Wright & Wright helps clients embrace the future. Our design projects are often a catalyst for realising much wider ambitions, setting new trajectories of thought and action, as well as shaping identity. We specialise in devising innovative design solutions that integrate the past while remaining expansive and adaptable in a rapidly changing world.
From increasing demands on space and the need to reuse existing structures, to the growth in digitisation and hybrid ways of working, Wright & Wright considers the future trends that will shape society and how the built environment can proactively respond.
Architecture is a human art. Its evolution must serve the changing ways we live, work, play, and exist in the world. The selected case studies below show how we put this philosophy into practice.
From the beginning, Wright & Wright was keen to understand the spirit of place – past, present and future - the function of the original buildings and the role of the Museum in the twenty-first century ...
Their championing of us, as a client wanting change, gave us the confidence to fundamentally rethink our purpose and ramp up our ambitions.
Director, Museum of the Home
The ethos of any masterplan is to build for the future. Yet in adding to a centuries-old ensemble of buildings it must reconcile the need to respond sensitively to the existing site and structures, while expanding them to cater for future needs and concretise wider ambitions. Identifying opportunities for development as well as possible pitfalls, the masterplan should be a catalyst for change and transformation in challenging times.
St John's College, Oxford
The masterplan for St John’s encompassed three key phases, beginning with the refurbishment of the Old and Laudian Libraries, followed by the addition of a new Study Centre, which created an active connection between the historic and the more modern elements of the College, strengthening links between different eras. Finally, the refurbishment of the 17th century Canterbury Quadrangle restored the College’s set piece space, involving the complex technicalities of replacing the existing stonework.
Wright & Wright intimately understand the history and development of the colleges, both as academic institutions and as assemblages of buildings, and worked closely with St John’s President Maggie Snowling on her programme to broaden College inclusion and physically rebalance the campus by attracting students back to its heart.
Learn more about the three-phase project here.
New Into Old
Lambeth Palace Library & Masterplan
Our wider experience of masterplanning shows how the practice can unlock complex historic institutions as they seek to re-evaluate their roles in the modern era and build for the future.
In the case of Lambeth Palace, historic home of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the aim was to redefine the boundaries between public and private realms, while opening up its library and archive, enabling it to play an even more distinctive role in national religious and cultural life, as part of the Church of England’s long term mission.
The new Lambeth Palace Library marked the first phase of this work. Set in the Archbishop’s garden, it drew together and consolidated the Church of England’s archive under one roof. The subsequent programme of repair and remodelling of Lambeth Palace aims to strengthen links within the Lambeth Palace community and reframe its relationship with the wider public.
Read more about the award-winning library here.
Based on a ‘fabric-first’ approach, it is underscored by the General Synod setting new targets for all parts of the Church to work to become carbon net zero by 2030. Upgrading the historic building fabric is prioritised, reducing the energy required to heat and cool internal spaces. In collaboration with Arup, the creation of a new Energy Centre will enable a move away from current reliance on fossil fuels. Increased public access is a further long-term ambition, with works planned to the Great Hall, Guard Room, Chapel and Crypt Chapel to improve access to the Palace’s historic core.
Explore Lambeth Palace's masterplan here.
You can only look forward for as long as you look back.
The British Academy
The British Academy’s location in Carlton House Terrace in central London puts it at the heart of the nation’s intellectual, political and cultural life. Such an illustrious locale is key to its sense of identity and mission, both now and in the future. Catalysing an exciting new era in its development, after the hiatus of the Covid pandemic, the proposed physical transformation of its headquarters will expand its remit and consolidate its presence.
The remodelling of Carlton House Terrace aims to radically reshape how the British Academy engages with researchers, thinkers and the public, across disciplines and generations, establishing a technologically and intellectually sophisticated network to promote world-class discourse in the humanities and social sciences. In this, the building plays a critical role, transcending its historical origins as set of grand dwellings into an incubator of ideas and crucible of public engagement.
The masterplan will unlock existing, underused spaces, transforming the historic building for the future and enabling the Academy to serve growing audiences. The low energy solution is based on an innovative approach that exemplifies our core tenet of building new into old sustainably, with a low carbon footprint and environmentally conscious designs that will last well into the future. Reacting to post-Covid realities, this transformation will create flexible rooms for new ways of meeting and sharing in digital, hybrid and in-person formats.
Visit the British Academy project here.