New Housing at Dixon Clark Court for the London Borough of Islington submitted for Planning

We have submitted a planning application for 41 new dwellings at Dixon Clark Court for the London Borough of Islington. The scheme is the latest in a succession of ‘infill’ housing BFF have identified and designed for Islington Council over the past decade.

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The current site consists of a single residential tower block that occupies 8% of a site mostly covered in tarmac and concrete, except for a fenced-off communal garden, and a grassed area that borders the busy, noisy Highbury Corner roundabout, which is soon to have double the flow of traffic due to planned TfL modifications.

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The proposals provide 41 new dwellings predominately as mews scale ‘pavilion’ homes which will encircle the existing tower block and will help establish a new enhanced garden setting for the existing tower block, and the existing 59 flats will have, for the first time, a contiguous communal south-facing garden space. The western boundary is to be defined by retaining the majority of existing mature trees, within an improved amenity garden informally planted in a wild meadow style with car parking alongside to meet the current need. A new residential building onto Canonbury Road frames the existing tower block and gives a street presence to the estate with a new street-fronting entrance.

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The mews ranges in height from one to four storeys and contains a variety of unit types and sizes. These are planned with generous spaces between them which have either courtyard gardens or roof terraces.

These ‘through’ spaces establish an individual identity and human scale for each house, with ground level entrance doors and views both in and out of the site to be experienced by Dixon Clark Court residents and the residents in the neighbouring buildings.

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The scheme provides 41 new dwellings, well within the permitted density for this city centre site, and there will be no reduction in the ‘green’ site coverage. Roof terrace areas and greened roof areas will be in addition to this. An added bonus is that the garden spaces are directly accessible from all of the dwellings, making them more practical and likely to be used. A significant increase in the number of trees on the site is planned to provide shade and variety, and to define new spaces. These will more than compensate and exceed the few trees lost as a result of the proposals.

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Contractor appointed for the redevelopment of York Guildhall

The redevelopment of York Guildhall will begin on site in January after City of York Council appointed a contractor. The council has appointed Interserve to carry out the £9m transformation of the historic Guildhall into a 'world-class civic and business venue'.


The site, including buildings listed Grade I, II* and II, will be transformed into a 21st century workplace, centred around an enhanced Guildhall that will act as an arts events and multifunctional hall for the city. At the same time, the Guildhall’s civic functions will be retained to preserve the site’s 600-year association with the city’s governance, commerce and culture. A new extension will provide high quality office space and a restaurant, set within a new riverside courtyard/garden to improve public access throughout the complex and enhance the public realm in the historic city.


Leader of City of York Council Cllr David Carr said: “This remodelling will make sure that this historic building plays an important role in York’s future. It will retain Guildhall’s traditional public and civic functions while providing a world-class business venue in the heart of York. This is a creative way to protect and renew Guildhall while giving more people even better access to its stunning features.”


Planning Permission and Listed Building Consent granted for a new Masterplan for Tring Park School for the Performing Arts

Planning Permission and Listed Building Consent has been granted for a Masterplan, including a new Boarding House and Hub building, for Tring Park School for the Performing Arts.

The Hub Building

The Hub Building

The Boarding House, will accommodate 70 pupils, art classrooms and a theatre workshop. The Hub Building will provide a sixth-form centre, art building and staff facilities, designed to create a new ‘heart’ of the school. 

The Boarding House

The Boarding House

The Tring Park School for the Performing Arts is set within the historic context of Registered Parks and Gardens and Grade II* listed buildings in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Occupying the former home of the Rothschild family in the Hertfordshire countryside, the grounds are listed Grade II and the Clock House which forms the front to the former stable block is listed Grade II*.

The Masterplan

The Masterplan

Photographs documenting the construction of the Depot to be exhibited at Artwave

Photographs documenting the construction of the Depot to be exhibited at Artwave, the annual festival of artists and makers across Lewes, Seaford and surrounding areas.

Free for visitors and open to all, Artwave is one of the most popular visual arts events in East Sussex. This year, over 500 artists are taking part across 140 venues forming seven trails. Depot, venue 125 on the Lewes trail, is to stage an exhibition of the work of Carlotta Luke.

Photographer Carlotta Luke spent two years documenting the renovation of a former Lewes industrial site as it became the state-of-the-art cinema, Depot. An exhibition of her photographs, showing the transformation of the old Harveys brewery depot, opens on Saturday 19 August.

As architects for the cinema, 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.

Carlotta’s diverse portfolio ranges from architecture to portraiture. Her work skillfully captures the subtle beauty of everyday life, sometimes challenging the observer’s perception of objects or situations. Originally from New England, USA, where she trained her photographer’s eye on the Massachusetts coastal light and landscape, Carlotta has a BA in Fine Art and a Master’s in Urban Design.

On Tuesday 22 August at 18:00, Carlotta talks to Depot’s creative director Carmen Slijpen about her work and the project. The event is free to attend – email for details.

The exhibition, in the Studio, is open each day from 10:00 – 18:00 and runs until Sunday 3rd September.

Campbeltown Picture House voted one of Scotland's six 'hidden gems'

Congratulations to Campbeltown Picture House which has been voted one of six “hidden gems” from across Scotland after a nationwide search.

One of the first purpose-built cinemas in Scotland, Campbeltown Picture House has provided the town with a centre of entertainment for the past 100 years. 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. Its unique Glasgow School Art Nouveau design has been 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, which is due to reopen this Autumn, will then be able to screen films and live relayed performances of theatre, opera and music, and stage small scale drama, music and comedy.

The public vote was co-ordinated by Dig It! 2017, a year-long celebration of Scottish archaeology. They are working with partners across the country to celebrate Scotland’s six UNESCO World Heritage Sites and to unearth six equally extraordinary Hidden Gems. "Unlike the World Heritage Sites, you won’t find these places featured in as many travel guides, postcards or Instagram feeds. They might be a little bit quieter, harder to find and rougher around the edges. You’ll have to step off the beaten track see some of them for your own eyes; it’s all part of the experience. Your reward is a piece of the past will surprise, delight and inspire you."

New housing at the Parkview Estate for the London Borough of Islington submitted for planning

We have submitted a planning application for 40 new units on the Parkview Estate in Islington on behalf of the London Borough of Islington.

The current estate consists of several post-war era residential buildings, arranged around large central car parks and along an estate road on the rear boundary of the site. The estate has a relatively low density for the area and includes several dilapidated and underused sheds, stores and other areas, which has presented an opportunity to provide new residential accommodation and improved landscaping and community facilities.

The proposals consist of six new residential buildings ranging in size from the smallest, a pair of two-bedroom apartments in a new two-storey building, up to the largest, a block of 14 apartments of various sizes, yielding a total of 40 new units. In addition to the new homes, the excessive parking areas have been rationalised so that the parking is situated closer to the majority of entrances, freeing up space in the central areas for new extensive community gardens and children’s play areas.

The proposals also include new and improved refuse and recycling areas, improved bicycle stores and general stores, a new community space at the base of one of the new blocks and extensive new landscaping throughout.

Burrell Foley Fischer have long advocated the infilling of local authority sites on estates where the ‘waste land’ creates security and privacy problems due to a poorly defined public realm, making it open to abuse. This has been achieved at the Parkview Estate without demolition or a net loss of green space, through a process of extensive consultation and thoughtful, creative design. The scheme is the latest in a succession of infill housing designed by BFF for the London Borough of Islington over the past decade.    

Breaking ground on new Arts Centre for Sherborne Girls

Sherborne Girls have broken ground on its new Arts Centre, a transformational project designed by Burrell Foley Fischer, that will benefit the whole school and wider Sherborne community.

The new Arts Centre, located at the heart of the campus, will comprise a new recital hall with 350 fixed seats (or capacity for 560 as a lecture theatre); conversion of the current music centre to create a new drama school; a link building joining music, drama and art as well as providing attractive display space to showcase talented artists; and a multifunctional social space for a range of events from guest speakers and exhibitions to match teas and social events.

The breaking ground event was attended by Headmistress Jenny Dwyer, outgoing Chair of Governors Stephen Wingfield Digby, the new Chair of Governors Richard Strang, and Mike Hayton, Project Manager, and other members of school staff.

Stephen Wingfield Digby commented, “As well as giving creative arts the facilities they deserve, this new centre is also going to create a welcoming hub at the heart of the school, adding to the sense of community and benefiting the daily lives of the girls, staff and the Sherborne community for generations to come.”

Jenny Dwyer added, “This is the biggest and most exciting development Sherborne Girls has ever undertaken. More than a new building, we are bringing the key areas of school life together. We look forward to welcoming the community into our new venue.”

Onlookers applauded as the excavator broke ground, digging up the first bucket load to make way for the 2,200 sq ft development. The state of the art machinery, which uses an intelligent memory system and 3-D software programme to extract the exact amount of spoil, will remove over 10,000 tonnes of spoil which will then be used to level the sports pitches.

The school has commissioned a video to showcase the new building and the effect it will have on the school.

Depot recognised at Sussex Heritage Awards

We are delighted that the Depot Cinema, Lewes has been recognised at the Sussex Heritage Awards in two categories.

The community cinema, designed by Burrell Foley Fischer and opened in May this year, was given a Public and Community Award. The venue has three screens housed within the envelope of the former Harveys Brewery Depot building, and the box office, cafe bar, restaurant and film education room within a new glazed extension.

In addition, a Building Crafts Award was given to the The Flintman Company for their work on the building. A combination of random knapped flint with knapped flint quoins and coursed knapped flint, for the walls and roof to the education room, and to the entrance aedicule forms an important part of the contextual design for the venue, rooting it through craft traditions, in its locality.

The Design Officer at the South Downs National Park Authority described it “as an exemplar to illustrate how good design can rise to the challenge of a National Park context”.

The judges commented, "The Depot Cinema has re-used a redundant warehouse and extended it to create a new townscape and community amenity performing functions far beyond the cinematic experience. The financial commitment was high and has enabled a completed project of exceptional attention to detail in every respect. The architect and the Depot team are responsible for a stunning new gateway into Lewes."

Read more about the Depot here.

John Wildsmith wins BFF-sponsored Project Illustration Prize

Our congratulations to John Wildsmith on being selected as the winner of the annual Burrell Foley Fischer Project Illustration Prize, awarded to the best individual drawing at the University of Westminster’s end-of-year student exhibition, OPEN 2017.

The exhibition includes students’ work from first year to graduation, including architecture drawings, models and fabrications, ranging from the handmade to virtual realities, and from small-scale to full-size. John Burrell, who judged the award, commented, “I spent a long time looking at lots of excellent work on display and the longer I looked the more difficult it became to decide on a winner. I was very impressed by the standard of work and there were many projects that were worthy of a prize but John Wildsmith’s drawings, 'Resurrection from the Rubble: Exploring & renewing the edge condition of Gaza' wins the award."

'Resurrection from the Rubble: Exploring & renewing the edge condition of Gaza' by John Wildsmith

'Resurrection from the Rubble: Exploring & renewing the edge condition of Gaza' by John Wildsmith

The exhibition remains open until Sunday 2 July and details can be found on the University’s website

Ibrahim Buhari stands for RIBA Council

We are delighted that Ibrahim Buhari, one of our architects, is standing for a National seat on the RIBA Council.  

His aims in standing are: 

  • to look at the architectural education system in the UK and how students are supported to navigate their way to qualifying;  
  • to support and champion diversity within architectural education and the profession; and 
  • to encourage younger architects to engage with and become members of the RIBA (the current average age of RIBA members is 57!).  

Ibrahim has worked for BFF for the last four years and was an integral part of the team on the recently completed Depot cinema in Lewes, which has been widely acclaimed by cinemagoers and local residents.

Ibrahim, second from left, at the opening of the Depot with our client and other members of the BFF design team

Ibrahim, second from left, at the opening of the Depot with our client and other members of the BFF design team

Currently only 15% of RIBA members vote in the Council Elections and Ibrahim is campaigning with the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust to increase this to 25% or more, as part of the RIBA+25 initiative marking the 25th anniversary of Stephen’s murder.

We are delighted to support Ibrahim in his bid for a seat on the National Council and would encourage all RIBA Members to consider voting for him.  

Application for Planning Permission submitted for new Boarding House and Hub Building for Tring Park School for the Performing Arts

BFF have submitted a Planning Application and Listed Building Consent for a new Boarding House and Hub building at Tring Park School for the Performing Arts.

We have worked with the School on their Masterplan since 2005, with the first phase being new award winning Dance Studios, within the historic context of Registered Parks and Gardens and Grade II* Listed Buildings and situated in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the Hertfordshire Countryside.

The Masterplan

The Masterplan

The current application is for the next two Phases. These are a new Boarding House, with accommodation for 70 pupils, and a new building, providing a sixth-form centre, art building and staff facilities, designed to create a new Hub at the heart of the school.

Boarding House

Boarding House

Hub Building

Hub Building

A visualisation of the proposed new facilities has been commissioned by the School.

Depot Cinema, Lewes gets positive reaction on social media

BFF’s latest cinema, The Depot Lewes, opened over the bank holiday weekend and has been positively received on social media.  A section of the comments follow, together with photographs of the venue taken by one of our architects, Ming Cheng.

“Wow, really, just wow! So thrilled to have this in Lewes!” 

“The best cinema experience I've ever had! The ambience upon entry sets you up for something different. The seats are so comfy I don't fidget at all! And the surround sound is phenomenal. My family and I shall be frequent visitors, especially at such a great rate on film, food and drinks. Superb!”

“Enjoyed our first visit to our new local cinema yesterday - comfortable seats and excellent sound system certainly enhanced the experience. The after-screening drink in exterior seating area gave us a chance to appreciate how attractive the whole development is: contemporary, stylish and well laid out. Looking forward to this becoming a regular haunt!” 

“Welcoming, stylish venue next to railway station. Warm, welcoming and helpful staff make for a relaxed and engaging cinema and entertainment experience. Excellent selection of films on offer, personally selected for quality and range of appeal to all sectors of community. Screen studios have state-of-art technology and generous, comfortable seats and screen layout while set into this charismatic traditional, yet with a modern twist, warehouse setting that makes your visit a pleasure."

“The Depot is wonderful – a haven of art, comfy seats and environmental principles”

“Went today first time, saw 'Your Name' Anime film. Was seriously impressed with everything! The staff are very helpful, the building itself is a masterpiece and the cinema screen, size, and seating is comfortable and just superb! Son and I loved it, this is fab for Lewes”

“Absolutely fantastic. Truly gorgeous building and amazing facilities. What a privileged little Town we are. Huge thanks to all involved.” 

The full comments and others can be found at

Depot Cinema in Lewes Officially Opened by Martin Freeman

The Depot Cinema in Lewes, designed by BFF, was yesterday officially opened by Martin Freeman, star of the Hobbit and Sherlock.

Martin Freeman greets fans at Depot opening

Martin Freeman greets fans at Depot opening

Speaking to the local newspaper, The Argus, he said that he was ‘very impressed’ with the Depot’s design and luxurious screens. He said “I think it is important to support cinema.  Independent cinema is the lifeblood of the genre. And its important to me because I do a lot of independent movies as well as some big ones. I’m about to go to New York this summer and do an independent movie and I do a lot of those kind of things, thank God, so if I can support cultural and artistic venues then I will”.

Members of the BFF team with our client

Members of the BFF team with our client

Photographs by Carlotta Luke, who documented the build of the project.

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. 

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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 I 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.