Wilkinson Eyre triumph in Bath with green light for Dyson school
Wilkinson Eyre designed Dyson School of Design Innovation yesterday received planning permission from Bath and North East Somerset Council’s development control committee. The approval, which has raised some controversy amongst conservation-minded groups in Bath and was passed by the committee yesterday, can be viewed as a victory for modern architecture in the UNESCO World Heritage-listed city.
Wilkinson Eyre’s scheme has been applauded by the Urban Regeneration Panel and favourably reviewed by English Heritage. Reworked to take into account concerns about the flood risk on the riverside site, and integrating four of the main facades of the Fuller-designed Newark Works factory building on the Lower Bristol Road. To the river frontage it presents a crescent-shaped glass façade, with a river walkway and new footbridge connecting the school to the old city.
Chris Wilkinson, Director of Wilkinson Eyre Architects, commented: ‘This granting of planning permission, in the face of difficult opposition, is a major triumph for the project, and a tribute to the hard work by Buro Happold, The Dyson Foundation and the team at Wilkinson Eyre. Following our success, it is hoped that permission for Eric Parry’s Holburne Museum of Art will also go ahead, thus raising hope for the future of modern architecture in Bath.’ Sir James Dyson commented: ‘We’re delighted the elected councillors have seen the potential the school has to offer the young people of Bath & North East Somerset and the regeneration opportunity for South Quays… We want young people to come to the school as soon as possible to become the design engineers of the future.’