The reputation of the practice continued to rise from the outset of the new Millennium. The completion of a string of high profile projects, including the SS Great Britain, Quakers Friars, Aardman Animations HQ and Sheepdrove helped sustain the practice through a difficult decade for the industry. The appointment of two new Directors helped to underpin the practice’s new direction.
Sheepdrove Eco Conference Centre
Sheepdrove, one of the largest organic farms in the UK, required a highly sustainable Centre for the promotion of organic farming and biodiversity. The Centre includes conference, study and education spaces, a restaurant, shop, and new farm offices. The site is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The building is naturally ventilated and is built of sustainable materials. Waste products are bio-degraded in reed beds. The design reinterprets the concept of the Long Barn and utilises innovative timber engineering.
Winner of a Civic Trust Award and Civic Trust Special Award for Sustainability.
SS Great Britain
This first (1843) iron screw propelled ocean going ship designed by Brunel, now resting in its Listed original dry dock, required extensive preservation and restoration and new visitor facilities. A glass plate was inserted at water-line level to allow de-humidification, essential to the ship’s preservation, and the adjacent dockyard buildings were restored as an interpretation centre and new way onto the ship. The ship’s interior has been extensively restored and the site has been made as accessible as possible within the limits of its historic fabric.
Winner of the following awards: RIBA Crown Estate Conservation Award, Civic Trust Award, Civic Trust Special Award for Accessibility, Culbenkian prize for Museum of the Year and Rough Guide to Accessible Britain.
This internationally acclaimed animations studio required a new headquarters on their existing site in Bristol. The three-storey building provides office and studio space arranged around a tapered atrium providing break out spaces, daylight and air movement for the natural ventilation. The building was designed to be highly sustainable in both its materials and use of energy.
Winner of the following awards: RIBA Town and Country Workplace, RIBA Town and Country Supreme Award, Bristol Civic Society Environmental Award.
As part of the award-winning revitalisation of the central shopping district of Bristol, Alec French Architects were responsible for the design of the area immediately around the listed Quakers Friars buildings. The scheme created a new civic space with restaurants, cafes and small specialist shops. A retail spine provided a link between the further proposed retail to the east, and the existing retail and the rest of the City centre. Residential accommodation was then provided in a new landmark tower rising over the main retail block.
Winner of the following awards: BREEAM Retail Award, MAPIC EG Retail Award for Best Shopping Centre, In-Town Retail Scheme of the Year, Bristol Civic Society Environmental Award,Supreme Gold Award by the British Council of Shopping Centres.