Thursday, 25 August 2011

Improving the cinematic experience for people with disabilities

The Guardian newspaper today highlights a report produced by the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign’s Trailblazers exposing the widespread second-class service people with disabilities experience in UK cinemas.

Read the Guardian report

Burrell Foley Fischer always ensures that all cinemas we design are fully accessible and provide a variety of seating positions for cinemagoers in wheelchairs and their able-bodied companions.  The Trailblazers report however found that this was unfortunately not standard practice in the industry, and that the smaller independent cinemas generally provide better access for disabled people than the major chains.

Download the full report

The report includes Stefanie Fischer’s tips for cinema operators and developers to make cinemas welcoming and accessible to all.  In the accompanying documentary, produced by the organisation, she comment’s, “Cinema designers and cinema exhibitors could be more aware and if the whole issue of how people access the auditoria is considered right from the outset then it is not difficult to provide a choice of seating positions”.

Watch the documentary

BFF's remodelling and refurbishment of Broadway, Nottingham's Media Centre, in a converted former Methodist Chapel was given an ADAPT award in 1998.  Our conversion of Norwich Cinema City from a single to a three-screen proved that it is possible to make a fully accessible venue even in a Grade I Listed building.  It won the National Local Authority Building Control Built in Quality Award 2008 for the Best Project for Access or compliance with Disability Regulations.  

The report also features Stratford East Picturehouse, designed by Burrell Foley Fischer, as an example of best practice, commenting “the cinema demonstrates that architects clearly considered accessibility when planning the new design.  There is inclusive access throughout the cinema and at no point does a disabled person feel segregated”.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Conservation award for Norwich Cinema City

We were very proud to be presented with The Norwich Society’s inaugural “Sir Bernard Fielden Award” for excellence in alternations and restoration of an historic building, for our remodelling and refurbishment of Norwich Cinema City.  The award was created in memory of Sir Bernard Fielden, one of the world’s leading authorities on the conservation of historic buildings.  The award, a model of one of the Assyrian lions outside Norwich City Hall,  sculptured by Do Philips and cast by John Hardy, will be passed to the next recipient of the bi-annual award this autumn.

Norwich Cinema City was converted from a single-screen to a three-screen, digitally equipped, venue to secure its future.  The cinema occupies a converted medieval hall house, Listed Grade I, that was extended in the 1920’s by Boardman, a notable local architect, to create an assembly hall on the footprint of the garden to the house.  Excavation of the area occupied by the twentieth century hall created space for the additional screens below a main screen similar in size and capacity to the previous single screen. 

The front-of-house facilities are housed in the medieval parts of the building, with the main hall providing a cafĂ© bar restaurant, ‘The Bar and Dining Rooms’.  Additional seating for drinkers and diners is provided in the covered medieval courtyard to the rear and a terrace to the front of the building, all of which combines to provide an oasis of calm in the city centre.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Restaurants open at Castle Quay, Bedford

The Riverside Grill has opened at Castle Quay in Bedford.  This new restaurant offers diners a stylish and artistic environment to enjoy a combination of food and art, showcasing the talent of staff and students of Bedford College.  This is the first to open of the three restaurants units on the development, all with  a south facing terrace overlooking the River Ouse and the Castle Bailey Gardens archaeological site.

Castle Quay, a Burrell Foley Fischer designed multi-use development, comprises in addition to the restaurants, 108 flats, eight speciality shops and an archaeological park. The project is built on the site of the inner and outer bailey of Bedford Castle and within the curtiledge of a Scheduled Ancient Monument, with six months of archeology preceding the construction works.

Visit the Bedford Riverside Grill Website

Friday, 12 August 2011

New Forum for the Royal Academy of Engineering starts on site

Work has begun to remodel and refurbish Nos 3 and 4 Carlton House Terrace, London, (Listed Grade I) to form the new Forum for the Royal Academy of Engineering, designed by Burrell Foley Fischer LLP.

The forum will create an invigorating venue, bringing world-class engineers together from round the world and fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise.  The venue will include new lecture and conference facilities, exhibition areas and upgraded accommodation for Fellows, visitors and staff.  The new forum will open in April 2012.