Transformations Sector

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Architects have always been inspired by buildings of the past. While WilkinsonEyre is proud to be associated with a confident modern aesthetic, often fusing architecture and engineering, the practice has always undertaken building refurbishment, as well as the more radical repurposing of historic structures for new, exciting uses. Some of these projects have been modest, practical and intimate, while others – like Magna or Battersea Power Station – are envisioned and realised on a truly epic scale. Often these new uses have a strong cultural imperative, allowing these structures to be treated in a sympathetic way, drawing out their significance whilst repurposing the site through a bold vision. Such projects have the power to bring new visitors, fresh perspectives and hope to their surroundings. All this is made possible through intelligent and sensitive design choices.

Any regeneration project begins with the identification of a viable new use (where a building’s original role has disappeared), and this is sometimes the hardest test on the long road to restoration. From this new purpose we develop the scope of works and the nature of the intervention required. At this point, imaginative design helps unlock the potential of the structure and the surrounding site. We may choose to be doctrinaire, deferential, playful or daring – all depends on the context, the inherent sensitivities of the site, and the views of client, heritage bodies, local people and the planning authority. Sometimes, proposals might generate debate at a national or even international level – we are up for the challenge!