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/2024 summer newsletter

/team_a season of change

As the temperature finally rises, we find ourselves amidst a season of wonderful change at the studio here in the grounds of Potager. ThisSummer promises is shaping up to be an exciting one, as we near completion on projects and break ground on new ones. In this edition, we will meet our new team member, take a look at our near finished highly sustainable project in Falmouth and join us as we explore the world of thatching! We also have some news on an up coming event we are putting on and some time in the 'lime light' for one of our team.

We welcomed Ian to the studio at the beginning of May and with a bounty of knowledge in sustainable architecture and Passivhaus, he has fitted in seamlessly, getting stuck into various projects in the Helford Passage and his current home County of Devon.

Ian joins us with a back ground in delivering bespoke homes from PassivHaus new builds to community housing projects. He has worked with some of the South West's finest such as SE3 Design and GYA. Having been involed on large multi-scale schemes, historical restorations and bespoke contemporary style residential homes both as project lead and also on the tools putting together the detailed packages. He has also gained further commercial experience by working in Australia for a few years but the draw of the West Country was all too strong and he now resides in Exeter and travels to Cornwall a couple of times a week to see the team and scout for his perfect location to build his very own Passivehaus.


/projects_nearing completion

The end is in sight for one of our long-awaited, highly sustainable projects, 'White Wings,' in Falmouth. With the scaffolding coming down as the seasons changed, we have been thrilled to receive 100% positive feedback so far. As the contractor, Berryman Construction, apply the final touches to the interiors and watch Z P Landscapes work their magic on the surrounding grounds, our excitement is building to share more photos with you soon. Stay tuned as we unveil this remarkable project that stands as a testament to sustainable design, innovation, creative thinking and being built by true craftsmen.


/scope_cornwall climate care

We recently were approached to take part in filming for Cornwall Climate Care at our deep retrofit in Crantock. "Cornwall’s Climate Stories is a series of documentaries highlighting the impacts of climate change already being felt across Cornwall, as well as the fantastic local businesses, researchers and community groups working hard to prepare us for the challenges coming our way." - CCC .

Julian was interviewed on the importance to update and reuse our existing housing stock and what it meant to be part of a team of client, architect and contractor exploring the use of alternative materials.

Did you know that retrofit is not only about creating a happy and warm home, but also about locking in the carbon created in its original construction?


/sustain_resilience roll call

Mark your calendars for October 8th, as we ignite a conversation on resilience and carbon reduction at our upcoming 'Resilience Roll Call' in collaboration with RIBA South West. Set against the backdrop of the stunning Mount Pleasant Eco Park, join us for an immersive experience aimed at exploring the transformative power of reuse and circular economy thinking in architecture.

The event promises a dynamic lineup of speakers who will illuminate the path toward carbon reduction through innovative design practices.

Engage with fellow industry professionals, exchange ideas, and discover practical strategies for integrating circular economy principles into your projects whilst gaining insights into how the principles of circularity can shape the future of sustainable architecture. This will not be for those wanting to just sit in their seats. Rolling ones sleeves up will be part of what’s on offer - it should be fun, it should brings something different and it should ultimately allow individuals to leave with things they can put in place straight away.

Save the date: October 8th - 9:30-4:30 - Mount Pleasant Eco Park.


/create_thatching a way forward

Embarking on a mission to redefine sustainable living and put focus on the use of alternative and natural materials, along with focsuing on land based employment, the studio is collaborating with Ambos, a community land trust, to design and implementation a 100% 'creatively sustainable' housing scheme nestled on the outskirts of Falmouth.

The proposal is a commitment to creating a community through thoughtful design, innovative materials, and energy-efficient solutions. We're not just building homes; we're nurturing a way of life that's both eco-conscious and accessible to all. Every aspect of the project reflects our dedication to minimizing environmental impact while maximising quality of life. We hope to see a transformation of this once-vacant land into a vibrant hub of sustainable living.

As part of our exploration into land-based commerce and the use of alternative natural materials, we embarked on a day of learning how to thatch with the wonderful Toby at South West Thatching. This hands-on experience provided valuable insights into traditional building techniques and the sustainable use of natural resources.


/close_time in the saddle, time to reflect

Firstly, I have to say a huge thank you to my family, the STUDIO/gather team and all our clients and consultants for all the support, not just over the last few weeks but also in the months leading up to what ended up being quite a momentous point in my calendar. As I sure many of you will know, I took on my first ultra cycle race, raising money for Cancer Research while pedalling nearly 700km cross country from Lands End to Kent in 4 days. Spending the best part of 16 hours in the saddle a day, getting on the bike before the sun came up and getting off after it went down gave me plenty of time to reflect on life and the way we go about it. Being present, pushing beyond the comfort zone, accepting support, keeping things simple, cherishing the down times, enjoying the journey, all become so apparent.

The ride has certainly made me look at how I put myself forward both in life but also very much in work. Learning that you can move so much further when you put your mind to it, rather than sitting and over thinking.. It has also, perhaps unfortunately, reassured me that the long hard grind does pay you back with one hella buzz when it is all said and done. As such, do expect more lyrca clad meetings and more long stints on the bike experiencing times of great reflection – who knows what will come to mind on the next one.'

Julian J Mills.

Founding Director


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