AJ exclusive: BFLS becomes Flanagan Lawrence
Hamiltons’ successor BFLS has finally rebranded itself, having lost half of its founding partners since its rebirth in 2010
The west London-based outfit has now re-emerged as Flanagan Lawrence, spelling the end for the BFLS name which was made up of the last initials of the four directors who took over the firm three years ago (AJ 18.03.10).
BFLS rose from the embers of the once 125-strong AJ100 big-hitter Hamiltons, which began to splinter in 2009 when its figurehead, Tim Hamilton, retired just weeks after design guru Robin Partington broke away to launch his own firm (AJ 24.09.09).
However, the writing was already on the wall for the ‘carefully evaluated’ BFLS banner in 2011 following the departure of co-founder John Silver, who left to set up his own consultancy. The rebrand became inevitable after the decision by Ian Bogle to form Ian Bogle Architects last March (AJ 06.03.12).
The practice has a unity and cohesion
Directors Jason Flanagan and David Lawrence (pictured, l-r) see the new brand, which has been a year in the making, as an evolution of Hamiltons. Flanagan said: ‘We are not a new practice. We are the spine of the former practice. Hamiltons was a series of teams. Now the practice has a unity and cohesion. It is where we wanted to be and now we have arrived.’
Asked why it had taken a year to come up with the new name, Flanagan said: ‘We weren’t in a particular rush. There is always a process and we were busy. But we wanted to get the graphics right.’
But the two admitted the BFLS name had not been a success.
Flanagan said: ‘The change is a major step in the evolution of the practice. It’s also easier to say.’
Housed on the basement floor of the practice’s office next to Royal Oak underground station, the 65-strong outfit has been recruiting. It has a raft of schemes coming to completion or in planning, including large office schemes in Salford, an urban barn in Battersea, a holiday village and housing scheme in Millendreath, Cornwall, and a shelter and performance space at Littlehampton, West Sussex.
Flanagan added: ‘There is a closer fit [between us]. It feels balanced. We’ve a good blend of rationalism and expressionism.’
David Lawrence added: ‘We have been building throughout the recession. We are seen as a safe pair of hands