Architecture Awards 2021

25 2021 Architecture Awards BUILD Apr21682 Best Emerging Architectural Design Practice – East Midlands ARC Design Studio is a community of thinkers, designers and makers driven by a shared ambition to create a healthier, more sustainable relationship between people and place. Its approach to architecture is one that prioritises the long-term health of our planet – finding that perfect balance between profit, people and planet which demonstrates that the architects can be responsible for the resources they specify, creating socially engaging spaces for people whilst ensuring a healthy return on investment. ts core architectural services cover all RIBA work stages, which it supplements with other in-house expertise in graphic design, project management, landscape design and architectural visualisations. The studio works with a very skilled team of estate agents, investors, design consultants and building contractors to take projects from the very earliest stages through to completion, and it takes great pride in its ability to offer a one-stop-shop for clients. While every member of the team is from a shared architectural background, with two of its three partners being ARB registered architects, ARC Design Studio intentionally describes itself as a community of designers as opposed to being simply architects as it feels that this better reflects the collaborative approach that it employs. Fundamentally, it is a design studio – a collective of passionate designers that seek to resolve design problems in a shared, multi-faceted way, unlocking the power of multiple perspectives to find the very best architectural solutions. It approaches all projects in this way, from large master planning exercises and architectural projects to its graphic design and illustration output. As the studio expands it hopes to strengthen this approach, and the core services that it is able to offer to clients, by building a diverse team around the shared values of the practice that brings together and celebrates the plurality of the design process. ARC Design Studio’s most recent and largest project to date is the refurbishment and extension of a local library facility in Nottingham. This project brings together various stakeholders, including the local authority who will manage the library facility, commercial tenants which will operate from the ground floor level, and a residential team that will manage the interests of a number of self-contained units on the top level. The partners at ARC Design Studio have had extensive experience working on very large, high profile projects prior to setting up the practice, however the real challenge has been the rapid development of its internal process and procedures to ensure that the project is optimised to the benefit of the community that it serves. Thankfully, it has a close network of skilled professionals on hand to assist with the setup and ongoing management of these processes and, being an RIBA Charted Practice, it has the support of a world-leading professional body to draw upon. I Despite the chaos and havoc wreaked by the global pandemic with supply chain issues and general reduction in investment, and the ever present threat of the climate emergency, ARC Design Studio is feeling positive about the future. It has built a strong professional network and generated a pipeline of work which it hopes to build upon in the coming months as it looks to expand and strengthen the team. Whilst the studio intends to maintain a strong interface with the residential/domestic market, it is also eager to build the scale of its projects to enable it to more effectively channel, test and develop its approach – to design healthier, sustainable urban environments for future generations that do not compromise the long-term health of the planet. The studio thinks there is a strong ethical business model here; it just needs to convince clients to expand upon their definition of a return on investment to include people and planet, to expand upon the narrow focus on financial reward that is sadly often the primary driver behind building projects. Company: ARC Design Studio Contact: Liam Swaby Email: [email protected] Website: