In 1993, work began at Poundbury, the first phase of The Prince of Wales's town extension to Dorchester. The market hall, the focus of this new community, was designed by John Simpson and built in 2000 for the Duchy of Cornwall thanks to a generous donation from Mr Brownsword, after whom the building has been named. The building was opened by the Prince of Wales in November 2001.
The shape of the building and architecture is not based on English domestic models and sets it apart as a special building of civic importance. The use of freestanding columns also suggests a public rather than private role.
As the design developed, the role of the town hall in the community grew. The building has a high roof making it stand out in its central location, this also indicates the lofty space of the public meeting roof inside, which is also emphasised by the giant dormers of an unusual raking form.
Having successfully completed the new Brownsword Market Building at Poundbury, the practice was commissioned by the Duchy of Cornwall to design futher urban blocks, comprising a range of building types and sizes, including live-work mews buildings, blocks of flats and houses ranging from small two bedroom cottages to large family homes.