Collaboration, collaboration, collaboration

The day-to-day reality of running an architectural practice is so much more than simply designing and constructing buildings. We believe it is about developing and nurturing a culture within which we can create and deliver commercially viable, high-quality architecture.

As the team has grown and our dual locations in both Leeds and London have established, we have dedicated considerable time to develop a synergetic culture that is genuinely collaborative.

Design in a synergetic culture relies on knowledge sharing and team work. It allows us to develop an in-depth understanding of the design and technical requirements of a project. In turn, it enables individual members of staff to effectively collaborate with the design team, client and other interested parties.

Our business exists to improve the quality of people’s lives and the planet through the delivery of exceptional design. This understanding gives us all the motivation to work together and to learn from each other as we collectively strive to grow our business into an AJ100 practice.

Over recent years, we have made a clear commitment to developing this culture through multiple tools and approaches. This includes regular design reviews. Design is essential at every step of a project’s delivery. So, ensuring we work together as a synergetic team to properly interrogate and develop a project’s potential is integral to the success of all our projects.

Project designs are regularly displayed in our boardroom for open discussion and design critique. Team members are encouraged to debate and work together towards creating an ever-improving design output. This process allows us to draw upon the vast collective experience of the entire team with specialist knowledge and value being drawn into every scheme – whilst allowing individuals to develop their own specialisms and experience.

Does this investment work? Does it generate the exceptional architecture we promise every client? In short, yes.

We have worked closely with a national housebuilder for many years. I remember visiting their offices in the hope that they would allow us to join their panel of architects.

They gave us the opportunity to deliver our first project, learning how their process and design methodology should be implemented. Over the years, we improved our approach and built a bespoke team around the client’s needs to ensure we delivered the service they expect from an architectural practice. Feedback was good, a healthy flow of work grew, and the relationship has flourished.

Earlier this year, the client approached several of their panel architects from across the country. We were asked to engage in a competitive process to develop the next generation of homes along with a new methodology for construction.

We approached the task just as we would any other client brief. The initial design team formulated their approach and then shared their design ideas to the entire office in an open critique. The process was repeated until everyone instinctively knew that we had arrived at a solution capable of delivering the client’s needs and producing some exceptional architecture.

We won the competition. The feedback was that our design had a depth of understanding beyond those of our competitors. Moreover, it was evident that a genuine team approach had drawn on a wealth of experience. We continue to work closely with the client to develop their next generation of development styles.

And yet, this is just one example where we have seen our client-centric approach deliver tangible benefits to our clients. Indeed, there are many more spanning small office interior fit outs, large high rise newbuild towers, health care environments and building refurbishments.

We have seen first-hand that this commitment to a collaborative design culture delivers the architecture our clients are seeking. Our exceptionally high level of repeat business commissions is testament to this. More importantly, the delivery of outstanding architecture is having a positive impact on the people using our buildings and the wider environment.