I’ve been lucky to be involved in a number of exciting projects at Edward Architecture; from designing our own studio space in Leeds City Centre to a visitor centre at Pleasley Colliery, a Scheduled Ancient Monument. My favourite project would have to be the restoration and conversion of the Grade B Listed Fonab Castle in Pitlochry into a luxury 5-Star Hotel & Spa. The 19th century building was sympathetically restored and complemented by contemporary extensions housing spa & restaurant facilities and additional guest accommodation.
I love the historical buildings in the region, York Minster is spectacular, and I enjoy a stroll around the ruins of Kirkstall Abbey. My favourite building would have to be Leeds Corn Exchange, designed by Yorkshire architect Cuthbert Broderick who was also responsible for Leeds Town Hall among many other gems. The iconic building has been refurbished over the years and is a fantastic space, home to a range of independent retailers.
My grandad was a hard-working, entrepreneurial family man who inspired me to work towards my goals. He used to say that I’d be the next Christopher Wren so I think I’ve got some way to go!
It’s hard not to be inspired by the architects of the renaissance period. The likes of Brunelleschi, DaVinci and Michelangelo were painters, sculptors, architects and engineers and were the geniuses of their time.
The prospects in the region were looking incredibly positive but we are in another very uncertain period, this time due to Covid-19. It is not clear how the different property sectors will be affected. There is likely to be a longer-term shift to people working from home which may lead to people moving away from the town and city centres. The office market will have to adapt to the change in demand and there is likely to be accelerated change to the high street. On the flip side we may continue to see growth in the logistics and distribution centre as more people shop online.
The planning system can be extremely frustrating, although that isn’t an issue specific to this region. The planning process is now an extremely costly and time-consuming burden for developers who must make a significant early investment in projects at risk. There is also a feeling that Planning Officers should have more power to determine applications rather than schemes being decided at Planning Committees.