Coming Soon: The Depot Cinema, Lewes

We were pleased to join Lewes Community Screen for a preview of their new cinema.  The Depot will open to the general public on Saturday, May 27 with a three-day festival of 25 films including silent films and classics, new movies such as “Sense of an Ending” and “Their Finest” and critically acclaimed mainstream movies such as "Logan” and “Beauty and the Beast”.  BFF's design has created three-screens in the envelope of the former Harveys Brewery Depot building, with a new glazed extension housing the box office, cafe bar, restaurant and film education room. 

Lewes Depot Cinema - 170517-3.jpg

Newlyn Filmhouse Awarded "Best Inclusive Building"

We are pleased to announce that Newlyn Filmhouse was awarded “Best Inclusive Building” at the South West LABC (Local Authority Building Control) Awards.  

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.  Burrell Foley Fischer worked closely with the owners to find a suitable site in the area for their vision.  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. 

This award recognises BFFs long-standing commitment to inclusive design.  Previous BFF cinemas that have won awards include Broadway, Nottingham’s Media Centre, with was given an Adapt award in 1998 and Norwich Cinema City which won the East of England LABC Award in 2008 for “Best Project for Access and Compliance with Disability Regulations” and went on to win the National award for that year.

Read more about Newlyn Filmhouse and Norwich Cinema City on our project pages.

Designs for redevelopment of Grade 1 Listed York Guildhall revealed

Burrell Foley Fischer have unveiled designs for the refurbishment and remodelling of the historic complex of buildings in central York centred on the Grade 1 Listed Guildhall.

The vision for the project is to provide a world class venue, supporting and nurturing the expansion of York’s vibrant creative businesses; combining events and exhibition space with state of the art collaboration and co-working facilities in the heart of a historic and creative city, securing a sustainable future for one of the city’s most iconic buildings. To deliver this vision the proposals have concentrated on enhancing the significance of the medieval Guildhall while revealing further the narrative of the buildings which have grown up around it over more than 500 years. The resulting scheme establishes the Guildhall's original role at the heart of the commercial life of the city, as the home base for a wide variety of firms.

By retaining the use of the Council Chamber and enhancing public access, direct links between the City’s governance, commerce, and culture are not just acknowledged, but remain intrinsically bound together, for the future benefit of the City in this most historic of locations.

The project will secure the future of the Guildhall complex, through the delivery of an economically viable and sustainable scheme. It will deliver a comprehensive (once in a 100 year) refurbishment of the complex together with new build interventions as necessary to re-purpose the complex for its new use, adopting best practice conservation principles in terms of the approach to enhancing and better revealing the significance of the heritage assets whilst incorporating the practicalities of modern servicing and functionality.

There is a core requirement for modern flexible office space and the associated provision of multipurpose space to suit a variety of potential uses as co-working/ conferencing/meeting and events and exhibition space. The Guildhall itself will be comprehensively refurbished to improve its usability; specifically including new heating and electrical services. The complex will also accommodate elements of commercial space to accommodate a restaurant and cafe bar.

The site contains a series of intimate, linked public spaces, connected by small “ginells” and the proposals include the continuation of this language, to create a new riverside courtyard / garden across two levels of river front terraces, while improving public access and the general quality of the public realm throughout the complex.

We have moved

Our London studio has moved to Unit 09, 14 Southgate Road, London, N1 3LY.  Our telephone number remains the same 020 7620 6114.


Cambridge Arts Theatre receives Commendation at Awards Ceremony

BFF's refurbishment and remodelling of the front of house areas of Cambridge Arts Theatre has been recognised with a Commendation in the Sustainability Category at the Cambridge Design and Construction Awards.

Located in the heart of the City, Cambridge Arts Theatre is one of the region’s liveliest and most exciting venues, hosting a varied programme of drama, dance, music, comedy and pantomime. Burrell Foley Fischer was selected to resolve and expand the foyer and front of house facilities. The completion of Phase 1 more than doubles the amount of foyer space while also providing three new spacious bars and a new box office at the St Edward’s Passage entrance. The opening up of the St Edward’s Passage foyers provides views both into and out of the building, transforming the interiors from predominantly internalised spaces into places with an outlook.

The Campaign to Save Norton Folgate

Burrell Foley Fischer have assisted the Spitalfields Trust with their campaign to save Norton Folgate. Proposals submitted by the developers, British Land, on a site owned by the City of London Corporation, involve the demolition of over 70% of this important Conservation Area on the edge of the City.  The site is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and one of the special 'Liberties' of London, which were areas of independent local administration.  BFF's illustrations reveal the extent of the demolition that would take place, were the proposals given planning permission, and the inappropriate scale of the proposed new build.

Norton Folgate as it is today

Norton Folgate as it is today

British Land want to remove over 70% of the fabric on their site in the Elder St Conservation Area

British Land want to remove over 70% of the fabric on their site in the Elder St Conservation Area

British Land want to increase the volume of the buildings on the site by more than 50%

British Land want to increase the volume of the buildings on the site by more than 50%

The BFF alternative plan establishes the quantum of new build and additions that are consistent with the character and specified limits to development in the Conservation Area.  It proposes a mixed use scheme that includes a high proportion of private and affordable housing as well as offices, retail, cultural and other uses.

BFF's proposals show the capacity for development on vacant sites and additions to existing buildings (existing buildings shown in beige and new development in green and pink)

BFF's proposals show the capacity for development on vacant sites and additions to existing buildings (existing buildings shown in beige and new development in green and pink)

A video tour of the area by Architectural Historian and Local Resident Dan Cruickshank can be seen on Youtube by clicking the link below:

Oz Seekers Breakfast Briefing on Digital Cinema

Stefanie Fischer recently hosted an Oz Seekers Breakfast briefing, at the invitation of John Sullivan (D-Cinex and Light Cinemas), on the opportunities and challenges presented by small digital cinemas.

Factors, key to sustainable cinema operation, that were discussed included creating a good and memorable cinema experience; reaching out to a wide cross section of the local audience across the age and social spectrum; appealing to 15-25 year olds whilst creating an environment older cinema goers feel comfortable in and creating a distinct identity that resonates with the locality, all in the interests of encouraging repeat visits.

Scala Cinema and Arts Centre, Prestatyn

Scala Cinema and Arts Centre, Prestatyn

Maths and Science Building at Kingham Hill School opens

The new Maths and Science Building, named the Veritas Building, for Kingham Hill School has opened.

Designed by Burrell Foley Fischer to preserve the coherence of the School’s architectural and aesthetic appeal, the exterior has been sensitively finished with a combination of Cotswold stone, timber, glass and zinc enabling it to blend seamlessly with its surroundings. The design of the building echoes the features of other properties on the site, uniting the different architectural styles to create a cohesive scheme across the estate.

The Veritas Building provides the School with six new classrooms, six state-of-the-art science laboratories, a seminar room, three science prep rooms together with office space for staff.

The two-storey building is designed around light-filled atria, reducing the need for extensive artificial lighting. The classrooms are large, bright spaces with generous windows offering glimpses of the world outside, and state-of-the-art technology to provide the very best learning experience for pupils. Each room includes the features required in a modern school, integrating interactive white boards and the use of projectors as part of the infrastructure.

The new laboratories are designed to the highest standards for schools, providing outstanding facilities for the school’s young scientists as they learn about the world around them.

Heritage Lottery Fund awards funding to Campbeltown Picture House

It has been announced today that the HLF have awarded £1,1m towards the refurbishment and remodelling of the Campbeltown Picturehouse.

One of the first purpose-built cinemas in Scotland, Campbeltown Picture House has provided the town with a centre of entertainment for the past 100years. From its origins in the silent movie days in 1913 through to the modern day and digital technologies the Picture House has provided an invaluable service to Campbeltown and Kintyre cinemagoers. As part of a three year project, its unique Glasgow School Art Nouveau design will be restored with new contemporary facilities added, including a second auditorium and a new café bar, so that it can operate as a sustainable community-based business.

A cultural hub for Kintyre, this much-loved building will then be able to screen films and live relayed performances of theatre, opera and music, and stage small scale drama, music and comedy.

Photo: Sarah MacDonald Photography

Photo: Sarah MacDonald Photography

Commenting on the awards announced, Colin McLean, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said: “Heritage is an ordinary word for something that is quite extraordinary.  The strands that weave the rich tapestry of Scotland’s history are too numerable to define.  Literature, buildings, industry, popular culture and wildlife are all an essential part of where we come from.  HLF is delighted to bring Christmas cheer to these presents from our past so that they can be cared for, enjoyed, learned from and celebrated well into the future.”

Jane Mayo, Chairman of Campbeltown Community Business, the charity which owns The Picture House, added the following “Magical fairy dust will certainly be sprinkled on Our Picture House. Now we shall be able to recreate the 1930s unique interior with the fantastic wee houses restored to their original glory, and all allied to 21st century comfort which is expected in a state of the art cinema today. The restoration of this nationally important building will add to the other recent and ongoing improvements in Campbeltown.”

Campbeltown Picture House to receive funding from Creative Scotland

Congratulations to The Picture House Campbeltown on the award of £433,000 from Creative Scotland towards the restoration and upgrading of the Listed Grade A cinema, one of the UK’s oldest.

Campbeltown Picture House, which first opened its doors in 1913, will be restored and a second screen and modern café and foyer area will be created. Burrell Foley Fischer have designed the refurbishment and remodelling of the cinema. Refurbishment will recognise and maintain the historic nature of the A listed auditorium protecting its cultural heritage whilst also meeting the expectations of a modern cinema going audience, enabling the cinema to increase the diversity of programming within this rural part of the West of Scotland.

Jane Mayo, chair of Campbeltown Community Business, said:

“The redeveloped Picture House will provide the local community and visitors with a magnificent historic cinema equipped to modern standards and complemented by new facilities. The programme of films and live relays of international quality cultural performances, together with activities based on the heritage of the building and the evolution of cinema, will allow The Picture House truly to become Kintyre’s cultural and entertainment hub. The reopened cinema will provide employment and play an important part in the promotion of Kintyre as a unique visitor destination.”

Burrell Foley Fischer LLP announce appointment of new Principal, Aidan Ridyard

Burrell Foley Fischer LLP (BFF) are pleased to announce that Aidan Ridyard will be joining the practice, at Principal level, in October this year.





After studying at Birmingham School of Architecture, Aidan’s early career included ten years at Hickton Madeley Architects where he gained experience in the design and delivery of a range of projects for clients as diverse as theatres, conference facilities, and medical centres. He joined Broadway Malyan in 2006, establishing their new studio in Birmingham, and being appointed to the Board in 2009. His main role has been to lead Broadway Malyan’s education team, winning a number of prestigious design competitions, for schools, colleges and universities in the UK and overseas. He led the design teams for notable projects at Bournville College (Shortlisted for RIBA Award 2012) and Stoke on Trent Sixth Form College (Urban Vision (CABE) Building of the Year 2011) in the UK, as well as the British Council’s School in Madrid and the new American Community School in Doha.

Aidan has a particular passion for the design of spaces for teaching, learning and research, a philosophy running through a series of projects from schools to universities. His recent project for Coventry University’s new Health and Science building will commence on site in the New Year.

Aidan will join the three founding Principals of BFF, John Burrell, Mark Foley and Stefanie Fischer, who have been in practice together for more than three decades. They are recognised as one of the leading practices specialising in buildings for cinema, media and the performing arts, together with urban design, residential and educational design and the adaptation and restoration of historic buildings.

Their recent and current projects include the remodelling of the front of house areas of the Grade II Listed Cambridge Arts Theatre; a new Maths and Science building for Kingham Hill School in the Cotswolds, due to be completed later this year; the remodelling and extension of a former brewery depot building to form a new three-screen independent community cinema in Lewes, Sussex, recently submitted for planning; and a new build sports hall currently being designed for UWC Atlantic College, to respond to the historic terraced typology of their 160 acre grounds on the South Wales coast, with the Grade I Listed medieval St Donat’s Castle at its heart.

“I am looking forward to a very new challenge. I am delighted to be joining a firm with such an impressive portfolio across a wide range of sectors and with a high reputation for excellence in making very special buildings, crafted to address the unique challenges faced by their clients and genuinely loved by those who use them. The opportunity to work with John, Mark and Stefanie, assisting them in taking forward the practice they have built up over more than thirty years, is both a great responsibility and enormously exciting.”

- Aidan

“We are pleased that Aidan will be joining the practice this autumn and are looking forward to him becoming an integral part of Burrell Foley Fischer. The practice has always celebrated the design process in its entirety, placing an emphasis on how our buildings perform in the reality of their day-to-day context and Aidan’s unique portfolio demonstrates he shares this philosophy. We currently have an exciting range of commissions at feasibility stage, on the drawing board and on site and we look forward to building upon this with Aidan as part of our team; continuing the design ethos of the practice through our Principal led, client focused service.”

- John, Mark and Stefanie 

BFF appoints new Associate, Faye Davies

The Principals of Burrell Foley Fischer LLP are pleased to announce the appointment of Faye Davies as an Associate.


Faye has been the Project Architect for a number of projects at the Royal Society, including the refurbishment of The Centre for the History of Science and their current project to refurbish and remodel their kitchen and reception.  Faye is also currently Project Architect for BFF projects at UWC Atlantic College, including the remodelling of the Cavalry Barracks to form a Pre-IB Centre and the refurbishment of their Library, housed in the Medieval St Donat’s Castle.  She has also been contributing her expertise as a Conservation Architect to the refurbishment of the Picture House, Campbeltown.

Faye is on the RIBA Register of Conservation Architects and is currently studying for the Graduate Diploma in Building Conservation at the Architectural Association.

Breaking News - Smithfield Market Plans rejected by Communities Secretary

Eric Pickles, Communities Secretary, has rejected the proposal to build new office blocks at Smithfield Market retaining only the facades.

Burrell Foley Fischer prepared alternative plans for the redevelopment of London’s Smithfield Market, for SAVE Britain's Heritage and the Victorian Society.  The scheme proposes the restoration of the existing 19th Century Buildings to form a new cultural and retail hub, to complement the already burgeoning “Smithfield Quarter’. 

The impressive roofs of Smithfield General Market would be retained as a fantastic canopy and creating a beautiful light-filled interior.  The scheme makes available large areas, at multiple levels, without the addition of intrusive blocks.  The very extensive basement areas are brought into use as spaces for exhibition galleries, fashion shows and lecture halls. 

The successful outcome of the Pubic Inquiry follows two years of campaigning work involving BFF. This started when SAVE first asked John Burrell to look at the project in 2012. He immediately realised that it was not just the street facades that were important but also the magnificent formal roof structure covering the interior market spaces, and the spatial and development potential of the vast basements that originally linked Farringdon and Barbican stations which are hidden from view. 

BFF showed that was not necessary to demolish the above ground structures in a futile attempt to make a 'conventional' development site because the real value, interest  and 'cache' was embodied in the existing buildings, their street connections and the huge relatively uncontentious potential and value of below ground spaces, especially with the new Crossrail platforms soon to be  close by.

The campaigning document produced for SAVE by BFF showed how the street spaces around the market can become the focus of a major new urban space in London affirming the identity of the Smithfield quarter and its street life that is already underway.  John presented this evidence to the Public Inquiry.

BFF appointed as architects for the Depot Cinema Lewes

We are pleased to announce that we have been appointed as architects for a new community cinema in Lewes to be called the Depot.

The three-screen cinema will be built on the site of the old Harvey's Brewery depot and will show feature and independent art-house films, as well as hosting events, exhibitions and festivals.  A cafe/bar and restaurant will provide space for filmgoers to enjoy a drink or a bite to eat before or after the film.

We are delighted to have been selected by Lewes Community Screen, who will build and operate the new venue and are looking forward to discussing our plans with the public at two consultation days on March 29 and April 5.