Building Design Partnership prides themselves on being different. As a collective they have experts spanning the world in all design areas, however big or small. They describe this range in size as “from bespoke light sculptures to entirely new cities”, so we here at Lighting Interiors Online wanted to see what they’d been up to recently, what projects they’ve got going on, and how their creative approach, combined with their collaborative methods create an environment which is incredibly productive. It is the way that this partnership approaches projects that makes them stand out from the crowd and allows them to push boundaries which haven’t been seen before.
The barriers to the platform at Victoria Station
In the heart of Manchester sits Victoria Station which connects the vibrant city with the rest of the UK. Its Edwardian frontage needed rearranging and restoring, due to its tired appearance. Further to this brief given by Network Rail, the client also wanted to reinforce the idea that this station identified as a low carbon hub, one which allowed people to travel in style whilst also minimizing its effect on the natural environment.
The £44 million result was stunning, allowing the building to be breath-takingly dominant, whilst also providing an intimate aesthetically-pleasing environment for passengers to enjoy before embarking on their journey. The project centred around the “removal of a series of train-shed roofs which have been replaced with a 15,000 sqm ETFE-clad column free structure”. The removal of the train-shed roofs and having a column-less structure ensured that the area was open and welcoming, clear of any obstruction.
The ticket office inside the Station
It is the ticket office within Victoria Station which truly stands out to us here at Lighting Interiors Online. The wooden frontage appears clean and vintage, with its smooth lines and uncluttered appearance. By removing clutter from the station, visitors are greeted with an open, airy, light environment, achieving the goal of creating an environmentally-friendly identity. This bright theme is continued in the train station café, sitting underneath the most glorious Edwardian dome and accessorised with the additional pendent lighting. Although the project succeeded the brief in terms of stamping an eco-identity, we must ask the question: was the project successful in restoring and revitalising the station? The answer is yes. While retaining the Edwardian features (large, bright windows and quality wooden structures), the BDP have updated so many of the cluttered aspect which made the station feel a little more oppressive and detached.
The University of Essex’s Business School
Other projects which have also been completed by the Building Design Partnership are the Xjtlu South Campus in China, Thomas More Square, University of Essex’s Business School, and the Suzhou Exhibition Hall in China.
In 2016, BDP teamed up with Nippon Koei, a leading engineering practice from Japan. This teamwork allows a “genuine international reach”. About working with many different industries, BDP say, “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”.
For more information about the BDP, their projects and work-ethic, visit their website: