Issue 59WHAT? NOW!

Keith Bradley looks to the future of the practice in the year that we celebrate 40 years of FCBStudios and 20 years of our London Studio.

"Architecture has no language except the spiritual language of its participants and their ability to inspire one another". Sverre Fehn

WHAT? NOW! Was the name of the first end of year show at the new Manchester School of Art, completed in 2014. 'Old School New School' was the mantra for the project, to reflect a culture of change and enquiry for an established Art School with a long tradition. The building is described by the school as 'permissive' in character allowing the art of the possible by blurring the boundaries of space and use and regenerating an established institution.

Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios is an established practice with a strong culture and traditions of social and environmental architecture. 20 years ago we set up the London Studio to extend our work into an Architecture of Urbanism. Laced through these values is a constant striving for change and regular renewal - we are Old School New School.

We have a permissive egalitarian approach to our work and the way we work. We are a collective partnership of highly committed individuals organized as Studio Groups that create work within the FCBS School. We regard Design as a participatory act with our clients and multi-disciplinary colleagues that leads to a responsive architecture, particular to the project and place. Looking back over the years, our projects show the shifts in our work, made with combinations of co-designers who share our sensibility.

So, what now!? We continue to regard ourselves as a 'work in progress', maintaining diversity and an openness to new possibilities. The projects currently in design development represent the practice’s continuing trajectory into established and new territory. Our story continues with our work pushing the wider boundaries of sustainability, heritage re-use, and urban design; new approaches to buildings for education; art, culture and heritage; living and working; and projects that bring many of these together as new types of mixed-use neighbourhoods. This future work is generated from our own expanding working communities in Bath and London, along with our more recently opened Belfast and Manchester bases, as we work across UK regions and internationally.

Concerning the future we regard one thing as certain; that from established roots comes new growth; the new fruits of our work improving; with the best years still to come.

Keith Bradley


1. Manchester School of Art © Hufton + Crow
2. Meetings and coffee time in the FCBStudios London Studio © Richard Battye for FCBStudios
3. Keith Bradley and Peter Clegg in front of the FCBStudios London Studio, 2018. © Richard Battye for FCBStudios

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