Sheffield is a friendly, kind and charming city and I am proud to call it my home. Having lived, studied, and worked here most of my life, I am passionate about Sheffield. I love the warmth of the people, the sense of community and the determination to create better places and spaces. Sheffield is also a green city, so it is fitting that environmental design has always been at the heart of my architectural practice. From an early age I took an interest in the natural and built environment and this led instinctively to my decision to study Architecture and Environmental Design at Sheffield Hallam University. This course provided a solid foundation for my career and nurtured my commitment to socially and environmentally conscious design.
Before Thread Architects I worked for over 10 years at Birkett Cole Lowe Architects, a well-established, general architects’ practice in Sheffield. I was fortunate to work closely alongside the two partners who were exceptionally talented and experienced Architects. This was a fantastic opportunity and I am immensely grateful for the experience gained during my time at BCL. Starting as an Architectural Assistant and progressing to Chartered Architect and eventually Partner, my experience was wide-ranging across a number of sectors including new building, alterations, extensions, conservation, restoration, listed building and refurbishment, with a specialism in work to historic buildings and sustainable design. Work on ecclesiastical and secular historic buildings continues at Thread. As an approved church architect for the Diocese of Sheffield, I regularly carry out inspections, write reports and give advice on the maintenance and development of a number of churches across the region.
In summer 2015 I joined Thread Architects as a Co-Director, having met Rachel through tutoring first year Architecture students at De Montfort University in Leicester. I thoroughly enjoy working with Andy and Rachel and we complement each other well. We share a passion for design, from early stage concept sketches, through all stages of design, to delivery of projects on site. We work collaboratively on all projects and enjoy developing the practice and its design ethos including the Thread design manifesto. The three of us also enjoy teaching and have worked together at De Montfort University in Leicester and Nottingham University. More recently I taught as a design studio tutor at Sheffield University and in 2019 I joined a team of experts to judge the RIBA East Midland’s Student Awards. I am delighted Tom has joined our team and look forward to working with him and mentoring him through his apprenticeship to become a Chartered Architect over the next four years.
I have always been practical and enjoyed construction, from model making to helping build a straw bale medical centre and private home and even helping to install a curved green/ planted roof for a client’s new contemporary home. In 2016, my partner Joe and I completed a self-build conversion of a joiner’s workshop into a new home. Working on a tight budget and completing much of the work ourselves at weekends around our full-time jobs, it was a significant personal undertaking and an incredible opportunity to develop a building for our own use. The project won the Conservation Award and Residential Award at the Sheffield Design Awards 2016.
The Sheffield Design Awards are run biennially in association with the Sheffield Society of Architects and Sheffield Civic Trust. I am an active member and current Honorary Secretary for the Sheffield Society of Architects and member of the Sheffield Civic Trust. After my success in the 2016 awards, I was honoured to be invited to join the judging panel for the Sheffield Design Awards 2018 which was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. I am an advocate of public engagement in architecture and encourage everyone to get involved and ask questions about the decisions being made that will affect our city for many years to come.
Thread Architects has grown, spread its wings, and become better established over recent years. We are constantly honing our skills and the services we offer, and I am excited about the future of the practice. We have a wealth of experience across a range of construction sectors which allows us to refine our design approach when working with a particular client, offering a high-quality service which is unique to the needs of the project. We are experienced at altering and extending existing buildings and designing in the context of historic buildings. We have the skills to lead clients through the design and construction process from conception to completion, offering a full architectural service led by a dedicated team of experienced professionals. We add into this our creativity and unique design service with the aim of creating truly exceptional designs.
We are problem solvers by profession and are well placed to help clients diversify and adapt, whether responding to the changing needs of their homes, businesses or communities, or in response to the current pandemic. I hope we have the opportunity to contribute to the COVID response and that as a profession we use this time to re-evaluate how we create safe and comfortable places and spaces for people. Passive environmental design techniques which provide naturally well-lit and ventilated buildings and give the occupants comfort and control of their environment and connection to nature have always been key design principles I have followed. I think they will become essential as we create COVID safe spaces in response to the global pandemic.
I am currently working on a number of exciting residential, commercial and community projects, many in their early stages. Developing ideas and design proposals with clients for their homes, businesses, libraries and churches, I look forward to developing the projects through subsequent design stages and overseeing their construction on site.
I love collaborating with clients, colleagues and other design professionals, developing design ideas, technical solutions and helping deliver work on site. Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, walking and cycling in Derbyshire and the Peak District, as well as drawing and print making.