Tag Archives: brighton

Bright Light city

Our latest architectural project, The Light in Brighton, has just been given the go-ahead.

The project will turn the former ice rink in Queen Square into The Light ApartHotel, featuring sumptuous guest rooms, serviced luxury apartments, a café and a restaurant. It will be a further boon to Brighton’s tourist industry. Continue reading


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The Welcome Trailblazers

The Love Architecture festival has been entertaining Brightoners all week, and last night it was our turn. Conran and Partners’ Brighton office held an exhibition of Jim Stephenson‘s photographs of their architectural projects around the world. Entitled Collaboration, the exhibition was accompanied by an essay by arts commentator Cara Courage.

Jim Stephenson exhibition

A great evening was had by all.

Jim Stephenson exhibition

Thanks to Jim, Cara and Gem Barton, who has curated the Welcome Trail of exhibitions as part of Love Architecture, for their hard work, and thanks to everyone who came along!

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Hoverhauling Brighton

Excuse the pun, please.

The head of our Brighton architecture office, Paul Zara, took to The Argus recently to talk about Brighton and Hove’s acute housing crisis, and his opinions on how to solve it.

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Architecture awards left and right

Left and right – or rather, east and west.

Hot on the heels of being shortlisted for a Housing Design Award Conran & Partners, our architecture team, are at it again.

They’re in the running for two categories of the Asia-Pacific Hotel & Property Design Awards, both for the stunning Hotel Icon.


A Conran team led by Richard Doone (Managing Director, Far East) and Tina Norden (Associate Director) developed two dining areas for Hotel Icon, a 262-room teaching and research hotel in Hong Kong owned by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

The Market is an informal food court and restaurant, inspired by traditional Asian food markets. Above & Beyond is incorporates a fine dining Chinese restaurant, bar, lounge, and private dining rooms.

Hotel Icon is shortlisted in both the ‘Bar/Club/Lounge’ and ‘Restaurant within Hotel’ categories.


On the other side of the world, Conran and Partners’ new development on the site of the old Brighton Astoria cinema took the gong for Best Development at the 2012 ACUMEN Commercial Properties Awards.

Paul Zara, head of Conran’s Brighton team, headed the project, which will create Brighton’s greenest ever offices (the go-ahead was given by Brighton’s Green Party-led council). The plans include a rainwater harvesting system, natural air ventilation and solar shading.

As the judges put it,

“[The Astoria] will create much needed business space and jobs for the growing creative and culture sector in Brighton & Hove. The [architect’s] intention to supply employment space located on a sustainable corridor close to Brighton Station and the edge of the North Laine is spot-on.”


Well done all round.

EDIT: the Asia-Pacific Design Awards site now features an interview with Richard to accompany the nomination.

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Brightening Hove

New architectural projects often involve difficult choices – especially in Britain.  We live in a crowded country: there are 660 of us squeezed into every square mile of land we have, versus 83 Americans, or 295 Frenchmen. This puts developable land at a high premium.

Demolition of the crumbling Granada cinema on Portland Road, Hove, is now underway. The site is being redeveloped by Conran and Partners‘ Brighton office, and will encompass 35 flats, a GP surgery, a pharmacy and a separate leisure space.

It is a controversial project: undoubtedly, the loss of a 1930s art deco cinema, even if derelict, is notable. The local community has been divided on the project: many have mourned the loss of an historic cinema; others note that the dilapidated state of the building does little for Hove’s image, and that new housing is badly needed in the town.

Gala bingo hall © Jim Stephenson / clickclickjim

The derelict cinema building

We’ve led restoration projects throughout our existence: Terence Conran teamed up with Paul Hamlyn to save Michelin House, and our recent Boundary development resides in a sensitively-restored Victorian warehouse. Sadly, the Granada cinema was beyond saving.

The new building will have high sustainability credentials, and will include 14 affordable units. The flats will have roof terraces with sea views, and a shared garden to the rear. In a nod to the site’s heritage, the corner of the building will be clad in multi-coloured Roman bricks, Additionally, an artist is being commissioned for an installation in the stairwell, which will be inspired by the memory of the cinema, or perhaps of Diana Dors, who opened the building as a bingo hall in the 70s.

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Conran: Paul Zara the pin-up on the future of architecture…

Conran & Partners Director Paul Zara, who heads up our Brighton office, never seems to be out of the media spotlight for long, as this article in Brighton newspaper The Argus shows.

There’s a lot going on down at our Brighton office at the moment- from helping to save Saltdean Lido to developing unique residential properties to the much talked about redeveloped of the Astoria (read his article to find out what’s really going on there…)

Plus noone can argue with his musings about how the rise in tuition fees may affect the future of architecture in this country…

– Click on the picture below to read the full interview and find out more about his vision for our favourite seaside city…

Click to read all about Paul in The Argus

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Conran: Paul’s Postcard from Brighton

A little artistic inspiration this week from Conran & Partners Director Paul Zara…

Members of Conran & Partners Brighton office have assisted leading theatre company dreamthinkspeak in their amazing theatre installation ‘Before I Sleep’.

Described by The Guardian as ‘a journey into a surrealist Narnia, where Turkish delight has been traded for Russian melancholy’ the show is inspired by Chekhov’s Cherry Orchard and converts four floors of a derelict department store in to an extraordinary series of events.

We have advised them on sourcing loan furniture, on photography and on designers for their shop windows.  It also features some of our architectural models and architecture brochures, so some great free publicity. It has been hugely successful and the run has been extended, so if you are down in Brighton why not try to see it?




Wednesday – Saturday

Timed entries between 6.30pm-9.30pm

Saturday matinee

Timed entries between 2pm-4.30pm


Timed entries between 5pm-8.30pm

The Co-operative building            £15 (limited capacity)

BRIGHTON                                          BOOKABLE IN ADVANCE ONLY

Entry via the loading bay               BOX OFFICE: 01273 709709

London Terrace BN1 4JP                www.brightonfestival.org


“Before I Sleep is the most mesmerising, atmospheric,

visually exquisite piece you are likely to see

at this festival, or indeed anywhere.”


“The cumulative effect is extraordinary. Unforgettable.”


“Marvellously atmospheric”


“Tremendous” “Fabulous”           “Trust me, go..”

OBSERVER                  IOS                                TELEGRAPH

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