Spotlight on Muthahar Khan
In the coming weeks, we will shine the spotlight on each member of our team here at Studio Tashkeel Architecture to celebrate our wonderful team’s achievements, interests and personalities. First into the spotlight has to be the main man himself, Muthahar.
Muthahar is our revered Director and leads the team at our Manchester office on Princess Street. He set up STA in 2017 but prior to this he worked at a number of world renowned architectural practices. Muthahar gained his Masters in Architecture at the globally renown Architectural Association (AA) School of Architecture in London, under the tutelage of Patrik Schumacher – following which he was absorbed into ZHA (Zaha Hadid Architects) where he worked on award-winning architectural projects all over the world under the close supervision of ‘the lady’ herself. Following this, he worked for Aedas/AHR Architects alongside acting as a Research+Design consultant for the world’s largest architectural practice. This included 2 years of a co-design exercise with Rafael Vinoly Architects (RVA) on the Manchester City Football Academy project, where he was acting on behalf of the local architects in the delivery of the City HQ & First Team Stadium. During his time with these ‘starchitects’, Muthahar worked on some brilliant projects and has picked 3 to share with us today.
Arcadia Library & Leisure Centre- Levenshulme
Some of you may recognise Arcadia Library & Leisure Centre as it is located in the busy heart of Levenshulme, Manchester. Designed by AHR Architects, the centre provides a 4 lane community pool and a second intermediate pool capable of operating independently. Flexible changing rooms allow both pools to operate concurrently or interdependently providing facilities for special user groups where privacy is required. At ground floor, a community library animates the busy Stockport Road whilst at first floor a 60 station health and fitness gymnasium and a community studio provide active uses to the building frontage and visual interest.
I was fortunate to be involved from the early sketches of the design proposal, through to it’s construction completion. Arcadia was as an educative project with a number of design & construction constraints to be taken care of – lying opposite to a busy A6 road; having railway lines to the rear connecting Manchester to London; sharing a boundary very close to residential properties; Asbestos detected in two site structures due for demolition and a ground with high levels of contamination. The site context was multi-cultural and I had the opportunity to consult with the public during Planning process yielding some key improvements in the design at final stages prior to Planning submission.
Capital Hill Residence – Moscow
I joined the world famous architectural practice ZHA in 2006 and had the great honour of working on Capital Hill Residence, a multi-storey villa in the depths of Barvikha Forest near Moscow.
This was a wonderfully complex project with the programme of the villa is divided into two main components. The first is the lower component which is merged with the sloped landscape, while a separate volume floats, twenty two meters above the ground to benefit from the panoramic views above the treetops of the Barvikha forest.
I was assigned to this project at RIBA Stage D of its construction and was immediately able to start work on the complex concrete elements. The structure is of concrete and steel with only 70% of walls perfectly vertical. The remaining 30% of the walls were a challenge to build as they follow no particular set of rules of inclination. I was tasked with the resolution of their geometry in a way that they could be constructed and also given the responsibility of the 3d detailing of the façade – the most complicated element of the project!
Manchester City Football Academy – First Team Stadium
AHR Architects worked with Rafael Viñoly Architects (RVA) from New York on the new training facility for the juniors , the reserves and first team of Manchester City FC. The project comprises a community mini-stadium (which included the corporate Head Quarters & Media Centre); Training Academy, Scholar Accommodation, Energy Centre and associated training pitches.
The vision for Manchester City Football Club (MCFC) was to create a world class training facilities and a Category One Football Academy for Manchester City FC to further establish the Club as a successful, world class sustainable club for the future and deliver the next phase of regeneration in East Manchester.
The overall principles of design were produced in New York and the responsibility of further refinement rested with myself. It was a refreshing project with a wealth of experience gained by working alongside a completely different architectural practice, not to mention the spirit of camaraderie. There was much knowledge gained in the Sport sector as well. My responsibility included production of information, design & co-ordination, liaising with RVA New York & day-to-day running of project.