Levens Hall Restaurant

Levens Hall Restaurant
Location : Levens Hall, Cumbria
Sectors: Restaurant, Leisure, Historical

Levens Hall and Gardens is a grade I listed hall and gardens and is recognised as the oldest original garden in England featuring the oldest Haha. Famous for the topiary hedges of amazing scale and variety it is regularly used for film sets and garden programmes. The house has been in the Bagot Family for centuries who are looking to give a more contemporary offering to complement the amazing historical fair that has been a tourist destination for decades.

We worked with them looking at a number of different sites within the grounds and design options before homing in on a proposal that was simple in plan but had a dynamic roof form pointing to the future. The building sits on a plinth above the flood zone and provides a new destination alongside the gardens and hall that can operate all year round. The material palette and detail have been carefully developed to make strong connection to the neighbouring structures with a finely manicured hedge running through the building and out towards the river Kent referencing the gardens. The project is to develop the Bagot Family’s keen interest in ‘field to fork’ eating using products all grown within close proximity for sustainable dining.


Star & Shadow Cinema

Star & Shadow Cinema
Location : Warwick Street, Ouseburn, Newcastle
Sectors: Community, Leisure, Workspace

Star and Shadow Cinema is a co-operative and registered Community Benefit Society which runs an independent theatre whilst providing a venue for artists and musicians. The organisation is run entirely by volunteers with decisions made democratically.  Previously located on Stepney Bank Ouseburn they have grown out of their currently venue and managed to secure a dilapidated building on Warwick Street to transform into their new venue.  This exciting community led scheme includes a Cinema, Venue Space, Café, Community Spaces, Artist Studios and Workshops which are all to be built by the volunteers who have many different skills and expertise– a truly immense DIY project .

Design development has been an holistic and bespoke process incorporating ‘found’ items, recycling materials from their current venue and allowing an evolving scheme to incorporate other items founded during construction.  The design ethos is ‘buildings within building’ to make maximum use of the volume of the industrial shell whilst also creating the high acoustic performance needed within the cinema and venue space.  The layout and design has been created to have a vibrant heart to the building, a welcoming face to the street frontage and to enable volunteers to have a sociable time in the building whatever they have been allocated to do.  Construction work starts in summer 2016 and is due for completion early 2017.

Winners at the Regional RIBA Awards

We were rendered temporarily speechless after picking up three regional RIBA Awards at the recent North East RIBA Awards alongside some of the biggest names in architecture. Friar House picked up the award for the best conservation project as well as a regional award and we were delighted to be the winners of the Emerging Practice of the Year.

There were celebrations into the night and now the hard work continues to maintain the momentum!

Sunderland Masterplan win alongside big name architects

The team we were part of has been chosen for a series of sites around Sunderland including the large Vaux Brewery site. The £800 million regeneration project is our largest win to date and an experience we are keen to follow on from.

There is more about this large masterplan win on the link below: