1990

Staff numbers peak

1990
Staff numbers peak

Staff numbers peak at 1,553, the highest ever achieved. The economic downturn becomes evident as a slowdown in the retail sector halts major projects, but workload is expected to retain these high staff levels.

European strategy

1990
European strategy

As part of a strategic review, the long-term aim is to become a major pan-European design firm. This will be achieved through linking with firms on the continent and discussions have already started with a couple of practices. Subsequently BDP International is formed to concentrate efforts abroad.

Museum of Science and Industry opens

1990
Museum of Science and Industry opens

The first phase of the renovation and conversion of an 1880s railway warehouse which accommodated the world's first passenger railway station completes. Saved from demolition by the museum, the building, which itself is considered to be a major exhibit, is converted to museum use. The project wins numerous awards including a RIBA award, and several more projects for the trustees are subsequently completed including the reconstruction of Grade I listed carriage sheds built in 1830.

CastleCourt opens

1990
CastleCourt opens

The opening of CastleCourt in central Belfast, along with the surrounding new landscape on Royal Avenue brings higher quality shopping and uplift to the city as a whole. The building has a bold stainless steel and glass frontage adding sparkle and drama to the street scene. The project quickly wins a Civic Trust Award and a Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland Award.

Sheffield office moves to Carver Street

1990
Sheffield office moves to Carver Street

38 Carver Street, the first atrium office building in the region, completes and the Sheffield office moves into the building from three separate locations with a staff level of over 100 after a year of rapid growth. The building wins a RIBA Award and the office continues to occupy the building until 2008.

Two RIBA Housing Awards

1990
Two RIBA Housing Awards

The conversion of an old mill and miller's cottage into six homes in Witherslack, Cumbria and a development of 50 sheltered homes designed around internal courtyards in Bolton win RIBA Housing Awards. Both projects are undertaken by the Preston office.

Southern Region established

1990
Southern Region established

The southern offices including two London locations, Guildford and a new Bristol offshoot are reorganised into a southern region network to regain cohesion.

First retired directors’ reunion

1990
First retired directors’ reunion

The first ever retired directors’ reunion takes place in Preston office. This annual event now takes place in different offices enabling the retired directors to see how the company is progressing.

Nelson Mandela freed

1991

Ken Draper elected Chairman

1991
Ken Draper elected Chairman

Architect Ken Draper, with the practice since 1970, is initially based in the Guildford office but more recently leads the southern offices of the firm.

BDP Groupe 6 opens in Paris

1991
BDP Groupe 6 opens in Paris

The creation of BDP Groupe 6 in Paris marks the first major step towards becoming a European partnership by the end of the century. It is the culmination of a year’s dialogue with Groupe 6 of Grenoble, an architectural practice of 60 people, including engineers and building economists, with a similar philosophy of working.

BDP Rohling opens

1991
BDP Rohling opens

BDP Rohling opens in Berlin with partners Planungsbüro Rohling from Osnabrück. “Germany is proving a difficult market in the immediate post unification period but we are confident it is the right strategic move.”

Dublin office opens and Bristol closes

1991
Dublin office opens and Bristol closes

An important development is the establishment of a Dublin office to take advantage of the substantial opportunities in interior design and engineering in Ireland which can lead to multi-professional appointments. The Bristol office closes after a year in operation due to a severe downturn.

JP Morgan Bank completes

1991
JP Morgan Bank completes

The brief for JP Morgan’s new building is for a state-of-the-art financial services centre with good client facilities, offering maximum operational flexibility and requiring minimum time for construction and fit-out. The work also includes an award-winning restoration of the great hall, built for the city of London school between 1880 and 1882, and which is an important element of the river frontage. The building generates a lot of positive media coverage particularly from the Architects’ Journal, and provides a substantial workload for the London office for many years.

Cannon Bridge Offices complete

1991
Cannon Bridge Offices complete

The design for the six-storey atrium building is determined to a considerable extent by the need to preserve important views of the City of London, such as the sightlines of St Paul's Cathedral from Greenwich Observatory and London Bridge, and views of the river Thames from the Monument. The first BALI National Landscape Award is won for the extensive roof top garden.

Broomielaw Masterplan

1991
Broomielaw Masterplan

BDP initiates the project to regenerate and reintegrate the Broomielaw, a largely derelict area on the north bank of the River Clyde, by introducing a developer to the area. The masterplan focuses on driving a new pedestrian route into its heart to bridge the Argyll Street divide, creating a visual link between the city and the river and establishing a variety of new urban spaces. Six very high quality speculative office buildings, now form the heart of Glasgow’s International Financial Services District.

Nirvana's Nevermind released

1992

Allied Dunbar wins RIBA Award

1992
Allied Dunbar wins RIBA Award

The residential training centre is sensitively designed in a rural setting on a 59 hectare site five miles from Allied Dunbar's main offices in central Swindon. The building wins a RIBA award, the judges being impressed with “the balance of providing for intensive training without being clinical or depressing, and its qualities of simplicity and sophistication, as well as the overall mass being akin to ranges of stables in what was previously a stud farm.”

Eureka! completes

1992
Eureka! completes

The Eureka! building in Halifax respects its conservation area neighbours in massing and material, but is contemporary in form and detail, creating an environment which is appealing and stimulating for children. The Prince of Wales opens the children’s museum, which is the first of its kind in the UK. The building wins a RIBA Award, a Building Services Award and an English Tourist Board Award.

Bentall Centre completes

1992
Bentall Centre completes

The design for this major four-storey shopping atrium in Kingston, anchored by a department store, retains the original 1930s façade, with a central feature of a vast soaring atrium space; at 31m high and 120m long it is large enough to envelop the nave of Westminster Abbey. The spectacular arched space-frame roof is lit by almost 2,000 fibre optic lights, installed in the frame nodes, and wins the project a National Lighting Design Award as well as a HILIGHT Award for ‘Most Innovative and Ambitious Use of a New Product.’

Retail completions

1992
Retail completions

A busy year for retail completions with major projects completing in Kingston, Canterbury, Wimbledon, Sutton, Ipswich, Farnborough and Switzerland.

BREEAM

1992
BREEAM

BRE sets up an environmental assessment method for offices known as BREEAM. The Energy and Environment unit is one of the very few organisations now authorised to carry out these assessments.

Maastricht Treaty

1993

Guildford Office closes

1993
Guildford Office closes

Difficult prevailing conditions and concerns over future workload force the closure of the Guildford office. The office, which opened in 1968 and has given an outstanding financial performance over many years and produced some of the practice's key projects, joins with London after a very difficult decision.

AELTC Masterplan won

1993
AELTC Masterplan won

The masterplan for the All England Lawn Tennis Club at Wimbledon and sketch designs for a new No 1 court and facilities building begin. The brief is to create a more relaxed, quintessentially Wimbledon character, described as 'tennis in an English garden', and to ensure that the Championships at Wimbledon is maintained as the premier tennis tournament in the world.

Work starts on CrossRail

1993
Work starts on CrossRail

Exciting designs with Ralph Erskine are produced for the proposed Crossrail link connecting east and west London via a new high speed 9km underground railway. These include designing the underground sections of four central London stations at Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon and Liverpool Street.

CPD made Compulsory

1993
CPD made Compulsory

CPD for architects is made compulsory. A discussion paper is prepared setting out the aspirations, and following discussions at the partners conference agreed actions and principles are extended to all offices.

Acropolis phased out

1993
Acropolis phased out

The CAD system Acropolis, which has been used for 12 years, reaches the end of its useful life as key clients start insisting on the use of Microstation and AutoCAD for the production of working drawings, to be delivered in electronic format. Major investments are made in this area over the next few years, as use extends into other major projects.

History of BDP Video

1993
History of BDP Video

Initiated by the Quality of Life committee, the video documents the origin and early development of the practice as seen through the eyes of its founder Sir George Grenfell Baines. A copy is provided for each office to show all members of staff, and one retained by the information centres for staff to borrow.

Dyson launches its first vacuum cleaner

1994

Staff numbers and turnover at low point

1994
Staff numbers and turnover at low point

BDP continues to reduce in size in response to UK recessionary pressures. Staff numbers and turnover reach their lowest point and fee levels decline for the third year in a row.

International activities expand

1994
International activities expand

Activities continue to expand beyond the UK with the practice involved with schemes in Bangkok, Berlin, Brno, Cologne, Dublin, Frankfurt, Istanbul, Lyons, Madrid, Oporto, Osnabrück and Paris.

Roy Adams elected Chief Executive

1994
Roy Adams elected Chief Executive

Town planner Roy Adams, previously chairman of the London and Paris offices, becomes Chief Executive, a position he holds until his retirement from the practice in 2004.

Channel Tunnel opens

1994
Channel Tunnel opens

The opening of the Channel Tunnel is a moment of great historical and cultural significance. The practice has been involved with the project for over 20 years as the UK terminal's designer, with a wide-ranging brief including designing the amenities building which provides accommodation on three floors for public amenities, site administration by Eurotunnel and for frontier and security staff.

Awards for St Peter’s Campus

1994
Awards for St Peter’s Campus

St Peter's Campus at the University of Sunderland accommodates 8,000 students. It is built on a prominent site, formerly shipbuilding yards, at the mouth of the River Wear. The masterplan for the campus, creates a strong communal identity closely related to the urban fabric of the riverside and city. Phase I comprising business school, learning resource centre, catering and lecture facilities wins a RIBA award and the RFAC/Sunday Times Educational Building of the Year Award.

Sheffield Hallam University opens

1994
Sheffield Hallam University opens

The Queen officially opens the new accommodation at Sheffield Hallam University, which forms part of the major redevelopment masterplan. The new campus buildings accommodating two new schools, restaurant and retail outlets win a RIBA Award.

Preston merges with Manchester

1994
Preston merges with Manchester

The Preston office, where the practice was founded, closes and amalgamates with Manchester where there has been an office for 38 years, and from where BDP can generate a powerful presence in the city and region. The new joint office opens with a strong workload base as both offices secure significant wins throughout the recession.

Web browser Netscape Navigator released

1995

Top of the league tables

1995
Top of the league tables

BDP is voted the favourite design organisation in Building’s first annual poll of clients, contractors and surveyors. The practice also tops the first AJ100 table of architectural practices according to number of architects employed. In addition World Architecture statistics put BDP at number 14 in the world rankings and number one in Europe by fee income.

BDP International

1995
BDP International

A Madrid office is set up with Arquitectura Langdon and starts off with a good workload including work with Hertz and the design of a temple development in Madrid. Workload and staff numbers increase in both Dublin and Berlin, while the Paris office closes and BDP Groupe 6 relocates to Grenoble where Groupe 6 has its main office.

National Lottery funding

1995
National Lottery funding

The launch of the National Lottery and the awarding of grants for culture and leisure projects gives the sector’s workload a boost. Major projects such as Royal Albert Hall, Royal Opera House, National Maritime Museum and Glasgow Science Centre get the go ahead.

Brent Cross refurbishment

1995
Brent Cross refurbishment

Brent Cross in north London opened in 1976 and is the UK’s first American-style enclosed shopping centre, with air-conditioned malls and extensive free parking. A comprehensive series of improvements including the refurbishment of all the malls and major spaces plus the addition of new retail space completes. The existing malls are transformed by the introduction of natural light through internal domed rooflights. Phase I of the project wins a British Council of Shopping Centres Award.

NATS En Route Control Centre completes

1995
NATS En Route Control Centre completes

The largest and most technologically advanced air traffic control centre in the world, accommodating 800 air traffic controllers and support staff, opens at Swanwick in Hampshire. The centre, which provides a 40% increase in capacity for the en route phase of flight across England and Wales, only becomes fully operational six years later due to computer problems.

BDP Lighting established

1995
BDP Lighting established

BDP Lighting is set up as a newly formed company based in the London office, to allow BDP’s lighting specialism to have a stronger professional identity and expand its activities both within the practice and externally. The team quickly wins a number of high profile projects, and improves the impact of many of the practice's projects.

First PRP payment

1995
First PRP payment

The practice declares its first profit related pay distribution for the benefit of all permanent staff.

IT framework document

1995
IT framework document

An IT framework document announces the objective of ‘one PC per desk by 2000’ as being realistic provided the practice remains profitable. Most business PCs are replaced as the computing department develops its PC application strategy based around the Microsoft Windows environment.

DVD format developed

1996

Richard Saxon elected chairman

1996
Richard Saxon elected chairman

Architect Richard Saxon, already well known as the current president of the British Council for Offices and chairman of the London office, is elected Chairman.

www.bdp.co.uk

1996
www.bdp.co.uk

The internet address bdp.co.uk is registered. The information centres are given the facility to browse the world wide web for any information that adds value to BDP. Internet mailboxes are set up in Manchester and London to allow mail to come in electronically from external bodies, and are quickly used for projects to communicate with places such as the Czech Republic, Portugal and Russia. Pilot studies suggest all desktops will receive internal electronic mail as soon as 1997.

Matthew Gloag HQ completes

1996
Matthew Gloag HQ completes

A new headquarters building for the Famous Grouse whisky distiller completes on a greenfield site in the heart of the Tay Valley near Perth. The design of the building capitalises on the exceptional nature of the site which is clearly reflected in the elevational treatment and site planning of the building. The building wins several local awards as well as a Civic Trust commendation. "It is a confidently detailed and well built design with some delightful touches to elevations and plan".

Catherine Cookson Reading Room

1996
Catherine Cookson Reading Room

The second phase of St Peter’s Campus at Sunderland University, comprising the Computing School and the Learning Resources building, completes. The Catherine Cookson Reading Room, a free-standing single storey building, within the campus, dedicated to silent learning wins the practice a RIBA Award, one of the smallest buildings to do so.

Via Catarina wins awards

1996
Via Catarina wins awards

The urban shopping development designed in harmony with the historic centre of Porto completes and wins two top retail awards, a MIPIM Best Shopping Centre Award and an ICSC Award. "The development team has cleverly used a difficult but well located site to create a genuine multi-level centre with perfect attention to detail, which has resulted in an excellent ambience. It has all the signs of being a long-term success."

Emergence of PFI

1996
Emergence of PFI

Private Funding Initiative (PFI) emerges as a new type of procurement route which will change the pattern of practice currently experienced. “The challenge will be how to find ways of being successful in winning PFI bids, without leaving ourselves unduly exposed through the bidding process.”

Chess computer "Deep Blue" defeats world chess champion Garry Kasparov for the first time

1997

BDP incorporates

1997
BDP incorporates

The principal reason for change from partnership to a company is the flexibility it will offer in a rapidly changing marketplace, noting the strategic initiatives by and alliances between competitors and major players in the construction industry. The slogan ‘Leadership through Partnership’ is adopted in the hope that Partnership will be seen to exemplify the style and spirit of the practice for many years to come. BDP changes corporate identity to reflect the change.

AELTC’s Number One Court opens

1997
AELTC’s Number One Court opens

The new No 1 Court at Wimbledon's All England Lawn Tennis Club is opened by HRH The Duke of Kent, The Club's President. Tim Henman is the first player to play on the court at the Championships. The court wins many awards for its structure including the Institution of Structural Engineers Special Award.

White Rose Centre opens

1997
White Rose Centre opens

After 10 years of work on the project the White Rose Centre near Leeds opens to great acclaim from clients and customers, and with a frenzy of trading activity. The shopping centre comprising major stores, food court, car parking and extensive landscaping with 6,000 new trees, wins major awards including a British Council of Shopping Centres Award and ICSC European Award. The judges are particularly impressed by the high standard of architecture, the quality of daylight and the centre's very strong contemporary feel. In 2004 the centre wins BCSC Golds Established Centre Award.

Plas Mawr restored

1997
Plas Mawr restored

The Grade I listed Elizabethan town house constructed by Robert Wynn is regarded as the finest surviving example of its type in Britain. The building has remained virtually unaltered since the late 17th century, and is especially rich in its structural timber, fitted woodwork, and decorative plasterwork. BDP carries out an intensive programme of investigation and repair over a four year period. The work wins a RICS Conservation Award and a Civic Trust commendation.

BDP Advanced Technologies

1997
BDP Advanced Technologies

A spectacular string of projects is won in the micro-electronics sector for international clients such as Fujitsu, Hyundai, LG, Motorola, Seagate and Siemens. On the back of this a specialist operation, BDP Advanced Technologies based in Manchester, is set up to seek international work offering engineering-led multidisciplinary skills in the design of facilities buildings that require high levels of servicing for the use of advanced technologies in their processes. An office in Scotland is quickly established followed by a Singapore operation in 2000.

BDP International SC

1997
BDP International SC

BDP and Groupe 6 create a Société Cooperative initiative as part of a strategy to exploit core skills in Europe, and to respond to the opening of a wider healthcare market. The SC offers a better starting point to explain to prospective clients who we are and how we work together.

First Harry Potter book published

1998

Multi-Discipline Practice Of The Year

1998
Multi-Discipline Practice Of The Year

BDP wins multi-discipline practice of the year in Building Magazine’s awards. “The award honours financial success, excellent management, high standards of design, investment and innovations.”

Cribbs Causeway opens

1998
Cribbs Causeway opens

BDP’s reputation as a designer of major shopping centres is further enhanced by the opening of Cribbs Causeway, an out of town centre alongside the M5 near Bristol. The multi-award winning centre also wins the BCSC Golds Established Centre Award in 2005. The retail sector accounts for over 25% of the practice’s earnings, with the practice working on 40 retail projects totalling over 1 million sqm, in 12 countries.

Scottish Widows completes

1998
Scottish Widows completes

The new corporate headquarters for Scottish Widows is designed in keeping with the unique urban fabric of Edinburgh. The working environment is organised around an atrium with the central crescent block extending above its surroundings, affording occupants superb views of Edinburgh Castle. The project is given the MIPIM Best Office Building Award, hailed as the finest property achievement of the year on an international scale.

Opel Campus completes

1998
Opel Campus completes

A technical and management campus of new and existing buildings on a site at Rüsselsheim near Frankfurt, for German automobile manufacturer Adam Opel AG completes. The main new buildings are the headquarters and the communications centre with conference, dining, exhibition and display facilities. The building wins a RIBA award. “What impresses most is the sheer scale of the project. To produce such consistent quality is still more remarkable. The whole thing is a masterpiece of site organisation. Much of what has been done is familiar but it has been executed with care, imagination and flair.”

Chorley Temple completes

1998
Chorley Temple completes

The temple and associated accommodation for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Chorley is one of only 52 such facilities in the world and the second in the UK. The development of seven buildings is laid out to a strongly axial plan with the temple, which is clad in Olympia white granite, lying in a focal position; all are set within formal and informal garden areas which win a BALI National Landscape Award.

Tower of London Environs

1998
Tower of London Environs

The masterplan, won against strong competition, is for a seven project scheme to transform the immediate surroundings of the Tower of London. The Tower is one of only two World Heritage sites in London and constitutes the UK’s finest collection of listed buildings.

Project Effectiveness Programme

1998
Project Effectiveness Programme

A programme for continuous improvement is defined. “PEP seeks to improve productivity through cost reduction and improved working methods. The programme builds on the interlocked satisfactions of the business, our clients and people.”

Google launched as search engine

1999

National Maritime Museum completes

1999
National Maritime Museum completes

The new glazed roof over the open courtyard at the National Maritime Museum in London completes. BDP put forward the proposal in the 1991 masterplan which is designed to enhance visitor experience, increase numbers, improve operations and rationalise the museum’s estate. It is the first of BDP’s lottery funded projects to complete, and wins a Civic Trust Award and Institution of Structural Engineers Special Heritage Award.

Royal Opera House opens

1999
Royal Opera House opens

The competition to design the Royal Opera House was won in 1983, and undertaken as a joint project with Dixon Jones. The project succeeds in preserving the 140 year old theatre whilst redeveloping its backstage facilities enabling it to continue as the home of the nation's premier opera and ballet companies. The acclaimed project wins many awards including a RIBA Award, a Civic Trust Award and a Europa Nostra Diploma Of Merit, and was described in the Daily Telegraph as “...an architectural scheme of rare flexibility and glamour.”

Marks & Spencer’s largest store opens

1999
Marks & Spencer’s largest store opens

Marks & Spencer’s flagship store and its largest store to date opens in Manchester. The six-level store is a catalyst for regeneration following the bomb in 1996, and represents a major statement of M&S’s aspirations and image for the future being located at the heart of the city centre. The building wins a RIBA award. “There is real delight at all levels in this project. The jury was united in its praise for this scheme, which places civic responsibility so firmly at the head of the agenda, to produce an urban retail scheme of national significance.”

NikeTown opens

1999
NikeTown opens

The largest NikeTown in the world opens at London’s Oxford Circus. The store is a perfect example of leisure retailing being a shop, museum and entertainment all in one, and includes light and sound presentations. The project wins a Retail Property Award and National Lighting Design Award.

Vasco da Gama Centre completes

1999
Vasco da Gama Centre completes

The Vasco da Gama Centre is a large mixed use development at the heart of Lisbon’s Expo district, a regeneration of 7km of disused former docklands along the River Tagus. The retail and leisure building is on four floors with a dramatic central space, and external dining overlooking the waterfront. The project wins three major international awards including a MIPIM Best Shopping Centre Award and ICSC Awards from Europe and USA. The centre is flanked by two residential towers the last of which completes in 2005.

Liverpool office opens in Rope Walks

1999
Liverpool office opens in Rope Walks

The public realm project comprising streets and squares for the historic Rope Walks area of Liverpool city centre, leads to the opening of a small site office to enable the team to work effectively on the project as well as to increase the chances of winning more work in the area. In 2003 office expands and moves to larger premises in St Peter's Square.

Urbanism group established

1999
Urbanism group established

A new team dedicated to urban development is established as a direct response to the changing urban policy agenda. Particular expertise is in innovative mixed-use initiatives, town centre strategies, masterplans for urban and brown field sites and environmental policy studies. The urbanism group draws on the core skills of planning, architecture, landscape architecture and urban design, and has excellent links with specialist consultants in the field of development economics and transportation.

Website and Intranet launched

1999
Website and Intranet launched

BDP's website is officially launched as the main marketing tool. The intranet is also launched as an electronic version of the handbook which includes local office information, employment and quality of life, the spirit of BDP, the quality system manual and office administrative procedures. The in-house magazine Contact is sent to all staff electronically.

Texting takes off