Depot, Lewes wins National LABC Building Excellence Award

The Depot in Lewes was announced as the winner of the Best Public Service Building at the Grand Finals of the 2018 LABC Building Excellence Awards, held on Friday evening. As the winner earlier this year of the South East Regional Award, is was judged against the category winners for each of the other eleven regions and awarded the national prize.

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The Depot is a new three-screen community cinema, designed by Burrell Foley Fischer, on the site of the modest but much loved existing warehouse of the old Harvey’s brewery depot in Lewes. The three screens have been discreetly inserted within the saved brick shell, with the major design move being to attach a new glazed extension with the depot structure fully visible as the historic backdrop to the new box office, café bar, restaurant and film education and training facilities. Reflecting the historic site layout of orchards and meadows, the former tarmacked service yard is landscaped to provide a new public realm.

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The Local Authority Building Control (LABC) Building Excellence Awards showcase buildings and design teams that have had to tackle tussle with complex technical or construction issues and building site constraints.  They highlight innovative and creative solutions and building control professionalism that leads to safe, sustainable and high quality construction projects.

A panel of industry experts judged a shortlist of the highest quality projects from around England and Wales to reward the best in technical innovation, sustainability and design. The panel of expert judges said “The Depot is a lively cinema hub with exhibition space, café and restaurant. Its design and innovative use of technology ensures it’s fully inclusive for the whole community. External lighting minimises light pollution and the extensive green roof of local plants responds to the special character of the South Downs.”    

After the award was announced @LewesDepot tweeted “Thank you @BFFarchitects – our community in #Lewes is fortunate indeed to have such a beautifully designed building”.

Documenting a transition: how Harvey’s Depot became a state-of-the-art cinema

Photographer Carlotta Luke is giving an illustrated talk on the transformation of the former Harvey’s Depot in Lewes into an award-winning community cinema.  Carlotta spent two years documenting the build and will be presenting a selection of her favourite images at the Paddock Art Studios, Lewes on 10th November at 3pm.

  Photo courtesy: Carlotta Luke

Photo courtesy: Carlotta Luke

The Depot is a new three-screen community cinema on the site of the modest but much-loved existing warehouse of the old Harvey’s brewery depot. The three screens have been discreetly inserted within the saved brick shell, with the major design move being to attach a new glazed extension with the depot structure fully visible as the historic backdrop to the new box office, café bar, restaurant and film education and training facilities. Reflecting the historic site layout of orchards and meadows, the former tarmacked service yard is landscaped to provide a new public realm.

Speaking to Viva Lewes magazine, which this month features a selection of her photos, Carlotta said “I heard about plans for a new cinema and wanted to get involved in the best way I know how – with my camera. I suggested to director and programmer Carmen Slijpen that monthly site visits would provide her with images she could use to publicise the building’s progress and the project. Luckily for me she agreed.”

Read the current issue of Viva Lewes magazine here and see more of Carlotta’s work on the Depot here.

  Photo courtesy: Carlotta Luke

Photo courtesy: Carlotta Luke

As architects for the Depot cinema in Lewes, we enjoyed Carlotta’s photographs taken throughout the construction period, as they constantly revealed the building in new ways.  Her wonderful pictures not only provide a historic record of the physical progress of the build, but also of the personal contribution of so many individuals that it takes to deliver a building of this quality, including designers, contractors and specialist craftsmen.

  Photo courtesy: Carlotta Luke

Photo courtesy: Carlotta Luke

Three independent cinemas designed by Burrell Foley Fischer amongst top ten recommendations by Guardian readers

The Guardian recently asked their readers to recommend independent cinemas and over 1,500 of them responded. The top ten recommendations included three cinemas designed by Burrell Foley Fischer; Campbeltown Picture House, Lewes Depot and Newlyn Filmhouse. Read the recommendations on the Guardian here.

Burrell Foley Fischer are widely acknowledged as a leader in modern cinema design and in particular in the development of a new breed of urban cinemas. Our specialist knowledge of the film sector is underpinned by over 30 years’ experience working for independent cinema operators, regional film theatres and community arts cinemas. The refurbishment and remodelling of cinemas in listed buildings, to meet the expectations of a modern cinemagoing audience whilst respecting the historic integrity of the building, is a particular speciality of the practice.

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Campbeltown Picture House: “Winning tip: Peninsular pictures, Argyll & Bute”

The Picture House has the joint accolade of being one of Europe’s few surviving atmospheric cinemas and Scotland’s oldest purpose-built cinema still in operation. The conservation project, led by Burrell Foley Fischer, restored the art nouveau exterior and the historic main auditorium to its 1930s design, and provided a new state of the art second screen, café, education room and other facilities. campbeltownpicturehouse.co.uk

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Lewes Depot: “Depot delight, East Sussex”

The Depot is a new three-screen community cinema on the site of the modest but much loved existing warehouse of the old Harveys brewery depot in Lewes. The three screens have been discreetly inserted within the saved brick shell, with the major design move being to attach a new glazed extension with the depot structure fully visible as the historic backdrop to the new box office, café bar, restaurant and film education and training facilities. Reflecting the historic site layout of orchards and meadows, the former tarmacked service yard is landscaped to provide a new public realm. lewesdepot.org

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Newlyn Filmhouse: “Soho on sea, Cornwall”

The Newlyn Filmhouse provides a new two-screen cultural cinema with a café bar in a former fish store on the Coombe in Newlyn, Cornwall. Externally the conversion makes use of existing large shuttered openings at ground and first floor level and retains the character and appearance of the building as a former light industrial building. Since opening the cinema has become a much-loved addition to the seaside town and fishing port. newlynfilmhouse.com

Drone footage of New Boarding House at Tring Park School under construction

Tring Park School have released drone footage of their New Boarding House, currently under construction, and designed by Burrell Foley Fischer. The short film is by MacMac Photography.

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The £5.9m building, due for completion in spring 2019, consisting of three floors plus a lower ground floor, will contain a state-of-the-art boarding house for 70 pupils, six academic and vocational teaching spaces, a theatre workshop and other valuable pupil facilities.

Rawthmells 21st Century Enlightenment Coffeehouse opens at the Royal Society of Arts

The refurbishment and remodelling of the headquarters of the Royal Society of Arts in the Grade I and Grade II* buildings in John Adam Street London, has been an ambitious project to create an enlightenment coffeehouse. The aspiration is for it to foster the creative thinking and collaborative action needed to address the challenges of the 21st Century.

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Coffeehouses, first established in the 17th and 18th centuries, were places where, for the price of a cup of coffee, people could meet to share ideas. The RSA was established in an enlightenment coffeehouse, named Rawthmells, in 1754 by a group of people with a shared vision for a better tomorrow. Like the original coffeehouse, they want their 21st-century version to be a place where individuals become part of a greater movement for social change – a natural home for anyone who wants to change the world. They see it as somewhere that enables people to connect, share knowledge, collaborate, and build new communities to tackle the social challenges of our time.

Burrell Foley Fischer were appointed as architects to address the challenge of meeting the RSA’s vision through transformative change of two mezzanine levels, with low ceilings and low levels of light, situated between the ground floor and basement vaults. The former small cellular rooms have been connected to establish an enfilade series of spaces for all-day dining, collaboration and quiet reflection.  

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The coffeehouse will connect stimulated minds with the lively exchange of ideas in a creative environment dedicated to progressive social change. A Hellerup staircase connects the two mezzanine levels and forms the centrepiece of the coffee house. The wide, wooden steps of the Hellerup can also be used as seating, converting the space into an auditorium, where public speaking, debate and discussion amongst coffeehouse guests will be actively encouraged. Through the RSA's existing digital platforms, the auditorium will be plugged into their global network.

As well as providing superb coffee (the jet fuel for enlightened thinking) and excellent all-day dining, the coffeehouse will also provide innovative spaces designed to foster collaboration. The original enlightenment coffeehouses were shaped by the people who frequented them, and the RSA coffeehouse will be no different.

Campbeltown Picture House wins 2018 Scottish Heritage Angel Award

The restoration and remodelling of the Campbelltown Picture House has been awarded Best Rescue of a Historic Building or Place (for projects over £2m) at the 2018 Scottish Heritage Angel Awards. The award was collected by Jane Mayo, Chairman of the Picture House at a ceremony held at Glasgow City Chambers.

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The Picture House has the joint accolade of being one of Europe’s few surviving atmospheric cinemas and Scotland’s oldest purpose-built cinema still in operation. The conservation project, led by Burrell Foley Fischer, restored the art nouveau exterior and the historic main auditorium to its 1930s design, and provided a new state of the art second screen, café, education room and other facilities.

Designed by Albert V. Gardner, one of the most celebrated cinema designers in the first half of the 20th century, Campbeltown Picture House opened in 1913. Gardner had studied architecture at The Glasgow School of Art between 1901 and 1905, and the influence of this seminal building is reflected in the Glasgow School Art Nouveau design of the 1913 building. Twenty years later Gardner was invited back to Campbeltown to modernise the interior of the cinema which he did in the “atmospheric” style which was all the rage at the time.

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Popular from the late 1920s atmospheric cinemas transported audiences to exotic places such as European courtyards or gardens. The ceilings were often painted with starry skies or with wispy floating clouds and other elements such as trellises, balconies and painted trees created the special atmosphere. Few of these cinemas now survive with Campbeltown Picture House being the only extant example in Scotland and one of only a handful in Europe.

For Campbeltown Picture House Gardner embellished the cinema with a blue sky with moving white clouds projected across it, and two plasterwork buildings (known locally as the “wee houses”) on either side of the screen that gave the ambiance of a Mediterranean courtyard. These special features have been meticulously restored with other elements of the original design such as the stunning art deco lights recreated by contemporary craftspeople.

  Jane and David Mayo collecting the award

Jane and David Mayo collecting the award

The re-launch of the cinema marked the culmination of more than three decades of work and commitment by Campbeltown Community Business Ltd to bring this historic gem back to its full glory.

Launched in 2014, funded by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, and run by the Scottish Civic Trust in partnership with Historic Environment Scotland and Archaeology Scotland, the Scottish Heritage Angel Awards celebrates both groups and individuals who have gone above and beyond in their efforts to promote, protect and, in many cases, rescue Scotland’s heritage.

Topping Out Ceremony for New Boarding House at Tring Park School

At Tring Park School, a key milestone has been reached in the construction of new boarding house and teaching facilities, designed by Burrell Foley Fischer. A ceremony has been held at the school to mark the topping-out of their new facilities. Construction company Stepnell was joined by the school's staff and its head boy and head girl.

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The £5.9m building, due for completion in spring 2019, consisting of three floors plus a lower ground floor, will contain a state-of-the-art boarding house for 70 pupils, six academic and vocational teaching spaces, a theatre workshop and other valuable pupil facilities.

Jamie White, contracts manager at Stepnell, said: "We're delighted to have reached this significant milestone in the construction of this fantastic new accommodation which will be a great addition to the school. Reaching the topping out is a proud moment for everyone involved in the project as the building really starts to take shape."

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Tring Park School is set within the historic context of Registered Parks and Gardens and Grade II* listed buildings in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The new building, is the next phase of the implementation of Burrell Foley Fischer’s masterplan for the school, which began with Park Studios, five new build studios for dance and performing arts. The design of the studios was rooted in the site's Chiltern context, taking a holistic approach, not only to the specific environmental conditions of its users, but the also the relationship between dominant historic buildings and green landscaped setting. The School’s extensive development needs risked upsetting this balance between house and garden. 

The new masterplan blends the new developments into the landscape, while forming a more collegiate framework with the existing buildings. The green elevations of the new buildings are dressed in the same informal architectural language of randomly spaced cedar posts as the original Park Studios forming a coherent relationship between old and new buildings and green spaces.

Anselm Barker, deputy principal, says: “The pupils and staff at Tring Park School have been thrilled to watch the new building grow so quickly and we are delighted to have reached the end of this significant stage of construction. We eagerly look forward to moving into the new building and making the most of this new facility which will significantly enhance our community.”

When does community consultation make a real – not token – difference to the scheme delivered?

John Burrell will be joining Andrew Simpson, Managing Director of Dominic Lawson Bespoke Planning (DLBP) at the White Paper Conference “How to Operate Skilfully and Advantageously within the Planning System” at the Caledonian Club, London.

Andrew and John will be discussing, using real examples from the work of both practices, “When does community consultation make a real – not token – difference to the scheme delivered?” 

  Community Consultation for London Borough of Islington

Community Consultation for London Borough of Islington

Burrell Foley Fischer pioneered doing more than just consultation. The granting of funds by the RIBA, under the Community Initiative Awards Scheme, to residents in Brixton enabled them to engage John Burrell and his team to work with the whole community and individuals to evolve the best brief and solutions, all as part of a two-way dialogue. This ethos of grounding and communicating ideas and options has continued and has become one of the hallmarks of the practice. BFF’s work continues to be predominantly for the users of the buildings they design and part of a long-term relationship and engagement.

Helen Grassly to address 2018 Theatres Trust Conference

Helen Grassly will be taking part in the 2018 Theatres Trust Conference entitled “Adapt & Thrive - New Money and New Models for Theatre Buildings” being held at the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith on 16 October. The conference will examine how changing artistic, business and operating models in the theatre sector are impacting on how we build, adapt and run our theatres so they are fit for purpose and continue to thrive. Speakers from across the sector, including Michael Ellis MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Arts, Heritage and Tourism and Cameron Mackintosh, Producer and Theatre Owner, will explore how we can ensure our theatres remain viable in challenging economic times and how we can continue to invest in renewal of our theatre infrastructure.

  New auditorium for Hall For Cornwall designed by BFF

New auditorium for Hall For Cornwall designed by BFF

Together with Julien Boast, CEO and Creative Director of Hall For Cornwall, Helen will be participating in a session “Viability by Design - How are theatres being designed and adapted to increase revenue and reduce running costs?”  They will discuss examples of how theatres are changing their buildings and their operational models in order to develop more sustainable artistic and business models. In particular, they will explore the creative process of designing the current major refurbishment and remodelling of the Truro theatre.

Construction is about to start on an ambitious and much-needed refurbishment of Hall For Cornwall, seeking to safeguard the heritage of the building and transform the venue into a dynamic and high-quality environment that will give the people of Cornwall access to the best performing arts to rival any city in the country. After six years of planning, this exciting project will see the auditorium increase in size, enabling them to attract top West End shows and promote and support creative talent, alongside developing their work with schools and young people. In addition, new cafés and bars, a Heritage Lottery funded project and new digital creative business hub, will combine to create a venue that will continue to inspire, educate and be enjoyed.

  New vision of Hall For Cornwall by BFF

New vision of Hall For Cornwall by BFF

Upon the foundations of their existing site, the project, designed by Burrell Foley Fischer, will unveil the history and heritage of the Grade II* listed building and create a new theatre within, alongside improved café, bar & public spaces. Their new home will be a vital community asset and one which will continue to inspire, engage, educate, entertain and challenge all audiences, firmly placing them at the heart of Truro’s cultural and economic offering and securing their long-term future. Support has come from the Government, along with Arts Council England, Cornwall Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund, European Regional Development Funding (ERDF) and the Cornwall Local Enterprise Partnership.

The Theatres Trust are the national advisory public body for theatres and are a statutory consultee on theatres in the planning system. Set up by the Government thorough an Act of Parliament in 1976 they work to promote the better protection of theatres for the benefit of the nation.

Plans for Arts Hotel on Porthleven Harbourside to be submitted

Porthleven Harbour and Dock Company is preparing to submit a planning application to refurbish and convert the former Fish Warehouse and Lime Kiln (both Listed Grade II) on Porthleven’s harbourside into an ‘Arts Hotel’. The boutique hotel, designed by Burrell Foley Fischer, will have 14 bedrooms, a roof level suite, gallery spaces, a restaurant and a public area on the upper level of the lime kiln offering views over the harbour. 

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The former Warehouse building will remain relatively unchanged in its external appearance but will provide the entrance to the Hotel with public rooms on the ground floor and bedrooms on two upper floors. A new building, connecting the Warehouse to the restored and adapted Lime Kiln, will contain a restaurant, further bedrooms and a gallery running alongside the cliff face offering exhibition space for local artists to display recent work. The Kiln will include in its restored semi-circular walls under a mono pitch lean-to roof, as once existed, a unique picture hanging space publicly entered from the Quayside.

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Trevor Osborne, owner of the Harbour & Dock Company, has been keen to develop his vision for a small, boutique hotel at the heart of the village for some years.  He says: “The Arts Hotel will provide a vibrant new addition to the community, attracting year-round visitors, and also build upon Porthleven’s already thriving arts scene. The gallery spaces will be used to display art for guests and the wider public to enjoy and purchase, with no commission taken from the artists.  The offer of an ever-changing display of high quality artwork will appeal to guests, and also provide a platform for aspiring artists to generate income through their work, which can only help the wider economy.”

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There will be a public display of the latest plans in The Shipyard, Porthleven on Monday 8th October from 12.00pm to 5.00pm and on Tuesday 9th October from 2.00pm to 8.00pm.
 
Burrell Foley Fischer, have extensive local experience, including the award-winning conversion of an old fish warehouse into The Newlyn Filmhouse, and the practice’s refurbishment and remodelling of the Hall for Cornwall, which has just started on site.

Depot, Lewes nominated as Cinema of the Year at Screen Awards

The Depot in Lewes has been nominated for a prestigious industry award, Cinema of the Year (Company 24 screens or under) at the Screen Awards 2018. Screen International, a film magazine covering the international film business, presents the Screen Awards, to recognise excellence in UK film distribution, exhibition, marketing, publicity and brand partnerships. Celebrating much more than box office results, the Screen Awards acknowledge the wide array of studios, companies, teams and individuals that contribute to the success of the British film industry.

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The Depot is a new three-screen community cinema, designed by Burrell Foley Fischer, on the site of the modest but much loved existing warehouse of the old Harveys brewery depot in Lewes. The three screens have been discreetly inserted within the saved brick shell, with the major design move being to attach a new glazed extension with the depot structure fully visible as the historic backdrop to the new box office, café bar, restaurant and film education and training facilities. Reflecting the historic site layout of orchards and meadows, the former tarmacked service yard is landscaped to provide a new public realm.

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Since opening last year the cinema has proved to be an outstanding success and has already become an important part of the cultural and leisure mix in the town and recognised as a catalyst to regeneration.  Writing about Lewes in the Guardian, Tom Dyckhoff said "Hang out at… Depot, a new community cinema with space to eat, work, meet, chat." The venue hosts a packed programme of events and their recent Thrift Fashion Show was featured on ITV news

The Screen Awards will be presented at a ceremony in London on 29 November.

Campbeltown Picture House among the finalists in the 2018 Scottish Heritage Angel Awards

The restoration and remodelling of the Campbelltown Picture House is among the finalists in the 2018 Scottish Heritage Angel Awards in the Best Rescue of a Historic Building or Place (for projects over £2m) category.

The Picture House has the joint accolade of being one of Europe’s few surviving atmospheric cinemas and Scotland’s oldest purpose-built cinema still in operation. The conservation project, led by Burrell Foley Fischer, restored the art nouveau exterior and the historic main auditorium to its 1930s design, and provided a new state of the art second screen, café, education room and other facilities.

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Designed by Albert V. Gardner, one of the most celebrated cinema designers in the first half of the 20th century, Campbeltown Picture House opened in 1913. Gardner had studied architecture at The Glasgow School of Art between 1901 and 1905, and the influence of this seminal building is reflected in the Glasgow School Art Nouveau design of the 1913 building. Twenty years later Gardner was invited back to Campbeltown to modernise the interior of the cinema which he did in the ‘atmospheric’ style which was all the rage at the time.

Popular from the late 1920s, atmospheric cinemas transported audiences to exotic places such as European courtyards or gardens. The ceilings were often painted with starry skies or with wispy floating clouds, and other elements such as trellises, balconies and painted trees created the special atmosphere. Few of these cinemas now survive with Campbeltown Picture House being the only extant example in Scotland and one of only a handful in Europe.

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For Campbeltown Picture House, Gardner embellished the cinema with a blue sky with moving white clouds projected across it, and two plasterwork buildings (known locally as the ‘wee houses’) on either side of the screen that gave the ambience of a Mediterranean courtyard. These special features have been meticulously restored with other elements of the original design such as the stunning art deco lights, recreated by contemporary craftspeople.

The re-launch of the cinema marked the culmination of more than three decades of work and commitment by Campbeltown Community Business Ltd to bring this historic gem back to its full glory.

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Launched in 2014, funded by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, and run by the Scottish Civic Trust in partnership with Historic Environment Scotland and Archaeology Scotland, the Scottish Heritage Angel Awards celebrates both groups and individuals who have gone above and beyond in their efforts to promote, protect and, in many cases, rescue Scotland’s heritage.

This year the awards ceremony will take place in Glasgow for the first time, with the eventual winners to be crowned at Glasgow City Chambers on Monday 22nd October.

Burrell Foley Fischer Appoints New Principals & Associates

Burrell Foley Fischer LLP is delighted to announce the appointment of new Principals and Associates to develop its growing practice and expand its creative ambition in both its London and Birmingham studios. Founded in 1982, Burrell Foley Fischer undertakes an incredible variety of high quality work. The current Partners: Mark Foley, John Burrell and Aidan Ridyard congratulate Faye Davies, Geoff Pyle, Helen Grassly, Ben Aston, Helen Chapman and Ian Munton, recognise their vital role in the development of the practice in recent years, and look forward to their invaluable contribution in the future.

  From left: Ian, Faye, Helen C, Geoff, Ben and Helen G.

From left: Ian, Faye, Helen C, Geoff, Ben and Helen G.

Principals:

Faye Davies has been with the practice for 13 years and is a dedicated Specialist Conservation Architect and Project Lead, working on sensitive conservation projects through to alterations and creative reuse of historic buildings. She has extensive technical and construction experience, which helps ensure schemes are built to quality, time and budget.

Geoff Pyle is fascinated by all stages of making buildings - the process of designing and constructing collaboratively is an important part of making excellent, enjoyable architecture.  He has been associated with the practice since his early career and has also worked internationally, being responsible for completing buildings in the arts, education, residential and leisure sectors.

Helen Grassly has worked with the practice on institutional, residential, cinema and performing arts projects over several years. Her expertise lies in the delivery of high quality, beautifully detailed projects in sensitive environments.

Associates: 

Ben Aston is based in our Birmingham studio and is a Specialist Conservation Architect. Ben has wide experience of arts, cultural and higher education projects, including museums, libraries, performance and events spaces.

Helen Chapman specialises in gaining successful Planning and Listed Building Consent approvals for particularly challenging schemes across a variety of sectors.  Helen is based In Birmingham, is an accredited RIBA Principal Designer and champions Construction Design Management within the practice.

Ian Munton is an engaging team leader with experience in early years, primary education and a variety of one-off projects. He enjoys working with clients to develop practical solutions that respond to and deliver their aspirations and beyond. A great believer in engaging the wider community in architecture, he recognises the consultation process as vital and important.

Redevelopment of Hall for Cornwall starts on site

The keys to the Hall for Cornwall are being formally handed over to the contractor for the project, Kier Group, as the construction phase of the project starts on site.

The refurbishment and remodelling of the Grade II* listed theatre will increase its audience capacity, conserve and restore its important heritage elements and bring them into better use. The new, three-tiered theatre space will enable the organisation to deliver their artistic vision and provide a new dynamic relationship between performer and audience. Improved access to Arts and Culture for the community of Cornwall will result, together with the facilities required to support a sustainable business model for the organisation. 

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The new auditorium, with 1,262 seats and 83 standing positions, will be seen as an open space sitting within the granite box of the original marketplace walls. The back façade of the City Hall and the Back Quay building will be visible from within the theatre space. The auditorium design has open edges allowing views through and across the space. In the daytime, and during set up, these views will allow glimpses into the theatre world. For comedy nights and rock and pop gigs the openness and standing positions will create a lively atmosphere. For drama and classical music the shutters come down and the auditorium can be absolutely focussed on the performance. 

A flexible proscenium will allow the right masking for a range of performances from orchestra to stand-up comedy. Gentle ramps across the site, combined with lifts, will provide universal access into the theatre, whilst better seating will be provided for all members of the audience, including thirteen wheelchair spaces with a variety of positions within the auditorium. Improved dressing room facilities, and proper facilities for performers with disabilities, will be provided for the first time. In the Boscawen Entrance the wonderful, arcaded market place designed by Christopher Eales will be restored and form a new foyer for the theatre. A café restaurant will be created that will be open throughout the day and provide a unique offer in Truro for both the local community and visitors.

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Councillor Egerton commenting on the redevelopment said “As a partner, Cornwall Council is working with the team at Hall for Cornwall to realise the exciting vision for its refurbishment which, once reopened, will act as a great economic boost for our growing city. Having a world class cultural building at the heart of Truro offers us a great chance to achieve our growth aspirations in a way that respects local distinctiveness and provides a fantastic resource for the whole of Cornwall.”

 

New Performing Arts Centre for Hurst achieves Practical Completion

A new Performing Arts Centre for Hurst, designed by Burrell Foley Fischer and constructed by Management and Construction Services, has been handed over to the College, on time and on budget.

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Hurst is a thriving, co-educational day and boarding school for pupils from age 4 to 18 years, situated within a 140-acre campus, surrounded by beautiful countryside on the borders of the South Downs National Park, close to the village of Hurstpierpoint in West Sussex. The new Performing Arts Centre provides the College with a flexible, 370-seat, courtyard theatre that responds to a number of different formats to suit drama, dance, music theatre and musical performances. It replaces their existing Bury Theatre, which no longer provides the standard of facility needed.

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Theatre buildings are generally characterised by a distinct ‘front’ and ‘back’ (denoting front-of- house and back-of-house) creating a compositional arrangement that is often uneven when approached from different directions. In this case, the new PAC can be viewed from all directions and so the building’s composition is expressed with the central mass of the auditorium rising in the middle, with four columnar roof vents punctuating the roof ridge, and the ancillary spaces wrapped as a secondary layer around the outside.

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The glazed foyer areas are designed to face the eastern approach in the direction of the main College Buildings, where the transparent outlook of the foyer spaces presents an inviting aspect across the green space. Currently, the practice room wing of the Music School partly masks this approach but as the College’s masterplan is implemented this aspect will be opened up putting the new PAC in its proper context.

Tring Park featured in new book “100 Projects UK CLT”

Dance Studios at Tring Park School for the Performing Arts, designed by Burrell Foley Fischer, are featured in a new publication presenting the case for the use of Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) in construction.  The building is among one hundred case studies featured in the book, encompassing a wide range of scales, styles and types.

In the foreword the authors note that “While cross-laminated timber (CLT) appears to be finally entering the mainstream, there is considerable inertia in the construction industry that impedes the greater adoption of this truly innovative material. The benefits are clear - building in timber is quick, clean, and easy. It can be achieved with a measured accuracy and lack of noise, waste, or need for material storage space. It has notable benefits in terms of warmth, acoustics, and structural efficiency. In a world ever more concentrated in urban areas, timber is the basis for safe and healthy cities composed of exceptionally designed and responsibly constructed buildings.”

  Dance Studios at Tring Park School for the Performing Arts

Dance Studios at Tring Park School for the Performing Arts

Rooted in the site’s natural setting the building takes a holistic approach to the environmental conditions related to dancers’ specific needs. The internal heights of the dance studios reach 6 metres at their curved apex reducing to 4 metres towards the eaves. Externally, the eaves are kept intentionally low to reduce the profile of the building while the curved apex and wild flower meadow roof sensitively soften the building into the landscape.

The timber is exposed internally, painted with a white wash to provide a light internal surface that is warm to the touch. The building is naturally ventilated for a large proportion of the year through opening roof lights and perimeter ventilation, with low velocity mechanical ventilation used at other times.

BFF have designed a number of buildings using CLT, including an academic building with six classrooms and six science laboratories for Kingham Hill School, an Arts Centre featuring a 300-seat Recital Hall at Sherborne Girls and a Performing Arts Centre with a 370-seat theatre at Hurstpierpoint College.

  Sherborne Girls Arts Centre under construction

Sherborne Girls Arts Centre under construction

Access a free PDF copy of the book here.

Beijing Design Week - City for Tomorrow Conference 2018: Leisure City

John Burrell is participating in an exchange between the United Kingdom and China as part of Beijing Design Week 2018. He is joining representatives from different British practices and consultancies, in Beijing, to take part in the “City for Tomorrow Conference 2018: Leisure City”, organised by Design Collective London.

His talk entitled “Healthy Mind, Healthy Body.. Healthy City, How people make cities” will focus on the importance of harnessing the initiative, energy, vision and diversity of individuals and communities within the city as an alternative to large scale interventions and isolated mono-functionalised ‘use’ zones, over-scaled buildings, anonymous spaces and wasted land.

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John will discuss how, through harnessing local initiatives, we can create cultural, recreational and leisure buildings and spaces that relate to each individual ‘locality’ and its topology.  He will show how, with a range of activities, it is possible to grow a new local identity and community related to good public spaces, such as streets, squares, parks, gardens, markets etc., to make new neighbourhoods, with human scale, individual character and identity.

The talk will make reference to successful places of a scale where everyday work/leisure life style is in itself inherently healthier, e.g. the ‘15 minute city’ alternative; moving towards more balanced energy-efficient liveable places, that are locally structured to give a better use of time for leisure, sporting, recreation and cultural pursuits for all ages on a daily basis.

John will draw upon BFF’s many UK-wide cultural and creative ‘hub’ projects including the site for the New Museum of London in the centre of the city, an alternative for Spitalfields and the Depot Cinema and cultural ‘hub’ in Lewes.

  Depot Cinema, Lewes

Depot Cinema, Lewes

John Burrell to take part in Lewes FutureScoping Symposium

John Burrell is taking part in FutureScoping, a symposium on the future of Lewes’s cultural infrastructure provision: “What do we want? What does Lewes need?”

John is a founding Principal at Burrell Foley Fischer, the architects for the award-winning Depot Cinema. The venue was recently described as having “reused and extended a redundant semi-derelict warehouse to create a new townscape and a community amenity performing functions far beyond the cinematic experience. This is an outstanding mixed use cultural building and an exemplary piece of placemaking.” 

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Other participants at the symposium include: Alison Grant, founder and director of Fitzroy House – Lewes’s latest cultural hub; Frances Hollis WorkHome advocate and researcher on this new ‘beyond LiveWork’ housing approach: Piers Taylor, Invisible Studio experimental architect, most recently on the participatory artists and makers Watchett Arts Hub; and Jess Steele, director Jericho Road, social and community development, led Hastings Pier community organisation

The event is taking place at the Depot in Lewes on Sunday September 30th between 1.30 and 5.30pm.

FutureScoping is part of Make Lewes Festival 2018, a community organisation that promotes the exchange of knowledge in the fields of Making, Architecture, Design & Sustainability. They organise and run live projects, workshops, talks, seminars, exhibitions, film screenings and further events, with the aim of creating a dialogue between our local community and the wider national and international community of designers, makers and thinkers.

More details of the symposium can be found here.

Original Kiosk at Brighton West Pier to be Restored

Burrell Foley Fischer are leading a design team for the restoration and reconstruction of a kiosk at Brighton West Pier.

  Image courtesy West Pier Trust

Image courtesy West Pier Trust

The West Pier kiosk is the sole surviving complete element from the original pier and is the world’s oldest surviving pleasure pier building. The kiosk was recovered from the pier in the 1990s and West Pier Trust wishes to restore and reconstruct this exquisite cast iron building on the newly landscaped lower promenade and close to the BAi360, West Pier site and West Pier Centre. Although the kiosk is the single surviving building from the 1866 pier, originally it was one of six identical buildings sited in pairs along the deck of the pier. At the time, they were the largest pier buildings to have been constructed.

When rebuilt the octagonal kiosk will be over 8m in diameter and, including its ornate cupola, nearly 10m high. The kiosks were the first specifically designed pier buildings to be constructed of decorative cast iron. Nothing like them had been seen before. Contemporary commentators struggled to describe them. ‘Ornamental houses’ was the best they came up with; and it was some time before they became known as kiosks - a new exotic word in the 1860s from the Persian meaning palace or pavilion. From its West Pier origins, Seaside Orientalism appeared around Britain’s coasts and across the seas to other countries.

  Image courtesy West Pier Trust

Image courtesy West Pier Trust

The dismantled kiosk has been moved to a secure space where the preliminary work necessary to understand the challenges of restoration and the most appropriate methods to use, is taking place. All the components have been identified and tagged and expert engineering consultants are undertaking initial assessment of the cast-iron sections. An architectural paint investigation has been commissioned. The report has revealed that beneath twenty layers of paint applied to the kiosk since 1866, its original livery was light cream with details picked out in red-brown.

A precise site for the location of the restored kiosk has been identified. Brighton & Hove City Council has given planning approval for the restored kiosk to form the eastern element of the recently landscaped piazza on the lower promenade east of BAi360. The kiosk will be adjacent to the West Pier Centre, sited in one of the rebuilt seafront arch units, in view of the ruined skeleton of the pier-head theatre and next to the recently installed golden spiral made of reclaimed West Pier columns.

  Proposed East Elevation, courtesy John Burrell

Proposed East Elevation, courtesy John Burrell

The restored kiosk will have remarkable architectural and historical significance. However, in renewing the kiosk WPT does not simply wish to celebrate the past but also intends to use this exceptional architectural survival to enrich the present and the future. The Trust plans to use the kiosk as the home for Britain’s first Seaside Learning Centre, building on and expanding our long-established programme of activities, talks, lectures, guided tours and exhibitions for both adults and children.

Internally the kiosk will be a flexible space suitable for workshops, lectures and exhibitions and provide an innovative learning space designed to increase peoples’ enjoyment, understanding and knowledge of the seaside and coastal environment. For example, the programme might on the one hand include an historical look at the ‘invention’ of the idea of The Seaside in the nineteenth century; while on the other it might investigate the value of off-shore wind-farms and the impact of rising sea levels in the twenty-first century. It would also respond to the seasonal requirements of the city: offering gallery and performance space during the Brighton Festival, Punch and Judy workshops during the summer, a base for photographic studies of the pier head ruin and the starling murmuration in the winter.

BFF’s team includes John Burrell, whose association with the Pier goes back to his student days when he prepared measured drawings of the kiosks and the entire pier which are now deposited with the Royal Commission for Historic Monuments, and Faye Davies, whose Conservation Architecture Diploma was on the life and works of Eugenius Birch, the designer of Brighton West Pier.

Learn more about West Pier here.

Cranfield University reveals designs for their new Digital Aviation Research and Technology Centre

Cranfield University have today revealed Burrell Foley Fischer’s designs for their new Digital Aviation Research and Technology Centre (DARTeC) facility, at the Farnborough International Airshow.

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The DARTeC facility is scheduled to be completed at the end of 2019 and will be formally opened in early 2020. The facility will provide a research environment which is protected from, and yet accessible to, a live aerodrome that allows research at a variety of technology readiness levels. The facility consists of a central building containing a suite of digital aviation research laboratories, a partially covered ‘hangar laboratory’, a 737-400 aircraft, an intelligent movement area, and a remote air traffic control centre with conventional and advanced holographic radar systems capable of monitoring and controlling the airspace around Cranfield’s aerodrome.

Located adjacent to the DARTeC central building, the hangar laboratory will house Cranfield’s 737-400 aircraft which will be connected through an airport-style air-bridge. The hangar laboratory will include aircraft sensing equipment, visual, thermal and load distribution, for digital maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) studies and markings for an airport gate. The laboratory will house airport ground handling vehicles where assistive digital technologies will be researched and integrated to improve ground operation efficiency and safety. In addition, the facility will enable research into the development of fully-autonomous ground handling vehicles and the application of UAVs for remote inspection concepts.

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The Digital Aviation Research and Technology Centre is a unique opportunity to bring together sector leads from across the aviation industry (airspace management, airport, airline and aircraft) within a collaborative research environment to create, experiment and challenge the digital status quo through accelerating digital systems integration.