BDK Architects

BDK Architects

BDK News

1997 - Jersey Archive Preview




By Paul W. Harding, BA DipArch RIBA

       Principal: BDK Architects, Jersey


In September 1995 Jersey Heritage Trust held competitive interviews at which BDK Architects, working in association with MacCormac Jamieson Prichard, submitted initial design ideas for the project. Our concept, responding to the sites location in a disused quarry, was to provide a strict hierarchy of security from a new public square at the sites restricted entrance, through to semi - secure public areas overlooking two internal courtyards, thence to secure staff areas and finally, at the back of the quarry, the most secure strongrooms which were stacked vertically to maximise external area and prospect in what is a confined site.


A Feasibility Study was carried out between Oct - Dec 1995 and enthusiastically received by the Client, by the middle of 1996 the States of Jersey awarded funding to provide a modern, secure home for Jersey's historical records in perfect conditions to ensure the long term preservation of these irreplaceable documents. These range from a parchment character of Richard II, include Royal Charters dating from 1378 that established the Island’s unique independent constitutional position, to post war documents charting the Island's development as a major offshore financial centre.


The accommodation includes, in addition to the public exhibition and reading room areas, provision for an educational facility for school and other groups. A new public Square will be created at the front of the site to provide a green oasis in a densely built part of Town. The professional team are now developing the design prior to an anticipated start on site early 1998 and completion late 1999 in time for the Millennium.



The structure of the stongrooms are being designed to achieve satisfactory environmental conditions by passive means alone, believed to be a first for Archive buildings in the whole of Europe and possibly world-wide. Although some European archive buildings have supplemented air conditioning with passive technology to achieve the tight temperature and humidity tolerances required for long term preservation of documents, Jersey Archive document strongrooms will have no air conditioning thereby avoiding the expense of capital, running and maintenance costs. A feasibility study carried out by Ove Arup in association with the Architects has demonstrated the use of structure, insulation and temperature controlled by a BMS will achieve the correct humidity levels in the strongrooms without any air conditioning, the results of which are being incorporated into the design.



Architects: BDK Architects, Jersey, C. I.

(pre-contract in association with David Prichard of MacCormac Jamieson Prichard)

Quantity Surveyors: Tillyard, Jersey

M&E Engineers: Ove Arup & Partners, London

Structural Engineers: Arup Rothwell, Jersey

Landscape Architects: Colvin & Moggridge, Lechlade

Main Contractor: Camerons Ltd., Jersey