Choosing Our Architect

If you’ve been following us on our journey with the CLT in choosing an architect for our ‘Build Your Own High Street’ project, then I apologise first and foremost for this being the first of our updates without any photographs!

Tonight (May 11th), we met up again to discuss our shortlisted architects and come to a decision about who we would like to move forward with.

This meeting came after the road trip to Leeds to see Lilac Design. I wasn’t at this event, but Ronnie Hughes (who works with the Granby Four Streets CLT and is involved with us too) was, and wrote up an article about one of the places visited on his blog, A Sense of Place: tonight’s discussion, we looked at the proposals from each of our shortlisted teams and spoke with each other about what we thought. Though there were points we liked about each architect, we looked at their proposals from every important angle – what can they offer us, do they understand our needs, how could their work translate to our community in Anfield?

Then, we went round as a group and spoke individually about our opinions. The debate was an interesting one, though we were leaning towards one candidate more than others.

(One of the reigning themes of the night was the idea of experience vs the willingness to learn. While one team may have a lot of experience behind them, would we not want to give a newer, local company the chance to develop and go on this journey with us? We also wanted to choose the candidate who was the most ‘hungry’ for this project, somebody who would want to strive to do well because it’s just as important to them as it is to us, rather than the idea of ‘just another project’.)

As a group, and after much discussion, we eventually and unanimously arrived at a favoured candidate and will now be having detailed discussions with them to sort out a firm agreement between us.

We went for them because they are keen on what we want to do and we all feel we will enjoy working with them.

(While they don’t have as much experience in residential work, they have worked on a lot of shops in the past, and this is something we want to look at as well for our community.)

They are also Liverpool based. Community is very important to us, as we keep stressing! So decided, much else about the candidates being equal, that it would make sense for us to work with somebody who knows the area, and is close at hand when we need them.

I personally left the meeting feeling confident in our decision (I had felt positive about them since the initial interviews, if I’m honest) and with a sense of excitement and pride about the project to come.

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