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.