The 1980s burgeoned with a wide variety of commissions for the practice. The design of Chester-Le-Street Civic Offices represented a significant step change in the building typology. The innovative design was a reflection of the times in a socio-political sense, symbolising a move towards more open local government. The building is iconic, and its fine detailing helped it to win the 1983 Financial Times Architecture at Work Award and the Seventh International Prize for Architecture.
The practice continued to develop its portfolio of sports and leisure projects. Doncaster Leisure Dome was the first project in the UK to incorporate a free form leisure ice rink and helped in the regeneration of an old airfield with new commercial and retail industries - a real shot-in-the-arm for the Yorkshire region. This period also saw the development of our commercial leisure sector and the launch of the first new leisure 'destination' in Poole.
The design for Clickimin Sports Centre was the first element of Shetland's masterplan for ten new community sports centres.
These projects won a clutch of national and International Olympic Committee / IAKS Awards and were instrumental in the RIBA's invitation to the practice to present its work at a memorable evening in 1985 at RIBA headquarters, London.
Other notable projects of the 1980s include three libraries for the universities of Durham and Newcastle and the Central Library for Maynooth College in Ireland (all SCONUL Award winners). By the end of the 1980's the firm had grown to around ninety staff.