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Royal Albert Hall, London

November 4, 2011 in 2000s, Culture

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.

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Plas Mawr, Conwy

August 26, 2011 in 1990s, Culture

Such a very difficult task to choose my favourite BDP building because I’ve been round long enough to have lived with so many, so I will have to qualify this as being one of my favourites.

I know it’s a refurbishment and not architectural in the most obvious sense of the word, but what an honour it must have been to be involved in the four year programme of deep investigation and repair of what is regarded as the finest surviving Elizabethan town house in Britain – Plas Mawr.
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Howard Assembly Room, Leeds Grand Theatre

August 5, 2011 in 2000s, Culture, Leisure

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.

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Glasgow Science Centre

August 1, 2011 in 2000s, Culture

As a 61 year old Glasgow cab driver who was born 300 yards away from the centre, I remember what it used to look like in the 1950s.

Now the Govan area has been enhanced by the wonderfully designed buildings. Read the rest of this entry →

Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

July 8, 2011 in 1990s, Culture, Leisure

The Royal Opera House is a fascinating and complex building which now provides a world class home for world class opera and ballet. Designed by BDP with Dixon Jones the project involved a restoration and refurbishment of the existing auditorium and foyers and Floral Hall, improvements to back of house production and new accommodation for the Royal Opera and Royal Ballet companies. Read the rest of this entry →

Saltire Centre, Glasgow Caledonian University

July 5, 2011 in 2000s, Culture, Leisure

Study areas at Saltire Centre

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’.

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Shetland Museum and Archives, Lerwick

June 21, 2011 in 2000s, Culture

Having followed the progress of this building from erection of the steel shell through to the final placing of the pebbles on the foreshore I feel I very much know it inside out.

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Neptune Court, National Maritime Museum

June 17, 2011 in 1990s, Culture, Leisure

I grew up in Greenwich, so the National Maritime Museum was a very important part of my childhood. Read the rest of this entry →

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Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, Glasgow

June 6, 2011 in 2000s, Culture, Leisure

Kelvingrove is apparently the most visited museum outside London and a Category ‘A’ listed building:

BDP’s task to make it more accessible and create 35% more gallery space was arduous.

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Cardiff Central Library

May 23, 2011 in 2000s, Culture, Leisure

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 →

Perth Concert Hall, Perth

May 11, 2011 in 2000s, Culture

Jane Spiers

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 →

Underley Hall Chapel, Kirby Lonsdale

April 27, 2011 in 1960s, Culture, Education

The story begins on Euston Station, where George Grenfell Baines (GGB) got into the Preston train and sat next to a stranger who it transpired was the RC Bishop of Lancaster. By the time the train got to Preston, he had secured the commission. Even for GGB this was remarkable! Read the rest of this entry →