Saturday, 16 January 2010
An architect's vision
In amongst the Victoria Road shops in Saltaire are the offices of Rance, Booth and Smith Architects. The partnership was formed in 1982 and undertakes a variety of work including projects for major public clients such as Bradford Council, the health service and Bradford University. I quite often stop by their window to look at the displays and read about their recent work. They seem to be doing some innovative work in terms of sustainable building and their website says they have now launched an environmental service: RBS Sustainable. One of the nice things is that, along with other local businesses, they involve themselves in community matters such as the Saltaire Festival. They also recently completed restoration and conservation work in Saltaire's church.
I am impressed - even excited - by what I have seen of their work. They produced plans for a rebuild of the small educational centre right opposite my house - and it was stunning. Sadly, the Council in the end went with a lower cost, less radical renovation but it's still a vast improvement on what was there. I also visited the school conversion (to homes) they designed in Haworth and it was amazing.
Their own offices in Saltaire are interesting. They have retained the external appearance of the building but inside they have cut away some of the floor to open up a light-well into the basement, and put in a glass wall. (See their website under 'Commercial' for a full description). As my photo shows, it looks especially attractive at night, when the lighting really brings out the colour of the exposed brickwork.