Lunch, VR and 20 details – our office makes a positive impression
“Fascinating”, “impressive” and “welcoming” were the most frequent comments when 30 members of the Leicester Art & Design Group visited our Leicester office in April.
We’re always extremely happy to show visitors around Waterfront House, our new office at Grove Park, Enderby, but this group were particularly exciting. As a body of ex (and some current) professionals whose group motto is “looking at modern architecture, design and manufacture”, we were eager to introduce them to our self-designed office.
I knew the group were eager not only to learn new things, but wanted to understand the context of what they were seeing. So, with the help of colleagues, we put together a lively plan for the day, including an informal buffet lunch that provided a backdrop to the two presentations.
After a short welcome from me, I handed over to Stuart Hancox, SGP Studio Director and Project Leader for the Leicester office design and build. Stuart chose 20 details about the office – such as the English brickwork panels and recessed downpipes – to explain how the design came together and how the building as a whole was delivered. Our BIM Manager, James Blood, then took over with an introduction to BIM, taking on board to the group’s interest in manufacturing and giving an appreciation of how the process improves the design and construction of a building.
After lunch, we got more hands on, splitting the visitors into two groups; one touring the office and seeing the details Stuart had highlighted, and the other to use our VR goggles to see the evolution of the office design in glorious 3D.
The Group recently compiled photos and descriptions of the visits they’d made to sites including London, Manchester, Nottingham and South Wales – a textbook in itself – and published it on their website (https://www.robpurdy.co.uk/index.php/art-design-group/adg-2019/stephen-george-partners).
Feedback from the day certainly seems promising:
I was much impressed by the building itself and the warmth of the welcome. In particular I would like to express my appreciation for the two presentations. Complex ideas were expressed with great clarity, comprehensible to the amateur, like me, as well as to practising architects. I felt I came away with an understanding of the design of the building itself as well as a grasp of the essentials of BIM. Ruth Turner
A truly impressive building with a work environment conducive to mixed skills and joined up thinking. Sue Hastings
It made me question at what stage the computer is used by practices like Zaha Hadid and Fosters to produce consistent and visionary architecture. Douglas Smith Artist-Consultant Architect.
Thank you for a most interesting visit and your generous hospitality. I thought the building was wonderful and the presentations fascinating. Thank you Rosemary Shannon
We enjoyed seeing Stephen George’s lovely new office, beautifully set beside the lake. The first lecture gave us a good understanding of how the design was developed and we particularly enjoyed the introduction to BIM. David and Elisabeth Watkin
It was fascinating to see the approach to design in a modern go ahead successful Architectural Practice. Peter Carr
It was quite a feast for the eyes and a very stimulating experience. Vivien and Gareth Lewis
Excellent and very clear presentations plus readiness to answer questions, combined with welcoming food and openness to visitors. Keith Turner
The attention to every design detail of the building was very appealing indeed and it is an excellent showcase for the cutting edge skills of the practice. Alison and Richard Thumpston