1961

BDP launches as a multidisciplinary practice

1961
BDP launches as a multidisciplinary practice

Design Partnership, formerly The Grenfell Baines Group, launches as the first multidisciplinary practice on 5 April. The genuine newness of the concept is that it is an equal partnership between members of different professions. The name changes to Building Design Partnership on 15 December to avoid conflict with another business of that name.

Locations and Partners

1961
Locations and Partners

The practice has five studio locations: Preston, Manchester, Blackpool, Derby and London, and is founded by four partners: George Grenfell Baines (fondly known as GG), John Wilkinson, Arnold Towler and Bill White.

Aldershot office opens after major project won

1961
Aldershot office opens after major project won

Aldershot Military Town is the largest building project in the British Army’s history. BDP’s planners create broad zones of living and working running through the major military units so that functional areas in each unit are linked. The 700 hectare site includes barracks, catering, health and recreation facilities, training, technical and maintenance areas. BDP goes on to design many of the new buildings within the complex and the large and rapid programme of work calls for extensive use of industrialised building techniques.

Pilgrim Hospital competition won

1961
Pilgrim Hospital competition won

BDP breaks into the healthcare sector with this competition winning scheme which represents a new building type for the practice. Building starts on the 523 bed district general hospital in August 1967 and completes in two phases, the last one in 1974.

This project launches the fledgling London office.

Man goes into space for the first time

1962

Earning our living – the 1962 report

1962
Earning our living – the 1962 report

The first report as Building Design Partnership sets out ‘how we gain and share our income’ as the firm expands.

This early evolution of income sharing in the firm attracts much interest from outside over the next few years and an article on the history and application of the scheme appears in the RIBA Journal of September 1965.

Monthly circular

1962
Monthly circular

A series of monthly newsletters titled ‘BDP Monthly Circular’ is issued. These duplicated sheets, with a blue title block, are a precursor to the internal magazine Contact which still exists today.

Leeds planning office opens after hospital won

1962
Leeds planning office opens after hospital won

Planning work for Leeds General Infirmary gives the practice enough work to set up a planning office in Leeds. The project forms two distinct stages, and leads to full multidisciplinary detail design work for the initial phases of development in 1969.

Blackpool office closes

1962
Blackpool office closes

The Blackpool office, which opened in Topping Street in 1955, closes.

First James Bond film released

1963

The Three Rs - Responsibility, Recognition and Reward

1963
The Three Rs - Responsibility, Recognition and Reward

Central to the creation of an identity in an enterprise with many contributing disciplines is the acceptance of the idea of sharing. The Three Rs, inherited from the Grenfell Baines Group days, are developed further in Partners’ Reports of 1962 and 1963, which set the context and approach for the newly emerging practice. “We were sharing Responsibility, Recognition and Reward as we related to each other. It applied to designing buildings and our personal relationships as we worked together to make the firm successful and keep it solvent.”

BDP appoints first Communications Officer

1963
BDP appoints first Communications Officer

BDP is one of the first practices to embrace marketing through the establishment of a Communications Unit and employment of a communication officer, though architects are not officially allowed by the RIBA Code to publicise themselves. The unit’s remit extends to internal as well as external communications to promote a sense of unity and keep offices informed about what is happening around the practice as it expands.

Kodak introduces the Instamatic 100 camera

1964

Partners increase from 5 to 14

1964
Partners increase from 5 to 14

BDP began as a traditional partnership of four joined by a fifth in 1963. They carry responsibility for the whole firm, whilst associates co-ordinate operations in each of the six operating groups. Ten of these associates are invited to become salaried group partners in 1964 and the original five become known as general partners. This permits a large and immediate widening of the partnership whilst keeping the financial control and distribution of work in the hands of a relatively small and experienced group.

First issue of Contact

1964
First issue of Contact

Contact magazine in A4 format replaces a series of monthly circulars. “the prime purpose of the magazine is, as the name implies, contact inside the firm in technical, management and social terms, formal and informal....people should feel free to voice their opinions.”

Derby and Leeds join Manchester

1964
Derby and Leeds join Manchester

To implement an all-in service group office in Manchester, personnel and projects from the Derby and Leeds offices are moved to Manchester, and the first engineers join the architects and surveyors there to carry out a varied all-in programme.

Major town planning commissions won

1964
Major town planning commissions won

The firm has early success with planning commissions for towns including Derby, Chester and Huddersfield. Others like Blackburn, Leicester and Rochdale lead to full town centre development schemes.

Wolfson Hall completes

1964
Wolfson Hall completes

The first multidisciplinary project to complete is the halls of residence for the University of Glasgow’s veterinary school, won in competition in 1960.

Bullet train starts running in Japan

1965

Major university development plans won

1965
Major university development plans won

The development plan for the University of Surrey is the first of three large campuses won during the 1960s. BDP is commissioned for all professions to design the majority of academic, housing, social and library buildings for the first three phases. The commission is followed quickly by the development plan for University of Bradford and the practice goes on to design all academic, library, communal, social and student residential buildings on the campus over a ten year period, again a full multidisciplinary commission.

Belfast Central Area Plan leads to office opening

1965
Belfast Central Area Plan leads to office opening

With the Belfast planning commission we reach a turning point in our history. This commission requires the opening of an office in Belfast with a staff of geographers, valuers and surveyors as well as planners. With Belfast as its base the planning group is now formally established and recognised with recent partner appointments. It is responsible for all planning consultancy commissions and for providing advice for large architectural projects from any office.

Mini-skirt becomes top fashion item

1966

Income share system improved

1966
Income share system improved

There is a feeling amongst the partners that a personal assessment out of 20 shares leaves too little room for manoeuvre and this increases to a maximum of 30 with five sub-headings: Personality 4 shares; Ability and Potential 7 shares; Drive 4 shares; Responsibility 7 shares; Performance 8 shares.

Nottingham Teaching Hospital won

1966
Nottingham Teaching Hospital won

This groundbreaking multidisciplinary project win for a 1,400 bed hospital also provides medical and nursing schools with staff accommodation. After considerable discussion the partners decide that a partial commission of just architecture and civil & structural engineering should be refused in the interest of remaining an integrated practice. In the end QS commission is also awarded.

First Civic Trust Award

1966
First Civic Trust Award

The first Civic Trust award is won for the North Western Gas Board Headquarters in Altrincham. The brief was given in December 1962 and the £1m building completes in December 1964. The tight programme is achieved with a high standard of finish and equipment, using non traditional contract forms and methods of construction.

Landscape - new area of achievement

1966
Landscape - new area of achievement

The entry for Newcastle Town Moor landscape competition is placed second – a new area of achievement for the practice.

GG meets Walter Gropius

1966
GG meets Walter Gropius

GG had written of his discovery of Walter Gropius and the Bauhaus which at that moment in Germany brought together artists, sculptors, industrial designers, photographers and architects in an attempt to create a unity of arts and technology. Learning of Gropius inspires him to do the same with the building industry and professions within a group practice. Years later with BDP well established, he visits Gropius at Harvard and tells him what he has achieved. “You have done what I would have liked to do at Dessau.” Gropius said. GG recalls 'Just then I felt I had turned to look down from the mountain realising just how far we had climbed.'

England win the World Cup

1967

GG becomes RIBA vice president

1967
GG becomes RIBA vice president

GG is elected to RIBA Council in 1952, eventually becoming senior vice president in 1967. This position means automatic presidency the following term though, unusually, he is not supported when the time comes and someone else is elected.

Thereafter he has nothing more to do with the RIBA.

Presentation Unit set up

1967
Presentation Unit set up

The Presentation Unit is set up with representatives in each office and operates as a separate cost centre in the practice.

The unit contributes graphic expertise notably hospital and university signage systems, along with projects like Preston Bus Station, and improves the quality of the reports and presentation work including external communications.

First trip abroad to Expo 67 Montreal

1967
First trip abroad to Expo 67 Montreal

One educational idea is large scale firm-wide trips to see important places with the aim of building mutual understanding and rapport. “With experience not only will our knowledge of world class buildings and environments grow but so will our ability to analyse, dissect and profit from what we see.” Following Expo 67 there are successful trips to Helsinki, Munich, Rome, Chicago, Paris, Berlin and Israel.

Colour TV broadcast in UK

1968

Bürolandschaft at Vernon Street

1968
Bürolandschaft at Vernon Street

Preston office moves into new open plan premises based on the German bürolandschaft principle. A great deal of time and money is spent on what is seen as a major managerial and social experiment, to develop a multidisciplinary design group where people from all professions can work together more closely. After four months it is reported in the Partners’ Report that: “we are all happier at work, walking about less, finding fewer frustrations, dressing smarter, keeping better hours, meeting people we never spoke to before – all healthy signs of an organisation moving up to another plateau of attainment”

London office moves to Gresse Street

1968
London office moves to Gresse Street

London office moves from Chandos Street to 16 Gresse Street where it stays for the next 35 years, initially on only four floors but eventually in the whole building. The office now has partner representation in all major professions and of particular significance is the design of the large central stand at the biennial Building Exhibition at Olympia.

Guildford office opens

1968
Guildford office opens

Guildford office opens to take up the civilian work in Aldershot, and to take responsibility for work south of London as it experiences dramatic growth.

Commission for Ulster College Campus

1968
Commission for Ulster College Campus

BDP wins the commission to prepare a development plan for Ulster College to create a combined institution of higher non-university and further education, with a diversity of teaching disciplines to complement Northern Ireland’s university education provision. Design work for academic, housing, social and library buildings follows with all the major building completing within 10 years. This college is later to become the University of Ulster.

Appointment of first programmer

1968
Appointment of first programmer

“Programming and progressing the work has been taken out of the hands of our ‘professional amateurs’ and men with specialised knowledge now relieve the technical staff of this work..… This is another step in implementing our policy of getting skilled staff to do many of the specialised administrative jobs in the firm, so giving designers more time to design.”

Housing and Planning units set up

1968
Housing and Planning units set up

A housing unit is set up with members in each office and a specialist in Preston is appointed to operate on a firm-wide basis. The planning unit relocates from Belfast ready to undertake any work in the UK and abroad.

First successful heart transplant operation

1969

Practice Leadership Expands

1969
Practice Leadership Expands

20 group (salaried) partners join six general (equity) partners in full profit sharing, with general partners controlling finance and work allocation. Shortly after the UK Board of Trade lifts the legal limit of 20 partners and BDP becomes a single partnership of 26 partners.

Preston Bus Station completes

1969
Preston Bus Station completes

One of the largest transport structures in the UK completes. Preston Bus Station and Car Park serves the town and region with 80 bus gates sheltered by the decks of a 1000 space car park served by ramps.

The dramatic and Brutalist building is one of BDP’s best known buildings. In 2010 Culture Secretary Ben Bradshaw rejects English Heritage’s recommendation to list the building.

Glasgow office opens

1969
Glasgow office opens

Glasgow office opens with four staff, anticipating that its major contribution in the area could be system-built houses and hotels.

Largest Commission Completes

1969
Largest Commission Completes

The completion of BDP’s largest commission so far for Aldershot Military Town, amounting to £20m of work over five years and a major experiment in large-scale industrialised building methods, results in the closure of the Aldershot office.

Brief for Halifax Building Society

1969
Brief for Halifax Building Society

The response to the brief for Halifax Building Society’s new headquarters, one of the practice's most comprehensive documents of its type to date, is accepted by the client. The design is approved and starts on site in late 1969. “BDP is commissioned for all professional work including furnishing, and the nature of the design will give a great opportunity to demonstrate the quality of BDP service in a building which should arouse international interest.”

Concorde’s maiden flight

1970

United Nations HQ

1970
United Nations HQ

An international jury of eminent architects and building experts opts eight to one for BDP's £70m competition winning scheme for the UN office in Vienna. However the UN rejects their recommendations and the design for the megastructure is never built. Building Design magazine reports: “The blocking of the prestigious award for one of the world’s largest buildings to BDP has triggered off the biggest controversy since Le Corbusier’s scheme for the League of Nations in Geneva was rejected. This time the building is the UN international conference centre in Vienna. The British Embassy in Vienna is concerned about the situation and the Foreign Office is keeping a close watch on developments. BDP is riding out the trauma in stoic silence."

Merger with engineers Lowe & Rodin

1970
Merger with engineers Lowe & Rodin

Engineers Lowe & Rodin merge with BDP, having worked together on Aldershot Military Town and also bringing some of their projects with them such as Liverpool Catholic Cathedral. “We have greatly increased in size and our fee income has doubled. We are therefore more assured and ready to move into new fields at home and abroad. The most exciting of these fields is civil engineering..... The combined firm will be over 500 strong and is probably the only one in the world practising as a totally integrated multidisciplinary design unit with full professional representation at every level in the structure of the practice. By this merger, BDP confirms its belief that the future of man's environment lies more in complete identity of design practice and purpose than in professional isolation or temporary association."

Functional committees formed

1970
Functional committees formed

A series of functional committees is formed to avoid inefficiencies and keep high standards of reward and working conditions. Each is charged with shaping policy, checking progress and reporting to the general partnership. The committees are: Co-ordination, Communications, Staff and Welfare, Premises, Office Services, Legal, Programming, Finance, and Presentation.

Raleigh Chopper introduced to UK

1971

Bank of England in Leeds completes

1971
Bank of England in Leeds completes

This milestone project completes and is highly praised for its extremely high quality in terms of finishes and services. "The occupants work in a fully air-conditioned environment and are insulated from traffic noise by double glazing. The decision to air-condition had an influence upon the exterior of the building; window sizes were reduced to avoid excessive solar heat gain and for the same reason and also to reduce internal glare, a bronze tinted glass was used in all windows. Apart from the walkway which was finished in grit blasted concrete all external solid surfaces were clad in grey Cornish granite. The windows were simple frames of dark bronze set flush with the granite and formed into projecting bays which echoed in a modern idiom, the scale of the bank's older neighbours."

BDP International

1971
BDP International

As the UK economic situation worsens the practice invests heavily in international activities with established bases in Johannesburg, Rome and Memphis. These are intended to be self-supporting and with growth potential in their own country, but jointly to provide a framework for opportunities anywhere in the world. The opening phases of action are intended to establish BDP International firmly among the major international organisations.

Decimalisation

1972

Channel Tunnel UK Terminal

1972
Channel Tunnel UK Terminal

BDP is selected from a formidable list of top consultants for the study of the Channel Tunnel UK Terminal, representing an important breakthrough into a new type of work with a major civil engineering content. Initial reference designs and further studies for the 125 hectare site are prepared alongside contract documents for the works due to commence on site in 1975. However the project is cancelled by the UK government in January that year.

First Major Retail Project Completes

1972
First Major Retail Project Completes

The first two phases of Blackburn Town Centre complete, consisting of a service area, shops, roof level and multi-storey car park, a 15 storey office building, a nightclub and large department stores. The concrete frame structure is clad entirely with glazed tiles, white for horizontal and brown for the vertical structural elements. This rigid theme unifies the whole development and allows flexibility for individual shops with the modular grid system. Phase I completes in 1969 and wins a Civic Trust Award.

PM opens Engineering Building at Bradford

1972
PM opens Engineering Building at Bradford

Prime Minister Edward Heath opens the Civil Engineering Building at the University of Bradford and BDP holds an exhibition and commissions a brochure. The leader of the opposition, Harold Wilson, is also present as Chancellor of the University. GG meets them both.

New Management Group Structure

1972
New Management Group Structure

BDP restructures with GG as the first chairman with a brief to chair meetings of the newly appointed Northern and Southern Resource Area managers, to be called the BDP Management Group and to be responsible for partnership interests overall. The group is elected by the partnership as a whole and is eligible for re-election every three years. This will allow equality and flexibility, and establish a clearer structure for the unity of the firm. Each partner has specific areas of responsibility within clearly defined roles and office chairmen are appointed to ensure co-ordination of office activities.

RIBA Conference visits BDP

1972
RIBA Conference visits BDP

The RIBA conference is held in Lancaster. The most popular excursion is to see new buildings in Preston including the bus station and it concludes with a tour of BDP’s Preston offices and refreshments in its own Vernon Gallery.

GG becomes Professor

1972
GG becomes Professor

GG is appointed to the Chair of Architecture and Head of Department at University of Sheffield, for a three year professorship whilst keeping his ties with BDP.

Pocket calculator replaces slide rule

1973

A large increase in new work.

1973
A large increase in new work.

A large increase in new work leads to BDP’s biggest increase in staff to date, amid a sense of growing industrial unrest in the country as a whole.

Haymarket Centre and Theatre opens

1973
Haymarket Centre and Theatre opens

BDP’s retail success continues with the completion of another large scale development. The Haymarket development in Leicester consists of shopping space at ground and first floor levels with parking for 500 cars on two levels on top and an office building above this again. A 710 seat theatre is set above the ground level shopping at the north end of the site.

Albert Dock Conservation

1973
Albert Dock Conservation

Liverpool Council’s decision to acquire and convert the Albert Dock as the new home for Liverpool Polytechnic follows the recommendation of a BDP feasibility study of shortlisted sites. The commission is for the conversion of the Victorian structures around the seven acre dock, the largest attempt to reuse old buildings for modern activity in Europe. All planning approval and listed building consent is obtained; however indecision by Liverpool Polytechnic over the relocation, and local party politics, stalls the project in 1977.

Interior Design Unit set up in London

1973
Interior Design Unit set up in London

An interior design unit is set up in London, and very soon develops in strength and reputation with a series of workplace fit-outs for companies including Shell and Arthur Andersen, and the interior design and fixed furniture for the Lisbon Bank project and Northern Bank, Belfast, and BDP’s offices.

Overseas associations wound up

1973
Overseas associations wound up

BDP winds up associations with overseas practices in Johannesburg, Memphis and Rome due to economic instability and changes in the firm’s policy.

Music Society and Vernon Gallery

1973
Music Society and Vernon Gallery

Joseph Cooper from the BBC’s ‘Face the Music’ programme reports that it is a coveted honour to be asked to perform for BDP’s Music Society. Recitals are held every season in Preston office’s own Vernon Gallery, which attract a lot of attention externally along with other events including fashion shows, language classes and folk evenings.

Twin Towers complete in New York

1974

GG Retires and Bill White takes over

1974
GG Retires and Bill White takes over

Bill White takes over chair of partnership as BDP’s founder, GG, retires on 30 April. The day is declared a holiday and all members of the firm are invited to the Preston Guildhall. Special transport is arranged and 650 people enjoy a celebration lunch to wish him and his wife, Milena, well for the future.

Queen Opens Halifax Building Society Headquarters

1974
Queen Opens Halifax Building Society Headquarters

The completion of Halifax Building Society headquarters arouses considerable comment and interest from lay and technical press both locally and nationally, resulting in a scholarly approval from the Architectural Review, and the BBC’s ‘Spirit of the Age’ which cites it as an outstanding example of sophisticated modern design. The building has become part of the society's corporate identity, and it continues to respond to evolving work methods and to demonstrate the society's care for its staff. BDP goes back twice to refurbish the offices to accommodate changes in working methods and technology, in 1994 and again in 2000.

Grenfell Baines Award introduced

1974
Grenfell Baines Award introduced

BDP initiates an annual internal travel scholarship known as the Grenfell Baines Award, to promote the development of ideas which will contribute to improving the quality and enjoyment of life and work, and also provide research for the practice. The recipients are given a £1000 voucher for travel and photography.

The Design Teaching Practice

1974
The Design Teaching Practice

GG’s new venture, the Design Teaching Practice, starts in Sheffield with loose ties to the university. It had long been his hope to inaugurate a teaching office with a role similar to that of a medical school, where young designers can receive practical training to supplement their theoretical education and the DTP is the realisation of that aim.

First Structural Steel Award for Halifax Building Society

1974
First Structural Steel Award for Halifax Building Society

The judges comment “The structure is a practical combination of steel and concrete to provide an economic solution. The use of the space in the steel frame on the second floor to house the air handling plant is economic in terms of space and air conditioning. The building fits well into its surroundings and although from certain angles appears to dominate them, the overall scale is not obtrusive in what is a small-scale town. The way in which the ground floor has been restricted to allow for well landscaped pedestrian access around the building is highly commendable and helps to integrate the building with its surroundings.”

Barcode used for the first time

1975

Slow down in economy

1975
Slow down in economy

All offices are affected by the developing recession in the building industry. The importance of large continuous projects and the greater vulnerability of smaller offices to a sudden reduction in workload are highlighted.

Durham Millburngate completes

1975
Durham Millburngate completes

Phase I of the riverside development creates a centre that provides much needed shopping facilities without destroying the existing medieval character of the historic city. The scheme goes on to win top awards including a RIBA Award, Civic Trust Award, and also the highly prestigious Europa Nostra Medal, the only such medal to be awarded in Great Britain, and also the only modern building in Europe to be recognised in this way.

Two Civic Trust Heritage Awards

1975
Two Civic Trust Heritage Awards

In European Architectural Heritage Year, the Civic Trust Awards are given to works of restoration, reuse, redevelopment in historic setting, and environmental improvements. BDP wins two awards, both for reuse of buildings: Southport Arts Centre, Merseyside for reusing the Cambridge Halls building and Samlesbury Hall, Lancashire, restored and converted as a centre for the Council for the Protection of Rural England. Both winners are designed by Preston office, and conversion of existing buildings now features strongly in the new work of all offices.

First RIBA Award for Halifax Building Society

1975
First RIBA Award for Halifax Building Society

Halifax Building Society is awarded BDP’s first RIBA Award for Architecture, recognised as the premier design award. The judges comment “This is a fine piece of architecture – bold, confident and uplifting. Although almost arrogant in concept, the building nevertheless bends to the humble street pattern. Wherever one is there seems to be a view which delights. The client is rewarded with one of the finest office environments in Britain today and one which is likely to remain so for a long time to come. It is a building of which the society can be proud, the town can be proud and our profession must surely be proud.”

Typewriters upgraded to IBM Executives

1975
Typewriters upgraded to IBM Executives

All BDP typewriters are upgraded with the IBM Executive with mid century typeface, and IBM document copiers are installed in the bigger offices.

British Leyland Research Centre

1975
British Leyland Research Centre

The appointment for this enormous project of major national significance comes directly as a result of the publicity for Halifax Building Society and BDP’s growing professional reputation. The commission represents a move into the industrial sector at the highest level of scale and sophistication. The project gives the firm’s workload a significant boost for several years before hopes of it ever getting built gradually fade due to British Leyland’s part nationalisation and a major cull of its assets.

Microsoft Corporation established

1976

ICI Wilton wins RIBA Award

1976
ICI Wilton wins RIBA Award

The new headquarters and research facilities for the petrochemicals division of ICI at Wilton, Teeside quickly become known as the Wilton Hilton. The RIBA Award judges say: “The result is a building excellent of its type, making full use of its fine site. The project has a high quality of design and consistency of treatment and detailing. The jury has no doubt that the scheme as a whole fully meets the high standards required for an award.”

Pilgrim Hospital completes

1976
Pilgrim Hospital completes

The 523 bed hospital, on a greenfield site with staff accommodation, completes 15 years after the competition was won. Buildings are orientated to maximise views onto the attractive landscaped grounds, and circulation routes provide quick and easy access for staff and visitors.

Landscape Unit set up in Manchester

1976
Landscape Unit set up in Manchester

A landscape architecture unit is established in Manchester office which is already influencing the siting and conception for our projects, and aims to enlarge its role throughout the firm. This unit, similar in concept to the interiors group in London and graphic concentration in Preston, will enable a viable group of specialist designers to serve the whole firm.

Development Committee

1976
Development Committee

A development committee is set up to co-ordinate the many activities concerning job opportunities. Its principal task is to implement the firm’s decision to explore job opportunities abroad and make up for the probability that the volume of work in the UK will remain low for several years.

Ergon Chair invented

1977

Queen opens Nottingham QMC

1977
Queen opens Nottingham QMC

BDP’s biggest project to date, the 1,400 bed Queen's Medical Centre at Nottingham, is opened by the Queen. Planning commenced in 1965 and building work began on the first phase in 1971. The programme completes in 1980.

Northern Bank HQ wins RIBA Award

1977
Northern Bank HQ wins RIBA Award

The seven storey building provides accommodation for the major departments of the Northern Bank Head Office and the bank’s main city branch in Belfast. The RIBA judges state: “The design successfully achieves the difficult task of providing a building which, while emphatically stating its importance as housing a major financial and commercial headquarters, does not challenge the dominance of the City Hall, nor add another strident note to an already cacophonous chorus from the hotchpotch of styles and periods elsewhere in the square.”

Keith Ingham Vice President of RIBA

1977
Keith Ingham Vice President of RIBA

Keith Ingham is elected as a Vice President of the RIBA, a status never achieved before by a salaried architect from private practice.

Long Service Award

1977
Long Service Award

The Staff and Welfare Committee announces the launch of the first long service awards. Ten members take a month’s leave of absence to undertake a research project agreed by the firm. This gives them the opportunity to extend their knowledge and at the same time bring back yet more skill and experience to BDP.

Restructure of Management Group

1977
Restructure of Management Group

The Management Group is restructured with four members who have a full time commitment and a minimum period in office of two years. The group exercises collective responsibility but each individual has one of four areas of particular interest: Strategic Planning; Quality of Product; Quality of Life; Finance and Administration. Greater emphasis is given to the role of office chairmen who are responsible to the Management Group for integrating all activities of their office and for its performance results.

Computer Unit established

1977
Computer Unit established

A HP3000 series II computer is installed at a cost of £120,000 to provide a springboard for computer advancement across the whole firm. A computer services manager is appointed with the brief to convert the systems from the PDP8s and promote the use of computers in all professions in all offices. The HP3000 is capable of handling 16 simultaneous users and there are terminals in Manchester, London and Guildford connected by normal Post Office telephone lines. Preston office has two terminals hard-wired to the computer and the Computing Unit has four terminals.

Pompidou Centre opens

1978

Upturn in the Economy

1978
Upturn in the Economy

“The outlook this year is much brighter, a significant increase in enquiries to all offices and major projects secured in every one; old projects restored to life; past efforts coming to fruition and a growing awareness that the benefits of integrated practice are appreciated. Hopefully the year will be seen as the first step to recovery after the most severe depression the firm has ever faced.”

RIBA Award for Chloride Technical

1978
RIBA Award for Chloride Technical

BDP’s fourth successive RIBA Award is given to Chloride Technical Research and Development Centre in Swinton (Greater Manchester). “This is an industrial building of outstanding quality. The client’s demand for flexibility has been successfully met in a structure which, without looking in any way cheap, is economical and has allowed a high proportion of the budget to be spent on comprehensive services. All in all, a competent piece of design which looks attractive and which stands out from the mediocrity of the earlier industrial buildings which surround it.”

Swansea Quadrant Shopping Centre

1978
Swansea Quadrant Shopping Centre

BDP’s reputation for major town centre redevelopments is enhanced with the completion of Swansea Quadrant Shopping Centre, an adjoining store for Debenhams, both of which open in time for Christmas, together with a major bus interchange.

GG knighted

1978
GG knighted

BDP is knighted in Queen’s birthday honours list. BDP’s founder and consultant becomes Professor Sir George Grenfell Baines, thus crowning his ahievements in private practice, the building design professions, the construction industry and academia.

First BDP Database

1978
First BDP Database

The Computing Unit sets up BDP’s first database to assist Strategic Planning in its creation of a contacts register. This quickly grows to include the share system, the drawings archival records, staff qualifications and historical job closure numbers.

Grease

1979

Difficult year with major setbacks

1979
Difficult year with major setbacks

The year starts with cancellation and postponement of some major projects causing considerable concern, and a serious downturn in both workload and profitability looks imminent.

Associate Partners

1979
Associate Partners

A new layer of management is introduced. Associate Partners are appointed to extend recognition and leadership and to encourage delegation.

Tehran Bus Terminal completes

1979
Tehran Bus Terminal completes

BDP completes its first major building abroad. Designed with local architect Y Ittihadieh & Partners the circular building sits below street level with pedestrian access over a bridge. The building is designed to handle 50,000 passengers and 850 bus movements per day, and serve all long distance bus journeys from the capital to other cities and countries.

Bill Pearson elected Chairman of Council

1979
Bill Pearson elected Chairman of Council

The principal aim of forming a Council is to bring back incisive leadership by a small group, which has the delegated authority to make operational policy, determine objectives, and ensure implementation through the Management Group. Council comprises the four managing partners, each with their own area of interest, who form the Executive, and six non-executive members who continue in operational roles and are elected for their potential to contribute to the firm as individuals.

Glasgow Office moves to Blythswood Square

1979
Glasgow Office moves to Blythswood Square

Staff numbers in Glasgow increase by 50% over the year to almost 40 as the office moves towards a full multidisciplinary office. A number of significant project wins add to the large amount of tenement rehabilitation work for housing associations that gives the office the bulk of its workload. The office moves to 5 Blythswood Square, in order to accommodate the increase, where it remains until 2004.

Multidisciplinary Groupings

1979
Multidisciplinary Groupings

Manchester has a radical change from a profession orientated to a project orientated office. It reforms into three multidisciplinary groups and group leaders are responsible for the management of all projects, supported by profession partners. In order to sharpen decision making a mini management group of three partners is formed leaving other partners free for professional and other functions.

Introduction of the Brown Paper

1979
Introduction of the Brown Paper

The first Brown Paper is issued in November 1979 and signals the end of what was known as the Practice and Participation debate. Its conclusions are set out under the heading 'New Developments in BDP' a partnership statement on the next steps in the evolution of the firm. Subsequent Brown Papers summarise reports of each financial year, value of the income share, value of the membership remainder profit share, any major changes in structure and new leadership appointments.

Slide Set Introduced

1979
Slide Set Introduced

Audio-visual techniques advance during the year with research on methods most likely to suit BDP. Cross fading and recording slide projectors improve presentations and Communications provide each office with a set of slides useful for introducing the firm, its methods and its achievements to prospective clients and staff. The slide set is modular, its elements able to be dropped into different presentations and evolves into a PowerPoint presentation which is still widely used throughout the practice today.

Sony Walkman

1980

Professional practice change forecast

1980
Professional practice change forecast

BDP forecasts a transformation of professional practice in the building industry. “The successful practices will probably be larger, cover a wider range of professional service and combine design excellence with strong management. The 1980s will certainly be difficult; we enter them cautiously but with confidence.”

Lisbon Bank completes

1980
Lisbon Bank completes

Banco Espirito Santo e Comercial de Lisboa’s headquarters completes. The impressive building features a variety of functions contained within a restricted city centre site, sophisticated engineering systems, and a high quality of integrated design in the banking hall at street level – stopped for the 1974 revolution and then carried out during the turbulent political and economic remainder of the decade in Portugal. BDP opens a Portuguese office to strengthen relationships made working on the project.

Ballachulish wins awards

1980
Ballachulish wins awards

A tremendous transformation of closed slate quarries and 25 hectares of waste tips on Loch Linnhe, reintegrates the site into the surrounding natural landscape and rectifies the environmental damage caused by the quarry. Landscape features indistinguishable from their surroundings are created. The huge land reclamation project goes on to win a Civic Trust Award and a Europa Nostra Diploma of Merit giving Glasgow office its highest achievement to date.

BDP leads RIBA Award league table

1980
BDP leads RIBA Award league table

The RIBA award for the Clinical Sciences Building at St James’s Hospital in Leeds puts BDP at the top of the league table in terms of number of RIBA awards won by a single practice. The assessors comment: “The building is a distinguished addition to its setting. The plan form is an economical solution which caters to a wide range of different functions and services. The detailing and workmanship are of a high order. The fact that the contract was completed within budget, on time, to a high standard, without any outstanding claims and to the satisfaction of all parties is a credit to all concerned.”

Sheffield and Nottingham open

1980
Sheffield and Nottingham open

Two new offices open to maximise chances of winning work in new markets. A major event is the taking over of GG’s Design Teaching Practice in Sheffield to establish a new office location under the wing of the Manchester office. Preston office initiates the development of a new office in Nottingham based on the site office for the Queens Medical Centre Teaching Hospital.

Multi-professional teams in London

1980
Multi-professional teams in London

A significant change in the structure of the London office with two multi-professional teams of approximately 30 staff each complemented by a third team of mono-professional specialists.

BDP’s first logo appears

1980
BDP’s first logo appears

The corporate identity, largely unchanged since the beginnings in 1961 is revised to project a fresh image for the new decade. The name BDP is formally adopted alongside Building Design Partnership recognising the regular use of our initials and giving us a linking name for many subsidiary ventures.

Pacman

1981

BDP defies UK recession

1981
BDP defies UK recession

Despite deepening UK recession BDP reports “Workload has been expanded, profitability has improved, cashflow has been excellent and prospects for the future are good in almost all locations. Morale is high and our problems are the positive dynamic ones of resourcing projects, investing and providing for the future.” BDP Landscape, BDP Computing Services and BDP Project Management Services Ltd are set up to expand BDP’s areas of expertise and increase chances of mono professional work.

Jack Rodin first Chief Executive

1981
Jack Rodin first Chief Executive

Engineer Jack Rodin becomes the first chief executive to the partnership through Council and with responsibility for the total performance of the firm. Profession chairmen are appointed to ensure the highest level of competence and quality.

Cromwell Hospital completes

1981
Cromwell Hospital completes

The first major private hospital to be completed by BDP is one of the top clinics in Europe. On a prime site in Kensington, it offers comprehensive medical and surgical care via a wide range of specialist departments. The six storey block, soundproofed from the main road, houses 120 single bed wards and VIP suites with finishes inside and out of an outstanding high quality.

Civic Trust Award for Shade House

1981
Civic Trust Award for Shade House

The new control centre for Greater Manchester County Fire Service is developed on a very restricted site. “Considerable skill has been shown in reducing the apparent scale of the new building to fit in with its suburban neighbours. Quality of detailing and control of space, allied to the integration of the soft and hard landscape within the complex, sets this building in a class apart.”

Belfast office expansion

1981
Belfast office expansion

Belfast office expands its remit with new office locations in Londonderry and Ballymena though due to the length and severity of the recession and damage to the Irish economy, both offices are forced to close two years later. Belfast’s plans to move into part of a new building designed by BDP with the capacity to expand to 75 staff are put on hold.

BDP Handbook

1981
BDP Handbook

The Handbook, a significant green lever arch file ,is issued to every member of staff and contains everything anyone needs to know about the practice and working in it. The Essence of BDP, produced simultaneously, forms the front end of the Handbook and covers the 20 years of BDP’s history and its ethos, and structure published for the first time. This booklet also has an external audience.

Low Energy Hospital Study

1981
Low Energy Hospital Study

The commission for a Low Energy Hospital study puts BDP at the forefront of the fast developing energy specialisation. Following the study, the practice is commissioned for the M&E design of a specific hospital project embracing the recommendations made.

St Mary's on the Isle of Wight becomes the first prototype low energy hospital.

Group Profit Sharing Scheme launched

1981
Group Profit Sharing Scheme launched

Out of 297 members of staff eligible, 225 commit approximately £500,000 of funding. This very high proportion demonstrates an exceptional degree of faith and loyalty in BDP.

Post-It-notes hit UK offices

1982

BDP at 21

1982
BDP at 21

BDP holds an exhibition to mark 21 years as a multidisciplinary practice. Shown in each office over a period of six months it is seen by over 1,200 guests. Contact reports: “it all worked out splendidly, the exhibition fitted together precisely and exactly on schedule...the material is immaculately presented and thanks to Hugh Pearman our new scriptwriter, it is informative and even witty at times.”

BDP Acoustics established

1982
BDP Acoustics established

The BDP Acoustics Unit is set up jointly through the Manchester office and the University of Salford. The unit gets off to a flying start with a good response from clients and other consultants as well as other architectural practices, especially those who are restoring or creating performance spaces.

Central Marketing Unit set up

1982
Central Marketing Unit set up

An integrated Central Marketing Unit is set up based in London to strengthen the marketing thrust. This brings together Practice Development and Communications and embraces overall firm marketing in the UK and overseas aiming to increase BDP's share of the market.

BDP's own CAD system created

1982
BDP's own CAD system created

The Computer Aided Design system developed by BDP Computing Services Ltd is implemented in the Manchester and Guildford offices, closely followed by London and Preston. It develops rapidly and an exhibition of ACROPOLIS is held at the 1983 RIBA conference, resulting in worldwide interest from government organisations as well as private practices. The system is marketed to clients outside of BDP until 1989, and sold to many public authorities and private firms. The system stays in place at BDP for 11 years before finally being phased out for Bentley and AutoCAD.

ET

1983

Stafford General Hospital completes

1983
Stafford General Hospital completes

A significant completion is the 300 bed Stafford General Hospital, on a greenfield site, on which BDP has worked since 1971. The commission also includes interior design and graphics which ensures the building is finished to a very high quality throughout.

Sheffield wins Office of the Year

1983
Sheffield wins Office of the Year

BDP’s Sheffield office wins Office of the Year awarded by the Institute of Administrative Management. “BDP made a bold decision in taking an existing double height showroom space in a city centre location. The overall quality of space is remarkable and the assessors were able to find few faults – an effective advertisement for BDP and the architectural profession.”

London Office organises into sector groups

1983
London Office organises into sector groups

London office organises into sector groups with the objective of securing more work and doing it more effectively, though also in response to the differing expectations of clients in the three broad sectors of the market: public, commercial and corporate.

First publication of Directions

1983
First publication of Directions

Directions launches, planned as an annual publication intended to market BDP in a more accessible and interesting way. Its feature articles concentrate on general issues of interest to a wide spectrum of clients, as well as offering a thorough coverage of BDP’s activities.

Energy Unit

1983
Energy Unit

The Energy Unit is established as a multi-profession group, to provide a focus for energy matters, develop analytical techniques, and increase awareness of the need for energy conscious design. The expertise of the group quickly leads to a number of major commissions, and an established reputation as energy consultant is part of a total BDP package.

Three books by BDP authors

1983
Three books by BDP authors

Three books are published by BDP authors. Atrium Buildings by Richard Saxon, and Detailing for Acoustics by Peter Lord and Duncan Templeton are published by the Architectural Press. GRC and Buildings by Mike Fordyce and Robert Wodehouse provides architects and engineers with a guide to designing with glass fibre-reinforced cement in construction.

HP Word system

1983
HP Word system

The HP Word system now links most of the offices speeding up communications. Previously printed material is now held on the computer and can be updated rapidly in any equipped office.

Car seat belts become compulsory in UK

1984

Change in outlook

1984
Change in outlook

A year of significant change from concerns over workload to all offices becoming frantically busy. By the end of the year BDP consolidates its position and is surging forward with a portfolio of new and exciting work, particularly in the areas of science, leisure, refurbishment and shopping.

Keith Scott appointed Chairman

1984
Keith Scott appointed Chairman

Keith Scott is appointed chairman of BDP. His first report to staff reads: “This is a time of great optimism and opportunity for people at all levels in BDP. With a fee income of over £20m a year, we certify about £200m worth of building in 12 months and that adds up to 1.7% of the entire building industry’s output in the UK. Without question BDP is the most significant and powerful multidisciplinary firm in Britain.”

Royal Opera House project won

1984
Royal Opera House project won

The most significant win of the year is BDP and Jeremy Dixon unanimously selected for the redevelopment of the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden following an international open competition.

Lee Valley ice rink wins Lighting Award

1984
Lee Valley ice rink wins Lighting Award

BDP’s first ice rink is opened by skating star Robin Cousins and wins the practice its first lighting award, a commendation from the EMILAS Award scheme, for a lighting scheme of exemplar efficiency in the use of electrical energy. The building’s low-profile arched design sits unobtrusively on a corner of Walthamstow Marshes and houses a full-size ice hockey rink with seating for 1,000 spectators. The success of the commission leads to two more ice rink projects at Slough and Chelmsford.

Massive increase in retail work

1984
Massive increase in retail work

Three highly significant shopping centres complete during this year. Ealing Broadway Centre in west London, The Lanes in Carlisle and Waverly Market in Edinburgh which is the first entirely new speciality centre in the country. BDP currently has 17 shopping centre schemes in design or construction, many major ones now going ahead after long periods of delay and uncertainty.

BDP North established

1984
BDP North established

To establish a regional approach to the practice, Preston, Manchester, Sheffield and Nottingham are reorganised into five multidisciplinary groups. A sense of identity within the groups develops quickly and proves to be a useful scaling arrangement. A spirit of genuine co-operation across the whole region is clearly evident.

Millburngate Centre on Post Office stamps

1984
Millburngate Centre on Post Office stamps

Millburngate Centre in Durham is selected as one of four projects for a set of Post Office stamps to exemplify the theme of urban renewal. BDP celebrates by designing and issuing a special First Day Cover and handstamp which is sent to clients and is regarded as a rare and valuable item by the philatelic community.

Torvill and Dean score Olympic gold

1985

Queen opens two major shopping centres

1985
Queen opens two major shopping centres

The Queen opens two shopping centres that are poles apart in terms of conception and execution. The Ealing Broadway Centre, London is a large scheme containing shopping, offices, a sports club, library and housing – all in a style suited to a borough once described as ‘The Queen of the Suburbs’. Waverley Market in Edinburgh, by contrast, is a crisply-detailed ‘late-modern’ speciality centre set around twin atria underground, daylit from above via a garden plaza on Princes Street.

Channel Tunnel project revived

1985
Channel Tunnel project revived

This is the second time BDP has designed the Channel Tunnel UK terminal, this time for the Channel Tunnel Group, an Anglo-French consortium of major construction companies and banks. The scheme takes the form of a drive-on drive-off rail shuttle service through bored tunnels. The scheme is officially presented to Downing Street and the Elysee Palace.

Connaught Place restored

1985
Connaught Place restored

BDP completes the restoration of Grade II listed terrace buildings to their original form, providing new office headquarters for Cadbury Schweppes, along with twelve flats.

UK's first multiplex cinema opens

1985
UK's first multiplex cinema opens

The Point opens as a ‘unique concept in entertainment’ for the rapidly expanding population of Milton Keynes. Housed in a mirrored crystal ziggurat within an exposed lattice pyramid frame, it is a landmark for the new town. It is the first multiplex cinema in the country and on opening it is thought that it might: “well mark the way ahead for commercial cinema in the UK.”

BDP Scope

1985
BDP Scope

BDP introduces a computer graphics service called BDP Scope, to give presentations a professional edge. Using state-of-the-art computer technology, BDP Scope generates professional colour transparencies rapidly for audio-visual presentations, seminars and conferences.

Sinclair C5

1986

Staff numbers pass 1000

1986
Staff numbers pass 1000

Staff numbers pass the 1000 mark easily putting BDP first in size among architectural practices, and steadily climbing the ladder of engineering consultancies.

Jubilee Year

1986
Jubilee Year

BDP celebrates its silver jubilee with the publication ‘The Spirit of BDP’ documenting its growth and development over the last 25 years, a new corporate identity, and a formal dinner at Goldsmiths Hall in the City of London for 150 clients and industry leaders. In addition all staff are invited, with one guest, to a closing celebration during the summer at Warwick Castle.

Plessey Semiconductors clean room facility

1986
Plessey Semiconductors clean room facility

A huge amount of national press coverage is generated directly from Prince Charles’ comments likening the Plessey Semiconductors project at Plymouth to a Victorian prison. BDP’s design of the plant which makes six inch silicon wafers etched with integrated electronic circuits for a wide range of uses, is the world's most advanced. BDP has a high level of professional competence and reputation in this sector which features prominently in workload during the decade.

Granada TV News Centre completes

1986
Granada TV News Centre completes

This conversion of a Grade I listed dock traffic office at Albert Dock in Liverpool completes. The brief is to repair the historic fabric of the building, restore the main internal hall and create the most advanced television news centre in Europe with studios and conference facilities. The project goes on to win many top awards including a Civic Trust Award, Europa Nostra Diploma of Merit and a European Gold Medal for Conservation.

Work in Singapore

1986
Work in Singapore

A foothold is gained in Singapore with space planning and interior design for the Treasury Building in the business and financial area of the city for which BDP is appointed after an intense international competition. Our graphic designers also win a commission for the signage for the whole of the Singapore Mass Rapid Transit System comprising 44 stations.

Manchester moves into Sunlight House

1986
Manchester moves into Sunlight House

Pressure on space and facilities brings about the move into Sunlight House from St John Street where the office has been for 25 years. This strengthens the image and operating potential by bringing together into one building all the people who have been working in three separate premises. The Manchester office stays at Sunlight House until 2008.

First female partner

1986
First female partner

Janet Jack becomes BDP’s first female partner and chairs the landscape architecture profession across the whole firm, as well as running a large team in the London office.

The first PC virus, Brain, starts to spread

1987

BDP breaks into city market

1987
BDP breaks into city market

A leading position in the London office development boom is established with two significant project wins. One with developer Speyhawk, for the office development over Cannon Street Station, is followed almost immediately by a multidisciplinary commission against very strong international competition to design the new UK headquarters for the Morgan Guaranty Trust Company of New York.

Awards for The Carlisle Lanes

1987
Awards for The Carlisle Lanes

The Lanes is designed to blend completely with the indigenous architecture of the town, with many listed buildings needing complete rebuilding. The open street scheme which completed in 1984 is an immediate commercial success, helping to re-establish Carlisle as a major regional centre and winning the first British Council of Shopping Centres' Large Centre Award. It is also well-received architecturally winning a number of significant plaudits including a RIBA Award and a Civic Trust Commendation.

Refuge Assurance HQ completes

1987
Refuge Assurance HQ completes

Refuge House is set in attractive parkland in the grounds of the 17th century listed Fulshaw Hall. The building is designed to have minimal impact upon the environment, and to ensure that its landscaped surroundings will enhance working conditions. The building wins several awards including Office of The Year Award, a RIBA Award and a Civic Trust Commendation.

Building Design Top 100

1987
Building Design Top 100

BDP comes top in the first survey by Building Design magazine to find out which is the largest firm of architects in the UK.

Work in Falkland Islands completes

1987
Work in Falkland Islands completes

Mount Pleasant Airport in the Falkland Islands holds the world record for major airport construction, taking just 16 months to complete the 2,950m runway and apron. It is also, along with the King Edward Memorial Hospital in the Falklands, the most distant project in which BDP has been involved to date. The guiding principle for the design is to concentrate on simple materials and well-proven details because everything needs to be brought from the UK.

Nottingham office closes

1987
Nottingham office closes

The Sheffield and Nottingham groups consolidate into the Sheffield location. This is to unify the group and allow everyone, in particular the leadership, to concentrate more effectively on the total workload and further expand an already successful operation from the more secure base.

Computing sets up in Coventry

1987
Computing sets up in Coventry

The Computing Unit sets up an office in Coventry to handle the sales and marketing of ACROPOLIS. This sales organisation is established to increase income for continuing research and development, at the same time freeing key staff to concentrate on internal needs.

Energy Unit embraces environment

1987
Energy Unit embraces environment

The Energy Unit now operates under the new title of BDP Energy and Environment recognising that it has established itself as one of the UK’s leading applied research groups concerned with the energy performance and environmental design of buildings.

First Ikea Store in UK

1988

Continued Expansion

1988
Continued Expansion

New commissions maintain the momentum initiated last year; expansion continues apace and by the year end the practice has nearly 200 more people, the size of another office.

Granada TV Studios Tour

1988
Granada TV Studios Tour

Europe's first television based theme park is opened by Coronation Street’s famous landlady, 90 year old Annie Walker of the Rovers Return. BDP is involved in the concept development, the design and construction plus the detailed design and procurement of some of the sets. The one hectare site, previously a derelict railway goods yard, includes many existing buildings incorporated into the tour, and accommodates a wide range of spaces and uses in a tightly planned sequence. It is designed to accommodate up to a million visitors a year.

Paddington Basin masterplan won

1988
Paddington Basin masterplan won

The masterplan for the £200m landmark mixed use regeneration development for Paddington Basin in London, comprising offices, housing, retail and leisure, presents an urban design challenge, integrating forgotten acres of land and water into Paddington and creating part of what will be a new business district based on its rising accessibility.

Roger Horn appointed Chief Executive

1988
Roger Horn appointed Chief Executive

Head of QS profession Roger Horn takes over from Jack Rodin as BDP’s chief executive.

Quality Assurance certification

1988
Quality Assurance certification

The quality system is launched and a manual is issued to all staff. “The main reason for implementation is for BDP to improve its work through the adoption and implementation of good procedures, which are the foundations on which BDP is built.”

BDP Review

1988
BDP Review

The first practice brochure called the BDP Review, is the most prestigious publication issued to date. “The positive response from staff, clients and others to it has been wonderful.”

Nine Oscars for "The Last Emperor"

1989

Bill Jack elected as Chairman

1989
Bill Jack elected as Chairman

Head of southern region Bill Jack takes over from Keith Scott as chairman. As Keith is the last of the original partners to retire this marks the end of an era. He says in his final report: “For the immediate future the promotion of higher design standards is our first priority. There is plenty of work about, clients are willing to spend to get quality, the firm is very strongly based and soundly led, profits are at a satisfactory level. Never in my time at BDP did we have a better opportunity to strive for the best designed buildings in Britain.”

RAC Rescue Control Centre completes

1989
RAC Rescue Control Centre completes

The competition winning design produces a flagship for the RAC’s regional network on a prominent position overlooking the M6 in the West Midlands.

The building provides office and training facilities to house the world’s most advanced rescue communication system, and goes on to win a RIBA award.

Whiteleys refurb completes

1989
Whiteleys refurb completes

The refurbishment of the Grade II listed building provides a high quality shopping development in Bayswater, London. There are open galleries on all levels with magnificent views and glimpses through the building. The design creates principal shopping levels at the ground and first floors with a total of 80 units and London's largest covered food court area on the second floor. The project goes on to attract a lot of publicity and wins many awards including a RIBA Award and a Europa Nostra Diploma Of Merit.

Shopping Centre Design

1989
Shopping Centre Design

Keith Scott’s major book ‘Shopping Centre Design’ is published.

Sixteen Disciplines

1989
Sixteen Disciplines

BDP now has 16 separately identifiable design disciplines, each of which can operate either individually in a monodisciplinary way or as an integral part of a much greater and more complex team.

The Berlin Wall pulled down

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 when it is demolished to make way for the city’s new retail quarter ‘Sevenstone’, masterplanned by the London office.

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

2000

Sector diagram

2000
Sector diagram

A sector diagram is produced showing the six sectors that are of most importance. Retail, leisure, health, education, industry and offices are placed at the corners of a hexagon with other important work areas near the centre. Urbanism is at the core influencing all others. Links emphasise how our multi-speciality abilities reinforce each other.

Surge in retail activity

2000
Surge in retail activity

Retail and associated leisure continues to be the largest work sector with BDP’s position unrivalled in Europe. Retail work is won in six countries including Greece, Italy, Germany, Taiwan, Portugal, Spain and France. In the UK the Paradise Street masterplan covering the whole of Liverpool city centre is won after a very intensive and competitive selection process involving approximately 40 international developers. Other significant projects include Victoria Square in Belfast, Chapelfield in Norwich, The Shambles in Manchester, Jubilee Place in London’s Canary Wharf.

West Quay completes

2000
West Quay completes

West Quay in Southampton is the only major shopping centre to open in the UK. The design challenge was to scale the large development by dividing it into elements expressing the key retailers and internal spaces and responding to the varying scales of the surrounding streetscape. After its opening Southampton leaps from 27 to 12 in the ranking of the top UK cities for retailing and the project wins many accolades including awards for parking as well as a British Council of Shopping Centres Award.

Framework agreements

2000
Framework agreements

A number of significant framework agreement contracts are won with top clients Marks & Spencer, British Telecom, Royal Bank of Scotland and BBC. The trend towards framework agreements continues into the decade, and major contracts are won with the British Museum, Defence Estates, PwC, BAA, IKEA, Tesco and Crossrail.

AELTC Millennium Building completes

2000
AELTC Millennium Building completes

The Millennium Building on the site of the old No1 Court opens in time for the Wimbledon championships. The building integrates facilities for competitors, officials, international press, ball boys and girls and members, and houses a championship population of 4,000 people. The project wins a Civic Trust Award and BDP is also named Designer of the Year in the Contract Journal Construction Industry Awards. The judges agree the project is “fantastic” and “well co-ordinated”. BDP is singled out for its excellent long term involvement with the client and for working well with the contractor and supply chain.

BDP owned PFI school completes

2000
BDP owned PFI school completes

Campus Projects (Drumglass) Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of BDP, is selected to bid for a PFI school in Northern Ireland and makes a detailed response covering design, facilities management and finance. This is the first time that the practice moves beyond design to a role as investor/developer. The school completes in 14 months and wins the AJ Annual Award for Exceptional Achievement.

Skylid

2000
Skylid

BDP designs and patents a lightweight retractable stadium roof concept called Skylid. It slashes the cost of roofing stadia, weighing and therefore costing only a quarter of typical recent designs. The lightness comes from using a double-curved grid shell for the fixed element and four short-span, triangular moving petals. The front corners of the petals are supported and moved by cable loops between four towers.

First UK Big Brother

2001

BDP at Forty

2001
BDP at Forty

BDP reports solid financial performance, a good workload across all locations and some very high quality projects on site. The 40th anniversary of BDP’s formation is celebrated modestly in several ways: events for staff and clients are held by most offices; publication of the annual review in November contains a portfolio of BDP’s 40 best buildings.

Glasgow Science Centre opens

2001
Glasgow Science Centre opens

Three distinctive buildings combine to make up the Science Centre: the Science Mall, the IMAX Theatre and the rotating Glasgow Tower, Scotland’s tallest free standing structure. The project, won in national competition, is the first in the UK to be titanium clad. A major landmark on Glasgow’s waterfront, it is used as a backdrop to many adverts. It wins many awards including a RIBA award and Scotland's best family attraction.

National Football Centre won

2001
National Football Centre won

High profile success is achieved with the design for the National Football Centre in Burton on Trent for the Football Association. At the heart of the 141 hectare site is the UK’s first full-size indoor practice pitch, covered by the largest laminated timber gridshell roof in Europe, with a range of facilities unparalleled anywhere in the world. The project wins full planning permission and is due to complete in 2003, but funding is withdrawn by the FA in 2006.

Richard Saxon CBE

2001
Richard Saxon CBE

Chairman Richard Saxon is made a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, for ‘services to construction procurement’. He has involved himself strongly in the movement for the reform of construction since the Latham Review in 1994. He is the fourth BDP leader to be honoured, after founder Sir George Grenfell Baines, Keith Scott CBE and Jack Rodin CBE. Roy Adams is made an OBE in 2006 after he left BDP.

AESOP

2001
AESOP

The capital reconstruction and offer for sale of shares in BDP Holdings Ltd is a significant event. BDP is one of the first firms to take advantage of the AESOP (All Employee Share Ownership Plan) concept. Finance Director, John Parker says: “I expect staff share take-up over the next three years to provide up to a quarter of the group’s capital... Staff will benefit from regular interest-like dividend payments and by growth in the share value. We see the share issue as part of wider moves to align our people’s motivation with the success of the group and its customers”.

Sustainability Group

2001
Sustainability Group

The Sustainability Group is set up to achieve a higher sustainability performance across all projects. The team grows quickly and puts its low carbon imprint on a large number of high profile schemes by acting as the interface between clients and design teams.

i-pod released

2002

Nick Terry appointed Chairman

2002
Nick Terry appointed Chairman

Architect Nick Terry is appointed chairman. He has been with the practice since 1990 and currently runs one of the London office’s three architectural groups.

Hampden Gurney up for Stirling Prize

2002
Hampden Gurney up for Stirling Prize

BDP’s first project to be shortlisted for the prestigious Stirling Prize is an innovative primary school developed on an inner city site in London. The 240 pupils six-storey school and 52 residential units, replace a former school on the site. Covered play areas on each level of the school provide the statutory amount of play area. “The planning is very creative, and the overall organisation and environment feels safe and spacious. We considered the design process which produced the impressive six floor educational establishment of Hampden Gurney School to be bold and dynamic.”

RIBA Award for Fingal County Hall

2002
RIBA Award for Fingal County Hall

Fingal’s aspiration for an open and transparent expression of local government has been realised in the new Fingal County Hall at Swords. Designed by Bucholz McEvoy in association with BDP's Dublin studio, the building wins several awards including a RIBA award. “New public buildings generally fall into one of two extreme categories: either lottery funded arts projects or the almost universally uninspired design/build PFI solutions. Most buildings for local authorities fit into this second category. By the most stringent standards one might choose to measure them against, Fingal County offices are a triumphant exception to such a generalisation”.

Piccadilly Station completes

2002
Piccadilly Station completes

Piccadilly station completes in time for the highly successful Commonwealth Games in Manchester, and subsequently features as the backdrop to TV news footage during the games. The project goes on to win a large number of major awards including a RIBA Award, a Civic Trust Award and British Council of Shopping Centres Special Award. “It is one of the few examples where a transport interchange is a pleasure to use. The whole team deserves congratulations for having pulled off the extraordinary logistical exercise of keeping the station going whilst such radical surgery was conducted.”

Cathedral Gardens opens

2002
Cathedral Gardens opens

Cathedral Gardens, the first new city centre park in Manchester for over 70 years, opens to great acclaim and goes on to win the Design Award in the BCSC Town Centre Environment Awards and a Civic Trust Award. The scheme, which forms part of the new Millennium Quarter, consists of a series of themed lawns, trees, water features, artworks and hard landscape areas.

Scottish Enterprise wins BCO Award

2002
Scottish Enterprise wins BCO Award

BDP wins the National Award in the Corporate Workplace category in the BCO Awards for its Scottish Enterprise HQ in Glasgow. The headquarters building is designed to a brief from Scottish Enterprise who now occupy the building but was developed by Bellhouse & Joseph. Although the headquarters is technically a commercial building, it is judged as a corporate workplace because “it is a good example of the growing trend for clients who know what they want and developers who know how to deliver it working together.”

Urban Design for Retail Environments

2002
Urban Design for Retail Environments

BDP’s position at the forefront of retail design leads to a request from the British Council of Shopping Centres to prepare a guide to the interaction of development priorities and urban design. The report looks at the emerging urban agenda and breaks it down into meaningful principles. It also investigates the key drivers behind the significant amount of currently planned retail-led city centre developments.

Merger with Whicheloe Macfarlane

2002
Merger with Whicheloe Macfarlane

Responding to the increased volume of work in the healthcare sector BDP and Whicheloe Macfarlane reach an agreement to merge the interests of the two companies. “Whicheloe Macfarlane, who have a multi-professional staff of 80, and a particularly strong track record and depth of skills in hospital design, enhance and strengthen our own hospital design capabilities. The development of the firm’s main offices at Bristol and Southampton also strengthen our network of offices.”

Claruspcm

2002
Claruspcm

BDP spins off its management services and forms a joint venture company with construction management company pcm limited. The new firm separates the design brand from project and cost management services which are often sought on a freestanding basis. BDP has a 45% stake in the company which is 36 strong and achieves its fee income and profit targets for the first year of operation.

BDP International SC is wound up

2002
BDP International SC is wound up

The BDP International société co-operative is wound up as ties with partners in Spain and Germany are broken. However ownership of Groupe 6 is increased to 24% following a decade of co-operation delivering many commercial projects in France. Groupe 6 goes from strength to strength with over 100 staff and a newly relocated office in Paris as well as in Grenoble.

Euro banknotes enter circulation

2003

Royal Albert Hall wins Europa Nostra Award

2003
Royal Albert Hall wins Europa Nostra Award

A European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage/Europa Nostra Award is won for the renovation of the Royal Albert Hall, the first comprehensive overhaul of this unique concert hall since it opened in 1871. 30 individual projects are spread over a period of nine years while the Hall continues to host over 300 events a year. The citation reads: “a remarkable achievement of restoring and enhancing an international concert hall whilst still in use and for the ingenious provision of service requirements, thereby releasing space for the public’s enjoyment.”

Bournemouth Central Library opens

2003
Bournemouth Central Library opens

Bournemouth Central Library is opened by the Minister of State for the Arts. She describes the library as the best she has seen “it should be treated as a role model for new libraries all over the country.” The library, whose membership has seen a threefold increase since opening goes on to win the Prime Minister’s Better Public Building Award. “The bright new library is a superb example of a privately financed scheme that has delivered exactly what the local authority wanted. Its success is due to the commitment of the council, developer, contractor and design team to provide the best possible building.”

St Joseph’s Hospital wins RIBA Award

2003
St Joseph’s Hospital wins RIBA Award

The secure yet stimulating environment for a private hospital for the elderly on the outskirts of Cork in Ireland wins a RIBA Award. “The architects have challenged traditional concepts of circulation space and create an internal environment that encourages informality and interaction. Circulation areas are generous, naturally lit and arranged to create sitting and meeting areas. In summary this project's greatest success is in creating an environment that provides quality of life and dignity to people with a range of physical and mental disabilities.”

London moves to Clerkenwell

2003
London moves to Clerkenwell

After 35 years in the West End, the London office changes its environment to one which better suits the firm’s current working needs. The new studio is the conversion of an old brewery in Clerkenwell which accommodates all 300 staff. The concept is to create a studio environment to support and encourage teamwork and innovation. No private offices exist anywhere in the building, and all staff work on large format team platforms. All other offices later follow this method of working whether in new or existing locations.

Double win for Lighting

2003
Double win for Lighting

The lighting team wins two awards and has a further entry shortlisted in the Lighting Design Awards. The Renaissance of Whitehaven wins the Transport Category; the parish church of St Peter and St Paul’s Exton wins the Small Projects category. Job Centre Plus is one of only two shortlisted entries in the Workplace category.

GG Dies at 95

2003
GG Dies at 95

The founder of BDP, George Grenfell Baines, dies on 9 May at the age of 95. Condolences flood in and a very well attended memorial service is held on 4 November in The Priory Church of St Bartholomew the Great, Smithfield in London.

BDP Process launches

2003
BDP Process launches

The BDP Process successfully replaces the old QA system based on Quality Procedures, and ensures BDP's accreditation to the new International Standard ISO9001-2000. Customer satisfaction is surveyed systematically and customer care responsibilities are defined more clearly.

Highest temperature ever recorded in the UK

2004

Peter Drummond elected CEO

2004
Peter Drummond elected CEO

Town Planner Peter Drummond is elected Chief Executive. Peter joined in 1980 and is responsible for urban planning and large scale masterplanning development projects throughout the country. He was previously chairman of the Southern Region.

Learning From French Hospital Design

2004
Learning From French Hospital Design

BDP publishes a report based on comparing UK and French hospital design which highlights areas where design makes a difference to healthcare outcomes and where design and build practice determines the cost of hospital construction and operation. Demand for the report is high stimulating much debate on cost and benefit balance across the sector.

Armada Housing wins Public Vote

2004
Armada Housing wins Public Vote

The competition winning design for a residential development providing a total of 250 flats in the historic town of 's-Hertogenbosch, in The Netherlands wins the country’s Best-Loved Building Award as voted for by the public.

Awards for Round Foundry

2004
Awards for Round Foundry

The Round Foundry in Leeds is considered to be the world’s only surviving first generation engineering works, and includes seven listed buildings. The regeneration project quickly becomes one of BDP’s most awarded projects including RICS’s prestigious Project of the Year Award. “Round Foundry has all the elements of a fine regeneration scheme alongside extensive use of conservation techniques, a strong sense of sustainability and the community has clearly taken it to heart.”

Chatham Historic Dockyard conservation

2004
Chatham Historic Dockyard conservation

The work at Chatham Historic Dockyard, the most complete Georgian dockyard in the world, is spread over a six year development programme and involves masterplanning and the conservation and creative adaptive reuse of 30 key scheduled Ancient Monuments. The project wins a European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage/Europa Nostra Medal “For a programme of conservation undertaken to the highest professional standards, whilst retaining the atmosphere of a working dockyard site which successfully blends new income-generating activities with a display of historic artefacts”.

Beehive Exemplar School

2004
Beehive Exemplar School

BDP is one of eleven design teams invited by the Department for Education and Schools to create 21st century exemplar designs to provide a basis for rebuilding or refurbishing schools in England. The design is for a primary school on an inner city site which will create its own context regardless of its location and setting. Due to the demands of tight inner city sites the design solution is for a vertical school, christened ‘the Beehive School’.

Healthcare sector growth

2004
Healthcare sector growth

Healthcare becomes the largest workload element, accounting for 22% of earnings, as participation in PFI and ProCure 21 programmes increase. The year’s big wins are Brighton Children’s Hospital and Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, the second largest hospital building project in the UK, followed closely by Pinderfields and Pontefract Hospitals in Wakefield and the University Hospitals of Leicester Pathway Project. The latter eventually stops in 2007.

Retail Architect Of The Year

2004
Retail Architect Of The Year

At the inaugural Architect of the Year Awards BDP is awarded Retail Architect of the Year. The scheme is launched by BD magazine to help identify the most outstanding architects across a range of different types of design work. The judges say: “The firm delivers strong design, strong technical capabilities and provides real fitness for purpose.”

Facebook launched

2005

Perth Concert Hall gala opening

2005
Perth Concert Hall gala opening

Perth Concert Hall is host to a gala concert given by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra to mark the public opening of the first full-scale purpose-built concert hall in Scotland since 1990. The building is the result of an international architectural competition, chaired by Eva Jiricna. The project goes on to win many awards and is reported to have the “ best acoustics in the UK” by the conductor of the Budapest Symphony Orchestra.

Top award for BBC Mailbox

2005
Top award for BBC Mailbox

BDP sweeps the board at the British Council for Offices Awards winning the regional, national and Best of the Best awards for BBC Mailbox offices in Birmingham which creates a dramatic hub space to link public, production, studio and office uses. “The Mailbox’s base space was far from usual and the BBC made a courageous stand to go to this mixed use wonder. BDP’s success can be measured against the challenge they faced from Mailbox’s mail sorting office ancestry. The standard of fit-out is very high; all elements display imagination. It could have been frightful; instead it is great. The building is full of dynamism and light.”

Health Building Architect of the Year

2005
Health Building Architect of the Year

BDP is voted BD's Health Building Architect of the Year. “The practice has displayed a range and depth of work fuelled by a serious research effort, which has particularly paid off in the area of children’s hospitals.” The judges say the practice shows a real progression working with the client to produce better health buildings.

Sustainable Designer of the Year

2005
Sustainable Designer of the Year

BDP is named Sustainable Designer of the Year at the inaugural Sustainability Awards launched by Building magazine. In addition the National Maritime College at Cork which provides third level education and training facilities for Cork Institute of Technology and the Irish Naval Service, is named Low Energy Building of the Year, demonstrating that when a client carefully includes energy performance requirements in the brief, and the design team work together to produce an integrated design, sustainability can be a winner both of cost and environmental considerations.

Building Schools for the Future

2005
Building Schools for the Future

A series of academy wins over the past two years gives the education sector a huge boost, and positions the practice well to pick up work following the announcement of the Building Schools for the Future programme that will see the majority of secondary schools replaced or improved over the next 10-15 years. Major work is secured for 25 local authorities before the programme closes in 2010.

Human Resources director appointed

2005
Human Resources director appointed

BDP appoints its first director of Human Resource Development to coordinate efforts ensuring that it continually has the best people to serve its clients.

The Superjumbo jet aircraft Airbus A380 makes its first flight

2006

Tony McGuirk elected Chairman

2006
Tony McGuirk elected Chairman

Architect and urban designer Tony McGuirk is elected Chairman. He has been with the practice since 1986 and currently runs BDP’s Southern Region, also heading up the education sector. He was previously architecture profession chairman.

RIBA Award for Saltire Centre

2006
RIBA Award for Saltire Centre

The Saltire Centre replaces an outmoded library at Glasgow Caledonian University with a landmark building that sits at the cutting edge of contemporary higher educational thinking. The project wins a RIBA Award. “This complex building acts as a focus for student activity and adds drama and spatial excitement at a crossroads between existing buildings. A high, sloping fritted-glass wall that shelters criss-cross access bridges intersects with a pierced metal drum that clads a wide circular stair and lift and creates a powerful abstract image for the centre.”

Kelvingrove reopens

2006
Kelvingrove reopens

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow, the most visited museum outside London, reopens after three years of refurbishment. Display space is brought up to 21st century standard and is increased by the removal of offices and workshops, the opening up of the basement. The number of objects on display is increased by 50%. The project reaches the shortlist of four for the Gulbenkian Prize for museums and galleries, narrowly missing out on the UK’s biggest single arts award.

Roche Headquarters wins BCO top award

2006
Roche Headquarters wins BCO top award

The new HQ building for leading pharmaceutical company Roche, wins the Best of the Best Award at the BCO awards, making BDP the first practice to win the top award two years in a row. The building is delivered ahead of time and the client is also able to build an additional pharmacology building on the site without going over the budget. “Roche asked for quality without ostentation to attract and hold the best staff and this is what designer BDP has delivered. It has left the company delighted and thrilled with the finished product.”

Devonshire School opens

2006
Devonshire School opens

Devonshire School in Blackpool is the first adaptation of the generic multi-level vertical exemplar school, designed for a tight urban site. The design develops classrooms shaped like pieces of honeycomb, that interlock around multi-storey playdecks. The project wins a RIBA Award and is shortlisted for the RIBA Sorrell Foundation Schools Award, described as "a significant step forward in the design of learning environments for young children."

World Architecture

2006
World Architecture

BDP remains the top architectural firm in Western Europe for the fourth year running and moves up from fifth to fourth position in the world rankings, its highest position to date in the World Architecture Top 200 survey, published by BD.

Birmingham studio opens

2006
Birmingham studio opens

Birmingham studio moves from the hospital project site into new premises in Colmore Row in the heart of the city. The move allows the office to progress into a new phase in its development with the space to expand its team and take on new commissions across a range of sectors for both public and commercial clients.

IT Initiatives

2006
IT Initiatives

A number of IT initiatives launch, including a wireless visitor network for clients in the larger studios, wireless connectivity for laptops out of the office, and access to e-mails using home and non-BDP computers.

Shopping Environments

2006
Shopping Environments

Director of architecture and head of retail, Peter Coleman, publishes a book on Shopping Centre Design. Peter is widely regarded as an authority on retail architecture and design. In this book he explores how retail centre design is evolving to better suit local needs and, with more than 600 illustrations, highlights the factors that make a successful retail centre.

First single to top UK charts on download sales alone

2007

Marlowe Academy wins major awards

2007
Marlowe Academy wins major awards

BDP’s first academy to complete is designed as a student town under one roof, and has an innovative collection of spaces that open up to provide a 500 seat theatre. The project wins a RIBA Award and the UK’s first prize for excellence in school architecture, the RIBA Sorrell Foundation Schools Award. “The vast top-lit arena with its timber gridshell roof is a grand, almost operatic, space which means the whole school can take part in assemblies or performances. The traditional corridor, with its problems of congestion, inefficiency and bullying has been replaced by a series of lively spaces with real social and educational potential.”

Groundbreaking Abito completes

2007
Groundbreaking Abito completes

The design for a compact modular apartment scheme completes in Manchester. A huge amount of interest and many awards including a RIBA Award follow. The practice is voted Private Housing Architect of the Year for which the judging panel is "particularly impressed with the Abito apartments, a new concept aimed at first-time buyers, and people wanting a city crash pad." They continue that BDP is "inventive and able to demonstrate that high density works" and the scheme shows "real innovation and that BDP has come up with a housing concept that had not existed before."

Awards for Shetland Museum and Archives

2007
Awards for Shetland Museum and Archives

Shetland Museum and Archives opens to the public after a royal opening attended by Queen Sonja of Norway and the Prince of Wales. The new building represents an important new cultural hub as well as a major new visitor attraction for the islands. It wins many awards including the top prize at the Wood Awards. It also reaches a shortlist of four for the Art Fund Prize (formerly The Gulbenkian Prize) one of the most prestigious awards open to all museums and galleries in the UK, and is shortlisted in the first World Architecture Festival Awards.

Aintree Racecourse unveiled

2007
Aintree Racecourse unveiled

The new grandstands at Aintree Racecourse get their first unveiling at the Grand National, the most watched horserace in the world attracting 600 million viewers. The grandstands form the final phase of the comprehensive redevelopment of facilities which also include the parade ring, weighing room, equine areas and media suite at the famous grounds. The facilities are described by the client as “a truly world class experience for visitors to Aintree.”

Civic Trust Award for Cornmill Gardens

2007
Civic Trust Award for Cornmill Gardens

Cornmill Gardens sets the benchmark for quality and public realm in the London Borough of Lewisham and plays an important role within the town centre. Notable awards include a London Planning Award and a Civic Trust Award "Well planned from strategy through to development, the scheme has made a real difference to the area and has made the river a focal point...The gardens provide a high quality, popular public amenity and the intervention of art, lighting and signage provides a sense of local identity."

BDPGroupe6 wins international work

2007
BDPGroupe6 wins international work

BDPGroupe6 is formed as a European Economic Interest Grouping and becomes Europe's largest collaboration of healthcare building designers with projects valued at over €300,000 in design and construction. The group quickly wins an international competition to design a 250 bed children's hospital in Kiev in Ukraine which will provide specialised, high tech medical care in a stunning area of forest at the edge of the city. The group also wins the commission to reconstruct the leading hospital in Georgia, Tbilisi State University’s Republican Clinical Hospital.

Southampton studio relocates

2007
Southampton studio relocates

The Southampton studio relocates to Winchester, closer to existing clients and projects along the south coast.

Sustainable Futures Award

2007
Sustainable Futures Award

BDP launches a new awards scheme given each year to its projects in design, and which demonstrate an exemplary approach to sustainability in its widest sense. The criteria are broad and cover the threefold grouping of social, environmental and economic generators. The external judges say they are impressed by the diversity and ingenuity of the entries and the quality of design.

Big increase in leadership

2007
Big increase in leadership

As a result of the continued growth and development of the firm and recognising the breadth and depth of talent in BDP the practice appoints 25 new directors and 46 new associates.

Smoking ban in UK in all indoor public places

2008

Global economy in freefall

2008
Global economy in freefall

The year ends with global economy going into freefall. BDP faces the economic downturn with strength in a wide number of sectors and with a growing portfolio of international work.

BDP Khandekar

2008
BDP Khandekar

BDP acquires a Dutch practice specialising in masterplanning, urban design and landscape design. A new company, BDP Khandekar operates from two design studios in the Netherlands, and is working on major masterplanning projects in Holland, Belgium, and India, adding unique talent and experience to the urbanism offer in the UK and internationally.

Children’s Hospital wins top public award

2008
Children’s Hospital wins top public award

The design for one of only seven dedicated paediatric hospitals in the UK makes BDP the first practice to win the Prime Minister’s Better Public Building Award twice. The children’s hospital is chosen from a shortlist of 21 that best demonstrate high-quality design, together with efficient procurement; economic and social value; good teamwork between client, designer and contractor; sound financial management and whole-life value for money; and sustainability. “An uplifting project which has given young patients in Brighton the best possible environment – one which functions like a hospital but does not feel like a hospital.”

Victoria Square opens

2008
Victoria Square opens

Victoria Square in Belfast opens to the public after ten years of work and changes the skyline of the city with its dramatic glass dome. The project goes on to win numerous top awards including a Civic Trust Award, a BCSC Gold Award as well as the RTPI Silver Jubilee Cup, the UK’s top planning prize. “a high quality, visionary regeneration project and a stunning achievement which has real potential to unite communities in Belfast”

Leigh Academy wins engineering award

2008
Leigh Academy wins engineering award

Leigh Technology Academy in Dartford wins ‘Best of the Best’ at the Building Services Awards, for the highest overall achievement. “The awards this year attracted perhaps the best ever range of entrants and winners. BDP’s work stood out nonetheless, as one of the most innovative undertakings the judges had seen. They delivered a project that not only responded to the educational needs of the students of the academy but also provided exceptional environmental performance within strict budgetary constraints.”

Manchester studio moves to Ducie St

2008
Manchester studio moves to Ducie St

The Manchester studio moves into its new northern headquarters on Ducie Street. The building is home to the city centre’s first ‘living roof’ and is the first naturally ventilated office building in the city to achieve an Excellent BREEAM rating. It is shortlisted for the highly prestigious Green Building award at MIPIM, and given a RIBA Award for pulling off a “commercially viable, high-quality office building in functional, aesthetic and environmental terms” and creating “a strongly characterised and beautifully detailed flexible workplace”.

Sheffield studio moves to Northbank

2008
Sheffield studio moves to Northbank

BDP masterplans a mixed use commercial and residential regeneration project in central Sheffield, and moves into offices it designed as part of the development. The project wins a RIBA Award “This speculative office is a new architectural landmark in Sheffield, worthy of its city gateway location. Notable civic gestures include the careful scaling to stitch the building into the existing context.”

Edinburgh studio opens

2008
Edinburgh studio opens

An Edinburgh studio opens with 10 staff and a healthy workload which soon increases with the commission for the extension to the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, which is intended to enhance the EICC's prominent position in the highly competitive international exhibition and conference market by expanding the capacity and capabilities.

BDP rebrands

2008
BDP rebrands

A new logo successfully launches, to signal the positive and optimistic development of the practice, and to celebrate BDP’s new domain name and reworked website bdp.com, which is relaunched as a single integrated site covering all locations, professions, and sectors, reinforcing BDP as a single, interdisciplinary firm.

Price of oil reaches $100 per barrel

2009

International Strategy

2009
International Strategy

BDP continues to win projects against ever-increasing competition and in an increasingly feverish fee environment, with a series of major project wins in new countries, new sectors and for new clients. The practice's international strategy is accelerated and the year ends with work in over 30 countries. Education and healthcare account for 60% of workload, while the retail sector takes the brunt of the demise of the commercial property market.

BDP wins two major Crossrail contracts

2009
BDP wins two major Crossrail contracts

Two major Crossrail contracts are won - the design of Whitechapel Station to accommodate Crossrail, London Underground and the East London Line railway, and the Victoria Dock Portal at Royal Victoria Dock in east London. The practice is already working on four overground Crossrail stations at Ealing Broadway, Slough, Maidenhead, and Romford.

Liverpool ONE shortlisted for Stirling Prize

2009
Liverpool ONE shortlisted for Stirling Prize

One of the most exciting city centre regeneration opportunities in the UK, the scheme repairs and reconnects the city centre, and creates a framework for architecture, landscape and lighting design of the highest quality. Vistas of Liverpool’s famous landmarks root the development in the city and provide a real sense of place. The commitment to create individual buildings in the city has been fulfilled, with other architectual practices selected for each site within the masterplan. Liverpool One masterplan has breathed life into the heart of the city, and the project goes on to win over 40 top industry awards including being shortlisted for the RIBA Stirling Prize.

First project in Canada

2009
First project in Canada

BDP’s first project in Canada is the competition winning design for a sustainable new community for 70,000 people in Seaton, Toronto. The community is intended to create 35,000 jobs based around green industries and investment as well as new energy technologies and solutions. Over the next 20 years, Seaton is expected to develop as the leading sustainable community in Ontario.

Major project in India won

2009
Major project in India won

BDP's first major architectural commission in India is a retail-led mixed use development in Mumbai, which covers a major city block. The vision is for an urban oasis, which will be a highly sustainable mixed use development with carefully integrated elements to ensure the creation of a successful and memorable destination.

Highest grossing film ever released

2010

New Delhi and Abu Dhabi studios open

2010
New Delhi and Abu Dhabi studios open

A studio in Abu Dhabi opens after a merger with local design practice SYNA. An Indian studio is also established in New Delhi which grows to a team of 12 by the end of the year and has a strong portfolio of urbanism, landscape and architectural projects. Considerable effort goes into the development of the practice’s profile in these regions to attract the right kinds of projects and clients.

Superhospital opens

2010
Superhospital opens

The first patients are admitted to Birmingham’s new superhospital, Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Conceived as three elliptical bedroom towers sitting over a high tech medical treatment podium, this softens the scale of the hospital and enables maximum exploitation of the fabulous views over Birmingham.

Cardiff Library wins RIBA Award

2010
Cardiff Library wins RIBA Award

The new library is provided as part of a wider city centre regeneration scheme. The building wins several awards including a RIBA Award. “Cardiff's new library is more than a collection of books. It is a modern cultural venue. Light open spaces, vibrant colours and wide expanses of glass offering spectacular views across the city. An exciting environment to read, listen to music, to learn or just to relax and enjoy.”

RIBA Award for historic warehouse

2010
RIBA Award for historic warehouse

The Grade II* listed Navigation Warehouse which was in a state of dereliction and partial collapse after lying empty for over 25 years wins a RIBA Award. The repair and conversion of the building provides multi-tenanted office accommodation on the three upper floors with bar and restaurant uses on the ground floor. The project combines best conservation practice with meticulously detailed contemporary design and is seen as an icon for the regeneration of the Wakefield Waterfront.

BCO Awards avalanche

2010
BCO Awards avalanche

The fit-out for PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Glasgow office is national winner of the Fit-out of Workplace award, and West Lothian Civic Centre, Livingston is winner of the National Innovation award at the British Council for Offices Awards. Earlier in the year BDP wins three out of the five categories at the BCO’s Scotland region awards with another category win for Tanfield House in Edinburgh.

BDP Wins Two CEEQUAL Awards

2010
BDP Wins Two CEEQUAL Awards

Two projects win CEEQUAL Awards, both achieving the maximum threshold of ‘Excellent’. CEEQUAL is the assessment and awards scheme for improving sustainability in civil engineering and public realm projects. Derry City Centre Public Realm is given a Whole Project award. The scheme involves significant public realm improvement works adjacent to Derry’s historic walled city centre, and creates a vibrant and modern urban environment. The other award - Interim Client and Outline Design - goes to Glencorse Water Treatment Works. The project is discreetly concealed underneath Scotland’s largest green roof and will provide all the city’s fresh drinking water for generations to come.

Mayfair and Belgravia Public Realm unveiled

2010
Mayfair and Belgravia Public Realm unveiled

The Duke of Westminster opens the first of BDP’s public realm improvement schemes in London’s Mayfair and Belgravia at a street party for over 700 guest retailers and local residents. He comments: “This is not a cosmetic makeover; it has involved a substantial reconstruction of the street, using high quality materials to make a lasting change for the better. It is a long-term investment for the whole community – to enhance the appearance and improve the street – and I am confident this completed scheme will set a new standard for urban life in London.”

BDP at 46 in Sunday Times Top 100

2010
BDP at 46 in Sunday Times Top 100

The inaugural Sunday Times International Track 100, ranks private companies by foreign sales growth over their latest two financial years. BDP is placed at 46 out of 100, and is one of six entries from the construction sector. The entry states: “The practice’s projects include urbanism masterplans in India and retail developments in China. International sales have increased by 74% a year over two years to £16.5m. In five years BDP has gone from working in five countries to over 30, including Abu Dhabi and India.”

Eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull caused enormous disruption to air travel across Europe

2011

BDP at 50

2011
BDP at 50

The 50th year celebrations include an exhibition at the RIBA in London, the Cube Gallery in Manchester and the Minster in Preston, a book entitled 6111 Continuous Collective, a film called Five Cities, Five Places, One Day, a blog, BDP Placebook which covers BDP’s favourite buildings, this timeline and a charity cycle ride between the European studios which raises over £60k.

Michelle McDowell

2011
Michelle McDowell

Chair of civil and structural engineering, Michelle McDowell wins the high profile title of Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year, amidst a sea of publicity. Michelle is also the first woman to chair ACE (Association for Consultancy and Engineering), and has previously won the property category of the First Women Awards, as well as receiving an MBE, for services to the construction industry, in the Queen’s birthday honours list. Following this she was elected a Fellow of The Royal Academy of Engineering, and was chosen as one of the 20 most inspirational women of the year appearing on the Woman&home Power List.

Studio opens in Shanghai

2011
Studio opens in Shanghai

A studio opens in Shanghai on the back of winning a large amount of work in China. Current projects in the country are three large retail developments for IKEA, a masterplan for a new public and civic quarter in Foshan, a development of luxury apartments and villas in Shanghai, an eco-housing project in Nanjing, and a new campus building for Nanjing Medical University.

BREEAM Outstanding for 7 More London

2011
BREEAM Outstanding for 7 More London

Staff move into the new headquarters building for PricewaterhouseCooper at 7 More London. BDP’s design team held a pivotal role in the collaboration process of this job, ensuring the project is the first building in London and the first major office in the UK, to be awarded a new elite standard for BREEAM of ‘Outstanding’.

York campus wins RIBA Award

2011
York campus wins RIBA Award

The masterplan for the new Heslington East campus at York comprises new accommodation for three academic departments; computer science, law and management, and theatre, film and TV; a flexible office building; a shared hub building, and accommodation for 600 students. “BDP’s masterplan successfully provides an overall structure and vision for a long term development at Heslington East. The overall consideration of the smaller scale open spaces exemplifies an attention to detail at a scale which is often overlooked when working through a masterplan.”

Newport City Campus wins RIBA Award

2011
Newport City Campus wins RIBA Award

The new city campus at the University of Wales, Newport which occupies a highly visual waterfront site wins a RIBA Award. “The planning of the building is very well considered and fluidly knits together considerably diverse uses. This building is an inspirational home for both students and academics and this is supported by the incredibly enthusiastic client team. Moving around the building the views both internally and externally were continually stimulating.”

BDP tweets

2011
BDP tweets

BDP starts tweeting as the practice embraces the social media phenomenon. The platform is used extensively to promote the Tour de BDP - Cycle for Jo charity ride,and BDP Placebook, the favourite buildings blog.

AJ100

2011
AJ100

BDP remains number one in the AJ100 top 100 architectural practices in the UK, a position which it has held nine times in the last 10 years.

Royal Wedding

2012

David Cash elected as Chairman

2012
David Cash elected as Chairman

David began his BDP career in Preston in 1980 and was Chair of the northern studios for 14 years. In 2008, when international expansion became a central element to the firm’s development plan, he became the Director for International Development. David was instrumental in increasing BDP’s presence worldwide, developing studios in India, China and the UAE.

Heather Wells Group Finance Director

2012
Heather Wells Group Finance Director

As group finance director Heather forms part of the firm’s Executive together with BDP’s chairman and chief executive. Heather advises on the financial and administrative aspects of BDP’s strategy and operations and overseeing all financial aspects of the business of the firm including its international studios.

First project in New Zealand

2012
First project in New Zealand

BDP was appointed its first project in New Zealand, the reshaping of devastated Christchurch. The city was badly damaged by a sequence of earthquakes including a major event in February 2011 which led to widespread damage and loss of life. The plans will regenerate the Avon River Precinct in the centre of the country’s second largest city.

Alder Hey Children’s Hospital designs unveiled

2012
Alder Hey Children’s Hospital designs unveiled

Amazing designs for a new Alder Hey hospital were unveiled by the Secretary of State for Health. The specialist hospital is one of Europe’s biggest and busiest children’s hospitals with an international reputation for excellence. The new designs will enable the hospital to build and maintain its excellent reputation of care and improve the experience of patients and their families.

Three Chinese Projects announced

2012
Three Chinese Projects announced

Three major project wins in China were announced at the UK Trade & Investment Infrastructure Summit in London, the flagship opening event of the British Business Embassy. Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green said: “I warmly congratulate BDP on winning a series of new architectural and urban design and masterplan contracts. BDP’s successes are an excellent reflection of the strength of British companies in providing the expertise needed to deliver major infrastructure projects around the world.”

First Apprentices at BDP

2012
First Apprentices at BDP

Part of a new recruitment strategy to harness fresh talent, BDP welcomed the appointment of its first three apprentices. Rob Ferry, environmental engineering director at BDP’s Manchester studio said of their appointment: “We are keen to deliver a holistic approach to workplace learning, sharing the knowledge and specialist expertise that we can offer, and hopefully providing skills that these young people need for a promising future.”

London 2012

2013

First projects in China complete

2013
First projects in China complete

The first raft of BDP designed projects in China complete with two civic projects in one of the country’s most visited cities, Suzhou. The Suzhou Planning and Exhibition Hall showcases past, present and future developments of the district and sits on the edge of a new central parkland area with great views of the surrounding landscape. It houses a 1,000 sqm model of the new district, a 3D viewing gallery and multi-purpose exhibition spaces. With a spectacular setting overlooking Taihu Lake, the Suzhou Tourist Centre’s design was inspired by the large black dragonflies that are prevalent around the lakeside.

Two buildings achieve listed status

2013
Two buildings achieve listed status

The first of BDP’s buildings are listed: The Halifax Building and the controversial Preston Bus Station. Completed in 1974, the former head office of the Halifax Building Society was listed at Grade II. English Heritage said it is “a remarkable office building; its striking design arises out of the particular innovations in its structure and planning.” Preston Bus which opened in 1969 was given Grade II listed status following a wide reaching campaign to save it. David Cash, BDP’s chairman said of the news: “The building is a heroic structure of its era, and is well worthy of its listed status. The focus now must be to ensure adequate funding is secured to bring the building back into a good state of repair.”

LCCC completes in time for The Ashes

2013
LCCC completes in time for The Ashes

The revitalised and radically transformed Lancashire County Cricket Club at Old Trafford finishes in time to host The Ashes test match. The last phase saw the completion of an enhanced Pavilion, reinstating the historic 1895 building at the heart of the ground providing new facilities for members and new club offices. Other new additions include the award winning venue The Point and a new player and media centre. The development has spectacular views over the pitch and to the Pennines beyond. The orientation of the wicket also changed for the first time in 150 years, from east/west to north/south to resolve sunlight issues which have affected players previously.

Lead architect for new Westgate Centre

2013
Lead architect for new Westgate Centre

BDP is appointed by the Westgate Oxford Alliance (Land Securities and The Crown Estate) to prepare and lead the masterplan for a major development in the historic Oxford City Centre. The retail led mixed use masterplan is based on a group of individually designed blocks which define the public streets and spaces. Covered streets will open onto the surrounding streets of Oxford, providing a protected route leading from the existing high street to a new John Lewis department store. The shopping and leisure facilities will be arranged with two public levels and a third level roof terrace overlooking the city roofscape of towers and spires.

School named after BDP founder

2013
School named after BDP founder

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) renames one of its schools as ‘The Grenfell Baines School of Architecture, Construction and Environment’ after BDP’s founder. Professor Sir George Grenfell Baines studied at the Harris Institute, which later became UCLan, from 1922-1928. Through the establishment of BDP Sir George became the first architect to recognise that the technical complexities of creating new buildings and environments required a new type of organisation to design them. His solution was to create a practice in which teams with many professional skills could work together with mutual understanding and respect for each other’s design contribution. His philosophy and ethos centred on interdisciplinary working within the architectural, construction and environmental disciplines.

Atria and EICC complete in Edinburgh

2013
Atria and EICC complete in Edinburgh

Set in the shadow of Edinburgh castle, Atria Edinburgh, the largest speculative Grade A office building to be developed in the UK outside London and the adjacent Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) complete. Atria providing highly efficient, flexible floorplates in 200,000 sq ft of accommodation and marks the completion of the city’s Exchange business district. At EICC the bulk of the new extension is below ground level and provides highly flexible function space. A variety of floor configurations and events can be accomplished by the provision of an automated moving floor system which is apparently the first in a conference centre.

Andy Murray becomes first British man to win Wimbledon since 1936

2014

Patients move into Southmead Hospital

2014
Patients move into Southmead Hospital

The first patients moved into Southmead Hospital’s new 800 bed Brunel building. A brand new acute and community facility for the wider Bristol area, it combines specialist medical services on one site and a regional trauma centre and adult burns unit. Universally praised for the design and quality of the space, it maximises natural light and ventilation both to key public routes and individual rooms. The £430m building is designed to achieve BREEAM Excellent with a carbon footprint below government targets, making it the most sustainable major acute hospital in the UK.

Chinese ‘mega’ shopping centres open

2014
Chinese ‘mega’ shopping centres open

Inter IKEA Centre Group’s LIVAT shopping centres opened in the Daxing district of Beijing and in Wuxi. In Beijing, the 250,000sqm centre is the largest to date of one of three IKEA anchored shopping malls in China designed by BDP. The complex offers three levels of shopping and leisure with three subterranean car park levels for 7,000 cars plus an additional office park development with strong transport links. In Wuxi, The 140,000sqm scheme offers the most extensive retail offer in Jiangsu Province featuring a hypermarket, over 300 international and domestic stores, an ice rink, restaurant and catering outlets, along with hospitality, cinema and entertainment venues.

BDP appointed to deliver AstraZenecea Headquarters

2014
BDP appointed to deliver AstraZenecea Headquarters

BDP was appointed the lead consultant for AstraZeneca’s new £330m Global R&D Centre and Corporate Headquarters in Camrbidge, BDP’s biggest fully interdisciplinary project for many years. Home for approximately 2,000 employees located on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. BDP is also responsible for the executive architecture, combined engineering, landscape, interiors, acoustics and specialist lighting services and for delivering concept architect Herzog & de Meuron’s vision. The design aims for BREEAM Excellent and features laboratories that represent best practice in low energy design and the largest ground source heat pump in Europe. Green roofs will also be installed across the majority of the site.

BDP achieves first BIM level 2 certification

2014
BDP achieves first BIM level 2 certification

BDP was the first company to be assessed and certificated under BRE Global’s BIM level 2 Business Systems Certification Scheme. As part of the certification process, BRE Global conducted a site audit to review processes and procedures at BDP’s London studio. BDP was then issued certificate number 001 under the scheme. A significant step along our BIM journey, it both validates the investment and commitment to redefining BDP’s processes to align with emerging technologies. BDP is also part of a team led by NBS that won the £1 million Technology Strategy Board contract to take forward development of the Digital Toolkit for Building Information Modelling (BIM) for HM Government.

BDP joins top design companies in UKTI taskforce

2014
BDP joins top design companies in UKTI taskforce

BDP was one of the top 100 design companies to join the UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) High Value Opportunities (HVO) taskforce. Companies on the taskforce include top architectural names such as Adjaye Associates and Zaha Hadid Architects and institutions such as The British Museum and the V&A. A growing appetite for British design offers many opportunities for innovative firms like BDP to boost overseas trade. Collectively the creative industries generate more than £36 billion a year for the UK economy. Supporting the UK’s creative companies in a drive to win £500 million worth of high value overseas contracts, the initiative is part of a government plan to get more UK businesses exporting their services.

BDP is lighting designer of the year

2014
BDP is lighting designer of the year

The lighting team walked away with impressive wins in three categories at the Lighting Design Awards, including the top accolade of Lighting Designer of the Year for BDP’s Mark Ridler. The judges said: “Mark’s work consistently excels year-in, year-out. His guiding hand has driven the success of some outstanding BDP projects this year. He preaches a common-sense approach to lighting in the numerous presentations he has delivered at industry events and his contributions to some significant guidance documents in 2013 are also worth acknowledging. Lastly, his work with the Institute of Lighting Professionals has really helped bring the industry together.”

John McManus appointed Chief Executive

2014
John McManus appointed Chief Executive

John McManus becomes the first architect to be chief executive of BDP. John studied at the Mackintosh School of Architecture and previously was head of the Glasgow studio. He has led design teams on major commissions within all of BDP’s key sectors both in the UK and internationally.

2015

Two more BDP buildings listed

2015
Two more BDP buildings listed

Two 1970s brutalist banks gain listed status. Bank House in King Street, Leeds completed in 1971 and was awarded Grade II listed building status. Later in the year Danske Bank’s Headquarters in Belfast, built in 1976, was granted listed status by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA). The B listing recognises it as having local importance and being a good example of a period style.

Award Success for Northern Schools

2015
Award Success for Northern Schools

St John Bosco Arts College in Liverpool is announced as a RIBA Award winner in the north west region described as “a unique, exciting and stimulating school which supports already outstanding teaching and learning.” Meanwhile Enterprise South Liverpool Academy (ESLA) won a Civic Trust Award. Designed as a beacon with the wow factor to regenerate a deprived area of the city, head teacher Jack Pendlebury said the building was “totally fit for purpose.”

Alder Hey Children’s Hospital opens

2015
Alder Hey Children’s Hospital opens

Alder Hey Children’s Hospital opens to patients after two and a half years of construction. The new building with its striking identity creates a unique paediatric environment that, together with adjacent Springfield Park, forms an integrated Children’s Health Park.

BREEAM Outstanding for Enterprise Centre

2015
BREEAM Outstanding for Enterprise Centre

Our engineers contribute to the success of the Enterprise Centre at the University of East Anglia which completes as one of the most sustainable building in Britain. It is Passivhaus certified, BREEAM Outstanding and has been designed to achieve a 100 year life span.

UK Pavilion at Milan Expo

2015
UK Pavilion at Milan Expo

The UK Pavilion at the Milan Expo receives over 3.3 million visitors during its six month run and goes on to win an array of top design and industry awards. We designed the scheme as part of a team led by Nottingham-based artist Wolfgang Buttress.

2016

Alder Hey Children’s Hospital Wins

2016
Alder Hey Children’s Hospital Wins

Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool wins the Prime Minister’s Better Public Building Award at the British Construction Industry (BCI) Awards. It also wins many other awards including a RIBA National Award, one of only three healthcare projects recognised, and is officially opened by The Queen.

Enterprise Centre Wins Best of Best

2016
Enterprise Centre Wins Best of Best

The Enterprise Centre at the University of East Anglia is announced as Best of the Best, as well as the national winner of the Corporate Workplace category at this year’s British Council for Offices (BCO) Awards. We provide full engineering and sustainability for this exemplar low carbon building that achieves two of the most rigorous sustainable built environment standards, BREEAM Outstanding with a score of 93.0% and Passivhaus.

BDP and Nippon Koei Unite

2016
BDP and Nippon Koei Unite

BDP combines forces with Japan’s leading engineering practice Nippon Koei to form an integrated design group of genuine international reach. Sharing a philosophy which places an emphasis on design integration and community impact, the new group offers a unique combination of deep technical skills in engineering, architecture and the full range of design disciplines.

The Well, Toronto

2016
The Well, Toronto

We win a competitive bid to design the retail element of The Well, a 3 million sq ft mixed-use development in downtown Toronto. The retail buildings define and occupy the first three levels of a city block to form the podium, above which up to 46 storey towers form a high density residential and office schematic. The central spine within the podium will be covered by a glazed canopy but open on the sides to allow for natural ventilation.

Blackburn Meadows Biomass Completes

2016
Blackburn Meadows Biomass Completes

We complete a glowing landmark biomass power plant for E.ON on the site of the former Tinsley cooling towers adjacent to Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield. The project consists of a pair of simple orange structures set against a backdrop of industrial forms within a wetlands environment. These forms are clad in black profiled steel referencing the local industrial vernacular of old steel mills in the Lower Don Valley.

Northern Estates Framework Win

2016
Northern Estates Framework Win

We win the contract for the Northern Estate Programme (NEP), the creative adaptation and conservation of a number of historic buildings for the House of Commons. Appointed for architectural and lead design services, the programme will enhance access and circulation, integrate modern technology, upgrade workplace space and amenities and renew conference facilities. Fire safety, environmental performance and mechanical and electrical services will also be enhanced.

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