by Patrick Arends, Director, Peak Architects
To say I feel fortunate, when I think back to the amazing architectural projects I have been involved in over the years, is an understatement.
I am grateful for the experience of designing and developing so many interesting projects. I worked from inception through to delivery on most of these, which gave me a real understanding and appreciation of true collaboration with the wider project and design team and contractors on site; and the many layers of efforts to reach that one goal.
Whilst it might seem like I’m stating the obvious when it comes to ‘collaboration’, I want to talk about ownership that comes with that collaboration. I feel that ownership goes way beyond the completion of the physical structure.
For me, that’s the beauty of architecture and the construction industry. Everyone involved owns the new building(s) in some form or another. The client owns the project as they initiated (and often paid for) it. The architects own it, as it’s their design idea, their concept and creativity. The engineers own it as they applied realism in the creation of technical solutions. The contractors own it as they physically built it, through digging, ground works, foundations, erecting the structures and applying their craftsmanship, brick by brick. Ensuring the project is well built and will stand the test of time. The building users own it, as it’s their building to be entertained in, live in or work in. And that’s beautiful. Everyone involved owns it and quite rightly so.
Social media is a great vehicle to highlight a business’s project involvement and I enjoy reading, for instance, LinkedIn posts and discovering which companies have been involved in the many amazing schemes across the UK and beyond. I don’t always have visibility of all the companies involved, especially when it concerns a small scale supplier to a sub-contractor, however, each and every company deserves appropriate recognition.
An example; I recall a lovely article from a thermal insulation company who supplied the lagging for the heating pipework to the M&E contractor on a library I worked on. Their product is completely out of sight, hidden by suspended ceilings, however, without their product, the installation wouldn’t be as energy efficient as engineered. The article showed belief and pride in their product and it breathed ownership of the project. There are lots of these types of trades that do great things behind the scenes and they deserve credits for their work.
Some companies are champions in continuously creating smart PR and Marketing. They have a dedicated team of PR specialists to create relevant content and do it well. Many businesses don’t have this resource luxury and receive little acknowledgement and exposure, if any.
Every single time I have been approached by a supplier on a project who asked if they could use a visual or a photograph to put themselves out there, have received a very positive response with high resolution images to support their cause, or even a quote if relevant. All it took is a phone call or a polite email.
At Peak Architects, we believe in celebrating collective project successes across the construction industry.
Besides the fact that it is the right thing to do, to give credit where credit is due, it’s nice to be nice to people. It gives us energy being a promotor of our partners’ achievements and we would never hesitate supporting anyone who has the right approach to collaboration.
We’re looking forward to creating many more inspiring projects, collaborating with the people we like working with and are keen to create more and celebrate these successes. On to 2022 and beyond!