Page 1

FEATURES | twenty thirteen relevant section - xxxx

Night scenes of high-density buildings © Nohead Lam |





Tessa O’Neill Town Planning Director


Steve Merridew Environmental Engineering Director

It’s not what you buy, but the way that you buy it thought piece two

lessons from the moai thought piece three

OLD BUILDINGS, NEW LIFE thought piece four

Francis Glare Director Urbanism

megacities an inescapable opportunity thought piece one


chairman's FOREWORD


a cultural heart thought piece five

greening the city thought piece six

Tim Leach Architect Director

Richard McDowell Architect Director

Darrell Wilson Landscape Architect Associate

Chris Harding Director Architecture


thought piece seven

40 42



Review 2013 twenty thirteen

community and identity chief executive’s review review of WORK ON THE BOARDS ggb award WINNING project 2012


Mad about travel 1 Dubrovnik; 2 Venice; 3 Delhi; 4 New York; 5 Shanghai; 6 Chicago; 7 Düsseldorf







In 2013, more than half of the global population will be living in cities. The

poor ones; cities where the landscape, topography and

rapid rise in the rate of urbanism, particularly in the

over their form in contrast to those which have

developing world, presents many opportunities as well

developed in a featureless terrain which makes little

as great challenges to those of us who are responsible

or no impact. There are cities where the local culture

for the design of the built environment. Urban place

is powerfully expressed, resulting in a strong sense

making has long had a central role within BDP’s core

of identity, whilst others are less distinctive and more

skill set. Therefore, we have dedicated this edition of

international in feel.

our annual publication to the topical, stimulating and

vitally important subject of cities.

create places for people. This does not apply to just

Having been at the forefront of BDP’s international


natural elements have exerted a powerful influence

In BDP, our philosophy is driven by the desire to


any people but rather to the specific inhabitants of the

expansion over the last few years, I have had the

place in question. That is why it is so important to come

opportunity to visit a large number of very different

to fully understand those places where we are working

Furthermore, it is enormously encouraging that our

cities in all parts of the world. Discovering new places

and the people for whom we are designing. No matter

ethos and philosophy remain as relevant today as

is one of the great joys of travel. After all, cities are

how many wonderful new ideas or exciting modern

ever. We provide all the design disciplines associated

created by people and as well as providing shelter

technologies are introduced, it is not possible to create

with the built environment in one organisation. We

and refuge they reflect the hopes, aspirations and

something which has a true sense of place without first

pursue design excellence, accompanied by a refusal

culture of the community for which they exist. But

fully appreciating the context, and acknowledging that

to accept second best. We work collaboratively with

cities are also living organisms, in a constant state of

context is not merely physical but social and economic

our clients and the local community who are a key

evolution and flux. It is this dynamic quality, driven by

too. This is one reason why BDP has put down roots in

part of the team. These are all concepts welcomed by

the desire to be better – more efficient, more beautiful,

key locations around the world. It means that not only

our clients because they know that the result will be a

more prosperous and more successful – that propels

can a better service be given to our clients but also

better solution to their problems.

a city forward and fuels it with energy and excitement.

that a fusion of the local culture with that of BDP will

produce a real sense of place.

working in the modern world. To be successful, it

As with people, cities come in all shapes and sizes

and no two are the same. There are ancient cities which have evolved gradually over hundreds or even thousands of years so that one can read the layers of history in the streets, squares and buildings. These contrast with the more recent creations which have sprung up, seemingly from nothing, over the last decade or so. There are organic cities where informal street patterns give rise to intriguing juxtapositions and spaces. These are the counterpoint to the formally planned layouts where precision and discipline are the dominant characteristics. There are wealthy cities and

I have been greatly heartened to discover a warm response to BDP’s humanist design approach in every part of the world I have visited.

It is important to recognise the challenges of


This publication comprises a series of seven

is essential to embrace change. This applies to

thought pieces on different aspects of the subject

individuals, organisations like BDP and to whole

of cities, all of which have been prepared by

communities. For cities, the rate of change is greater

individuals within our organisation from the

now than ever before. I am greatly excited by the new challenges coming forward, the sense that the world is ever shrinking and that ideas pass more and more

different perspectives of their own professional background and experience. It also includes

rapidly from place to place. I know this view is shared

illustrations of a selection of the work currently

by our collaborators and both clients and colleagues

being designed within BDP together with projects

of BDP. n

recently completed on site which have been submitted for the Grenfell Baines Award.

THOUGHT PIECE ONE | megacities relevant section - xxxx



iving in an urbanised world. In the 19th century, London was the only world city of more than five million people. Now there are at least 54, mostly in Asia, and an increasing

number of cities with more than 10 million inhabitants.

mega cities

People living in urban locations have outnumbered those in rural areas since 2007 and two in three people born in the next 30 years will live in cities. So cities, and big cities, are inescapable. They have a dominant impact on every facet of our existence from our social and economic networks to our difficult relationship with natural resources.

The megacity is a prospect that both inspires and

horrifies commentators. The case for is presented


in terms of cities as creative, entrepreneurial and enriching places; the case against is couched in terms of social and environmental ills, the increasing scale of cities giving rise to increasing disparity. City planners are accused of dehumanising tendencies in city planning responses and the servicing of the city denudes the hinterland of resources.

Regardless of the polemic, the evidence of those

with choice is frequently the creation of protected urban enclaves, the city to be endured for the promise of the weekend retreat – this is as true of Chengdu as it is of London. Is the city really the fount of all evil and are we really this schizophrenic that we cannot reconcile our human desires in one place? In recent years BDP has contributed to research into the future of ‘humane cities’ and ‘smart cities’ whilst pondering the responses from city governments. These range from the visionary and bold to the anxious and panicked, illustrating the breadth of the debate on

The megacity is a prospect that both inspires and horrifies commentators.

cities and urbanisation. But for all this breadth, in 2013 we discern the balance moving away from viewing the city as a necessary evil to be managed in a fairer and more equitable way, to the city as the solution to the challenges of our age. >


© Imrich Farkas |

Reviewthirteen 2013 twenty

THOUGHT PIECE ONE | megacities

Urbanisation is now seen as good news rather than a necessary and squalid by-product of economic

Cities of To-Morrow in 1902). His manifesto sought to contain what he saw as an otherwise unstoppable (and utterly disastrous) tide of

development. Many experts

urbanisation by drawing

have come to realise

people into new

that people are better

self-contained and

off when they live

utopian ‘garden-

in a city. This is not to ignore

cities’. Actually

the problems

whilst Howard

of urban life,

was right

particularly in

about the

fast growing

human desire

cities in

for more

say Asia

living space

and Africa.

and better conditions,

But even in

he was wrong

the shanty

about the future

towns the

of cities and

opportunities are

certainly wrong

greater than in the

about the scaling

rural hinterland.

of successful urban

As the city – whether


historic, regional,

However, until recently many

functional, capital or mega – is the context for the great majority of BDP’s work, we are ardent enthusiasts for urban places.

But in 2013, it is right to consider what the increasing

rate of urbanisation might mean for the planning and

could be forgiven for thinking that Howard was right as planners, architects and city leaders reacted to increasing overcrowding and congestion with a somewhat heavy hand, often ripping apart city centres and communities to aerate



Zhengzhou masterplan

peculation about the future city. Howard was of course only one in a long

‘The Road’, the city is central to our culture as humans.

tradition of urban futurists. Le Corbusier

developed the Radiant City, American futurist

pursuing a more academic approach, accumulating

For every visionary however, there is a scientist

Buckminster Fuller advanced the ideas of Spaceship

evidence and developing models, viewing the city as a system and technology as a tool to make cities

design of the living environments of the majority of

the city. Ordered and clean environments to house the

Earth, the authors William Gibson and J G Ballard have

the world’s people. This includes not just the profound

urban poor were created and in the process, urban

promoted their own dystopian scenarios. The future

more efficient (or ‘smarter’). If the first group requires

impacts on the ecological balance of the planet but also

functions were separated out, forcing residential

city is thus a recurrent theme in literature, film and the

a leap of faith then the second might be seen as a

the social conditions of people growing up and growing

development into the suburbs.

blogosphere. From the high tech and dehumanised

‘means’ looking for an end; the former ignores the

world of Metropolis; to David Lynch’s chilling

urban milieu, the latter the purpose of cities and the

commentary on the breakdown of community in

human endeavour. The role of the urban planner,

American suburbia in his film ‘Blue Velvet’, and the

architect masterplanner and urban designer must

bittersweet conclusion of Cormac McCarthy’s

be to understand the nature of urban places and the

vision of life after the death of cities and community in

processes of urban change and in this way, provide

old in cities.


19 century perspective. th

In the 19 century UK cities were riding an th

economic boom, bursting with people, many in desperate conditions. Friedrich Engels,

collaborator of Marx, wrote of Manchester, ‘….he who turns in thither gets into a filth and disgusting grime, the equal of which is not to be found - especially in the courts which lead down to the Irk, and which contain unqualifiedly the most horrible dwellings which I have

The city has come to be seen less as a source of problems and more as an opportunity to fix them. Many experts have come to realise that people are better off when they live in a city.

the locus for the urban debate, from vision to delivery.

We use the values of placemaking, in BDP terms,

Creating Places for People, as principles that enable us to understand place, envision the future city and then create the urban framework within which to apply technologies, so creating urban places that are

yet beheld.’ Contemporary sanitary inspectors in

‘smart’ and that have purpose. For us this is a way of

London wrote of finding rooms in slums occupied by

connecting vision, ambition and the understanding of

‘father, mother, three children and four pigs.’

the urban dynamic so that we can engage with urban

Urban planning was a response to the conditions

of such cities and Ebenezer Howard was a founding father, publishing his book ‘To-Morrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform’ in 1898 (only retitled Garden

processes to realise plans – neither a leap of faith

Above: the polycentric city structure envisaged in BDP’s 1 City strategy for Manchester.

nor the aimless application of new technologies. But if design is the medium for discourse on the city, what should good city planning seek to achieve? > © Rigamondis |

THOUGHT PIECE ONE | megacities


ore metro than macro – the economic potential of the city.

The Shanxi Broadcast & TV Centre will form one of the focal points of the emerging Jinyang Lake Commercial District in Taiyuan, China. The masterplan design is a careful balance of the site’s massing, topography, water features, scale and viewpoints.

Deyan Sudjic has likened the city to a forcefield, one in which mobility and ideas

are the energy of the city flowing through the network within which a burst of energy can occur apparently randomly, a catalyst for development. Daniel Libeskind has, similarly, talked about the city being not a two dimensional grid to be filled but being defined by spatial peaks and valleys, a way of representing the mix and intensity of uses. As such, cities should be planned to foster creativity by maximising the potential for human interaction and the exchange of ideas, and to capture the results for the benefit of the city and its citizens.

Cities bring opportunities for wealth generation and for creative inspiration than can result only from face-to-face contact with others. In fact the crush of people living in close quarters fosters the kind of collaborative creativity that has produced some of humanity’s best ideas, including the industrial revolution and the digital age. Edward Glaeser in his recent book ‘Triumph of the City’ similarly views the city from the opposite end of the telescope from Howard, regarding urbanisation not as a source of blight, but of vitality and opportunity, where the absence of space between people reduces costs so enabling cities to produce more and critically, allowing a flow of ideas. Richard Florida also has highlighted the flow of ideas - creativity – as the lifeblood of the economy and of the unique juxtapositions of place and people that urbanisation creates and that allow ideas to develop and form. Furthermore urbanisation brings about face-toface encounters, enabling people to learn from one another. No technology yet invented allows people to pick up the contextual cues - the frantic texting mid conversation, or the glazed eyes, for example, that suggests we’ve lost the listener - that enable us to develop ideas and do business.

The notion of the urban forcefield, allied to a BDP

understanding of urban placemaking, creates a framework for evaluating and designing cities and places that is less a simple response to issues of urban capacity, less infrastructure and technology led and more based on the rationale of cities and why they work. Facilitating human interaction and urban

exchange is as relevant a model for the city and for

If economy and environment are the first two pillars

This means planning decades ahead, identifying and

economic development today and in tomorrow’s cities

of sustainability, then the third is society. We need to

reserving land for community uses, for civic spaces

as it was for Vitruvius in the Roman forum.

manage rapid urbanisation to maximise economic

and for shared transport, treating the expanding city

success, use resources sustainably and spread the

as a resource to be organised and tapped, not merely

he city as the solution to global economic,

benefit and opportunity to all in society. Future cities

housed. Far-sighted city leaders in fast growing cities

environmental and social challenges.

need to develop passionate democratic participation

in the 19th and early 20th centuries, like Paris, Barcelona

Urbanisation has to be viewed hand in

to create the kinds of public spaces and living areas

and Chicago, built new ‘pieces’ of city to cope with the

hand with economic development. From an

that allow all of their residents to pursue their own

growth, rather than allowing sprawl to take charge.

economic perspective, cities bring people and goods

dreams. Libeskind argues that his is no utopian ideal

Such approaches have proved to be robust and

closer together, help overcome information gaps

but a precondition for the creation of a meaningful


and enable idea flows. In excess of 95% of global

future for cities.


GDP is now generated in urban areas. Certainly it has

the environment to feed the city and, on the other, a


source of increasing pollution.

and our ability to get it right.

been easier to understand why economists have embraced cities as engines of prosperity rather than environmentalists, for whom urbanisation has been seen as, on the one hand, forcing the denudation of

Cities can in fact play a vital role in cutting carbon

Rapid urbanisation also means that holding onto key

concepts like community and designing at the scale of

he accelerating pace of change.

the neighbourhood is more important than ever, whilst

Cities seem to be growing faster than ever

bringing forward urban transit solutions for necessary

before. The debate about megacities should

trips within megacities, enabling the growth of polycentric

therefore be less a concern about supersize

urban areas.

cities and more a concern about the pace of change Without good planning and urban design cities will

Equally a concern with the quality of design of residential environments needs to return to the fore, to bring the qualities of space and community that meet human needs and desires, to make the city the destination of choice as well as opportunity.

emissions whilst remaining the engines of the economy.

simply sprawl. Already most cities spread faster than

Much has been done to develop the model eco-city,

people move into them; on average cities get 2% less

though these are more laboratory than blueprint.

dense each year, driven by cheap transportation and

Compact, relatively densely occupied cities with

rising incomes. The World Bank estimated that urban

mixed-use urban forms are far more resource efficient

population grew by 5% between 1990 and 2000 but that

than any other settlement pattern. And green cities

urban areas grew by 30%. As Howard recognised people

can further improve social equity and quality of life,

like homes and gardens so, without denying people

for example through enhanced public transport that

what they want, we have to develop new city districts

both improves access to public services and reduces

proactively, to create the living environments around

the process of design of the city. The sheer pace

congestion. Per capita, the urban population treads

sustainable infrastructure to add positively to the city

of development in increases the importance of

more lightly on the earth than its rural counterparts;

rather than to allow suburbia to spread like an oil slick.

collaborative design and efficiency of design process

dense urban infrastructure is more efficient, more

and solutions, bringing new working practices like

suitable for smart technologies and urban housing takes less energy to heat, cool and light. >

There is a role for technological innovation in

Building Information Modelling (BIM) to the fore. >

THOUGHT PIECE ONE | megacities


olution City. Urbanisation is widespread, proceeding at pace and will be with us for the next 100 years. Even when population growth tails off

in China, then India and finally the African countries, the rural migration to the cities is likely to be ongoing. Megacities are inescapable, but they also represent a great opportunity. Urban planning and design will be integral to our ability to maximise the benefits of urban living, particularly if we can ensure a collaborative and holistic approach to global social, economic and environmental challenges in the Solution City.

A latter day Ebenezer Howard, a fusion of tweed and

iPad, might grumble and remind us of the pitfalls of urban living. But for all his suspicion of urbanisation, even Howard understood the magic of cities. Best


known for promoting the avowedly anti-urban Garden

ities 2013. The mistake that architects made a

Fourthly, cities must be liberally endowed with

century ago was to envisage the city of the

sources of ideas and creativity, as universities and

future in terms of aesthetics. Such a view, is

research facilities are often the starting point of

doomed to failure. The key is to begin to understand a

entrepreneurship and economic success. The focus

city not just in physical terms – and even then to think

should not be on managing city decline but on

primarily in terms of density, intensity and use rather

reinvention. Not all planners have grasped this and in

than aesthetics – but also in terms of its social and

places governments have pushed construction and

economic framework.

infrastructure projects which are not fixes for decline,

There follow some principles which designers can

however helpful they might be once renaissance is

apply to urban development:


First and foremost, however big the city gets, the

The fifth principle is that urban-rural dichotomies are

building block is the neighbourhood / community. This

counterproductive. Think instead of an integrated

very human scale has been forgotten in some of the

system and mutual dependency. There is much talk

more triumphalist visions of new cities.

of ‘closed’ systems, but there is also a misconception

Secondly, whether the subject is the growth of an

that these have to be limited, contiguous urban

existing city or a completely new city, there is always a

areas. A closed system can just as easily extend to the

context. This context ensures that the urban forcefield

resource hinterland of rural areas. Cities allow half of

sparks in subtly different ways in different places.

humanity to live on around 4% of the potential arable

Context delivers uniqueness, uniqueness underpins

land, leaving more space for open country and food

differentiation. Distinctiveness will arise naturally

production. In fact the highly popular ‘back-to-the

from context, so the urban solution will be based on

land’ environmentalists’ ethic and weekend homes ,

understanding of culture and place.

both characteristic of wealthy societies and elites, is

Thirdly, successful cities will be polycentric and

highly damaging to the prospects of long term global

therefore growth should deliver new loci, new pieces


of the city, not mono-functional retail districts or

And finally, technology must be subservient to human

commuter suburbs. This is not the same as saying

endeavour, not a solution looking for a problem. There

that every addition to the city has to be self contained

has been an explosion of data in recent times, with

– cities function and economies grow because

wider access than ever before, brought about by the

of interaction – but city growth should always be

speed, capacity and social nature of data networks.

positively driven, not simply as management of

Technology companies are good at finding new

problems. Periodically this requires the city leaders

ways of managing data, enabling existing systems

to take bold moves to set a framework and new

to work more efficiently and are desperate to find

direction, thus city development is episodic, a

commercial applications. But however ‘smart’ a city

circadian cycle of planning and delivery.

is technologically, the successful city is one that uses technology as part of the solution, not the end in itself.

The relationship between nature and the city underpins our vision for the Qingdao Westcoast Masterplan. The natural beauty of the site nestled between the mountains and the coast provides an opportunity to create a destination for business, tourism and sustainable living. Times Square, New York

© Brett Critchley |

City, he nevertheless once wrote of London; ‘The crowded streets – the signs of wealth and prosperity – the bustle – the very confusion and disorder appealed to me, and I was filled with delight.’ He should have followed his heart. n

The crowded streets – the signs of wealth and prosperity – the bustle – the very confusion and disorder appealed to me, and I was filled with delight.”

thought piece two | it’s not what you buy, but the way that you buy it...

m New visitor attractions in retail centres; an aquarium at Forum Istanbul

An increase in housing and commercial uses will also help to increase dwell time and bring the community back to the city centre. These activities are bringing a quality of experience unique to and reflecting the culture and character of a location.

Good quality public spaces and public realm raise

the quality of the whole area and provide an attractive environment to which consumers will want to return. BDP’s scheme in the heart of Mayfair and Belgravia has not only transformed this part of London but has also contributed to increased footfall and spend.


Other parts of our cities such as public transport

hubs at train stations and airports, traditionally not classed as retail destinations, will respond to the customer’s desire for greater convenience due to time and lifestyle pressures. WiFi will become a must have so shoppers can surf the web, use social media and Nanjing Road, Shanghai


The dynamic retail sector is going through its most

whether they shop on line or in store, customers also

significant period of transition in a century. The

want convenience, choice, great service and an

current global financial crisis is having a major impact

enjoyable experience.

on people’s spending and shopping habits. However,

other significant trends are also shaping how and

reinventing themselves and becoming more than just

where we shop with a correspondingly inevitable

places to shop. Gone are the days of inward looking

impact on our cities.

shopping centres reflecting little of the character and

personality of the city. Whilst in certain environments

The biggest influence by far on the way people

Many city centres and shopping destinations are

shop is the shift towards e-commerce, m-commerce

around the world there is still a case for covered

(sales made via smartphones) and s-commerce

malls these too should reflect the nature of their

(sales made through social media). This is a new and

surroundings. New centres are increasing the diversity

unpredicted phenomenon even 10 years ago.

of their leisure offer with cafes, bars and restaurants,

We have seen dramatic changes in retail patterns and

and there is a very tangible advantage when

habits, over a very short timescale.

customer dwell time is extended by visiting cinemas,

ice-rinks and cultural activities such as museums and

It is the experience of going shopping that is

driving the retail sector. The customer knows what he or she wants. Value for money is still a factor but,

art galleries.

Whilst each is very different in scale and location, new integrated retail centres such as the BDP designed Newbury Parkway, UK and Nanjing Road, Shanghai, China have the same design ethos of creating a total experience in order to compete with other retail destinations and the internet.

even work while spending time in a centre. >

A revitalised public realm at Elizabeth Street, Belgravia, London

thought piece two | it’s not what you buy, but the way that you buy it...

5004 0506 >

NikeTown, London

Newbury Parkway Fritz Hansen Showroom, London


Shops, however, are most vulnerable to the

goods and also the green credentials of the shop or

increased use of the internet and they too will play

centre. The BDP designed Waitrose store in Bracknell

a very different role in the future. Many will operate

achieved BREEAM Outstanding and incorporates

as little more than showrooms, others as collection

green roofs and a biomass centre but also innovative

centres or customer service hubs. The store of the

ideas such as a bug hotel which has proved a popular

future will no longer act as a traditional retail store but

attraction in its own right!

as an experience in its own right and also a showcase

for coveted global brands. The Nike or Fritz Hansen

world, the common thread linking these changes is the

stores, for example, display and light their products in

quality of experience, in terms of the quality of service

a way that provides an experience for the consumer

and the quality of the space. The city centre has been the

that captures the imagination of that retailer’s

focus for our urban communities for centuries and it will


continue to be but it will develop as a very different place

to the one we know now, much strengthened by current

Sustainability too is ever more important to the

consumer, relative both to the provenance of the

Whatever scale of shopping place and wherever in the

changes in the approach to retailing. n

Waitrose, Bracknell and ‘bug hotel’ (far right)

thought piece three | lessons from the moai


ur cities are our future. By 2030 60% of the world’s population will live in urban


areas.(ref 1) Global economic growth and rising population levels make the old

economic concept of scarcity more pertinent to the future of our cities than ever: infinite wants versus finite resources. What’s more, the short-termism of our political systems and the reliance on consumerism to feed our economies has led to a failure to address the externalities of many of our activities. We believe designers, planners and engineers have a key role in resetting the balance. As shapers of places and designers of systems, we can influence our future, and in so doing learn the lessons of history. The world’s cities occupy just 2% of the earth’s land but account for 60-80% of energy consumption and 75% of carbon emissions.

Most humans have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted. That men do not learn much from the lessons is the most important of all the lessons of history.”

Rapid urbanisation is exerting pressure on fresh water supplies, sewage, the living environment and public health.

Aldous Huxley © Matthew Wood

thought piece three | lessons from the moai

thought piece three | lessons from the moai

Blackburn Meadows With cities accounting for 60 – 80% of global energy consumption, we need to find ways of generating and delivering their energy from sustainable and renewable sources. The 30MW renewable energy plant will produce enough power for around 40,000 homes by converting recycled waste wood into electricity. There are also opportunities to supply heat to neighbouring commercial developments, further boosting energy yield from the waste wood. The Blackburn Meadows Plant forms part of Sheffield’s drive to be energy self sufficient.

Heathrow Airports Group Setting the Level of Environmental Ambitions We have been working with Heathrow to set their Environmental Ambitions for their 2014 – 2019 Construction Implementation Plan. It’s a globalised world - without connections, cities will decline. We need to reduce the footprint of resources consumed in connecting us. We are assisting HAG in delivering this future.

Manchester Town Hall and Central Library Transformation Project The transformation project will significantly reduce energy demand, leading to a 44% reduction in CO2 emissions. The project forms part of a local district energy cluster.

For cities to thrive they need to be connected. Connections facilitate the spread of knowledge, commerce and innovation.

Much of the savings are through engineering design

but the project will also engage in a post occupancy programme. The programme will work with users and visitors to stimulate behaviour change and minimise energy demands.

‘Coping with the growing needs of water and sanitation services within cities is one of the most pressing issues of this century. Sustainable, efficient and equitable urban water management has never been as important as in today’s

New buildings only account for 1% of the UK stock per annum. We must meet the refurbishment challenge.

world’ (ref 2) Glencorse Water Treatment Works, Edinburgh The project provides clear fresh drinking water for the city of Edinburgh and has been awarded the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management’s World of Difference prize. The scheme sits naturally within its environment and through its processes utilises hydroelectric power to treat the water. Cities are playing an increasingly important role in the global debate about food security and sustainability, a trend that is clearly set to continue as the world’s population becomes ever more urbanised (ref 3) Manchester Garden City As part of the Manchester Garden City Initiative, we have provided city centre residents with grow boxes which function as temporary urban allotments. In

© Ian Simpson Architects

the future, pilot schemes such as this must become much more mainstream as we tackle the global food challenge.

References 1. United Nations Sustainable Development Platform 2. Water and Cities Facts and Figures - UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication 3. Cardiff University’s Sustainable Places Research Institute - Urban Food Strategies

thought piece four | old buildings - new life

Old buildings

new life words | TIM LEACH

2013 23 Review twenty thirteen


he richness and diversity of our towns and

of building types ensures that the majority of these

cities create a visually stimulating, culturally

buildings will remain standing for many years to come.

rich sense of place, providing continuity

Redevelopment provides only limited possibilities in

and stability in a fast changing world. The

addressing the future viability of our built environment.

juxtaposition of buildings and spaces of all ages, styles

and character makes a significant contribution in

investment that the existing built environment

creating these unique places.

represents is the challenge for this and future

generations. Providing a new vision for the role old

Whilst a small percentage of these buildings and

Utilising the economic, environmental and social

environments are recognised for their significance and

buildings - historic or from the 20th century - play

protected through statutory legislation the substantive

in providing high quality, sustainable environments

number are of more modest qualities, designed

for communities, commerce and culture is crucial in

for a particular purpose and constructed using the

delivering specific targets for carbon reduction and in

technologies of the time. The scale of this environment,

meeting the broader challenges of the sustainability

the number of individual buildings and broad range

agenda. >

Somerset House and King’s College London creative adaptation of Grade I listed and late 20th century twenty thirteen 24 buildings, designed to achieve BREEAM Excellent in this sensitive historic context.

thought piece four | old buildings - new life

Oldham Town Hall One of a number of projects to secure the long term, viable use of civic buildings, accommodating new commercial activities whilst maintaining civic use.

“Each hamlet or village or town should be a place, its own place. This is not a matter of fake historicism or artsy-craftsy architecture. It is a matter of respect for things existing, subtle patterns of place woven from vistas and street widths and the siting and colour and scale of stores, houses, and trees.” Robert Riley

Unlocking latent potential...

Creative adaptation generates users and visitor

Enhancing space...

Engineering sustainable environments...

Old buildings and spaces, imaginatively reused, have

attractions, facilitates development of adjacent

With many alterations undertaken over time, old

Integrating lean, clean and green strategies in old

a unique character, combining the convenience

buildings and spaces, and provides the seed for wider,

buildings and estates often lack a sense of cohesion,

buildings to reduce energy consumption, generate

of the present with the qualities of the past. These

sustainable regeneration.

organisational clarity and spatial efficiency. Owners

energy efficiently and utilise renewable energy

buildings enjoy the added value generated by their

are often unable to recognise an old building’s

requires creative solutions that respond to their

special sense of place. Spatial qualities, structure and

urban quarter often necessitates phased regeneration.

potential, seeing only the inconveniences created

specific attributes, construction, materials, spatial

materials, combined with historic associations create

A masterplan provides the development framework

by organic, incremental growth and its negative

characteristics and embodied energy.

an environment which is neither better nor worse than

to guide this regeneration, mapping sequential

impact on the quality and efficiency of space.

new development – but uniquely different.

improvements to deliver an overall vision whilst

Creative adaptation generates a significant increase

corresponding opportunities need to be understood

achieving viable, beneficial use with each phase.

in the quality and quantum of space, together with

and creatively exploited to meet evolving standards in

enhancements in current and future efficiency,

energy consumption and carbon reduction for overall

New interventions within existing buildings generate

a sense of change, an injection of new life into the

The scale of an individual building, built estate or

The intrinsic qualities of existing buildings and

old. A creative adaptation transforms any perception

Creating value...

flexibility and adaptability.

sustainability. Achieving high levels of environmental

that these existing buildings are tired, unsuitable for

Old buildings and spaces generate romantic

effectiveness and successfully integrating services

current use and serve no future purpose. Creating

sympathies; sound and sustained use secures their

and servicing through creative adaptation, measured

within existing buildings requires highly creative and,

exciting and attractive spaces and enhancing

long term future. Adaptive reuse ensures a building

removal and selective extension maximises a

often bespoke, design solutions. n

efficiency and flexibility unlock the latent value –

meets the needs of new and future occupiers.

building’s utilisation and efficiency. Identifying the

environmental, economic and social - embodied

Interventions, however, need to be measured to

opportunities for creating new space through more

within a building’s structure.

secure long term financial sustainability whilst

extensive development assists in securing the overall

ensuring a building’s intrinsic qualities are retained.

potential and viability of these buildings.

Facilitating regeneration...

Balancing the scale of change and its corresponding

Reusing old buildings provides a catalyst for wider

value is crucial in identifying appropriate, beneficial

urban regeneration, with the impact of change

use. New use may require only limited adaptation or

often extending beyond the footprint of any single

necessitate radical reordering. Understanding the

building. New, outward facing activities engage with

qualities of an existing building and its capacity to

the immediate setting, animate the public realm and

accommodate change - what is, or is not, viable - is

contribute positively to a building’s broader context.

critical in managing this balance.

Clonmel, Tipperary Creative adaptation of the former Kickham Barracks to create a new civic space, the seomra mo’r or great room at the centre of a mixed use development in the heart of the town.

Rationalising existing space, its use, arrangement

Haggerston Baths, London Initial proposals for a centre for healthy living, introducing a range of new, complementary uses into the reordered listed building.

Creative adaptation breathes new life into old buildings, creating inspiring, functional and sustainable places to meet the challenging demands of existing and new use.

thought piece five | a cultural heart

A cultural Heart words | RICHARD MCDOWELL


t could be said that one way of assessing a society’s degree of civilisation is the extent to which it invests in cultural activities and the type of these activities it promotes. Expressing and

celebrating the indigenous cultures within a city both increases confidence and strengthens national and individual identity.

BDP has designed numerous significant cultural

buildings over its 50 years. Many of these have been in central locations within well established and historic cities whether reworkings of existing facilities, such as the British Museum and Royal Albert Hall in London, or new build projects, such as the Perth Concert Hall. They have all been designed to respond specifically to their existing cultural and physical contexts. Others have been conceived as regeneration projects where the power of a cultural offer to entice the public back into long forgotten areas has been successfully harnessed such as at the Glasgow Science Centre or Chatham Historic Dockyard. Yet other projects have had even higher aspirations and, in so doing have seen cultural buildings chosen specifically as keystone civic projects in the development of new cities in previously

“A cheerful intelligent face is the end of culture, and success enough. For it indicates the purpose of Nature and wisdom attained”

unoccupied regions of the world.

One recent example of the latter is BDP’s Sabah

Al Ahmad City Cultural Centre in southern Kuwait. In developing the brief for this new city, the Kuwaiti State recognised not only the importance that an understanding of a nation’s cultural heritage plays in empowering the individual but also the ability of such facilities to bind a potentially heartless new city together physically and socially. >

Sabah Al Ahmad City Cultural Centre, Kuwait.

Ralph Waldo Emerson culture | wisdom | happiness

Review 2013 28 twenty thirteen

thought piece five | a cultural heart

In our view however, it is not so much the building that forms the heart of the city but the central garden space within it which will make this building particularly successful. This oasis is accessible via deeply cut ravines which ramp down through the heavy stone plinth of the centre providing a cool shaded approach to the generous gardens beyond. Enclosed and climatically controlled to provide shelter from the heat and sand storms of the desert, this space provides a unique green and lush environment where people from the city will be able to come together and interact, whether using the associated cultural facilities or not.

The Sabah Al Ahmad City Cultural Centre responds

to the dual, sometimes conflicting, needs to function as an architectural reference point on a city scale while at the same time providing a place of a human scale. BDP’s proposals capture the dynamism and energy of the performing arts and music whilst at the same time providing cool calm relaxation and contemplation areas of unique scale and lushness. In doing so the centre forms a true heart space within the new city. This new heart is founded on the promotion of culture, arts and literature symbolising not just a cultural but a national rebirth and creating a true cultural oasis in the desert. n

Cities, by their very nature, are complex organisms which generally evolve gradually over many years. As such the key challenges for BDP of the Sabah Al Ahmad City Cultural Centre project were to bring this sense of place and identity to an area which until recently was nothing but desert.

1. 3.

Creating a rooted intervention of this scale, 2.

whilst maintaining a humanistic approach is a complex challenge culturally, architecturally and environmentally. In undertaking such a task it is imperative to distinguish between the historic, heritage aspect of a nation’s culture which by its very nature provides a retrospective view and the potentially

12. 4. 10.

conflicting desire to promote and develop a nation’s 13.

popular culture looking forward. This dichotomy is perhaps best captured in our client’s description of


the building as a ‘cultural mall.’

It is this tension and the energy inherent in



juxtaposing the past, present and future that we have sought to capture in the architectural expression of the Cultural Centre. The aim is to create a sense of permanence and timeless yet dynamic and forward

8. 7.


looking facility in which the residents of Kuwait can develop and reinforce their understanding of their own cultural identity and ultimately contribute back into it.

29 twenty thirteen

twenty thirteen 30

thought piece six | greening the city


At the intimate scale, our involvement in groundbreaking


initiatives like Manchester Garden City, Dig the City and


multifaceted, community owned natural landscape at

Peckham Charrettes has embraced a proactive bottom up approach with communities at the core, increasing the awareness and capacity of nature in the city. One exciting vision is to transform Castlefield Viaduct, a beautiful, disused relic of the Victorian steam age into a the heart of cultural Manchester.

Chavasse Park at Liverpool One demonstrates an

innovative approach to the provision of open space in the heart of Liverpool’s retail district by placing a 2 hectare park above four levels of a new city centre car park. This takes the concept of a green roof to a new height!

The idea of ‘greening the city’ has become synonymous with initiatives that increase and enhance the quality and content of nature and the environment within our towns and cities. Along with slogans like ‘Green Infrastructure’ and ‘Green Economy’, the green agenda is at the forefront of government policy across

“To the eyes of the man of


nature is imagination itself”

Chavasse Park, Liverpool One

william blake

the globe -‘green is definitely the new black’. However, does the term ‘greening’ go far enough to describe the importance that is placed on nature, the landscape and the environment as custodians of our society for future generations?


he symbiotic relationship between urban

BDP is at the cutting edge of this debate creating

development and landscape holds a

places which not only embrace the beauty and

promising future in determining the success

spiritual value of nature but also appreciate the

of our cities. Continued long-term investment

unique context of time and the value that it brings to

in restoring and reconnecting natural resources into

landscapes ensuring that they evolve and mature

the heart of urban life is the key. This is envisioned


through the creation of revitalised river systems, parks

and open space networks, supporting natural systems

evolving fabric of differently scaled interactive natural,

such as flood control, biodiversity and ecologies, and

landscape spaces, all connected together and our

preserving existing ecosystems and topographies.

work forming different pieces of that fabric. >

We see the idea of a living ‘green’ city as being an

Castlefield Viaduct Manchester

thought piece six | greening the city

“study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you”

Ladywell Fields London

Frank Lloyd Wright

Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, Suzhou

Alder Hey Hospital Liverpool

In 2003, mental illness was estimated as a £77.4 billion

the health economic benefits of trees in removing

In the UK, the Environment Agency revealed the cost of

It was suggested by CABE that ‘switching public

welfare loss to the UK. Evidence suggests that access

quantities of O₃, PM₁₀, NO₂, SO₂ and has encouraged

environmental damage from polluted urban wash-off

spending to schemes such as trees, parks, green

to the natural environment promotes recovery from

green spaces and extensive tree planting as one part

had been estimated at £150-£250 m. Urban trees, SUDS

roofs and waterways would address climate change

stress and fatigue and improves wellbeing. In the

of the solution. The goal is that a resident will never be

systems and green roofs retain rainwater thereby

more effectively, improve public health and improve

Alder Hey Hospital project there is a blurring of the

more than 500 m from a green space and since 2000,

reducing peak run off. They also filter water effectively


boundaries between landscape and architecture with

the city’s green areas have risen from 36% to just over

and reduce the threat of flooding. The innovative

the new hospital building located within an existing

50%. BDP’s masterplanning in China places landscape

project at Ladywell Fields, London, transformed a park

moving from theoretical to practical means of

public park. The form of the building allows the

at the very heart of design. Examples of this are

disconnected by a channelised river into a natural

responsibly and consciously placing the value of

landscape to wrap over it creating a series of green

competition winning designs such as Xi’an Jiaotong-

flowing environmental asset with the river at the

nature at the heart of design. Techniques are being

roofs, whilst the fingers of the building open out and

Liverpool University, Suzhou, and Suzhou Exhibition

heart. The key to the project’s success was looking

adopted that ensure future development secures the

create views into the park.

Centre, where the architecture has been shaped

cohesively at the whole site and working with nature.

significance of our natural environments by creating

around well designed and distinctive landscapes which

The resulting benefits include reduced flood risk,

healthier places that boost the quality of life for all. n

with levels of nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide and

create cooled spaces, sweetened air and dappled

value for money, new connections along the river and

suspended particulate matter that are all above the

sunlight. Such places will grow, evolve and mature over

a strong new identity for the area, creating one of

index averages. The local government has recognised

time bestowing improved value in future years.

London’s hidden rural gems.

In Beijing, air quality has posed challenges,

Encouragingly, professional place makers are

thought piece seven | community and identity

De Gerrit Komrij College, Netherlands Atrium view





he concept of community is as old as civilisation itself. More than a practical necessity, it is fundamental to our happiness and contentment.

We can imagine what the world might be like in 2050 (try a ‘future planet’ search on Google for a spectrum of scenarios), and when I see my 14 year old son socialising with his friends on the Xbox, it gives me a glimpse of the future we are headed for. But in a changing world it will be even more important for designers to satisfy the human necessity for a sense of identity and community in the future places we create. Our vision statement of creating places for people unites everyone in BDP because it places the user at the centre of our thinking ensuring an interest in activity and a sense of connection and relationship with our surroundings - and the planet. This is the inspiration for our socially progressive design collective, where architects, engineers and related design disciplines can work together to meet societal challenges.

Collaboration is the lynchpin of this endeavour.

As designers we spend our lives thinking about the places we create and to do it well it is essential that we behave as a community ourselves, supporting each other and fostering our own creativity – the most valuable commodity that people pay us for. Collaboration is a growing phenomenon. The most powerful advocacy for this can be seen in the drive by the world’s leading research universities to foster, what Professor Nigel Slater, Head of the Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology Research Centre at Cambridge, calls ‘social promiscuity’. BDP is uniquely organised to provide a socially promiscuous context to stimulate creativity in the pursuit of places genuinely shaped around the human wellbeing. This unity of vision makes us a community with a strong identity ourselves.

Urbanisation is a growing phenomenon and

thinking in an integrated way is the prerequisite of a civilised society. It is increasingly important for designers to dovetail life’s activities into a coherent and sustainable whole. > 35 twenty thirteen

thought piece seven | community and identity

Music Boxes, Manchester Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Liverpool

BDP’s interdisciplined, multi sector and multi

in shaping their community.

location approach creates an infrastructure

Discussions are about the

for us to do it well. Armed with the experiences

issues that affect everyday life

of Liverpool One, a herculean collaboration

and solutions emanate from

and the only city scale masterplan ever to

them. In the same way, our

be shortlisted for the Stirling Prize, BDP is

project for the world famous

collaborating with Manchester City Council

Alder Hey Children’s Hospital

to stimulate fresh thinking about the way the

in Liverpool shows the benefit

city can develop in the future.






Deliberately provocative and

meaningful conversation with

unfettered by self generated

a city community that boasts

constraints, we have taken a

a very proud sense of identity.

radical and fresh look at the

Everyone understands that the

way the world’s first industrial

project is a focal point for the

city can develop in the future.

community and needs to reflect

Ideas rich, this collaboration is

the character of the city and its people. So

the antithesis of insular thinking

we talked with everyone, to make sure the

and at its core realises cities are

identity of the building sprang from the

ecosystems to be looked at in

people who use and operate it. The result is

an integrated way. The outputs

an exciting beacon of wellbeing organised

are a wonderfully stimulating

around a family friendly social street,

vision and the activities which

where all the activities flow and connect

weave it together. Collaboration

with the city park.

and holistic thinking is the essence of sustainable

Our curiosity about activity and experience and

communities at any scale.

meaningful engagement with users, operators and

Being interested in community focused outcomes

financiers allows us to look at things in a fundamental

means architects should work in a collaborative

way. Forward looking clients are looking for fresh

way. A user centred approach depends on a good

thinking at the all important starting point, where

conversation with those who commission, use or have

preconception and closed minds can be a real barrier

an interest in the places being created. At Tollgate

to progress. The top research universities understand

Gardens in London, BDP is working with residents,

this and are setting visions for the future of scientific

planners and developers to create a cohesive vision for

research, dismantling the straightjacket effect of

inner city living. We bring working models and sketches

their existing estates and creating new blended

to weekly workshops to illuminate this important

space concepts to support world class collaborative

dialogue. It is our way of fostering a social and

research programmes. >

The output is a wonderfully stimulating vision and the activity threads which weave it together. Collaboration and holistic thinking is the essence of sustainable communities at any scale.

creative environment for real people to play a real role twenty thirteen 38

thought piece seven | community and identity

University of York Masterplan, Concept overview from Lakehouse


he ‘hubs’ we have created in our studios are

Perhaps the most interesting thing about cities is that

just the kind of places that can foster creative

designers have an opportunity to think about the

fusion because they are a part of our working

creative use of space, or as we put it ‘thinking laterally

lives. They are where together we meet, talk,

and vertically’. Hampden Gurney School in London

eat, watch and listen – all good news for our creative

is a tour de force in urban school design. It shows

thinking. Of course the trick is to get the design right

you can make the impossible not only possible but

so that it is as popular as a beautiful piazza in an

delightful too. Organising a school vertically (rather

Italian hill town. At B&Q’s new Store Support Office

than horizontally as is the norm) brings a wonderful

in Hampshire, UK we created our own version of

opportunity to strengthen a sense of community, not

the Italian piazza; a new place to foster a sense of

least for the simple reason that people are closer

community and identity. Everyone passes through it,

together. This approach is increasingly recognised

shares it and owns it. And like any good piazza it’s not

as sustainable because it uses less of the earth’s

just one big space but enjoys a variety of places to sit,

surface, lifting people into the light, air and views. It

contemplate, converse and to glimpse the activities

is producing some of our best buildings across all

throughout the building. Using these types of spaces

sectors. Of course it is important we do not simply

unlocks the potential of people because they behave

create big blocks which blight their surroundings and

like a community.

ignore the user experience, until that is, you get to

the penthouse. But we have probably only scratched

Of course, the essence of any good piazza is

microclimate. How often we sit in wonderful multi

the surface with vertical mixed use buildings, which

generational spaces which are the hub of their

become sociable human scale communities in their

communities when we are on holiday, either in the sun

own right and which make a positive contribution

or shade depending on the climate and time of year.

to their ecosystems. This is a message we must take

And by contrast we experience some of the disastrous

across the rapidly developing planet.

spaces urban planners and designers concoct in our cities today, overshadowed and windswept – unloved and unused. At Appleton Academy, a new build academy in Bradford, the school is wrapped around a sheltered garden to create a welcoming micro-


climate at the heart of the school and the urban

t the University of Cambridge, this approach

The new route breaks the building into human sized

has been described as social engineering,

parts around a piazza where you can enjoy pastries

because our designs affect the way the

made by the students, watch trainee mechanics at

activities of research communities interact.

work, discuss training and education across a wide

community it serves. The space and activities around it are like a microcosm of a city because they work together and relate strongly to each other; sheltering from wind and catching the sun – a focal venue for the constantly changing things going on in and around it.

For example, the design for the new Chemical

spectrum of life skills, or just hang out and watch the

Engineering and Biotechnology Building has come out

world go by in a comfortable and welcoming place.

And when we began sketching the major expansion

In other words this is a real place where people want to be. More and more education buildings are breaking down barriers, engaging the community they serve in a way relevant to real lives.

northern European setting meant we wanted to catch

at Gerrit Komrij College in the Netherlands, the town

Working with people and focusing on creating positive

into the skip it sat on a sunny spot on the pavement

wanted its new college to integrate seamlessly with its

experiences is the essence of creating human scale

community. So we set a public route through the heart

places. I have yet to see anyone’s creative capacities

of the building, magically dissolving the institutional

diminish in convivial surroundings. Commercial

feel prevalent in many education buildings, forging a

organisations are increasingly realising the benefit

strong physical connection with the town itself.

of promoting a strong sense of community through

of a continuous dialogue with the users and operators. We encouraged them to consider what they want to do rather than what they want. This bottom up activity-led design approach avoids a preoccupation with fashion or style and produces buildings which work well and look good.

Education is at the heart of any community and

their workplace design. The multinational corporation Apple understands this to the extent that everything is subservient to the big idea of creating a central place in their new HQ in California. >

of the University of York, climate was a key shaper. A low angle sunlight and protect against cold northerly winds; in other words create a positive microclimate to make the spaces around buildings enjoyable. I remember fondly the old sofa we threw out on a bright but crisp March morning. Before being tossed in front of the house for an hour or so. It became a gathering point for everyone in the street for the couple of hours it sat there, transforming behaviours in a very positive way. For a short while that sofa became the hub of my community.

I am optimistic about our future. Exponential change is all around us and progress across the world is driving urbanisation. This is an unprecedented moment to develop sustainable infrastructure and technologies. With it comes a huge responsibility for designers to champion collaborative practice and environmental sensibility. Technology will move apace but we will see gathering momentum to support the idea of community and empowering people to work together and support each other. The finite planet will ultimately determine the way we behave and progressively people’s lives will be enriched by working in harmony with the environment and its valuable natural resources. The unfettered pursuit of self interest will lead to social decay. It is unsustainable and will not lead to a happy and contented society. Power to the people! n

CHIEF EXECUTIVE’S REVIEW relevant section - xxxx

the growth of urbanisation and the continued


chief executive’s review

renewal of towns and cities around the world will continue apace.”


BDP is an international, interdisciplinary design firm. Like many in our industry, we have

Because of BDP’s specialist expertise and experience

faced many changes and challenges in the last

clients from other parts of the world for these

year. We are striving to make the most of the difficult

particular building types, with projects in Scandinavia,

economic context of the UK and Europe. This has

Australia, Russia, Turkey and Thailand.

tested our abilities to both secure and deliver projects

in ever more competitive circumstances, whilst

a turnover of over £65m, and we are planning for this

aiming for excellence in both design and service to

to grow over the next few years towards £80m. We also

our clients. Our distinctive integrated design ethos,

saw some changes in the senior leadership of BDP.

regional strength, and collaborative approach have

David Cash succeeded Tony McGuirk as Chairman,

enabled us to retain a pre-eminent position in our

with Tony continuing to lead a growing range of

main areas of work – education, healthcare, retail and

high quality housing and education projects. David,

mixed use development, and masterplanning, and

a director of BDP for over twenty years, has been

to develop our capabilities in housing, transport and

instrumental in the development of our international


network, informing a clear vision of what it means to

be able to operate as a leading design practice in

Our continued investment in technology, especially

in hospitals and retail development, we also attracted

So 2012 was a year of contrasts. The firm achieved

BIM (Building Information Modelling), is enabling

many parts of the world. Heather Wells succeeded

us to apply our talents to developing new ways of

John Parker as Group Finance Director.

translating and informing the creative process into

the most informed, detailed, and coordinated levels

growth of urbanisation and the continued renewal

of information for analysis, project delivery, and

of towns and cities around the world will continue

integration with the construction industry.

apace, as populations grow and demand amenity

Beyond Western Europe, BDP’s studios in Abu

and comfort from the places in which they live and as

Dhabi, New Delhi, and Shanghai, continue to grow

increasingly footloose investment can exploit a better

in scale, strength and reputation. These new studios

networked world to make development decisions

are extending our approach to the provision of high

based on quality of place, not just location. BDP’s

quality social infrastructure such as schools, hospitals,

ethos, now extended to a wider network of studios, is

and universities as places of dramatic growth and

perfectly suited to play a significant part in rising to

change, along with new places to shop and work, and

this challenge. n

We look forward to 2013 with cautious optimism. The

sustainable masterplans for the changing demographic needs. The focus of this work is founded on the user and community view of civilised urban living. City traffic © Alain Lacroix |

on the boards | review of work

on the boards The design for the masterplan for Samara, the sixth largest city in Russia, required a residential density of 500 apartments per hectare and a minimum four hectares of open green space. The solution is a series of landscaped courtyards focusing onto the central park, opening up views and enabling sunlight penetration.

The competition winning Bispebjerg Hospital Masterplan in the northern part of Copenhagen is calm and accessible with landscape ribbons that knit into the existing historic urban grain. BDP has since been shortlisted for several Danish hospital competitions.

BDP is part of a consortium which has been chosen by the London Fire Brigade as its PFI partner for a construction programme that will see nine ageing fire stations rebuilt across the capital, each of them targeting BREEAM Outstanding.

Located on a gateway site, the Suzhou Dushu Lake Masterplan in China aims to strengthen transport links and access and provide an identity for this emerging residential district. At the heart of the scheme is an ecological park which connects to the waterfront.

The International Quarter in London will be one of the UK’s largest mixed use developments, transforming the Olympic Park by creating a vibrant and dynamic commercial hub in the heart of Stratford City.

DĂźsseldorf Ulmer HĂśh A competition winning design to redevelop a former prison site in Germany, and transform it into a lively city neighbourhood.

In the forested hills of Kamand in the Himalayan region, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) is creating a new campus on the outskirts of Mandi which will research innovative, environmentally sensitive products and processes for the development of the region.

Our solution for the redevelopment of the Royal Sussex County Hospital site in Brighton fits a large scale development sensitively into its historic context. The topography is fully exploited with the ward accommodation looking over the English Channel.

We are engineering the exemplar low carbon building the NRP (Norwich Research Park) Enterprise Centre which targets two of the most rigorous sustainable built environment standards, BREEAM Outstanding and Passivhaus Certification.

on the boards | review of work


To showcase the University of Essex’s sustainable business strategies, the Business School is designed to be visibly sustainable from every angle, through its orientation on site, choice of materials, landscaping and passive engineering strategies.

The Hongqiao Business District is a low rise development in Shanghai within a flexible mixed use, mixed density masterplan which allows for future growth, optimising the site’s natural and climatic assets.

At Les Gargues, Aubagne to the east of Marseille, we prepared a new masterplan for a mixed use development of residential, retail and civic amenities on the outskirts of the town.

The relocation of the prestigious primary and secondary Jumeirah College in Dubai for the charitable organisation GEMS Education will provide additional facilities for 2,300 students. The American School of Paris will provide a great 21st century learning environment while celebrating the wonderful parkland setting at Saint-Cloud in the western suburbs of Paris. This creative intervention to the Grade II listed Brown Hart Gardens substation in Mayfair is one of a number of schemes that BDP is involved with that will enhance the public realm of Grosvenor’s central London estate.




The Grenfell Baines Best Building Award is presented

1. Victoria Hospital, Fife

3. Nirlon Knowledge Park, India

to the best built project produced over the previous 12

“The serene atmosphere created in the wards will

“Ground-breaking in the Indian market in valuing the

months by one or other of BDP’s studios. It is named in

surely improve patient wellbeing and recovery,

role of high quality public realm and a masterplanning

honour of the firm’s founder and the man whose vision

whatever the medical condition.”

approach as a way of creating a real place. A fun,

we have become, Professor Sir George Grenfell Baines.


pleasant place to work – calming and supportive.”

2. Bathgate Library and Community Hub 1. Academy of Innovation & Research, CUC, Tremough; 2. Bathgate Partnership Centre,

“This is a true interdisciplinary working, open and

4. The Learning Zone, Ebbw Vale

West Lothian; 3. Bents Green School, Sheffield; 4. Crown Woods School, Greenwich;

accessible; the miracle is how light penetrates the

“A surprisingly impressive building and a full inter-

5. Gerrit Komrij School, Winterswijk; 6. High Storrs School, Sheffield; 7. Nirlon

building given its deep plan form. A new focus for this

disciplinary commission by BDP. Well laid out spaces

Knowledge Park, India; 8. Parkway, Newbury; 9. Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham;


from the dramatic entrance to the great roof gardens with good acoustics, lighting and use of colour.”

10. Republic of Fritz Hansen, London; 11. The Learning Zone, Ebbw Vale; 12. Victoria Hospital, Fife; 13. Waitrose, Bracknell


















ggb award The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, winning project Birmingham

“Whether on the curved wards, the outpatients’ department or the laboratories, the tremendous enthusiasm for this building and the pride shown by the staff there was truly wonderful to hear.” “A landmark building for the Midlands skyline. The huge scale of the development does not detract from the quality of the detailing.”

relevant section - xxxx

FEATURES | twenty thirteen

Night scenes of high-density buildings © Nohead Lam |

photographers David Barbour


Peter Durant

David Cash

Sanna Fisher-Payne

Vanessa Brown

Daniel Hopkinson

Sheri Besford

David Millington

Helen Moorhouse

Tim Soar

Richard Dragun


Brett Critchley

Lynda Athey

City Co

Paul Atkins

Imrich Farkas

John Beswick

Alain Lacroix

Matthew Wood - illustration

Nohead Lam Rigamondis

PRINTED BY Brown Knight & Truscott


Reviewthirteen 2013 twenty

twenty thirteen 52

BDP 2013 Cities  

BDP's 2013 Annual Review

BDP 2013 Cities  

BDP's 2013 Annual Review