As for many businesses, 2020 was a challenge but thanks to our very understanding clients, builders, and everyone we work with we were have managed to adapt to the ever changing situation and have had our busiest year to date, working with some great people on some brilliant projects in the last twelve months.
We had two big changes at the start of 2020. Firstly, me moved office within the Site Gallery to a bigger space. This was to prepare for the second change which was to welcome our new member of staff, Tom Stovold, to join us. Since March we have been mostly homeworking, so we haven’t seen a great deal of the office. However, Tom has been a brilliant addition to the team. Despite the tricky circumstances of homeworking, we have been really impressed with how hard he has worked and has added his skills and design knowledge to our work. In September Tom started the Masters in Architecture Apprenticeship course at Sheffield Hallam University where he will develop his architectural and urban design skills with a social and ecological focus and work towards becoming a fully qualified architect.
Both the Sheffield and Solihull offices have continued to grow and have been involved in a wide range of projects across the country from Harrogate to Bentley Heath. We have worked on residential projects including new home designs as well as extensions and refurbishments. This has included a SIP built new build house near Doncaster. The contractor, Terry Huggett Developments Ltd has worked continuously and determinedly to help us navigate the project through the lockdowns and restrictions since the project began on site last March and we are looking forward to completing the project with them this Spring. It’s great to see some of the spaces we designed with our Clients starting to appear.
We have also been involved with many community projects. Thread Architects has a lot of experience engaging with large community groups and local people to build briefs, develop designs, run consultation events, and create great new spaces. During 2020 we continued to work with the Selby Big Local on the design of “Our Space”, the conversion of a former redundant shop into a vibrant, community owned and community-led space. In the Autumn planning permission was granted for the design and we are looking forward to starting work on the detailed technical drawings this month with a view to starting work on site later this year.
2020 also saw the completion of the extension to MEPS International Ltd offices on Glossop Road, Sheffield. The extension is a modern addition to a Grade II Listed building in a conservation area on a narrow site. Built using Kingspan TEK SIPS the building creates additional office space and a new main entrance whilst the interior of the existing building was refurbished with a new stair to connect the old with the new.
2021 holds in store more exciting new projects for Thread. Just before Christmas we started work on the design of a sustainable, one-off new build house in Sheffield, an Artist’s Studio, a community centre in Solihull as well as submission of a planning application for a new rooftop bar. We are also looking forward to continuing our work on the development of a local library into a community hub, the extension of a significant modernist church, and various alterations and extension projects for clients adapting their homes.
It has also been great to keep in touch with previous clients over the last year to see how their new spaces are adapting as their needs change. We received a letter from a previous client over Christmas about how their new entrance space has enabled them to live comfortably in their home with all the challenges of 2020, and we are so pleased that relatively small changes to a home can have such a big impact on the lives of our clients.
“The porch you designed for us in 2015/2016, which we are delighted with, has grown in its contribution to our lives in ways we never envisaged…We wanted you to know that what you did for us was not just “useful”, it grew into a “sanity saver” this year”.
This was so lovely to hear and the impact of alterations to a client’s home and its longevity and adaptability to changing situations is something we will absolutely take forward in our design work this year.
We will keep you up to date with progress over the next few months and hope to see more of our clients and colleagues in person soon.