Wright & Wright is committed to helping clients reach net zero targets. The team has worked for three decades to realise ambitious decarbonisation schemes for complex, listed sites throughout the United Kingdom. Combining priorities of environmental sustainability and cultural preservation, the firm's approach reduces carbon emissions through the integration of modern technologies whilst maintaining buildings' historical integrity.
Beyond its environmental impact, decarbonization holds the potential for significant cost savings. By adopting energy-efficient measures, clients have realised substantial reductions in operational costs over time. The resulting capital can be reinvested or deployed toward mission-oriented programmes such as further restoration efforts, educational programs, or community engagement initiatives. Thus, the financial benefits of decarbonization not only contribute to environmental goals but also empower the preservation and enhancement of our built environment and shared cultural heritage in diverse and meaningful ways.
We limit our portfolio so that the partners can be involved and offer direct communications on every project. While each project team is composed of architects with relevant skillsets and workstyles for the specific needs of individual projects, the cohesive, horizontal nature of the firm enables all senior members of the leadership team to be closely involved in project management - from project conceptualisation and ideation through post-occupancy support.
We share an ambition to realise a society that is more inclusive, accessible, and sustainable. As part of this commitment, we engage a diverse cross-section of project stakeholders throughout the process. Successful formulations, approvals, and realisations of projects necessitate alignment. Architects regularly run stakeholder events and strive to bring everyone together on a shared path.
Through empathetic and trust-based engagement, positive working relationships with all stakeholders are established, ensuring not only a successful building but also an engaged and satisfied user community who fully adopt the design.
We're grateful not only for Wright & Wright's technical skill, but also their diplomatic care and consideration for us and our neighbours.
Dr. Helen Moore
President, Corpus Christi College, Oxford
We have never failed to achieve planning. We maintain an excellent track record in securing approval and listed building consent for our projects without compromising our clients' interests and ambitions.
This is due to a firmly established commitment on all projects to consultation; project teams engage early and productively with stakeholders, strategically build strong, tailored project teams, and garner trust from the outset.
We specialise in working on sensitive sites of exceptional historic and civic significance, including colleges in Oxford and Cambridge, as well as the National Gallery and the Museum of the Home. Recent decarbonisation projects include Lambeth Palace in London, the British Museum's South-West Energy Centre, and St John's College in Oxford. This wealth of experience has led to particularly strong relationships with local authorities who are familiar with and supportive of our approach.
The complex processes of decarbonisation and building go beyond simply implementing a sequence of physical technicalities. Rather, they rely on developing and sustaining a fruitful dialogue with the client and all stakeholders that will guide, inform, and ultimately enrich the project.
Architecture is fundamentally about people, and at its best, design and construction are collaborative, transparent processes shaped by mutual engagement and honest communication. Stimulating discussion and debate on architectural philosophy are embraced. We value trust and make sound recommendations, knowing when to push clients toward great ambition and when to be mindful of others' perspectives and defer.
Wright & Wright had a clear concept from the beginning which grew out of their excellent analysis of the brief and functions. They were very attentive to our input and made it a really good working process with the wider team.
Through effective listening combined with passion, excellent design skill and solid technical abilities, Wright & Wright delivered a project which is indeed unique and able to transform lives.
Regeneration Department, London Borough of Southwark
The British Museum
The British Museum stands as a singular institution, uniting cultures from across the globe within its walls. It serves as a unique window into the profound diversity of human cultures. The museum allows exploration into the myriad forms and expressions that human life has taken, emphasizing the interconnectedness of societies throughout history.
However, despite the prominence of the Bloomsbury estate and its collection, the museum faces challenges in its infrastructure. Over time, the adaptation and development of engineering systems have led to a complex and uncoordinated building services strategy, with outdated systems in some areas and a lack of resilience and flexibility. The South-West Energy Centre (SWEC) project has been initiated to address these issues, aiming to enhance energy supply, rationalise service distribution, and provide resilience for the Bloomsbury estate, ultimately supporting the Museum's broader mission and masterplan.
The SWEC project at the British Museum represents a significant infrastructure initiative aimed at fortifying the energy supply and generation, streamlining service distribution, and ensuring the resilience of the Bloomsbury estate. Recognising the need for cohesive and modernised systems, the project seeks to rectify the fragmented and outdated infrastructure, enabling ongoing asset and infrastructure renewal in alignment with the Museum's masterplan.
Learn more about the British Museum.
A Green Masterplan
An award-winning scheme that navigated the complexities of building and fundraising during the pandemic to transform a Grade I-listed heritage site into a sustainable and accessible asset for the public realm.
Wright & Wright’s championing of us, as a client wanting change, gave us the confidence to fundamentally rethink our purpose and ramp up our ambitions.
- Sonia Solicari (Director, Museum of the Home)
Learn more about the Museum of the Home.
A Passivhaus Campus
Planning permission was secured within the North Oxford Victorian Suburb Conservation Area (NOVSCA), one of the most significant conservation areas in the UK, for a Passivhaus campus for St Edmund's Hall.
Transparent engagement with local stakeholders was critical. Wright & Wright met regularly with internal stakeholders, local interest groups, residents and statutory consultees such as Historic England, University Parks and the Victorian Society. As a highly ecologically-focused project, Wright & Wright worked closely with the Oxford Botanic Gardens in developing the arboreal principles behind the scheme.
Detailed assessments of the area and existing buildings on site were conducted, as well as archaeological assessments and landscape analyses forming design principles that suit the framework of the conservation area's character. For example, material selection, sightlines, improving the energy performance of the existing buildings, and the reinstatement of front gardens were prioritised to suit the Grade II listed buildings and conservation area setting.
The project for St Edmund Hall secured unanimous approval at planning committee and was commended for its holistic and exemplary sustainability credentials.
Learn more about St Edmund Hall.
Our team is made up of talented experts in several sub-specialisations of architecture, enabling them to understand and navigate complex projects with specific requirements. From Passivhaus designers and award-winning sustainability planners to restoration specialists and conservation architects, from architects active on heritage advisory boards to museum design experts, project teams are composed to meet clients' unique requirements and at each phase of a project's development.
For example, in recognition of the practice's work in the field of historic buildings and urban design, Founding Partner Clare Wright was appointed a member of the Historic England Urban Panel. She regularly participates in meetings to discuss policies and principles in sensitive urban planning locales and, as a member of the panel, advises executive bodies on approaches to regeneration in historic settings.
Our edict ‘from diagram to detail’ is borne out by the astute and well honed technical and design knowledge that Sandy Wright brings to all projects. Known for his close collaborations with experts in the field of stonework, brickwork, joinery and metalwork this tactile approach gives the characteristic weight and subtle glow within Wright & Wright’s work.
Partner Naila Yousuf has worked on high profile, cultural projects with a focus on resolving complex planning applications on sensitive sites. Her commitment to stakeholder engagement and solutions-oriented approach to project management have led to several successful projects and ongoing competition wins.
Partner Stephen Smith is also a member of the Historic England Advisory Committee, which consults on cases of special significance or concern to local authorities and case officers, helping to shape policy on heritage and the built environment.
Wright & Wright really listened every step of the way. They understood all the dilemmas but have also pushed us to think more creatively about the site and about what the museum could be.
Their style was a really great combination of listening and understanding our concerns, but then also enabling us to be more ambitious.
Director, Museum of the Home