Visit one of Birmingham’s most interesting and iconic historic buildings ahead of major restoration works

A series of guided walks is about to give local people the chance to visit one of Birmingham’s most interesting and iconic historic buildings ahead of major restoration works, led by Burrell Foley Fischer, starting in the New Year.

The series of ‘Walkshops’ will enable people to enjoy a walking tour with a difference as they explore the secret stories and murky history of the Roundhouse and Birmingham’s famous canals. The Walkshops are being hosted by Roundhouse Birmingham, a partnership between the Canal & River Trust and the National Trust. 

Roundhouse, Birmingham

Roundhouse, Birmingham

Led by Secret City Arts the evening walks, one aimed at families and another at adults, will enable visitors to create stories from the things they find on their walk.

Stomping Stories, which is aimed at families, will create tall tales from clues spotted around the city’s canals and streets. The adult walk, Dark and Wintry Tales, will enable people to explore hidden nooks and crannies to create dark, atmospheric stories.

Each circular walk will start and finish at the Roundhouse where restoration works are due to begin in early January. The project, made possible through a £2.5m National Lottery grant, will see the Grade II* listed building transformed into a city base from which to explore Birmingham’s canals by foot, bike or boat.

Chris Maher, visitor experience development manager for Roundhouse Birmingham, said; "We’re really looking forward to the Walkshops and we hope lots of people join us for a very different kind of guided walk.

"The Roundhouse is a really atmospheric place, particularly as darkness falls. We want people to join us as we venture out onto the city’s canals and streets to create the most amazing stories from the things we spot.

It promises to be a great experience so we’d encourage people to book their place, wrap up warm and get a totally different perspective on the city."  

The Roundhouse was built in 1874 by the Birmingham Corporation and was originally used as stables and stores. Designed by local architect W.H. Ward, the horse-shoe shaped building has become a real landmark within the city but over the last ten years the majority of it has been steadily falling into disrepair.

As well as offering a base from which to explore the canal network, plans for the Roundhouse include a café, a cycle hire and repair workshop, volunteering opportunities and a shared working space. It’s anticipated that the Roundhouse will attract over 50,000 people a year, both from the local community and visitors from further afield.

Details of the Walkshops can found here.

Citation published for BFF’s International Making Cities Livable Award

The citation has been published by the jury which recently presented John Burrell with their Honor Award for Excellence in Designing Public Places for Community, Democratic Dialogue, Health & Equity at the International Making Cities Livable (IMCL) Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. The award recognises Burrell Foley Fischer’s work with organisations such as SAVE Britain’s Heritage and The Spitalfields Trust in proposing alternative viable schemes for Smithfield Market, King’s College Strand and the Norton Folgate Area of Spitalfields.

The jury’s comments are:

'This project to save the historic fabric and vibrant quality of life of a section of London has enormous international significance, especially now, when large scale demolition of swathes of historic cities around the world is accelerating.

The Norton Folgate district was democratically designated a Conservation Area 40 years ago. Mayor Johnson unilaterally swept that aside and declared it available for development. The area is now threatened with wholesale demolition of scores of premises and replacement with over-scaled office slabs and investment properties.

Burrell Foley Fisher’s scheme demonstrates how to holistically protect the area’s rich heritage assets, retain the fine grained urban fabric, and enhance the character of "Place", providing diverse jobs for local people, greatly increasing the housing, including affordable housing, and celebrating the presence, lives and works of Christopher Marlowe, Charles Dickens and Sir John Betjeman in Norton Folgate.

The IMCL jury strongly condemns the undemocratic "taking” of urban districts and public streets by developer-oriented governments that amplify inequality; and supports the protection of fine-grained, diverse, human scale urban fabric, heritage assets, and character of "Place" so admirably demonstrated in Burrell’s proposal for Norton Folgate.'

Further details of the award can be found here.

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After three years' work widely disseminating groundbreaking ideas and vivid imagery for a successful Public Inquiry, London’s historic Smithfield Market was saved from being demolished just to make way for a private office building. It will now be restored as a new Museum of London as a fully public building. The success established new conservation case law, valuing character and uses, not just façades.

Elsewhere, on Strand, an alternative strategy for a new public space opposed the demolition of a terrace of historic buildings and shops and the public outcry resulted in King's College withdrawing plans for a single building. There are now plans for the Strand next to King's College and Somerset House to become a new publicly accessible university precinct.

In the case of Norton Folgate, Spitalfields, the planning process and democratic planning decisions were ignored and overruled prompting legal challenges for a Judicial Review. The current threat of the demolition of scores of premises in the historic Norton Folgate district and replacement with six over-scaled office buildings (£100m) by a single organisation is being opposed using viable alternative more enlightened proposals. The community-backed scheme is going through the planning process and returning businesses, new occupiers, and affordable housing providers await the opportunity to return and preserve the scale and vibrant culture of this part of London.

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Main contract commences for new Arts Centre at Sherborne Girls

The Main Contract for the new Arts Centre at Sherborne Girls has started on site. The transformational project designed by Burrell Foley Fischer will benefit the whole school and wider Sherborne community. Morgan Sindall, the Main Contractor for the project, took procession of the site at the end of October.

The new Arts Centre, located at the heart of the campus, will comprise a new recital hall with 300 fixed seats (or capacity for 560 for school assembly). A multifunctional link building will provide a social space for exhibitions, display space to showcase talented artists, host talks by guest speakers, match teas and social events, whilst anchoring the new performing arts centre to the existing Art Building and Music Department. Once the new Arts Centre is complete, the music school will relocate and the Student Centre will be converted into the new Drama School.

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Prior to the main contract, a groundworks contract excavated the site which produced about 11,000 tonnes (about 7,000 cubic meters) of spoil from the main site and new tennis courts, which was spread across the playing fields to level the surface. Using the spoil to level the playing fields saved about 450 lorries taking it out of Sherborne for disposal. The School have published a time lapse video of the excavation.

ReEnergise has been appointed to install a Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP) system for the new Arts Centre, which will displace natural gas for 100% of the heating for the new centre and will provide most of the cooling at a very attractive efficiency compared to traditional split air conditioning systems. They are installing approximately 200kW of heat pump compressor capacity and the site will collect the Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive subsidy. The rationale for going ahead with the GSHP was both energy cost reduction and having a green energy source at the school.

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Stage 1 has begun, with the installation of the borehole array, comprising 19 boreholes each 150m deep, located under the existing playing fields close to the new Arts Centre. The final total number of boreholes will depend on the results of a formal Thermal Response Test which is underway. According to Bean Beanland, ReEnergise Associate Partner and technical lead on this project, ''The ground-source heat pump system will deliver sustainable heating and cooling to this fabulous new arts facility with a carbon emissions footprint that will reduce year on year as the carbon factor of the national grid reduces towards zero. The design life of the borehole array (100 years plus) is such that it represents a statement investment, by the school and the Board of Governors, in combating climate change for many generations of future pupils. It is hoped that the extensive monitoring of the system will also provide an invaluable teaching aid as the school continues to educate those who will inherit responsibility for the planet in years to come.''

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BFF Cinema projects revealed as Regional Finalists for the 2018 Civic Trust Awards

The Depot, Lewes and Newlyn Filmhouse, two community cinemas designed by Burrell Foley Fischer have been revealed as Regional Finalists in the 2018 Civic Trust Awards. The awards were established in 1959 to recognise outstanding architecture, planning and design in the built environment and projects that demonstrate a positive civic contribution.

Newlyn Filmhouse

Newlyn Filmhouse

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, with one cinemagoer posting on Facebook “Best cinema seats ever, good steep sloped tiers, huge screen, good sound, not too hot. Lovely cafe. Perfect one on one service. Very very impressed.”

Depot Cinema, Lewes

Depot Cinema, Lewes

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. A Facebook user commented, “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.”

As Regional Finalists, both cinemas will now by considered by the Civic Trust Awards for a National Award or Commendation.  In addition, The Depot has been shortlisted for consideration for the Selwyn Goldsmith Award for Universal Design. This award is given to projects which have demonstrated excellence in providing a scheme which is accessible for all users, from people with decreased mobility, to parents with small children, to people with sensory impairments and everything in-between.

Birmingham Roundhouse, 19th century canal-side stables, to be transformed into a hub to explore the city

Burrell Foley Fischer has been appointed architects for the Roundhouse in Birmingham. The 19th century canal-side stables and stores in the city centre are to be transformed into a hub from which to explore the city by foot, bike or boat. The project is a pioneering partnership between the Canal & River Trust and the National Trust, with vital funding from the National Lottery, to bring an important Birmingham landmark back to life through an innovative blend of heritage and enterprise. 

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The Roundhouse is one of Birmingham's most interesting and iconic buildings. Built in 1874 by the Birmingham Corporation, it was originally used as stables and stores. Designed by local architect W. H. Ward, the horseshoe-shaped building has become a real landmark in the city.

As well as offering a base from which to explore the canal network, plans for the Roundhouse include a café, a cycle hire and repair workshop, volunteering opportunities and a shared working space. It is hoped that it will attract 50,000 people a year, both from the local community and visitors from further afield. The project has been awarded £2.5m from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

BFF has been appointed to develop the designs, which Roundhouse Birmingham had previously secured planning permission for, ready for construction which is anticipated to commence in early 2018.

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Stuart Mills, Property Director for the Canal & River Trust, said: “This project is fantastic news for Birmingham, and will breathe new life into one of the city’s most recognisable and much-loved historic buildings. The Roundhouse will be a fantastic place to showcase Birmingham’s waterways and heritage and inspire people to explore all that the city has to offer.”

Lucy Reid, Assistant Director of Operations at the National Trust, said: “The Roundhouse project is all about partnership and co-creation. The end result will be an inspiring and atmospheric space at the heart of our city’s canal network from which to explore the waterways and the hidden histories of the people who made Birmingham – lamplighters, boatspeople and horses.”

Mark Foley taking part in Creative Minds Symposium

Mark Foley is to join a panel of leading thinkers, contemporary philosophers and creative minds to analyse, respond to and debate a shared moment of performance – the critically acclaimed production of Pinocchio from the award-winning Sadler’s Wells Associate and international choreographer Jasmin Vardimon.

Production still, Pinocchio

Production still, Pinocchio

The symposium, hosted by Geoffrey Colman, Head of Acting of Royal Central School (acting coach, director, writer and broadcaster), will provide a fantastic opportunity for the general public as well as MA students, undergraduate and A-level teachers/students to witness fresh and creative ways to analyse and interpret Jasmin’s work. This free event will follow the matinee performance, and is ahead of the evening performance of Pinocchio at Sadler’s Wells on Saturday 28 October.

Mark has specialist expertise in the design of theatres, auditoria spaces and buildings for the performing arts. He has gained particular experience in the design of modern and classical dance facilities and he carries out consultancy and research in this field. His work has led to numerous publications, participation on advisory bodies and teaching positions. 

The event is free but will be ticketed. Book by emailing admin@jasminvardimon.com or by calling 01233 628545.

Further details about the symposium can be found here.

Depot Cinema featured in CIBSE Journal

The CIBSE Journal has featured an article by Daniel Howes from SGA Consulting, on the Depot Cinema in Lewes.

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SGA were the Mechanical and Electrical Engineers for the project, which converted a former brewery depot into a three-screen community cinema. The article focuses on some of the challenges faced by the design team. These included lighting the exterior of a building in an area classed as intrinsically dark, the solution to which included consultation with a ranger from the South Downs National Park Authority to ensure that the colour temperature of the external lighting was fauna friendly. There is also discussion of the passive measures used to minimise the environmental impact of the new cinema, including careful specification of the curtain-wall glazing and the use of horizontal brise soleil to supply the correct amount of shading.

The full article can be read here.

New Housing for the London Borough of Islington at the Parkview Estate granted Planning Permission

Planning Permission has been granted for BFF’s scheme for 40 new units on the Parkview Estate for the London Borough of Islington. The scheme consists of six new residential buildings inserted within the estate and includes extensive new landscaping and improvements to community facilities. The new housing has been achieved without the need to demolish any existing housing and will lead to an overall increase in the amount of green space on the estate. Members voted unanimously in support of the scheme, which was praised for its high quality design and sympathetic response to the conservation area.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.    

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BFF wins International Design Award for Designing Public Places for Community, Democratic Dialogue, Health & Equity

John Burrell has been presented with an Honor Award for Excellence in Designing Public Places for Community, Democratic Dialogue, Health & Equity at the International Making Cities Livable (IMCL) Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. The award recognises Burrell Foley Fischer’s work with organisations such as SAVE Britain’s Heritage and The Spitalfields Trust in proposing alternative viable schemes for Smithfield Market, King’s College Strand and the Norton Folgate Area of Spitalfields.

The Honor Award, in the Proposed Category, is given to the project that best showcases the general urban design principles and livability criteria espoused by IMCL. Their criteria states that:

“Winning projects will respect the fundamental DNA of the city, including the cultural and physical history, and should be socially as well as ecologically sustainable. Projects may be public or private; neighborhoods, districts, streets, spaces, places, buildings or art; regional or local in scope ……. but every project must enhance the livability of the city by creating a more humane, multi-functional, stimulating, useful, beautiful, egalitarian public realm. They will contribute to creating a city integrated with its region and landscape, a city that is good for children and the poor, a city based on human scale and the pedestrian, a city that promotes health and healthy behavior, a city of short distances, an equitable city, a city that is a work of art, a city that future generations will enjoy …….  A Livable City.”

Prior to receiving the award, John Burrell presented a paper on his work at Smithfield Market, King's College Strand and Spitalfields to the conference. He also hosted a session on 'Reclaiming Neglected Neighbourhoods' based on his award-winning experience of working with residents on public housing, with speakers discussing examples from New York, Montana and Texas. 

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John Burrell to address the 54th International Making Cities Livable Conference

John Burrell is to address the 54th InternationalMaking Cities Livable Conference on Public Places for Community, Democratic Dialogue, Health, & Equity, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA.

Public Realm, Squares and Place, Active Streets and Transport – The Livable City

Suzanne H. Crowhurst Lennard, Co-founder & Director of the IMCL, said “Public places – our streets, plazas, squares, and green spaces – belong to ALL of us! They are our democratically shared common wealth - the most important aspect of every city. How we treat the public realm demonstrates how we value our fellow citizens, our democratic principles, and our community. If we treasure our plazas and main squares as beautiful places for community festivals and celebrations, we are embracing our unity and the power of our shared identity as a city."

John Burrell will be talking about his work on three recent campaigns in London for Save Britain’s Heritage and the Spitalfields Trust – Smithfield Market / King's College Strand / Spitalfields.

Smithfield Market - After three years work widely disseminating groundbreaking ideas and vivid imagery for a successful Public Inquiry London’s historic Smithfield Market was saved from being demolished just to make way for a private office building. It will now be restored as a New Museum of London as a fully public building. The success established new conservation case law, valuing character and uses, not just facades.

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The Strand - An alternative strategy for a new public space opposed the demolition of a terrace of historic buildings and shops and the public outcry resulted in King's College withdrawing plans for a single building. There are now discussions about how the Strand, next to Kings College and Somerset House, could become a new publicly accessible university precinct.

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Norton Folgate, Spitalfields - Where the planning process and democratic planning decisions were ignored and overruled prompting legal challenges for a Judicial Review. The current threat of the demolition of scores of premises in the historic Norton Folgate district and replacement with six over-scaled office buildings by a single organisation is being opposed using viable alternative more enlightened proposals. The community backed scheme is going through the planning process and returning businesses, new occupiers, and affordable housing providers await the opportunity to return and preserve the scale and vibrant culture of this part of London.

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John will also be hosting a session on Reclaiming Neglected Neighbourhoods, based on his award-winning experience of working with residents on public housing.

More details about the conference can be found here.

 

 

Depot Lewes featured on the Architects' Journal Website

The Depot community cinema, designed by Burrell Foley Fischer, has been featured as ‘building of the day’ on the Architect’s Journal Website.

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"Originally a sorting office before being taken over by Harvey’s brewery, this local landmark in the Lewes Conservation Area was in a derelict state.

Recognising the structure’s opportunity for reuse, Lewes Community Screen commissioned Burrell Foley Fischer to restore and open up the former brewery depot with the introduction of a three­screen community cinema.

The screens themselves (with 140, 129 and 37 seats) have been inserted into the existing warehouse building, while a new glazed extension houses the box office, a café/bar, restaurant, and film education and training facilities including a small film library and study space, and a multi­use room. The former tarmacked service yard has been landscaped to provide a new public space, including local plant species and a small orchard and wildflower meadow."

Source: The Architects' Journal

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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'.

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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.

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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.”

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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 events@lewes.depot.org.uk 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 https://www.westminster.ac.uk/news-and-events/news/2017/westminster-s-acclaimed-architecture-and-interiors-exhibition-open-2017-to-launch