Atmosphere Design has emerged as an approach to architecture from a thesis which looked at the specific problem with atmosphere in Post-Olympic stadia; in particular, the problem of putting football into an international athletics stadium. West Ham in the London 2012 Olympic stadium is an example. The investigation came up with some unexpected conclusions which could be applied to a much wider range of architectural projects. Even a house can be looked at using the principles found in stadia.

So far, Atmosphere Design is being applied to a diverse range of problems.  Projects include an artists’ studio complex, a housing scheme for 260 dwellings, a large seafront house, a central London financial services office and a refit for a science centre. There is also a developing interest from people involved in education and sport.

Atmosphere Design is a way of combining the aspirations, perceptions and experiences of clients, users and designers at the outset of an architectural project. From their round table of shared knowledge architectural concepts can emerge that will be a setting for a spectrum of atmospheres beyond the imagination of one person.

Atmosphere is a universal phenomenon. Everyone can detect an atmosphere and share their views about it.  

James Burland MSt (Cantab) BSc BArch RIBA