(Top to bottom) Elsley, by Burwell Architects, image © Ben Blossom ; Jonathan Tuckey Design Architectural Studio, by Jonathan Tuckey Design, image © James Brittain; Poplar Works, by Adams & Sutherland, image © Anthony Coleman; 160 Old Street, by Orms, image © Timothy Soar; Tailoring Academy, by Jan Kattein Architects, image © Jan Kattein Architects


We are please to showcase ZZA’s registered mark, UX:CAMPUS. Reflecting our significant evaluation and strategy work in campus environments – academic and commercial, UX:CAMPUS expands ZZA’s suite of marks to denote our bespoke approaches and methodologies.

Paradigm shifts post Covid

Covid poses opportunities and live empirical challenges as we segueway into post pandemic life, with the inevitable transformations in living, working, learning and commuting that are set to shape enduring hybrid modalities as we go forward. ZZA’s fully confident that offices will remain relevant, cued for realignment to less prescriptive, more accommodating locations, scales and designs. As Expert Assessor of NLA’s recent Working Awards, we are struck by the notable extent to which smaller and more porous office propositions featured in the submissions – showcased on this page. And we’re delighted to contribute further to this timely reassessment by sharing our user research perspectives in Oliver Wainwright’s incisive questioning of which typologies will stick @ollywainwright @zionastrelitz

Swings + welcome roundabouts

So everyone’s zoomed out! But in parallel with missing the collegiate fizz of in-person meetings and events, there’s the enormous plus of access across the miles, now so normalised, facilitating the productivity boost of international meetings at the click of a mouse, and without last century’s costs of expensive tele- technologies and equipment. As well as the helpful bridgeheads in family, social and work lives, and delivery of services, every young person has experienced its impact in education. And some of this will stick too. Lecturing in China on a Tuesday and Cambridge on the Thursday was a highly unlikely schedule a year ago. Having done just this in recent weeks, Ziona is convinced by its efficiency, as well as its sustainability for planet and person in place of the capsule in the sky.

Workplace and education design: overlapping aims

ZZA works actively in the university sector, carrying out briefing research and post occupancy evaluation on campus environments and individual buildings. Much of this involves the beneficial stock of new accommodation that academic institutions have delivered in recent years. Now – with the disruption to student travel, associated drop in university budgets, the increase in online teaching, and decrease in physical presence – the hot questions relate to next steps for higher education estates development. Drawing on her deep knowledge of both the commercial and academic sectors, and their shared objectives, Ziona sets out her view in her newly published Knowledge Exchange and Social Connection.

Plumtree Court (top and fourth), by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, Adamson Associates, Gensler, Perkins & Will, Adjaye Associates, AL_A, Citterio-Viel, UNStudio, image © David Churchill; York House, by dMFK Architects, image © Jack Hobhouse; x+why, People’s Mission Hall, by Squire & Partner, image © Squire & Partner; International House Brixton, by Assemble, image © Assemble; Brunel Building, by Fletcher Priest, image © Jack Hobhouse


ZZA’s Post Occupancy Evaluation: client value

Following our successive Post Occupancy studies for Make Architects, the studio has published this conversation on what makes our research distinctive and the way it informs their practice in its 2020 Yearbook.

London’s best workspace 2020

New London Architecture’s annual awards have huge traction in attracting a rich pool of submissions that showcase completed and future projects. As previously, Ziona Strelitz was invited as Expert Assessor of Workplaces. Covering a mix of typologies and locations, the submissions offers a valuable window on workplace design – from premium quality new build, through substantial adaptive re-use, to light touch interventions. As we work to re-galvanise economic activity and address Covid’s impact, these projects pose important questions on design strategies for resilience and lasting success. Congratulations to all the teams behind all NLA’s shortlisted projects – glimpses of the shortlisted Built Workplaces shown here, and to the Jury’s choice of Poplar Works – a new workplace for East London’s fashion economy, transforming under-used garages adjacent to the A12 into low-cost workshops, a public café, and manufacturing and training facilities – as winner. Ziona described her role as “identifying the strengths of every project, without prioritising between different typologies – an unfettered professional pleasure.”


Generous height, external views, daylight:
popular new Learning Commons, LSE Centre Buildings © ZZA

Critical thought: the future of work and learning

Ongoing projects always jostle with time and space for critical reflection. There’s not been a time in the tech-enabled / tech-driven world when our modes of working and learning have not been evolving, but crises accelerate the speed of change. With the dramatic urgency of the ‘needs must’ response to Covid 19, our modal landscape has transformed with a reach and intensity that would have not occurred without this burning platform. The question of the role face-to-face plays versus virtual connection has not had the immediate testing ground we are now experiencing. Now is an highly important time – to note, assess and predict. If ever there was a time to interrogate and analyse, to give the prominence needed to social, economic, emotional and security concerns in thinking about future functionality and spaces to support it, this is it. Watch this space.

Intensified design review: ZZA pre-evaluation

Building design is a complex process involving myriad elements and decisions, and once on course, design development typically follows its established trajectory, layering refinements on previous decisions. Marching forward. But critical appraisal with fresh expert eyes – at the design stage before schemes are built – is a unique time to hone the proposition that will be realised. Seeing the value in this, an ambitious and searching client have commissioned ZZA to leverage our deep knowledge and insight on user experience to ‘pre-evaluate’ their major schemes while there’s still scope to flex them. We are currently undertaking such a thorough user-centric review of design proposals for a block-wide, mixed use scheme encompassing live, work, rest and public realm. Marching forward with open eyes!

MIPIM 2020

ZZA looks forward to sharing our empirical perspectives on workplace and wellness at MIPIM 2020, Cannes

What goes round comes round

Unsolicited endorsements are always heartening. So touched to have memorable teaching remembered way down the line.

Focus on campus

It’s not just buildings that matter – the spaces between and around them are now recognised to count for more than ever before. Ziona Strelitz’s book, ‘Buildings that Feel Good’, looked at their context alongside the exemplar buildings themselves. Now, enlarging our repertoire of studies on these important settings, ZZA is researching user experience of an inner London campus, to register and understand the effects of physical enhancements as well as changing user expectations.

Step change in provision

The London School of Economics has been delivering an ambitious programme of development, upscaling the quality of its estate and the built environment for use by its community. The improvements also benefit the public. The latest building to be completed and opened is in the physical heart of the LSE. Designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour, Centre Buildings provides new teaching space, new workspace for academics and administrators, and an extensive open access Learning Commons – a step change in available facilities outside the School’s central library. ZZA is undertaking a Post Occupancy Evaluation of Centre Buildings in use.

Transcending box-ticking

Ziona Strelitz joins leading thinkers on Beautiful Business, with thoughts on inspiring, illuminating places.

Top: Martin Creed, Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles;
Right: Basim Magdy, Eco-Visionaries: Confronting a Planet in a State of Emergency, Royal Academy
All images + photomontage © ZZA

Global academic community, global concerns. Sculpture LSE campus

Reflecting cultural trends:
selfie spot in university library © ZZA

LSE Centre Buildings:
popular new Learning Commons © ZZA


Students’ arrival in light, legible space;
Welcome Week, University of Nottingham

Flexible, quality space for knowledge transfer:
buzzy exchange of ideas at summer conference

New building and plaza of the LSE’s Centre Buildings Redevelopment © RSHP (above)

Tall building critique

Ziona Strelitz draws from her record of work on tall buildings to ask how these live up to the promise. ‘Building Tall’, Architecture Today conference, Building Centre London, 14 November

Design for knowledge transfer

We hear continuously of buildings being designed to promote chance encounters and interaction. The presumptions are that this will happen, that collaboration will flow from it, and that value will result. Whilst almost every organisation across all sectors prizes knowledge exchange, little is known of the actual conditions that encourage and assist this. Extending ZZA’s already rich empirical evidence on the realities of buildings in use, we are currently undertaking research in an academic building that has been developed for teaching and learning, focussing on the design’s facilitation of this fundamental objective in the project’s brief.


Further expressing ZZA’s unique research and insight on user experience of built settings – so much of it across a wide range of workplaces – we’ve now added the registered mark UX:WORKPLACE® alongside our mark UX:SPACE®

ZZA approach in print

Delighted to put our approach out there, in The Business of Research, new volume of Architectural Design, May / June 2019. Essay by Ziona Strelitz: ‘How is it for you? Building Design as Experienced by Users and Makers’.

Built outcomes: evaluating delivery

ZZA specialises in evaluating new buildings before and after they’re built. Once completed, we research how buildings work for their users. Before they’re built, we focus on briefs and design development. But how design is delivered is critical to what clients will get and users will inhabit. Recognising the importance of this, the LSE have commissioned ZZA to review the process of delivering the School’s significant new Centre Buildings Redevelopment at the heart of the campus. Designed br Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, this thirteen-storey building for academic, teaching and informal workspace and gathering space will open later this year.

Newham Design Review

Ziona has been appointed to the Design Review Panel in the diverse and dynamic London Borough of Newham.

Railway arches

Adding to the multiple sectors and building types covered by ZZA’s assignments, railway arches have now come to the fore. Working on functional strategies for arches space on a central London site, we’re helping the leaseholder to populate this asset as a lively, thriving hub.

New ZZA website

Welcome to our new website. It’s structured to make it easy to visit what makes ZZA special – our vision, our scope, our approach, samples of our work, and the range of topics we cover. We hope it works for you. Feedback always appreciated.

New tagline: UX:SPACE®

Whereas tech business got the criticality of user experience in the sector’s infancy, the much older property sector is just catching on how much users matter to successful business performance. But ZZA is distinctive – user experience has always been our focus. Our new tagline – UX:SPACE® – now signals this key differentiator of our long term focus on users as key to project success.

MIPIM 2019

ZZA is invited to input at this year’s Cannes conference, presenting on Workspace: New Ways of Occupying, and moderating the sessions on Mixed Use: The New Normal? and Workplaces of the Future. All three are topics at the core of ZZA’s domain.

New era / new publication

It’s always heartening when good work’s judged to stand the test of time, and we’re delighted that Routledge are reprinting a foundational book on Leisure and the Family Life Cycle. With the emergence of AI and increased longevity, it’s highly relevant to refocus on leisure now. Ziona’s new introduction characterises the key changes of the industrial and cultural revolution we’re living through, and the parallel important shifts in demography since the book’s original publication.

Contrasts in London Borough of Newham: Stratford Shoal sculpture in Stratford town centre, by Studio Egret West (top), and fine housing development for Notting Hill Genesis, by Macreanor Lavington
(© Tim Crocker, bottom)




© Nick White / Kings Place




© Grafton Architects


© Architects, Stride Treglown

UWE’s Student Union building, Frenchay, Bristol, © Architects, Stride Treglown

Generous coffee hub in reception area of the celebrated White Collar Factory, on which ZZA carried out a pre-evaluation from future users’ perspectives, for developer, Derwent London © ZZA

What workers want: workplace culture

London is global centre of workplace innovation, with a fast-moving culture of work and workspace. Ziona Strelitz encapsulates its essence in a pithy op ed in New London Quarterly’s issue for Autumn 2018. Shaping London’s Workspace: User Culture draws on ZZA’s deep knowledge of UX:Space from our user research and workplace evaluations to posit six essential Cs of now culture: Choice, Community, Connection, Character, Convenience and Control.

POE at Broadgate

ZZA’s commission by Make Architects to research the effectiveness of their design of 5 Broadgate, the 65,300m² building developed by British Land, is now complete. The objective was to evaluate the building in terms of user experience, and the study was facilitated by excellent buy-in from the large banking organisation that occupies the space.

Kings Place birthday

The game-changing mixed use Kings Place building has just turned 10! Often known as ‘The Guardian building’, its powerful mix of workplace and cultural uses have made it a compelling London venue. As concept and space strategists on its development, ZZA were proud and thrilled to join in celebrating its decade of success.

Learning from London

Working across ZZA’s wide range of sectors and client organisations, we’re well poised to tailor briefings to project and group objectives. We have just led a series of briefing visits by Finnish built environment professionals, including architects and engineers from the City of Helsinki, covering a wide spectrum of learning from London – Crossrail, municipal housing, and White Collar Factory.

The Future of work + the workplace

Ziona Strelitz chairing Worktech Paris 2018. Important topics, including: neighbourhoods; neuro-arhcitecture + multi-sensory design. Great speaker line-up. Great venue: WeWork Lafayette.

Student space: researching informal environments

Building on our rich repertoire of research in student spaces, ZZA has evaluated a new Student Union building at University of the West of England’s large Frenchay campus (29,000 students). Like ZZA’s Post Occupancy Evaluations of other informal student environments, this covers the the building’s mosaic of functions + spaces, how they’re used + what they’re like to operate. The expanding repertoire of these studies enriches our insight and the scope to compare across case-studies. Learning from our Post Occupancy Evaluations of two other informal student environments – the LSE’s Saw Swee Hock Student Centre and of LSE LIFE – were presented in May at The Design & Management of Learning Environments Conference.

Analysing design evolution: process review

ZZA is reputed for our work on Post Occupancy Evaluation – researching building performance after construction. A separate knowledge strand concerns the process of building realisation. Furthering ZZA’s previous research on design + construction procurement, and our writing on design management, we are currently undertaking a process review with Grafton Architects + other core disciplines in the team producing the LSE’s new Paul Marshall Building on Lincoln’s Inn Fields.

Out + about: learning from the Nordics

One of ZZA’s strengths has always been the breadth of reference buildings we leverage from our comparative research, judging awards + international visits. Our continued investment in our pool of exemplars + good practice includes valuable ideas from recent trips to the Nordics.

Interdisciplinary teaching

A critical value of hub environments is their scope for users to mix perspectives. Interdisciplinary postgraduate courses are also hubs – programmatic ones, bringing together participants from a range of specialist backgrounds in time + space for fertile learning + exchange. The excellent Interdisciplinary Design for the Built Environment Master’s at Cambridge University has now moved its home base to the university’s Institute for Sustainability Leadership. Ziona Strelitz is sharing ZZA’s distilled insights from ZZA’s research + practice, lecturing on ‘Learning from Building Users’.

Playing in the seams

The future is to be created! With ZZA’s DNA in alert awareness + provision for cultural + social evolution, we are committed to continual mutual enrichment with colleagues from other fields. The days spent at the House of Beautiful Business during Web Summit in Lisbon, with a masterfully curated group spanning tech, business, academia, design, art, ethnography, literature, bioengineering, plus, plus, plus were wonderful + deeply instructive.








Buzzy entrance + workspace, Second Home Lisboa, © ZZA

Inspiration at House of Beautiful Business, ©




Small workplaces are important to economic growth and sustainable lifestyles, but some workplaces are necessarily big. ZZA’s previous news featured Sky’s new HQ at Osterley, and amongst its range of accolades, Sky Central has now also won this year’s NLA Awards for the best Built Workplace. The large building by HASSELL, AL_A and PLP Architecture offers a sense of fluidity in its circulation and sight lines, provides excellent daylight, affords human scale through a range of varied work settings – many enriched by imaginative use of plants, and promotes walking – realising today’s agenda for ‘Active by Design’. © ZZA


Two of the many planted settings at Sky’s new HQ in Osterley. © ZZA

Hubs + gathering places

Despite the role of virtual connection, face-to-face is valued as much it ever was – probably more so. ZZA’s work continues to explore the scope for productive interchange + social capital at the intersections of functions, spaces + different user groups.

Best in class workspace

The nature of workspace changes with the impacts of technology and cultural change. With its rich range of public, private and third sector enterprises, London is a crucible of evolving practice. As the Expert Assessor for New London Architecture’s recent 2017 Workplace Awards, Ziona Strelitz engaged with the rich array of design and practice evidenced by 32 submissions of leading workplaces that variously accommodate a range of just seven to 3500 people.

Expert Review: harnessing research knowledge

Evidence-based research informs next steps on given buildings that are studied, but the accumulated repertoire of knowledge from many successive studies affords a valuable resource to analyse any building. It is this that ZZA is called on to apply in our expert assessments of workplaces – both existing and proposed. Currently we’ve been providing this service on two public sector office campuses, generating output to guide the occupier organisation in aligning their space with evolving business requirements as the influences of technology, demography and cultural change alter work practices and user expectations.

Tall buildings: changing perspectives

Well before the sharp refocus on tall building design prompted by the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower, ZZA has been re-evaluating the urban issues relating to tall typologies. Developing the thinking she first presented to the Seventh International Conference on Tall Buildings at University of Hong Kong in 2009 – ‘Tall buildings’ contribution to sustainable urbanisation + growth: less take, more give’, Ziona led the introduction to the final week of the IDBE Master’s course at Cambridge University, with a synoptic overview and critique providing briefing considerations for tall building design.

Forging synergies – today’s ubiquitous goal

Ask any organisation how they’re looking to add value. The words you’ll hear are ‘serendipity’, ‘chance meetings’ + ‘cross-fertilisation’. Judge any workplace award + what you’ll see is design intended to promote these encounters. But the only way to learn if + how synergies are actually forged, is through research at the coalface. ZZA has long studied just this. Our latest research is with staff in two organisations of the UK Parliament, to learn if + how sharing a building has influenced collaboration, and explore what the occupants see as as relevant to working still more smartly.

Only connect – research story

ZZA recently studied research in a new academic setting conceived to facilitate knowledge transfer. Our Post Occupancy Evaluation at LSE LIFE, a linked suite of spaces forming a curated learning environment in the London School of Economics’ main Library, is ‘now published in summary form.

Betwixt cup + lip: academia + practice

What do we learn from the respective domains of practice + academia? ZZA has always bridged the two, undertaking rigorous empirical research to inform well-grounded practice + design strategy. Ziona Strelitz combines these perspectives in a new paper + presentation for the Conference on Professional Practices in the Built Environment at the University of Reading. In Spaces for interaction: empirical evidence on spatial realities versus supplier mantra, she challenges widespread procurement assumptions with critical insight drawn from research, citing spatial conditions that promote interaction in practice.

In ‘The Physical Workplace and Work-Life Balance‘, recently published in Work-life balance in times of recession, austerity and beyond, Ziona addresses the aspects that really matter in healthy workplace environments, including the questions of whether + how these change in more stringent times.

Presenting New London Architecture’s 2017 Award for best Unbuilt Workplace to Spring Place, Ziona Strelitz with the architects Piercy&Company, at NLA’s splendid event at London’s Guildhall. © Agnese Sanvito

© Piercy&Company

The winning project, Spring Place, demonstrating exemplary urban intensification with finely lit workspace ideal for co-working or smaller organisations, on a tight site close to a rail connection in North London. © Piercy&Company

Visiting exemplar academic buildings in Cambridge with the Higher Education Design Quality Forum. The green atrium wall in Cambridge Conservation Initiative’s (CCI) excellently remodelled building. © ZZA

© Stanton Williams

Verdant aspect from the Sainsbury Laboratory, which maximises views to the Cambridge University Botanic Garden. © Stanton Williams


The large site for the LSE’s new Centre Buildings development. © ZZA

Picturing, Paving, Parking, Pzazz. © ZZA

Take-homes from travel. © ZZA

Only connect! New learning hub

Available knowledge is one thing, but ‘getting it’ is another. Continuing its ambitious development programme, the London School of Economics has instituted LSE Life – a new centre to support students in academic, professional and personal development. An innovative student service in a newly provided space. ZZA is researching the effectiveness of this extensive facility. ZZA’s evaluation outputs are used both to inform future development as well as to optimise the space researched.


The increasing number of new tower buildings is fuelling concern across cities like London + New York, especially where tall structures stray from existing clusters and disrupt familiar views. ZZA has a strong grounding on these issues, from our earlier research with Londoners’ to inform city policy on tall buildings + panoramas, and ‘Tall Buildings: Strategic Design Guide’ (BCO / RIBA) edited by Ziona Strelitz. Our newest take, ‘From Guidance to Action‘, reviews the emerging reality of London’s skyline against the starter propositions.

What’s ‘smart’?

Concepts get embedded in what the supply chain provides, with applications often lifted + shifted between projects. Targeting relevance + strong alignment, ZZA is working with a big government department to forge strategic principles for smart-er working suited to its operations + culture.

Recycling buildings for value add

Since Ziona Strelitz’s book, Buildings that Feel Good, ZZA has championed good adaptive reuse, and our user research features numerous adapted buildings. Ziona judges this sector of entries again in this year’s World Architecture News Awards.

Knowledge share in Helsinki

ZZA is delighted once again to share perspectives on the changing workplace + its changing context with built environment professionals in Helsinki.

Revisiting London’s Skyline

Ziona discusses the trajectory over the past two decades with the Urban Design Group.

Design + curation

The endless discourse on building productivity assumes that architecture can do it all. But settings need curation to achieve the outcomes we want: ZZA is working with the occupant of a fine new building to drive user benefits.

Big, small, third place

ZZA’s thinking on the evolving nature of the preferred workplace reads the cultural tea-leaves. Our international study on hub environments was ahead of the curve. Why Place Still Matters in the Digital Age lays the ground for this sector of the workplace market, describing its traction with users + suppliers. Our empirical research report on workplace transformation, Improved Productivity at Lower Cost critiques the died in the wool business case for workplace consolidation, presenting an evidence-based proposition for smaller, more distributed workplaces that chime with users. Ziona Strelitz is speaking to these hot tops in panel session on offices + workplace design at the London Real Estate Forum.

Knowledge before the event

We are recognised for our thorough approach to Post Occupancy Evaluation. But drawing on deep knowledge of building use before construction helps to optimise built outcomes. ZZA is continuing our work in holistic pre-evaluation, with the most recent project reviewed a forthcoming wharfside building in Paddington.

Work-life : workplace

ZZA has deep roots in research on how we live + work, and how these change with shifts in demographics, technology and culture. Ziona Strelitz has distilled this rich evidence base in a new critique, focused on aspects of the physical workplace that really matter to users now, including the influence of austerity.

Tall buildings : referencing hindsight

ZZA has a record of research on Londoners’ opinions of tall buildings. Given current concern about the increased concentration of new tall buildings, we’re asked if the skyline has evolved as Ziona Strelitz envisaged when she edited ‘Tall Buildings: A Strategic Design Guide’. Not exactly!

Active by design

The irony of innovation that brings negative states and new words to describe them: obesogenic! Contributing to rising interest in healthy cities, ZZA’s presentation on ‘Active by Design’ at the Reform Club’s symposium: ‘Building the Walkable and Healthy City’.

© LSE/Nigel Stead

Spaces in LSE LIFE. © LSE/Nigel Stead


Picturing, Paving, Parking, Pzazz. © ZZA


Visit to Birmingham with Historic England Urban Panel, including Digbeth Centre (opposite). © ZZA

Brunel Building, Paddington. Client: Derwent London;Design: Fletcher Priest Architects. © INK

The Digbeth area of Birmingham, now with vibrant, creative workplaces, and with legacy buildings + urban character poised for more. Engaging workspace at Zellig. © ZZA

Disability + charity as sculpture: Sculpture in the City. © ZZA

Skygarden, 20 Fenchurch Street. © ZZA


Street furniture that works! Designed by O’Donnell + Tuomey, for the public realm outside their Saw Swee Hock Student Centre at the LSE. © ZZA


Galleries in the wonderful contemporary garden of Inhotim, Minas Gerais, Brazil. © ZZA

Derwent’s White Collar Factory at Old Street roundabout. © Cityscape

View south from tube exit. © ZZA


Industrial aesthetic in interior of the tower at White Collar Factory. © Tim Soar – tenth


© LSE in Pictures

© LSE Estates

LSE’s new students’ centre, design by O’Donnell + Tuomey. © LSE in Pictures

What makes for campus quality?

Previous ZZA research demonstrates that students care about the quality of their physical campus. Over the last few years, the LSE have developed a range of new buildings and settings. ZZA is researching how the evolving fabric shapes student perception and experience of the campus environment.

Briefings + study tours

The UK abounds with instructive built environment practice. ZZA continues to provide bespoke briefings and study tours, geared to delegates’ interests, and drawing on our breadth of knowledge across spatial scales – urban infrastructure, estates, buildings and interiors.

Keynote in Brazil

Invited as the international keynote speaker at SBQP – SIMPÓSIO BRASILEIRO DE QUALIDADE DO PROJETO NO AMBIENTE CONSTRUÍDO, 19-21 August 2015, Ziona Strelitz drew on findings and design directions from ZZA’s extensive research in her presentation on ‘Evidence-based design’.

Commitment to relevant design

Every architect agrees that learning from building users should be central, but few follow through to action.

Grimshaw are an exception. Showing confident openness to independent user feedback, they have commissioned ZZA to undertake independent Post Occupancy Evaluation of their delivered design.

With two of their new buildings on University of Southampton campus now complete and in occupation, ZZA is evaluating the Global Technology Centre for Lloyd’s Register’s Marine business.

Ziona Strelitz chairs

‘Workplace: Retaining London’s talent’: New London Architecture conference, Wednesday 30 September

Future of London

‘Creating resilient town centres’, Tuesday 23 June, Ziona Strelitz chair, ‘Working with complex places’

London Festival of Architecture: What to design FOR?

London leads as a context for agile work. As part of the LFA programme, Ziona Strelitz, William Fawcett + Phil Steadman debate the relative roles of mathematical modelling + ZZA’s empirical user research to inform provision of work settings. Booking for Agile working in the city: Algorithms vs spontaneous choice at Kings Place, Thursday 18 June, 7.00pm

Briefing talks

ZZA is responding to wide-ranging invitations to share our distinctive practice perspectives.

Briefing presentation by Ziona Strelitz in the RIBA Future Leaders’ programme on Integration: Whole Life Design, and Workplace Interaction: Empirical Realities; Busting Industry Mantra.

Forward steer: evolving urbanism

The new organisation, Historic England, has spawned from English Heritage. Ziona Strelitz is a member of its Urban Panel which provides expertise to help local authorities, development agencies and others engage in major regeneration of historic towns and cities.

Wisdom before the event

Derwent are recognised for continual innovation in delivering high quality, relevant property projects that offer what occupiers value.

Extending their forward-looking approach, they have commissioned ZZA to pre-evaluate major London projects from key user perspectives before they are built.

The projects are White Collar Factory in Shoreditch, by AHMM,
+ 80 Charlotte Street in Fitzrovia, by Make. Both are block-wide mixed use schemes; both integrate retained + substantial new elements.

Workplace : Work-life : Workplace innovation

A distinctive thread of ZZA’s approach is our holistic grasp of work-life experience, as a basis for responsive workplace solutions.

The ESRC has convened a seminar series to address the important questions of Work-life Balance in the Recession + Beyond.

The next focuses on Workplace Innovation – Ziona Strelitz is presenting on The Physical Workplace: Supply Side Assumptions + User Realities. The event is dedicated to pioneer Rhona Rapoport, valued colleague + co-author in a foundational phase of Ziona’s career.

ZZA are working on deeply engaging projects that pose the key questions we help clients address:

How can the scheme be more satisfying for its users?

How can it be more rewarding for its promoters?

How can it be more productive for the community?

We are:

  • Pre-evaluating two major mixed use London schemes before they’re built
  • Inputting to a mixed use campus mater plan
  • Distilling lessons learned from a decade+ of research with the varied users of academic spaces to apply to forward development
  • Researching the factors that really make a difference to innovation and collaboration in R+D settings.

A great outlook for 2015 – for ZZA, our clients + colleagues!

Leading Finnish delegation on a study tour of key London settings; sharing the contrasts. The Gherkin as backdrop to Ai Weiwei bike sculpture. © ZZA

Swimming pool at Kings Cross – UK’s first ever man-made fresh water public bathing pond. © ZZA

Part of Finnish delegation with Ziona Strelitz, following presentations at City Hall. © ZZA

Briefing Finnish construction professionals at The Leadenhall Building. © ZZA

Wonderful engagement with academic colleagues at Federal University of Viçosa, Brazil. © Cityscape



External terraces and interior of new Global Technology Centre for Lloyd’s Register’s Marine business. © ZZA


© Matt Harrison

Regent’s Place, where ZZA have been researching user experience of the non-office spaces on this mixed use commercial London campus.

© LSE in Pictures

© LSE Estates

LSE’s new students’ centre, design by O’Donnell + Tuomey. © LSE in Pictures

Users as judges: Post Occupancy Evaluation

In parallel with its extensive accolades from the design and construction community, the LSE’s new student centre has been evaluated by its users. ZZA’s POE report shares systematic feedback from the SAW’s rich range of users.

New ‘go to’ space in the City

The space at the base of the Leadenhall Building is now substantially open for public access. This 6-storey high volume offers a unique spatial experience, and unprecedented views to the Lloyds Building across Leadenhall Street. An exhibition describes the building’s history, design and construction. ZZA have been working on the uses for the fully opened space.

Concept and strategy: continuous partnership

London’s mixed use Kings Place development, on which ZZA worked as Strategic Advisor on space and concept, continues to be recognised as a game-changing venue for work, arts, dining and leisure. ZZA is delighted to be working with the same visionary team, now at Edinburgh Park.

ZZA out there

ZZA’s viewpoint actively shared and spread. Apart from UK and US, recent touch points include symposia and presentations in Helsinki, Paris and Zurich. Coming up, keynote at conference on New Work Worlds for Research and Development.

Almost there, the City’s new public space

The dramatic space at the base of the new Leadenhall Building will soon be open to the public. ZZA has been working on the strategy for its uses. The Changing City includes a glorious panoramic image of London, and interview with Ziona Strelitz on the distinctive nature of this generous space.

New London Architecture Awards

The NLA Awards event had London’s Guildhall filled to capacity celebrating projects in the city, with 19 winners across 15 categories. As Expert Assessor of Office Interiors, Ziona Strelitz complimented the short-listed schemes for ’embracing architecture in a very positive and exemplary way’, and described the winner, PwC’s transformation of Embankment Place, as ‘a real trump for sustainability, with huge learning for London.’

What makes a great building?

The LSE’s new student centre has been short-listed for the prestigious Stirling Prize, to be awarded in October. ZZA’s specialism is how buildings work for their users, and our research of the new student centre in action evidences extensive endorsement across its wide range of interior settings.

Leading thought in workplace research

Following a highly successful Workplace Strategy Summit convened by the IFMA Foundation at Cornell University in 2012, Ziona Strelitz is participating again at the June 2014 Summit, ‘Innovation on the Edge’.

London’s skyline

The prospect of London’s skyline with over 200 proposals for new tall buildings is provoking fresh debate. As editor of ‘Tall Buildings: A Strategic Design Guide’, Ziona Strelitz opened a panel discussion at NLA’s excellent conference, ‘London’s Growing Up’, addressing the quality of those tall buildings realised in London since 2005.

From research to action

ZZA’s recent research at Regent’s Place generated a rich suite of strategic recommendations to evolve this successful campus further as as enjoyable place to work, live and play. The next phase to develop design proposals is now underway.

Design for investment

Peter Millican + Ziona Strelitz present game-changing Kings Place at Society of Property Researchers / Urban Land Institute Seminar, 6 March, Aecom, Mid City Place.

More than net to gross

Ziona Strelitz with ORMS and lively panel in Architectural Review roundtable on ‘Office life: A discussion on the future of workplaces’.

Workspace wherever

Contemporary mobility shifts requirements from fixed locations to appropriate workspace wherever we are, for the task in hand and the duration. ZZA is working with US-based Liquidspace on their pioneering virtual marketplace for on-demand physical workspace in over 50 US cities.

Knowledge in a changing world

Good information is pivotal to effective parliamentary scrutiny of government. ZZA is working with the House of Commons to identify the conditions to optimise parliamentary research.

ZZA in Finland

Ziona Strelitz presenting on New Directions in Workplace and Real Estate, to cross-sectoral groups of real estate professionals in Helsinki.

Palace of Westminster, where ZZA has been engaging with Parliament’s research teams on the potential benefits of physical co-location. © Tony Moorey

Worktech’s 10th anniversary conference: Ziona Strelitz presenting + in conversation with the legendary Charles Handy. © Matt Harrison

Revisiting business parks: the award-winning Chiswick Park, where ZZA has done extensive research, with its uses now firmly embedded. © ZZA


Amsterdam, briefing study visits with Parabola team. © ZZA



Worktech 2013, London

‘The future of work and workplace…’ November brings the 10th anniversary conference of this influential programme to the British Museum. Ziona Strelitz will be presenting critical industry challenges on ‘Great workplace buildings: who needs them?’

Mixing building uses

The Leadenhall Building – aka the Cheesegrater – is under construction at a pivotal location between London’s new tall buildings. ZZA is working on a strategy for public use at the building’s base.

Settings matter

The spaces around and between buildings are a vital part of effective places. ZZA is currently researching user views of facilities and external realm at Regent’s Place.

Why where we work continues to matter?

Ziona Strelitz, in a Better Bankside debate with Roger Zogolovitch and William Murray, at The Lake, Union Street. Tickets from

Radical sustainability: work + workplace

More than low-e components and desk sharing. Ziona Strelitz invited to present the urbanistic, real estate and social capital perspectives at the NewWow Symposium, Oslo.

Future of London’s Town Centres

The Greater London Council’s report represents a searching review of planning, architecture and urban management, offering a range of practical action points. Ziona Strelitz of ZZA was invited as an expert witness to input knowledge of changing urban uses and third places.

New London Architecture Awards

The winners of the New London Architecture Awards represent numerous typologies. Ziona Strelitz was the Expert Assessor for Office Interiors. From a highly varied shortlist of big and small projects, the office interiors winner is Bennetts Associates’ office, 326 Downstairs, EC1.

From research to action

Presentation by Ziona Strelitz at The Science and Economics of Wellbeing in Interiors at The Building Centre, 5 July

Ever learning from building users

The distinctive building at 32 Lincolns Inn Fields was only occupied by the Land Registry till 2011. Now taken over by the London School of Economics, ZZA is evaluating the effectiveness of the accommodation as adapted for academia.

Modelling city regions

What is cities’ level of resource use, and can we assess how changes will impact? ZZA has written the presentation of the findings for a study commissioned by TSB from the Ecological Sequestration Trust, undertaken with Imperial College and the Institute of Integrated Economic Research.

ZZA joins the Yahoo fray

The office vs home is last century’s either-or. Today’s activities are distributed, with productive work in convenient locations + motivating spaces – often third places. See our Guardian comment.

Promoting London’s diverse workplace

Ziona Strelitz in panel discussion at New London Architecture.

Anywhere Working

More people are getting that work’s an activity, not a place. Anywhere Working event, London, 22 March. Venue: Aldwych Tube Station! Ziona Strelitz in Pecha Kucha.

But better buildings also matter

ZZA’s ongoing user research + cross-comparison are delivering continuous improvement + added value.

Outer metro edge

A key strand of ZZA research is living + working in large metro areas. Ziona Strelitz invited input to Greater London Assembly Planning Committee on London’s Town Centres. Webcast + discussion.

Transforming cities

Significant momentum on the EcoSequestTrust integrated urban modelling. ZZA is leading on social value.

Post occupancy evaluation highlights great success

ZZA’s POE of the LSE’s newest accommodation, 32 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, demonstrates great effectiveness in adapting this heritage building for academic use. LSE Estates excels in its actions for continuous improvement.

Sustainable, productive workplace

Report on ZZA + others in lively Guardian roundtable at White Collar Factory, London

Third place working: what’s new?

Distributed working is growing apace. Ziona Strelitz reviews this rapidly changing field in FM World

Intelligent Buildings

‘Intelligent buildings: Design, Management and Operation’ now in 2nd edition. Ziona Strelitz’s chapter on ‘The Changing Culture of Living and Working: Physical and Virtual Modalities’ captures the scale of change since the 2004 edition. Available as e-chapter or e-book

Now from Amazon + RIBA

Ziona Strelitz’s book, ‘Energy People Place: Sustainable Urban Paradigm’, available from as well as RIBA. Case-study of Kings Place + rich portrayal of sustainable building use.

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University of the Arts,
Central Saint Martins’ 2012 degree
show, exhibition guide cover.

Eco-design + planning

Progressing Eco-city Policies into Mainstream Chinese Practice report. ZZA co-authored section on Urban Planning + Design

Evaluating workplace efficiency

ZZA is continuing our empirical research on Birmingham City Council’s major achievement in contracting its portfolio of Central Administration Buildings, leveraging workplace agility.

London – redistributed?

Should London maintain its centralising impetus, with areas becoming increasingly mono-functional through site consolidation for larger scale development? An Edge debate considers implications + scope for a more distributed spatial strategy. Ziona Strelitz, ZZA; Michael Edwards, UCL + Ben Rogers, Demos, with Nicky Gavron, former Deputy Mayor, at City Hall. Info:

Wake up call: 70% + counting …

The pace of global urbanisation is galvanising urgent attention. ZZA involved in research + strategy in UK, Europe, USA, China + India.

Project launch in India

Launch of the Ecological Sequestration Trust’s pioneering environmental demonstrator project in the city of Surat. ZZA proud to facilitate at stakeholder workshop.

Changing workplace: empirical challenge

ZZA’s workplace transformation research unpacks long standing assumptions in the workplace supply chain. Out in August.

Eco regeneration in London

The real eco story is not about greenfield sites – it’s right in central London, with the burst of life at Kings Cross Central. ZZA engaging with Central St Martins in Unlocking the Public Realm

Third Place Working + Productivity

New advisory on ZZA international research.

Measures that matter

Ziona Strelitz as panellist addressing ‘What to measure, How to measure’, at 2012 IFMA Workplace Strategy Summit on Research in Action, at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Briefing research: study space

ZZA’s work with students and professional staff in two universities is informing the optimisation of study and library space.

Post occupancy benchmarks

ZZA’s rich bank of systematic data on building use now incorporates the results from our 2011-2012 POEs.

ZZA in China

The FCO funded UK-China Eco-cities project involves collaboration at municipal level. ZZA is participating in collaborations in Beijing, Shiyan and Anji.



Officials from China Society of
Urban Studies and city of Xiamen at Accordia, Cambridge, for UK-China Eco-cities collaboration. © ZZA

Strategic research, new report

‘Why place still matters in the digital age’
Published findings of ZZA’s global study on third place working close to home, based on nearly 80,000 survey responses from over 60 countries, plus a large suite of qualitative interviews in Greater London, New York, Paris, Mumbai and Hong Kong.

Post occupancy evaluation

ZZA continues our research on the changing workplace, with further evaluations on the new wave of police stations, studying how effectively these perform for personnel as both operational space and their workplace.

Eco-cities standards for China

Following significant development, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office is funding collaborative work by the UK-China Eco-cities & Green Building Group, working with the Chinese Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MOHURD) and the Chinese Society of Urban Studies on an action-research project to develop and implement eco-city policies across a range of Chinese cities. ZZA is on the Project Steering Group.

ZZA research bursts into song

ZZA’s research leads to better buildings. Now Neil Usher, General Manager, Group Property, Rio Tinto has converted our 2010 ‘Liveable lives‘ report to lyrics and Doug Shaw’s put it to song.

Workplace transformation: evaluating the occupier benefits

Straightened times highlight scope to eradicate waste. The pressure is on to save on superfluous space and building servicing; the ‘prize’ is significant and measurable. But the art is to realise efficiencies without compromising occupier performance. ZZA is working with one of our key clients to assemble rounded indices of benefit, including systematic evidence on the occupier perspective. We’ll be reporting on our transformation studies in the private and public sector at central and local government level.

Market edge from user focused design

The value of high quality research is the learning. The outputs are commercially relevant. Planning consent has been obtained for the Mayfair office redevelopment, shaped to meet ZZA’s occupier agenda.

Fitting buildings to people

‘The Third Way’, focus on ZZA’s Founder Director, Ziona Strelitz, in FMX Magazine, September 2011.

ZZA out there

Presentations by Ziona Strelitz at global events: Workplace Trends 2011, Royal College of Physicians, London, 20 October, University of Chongqing, 28-31 October + Corenet Summit Atlanta, 7 November.

Intelligent buildings

Article from ZZA: ’Tall building design and sustainable urbanism: London as crucible’ in new issue of Intelligent Buildings International.

Working at multiple scales

A notable ZZA strength is engagement with built environment use at all spatial scales. Our current projects involve empirical research across the spectrum.

Changing culture + behaviour

Our international study on third place working is in the analysis phase. Based on a powerful set of user data, the report is due for publication this autumn.

Optimising buildings

Using our up to date knowledge from post occupancy evaluation, ZZA has been informing front end strategy, providing user vision and iterative review of proposals for new buildings for the commercial office and police sectors.

External settings

Context is highly significant in the experience of building use. ZZA has been researching perceptions of campus and building quality in the higher education sector.

Sharing perspectives

ZZA presentation: ‘The Outer London network: realigning lives, expanding choice’, at London’s Workplaces: Remaining Competitive in a Changing World, New London Architecture.

Distributed working – global, local

ZZA’s international study of third place working is actively underway, with the US, UK and European sectors of this research now complete. Next stop Asia. This exciting qualitative research has an associated large scale survey component covering over 60 countries.

Post occupancy evaluation – incremental learning

With every new user study, ZZA’s knowledge of effective building design is expanded. Our newly completed research on a new police building adds to our data and insight on custody and general workspace facilities.

ZZA out there

ZZA presentations on its research perspectives at key international events:
Hong Kong, ‘Local Business Hubs: Strategic Answer to Sustainable Working’, at Corenet Global Summit, themed ‘Social dynamics: Growing cities, evolving workstyles and global influences’

Beijing, ‘Integrated Greening – Learning from Experience’, at 7th International Conference of Green and Energy Efficient Buildings: “Reduce Carbon, Increase Quality – Green Buildings Improve City Life”

Nottingham, UK, ‘Getting Real about Third Space Working: Issues for Workspace Providers’, at Th!nk FM, ‘Delivering Value in Facilities management’




City Place Gatwick premium office, and BT Crawley in a Technical Equipment Centre adapted for office use. © ZZA








Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding by HM Ambassador and Vice-Minister Qiu Baoxing, Beijing March 29 2010, covering UK-China collaboration on the development of green buildings and eco-cities. © ZZA

Researching dynamic work modes

ZZA’s Regus report on ‘Liveable lives’ has struck an industry
chord – FM World rated it ‘far the best presentation of the day’ at Worktech. ZZA is now researching how third spaces work for
their users.

Optimising police buildings

ZZA has actively supported design optimisation of police buildings through Post Occupancy Evaluation and Design Review. This work stream is now involving an evaluation of innovative custodial facilities for a UK force.

Championing integration

Joined up not just multidiscipline is a ZZA credo! We are contributing to UK infrastructure optimisation, through Ziona Strelitz’s membership of the Government’s Engineering Interdependency Expert Group.

University of Reading

Ziona Strelitz has been appointed Visiting Professor at Reading’s distinguished School of Construction Management & Engineering.

PwC: Future Working Environment

In the early 2000s, ZZA supported PwC on evolving its working environment. This resulted in the award-winning Cornwall Court and generated a template for further PwC space. With the speed of cultural change impinging on work, ZZA is again collaborating with PwC, researching their Future Working Environment.

ZZA out there

ZZA’s rich research perspective is contributing to key events:
“Workspace-people: Employee steer to sustainable performance”
at Corenet’s 2010 Global London Summit,
“Liveable lives: addressing dysfunction in 21st Century work”
at Worktech 2010 at the British Library,
“Changing culture: responsive office design”, at
On Location in the City, convened by New London Architecture
and the City of London Corporation at the Guildhall, and
“Life cycle performance delivery”, at the international
Future City conference, Mermaid Theatre, London.

ZZA’s experience continues to be shared in teaching on the
MSc in Intelligent Buildings at University of Reading. This year’s students represent a cosmopolitan international cohort.

People meet in architecture

ZZA’s focus through our 21 years is “building use meets building design”, the theme for this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale.

Innovation in law firm fit-out

London is a progressive environment for legal workspace. ZZA is currently reviewing the range of exemplar concepts and practice.

Success in low-e, lean office design

ZZA shared the results and learning from our Post Occupancy Evaluation of the Devon and Cornwall Police Authority’s Strategic Operational Hub in Bodmin, with Police Property Services Managers at their recent Conference in the building. The POE results validate positive scope for sustainable design.

Designing for happiness

Ziona Strelitz drew on ZZA’s extensive research in a presentation at the Designing for Happiness Seminar at Imperial College. The event underscored the importance of skilled listening to and learning from building users, coupled with responsive and inspired design.

Sustainable Cities: Shanghai Expo

ZZA contributed its multi-scalar perspective to the UK-Sino “Towards Sustainable Cities” seminar convened at China’s first carbon-neutral hotel in Shanghai.

Green development in Asia

ZZA continues to share perspectives with colleagues in Asia. Invited by the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers and Ministry of Housing and Urban Development in PR China, Ziona Strelitz presented its approach to user-focused design in Hong Kong and Beijing.

Sustainable living and working

ZZA has tracked work-life issues over our 21 year life. Our latest report, Liveable lives, leverages this research, offering instructive strategies to promote work-life alignment, highlighting scope for distributed workspace. Enlisting strong international interest published by Regus.

Promoting sustainable fit-outs

The new SKA Rating tool facilitates greener fit-outs. ZZA has contributed as Development Partner. SKA has been endorsed by Corenet and adopted by RICS.

Measure, measure! Important Post Occupancy Evaluation data

ZZA have a valuable database of findings. Recent evaluations show users wanting simpler, greener buildings. Our latest POE of a low-e building shows that this can be achieved. More information to follow after our post-summer check.






© Steve Townsend