We are a design-led, collaborative and open practice, and we enjoy designing beautiful, bespoke, ingenious architecture, finding a unique and sustainable architectural solution for each client. We are currently working on a wide variety of exciting, high quality projects in the residential, cultural and commercial sectors, including new build and working with listed buildings.
We are currently seeking an ambitious and talented Project Architect with at least 5 years post qualification experience to join our busy, friendly studio. We are looking for a candidate with a thorough knowledge of contract administration and technical design, with experience of running projects and managing assistants. Design excellence, commitment to the team, enthusiasm and excellent communication skills are all essential. Experience in ArchiCAD would be an advantage.
If you would like to join our friendly, talented team please email your CV, sample portfolio and covering letter with notice period to: email@example.com Designscape Architects is an equal opportunities employer. Unfortunately we are not always able to respond to every CV we receive. No agencies please.
Client: The Soil Association
Location: Street, Somerset
Client: C&J Clark
Status: Concept Design
Key Materials: Cast iron, Steel frame partitions, Leather
Location: Bourges, France
Client: Seco Tools AB
Status: Completed 2014
Key Materials: Aluminium Composite cladding, Larch cladding, Brise Soleil, curtain walling
Client: Crosby Homes
Status: Completed 2005
Client: Countryside Properties Ltd
Status: Completed 2008
Having signed up to the Architects Declare climate manifesto earlier this year, being mindful of our carbon footprint we decided against taking flights for our 2019 study trip and headed for some creative inspiration closer to home. Our much anticipated annual study trip is our time to team build, add to our professional development and inform our architectural design thinking.
Invited to visit the renovation of the historic Flaxmill Maltings in Shrewsbury, we made this the starting point for a packed programme of art, history and architecture, from medieval Shrewsbury to Birmingham, “the Workshop of the World”
So we all piled into the minibus, and set off on a promisingly sunny afternoon up the M5 to Worcester and our first stop The Hive, designed by our neighbours at FCB Studios. Unusually this building combines both University and Public Library. Sunlight glinted on the seven unique cone forms comprising the roof (inspired by the kilns of the historic Royal Worcester works and the undulating ridge of the Malvern Hills) and was reflected by the golden scales of the cladding. We were impressed by the fantastic sustainability credentials and the beautifully calm interior of concrete and ash.
The next morning we met Alistair at the Flax Mills. Alistair is project director for English Heritage and he told us all about the renovation before we donned hard hats to explore the separate buildings that make up the site.
It was a real treat to see how the world’s very first metal-framed building was being brought back to life and to learn about the history of the mills through the industrial revolution from Flax mill to Maltings from such a knowledgeable source. So a huge thank you to Alistair and we look forward to a return visit on completion.
The bright lights of Birmingham beckoned but we felt we couldn’t pass Walsall without dropping in on the New Art Gallery, designed by Caruso St John. Even though it is now almost 20 years old it remains an exciting contemporary structure. Spencer was impressed:
“I really liked the Walsall art gallery, it was wearing really well, the patina of use seemed to be improving it – some really intriguing spaces within what looks like a simple cube of a building”.
One more stop off before Birmingham, in wet and windy West Bromwich, and a building some described as the low point of the trip, Will Alsop’s The Public, former Arts Centre now a Sixth Form College. Matched only by the neighbouring Sprinkles Gelato shop front, we mused.
Once we had negotiated the traffic diversions in the ‘motor city’ of the Midlands, the hotel was a welcome rest (and Livia’s favourite building, although unsure whether that was the architecture or the breakfast), before immersing ourselves in Brummie culinary culture in the Balti Triangle. Lauren’s favourite moment.
The next day after a hearty, aforementioned, breakfast, we abandoned Chris to the rugby world cup and set off through the Mailbox to the canal basins (via Make’s The Cube) where we piled onto a narrowboat to cruise just a small part of the huge network of waterways in and around the city to get a sense of Birmingham’s industrial heritage and to see how Birmingham is responding to the challenges of industrial decline with emerging new developments. Chris had caught up with us by then, very happy with “England boshing Australia” in the quarter final.
The new Birmingham Conservatoire by FCB Studios (2018 RIBA National Award) was also notable. The private and intense world of rehearsal had been brought together with the public world of performance in a welcoming and accessible space. A peek into the beautifully detailed Bradshaw Concert Hall was well worth it.
Looping back to the city centre and the iconic Rotunda, the Selfridges Slug (sorry Jan Kaplicky and Amanda Levete), New Street Station (AZPML) divided opinion.
After negotiating the new Bullring Shopping Centre on a Saturday afternoon (consumerism on a massive scale), we found ourselves in dire need of refreshment so we quickly diverted to once gritty, now bohemian Digbeth and the creative Custard Factory environs. Highlights included the street art, bar/barber’s and the wonderful Digbrew Company Beer and Taproom – with thanks to Lauren for the discovery.
Highlights of our last day were the discovery of Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands’ Birmingham University Sports Centre, another RIBA National Award winner and Lauren’s favourite building and the stunning Coventry Cathedral, Alex and Matt’s favourite.
Lastly, we took the opportunity to visit one of Designscape’s own buildings near Coventry, a production facility and HQ built recently for Exactaform Cutting Tools, a company specialising in diamond tipped precision cutting tools. Only those who had been managing the project had visited before so it was great to see the bricks and mortar first hand instead of the CAD. We were clearly colour coordinated for our visit!
Wending our way back to Bath, weary but buzzing with inspiration and creativity, it seemed that the all-round winning building from our low carbon 2019 Study Trip was the New Art Gallery, Walsall, and the most popular favourite experience, the Digbrew Company Beer and Taphouse. Roll on next year!
Client: Bath and Northeast Somerset
Key Materials: Steel planters, Concrete paviors, Steel tree grilles, Public art
Key Materials: Render walls, Timber cladding, Fibre cement roof tiles, Zinc dormers
The term Big Sheds is a coverall for large commercial buildings that have a number of uses: a manufacturing facility, storage & distribution centre, climate-controlled data centre, retail space sports building or community space. Generally made from a universal set of parts – a steel portal frame wrapped in profiled metal cladding – there are new possibilities emerging in the digital design and manufacture of buildings. This has caused Designscape to re-evaluate the standard approach and challenge the industry standard approach to Big Shed design.
There are a number of key drivers behind these shifts:
Changes in digital design technology (parametric modelling) and digital manufacturing are key drivers in finding a more cost and time efficient solution to Big Shed design. Parametric modelling and digital manufacturing techniques allow complex bespoke, optimised forms to be designed and made at no additional cost premium.
As suitable sites become increasingly difficult to find and the planning process becomes ever more demanding, so the concerns of sustainability, job creation and visual impact can be considered for a more positive planning outcome when proposing a Big Shed on a difficult site. A more bespoke and agile design solution can make an otherwise unviable site much more attractive.
Our cities are about to see some profound changes with the impending arrival of driverless vehicles, the requirement for clean air zones and automation of goods delivery services. As a consequence, Big Sheds are a feasible architectural solution to meet the growing needs out of town storage and freight consolidation facilities to support growing last mile delivery networks.
With building assets recognised as an important part of a company’s business strategy in an increasingly competitive global market, commissioning a Big Shed might be a practical consideration in projecting the right corporate image. Along with the increasing need to provide the ideal working conditions to both attract and retain employees, an elegant building design solution can help an organisation to help promote its CSR story.
A Big Shed can help address many of the issues surrounding the growing sustainability agenda – from design and materials to energy use and location. As part of our pledge to #Architects Declare our studio actively engages in sustainable architectural practices.
With employers mindful of the need to attract the best people, grow an internal culture that promotes productivity and create a working environment that reduces absenteeism and improves staff retention, designing a Big Shed to meet these requirements will have a positive economic impact for a business looking for a new premises.
If considering a new premises for your commercial business, we invite you to download a copy of our recent publication Rethinking the Big Shed which considers the key drivers to Big Shed design in more detail and explores some of our recent work in this area.
With some lateral thinking, innovation in Big Shed design can help business clients gain a competitive advantage in the commercial market place. Scarce and unusual sites can be made more viable. There are any number of commercial and economic benefits to commissioning a more agile building design to help businesses meet their longer term business objectives.
Designscape are an integral part of and foundation of our commercial projects as we look to modernise out global facilities. They understand our people and support development of the environments we need now and into the future.
Paul Hipkins, Global Project Manager, Seco Tools AB