How we work

Our mission is to create inspirational places that use resources responsibly

 

We’re always looking for the best outcome for our clients. That’s the ultimate focus for everything we do – our passion for the process, our collaboration with the value chain, our refusal to accept the status quo and our pursuit of new and better solutions.

It starts with gaining a deep understanding of the client’s aims, position and motivations, both written and unwritten. There’s always much more we can work with than is contained in the client’s brief. We invest time in getting to know them.

We ask questions, probe ambiguities, flesh out deficiencies, make suggestions and recommendations, and build a brief that’s robust and illuminating, and that offers a vision for ourselves and the construction team to work towards. We go on working closely with our client throughout the process, continually focusing on their priorities.

We pride ourselves on the talented people who work here and on the training and responsibility they receive. Our Investors In People Silver status is rare in our profession – and so is the loyalty of our staff.

What's different about our approach?

Mobilising ingenuity and craft
By mobilising the ingenuity and craft of the entire construction team and supply chain, we develop new, lean, cost-effective designs for components, construction systems and processes, and add value to the finished building.

Delivering on time and budget
We have a long history of designing buildings that win planning permission at the first time of asking, that get completed on time and to budget, and often go on to win awards, despite their vanity-free design and ease of construction.

Leveraging relationships and knowledge
We bring a deep interest in the process of construction, as well as a wealth of relationships, trust and knowledge built up over three decades to achieve remarkable outcomes for everyone that our buildings serve.

Measuring performance, continually improving
We go back and measure the performance of our buildings when they’re complete and occupied. Intelligence and data about our buildings’ performance adds to our knowledge and helps us to continuously improve what we do.

What do we mean by 'research-led'?

For over 20 years we have stressed the importance of collecting evidence and using it to improve subsequent projects. We research many examples of best practice, wherever they can be found across the world, and have received funding from the British Government to undertake research into air quality in new homes, building performance evaluation and using BIM to an advanced level.

We glean knowledge from research, post-occupancy feedback and practical experience and combine it with data covering the whole spectrum of design, construction and life-in-use. This helps us to balance capital costs with whole life costs.

Explore our research + foresight

We strive to optimise all the resources available for a project – energy, labour, materials, money and site – within practical parameters to achieve ambitious targets.

A study of our BREEAM Excellent HSE Headquarters showed that the building was so efficient that the general office areas only need comfort cooling for two weeks of the year. We successfully applied these lessons to our award-winning civic offices in Wakefield and Lambeth to create happier and more productive places to work. Money that might otherwise be spent on energy, can either be saved or used to create a virtuous circle of benefits.

Lambeth Civic Centre

Lambeth Civic Centre  Brixton, London

Wakefield One

Wakefield One  Wakefield

An integrated approach

Drawing from our wide range of expertise, we take an integrated approach to architecture and construction to create lasting, distinctive, forward-looking architecture that rewards our client and everyone that encounters it, delivered on time and to budget.
 
Architecture

Architecture

Interiors

Interiors

Brief writing

Brief writing

Client advisory

Client advisory

Community engagement

Community engagement

Research + foresight

Research + foresight

Offsite manufacture

Offsite manufacture

Environmental design

Environmental design