Levitt Bernstein was founded in 1968 with the aim of bringing architects’ skills to the problems of decaying inner-city areas.
The founding partners decided to establish an architectural practice which looked to provide new solutions for town centre renewal and the urban housing crisis. The era of ‘comprehensive redevelopment’ was losing credibility, and the practice anticipated the growth of conservation and community-led redevelopment, converting old houses, terraces and streets for local authorities and housing associations, and infilling with new buildings.
After initial concentration on social housing Levitt Bernstein started to attract clients in other sectors. A turning point was the commission to design a new theatre within Manchester’s derelict cotton trading hall, which won the practice its first RIBA award, and began a lasting association with public buildings. By the mid 1970s the core strands of urban regeneration, housing and cultural buildings had become firmly established, and they have continued to the present day.
Over the ensuing years the practice has developed organically and expanded to include expertise in masterplanning and community, commercial, health, mixed-use, education and heritage projects. The restoration of important 20th century buildings and sustainable design also form important strands of the practice’s output. A specialist landscape and urban design group contributes to the architectural schemes and undertakes independent projects.
Levitt Bernstein is recognised as a leading practice, producing work and undertaking research of the highest quality, always grounded in the fundamental principles of socially-conscious sustainable design.