Planning and Listed Building Consent approved for Stephenson Memorial Hall

We are thrilled that our scheme for the reimagining of Grade II listed Stephenson Memorial Hall in Chesterfield was given Planning and Listed Building Consent last month at committee. It is a great achievement on the part of the whole client and design team and reflection of all the hard work up to this stage.

The scheme reimagines the existing theatre and museum & art gallery as a single integrated cultural facility with improved, modernised facilities, visitor comfort and accessibility standards throughout.

We are also pleased to announce that our team has been appointed to continue to develop and deliver the project with Chesterfield Borough Council from RIBA Stages 4 – 6. We are looking forward to continuing to work with the team and client to develop this exciting scheme to detailed design and delivery on site.

Image credit: BLOC Visual, 2022

More project information:

Project page

Chesterfield Borough Council Press Release

Museum of Making wins National Constructing Excellence Award

We are thrilled that Museum of Making at Derby Silk Mill won the Conservation & Regeneration Award at the National Constructing Excellence Awards. It’s a great recognition of the collective efforts of a brilliant client, and committed integrated project team. The award caps off a fantastic year for the building since it opened in September 2021, also picking up the Building Awards Refurbishment Project of the Year, and a series of successes at the East Midlands Constructing Excellence awards.

See project page for more information – Project Page

Read again RIBAJ article on Museum of Making – RIBAJ August Issue 

Plans to reimagine Stephenson Memorial Hall submitted for Planning and Listed Building Consent

We are pleased to have submitted a full planning and listed building consent application for the refurbishment and extension of Grade II listed Stephenson Memorial Hall in Chesterfield.

Over the past year and a half, Bauman Lyons have led a multidisciplinary team of consultants, working closely with the client team, to develop an exciting scheme that reimagines the existing theatre and museum & art gallery as a single integrated cultural facility.

We have also supported the client in developing a submission to the government’s Levelling Up Fund which we were thrilled to hear was successful!

More project information:
Project page
Chesterfield Borough Council press release

Press Release for New Welcome Centre at Kiplin Hall

We are delighted to be working with Kiplin Hall CIO for a new welcome centre in the grounds of the Grade I Listed Jacobean Hall near Richmond.

The project will be a fantastic opportunity to explore how the welcome centre will interpret the Hall’s rich heritage and connect to its unique historic and landscaped environment.

We look forward to working with the Hall’s team and volunteers and with our long term collaborators Creative Core, BWA, Alan Wood & Partners, Xanthe Quayle Landscape Architecture, Preston Barber and Waring Stewart.

The story is currently being covered in local press  – find out more at:


Mill gets back to work

We were delighted that the Museum of Making at the Silk Mill, Derby was featured in the August edition of the RIBAJ.

We think it is a testament to the inspiring collaborative effort of many people over the last nine years and hope that we have had a part in creating a cultural venue that will have a lasting legacy for the people of Derby and the wider region.

Read the article here: RIBAJ August Issue

Read more about this project here:




South Square completes and opens to the public

We are absolutely delighted that the refurbishment at the Grade II South Square arts and community centre in Thornton has recently completed. The project has been an enjoyable experience with a supportive Client TACA and long term collaborators Dobson Construction, Bernard Williams Associates, LEDA, Yvonne Deane Associates and Kingswell Jones Structural Engineers. The 8 month long construction period saw the leaky roof insulated and retiled, the stone external walls repointed with lime mortar and gently steam cleaned, 99 windows refurbished with two new shop windows to reflect historic proportions and an overhaul of the electrics and heating. TACA and their volunteers also revamped the garden at the rear into a beautiful new outdoor space to support their diverse activity programme. The centre is now open with a range of free public exhibitions recreating large scale props from the centre’s 1980s refurbishment. A bite to eat from the centre’s cafe Plenty at the Square and a cheeky (responsible) drink from The Watchmaker’s tasting bar are especially good on a sunny day in the courtyard!

Mistress Lane affordable homes granted planning approval

We are thrilled that our project for 34 new, low energy, affordable homes in Armley has been granted planning permission! 

It is great to be working with such a brilliant client as Leeds Community Homes to help deliver community-led housing in our home city of Leeds. We have worked together from feasibility stage to envisage the possibilities for the site, developing concepts, testing viability, and engaging with the local community.

The existing brownfield site has its challenges but they are exactly the kind that we like and lead to interesting proposals. The homes will be a mix of 1-bed and 2-bed apartments, as well as 6 semi-detached family houses. At the centre of the scheme will be a new multi-purpose flexible community space and all brought together with landscaping that will stitch in with the existing site and neighbours. Quality of space for residents, visitors and passers-by is crucial to the community housing scheme embedding into the existing neighbourhood. We worked with our collaborators Urban Wilderness to develop the building and landscape proposals in tandem, one informing the other. 

The principal building intervention is to plug the existing gap in the street scene, creating definition and a sense of enclosure with new edges. Generosity of public realm guides the design approach throughout, with openness and permeability important qualities to create places to stay and enjoy. Around the site, at entrances, along desire lines and between different external spaces; edges and thresholds are designed thoughtfully with qualities of comfort, privacy and generosity. 



South Square fabric improvements progressing well

Phase 1 of the Grade II Listed refurbishments at South Square Centre, Thornton is nearly complete. Dobsons of Ilkley have done a fine job of re-pointing the external walls in lime mortar with a lovely brush finish that accentuates the shapes and coursing of the original stonework. Years of staining on the walls from the leaky roof has been carefully steam removed revealing the soft yellow hued stonework underneath.  The roof has be re-tiled, insulated and new gutters and flashing have been installed. Dobsons were able to reinstate all of the original stone hip and ridge tiles and retain a majority of the original cast iron downpipes. The timber windows have been repaired, eased and re-painted in a smart dark ink blue that complements the warmth of the stonework beautifully. 

Silk Mill featured in The Observer

A lovely way to begin 2021 with this Observer article for the Museum of Making at Derby Silk Mill. It is great to see the excitement building for the new Museum of Making which is due to open in Spring 2021.

The ‘makers’ story has driven the project throughout and has been embraced by the local community, council, client, designers and contractor team. We’re looking forward to sharing lots more exciting updates over the coming months.

For more information on the project click here.


Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year!

That’s us for 2020 as we’ll be spending the next few days recharging and getting excited for the year 2021!

We like to thank all who have been with us through the years, especially this one.

Have a lovely Christmas and New Year, whatever form it ends up taking.

Viability Plan approved for FUSE Art Space in Bradford

Great news that FUSE Art Space have had their viability plan successfully approved by The Architectural Heritage Fund. We had the pleasure of working with FUSE earlier this year, supporting them on this feasibility study. The brief was to explore the potential to transform a set of existing buildings in the City Centre conservation area in the commercial core of Bradford. The concept proposals reimagine the buildings as a new multi-use arts hub and home for FUSE, creating an active street frontage and containing a variety of uses stitched together with a bright, new central circulation atrium. 

read more

New era for Bauman Lyons

We are pleased to announce that we are embarking on an exciting new era for Bauman Lyons with Irena Bauman and Maurice Lyons standing down from the practice they founded almost 30 years ago.

Living up to our principles of collaboration, the practice has successfully been transferred over to the existing long-term team via an Employee Benefit Trust agreement which sees two thirds ownership now in the hands of the employees. Director Guy Smith, who has been with Bauman Lyons for 17 years, will be joined by newly-promoted Tom Vigar who also becomes a Director.

read more

Silk Mill featured in Derbyshire Life

We’re pleased to see this lovely write up of the Museum of Making at Derby Silk Mill. It’s a great story and we’re proud to be part of it. The project is progressing well on site and we’re excited for the opening in Spring 2021.

For more information on the project click here

read more

South Square Centre makes front page news

We are thrilled that South Square Centre has made the front page of Bradford’s Telegraph and Argus. The refurbishment of the Grade II Listed community arts centre is being taken on by BLA’s long time collaborators Dobson Construction. The restoration work will see the roof repaired and insulated, the windows restored and historic stone work repointed and upgraded internally to improve the Centre’s thermal performance and energy efficiency. The project is being supported by funding from Heritage Lottery, Arts Council England, the Garfield Weston Foundation and Bradford Council.

Read more about the project on this link: and find out more about the fantastic work done by our Client Thornton and Allerton Community Association here:

Long Term City: Citizen action and the future of cities

Long term thinking for our future cities, panel discussion with live Q&A

Join us to explore, with David Rudlin from Urbed+Irena Bauman from Built in CommonAlastair Parvin from Open Systems LabHelen Graham from My Future York and Victoria Bradford-Keegan from Future Parks  how we can collaborate in a progressive and long term, mindful way to bring about good change for our future cities. We’ll ask how effective the role of the citizen in planning for the future of cities can be, how we can move from engagement to action, explore how democratic, participatory development has evolved over time and how recent events and policies have shifted approaches to the future. This is an open conversation and you’re invited to join the discussion.

Booking essential via Eventbrite

A Place for Me: Co-creating a collaborative blueprint for transition accommodation

We are looking forward to this week as we will be joining York Design Week 2020 for a unique experiment bringing homeless people together with architects and designers to co-produce a blueprint for a transition accommodation within the city. 

Marking a significant departure from traditional approaches to consultation, this project places those with lived experience of homelessness at the heart of the creative design and planning process to reimagine emergency shelters, temporary accommodation and supported housing.

The resulting blueprint will then be shared under creative commons licensing agreements for others to build upon.

For more information on the list of exciting events on York Design Week 2020, find out here.

Review of the book, Architecture & Resilience

Buildings & Cities journal has just published a review of the book, Architecture and Resilience. The book was co-edited and co-authored by Irena and has recently received a positive review from Vanesa Castán Broto.

The review is available here:

We would like to thank Vanesa Castán Broto and Buildings & Cities for the positive feedback. 

More information about the book can be viewed here. 

Kirkham Eco and Heritage Skills Centre

We have just completed options appraisal work on the proposed new Eco and Heritage Skills Centre in Kirkham.

It is a very innovative project conceived by Fylde Borough Council as part of their successful Historic England HAZ bid.

It was great to work with Creative Space Management on the business plan outline. The next stage is to buy the building and commission a full business plan and planning submission.

For more information on the project click here

read more