View Architects

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by View Architects's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from View Architects is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Principal Bernard Doyle
Winter Gardens Pavilion –
new college entrance
general architects’ practice that provides a full suite of
architectural services – from conceptual design through
to post-occupational management – boutique firm View
is based in Bristol. Principal Bernard Doyle says their expertise
is thanks to the talent and experience of their tight-knit and
specialist team. With passion and commitment to envision
“places and spaces of excellence”, Bernard tells
that View is uniquely positioned to deliver time and time
again for commercial and residential clients alike.
I established the practice in 2009 after leaving a larger organisation which focused
on building capital projects for the public sector. When the financial crisis hit, and
money dried up in this sector, it was clear that practices had to become more agile.
View was born from this.
With our core team of 12, we are a small and agile practice, focusing on
completing projects up to a cost of £15 million. We focus on delivering the
strategic objectives of our clients for a fraction of the cost of other firms, and this
is where our expertise lies. Although we are based in Bristol, we cover the entirety
of the south of England from London to the Midlands. The majority of our clients
are in the public sector and include further education colleges, universities, schools
and also organisations such as police authorities. As many of these different
establishments face the same challenges around procurement and the methods
they have to use, we are able to utilise our significant expertise in this area.
We have actively sought out innovative methods to streamline our workflow and
deliver projects more cost-effectively. We offer a high level of service with low fees
»Principal: Bernard Doyle
»Established in 2009
»Based in Bristol
»Services: General architecture
»No. of employees: 12
View Architects
Highlighting best practice
and are always looking at new ways to
help deliver this. For instance, we were
an early adopter of unmanned aerial
vehicles and have incorporated this
into our design process. By combining
this with other recent technology, we
are able to manipulate and present
three-dimensional data from the outset
of aproject.
Explanation through example
We have been fortunate enough to
be invited onto a number of exciting
projects, of which two stand out. The
first was the South West Skills Campus
for Weston College in Weston-
super-Mare. The project involved
the refurbishment and remodelling
of a former industrial site with a
focus not just on rejuvenation but
innovation. As many of the buildings
were unfit for habitation, we studied
the site and identified how we could
adapt the existing structures with
limited alterations. Through careful
adaptation and the installation of
necessary extensions, we were able to
transform the site into state-of-the-art
The site is now comprised of
professionally focused workshops, and
the project was nominated for both
the LABC Best Education award and
the LABC Best Change of Use of an
Existing Building award. As we were
able to achieve this transformation for
the most part through refurbishment,
the total capital investment was
significantly reduced. The total cost of
the development was £12 million.
The second project was the restoration,
adaptation and extension of the Winter
Gardens Pavilion, a locally listed historic
structure on the seafront. Although
the building was cherished by the
community, it had fallen into disrepair
and had become a burden for North
Somerset Council, the previous owner.
We were tasked with transforming
this building and integrating it into
the local authority masterplan for the
town square and surrounding area,
a separate piece of work previously
carried out by ViewArchitects.
By adapting existing accommodation,
adding mezzanines and limited
extensions, while respecting the original
structure, we were able to transform
the building into a specialist teaching
and conference venue for Weston
College. The ballroom, a major part of
the original building, is now used for
conferencing and banqueting and can
also be hired out by local community
groups. Through a detailed analysis of
the existing structure and a thorough
understanding of our client’s objectives,
the entire project was delivered for £13
million, a fraction of the cost of a new-
build project without any reduction in
the quality of facilities provided. This
project won the INCA Architectural
Design award and was shortlisted for
Project of the Year in the LABC awards.
BIM: the way forward
The uncertainty surrounding Brexit
has impacted us indirectly. Some of
our clients have been affected by the
current economic uncertainty, which
has led to projects being postponed and
cancelled. Despite this, we have been
working to enhance our service delivery
and assist our clients to minimise risk
through the benefits ofBIM.
South West Skills
Campus – main entrance
Winter Gardens
Pavilion – college
entrance foyer
As we were
able to achieve
the total capital
investment was
We applaud the fact that national
government have embraced this
workflow, but we feel that this
should be taken further. Currently,
BIM is not mandatory for all public
sector projects, and loopholes still
exist which allow for publicly funded
projects to be delivered through
traditional methods. If BIM became
mandatory, we would be able to
assist in the delivery of projects at a
much higher level. Currently, because
some projects are not delivered
through this process, they are missing
out on a wide range of enhanced
We would welcome an improved
public sector procurement system
which enables clients to engage with
organisations such as ours at a much
earlier stage. Currently, all larger
public sector tenders must be procured
using the Official Journal of the
European Union. This process tends
to disadvantage smaller organisations,
and it is also a lengthy process
which has led to the proliferation of
procurement frameworks which are
weighted against smaller firms. We are
often appointed as a subconsultant
on framework agreements, but in
this case the close relationship with
the client, an essential component for
a successful project, is placed under
unnecessary strain. If the design team
is marginalised, innovation is impeded,
the process is elongated and it leads to
the emergence of inertia.
Another example of this is the
management of environmental
performance standards such as
BREEAM. This procedure serves to
enhance design objectives and allows
for the best environmental standards
to be achieved. However, it requires
significant upfront investment from our
clients. Environmental objectives must
be correctly established at the outset
of a project; existing procurement
methods act as an impediment to this
being successfully achieved. Our advice
would be to look at how we can
improve the delivery of public sector
projects. Perhaps one benefit of leaving
the European Union would be the
opportunity to reassess procurement
practices and create a process that
offers greater flexibility and genuinely
encourages best practice.
Going forward, our focus is on
improving our service delivery
through continual investment in our
software, hardware and technological
capabilities. We are constantly seeking
best-practice initiatives and encourage
our partners to embrace innovation.
If we all embrace this goal, we can
deliver built solutions, and enable
our clients to deliver their own core
objectives, at a much higher standard.
must be
established at
the outset of a
methods act
as an
impediment to
this being
South West Skills
Campus – independent
learning area
Winter Gardens Pavilion
– new restaurant

This article was sponsored by View Architects. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development