When I worked at BDP as an Image Librarian in the early 2000s, Piccadilly Station in Manchester was one of the many projects that passed before my eyes. But the images of Piccadilly in particular formed a small gallery of vibrant, iconic views. Read the rest of this entry →
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From Led Zeppelin in 1968 to PJ Harvey earlier this week, the Hall has always been a magical place for me personally and BDP’s major refurbishment and huge extension of “back of house” facilities has ensured that this genuine icon remains in successful use for all to properly enjoy a “performance” rather than the remote, cold, dead experience of watching a video screen several hundred meters away at the O2 and the like.
Welcome to the silicon fen, a hub of laboratories fed with talent directly from Cambridge University, conducting private and public funded research into all manor of mind-expanding things. Sited next to the world-famous Cavendish Laboratory, BDP’s is one of the most recent additions to the longish list of Laboratories conducting esteemed research on the periphery of Cambridge. Read the rest of this entry →
For me the Round Foundry is an excellent example of creative regeneration through teamwork. Ten years ago this group of buildings had the appearance of a nondescript collection of old sheds, car spray shops and junkyards located in an unsavoury part of town. In reality it was the 200 year old and last surviving engineering works of the early industrial revolution. Read the rest of this entry →
A wonderful example of how nearly a century of brutal alteration, changes in architectural fashion and neglect can be sensitively and imaginatively reversed by interdisciplinary working to create a 21st century performance and rehearsal space in a mid 19th century structure.
This major shopping development of 50,000 sq of retail sits sympathetically in the historic heart of Norwich. On an arterial route it is adjacent to the ancient monument of the city walls and the Grade 1 listed St Stephen’s Church. Read the rest of this entry →
The BDP Manchester Studio has helped rejuvenate a rather drab site just near to Piccadilly Station. The building sits on the edge of the canal which has now become an attractive place for the people of Manchester to use (both on and beside the water) as well as providing a soothing and inspiring vista for the people working inside.
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Opened in 2006 the Saltire Centre immediately received international acclaim. It is a University Library, the best example of social learning space in Europe and a one stop shop for access to student services – as the Guardian reported ‘it rewrote the design book for academic libraries’ and was ‘a University but not as we know it’.
What would uncle George have thought?
My wife’s uncle George owned an umbrella shop on this spot for decades. But BDP triumphed where the IRA failed. They demolished the building (George’s brolly business was long gone by then) to make way for this scheme, threaded through the heart of Belfast.
If you need a pointer, head for the glazed dome: a translucent 38 metre-wide carapace tops the development, punching the skyline and visible from pretty much anywhere across the city. Read the rest of this entry →
The ‘Paleiskwartier’ is a typical example of a Dutch urban renewal project where former industrial activity has made way for inner city redevelopment. The district owes its new reputation largely to the expressive image of the ‘Armada Housing’ designed by Tony McGuirk.
When I first visited the site Karen Howell explained the brief as we walked around together. I knew instantly that vantage points from the Cathedral, The Triangle Shopping Centre and Chetham’s School of Music would provide superb overviews of the scheme. Read the rest of this entry →
BDP responded to the prominent site, immediately opposite to the anchor department store for the new development, with a bold and colourful building at the convergence of two pedestrianised streets, whose retail and cafe activities spill into the public realm, and a significant proportion of the new library ground floor is given over to restaurant use. Read the rest of this entry →
A concert hall is architecture that has to work very hard to please. First it is a focal point for a city and must be welcoming yet impressive, outstanding, yet sensitive to its historic surrounding especially in Perth a city with an 800 year history. Read the rest of this entry →
Completed in 2006, Marlowe Academy is a product of the last decade’s school building boom that actually delivers what it says on the tin: a transformation of education. The building, which drew on the full spectrum of BDP’s design talents covering architecture, structural and environmental engineering and landscape architecture, also amounts to a transformation of school design. Read the rest of this entry →
Designing a children’s hospital should in my view, probably controversially, be the pinnacle of a designer’s career, such is the degree of sensitivity, understanding and empathy required to visualise an environment that responds to the child’s own sensory perception.
You can receive a building as you find it, as raw materiality, and indulge in its aesthetic. This, it would seem, is the ultimate test. But many buildings have stories within them, about which they, in themselves, are mute. That story can be so minor or uninteresting it isn’t worth knowing. Or it can be rich and disclosive. Read the rest of this entry →
I’m surprising myself with this nomination, I never thought I would find concrete so seductive. I’ve always been a lover of all things wood, I blame my Finnish mother for that. I was sent to Abito on a photo shoot and a surprising thing happened when I walked through the doors and stood in the atrium.
This is a place. Its genius is being a place within a place, and achieving just what BDP’s masterplanners envisaged at the outset.
The place that once typified many post-war piecemeal development areas – a flat bit of grass at the back of a bus station – somehow managed to create even more separation between the Albert Dock and the city centre. With the imperative to regenerate the Paradise Street area it could have been sacrificed to being “that bit at the back”, left over after planning, or even worse a service yard for a mall. Read the rest of this entry →