Monday, 20 December 2010

Merry Christmas from all at Burrell Foley Fischer

New Performance Spaces at Tring Park School for the Performing Arts

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Official Opening of Dame Tamsyn Imison Building at Hampstead School

Dame Tamsyn Imison, former Headteacher at Hampstead School, was the guest of honour at the official opening of the building named after her and designed by Burrell Foley Fischer LLP.

An original feasibility study and development plan was undertaken by the Practice in 1996 to establish a long-term strategy for the development of the School’s facilities, with early phases including a new Sixth-form Centre.

The latest phase is a new build extension which includes specialist ICT and general purpose classrooms, and a professional catering kitchen teaching space. A footbridge connecting the new building to the existing building at first floor level is also provided to integrate the new building into the existing Technology Block. This also means that the first floor areas in the existing building are accessible via the lift in the new building.

The materials for the external elevations of the building follow the language established in the previous phases, ie. terne coated stainless steel sheet and semi glazed black bricks, combined with large areas of glass to provide light, views and ventilation to the interior of the new building.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Press coverage of the refurbishment of the Crucible Sheffield

Burrell Foley Fischer's remodelling and refurbishment of the Crucible Theatre Sheffield has been featured this autumn in both FX magazine and the BD reviews supplement, interiors issue.

The refurbishment project was careful to maintain the spirit of the much-loved original auditorium design using the original fabric colour for the new higher-backed designs and replacing the trademark starry sky, most of whose lights had gradually faded, with new LEDs. The front of house areas were remodelled and extended providing better circulation routes and a new and welcoming frontage to Tudor Square.

Monday, 6 December 2010

New Dance Studios at the Tring Park School for the Performing Arts

The Tring Park School for the Performing Arts have moved into their new building housing five Dance Studios, designed by Burrell Foley Fischer LLP.

The School sits in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and occupies a Listed Grade II* former home of the Rothschild family at Tring Park. The grounds are listed Grade II and the Clock House which forms the front to the former stable block is also Listed Grade II*. The School has an aspiration to be one of the leading performing arts schools in the country.

The new Dance Studio building has been designed to nestle within its heavily wooded landscape setting with randomly spaced Red Cedar perimeter posts to echo the surrounding tree trunks. The dense wildflower meadow grass roofs reference the surrounding tree canopies and undulating landscape. The studio rooflights and high level windows create visual connection with the surrounding landscape and abundant day lighting for the dancers.

The Dance Studios are the first building in a three phase BFF masterplan which has Planning Permission, with later phases including a new Art Department and a new 280 seat theatre for Dance and Music theatre.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

6-9 Carlton House Terrace profiled in Country Life

In the 350th Anniversary year of the Royal Society its headquarters at 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London was featured in Country Life magazine this month.

In 1999 to 2003, Burrell Foley Fischer LLP undertook a major refurbishment of this Listed Grade 1 Nash Building to provide a coherent, high profile, architectural setting for the society’s activities. The completed development provided additional facilities for exhibitions, scientific meetings, seminars, media events and video conferencing. A key intervention was the creation of a new atrium in a former light well on the upper levels as a focus to the new offices and providing space to display an engineering model of the Ariel 1 Satellite.

In 2008 the Practice was responsible for the refurbishment of the Welcome Trust Lecture Theatre which now provides modern lecture facilities, with accommodation for an audience of 300 and of the Dining Room which has a seating capacity of 100 but is also a flexible space that can itself be used for smaller lectures or as an overflow space for the main lecture theatre.
Most recently in 2009 we were architects for the Royal Society Centre for the History of Science, which was created following the refurbishment of the space previously occupied by its Library in Carlton House Terrace. The refurbishment provides study, exhibition and meeting facilities, in an atmosphere that reflects the Society’s commitment to excellence and inspiration whilst equally providing for the safe-keeping of the collections.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

International Symposium opens Onassis Cultural Centre, Athens

Athens Dialogues, an international conference on Culture and Civilisation is being held, the inaugural event at the Onassis Cultural Centre, Athens.

Burrell Foley Fischer LLP was commissioned to undertake the design of the two auditoria spaces and front of house areas in the Centre, following a limited competition to complete the structural shell (initially designed by the French practice Architecture Studio) that extends 9 storeys underground and 8 storeys above ground. The building houses a library, recording studios, exhibition galleries, underground car parking and a roof top restaurant overlooking the Acropolis.

Working with an international team of consultants, Burrell Foley Fischer LLP completed the design of the auditoria spaces, bar and foyer areas. The main auditorium is designed to respond to a variety of performance types, including opera, symphony concerts, music theatre, drama and dance. The smaller, second auditorium is designed with a variable acoustic to suit small scale music, dance, drama and lecture presentations.

Friday, 12 November 2010

BFF hosts debate on retrofitting existing housing stock to reduce their carbon footprint

The challenging targets for reducing the carbon footprint of this country’s housing stock over the coming years together with the current economic climate mean that attention is turning to appropriate methods to retrofit existing houses. Burrell Foley Fischer LLP hosted representatives of all sections of the housing industry, Clients, Registered Social Landlords, Local Authorities, Designers and Contractors for a debate on best practice.

The event began with a presentation on a project to retrofit a Victorian terraced house in Haringey in collaboration with the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and the University College London. One of a series of projects being sponsored by the TSB to demonstrate deep cuts in carbon emissions and exemplar energy efficient measures in UK social housing. The Energy Saving Trust is working in partnership with each of the projects to collect data from each of the retrofitted houses, including internal and external temperature, humidity and CO2 levels. This data will then be assimilated to form a database which will be made available to researchers, social landlords and energy companies to ensure that the most cost effective technologies are employed in future retrofits. There followed a lively debate with everybody very interested in the materials and details being developed to achieve a high air-tightness in an existing building and how these can be used to give an economically viable solution.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Academy Of Medical Sciences moves into new headquarters

The Academy of Medical Sciences have moved into their new headquarters at 41 Portland Place. The building is a significant example of a townhouse designed by John Adams and forms part of Nash’s proposal to create a processional route linking Regent’s Park to Carlton House Terrace. The refurbishment, designed by Burrell Foley Fischer LLP, provides a platform for Academy activities.

This building now contains Academy workspace, meeting rooms, a dedicated room for Fellows, space for small public exhibitions and function rooms with the capacity to host outreach events, receptions, dinners and public engagement activities, and a room suitable for holding press conferences.

In addition to housing the activities of the Academy, the building will be used to provide a forum for scientific exchange and networking for medical scientists, clinicians and health professionals from across the world, a centre for lively interaction with press and media, and a welcoming space for members of the public.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Scala Cinema and Arts Centre wins RICS Award

The Scala Cinema and Arts Centre, Prestatyn received the Community Benefit Award 2010 from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors at an award ceremony held at the Guildhall in London. Simon Pott, Chairman of the Judging Panel commented “This is an extraordinary example of how the passion of local residents can help drive a project through to completion. After a nine-year struggle, the local community of Prestatyn is finally able to enjoy the superb facilities of this engaging cinema and arts centre”.

The project is helping to revitalise the town centre in Prestatyn and provides access once again to film on a site with strong local memories of cinema-going. It also provides access to new social and training facilities, exhibition spaces within the foyers, meeting and training rooms and a flexible multi-use auditorium suited not only to cinema exhibition but performing arts, dance and exercise classes, fairs and markets.
The integrity of the High Street frontage, which contributes to the character of the conservation area, has been reinstated through restoration, and further adapted to suit the building’s new use. The ornate red brickwork arches, damaged by a 1960s panelled façade installation, were reinstated, however the first floor cills to the large window openings were cut down to the floor level to better reveal the new upstairs café. The café windows slide back fully behind new metal railings, allowing the café to open up to the street and to enjoy the south west facing aspect. A new glass canopy forms a contemporary counterpoint to the Victorian façade. There is a high level of intervisibility through a large glazed screen between the street and the entrance foyer which is designed to be welcoming and accessible to all building users.
The auditoria are set back behind the small-scale High Street frontage and are housed in a plain, red brick rectangular shed, topped by a lightweight metal clad ‘roof box’ which houses the digital media suite. There is a dedicated 150 seat cinema and a 150 seat multi-use auditorium, both equipped with digital projectors. The interior uses bold colour which reflects the different characters of the various spaces. The colour palette is used consistently throughout to aid legibility in this busy building. All facilities within the building are accessible to all building users.
Visit the RICS Awards website

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Official opening of the Kavli Royal Society International Centre

The Kavli Royal Society International Centre at Chicheley Hall was officially opened on 14 September 2010. Fellows of the Royal Society gathered at the 18th Century country home to hear the official dedication of the building and witness the unveiling of a portrait of the Centre’s lead donor, Fred Kavli, who is Founder and Chairman of the Kavli Foundation.

Chicheley Hall is a unique and historically significant Grade 1 Listed Georgian country house located in North Buckinghamshire. Under the direction of Burrell Foley Fischer LLP the buildings have been refurbished and remodelled to provide lecture rooms, meeting and seminar spaces, reception and dining rooms, together with 50 bedrooms with ensuite facilities.

The centre will host a programme of major scientific meetings, including high level ‘round tables’, policy forums at national and international level, and bilateral meetings with other academies. It will also host a programme of science and mathematics education activities to support policy makers and teachers.

Visit the Chicheley Hall website

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

BFF projects open to explore as part of Open House London

Two buildings which were refurbished and remodeled under the guidance of Burrell Foley Fischer LLP are open to the public as part of Open House London, which takes place on 18-19 September 2010.

Open House London is the capital’s greatest architectural showcase; a city-wide celebration of the buildings, places and neighbourhoods where we live, work and play. It provides the general public with the chance to explore hundreds of inspiring buildings for free, which this year includes The Royal Society in Carlton House Terrace and the Almeida Theatre in Islington. Please note that advance booking is required for some events – refer to the Open House London website for full details.

Visit the Open House London Website

The Royal Society – 6-9 Carlton House Terrace

Burrell Foley Fischer LLP have been responsible for major refurbishment of the Listed Grade 1 Nash designed town houses at 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, which form the headquarters of The Royal Society, the UK’s national science academy. The most recent phase of the refurbishment was works to the library to form The Royal Society Centre for the History of Science. Open House London includes access to a special 350th anniversary exhibition ‘The History of the Royal Society, 1660-2010’.

Visit The Royal Society Website

The Almeida Theatre

Built originally as reading rooms and a lecture hall in 1830s, it was renovated and opened as the Almeida Theatre in 1980. Development works designed by Burrell Foley Fischer LLP have included extending the backstage accommodation, the building of completely new foyer, bar and technical areas, new services installations and seating, and improved disabled access and acoustics. Open House London will include access to the front of house, stage area, dressing rooms and wardrobe department.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Mark Foley speaks at Designing School Theatres, the annual conference of The Theatres Trust.

Mark Foley spoke at Design School Theatres, the annual conference of the Theatres Trust held in April 2010 in Leeds. Mark outlined his experience of designing performing arts spaces for schools (including The Menuhin Hall, at the Yehudi Menuhin School and The Performing Arts Centre at Frensham Heights School) and the issues that arose in his drafting of the unpublished Building Bulletin 97 for the DFES “Facilities for Sports and the Performing Arts”.

Also participating was Margaret Rutland, Former Headmistress of The Godolphin and Latymer School, Hammersmith, London who talked about the recently completed Bishop Centre, a multi-purpose performance space in a redundant Butterworth Church, designed by Burrell Foley Fischer LLP.

The recently published Theatres Trust Conference 10 report, Designing School Theatres addresses the differences in school theatre design in maintained and independent schools, and the importance of performing arts teachers’ involvement in the design process and is available to download from their website.

Visit the Theatres Trust website

Visit the Godolphin and Latymer website

Monday, 2 August 2010

Martyn Clark appointed Associate

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Martyn Clark as an Associate.

Martyn was the Project Architect for the recently completed Kavli Royal Society International Centre at Chicheley Hall and will be the Associate in charge of the New Forum for The Royal Academy of Engineering at Carlton House Terrace.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

John Burrell appointed to Southwark Design Review Panel

John Burrell has been appointed to the Southwark Design Review Panel. The panel’s purpose is to advise the Council on the architectural merits of any large scheme proposed for Southwark. It consists of a team of architects and other design professionals who offer design advice at the pre-application stage.
Cases that are referred to the panel generally are proposals which are significant because of their size or uses they contain or their site. Proposals with an importance greater than their size, use, or site would suggest can also be reviewed if, for example, they likely to establish the planning, form or architectural quality for future larger scale development or re-development.
John brings to the panel over 30 years experience of urban design and masterplanning and has recently been working in Southwark on design proposals for the redevelopment of the Aylesbury Estate with Urban Initiatives.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Awards we've won in 2010

So far in 2010 the Practice has won awards from the Civic Trust and the RICS.

The Royal Hall, Harrogate

The Royal Hall, Harrogate was awarded a Commendation at the Civic Trust Awards 2010.

The Royal Hall, Listed Grade II* is a rare example of a ‘Kursaal’: a multi-functional entertainment venue normally associated with spa or seaside towns. The construction of the building employed an innovative, at the time, fire-proof material built of clinker concrete filler joist construction on a steel frame. However, the concrete had subsequently failed and was crumbling away, undermining the highly ornate and decorative finishes within the building which had additionally become badly water damaged over time.

Burrell Foley Fischer LLP approached this sensitive conservation and restoration project by focussing on the authenticity of historic details through careful research. The project was carried out within a functioning international conference centre without detriment to the programme of conference and exhibitions and was completed on time and on budget.

Visit the Royal Hall Website

Norwich Cinema City

Norwich Cinema City was awarded a Commendation at the Civic Trust Awards 2010.

The re-modelling of Norwich Cinema City, the Regional Film Theatre for Norwich and Norfolk, has secured its future by developing it from a single-screen to a three-screen venue. The cinema occupies a converted medieval hall house, Listed Grade I, that was extended in the 1920s to create an assembly hall on the footprint of the garden to the house.

The assembly hall had been converted into a single screen cinema in the 1970s and the challenge was to provide three screens on the same footprint in a manner that respected the historic significance and setting of the medieval building. Excavation created space for the additional screens below a main screen similar in size and capacity to the previous single screen.

Visit the Norwich Cinema City Website

The Scala Cinema and Arts Centre

The Scala Cinema and Arts Centre was given a National Panel Special Recognition at the Civic Trust Awards 2010. It also recently gained a RICS Wales Community Benefit Award and now goes forward to the National Awards to be held later this year.

The Scala Cinema & Arts Centre project, aims to help revitalise the town centre in Prestatyn and provides access once again to film on a site with strong local memories of cinema-going. In addition to a 150 seat cinema, it also provides access to new social and training facilities, exhibition spaces, meeting and training rooms and a flexible multi-use auditorium suited not only to cinema exhibition but performing arts, dance and exercise classes, fairs and markets.

The integrity of the High Street frontage, which contributes to the character of the conservation area, has been reinstated through restoration, and further adapted to suit the building’s new use. The ornate red brickwork arches, damaged by a 1960s panelled façade installation, were reinstated, whilst the first floor cills to the large window openings were cut down to the floor level to better reveal the new upstairs café.

Visit the Scala Website

Monday, 26 July 2010

BFF projects part of "50 years of London Architecture" exhibition

In June 2010 three projects by Burrell Foley Fischer LLP were included in an exhibition of 50 years of London Architecture, organised by the Architecture Club as part of the London Festival of Architecture. Around 300 projects were chosen to represent the immense range of work completed in London over the last half century.

View the Architecture Club Website

Angell Town

Following the completion of a ‘pilot project’ in 1999 to radically convert and eradicate the deck access planning, Burrell Foley Fischer LLP developed a master plan for new homes updating the principle of the urban block typology to create a variety of settings for new dwelling types. Angell Town now includes new streets, mews, courts, street play spaces, and squares built around mature trees. Areas that were undefined and underused now make sense and seamlessly re-connect Angell Town with the existing street pattern. Places in the area that were previously cut-off by the monolithic original deck access plan now connect Angell Town with its neighbourhood.

Visit Angell Town Case Study on the CABE website

Almeida Theatre, Islington, London

The Almeida (with which Burrell Foley Fischer LLP has been associated since the theatre’s inception in 1980) has developed into a performance venue of exceptional quality. The audience occupies the same space as the performers and neither is further than twelve metres from the other.

Development works have included extending the backstage facilities, a new foyer, bar and technical areas, new service installations and seating, and improved disability access and acoustics. The extensive overhaul of the auditorium has preserved the special ‘found’ quality of the theatre.

Visit the Alemida Theatre Website

Stratford Picturehouse

In 1997 Strafford City Challenge commissioned Burrell Foley Fischer LLP to create Stratford Picture House as a landmark development on a disused car park as part of the regeneration strategy for Stratford East. It provides a new public square as the beginnings of a new cultural quarter. As well as the four screens the cinema has exhibition and café bar facilities, and a private restaurant integral to the design.

“While the rest of Britain goes crazy for the bland multiplex, east London is now home to two picture houses that are also architectural masterpieces” The Independent – 5th October 1997

View the Stratford Picturehouse Website

Friday, 23 July 2010

Official opening of the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield by HRH The Earl of Wessex

HRH The Earl of Wessex officially opened the newly refurbished Sheffield Crucible Theatre in February 2010.

The Crucible Theatre opened in 1971 and is Listed as one of the most significant theatres of its generation. It comprises a 400 seat Studio theatre as well as the main 980 seat auditorium, with its Guthrie thrust stage. Burrell Foley Fischer LLP developed an extensive modernisation, improvement and extension strategy for the theatre, taking account of the need to minimise the closure period, particularly the critical need to reopen the venue each year for the televised World Snooker Championships.

The front of house areas have been extended providing a new and welcoming frontage onto Tudor Square, new function rooms have been provided and the box office has been moved from the bowels of the building closer to the main entrance. The integrity of the original design has been reinstated and the auditoria and back of house areas have been refurbished.

View Pictures of the Crucible Opening on the BBC website here

Visit the Crucible Theatre Sheffield Website here


Welcome to the Burrell Foley Fischer LLP Blog. We are an award winning, design led architectural practice with a recognised commitment to achieving high quality in the built environment. Over nearly thirty years we have gained specialist experience of urban design, residential, education, performing arts and cinema and media buildings and the adaptation and restoration of historic buildings.

In this blog we will give a flavour of our work in each of these sectors recording significant milestones on projects and news items that may be of use to those of you who are interested in those sectors. To begin, over the next few days, we will take the opportunity to review the last few months.