The Art House / Hertfordshire The Art House is a response to a client with an interest in contemporary art and a mature garden landscape in a parkland setting. Having made the decision to redevelop the site of their existing house, the retention of the existing tree canopy and lawn, designed by a head gardener from Kew has influenced the intimate relationship between the house and the new and existing garden spaces. The control and interplay of light and space, both internally and externally, was key in its planning. The simplicity in form of the rectangular, two-storey volume of the house, is reflected in the natural materials used – concrete, wood, granite, and glass, with plaster and render.
Summer House / Blackheath Summer House Blackheath is located in the south-east corner of the garden of a modernist house built by the renowned architect Peter Moro (in 1957), where existing mature trees create a visual buffer between the garden and surrounding properties.
Silver Birches / Wentworth Estate We were appointed by a private client to create a new pavilion on the grounds of his listed home Silver Birches Wentworth Estate, which lies within the famous golf course at Wentworth. The design proposals required close consultation with both conservation officers from the local planning authority as well as consultants acting on behalf of the Wentworth Estate, which owns the freehold of the site. Careful siting of the new building was needed to avoid damage to the mature trees that surround the garden, and a sensitive choice of materials and colours was necessary to obtain consent from the planners and conservation officers. A timber clad canopy wraps around the new swimming pool room and over part of the pool itself. The studio space is designed to maximise the connection between outdoors and in, with a large sliding glass panel that opens up to create a semi-outdoor space during the warmer months.
Private House / Bow The Private House at Bow is a loft-apartment. Our client had a limited budget but firm ideas about how they wanted to live. Central to the brief was the desire to create a workspace which could also be used as a guest room.
University of East Anglia / New Sciences Building Work has been completed on this new £30m integrated teaching and laboratory building for the University of East Anglia.Rather than providing home to just one department or faculty, the building contains high quality, flexible teaching rooms and laboratories for use by multiple departments or faculties, creating an environment in which cross-fertilisation of ideas and innovation can flourish, fostering a spirit of discovery enabled by connections between students, researchers and academics in the finest traditions of the founding ethos of the university.
Cockcroft Building / University of Brighton In repurposing the Cockcroft Building at the University of Brighton, one of the largest retrofits of an occupied academic building in the UK, Fraser Brown MacKenna Architects were tasked with transforming a building designed for the Atomic Age into a research environment for the Information Age.The 10,500m² building, which is occupied by 2,600 staff and students, was reaching the end of its useful life. Demolition and replacement with a new building was not feasible given space and budget constraints and would have lost the embodied energy within the existing building.The infrastructure within the Cockcroft Building had reached the end of its design life. Accessibility, building services, and fire egress all required urgent improvement. The thermal performance of the envelope was poor, allowing significant heat loss through the windows and walls. Internally, teaching and research laboratories were outdated with unsuitable wooden floors, poor servicing and worn out equipment.
The Museum of the Mind / Bethlem Royal Hospital / Beckenham FBM was chosen as the finalist in the Art Fund Museum of the Year Awards; a design competition run by the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust. This small but unique venue is the only building dedicated to the history of mental health treatment in the UK; the ‘Museum of the Mind’ contains the archive of the hospital which became known as ‘Bedlam’. The project involved a refurbishment and extension of the former Administration Building and opened in February 2015.Bethlem is one of the world’s oldest hospitals for the treatment of mental illness. The Bethlem Archives and Museum Service was established at the hospital as a small exhibition space in 1970 and now houses over 450 works of art by artists linked to the hospital or the field of mental illness; it includes pieces by Richard Dadd and Louis Wain who both spent time at Bethlem. The archive contains a continuous record of the hospital since 1559, including fragile and valuable records.The refurbishment and extension of the former Administration Building now provide environmentally controlled archive storage, a conservation studio, dedicated spaces to accommodate archive researchers and educational visits, galleries for permanent and temporary exhibitions. The focal point of the new museum is the permanent display which explores the long history of mental health care and treatment at Bethlem and elsewhere.
Stanley Picker Gallery / Kingston University The Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston University, which is part of Art Council England’s National Portfolio, is a public venue dedicated to the research, development, production and presentation of interdisciplinary contemporary arts. Fraser Brown MacKenna was invited by Kingston University to complete the refurbishment of the gallery, which reopened in time for the venue’s 15th Anniversary celebrations.Our proposal for the refurbishment was both creative and economical. Working with a limited budget, the gallery is now able to operate more successfully. Through minimal design interventions, changes to the exterior have increased its presence in the neighbourhood, and the reorganisation of the internal space has allowed for it to be used more effectively.
FBM Architects believe that fantastic architecture makes a positive difference to people’s lives. This is the inspiration that drives all that we do.
FBM Architects is an award-winning practice working for leading clients on a variety of exiting projects. Formed in 1991, we have developed a reputation for delivering successful results with limited resources through intelligent design solutions. Most of our work has originated through some form of design competition.
We have a track record working within the arts and culture sector and with forward-thinking organisations whose success relies on innovation. Recently completed projects include the Museum of the Mind and Bethlem Gallery – the first venue dedicated to the history of mental health treatment in the UK. We have completed numerous projects for organisations within the knowledge economy, including flexible high-performance workspaces for IBM and state of the art places to learn for the London School of Economics and other leading universities.
We are committed to ensuring that the ideas that underpin the design concept for each project follows through to the detailed design – combining the very best that modern materials and technology have to offer, with fine craftsmanship. We have experience in delivering housing, from bespoke one-off homes to social housing. Recent projects include the regeneration of Pembury Circus in Hackney, providing new homes (50% affordable housing) and a community centre for Peabody. We have expertise in Passivhaus design. Our Passivhaus retrofit of a family home on the Thamesmead Estate was named in the Guardian as one of the top ten ‘eco homes’ in the UK. Our £29m sustainable refurbishment of the Cockcroft Building for the University of Brighton was named Higher Education Project of the Year in the AJ Retrofit Awards.
Our contextual design approach has led to projects in a variety of settings, from a new neighbourhood adjacent to a wildlife reserve in Sevenoaks, to sites next to scheduled ancient monuments, in the green belt or flood plain settings. We have experience in the refurbishment and extension of heritage buildings including the Grade I listed Slade School of Fine Art and the refurbishment of the Grade I listed Wilkins Building at University College London.