MBA have completed an extensive repairs and maintenance project to grade I Listed Staple Inn in High Holborn, London. This ultimate jetted facade and its courtyards behind incorporate many previous repairs and restorations. Beside, and also included in the project Waterhouse’s imaginative terracotta clad offices for the Prudential.

Oriel College Chapel’s grade 1 listed barrel vaulted ceiling is now visually subject to gravity with trompe l’oeil quadrants to suggest coffer or casket vaults between its timber ribs. This simple perspective technique suggests space beyond, and was much loved in the 17th century. The photo looks up at the first panels to be exposed to view from ground level, at the east end.

Marcus Beale is the inaugural guest blogger at Blake Morgan’s planning and conservation law blog. He likes the NPPF’s conservation policies for their brevity and simplicity, arguing that all architecture is conservation:

Marcus Peel has made some great photographs of an MBA project in London, including the moon rising above a Brutalist garden elevation with a sculpture by a distinguished South African artist deliberately challenging the Vitruvian-Michaelangelo man. MBA approves of this sculpture. The hand is held short of the circle, by a woman. This set of photographs records a particularly successful relationship between architect and client to make the ultimate family home.


Thursday, 24 April 2014 / Projects

Chelsea Arts Club, London

MBA have been appointed to develop a conservation-led master plan for the Chelsea Arts Club.

The Club, founded by artists for artists in 1891, occupies listed buildings and a charming secluded garden at Old Church Street, London SW3. Commenting on MBA’s selection for this task, Chairman Rick Stroud, said:

“Marcus Beale Architects display both outstanding creativity and real practicality. They understand completely the need for a plan that looks at new build possibilities in the context of an overall restoration plan. And they show a real sensitivity to our situation.

They have a strong institutional bias to working on complicated listed buildings and to adopting a consultative approach in complex environments.”

The copper roof for the conservation-heritage project at Oriel College’s Rhodes building in Oxford is being laid. This involves many critical details of – literally – folded metal, covered up almost as soon as it is laid, which will be unveiled as a shiny, crystalline form in late summer 2014.


Consultation on the outline design for neighbouring sites at London Road, Morden to provide 21 new flats and a new garage workshop. Monday 31 May at 6-8pm at Northolt Works. We welcome feedback either by email or by questionnaire.

MBA’s designs for 7 new houses to replace Rosemary Lodge nursing home were granted planning permission in March 2014. MBA were appointed by Wimbledon Guild to design a residential redevelopment after the home became redundant. The new houses will be constructed in 2015.

Monday, 3 March 2014 / Jobs

MBA Recruiting Two Architects

We are looking for two architects to join the practice in spring 2014, a conservation architect with an interest in design, and a design architect with an interest in conservation.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014 / Projects

New Year Rhodes Building Oxford

Happy New Year. Here is a picture of the Rhodes building at Oxford, nicely wrapped up.

Autumn 2014 this will emerge as a copper-clad origami extra storey above a Grade II* listed building.

The roof will be clad in bright copper. Gradually it will grow old: complexly brown and green underneath the view of St Mary’s Church, whose spire you can see top left.

Oriel like many medieval educational foundations is dedicated to Mary Mother of God. Education and empowerment of mothers is the key co-relator to human overpopulation. More education, more power to mothers, more balance and sustainability. Simple.

Peace and prosperity for 2014 from all at MBA