Each year, our annual Christmas message reflects on the highlights of the past 12 months. And, despite an unprecedented, barely believable, rollercoaster of a year that will leave its mark in history, 2020 has held many successes for Corstorphine + Wright.
Before we remember our favourite moments, I want to recognise the struggles and worries of many this year. There’s no escaping the emotional toll the uncertainty of 2020 has brought, and this makes it all the more important to celebrate the successes of the year and the people who have excelled.
As ever we are most thrilled to hear of the achievements of our team members and, this year, we have five newly qualified architects amongst us. Congratulations to Dan Kealty, Jamie Ho, Meera Jackson, Jamie Campbell and Matt Usher for the successful completion of their Part 3 assessment. In an exceptional year, we applaud our colleague James Roberts who has passed the professional interview to join the Chartered Institute for Architectural Technologists (CIAT). You are an inspiration to us all.
Way back in February – in what seems like a decade ago, not a mere ten months – we joined forces with Leeds-based practice Architecture 519, increasing the skill and capacity of our already thriving Leeds studio. We are delighted that they have all been with us throughout this tumultuous year, expanding our collective knowledge with experience across a diverse range of sectors – whilst being a wonderful group of people who have fitted into the team as if they have been with us for years.
A series of major appointments across the year helped strengthen our capabilities in key areas and regions. In the summer, we welcomed former AHR London Managing Director, Michael Walters to head up our activities in London and the South East. More recently Jonathan Tarbatt joined the practice in the newly created role of Director of Urban Design. Jonathan is now leading our presence in the field of urban design, with particular focus on large-scale masterplanning, regeneration and placemaking projects. Our technical agility has never been more significant, and this is reflected in the appointment of Jonathan Carthy in another newly created role as our Head of IT.
In June, we were recognised as one of the top 25 architectural practices in the UK based on the Architects’ Journal’s annual AJ100 ranking. This growth is a testament to the skill and hard work of our incredible team.
Our projects have been award-winning. Our Frankum Mews design in Haringey won Best Housing Scheme (fewer than 500 homes) at the 2020 Planning Awards. Tile Cross Academy in Birmingham was the West Midlands winner of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Social Impact Awards in the education category. And our work at Exeter Police Station won the New Build Award at the Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE) Environment Awards.
In November, the practice won three awards at Insider Media’s Midlands Residential Property Awards, including the prestigious Architectural Practice of the Year Award. Aston Place in Birmingham won Residential Development of the Year (more than 100 units) and The Co-operative in Coventry won Small Residential Development of the Year (fewer than 100 units).
The team is also recognised across forthcoming Insider Media Awards events with a shortlist place for Architectural Practice of the Year at both the West Midlands and Yorkshire Property Awards. At the latter, Skelton Lake Motorway Services in Leeds has been shortlisted in two categories whilst over in the North East, the Great North Air Ambulance Headquarters by our Darlington studio has been shortlisted in the Refit and Refurbishment category.
And we finish the year as winners at the 2020 Northern Design Awards in 2 categories; Commercial Architectural Practice and Commercial Build for Skelton Lake.
For all these reasons and so many more, 2020 has been an extraordinary year and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all your support and we look forward to working with you in 2021.
From all the team here at Corstorphine + Wright stay safe and stay well and we wish you and your family a happy Christmas and all the very best for 2021.