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4 elcome to BDP 2016: Vibrancy This year we are exploring the theme of





component of our projects whether for

the design of a single building or the masterplanning of a new community.

noun: (vibrancy) full of energy and life; bright and striking

front cover image: Detail of dichroic glass proposed façade for the Cergy 3 Fontaines shopping centre, France

In this publication, a variety of approaches to the subject is explored through a series of thought pieces written by a range of contributors from across BDP. The pieces are @bdp_com LinkedIn

illustrated by some of our current and recently completed projects. We also celebrate the George Grenfell Baines Award, named in honour of the founder of our firm, and given to BDP’s best completed building of the year. We hope


you enjoy reading it.

5 / T H I S Y E A R’ S C O N T R I B U TO RS /



Chair man’s Review | David Cash | 06 01 Colour in Architecture | Richard Dra gun | 08 02 Energising Communities | Nick Ed wards | 14 Richard Dragun Graphics Associate

Nick Edwards Landscape Architect Director

03 Cr uise Control | Firas Hnoosh | 18 04 The Knowledge Cauldron | Christoph Ack er mann | 22 05 Designing for Sick Children | Dominic Hook and Ged Couser | 26 06 Eating and Shopping | Adrian Price | 32 07 Keeping Design Simple...and Green | James He pbur n | 38

Firas Hnoosh Architect Director

Christoph Ackermann Architect Director

08 All Change on the Tracks | Peter Jenkins | 44 09 The Colour of Sound | Gavin Ste v enson | 48 Chief Executive’s Review | John McManus | 54 GGB Awards | 56

Ged Couser Architect Director

Dominic Hook Architect Director

Adrian Price Architect Director

James Hepburn Engineering Director

Peter Jenkins Architect Director

Gavin Stevenson Acoustics Director



Words | David Cash


ver since its inception in the 1960s, Continuous Improvement has been BDP’s byword. It takes time, a long time, for a multi-sector, multi-location interdisciplinary design community to evolve fully

because such organisations are complex mechanisms. Fundamental qualities such as creativity and innovation need to be underpinned by leading edge technical expertise and investment in the newest systems. Specialist knowledge and experience must be built up across the key sectors so that clients have total confidence in the abilities of the design teams to deliver the very best. Appropriate resources must be applied to each commission at the right place and time with the team being efficiently organised and their work properly co-ordinated. All these things (and more) have been well within our capabilities for some time but, that said, there can never be room for complacency! Pleasingly, 2015 was something of an ‘annus mirabilis’ for us with an upturn in new work resulting in regrowth. Two further BDP designed buildings were listed (Bank House in Leeds and Danske Bank in Belfast) bringing our tally up to four. However and very importantly, the year also saw the completion on site of a tremendous array of excellent new work. This is evidenced by the quantity and quality of this year’s submissions for the Grenfell Baines Award. Named in honour of BDP’s founder, it is presented annually to the completed project judged to be the best. All the submitted schemes represent sustainable design and are illustrated at the end of this publication. The fact that they include education buildings, a major station, housing, offices, hospitals, a shopping centre and public realm projects is testament to the diversity of the work being executed around the practice. The UK Pavilion for the Milan Expo was also amongst the entries for the GGB Award. With the core theme of the Expo being ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’, its design was inspired by the role of the bee in the global ecosystem. The pavilion acted as a metaphor for the industriousness of the British people and the fact that it won numerous awards including the International Prize for the Best Pavilion Architecture was particularly special. Events like the Expo help cement the UK’s strong reputation for design overseas. This clearly assists firms like ours which have achieved such a level of maturity in the home market that international growth is the next logical step. This is a process we boosted five years ago by establishing studios in the Middle East, China and India. Encouragingly, these all continue to thrive in spite of recent more turbulent economic and political circumstances in some countries. Further international growth will be part of the firm’s future progression and happily, the prospects are encouraging. BDP’s ethos and values travel well. New design opportunities and challenges combined with the enthusiasm of our people always to do better, produce an infectious cocktail—an ideal recipe for a design organisation brimming with vibrancy!

UK Pavilion Milan Expo





Cardiff and Vale College

Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital, Brighton

Words | Richard Dra gun


olour plays a big part in how we perceive our environment and this applies to the buildings we occupy. Unlike most other architectural issues, colour is loaded with moral, ideological

and emotional connotations and consequently many architects will restrict themselves to black, white and grey or to the colours inherent in building materials. Space, form and texture are key design elements in architecture but it’s often colour that conveys the ambience that supports the function of a space. A classroom has a different function to a hospital ward or an office space. Schools and colleges, like healthcare environments aimed

Green Rooms Restaurant, Limerick Institute of Technology

at children, are obvious examples of where vibrant and bold colours can be used playfully—St John Bosco—or meaningfully—Cardiff and Vale College—to good effect. Colour can provide a sense of identity. At Brighton’s Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital a vibrant internal colour palette extends to the building exterior enabling it to stand out against its hillside location. Similarly, but in a different way, Alder Hey Children’s Healthpark is rooted to its location by the colour and texture of the building envelope alluding to the red sandstone of the geology of the area. Both are examples of colour being part of the architectural narrative. However, the use of colour can be purely symbolic of a location as is the case with the red of the hospitality suite at Lancashire County Cricket Club.

Sportslab, Limerick Institute of Technology

Southmead Hospital, Bristol



Colour can highlight or differentiate, aiding identification and wayfinding and at the same time creating a sense of place. The concourse in the Brunel Building at Southmead Hospital is punctuated by three atria employing distinct colour schemes to create individual, recognisable spaces on the journey along its 250m length. Branding an environment is also an area where colour selection adds real value. The use of colour and material choice at PwC’s award-winning Edinburgh offices supports an established brand to ensure the workplace, its decor and graphics all work as a cohesive package. The danger is that some colour combinations lock a building to a particular time—the greens, browns and oranges of a 1970s interior for example—and strong colours, that look vibrant in the bright light of hot climates, don’t always translate well to cooler northern regions.

PwC Edinburgh



istoric buildings traditionally use a neutral palette

Recently, increased regulation has focused on the accessibility

Colour in architecture is not just about paint or coloured

that will allow light and shade to accentuate

needs of people with disabilities. This has put the choice of

materials. Colour requires light and both are integrally related

design details and keep a building looking fresh.

colours in public buildings high on the agenda. Visual contrast

to each other. New dichroic technologies are providing

Our recent Garrick Club refurbishment required

produced by different light reflectance values of adjacent

exciting opportunities to use colour. Rather than absorbing

a careful choice of complementary colours to emphasise the

surfaces helps the visually impaired with space perception,

colours they reflect and refract different wavelengths hence

architectural detail of the existing interior yet creating a soft

wayfinding and even recognising a door in a wall—things

blue dichroic glass will be transparent to blue light, but will

and colourful space. This approach worked equally well at

most people take for granted.

be a mirror to yellow. The precise angle makes a difference

Thomas More Square where a careful choice of muted colours

so that using daylight they can produce different colours

accentuated the uncluttered lines of the modern design.

depending on sunlight angles at different times of the day. In diffuse light when the light is at many angles all the colours blend together, back to white. We are using this technique for the façade on Cergy 3 Fontaines shopping centre in France. The combination of movement and light through the dichroic glass produces an ever changing coloured reflection and brings life and vibrancy to this 1970s town.

Colour remains an invaluable tool for architects. It appeals to our emotions, it can intensify our experience of a building and is an important aspect of one of the key functions of architecture— to create places for people.

main image: Thomas More Square, London left: SLL’s Night of Heritage Light, Tower of London, with Iain Ruxton right: Garrick Club, London





Words | Nick Ed wards


rban regeneration is invariably associated with the

In the centre of London, changes to urban streets and spaces

introduction of vibrancy into places that are failing

are having an invigorating effect on the way they are used,

to meet their potential or have lost their sense of

their value and investment. In Brown Hart Gardens, Mayfair,

direction. As the focal point to our communities

a rarely accessible and utilitarian roof to a listed substation

and a fundamental platform for civic life, incorporating

has been transformed into a community garden with a cafĂŠ

vibrancy into public space can be the catalyst to enhancing

at its heart. The tranquillity of this oasis is punctuated by

confidence, instilling pride and encouraging investment.

the fortnightly Mayfair Market and a carefully orchestrated

There’s no single solution to success, but it is fair to say

Watford Parade

programme of events including the Grosvenor Film Festival.

that our public spaces need to provide a combination of

A short stroll away in Mount Street, a qualitative uplift and

tranquillity and dynamism. On one hand they need to be

changed perceptions of transport priority have helped to

intuitively comfortable and, on the other, they need to be

restore the human scale at the heart of this beautiful street.

environments that leave us happy and fulfilled. We need to

Vehicles integrate subserviently with people and a sculptural

enjoy and gain comfort from the visual amenity afforded by

water feature by Tadao Ando combines tranquillity with

public space, its defining buildings and the people who use

dynamism, light with shadow and nature with technology

it, whilst also being stimulated by a measure of surprise.

whilst having the audacity to spray the occasional mist across passing pedestrians and cars.



for over 100 years, has been enhanced through improved

diverted away from the railway station while

water quality and ecological value, stepped access, decked

a new pedestrian and bicycle underpass now

areas and outdoor dining adjacent to the water’s edge. At

forms the heart of the public realm and has

Malmö in Sweden a public realm vision is being prepared

encouraged the development of cafés, bars and other

to enhance the existing public spaces and realise the full

private investment in the surrounding area.

potential of the waterside location.

From urban streets to community parks, we are exploring ways

Whilst places need to be comforting and safe, it is important that they enable and promote both physical exercise and mental stimulation.

through which the external environment can add stimulation, life and vitality to our diverse communities. Whilst society is increasingly seen as being risk averse, we are seeking to ensure that the external environments we design provide people with the opportunity to engage the senses and connect more fully with the places in which they spend time. Whilst safety must be embraced in all aspects of construction, design and management, we seek to ensure that health is too, and that our desire to eliminate risk doesn’t render the spaces we create and inhabit, sanitised, sterile and dull.

Malmö Public Realm

The capacity for public spaces to exercise the mind is an important facet in the promotion of healthy communities and studies have shown that the more our experiences are

Water plays an important part in adding to the design of

enriched, the more likely we are to benefit from improved

city spaces—at Watford Parade the historic pond, a feature

brain functioning and delay potential cognitive impairment.

Brown Hart Gardens, London


t Bilthoven, in the Netherlands, traffic is




Words | Firas Hnoosh

Everyone likes to go on vacation, right? Although people had

and board a cruise ship that could take them either across

travelled for centuries by sea, the passenger ship industry

BDP won the commission to design and deliver the Emirate’s

only flourished in the late 1800s and early 1900s, courtesy

first permanent cruise terminal.

of the steam engine. Cruise ships coined sea travel as the ultimate in luxury and display of status. Until the airplane arrived that is, when people could travel to more destinations in a fraction of the time it took with an ocean liner.

the Middle East to Europe and North Africa or to the Far East and Australia. A competition was launched and in 2014,

As Abu Dhabi and the UAE’s new gateway, the terminal has to be capable of handling in excess of 4,000 passengers per day and occasionally two ships simultaneously. Security, immigration, baggage handling and transportation to and

The 1960s witnessed a comeback of the cruise industry.

from the terminal all had to be thoroughly considered in

Modern cruises were no longer competing with airplanes.

the design whilst ensuring the space spoke of Abu Dhabi,

Quite the opposite, they offered a different pace to explore

its history and hospitality. Our solution was to repurpose

the world from a different vantage point. Cruise terminals were

one of the existing sheds on Zayed Port, strip it completely

developed as gateways to receive touring passengers and

except for its steel structure and create a grand open space

promote their cities. The modern cruise terminal was born.

in the heart of the building allowing direct visual connection

Capitalizing on the Emirate’s sunny beaches and growing

between the interior, the sea and the cruise ship. That space,

landmarks, the government of Abu Dhabi embarked on an

reminiscent of the grand ticketing halls of the great train

ambitious venture to make Abu Dhabi a cruise holiday hub.

stations of New York and London, handles people arriving,

Travellers from all over the world would fly into Abu Dhabi

departing, checking-in and transiting.

Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal, Zayed Port










information desks line up like traditional dhows in a marina with their bows projecting a welcome to passengers. The hall’s glazed roof is shaded with a screen pattern inspired by the native ghaf—a tree which holds a special place in the hearts of the Emirati people whose desert travellers rest under the shade of its branches. Upstairs, passengers enjoy a selection of shops and restaurants with a panoramic view across the main hall toward the Louvre Museum on Saadiyat Island. Projecting from the side of the building, a new volume defines the main entrance.

With a cladding the colour of rusted iron, it hints at the ship building industry and has three conic skylights mimicking a ship’s chimneys. As the sun sets and another ship leaves the terminal, the building changes its skin. The glazed roof glows from within, beaconing the next ship to find its way.



24 Word s | Christoph Ack er mann

Designing for high tech learning and research starts in a decisively low tech manner—by face to face communication,

the reality is often different. Flexible spaces to facilitate chance meetings and spontaneous exchange of ideas are essential for effective research. By providing these stimulating ‘knowledge cauldrons’ in combination with quiet write up spaces, researchers are provided with suitably varied settings for their work.

to this day one of the most effective means of human

We pride ourselves in developing an architecture which can


provide this scientific petri dish, where proximity and chance

To understand a client’s requirements and aspirations, stakeholder consultations are undertaken to develop collectively the vision for a new building. This exercise sometimes reveals that various researchers are working on similar projects but in different departments or even fields of research. Joint stakeholder consultations frequently bring different researchers together to discuss their requirements, often for the first time.

encounter can grow into new research. An example is the Technology and Innovation Centre (TIC) at the University of Strathclyde where dedicated knowledge exchange areas encourage interaction between researchers. This process can be further enhanced by inviting industry partners to participate. Industry can interact with and assist the researchers, providing practical application guidance and funding. For Glasgow’s ITREZ zone, BDP has designed the inovo building as a neighbour to TIC. This industry

The benefits of collaborative working on research projects

engagement building provides flexible office space and

is fundamental. Whereas the historic image of the learning

short term lease incubator offices to allow co-location and

process romantically depicts St Jerome in his isolated study,

collaboration of industry partners.

Technology and Innovation Centre, Glasgow

The Maxwell Centre, University of Cambridge


his follows the principle of collaborative and organised research which was spearheaded by the Cavendish Laboratory under James Clerk


Maxwell who evolved research from an individual’s

effort into an organised form. This tradition is exemplified in the appropriately named Maxwell Centre at the University of Cambridge where the internal layout provides a journey through a variety of spaces reflecting different stages in the research process. This journey is guided by vibrant colours of the Maxwell colour wheel used both internally and externally. A larger scale model for high tech collaboration is the Manchester Science Park where the masterplan creates a super knowledge cauldron. A suitable mix of natural and hard external spaces of differing character provides pockets of space with individual identity and use within the parkwide canvas. The existing entrance and arrival spaces are enhanced, node points are established and both active and quiet spaces are created, all linked together in a cohesive and easily navigable manner. Just as flexible collaborative spaces have been incorporated internally within some of the buildings, the proposed external spaces will also promote beneficial ad-hoc meetings and interaction. BDP has long recognised the importance of different design professions coming together with the whole being greater than the sum of the parts.

After all, we were the first interdisciplinary practice and believe through working collaboratively, we can create exciting and vibrant places for people.

The Hub, Manchester Science Park





Words | Dominic Hook and Ged Couser

n i n g i g s e fo d Children’s hospitals are places that should be bright, playful, vibrant and absolutely full of life. The environment needs to be interactive, engaging and inherently beautiful to encourage a sense of wellbeing and reassurance for patients and their families. The thoughtful and intelligent use of daylight, colour and integrated artwork is key to achieving that. At the same time, these buildings also need to accommodate highly technical equipment to aid recovery, apparatus which invariably comes with complex service requirements.

Alder Hey Children’s Healthpark, Liverpool


s i c k c hi

n e r ld




n this context, BDP is developing a legacy of leading world class facilities from the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton through Alder Hey Children’s Healthpark in Liverpool to Dublin Children’s

Hospital, all of which have been designed as if through children’s eyes. The best children’s hospitals have a consistent theme underpinning their concept as opposed to a thinly applied ‘sticky back plastic’ approach as is sometimes found. They also need to have a universal appeal, catering for a wide range of age groups from first born to young adults as well as parents and staff. This makes them incredibly challenging environments to design and deliver. Consequently on each project we have sought to conjure up a holistic and vibrant child centered concept or big idea. This establishes a clear identity for the hospital and informs every design decision to be made, thereby influencing the architecture, interiors, landscape, graphic design and artwork. A children’s hospital needs to be a magical and wonderful place because the children who need to use it deserve nothing less.

Alder Hey Children’s Healthpark, Liverpool “If we’ve seen it before, it’s not for us” was the challenge set by

Artwork is also woven into the fabric of the building with

the Alder Hey Children’s Hospital Trust’s design vision which

Lucy Casson’s amazing creatures appearing in sculptures,

emphasised innovation, child-centred identity and clinical

fabrics and signage.

best practice. The creation of a children’s healthpark drove

play deck giving incredible views across Springfield Park.

Nevertheless lying beneath the skin of this extraordinary environment lies an efficient clinical facility and so whilst Alder Hey in the park doesn’t appear hospital like, it performs efficiently so.

Internally everything is connected by the cavernous atrium

For example, automated Goods Vehicle Robots glide silently

space, with fissured walls continuing the rock face theme.

around the building in the background serving each department.

the three fingered design solution which became the ‘hill in the park’. The flowing geometry of the architecture sets up the metaphor, as the wildflower meadow roofs roll from the top of the ward fingers into the parkland below, creating characterful landscape spaces in between. This enables each department to have direct connections to daylight and views with every ward having an external



At the new children’s hospital in Dublin, the initial impression will be defined by the simple singular shape of the oval ward perched upon a ‘floating garden’. Gardens bring almost universal appeal and the appearance of these richly landscaped expanses elevated above ground will inspire a sense of surprise, wonder and delight. The public spine is populated by distinctive and memorable landmarks to provide orientation and enrich the journey through the building. Children love shopping malls and these spaces will be more comparable with this typology than their stereotypical view of a hospital. Many patients will frequent the hospital many times throughout their childhood and so we are striving to create a rich and diverse environment with multiple layers of interest, many of which will not be immediately apparent.

We want to create a rich and varied sequence of spaces, which children can seek out and find comfort in. Spaces for parents. Spaces for siblings. Spaces to breathe and spaces to reflect.

Dublin Children’s Hospital




hopping centres are now about eating as much as shopping. Driven by consumer demand, there is a much greater choice of high quality catering in more authentic environments. We are now designing

shopping and eating destinations that offer the richness of experience that is found in our established city centres. People are more widely travelled and have experimented with local food when abroad. This, together with the popularity of signature chefs in the media, results in a much less conservative offer. Customers are willing to explore new concepts and enjoy posting pictures of ‘plates’ on social media: #instafood / #foodporn / #foodie.

Words | Adrian Price

BoxPark, Croydon Berior adit et arum fugit vellabo ribusam




Local, wholefood, organic, slow food, artisan, world food

There is a strong trend for new independent food concepts

and street food have recently been incorporated in the

that are carefully marketed and branded; American barbecue

Trinity Kitchen at Leeds, major railway stations and the


London Westfields with a wide choice of food offers and

Vietnamese street food (Pho), Japanese ramen and buns (Bone

environments ranging from grab and go to high end and

Daddies) are all examples of new and exciting food offers.

casual dining concepts.






This trend of eating out more at reasonably priced pop up stalls and concept restaurants is making food an ever increasing part of a typical visit to a city centre or shopping mall.

above image: Eden Walk, Kingston right: The Lexicon, Bracknell



Pre-recession 6-7% of UK lettable space was catering in a typical shopping centre but post-recession this has risen to 17-20% and Asia has typically 30%+ offsetting the reduced demand for retail space from internet shopping. Demand for space outside (public spaces, edge of scheme, rooftop, High Street) with views out in an authentic setting means that shopping centre design becomes all the more interesting. Almost every centre is now reviewing its catering offer. Food brings an exciting dynamic and vibrancy to retail environments and BDP has completed or is planning a number of retail schemes with exciting new food offers. At Eden Walk, Kingston, a series of restaurant units around a central public space will be a focal point of the revamped 1960s shopping centre. A new sky restaurant with panoramic views towards Hampton Court will be provided on top of a refurbished multistorey car park. At Silverburn, Glasgow an extension and revitalisation of the food court adds a further 11 restaurants to meet increasing demand and a 14 screen cinema. Oldham Town Hall

Paddington Lawn, London

In the virtual world of digital shopping the new wave of shopping and eating destinations is addressing the basic need to provide a more enjoyable and social alternative to mere ‘clicks’. At Paddington Station in London it used to be Café Ritazza, Subway and the British Rail sandwich but now it’s Patisserie Paul, Sushi, Carluccios and micro-breweries. This all comes together in a reworked Paddington Lawn, part of the Grade I listed Brunel station. BoxPark was the world’s first pop up mall in Shoreditch and the new BoxPark, Croydon is 100% food, described as a “vibrant feast for the senses to kickstart Croydon’s renaissance.”




Words | James He pbur n


he colour palette is muted and the hushed interiors are relaxing, almost monastic. That is not to say the building isn’t exciting or stimulating —there are innovative materials everywhere.

Externally the scene is set by prefabricated thatch panels and repurposed lab desk cladding whilst internally, the recycled paper Sonaspray ceilings, Troldtekt panelling and plywood walls feel homely and welcoming. Almost every material in the building is bio-based, derived from plant material grown via photosynthesis using the sun’s energy. Their natural origin leads to paler colours but the textures are deep, wild and interesting as well as contributing to the building’s fantastic acoustics!

Right let’s get vibrancy out of the way first with a question. For something to be vibrant does it have to be noisy, vibrating, pulsating or brightly coloured? The Enterprise Centre at the University of East Anglia is none of these things, although the high efficiency air handling units in the plantrooms do pulsate as they circulate—recovering heat and warming the fresh air before it is supplied to the occupants. Enterprise Centre, University of East Anglia



42 hilst the sun is the energy source for the building’s materials, intelligent use of solar energy is fundamental to reducing operational



building orientation simplifies façade design and improves user comfort, allowing active M&E interventions to be reduced or omitted. A building form and envelope that allows good daylight distribution reduces the reliance on artificial lighting. This, combined with a self-regulated lighting scheme which only delivers the required light levels where absolutely necessary, reduces energy use throughout the building’s life. A similar strategy is being adopted on the new offices for Northamptonshire County Council. The







Certification, BREEAM Outstanding and low embodied carbon. BDP has experience of all of these things but never before all together in one building. At the Essex Business School, a heroic timber structure is significantly lower in carbon than the conventional alternatives. In common with several projects, the Waitrose Store in Bracknell is BREEAM Outstanding and Stebon Primary School in Tower Hamlets was London’s first PassivHaus school.

Waitrose, Bracknell

Essex Business School, Colchester



Essex Business School, Colchester

Enterprise Centre, University of East Anglia

Essex Business School, Colchester

The stringent requirements of the Enterprise Centre brief

The key was to keep things simple. We can learn from this

set a framework, provided limits, reduced variables and

and apply it to other projects:-

informed design solutions.

• Use simple forms which are easy to price and construct -

This allowed the design team to settle on a scheme early and develop a design which is a masterclass in sustainable development.

The strategies were knitted together so closely that peeling

them apart, even under extreme value engineering pressure,

• Engage with building users and FM teams to instill

became almost impossible without the whole thing unravelling.

this allows budget to be spent on other things.

• Keep details to a minimum so that more time can be

spent on the things that really count.

• Go for generous floor to ceiling heights which are better

for comfort and daylight in preference to complex

curved shapes.

• Optimise the building envelope to reduce the active building services systems and ease coordination. confidence in the design solutions.



ail transport has been resurgent over the past


two decades in parallel with the regeneration of our city centres. BDP has engaged with this

Words | Peter Jenkins

through an ever-increasing portfolio of rail-

related projects. This year, our designs for Manchester Victoria and Nottingham Stations have been completed —both combine restored historic fabric with bold, modern structures to create distinctive, vibrant places for the cities they serve. The post Industrial Revolution expansion of our major cities can be read in their fabric through concentric rings of development, subdivided by canals, railways and ring roads. Invariably, a city’s architectural evolution can be interpreted as one passes between these defining lines. However, industrial decline led to contraction back towards the city’s original core, leaving behind these rings of infrastructure to become negative, disconnected spaces. The recent resurgence of many cities has led to development expanding outwards once again. Creative solutions to our transport infrastructure can help overcome the barriers formed by viaducts and re-energise redundant land.

Victoria Station, Manchester




Ordsall Chord, Manchester

Our recent work in Manchester has engaged with many

as physically separate and conceptually distinct. At ground

of these issues. At Victoria Station, in order to increase

level, the imperative is to contribute to street life and provide

rail capacity and feed the city’s growth, there were two

a catalyst for further regeneration. Meanwhile on the floor

primary functional requirements—expansion of the city’s

above, innovative structural solutions reflecting the scale and

tram network and establishment of the Northern Hub

dynamism of travel will be the dominant theme.

Rail Infrastructure Project which will greatly improve communication between the major cities of the north. However in addition to satisfying these needs, a new space has been created which meets the aspirations of an increasingly vibrant city.

This grand, multi-functional area aims to give visitors an impression of the city’s identity and ambition as well as putting a spring in the step of daily commuters.

Transport related projects invariably present the opportunity to develop bold structural solutions and create dramatic new city spaces. Stations are gateway buildings which provide the all-important first impression of a community. In Manchester with its heritage of fine rail related historic infrastructure, existing buildings are often also incorporated into the solution. These can contribute much to the creation of unique and special new places within this resurgent and vibrant city.

In addition to serving the trams/trains and acting as a primary route into the adjacent arena, it is a public space for all to enjoy which is bathed in daylight and sheltered from the worst of the elements. Our rail related work in the centre of Manchester is set to continue with three further Northern Hub projects which will ease the current rail bottleneck in the city and further improve rail connections across the north. As with Victoria, the intention is to create contemporary spaces which confidently express the city’s aspirations just as our forebears did in the nineteenth century. As all three sites have upper level tracks, in each case the two levels are being considered Victoria Station, Manchester

Oxford Road, Manchester




‘Acoustics is a black art’ is a phrase we hear regularly when people are talking about acoustic consultants as there is a general lack of awareness either of what we do or how we do it. Hopefully this is largely due to good acoustic design. If done correctly, occupants should be completely unaware of the acoustics and simply enjoy the space. Whilst keeping us as a niche profession, this can become a barrier when working in collaborative teams. For a successful project, it is vital that all team members have an appreciation of the other professions’ needs and the impact their design may have. I believe BDP and our acousticians

Words | Gavin Ste v enson

lead the way in this regard given our interdisciplinary approach and close working environment. However, things can always be improved further perhaps by making our output more user friendly, even colourful! Historically, acoustic designs and reports were presented as endless spreadsheets and pages of technical text. Advances in computer modelling mean that we are now able to demonstrate easily acoustic design via user friendly images using colour to represent sound. As such, even if not strictly required to inform the design, modelling should be undertaken wherever possible. This means that both the client and design team can easily understand the issues faced, see the benefit of our recommendations and have the ability to make informed decisions.

Qatar National Convention Centre, Doha



Qatar National Convention Centre, Doha

Arthur Ashe Tennis Stadium, New York

The 22,000 seat Arthur Ashe Tennis Stadium in New York is a current example of where modelling imagery is assisting with the design. We have been asked to review the acoustic implications of installing a retractable roof. The two primary concerns are noise from the nearby railway line and increased crowd noise. Given the areas involved, the cost of acoustic treatment would be significant and the options available are limited. The client therefore wanted to fully understand the implications and the expected improvement before making an informed decision. In order to calibrate the acoustic models, we undertook acoustic







Tournament with the roof in a partially complete state. The images show before and after results of the modelling with regard to rail noise intrusion where a clear reflection can be seen of the train sound directly onto the court once the roofing works are complete. A second set of images shows the focusing effect of the new roof structure on crowd noise, where a green ‘wave’ can be seen heading directly towards the court. The $1.1bn Qatar National Convention Centre in Doha included virtually every possible different acoustic design element such as box-in-box 2,200 seat auditorium, ultra-low noise, adjustable acoustics. Acoustic modelling was critical to realising the client’s aspirations. Here the models were used to test several different finish types, areas and locations with the team analysing the exact effect of each one.

Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester


Performance spaces have especially exacting standards as was demonstrated in the recent refurbishment of the Royal Northern College of Music’s concert hall in Manchester. Changes to the finishes were made but most critical was the inclusion of a new balcony incorporating an additional 190 seats. Acoustic modelling on this project helped demonstrate the issues faced, contributing to an excellent outcome. Professor Linda Merrick, RNCM Principal, has confirmed this saying:

“The acoustic in the concert hall has proved to be absolutely perfect. It is simply a beautiful space to perform in—as endorsed by internationally-renowned guest artists.

It is equally good for the audience as a very clear sound, wherever you are sitting, draws you into the performance and has everything from intimacy to real vibrancy.” Modelling will continue to fulfil its role of helping realise acoustically innovative and complex designs and should be used more and more, thereby making acoustic design more accessible. Nevertheless, in the future I believe acoustics will still be seen as something of a black art, but maybe with a bit more colour!


Xi’an Jiao Tong Liverpool University in Suzhou—masterplanning and building design by our Shanghai studio in collaboration with London, Glasgow and Manchester





n last year’s annual review I reported that over the previous year we had enjoyed

Small yet significant steps have been taken in the past year to broaden our existing network of international

a 12% increase in our turnover. On the basis of a thorough review of our locations,

studios. We registered in Canada in early 2015 and we have high hopes of establishing a foothold in

professions and sectors, I predicted that we were planning on a similar level of

the country on the strength of key sector expertise. Our Dutch studio has just relocated to the centre of

percentage increase in both 2015 and 2016. Given the cyclical nature of our business,

Rotterdam, a city bursting with creative energy and one of Europe’s true design capitals.

I am not usually drawn to impulsive predictions but 12 months ago there was a very real sense that we were

Our international expansion not only offers the potential for increased project work but enables the opportunity

on the threshold of seeing several major project opportunities coming to the market in sectors where BDP

for the cross-fertilisation of ideas, methods and cultures. This creative synergy across our locations gives us

has always excelled.

a more enlightened vitality in an increasingly competitive world, with obvious benefits for our clients and our

On this occasion at least, my senses served me well as the practice experienced a 28% increase in turnover

people. We will continue to take our mission to create inspiring places for people across international frontiers

in the course of 2015. This remarkable acceleration in our workload is not only testament to the skill,

while always being conscious of our responsibilities to respect local cultural, climatic and economic forces;

application and commitment of our people but is founded on the vibrancy and vigour of our outlook and

designs rooted in place and environment.

the excellence of our design approach. However, our aspirations moving forward must always be tempered by an acknowledgement that the market can change rapidly and with little notice and in the next year we will set out to build on aspects of the practice that will shelter us from the vagaries of the economic cycle in any given location by strengthening and expanding our international network.

Our architects, engineers and designers recognise intuitively that the need to work in a fully integrated manner is essential and particularly so when our work is being delivered in remote territories. As the first practice in the country to achieve BRE’s BIM Level 2 Certification, we will bring the benefits of technology to our international working methods. The practice was founded on the belief that close working across

BDP is international in outlook and in fact. Our clients and staff expect us to bring the benefit of an

the design professions leads to more integrated solutions for our clients and we are convinced that our

international perspective to our work. Our scale demands it. We are very much part of a vibrant, global

interdisciplinary offer will enable our influence to expand beyond our current network of international

design community and we intend to increase further the proportion of work we complete outside the UK.

studios. I am confident that BDP will gain further strength and vitality by excelling in the design service we offer to our clients across the globe.

TH E G G B 57


AWARD 2 01 5

Lelystad Town Square, The Netherlands

Inovo, Glasgow

Bilthoven Station Plaza, The Netherlands

The Grenfell Baines Award is presented to the best built project over the previous twelve months by any one of BDP’s studios. It is named in honour of the firm’s founder and the man whose vision we have become, Professor Sir George Grenfell Baines. Sixteen projects were submitted this year, of which six received Best Designed Place Awards. Technology and Innovation Centre, Glasgow

Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen

Centrum, Norwich Research Park

Angel Lane Student Housing, London



Beijing Livat Centre

Victoria Station, Manchester

Inverness College

Alder Hey Children’s Healthpark, Liverpool

Enterprise Centre, University of East Anglia

Cardiff and Vale College

UK Pavilion, Milan Expo

Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton



Alder Hey Children’s Healthpark, Liverpool

T H E W I NNER “A beautiful and original design which represents innovative thinking and creates a completely new standard for its sector, not just within BDP but nationally. As we went through the building, it was wonderful to sense its vibrancy and see how enthusiastically its occupiers are using it.” David Cash



Photographers David Barbour K ate Bowe O’Brien Jonathan Browning Nick Caville Sanna Fisher-Payne Jonathan Gainer (Surface Photog raphy) Gareth Gardner Mark Hadden Mar tine Hamilton Knight Hufton + Crow Adam Letch David Millington Yoanne Sarot John Seaman Gavin Stevenson Philip Vile

Editorial | David Cash | Martin Davies Helen Moorhouse | Richard Dra gun Design | L ynda Athe y Watson Print | TaylorBloxham


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