It was evident early on that Peak Architects’ founder, Paul Holden, and recently appointed director, Patrick Arends share the same level of enthusiasm when it comes to bespoke design and craftmanship. Having both gathered years of commercial experience in larger UK based and overseas practices, they became increasingly frustrated by how the impact of high-quality design is underestimated in adding value commercially to a project.
Whilst the company readily acknowledges that occupancy numbers and financials are clearly fundamental to a project’s viability, Peak Architects has learnt through direct experience that the design needn’t be compromised and only adds permanence to a building’s lifetime.
Back in 2015, Paul set about creating Peak Architects with ‘Adding Value by Design’ as the company’s mainstay mantra, underpinned by a passion to go beyond what other architects do. Having previously worked for a series of commercial developers and being in charge of the entire ‘design versus cost’ issue, gave him a unique grasp of how developments of all types work.
He has since built up an enviable client list including the Chatsworth and Wentworth Estates and numerous local authorities including Sheffield and Derbyshire. Add to that, Patrick’s wealth of experience in the cultural, education and hospitality industries and the future looks bright.
Patrick has been able to cast a fresh pair of eyes on the business, which has been invaluable as Peak Architects plan for the journey ahead. Since joining, his observations quickly pick up on the highly skilled and agile team, fast turnaround capability and vigour for fresh design, approaching each project with a blank piece of paper. He adds,
“We design buildings to last, and our team has that in the forefront of their minds when starting the design process. We focus on getting it right for our clients, not to roll out one we’ve done before. We don’t have a particular fixed architectural signature or style. We always start from scratch, feeding the designs with extensive knowledge and utilising the experience from our previous projects.”
Peak Architect’s award-winning team is responsible for some truly innovative projects across the city region and beyond. These include a residential scheme in Matlock and large-scale senior living and housing projects across the Sheffield City Region. They have also delivered educational projects for Devonshire Educational Trust, a retail extension scheme at Chatsworth and received planning for The Rising Sun, a 60-bed hotel in the Peak District.
From the outset, Peak Architects are driven by their inquisitiveness to explore the best design solutions in terms of spatial quality, operation, efficiency, sustainability, buildability, programme and budget. However, it is enhancing the user’s daily lives through design, that sits at the core, whether within their homes, workplace, education, public realms, communities, or leisure spaces.
“This is a true collaboration, from the start to beyond when the project is ‘open for business’. We support and guide our clients from early design stage, through to collaborating with the contractors during construction, to post completion. Our clients need to be confident that we are a presence and support throughout this journey.”
The company’s diverse portfolio clearly reflects their expertise and success across sectors and in the heritage and conservation field. More recently, the practice was shortlisted on the tender to develop Harmony Works, which involved the transformation of a Grade II* listed building into an educational music hub in the heart of the city.
“These are exciting times for Sheffield and the region as we see the rapid architectural changes emerging on its skyline. We have enthusiasm in abundance and feel privileged to be playing our part in enhancing the lives of the region’s communities through high quality design, now and in years to come.”