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"Regeneration and a passion for design are the common themes in the many projects undertaken by Andrew Wadsworth and Robert Ackland, partners in Waterhouse, over the last two decades or so. It is a remarkable story, beginning on the banks of the River Thames in 1980, when Wadsworth acquired the great Victorian warehouses of New Concordia Wharf in Bermondsey, left stranded by the rapid decline of London's docks and facing dereliction and inevitable demolition. The mix of residential space - London's first commercially developed lofts - and offices became an exemplar for other schemes throughout Docklands and far beyond and went on to win a string of conservation awards.

The partner's London projects range from stylish conversions of former industrial and warehouse buildings and the meticulous rescue of threatened listed buildings (like the former St. John's School in Wapping, derelict for 40 years) to innovative contemporary buildings. Leading architect Piers Gough of CZWG was their choice for the China Wharf development in Bermondsey and the building is one of the best-loved late 20th century landmarks on the Thames. Now Gough is working with them again on the Brewery Square project, which promises a striking revival of the historic Eldridge Pope Brewery site in Dorchester. Wadsworth and Ackland relish a challenge and like to lead the way, rather than follow in others' footsteps. They found new challenges in Glasgow, taking on abandoned historic buildings that others had written off as beyond repair, extending the loft culture to the city and again marrying bold new design with sensitive repair and re-use. Their non-formulaic, undoctrinaire approach - a contrast to that of some of the 'big boys' of the development industry - won them many friends in Glasgow; a city that can be suspicious of outsiders."

Kenneth Powell
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