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Celebrating 60 years of design

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2021 marks the 60th anniversary of a seminal meeting between our founder, George Grenfell Baines, and his partners at Bryn Mor in Anglesey, when Building Design Partnership first came into existence. Our collective ethos has seen us flourish into a global practice of more than 1,000 talented people in studios across the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, India, China, Singapore, North America, South America and the Middle East. 

Chair, Chris Harding explains: "This July, we are taking the time to reflect upon the last 60 years of successful practice and the incredible legacy that our founder, George Grenfell Baines left; his ideals and the concept of a continuous collective that still holds true today.

But this is also an opportunity to look forward, to ask how we, as a global design practice, can help build a better society. 

Grenfell Baines was a visionary who introduced the concept of interdisciplinary practice to the world. Today we are a collective of architects, engineers, designers and urbanists who are well placed to apply agility, creativity and practicality to the process of creating modern, progressive places."


Looking back over one of the strangest years on record, this issue of The Big Conversation aims to provide something a little different. As we pay tribute to 60 years of practice, we interview Lady Grenfell Baines and ask architecture and design writer, Hugh Pearman to review some of our most distinguished projects. We also provide a collection of thought-provoking articles by people from across BDP on projects, designs and future trends.

Read our Annual Review

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We have an amazing story to tell about our successess from the past 60 years. These are the result of the dedication, passion and talent of individuals and teams who are committed to making BDP a globally renowned design practice. 60 Years of Stories is a series of perspectives from across the practice on some of the major moments that make up our history and define our future.

Explore our timeline




BDP was born in the 1960s when modernist design ideals and new construction technologies gave rise to architecture of optimism. The output from this period saw a series of distinctive buildings completed with bold, simple, expressive forms exploiting the creative possibilities of concrete. Known as Brutalism today, this distinctive style is widely admired as being evocative of a particular moment in the history of design. 

The Modernist Heritage Exhibition will be held in February 2022 and will celebrate our legacy of modernist projects including Preston Bus Station, Halifax Building Society, The Bank of England, Leeds and The University of Bradford.