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Architects encourage public to visit hidden gems

Architects encourage public to visit hidden gems

Published July 2017 in NICHE magazine.

In 2012, Adam Smith and I set out to build our own architecture practice. Our motive for setting up our own practice was simple, really – we believe strongly that life is better when you live and work in beautiful spaces. Our environment and the buildings we live in shape our lives. We are dedicated to delivering projects which meet the needs of our clients, look great and work well.

Similarly, with this blog we want to share with you our vision and experiences in architecture and to show how architects and clients can work together to create beautiful spaces.

Five years down the line and Hickman & Smith already have some exciting projects under our belt. Recently, we have been working on a number of fantastic and very personalised extensions for private domestic clients, a clubhouse refurbishment for Aylestone St. James Rugby Club and a brand-new student accommodation building in Birmingham.

On the back of these diverse projects we have been able to grow our small yet thriving business. We’ve doubled in size and are now a team of four! We have employed two architectural graduates, Francesca and Isabella who are both working through their year in industry aiming to continue their professional education to become qualified architects. It has been great to work alongside them this year and to help them develop. I hope they will both contribute to the blog in the future to give you a different perspective on local architecture, buildings of interest and some of the projects they have been working on.

I hope that this blog might appeal to anybody with an interest in architecture and that it can become a space to share ideas and inspiration. At Hickman & Smith we invest CPD time to visit buildings of architectural significance across the country. As a group of architecture enthusiasts we are always excited and inspired by good design, and our trips invariably generate some lively discussions, so we want to share our experiences with you and identify some exemplar projects and hidden gems that are well worth a visit. We aim to demonstrate that good architecture does not necessarily need to cost the earth, and can be found in projects of all types and sizes. In our roles as committee members with the Leicestershire and Rutland Society of Architecture, Adam and I are also keen to promote high quality local architecture and to show how well thought through and delivered projects can raise the profile of our city.

Most recently, our team has taken trips to;

The New Art Gallery, Walsall, designed by Caruso St John Architects.

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The National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas, designed by Glenn Howells architects.

Architects encourage public to visit hidden gems

The Richard III Visitor Centre, Leicester designed by Maber Architects.

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Over the coming weeks I hope to be able to tell you a little bit about our company visits as well as sharing with you some views on architects and the work which has had a particularly strong influence on me as an architect.

– David Hickman