BDK Architects

BDK Architects
“ We used BDK Architects and found them to be quick, reasonably priced, creative, great to work with, approachable and with a complete understanding of all Planning and Building Bye-Law aspects.
We would recommend them for any construction project! ” - BDK Domestic Client, April 2009

Public Buildings

Jersey Archive

This project benefited immensely from our association with the London practice of MacCormac Jamieson Prichard, who had earlier experience of this building type. We worked together during the design development and detailing / specification stages and, due to our proximity, once work on site commenced we administered the construction.

The Brief had four separate functions that were made significant with a progression from the most accessible Public zones, through to the secure Reading Room, then more secure protected staff facilities and finally to the most secure Strongrooms. The Public entrance and exhibition straddles the narrow front neck of the site, externally defining a new public square giving the building presence and gravitas in a very narrow street.

“An example of the finest modern architecture. It has transformed a quarry and a run-down housing estate into an airy, welcoming, highly functional and visually satisfying building.”
Philip Le Brocq, Société Jersiaise President 2000

Visitors entering a double height Reception & Exhibition area are led in a dramatic progression up the principal staircase, with etched glass balustrading, through the intimate Finding Aids area into the contemplative final destination of the Reading Room facing out over the South Courtyard. This was conceived as an oak clad "Treasure Chest", in celebration of the mystery and revelation involved in consulting the Archive. The oak box is sat on large precast white concrete beams cantilevered out over the South Courtyard. External oak cladding wraps around inside and is progressively stripped back to reveal green lacquered panels reminiscent of traditional leather book binding - further separated from the main body with a glazed slot to emphasise the Reading Room’s importance. There is a ceremonial quality to the room with white precast concrete ceiling panels - providing passive heat balancing - floating above clerestory windows shedding reflected daylight into the room.

Our concept included the latest best practice in low energy design by using the structure to absorb heat creating a balanced working environment. In the Archive store-rooms we went further by using the structure to control heat and humidity, meeting BS5454 requirements for archive buildings with a combination of building structure and a computer controlled services management system (BMS) which dispensed with the usual air conditioning of records areas, saving over £330K in capital and running cost.The use of passive means to condition an archive, without any air conditioning, is a first for Archive buildings in Europe and possibly world - wide.

We have provided a modern, secure home for Jersey's historical records giving perfect conditions for storing documents ranging from a parchment character of Richard II to post war documents charting the Island's development as a major offshore financial centre. Operationally, the building has been very successful with visitors and staff alike appreciating the amenity.