and Assemble Studios.

Discussing how digital construction systems such as MassBespoke can enable local small scale fabrication of affordable homes.

Find out more at

York Collaborative Futures – Bauman Lyons with Built InCommon and Massbespoke at the York Design Week

Join us for an evening of explorative talks inviting new and old ways of thinking. Talks by Irena Bauman from Bauman Lyons, Richard James MacCowan from Biomimicry UK and James Newton from Yorspace are coming to talk about how we could redesign our economic, building and planning systems to create a more democratic, circular and innovative model for housing, cities, and our futures.

York Design Week is a weeklong celebration of design and creativity taking place from 23rd-30th October 2019. With over 20 events in several different locations, there’s something for everyone: check out for more information.

York Design Week

Bauman Lyons are pleased to be participating in the co-owned neighbourhoods session at York Design Week. We will be taking part in these discussions with Matt Murphy of MassBespoke.

For more information see:

RIBA Smart Practice Conference 2019: New Ways of Working

Current and important issues for Future Architectural Practice will be discussed at the RIBA Smart Practice Conference on 1st October 2019.

Together with the full Client and Contractor team we are happy to present early thoughts on the process of the collaborative IPI contract which we are testing at the Museum of Making – a £17m HLF, ACE  and local authority funded cultural project in Derby.

Click on this link for the full conference programme.

Abbey Mills, Kirkstall, Leeds

We are discovering forgotten and magical areas of the Grade II Listed complex of Abbey Mills hoping to create a trailblazer project community led project. We look forward to working with Leeds City Council, Kirkstall Valley Development trust and the local communities.


Creswell Feasibility Study

We are pleased to be appointed with GVA and BWA by Bolsover District Council to carry out a feasibility study into re-purposing existing train station building and adjoining land in the village of Creswell.

We look forward to working with BDC again.

Knaresborough CLT

We are pleased to be appointed to work with Knaresborough CLT on their first project to build 3-4 flats in Knaresborough.

Very challenging site in a conservation area with trees, bus road, changes of levels- just as we like it!

Stir to Action Festival – A Playground for the New Economy – 16th-18th July, Frome, Somerset

We are pleased to have the opportunity to contribute to the Stir to Action Festival. We will be demonstrating our MassBespoke system and Irena will be discussing the Future of Housing with Mark Walton – founder and Director of Shared Assets, Tim Crabtree – founder and Director of Wessex Community Assets, and Paul Chatterton founding member of  LILAC co-housing.

Find out more at


East Leeds Project – The Pavilion

Big congratulations to East Leeds Project for overreaching their crowdfunder target of £10,000!!!

The Pavilion will provide a shared space where Makers based in East Leeds can come together to share their skills and learn new ones, meet other Makers and access affordable tools, equipment and training. The Pavilion will be open to everyone interested in Making, including people who’ve never made before but would like to try their hand.

Watch the inspiring story of community imagination and perseverance as it evolves and gains momentum and find out more at

Modernism as a Promise – Disruptions and New Orders

Whether in the form of architectures, urban concepts, as an instruction in knowledge institutions or as a lifestyle – modernity is discussed as a socio-political construction, criticized and placed in relation to the current zeitgeist. But how does modernity work? What role do transition, ambivalence and in-betweenness play? In general, can the postulates of modernity be negotiated and updated, or are they no longer viable and therefore historicized?

This year HafenCity Lectures ( at the University of Hamburg are a series of talks to explore this subject.

Irena will be participating in a discussion on the 25th of June in Hamburg with:

Valentin Groebner (Historian, Luzern)
Cesar Peña (Architectual Theorist, Bogotá)
Steven ten Thije (Curator, Eindhoven)


TEDx Bradford – Radically Social

Catch up with Irena’s talk from TEDx Bradford earlier this year. Irena spoke about how emerging technologies can enable socially useful production and collaborative ways of place making. Find out more about the Built InCommon network and MassBespoke – the innovative off-site construction system that Irena, Bauman Lyons and architect Matthew Murphy are developing to enable neighourhoods to self-build their own community-led housing.

Abbey Mills, Kirkstall, Leeds

Congratulations to Kirkstall Valley Development Trust!

Subject to due diligence, Homes England have awarded £200k for a social housing feasibility study at Abbey Mills, a Grade II Listed set of buildings on the River Aire in Kirkstall, Leeds.

Over the next few months we will be bringing local people together who are interested in living there, to shape the plans, developing design options and testing the viability of the scheme.