Portfolio Magazine: Who Knew He Had A Café 

With the recent completion of the Institute of Directors ‘Dukes’ café in Pall Mall London, Alter & Company undertakes another complex contemporary conservation design, and implementation of a sympathetically contrasting project. Who knew the ‘Grand old duke of york’ had a café, located on the original site of duke himself, Alter & Company highly placed to work on such a prestigious project. Working alongside the restaurant company Benugo, a high-quality London based catering company, our intention has been to carefully understand parts of the existing fabric of the building to determine an approach for a new café. 


Portfolio Magazine: CLOSER TO YOU

Our streets and public spaces do not do our city justice, and this seems to be at the expense of us the people, the built environment seems to favour vehicles rather than human experience. It is somewhat felt as a nation that we are becoming isolated; politics aside, public space has a great deal to do with this sentiment of detachment. There are not opportunities to meet and gather, what opportunities there are in public space are limited. The kinds of activities taking place in locally oriented public spaces are also limited to the most basic and are in the general quite uniform from place to place. The population of the city is not given a diverse range of opportunities to enjoy the public realm, Brighton is deemed a diverse city, with a limited number of public prospects. Building a place for the community around an artwork, or culture venue, by growing and attracting activities that make it a multi-use destination is the future. 


Portfolio Magazine: COFFEE & COCKTAILS

Artisanal independent coffee houses are acting as the new agents for social change throughout Brighton and Hove, gentrifying otherwise dull areas of our city. This can be considered equal to artists bringing about gentry and acting as creative catalysts , forming communities that defines the city’s culture. There may be mixed feelings toward the taverns of  black medicine with consumer culture feeding a social appetite Pubs and cafes have long been places for shared commune, they have always been places of consumption, and maybe it's only in our time now that we our feeling the loss of communal social places that alter public life.


Portfolio Magazine: I Am the space where i am

We live in an eclectic mix of building types across our city from Regency town houses, Victorian terraces, Edwardian conversions and post-war apartment blocks. With a steadily increasing housing market, Brighton & Hove being in the top three best places to buy other than London, many have decided to improve rather then move, with one in five focused on improving their homes with research from Plentific.com reveals that, on average a quarter of homeowners are planning to spend more this year on home improvements. This begs the question, what can we do with our homes, how do we make the most of them. To many the home is the most valued possession they own, but a house is also a living place, a place where time is not recorded, a place to be individual, to be completely comfortable. Space is vital, but articulating why comes down to how we each see and feel its importance. We all know the places we avoid, keep away from and when something does not feel right we want to leave.   


Portfolio Magazine: All Change 

Brighton is changing, if not at a slow pace, with the development of the seafront totaling over one billion pounds; the i360, the new King Alfred housing and sports complex, Black Rock delegates conference building, Sea Lanes retail and outside swimming facility, ‘The Waterfront Project’, Churchill Square extension involving the removal of the Odeon Cinema & The Brighton Centre, The Circus Street and Preston Barracks joint venture with U&I Developers and University of Brighton. With such growth, one would think Brighton should be covered in cranes and a general sense of commotion, however all developments come with setbacks.


ALTER PERIODICAL V02: adaptive futures

Forging relationships between buildings of different time periods enriches our urban and rural landscape. However when a building has no relationship to its heritage, culture or economics and becomes an empty shell, with no craft, detail or human memory attached to it, it is still seen as reasonable to demolish it. The removal of even the most modest building from our streets is problematic, as each building leaves a legacy on our landscape, a memory of what was once was familiar and reassuring. Historic buildings are ingrained with human memories, names engraved into surfaces, windows enclosed with brickwork, openings that have been filled in, and the result is a comforting vernacular of old and new.  As we look towards the future,  adaptability and the utilisation of existing buildings should be encouraged so as not to destroy this connection to the past.


ALTER PERIODICAL V01: The line is Drawn

Alter is an architectural periodical pursuing the qualities of change amidst the built environment. Our mission is to improve the quality of life in the city, inspiring debate, disseminating knowledge, exploring contemporary conditions, and encouraging change through discourse. Alter is interested in the evolution of place through use. ‘Place’ encompasses cities, spaces within them,buildings and landscapes. Alter works with all communities and is firmly focused on cultural diversity.

Although rarely linear, our lives can be considered as a sequence of isolated moments, of change, lined up like a curve of dominoes. There are monumental events; the birth of a child, the death of a loved one, that alter our mind, our environments, our world. Specific events can span decades, from the construction of cities to the destruction of entire rainforests everything remains in flux around us. Change is a subject matter that is not always easy to come to terms with. Certain pleasures can be found in the belief that rhythms, routines and environments of our everyday will persevere indefinitely. Despite our hesitation, when change comes it is often expansive, thought provoking and life affirming. As individuals we strive to improve the quality of our own lives as well as the lives of others around us.  This responsibility is more heartfelt by some than others but when we consciously alter ourenvironment we aim to contribute for the betterment of humanity. And when a physical change can be identified we acknowledge that as Einstein said a change in thinking must precede the observable result.