/team_who you now work with
As you may have noticed from the Christmas cards (we hope they have all made themselves to you now), the team has grown. We are now a STUDIO of three full time, with a fourth working part time. This is greatly exciting as not only does it mean we can deliver on larger, more diverse projects, but it also brings a expanse of experience and expertise.
2022 brings the potential change in HQ – the garden studio has quickly become quite busy. At present, we work with our local community to bring the Constantine Village hall back to life with a vision of it becoming a multidisciplinary working hub of creatives. This is the start of our dream to /gather like minded artisans under one roof and build on the idea of helping rural community become economic robust. More on this later this year….we hope.
/projects_overview of what we have been up to
It our first full year of trading, 2022! We begin with a roster of projects covering near all types, shapes and sizes. A common thread of attention to design and want for delightful architecture along with highly sustainable aspirations ties them together. We feel very fortunate being part of such a varied series of works which takes us all across Cornwall and (dare we say it) over the Tamar too!
In 2021, we submitted 12 planning applications, achieved 6 approvals, have had 4 projects start on site, attended countless parish and town council meetings - our name is certainly getting known – and welcomed over a dozen new clients onto the creative journey. It’s been busy and looks like it will stay that way too!
/scope_growth and the changes it brings
We have had a wonderful first year of working and have already forecast a increase in turn over in the next 12 months. More projects, more clients, more staff, more kit – growth is good but not to be taken lightly. To make sure the momentum is right – and it doesn't go to our heads – you might be pleased to know we are working with a Business Coach specialising in Architects practice. This will help keep us grounded, form a robust business/financial foundation and help curate our vision for what STUDIO/gather will become. We will also be looking to pledge more of our revenue into charitable avenues working along side 1% for the plant. This joins our efforts with Surfers Against Sewage and the National Trust tree planting. We are looking after the things we love.
/sustain_what difference it all makes
A year of education, upskilling, continued learning and helping spear head the change in our building habits. We have covered over 100 hours of CPD focusing on environmental practice, employed team members with specific skill sets geared to retrofitting of existing buildings, flown the flag for Architects Declare and have documented our building process with the RIBA 2030 challenge. Our buildings, on average, show a 25% carbon reduction to that of standard building regulation compliant buildings. We have offset 40 tonnes of carbon through our tree planting scheme, sourced over 90% of our office inventory through renewable and local companies and reduced our travel miles through more zoom calls and cycling.
This year, there is time set aside for local community lead sustainability, focusing on reducing carbon further through the actual build process, more trees being planted and more time on two wheels – perhaps not to projects over the Tamar!
/create_an eye in the sky
Over the last year, we have been spending more time looking to connect with our immediate surrounds. Part of this forced through lock downs but mainly due to wanting to feel more tied into the area we live and work within. It started as a Sunday jolly for two friends/two creatives/two enthusiasts/two young dads getting some escapism, which has now rolled into on a real passion project. The series looks to document enclaves of natural beauty from the sky in and around West Cornwall. This years subject has been the Helford Passage, in particular French Mans Creek. Seeing how the seasons bring a change in colour, feeling, light and focus that can really be felt from the sky.
In the next year, we will be bringing you more investigations into life, as seen from above, from some of our favourite Cornwall gems. If you have any hidden pockets of natural or man made areas which makes you feel connected too, let us know as we would love to find out how it might be animated from the sky. Do also check out the works of our good friend of the practice - Jon Wigmore’s - photography page who is the camera man and drone pilot.
/close_a word to set off the year with
‘Last year was a huge year for STUDIO/gather and for me personally. As ever, with this type of business you are only as good as your clients – so thank you. The support has been more than I could have imagined and as such the growth and strength of the practice. It feels like we are heading in the right direction and look forward to what the next year brings. To more upside down sketching, more collaborative design, more talks of how to build a more sustainable future and to more joy whilst doing it.
Thank you and see you soon.’
Julian J Mills.