Our 36th year in practice has started with a bang! In the last five days, we have been appointed on several new and exciting projects across the UK, from initial planning and designs for a Georgian townhouse refurbishment, to full design and project management of a large penthouse. We have also been commissioned on several high-profile commercial and retail projects. It is without doubt the best start to a year we have ever had. Long may it continue!
An outstanding result is not an accident; it’s by design.
New pool, old building
Posted on November 11th 2016
70,000 cubic metres of smoke has been delivered into the ceiling void of the former ballroom of a 1920s listed property into which Lees Associates are currently installing a luxury swimming pool and spa.
The smoke test was carried out to determine the interconnectivity and integrity of the existing ceiling void, which will form part of an important strategy to maintain safe conditions for the existing building fabric when the warm, humid and potentially corrosive atmosphere of the new pool is soon introduced.
Lees Associates are excited to see the new pool take shape and look forward to sharing more photographs soon.
The presentation showcased the concept of a passive and active systems hybrid; an impressive shallow cantilever able to support people. This concept opens the way for a new and exciting design philosophy where (re)active technologies can be employed to support leaner and less energy-intensive structures that can achieve spans and loads that have not been previously possible.
If you came to our 35th anniversary party on 16 June see if you can spot yourself in the timelapse movie we’ve put together below. The event was a great success as we welcomed the great and the good from the London luxury property market. Sadly the movie only captures the first two hours up until the GoPro’s battery ran out, although maybe it’s no bad thing that some of what happened later wasn’t captured!! Only kidding. If you weren’t able to join us, check out the gallery here.
35th Anniversary Party
Posted on June 20th 2016
Lees Associates celebrated our 35th anniversary on 16th June. We managed to arrange favourable weather and an England football win – neither of which seemed very likely at one point – and, with the office bedecked in 500 balloons for the occasion, it was a very enjoyable and successful evening.
As usual our table football competition was tremendously popular. After a series of hard fought early rounds. Lees old boy Gary Wait, now at Wainbridge, and Westgreen’s Chris Grace emerged triumphant, earning them bragging rights until our next party at least!
As well as the usual plentiful food and drink, all sourced locally at Borough Market and cooked on our barbecue, guests also received a custom goodie bag with contents including our newly-launched brochure, balloons and one of our special anniversary cakes.
We were grateful for the generous compliments from our guests during the event and have been humbled by the volume of congratulatory emails and notes received since. Thank you to everybody who came and made the event so successful!
For those who missed out this time, look out for an invitation to our next party later in the summer.
Our office trip to The Homewood: Achieving quality in the modern world
Posted on May 24th 2016
At the edges of Esher Common in Surrey there is a country villa designed by the architect Patrick Gwynne in 1938, The Homewood. Patrick was just 24 years old when his parents entrusted their family funds to his design hand; the brief was a replacement for their family’s aging Victorian home and his solution was a functional rectilinear white villa in the modernist style of the era. Inspired by modernist examples Gwynne had seen on his travels across Europe (more…)
We’ve seen the future. And it’s not garlic bread.
Posted on May 11th 2016
In today’s fast-moving world it is occasionally worth taking a step back and appreciating the incredible rate at which technological advancements continue to be developed. It is all too easy these days to take new technologies for granted, forgetting that just a few years ago they would have seemed impossibly ambitious or futuristic.
This week has seen the launch of Google’s new Tilt Brush and we have watched in awe at the potential it, and products like it, could have.
Lees Associates’ director, Andrew Paulson, has been saying for a while now that it won’t be long before our office is full of people wearing VR headsets and “drawing” in 3D space. Tilt Brush is the first product we have seen that starts to realise this potential. Although designed as a tool for 3D art, its potential for designing buildings and spaces is obvious. We will be able to sketch a building in 3D and then send it to our client on the other side of the world for them to experience in VR for themselves.
Incredible. The future has arrived.
Rewriting the rule book on success
Posted on May 9th 2016
This week the world of football learned a valuable lesson. You do not have to be the biggest, wealthiest or most historically successful club to be the best. Nobody appreciates this better than our director and lifelong Leicester City fan, Andrew Paulson. Having just about scraped him down from the ceiling, we asked him what it means to him and his fellow fans.
Leicester City have won the premier league. These are words that I never thought I would ever have cause to write or say, and just reading them still raises the hairs on the back of neck. The football club that I have supported since I was a boy, the perennial yo-yo club*, the best team never to have one the FA Cup**, have finally in one blistering season been transformed from relegation fodder into indisputably the best team in England.
Everybody asks “How can this happen? How can a team come from nowhere to win the league?”. Do not be misled: this is no overnight transformation. Over the last five years the owners and management of the club have methodically and systematically improved all aspects of the running of Leicester City. For example, the club now have one of the most advanced sports science departments in the premier league and they have demonstrably the most successful scouting structure of any top team anywhere in the world. But more than that, every single member of the squad plays for each other. They are friends on and off the pitch. The starting XI hardly changed in the second half of the season but the players that kept the substitutes bench warm played just as important a role in the club’s success as the first team, keeping the pressure on and ensuring the team, whoever was playing, was as well prepared as they could be for the next match.
A truly remarkable achievement and proof in all arenas that it doesn’t matter how rich you are, how big you are, how much previous success you have enjoyed or how loud you shout: through inspired leadership, uncompromising teamwork, self-belief and genuine hard work anybody can be hugely successful. Just like Lees Associates!!
* five promotions and three relegations in 20 years ** four finals, four defeats
Completion at Phillimore Gardens
Posted on April 5th 2016
Works have successfully finished at our project in Phillimore Gardens for the Phillimore Trust.
Lees Associates acted as lead consultant for the project, which involved the substantial reconfiguration and rebuilding of the existing property, including lowering and extending the basement, the introduction of a glazed orangery to the rear, two new plant rooms and a sweeping staircase wrapping around a new glass lift. Previously hindered by a poorly proportioned mid-century roof extension, the final semi-detached but generous family home now (more…)
St George’s Hill – under construction
Posted on February 5th 2016
To offer an insight into the construction process, we have compiled this timelapse movie of one of our new-build projects on St George’s Hill in Surrey. It shows the construction of the reinforced concrete shell and core of the 15,000 sqft scheme over a three month period.