Q. What are the biggest pleasures of being an architect in Bristol?
A. Having the chane to work on some of the most fabulous historic buildings in the country. We are fortunate to be involved with the conservation and sensitive redevelopment of a number of these, the most prevalent being the fabulous Art Deco White Ladies Road Picture House in Clifton.
Q. What is your favorite building in Bristol?
A. St George's Hall, Great George Street, Brandon Hill, 1821-23 by Robert Smirke. The building itself is quite austere but maintains a beautiful elegance with very simple neo-Classical detailing.
Q. Is Bristol too casual about protecting its cultural heritage?
A. Bristol is one of the most diverse cities in the U.K, both in terms of its cultural and built heritage, and I think that the people of Bristol are very proud of their city and preserving its unique identity. With the current economic climate it is vital that our historic buildings are protected from destruction and decay as businesses and owners of histroic buildings will find it easier to justify the loss of an expensive-to-run building that requires expensive repaires.
Q. What would you judge to be the most successful new building in Bristol?
A. The redevelopment of the Mshed.
Q. What have been the saddest architectural losses for the city?
A. The loss of All Saints Church in Clifton following a direct bomb hit in the second world war was a sad loss. The Church - a masterpiece of high Victorian Gothic - was widely regarded as the most successful Victorian biulding in Bristol and could have been saved the 1960's with a new roof.
Q. Which building/area would Bristol be better off wthout?
A. St James Barton roundabout and its surrounding buildings. 1970's concrete affectionism gone wrong!
Q. What would be your fantasy project?
A. Probably a large public building in the centre of the city, like a theatre or public baths where we can have a lot of fun designing a traditional, grand building using our own blend of 'rustic contemporary' language that develops historic building techniques with contemporary technologies.