2022 A Year at HPA
HPA has seen considerable growth this year, we’ve seen an increase of repeat business, working on larger scale projects both within the Northwest and nationally. From a small local architect, we find ourselves competing on a level playing field with larger city-based practices.
This year saw a real focus on sustainability within the practice. Our Associate Director Andrew became Passivhaus certified after passing the rigorous examinations involved. We have also launched our sister company Woohoo focusing on improving sustainability and the retrofit of heritage buildings, having already begun work for the improvement and upgrade of historic building stock.
HPA also worked with Lancaster City Council on the decarbonisation of Salt Ayre Leisure Centre which won an ASPE (Association for Public Service Excellence) Award in 2022 for the industry leading project. The scheme reduced the council’s emissions by 35%, the much-loved community asset is now one of the first carbon neutral leisure centres in the UK.
This year also saw HPA sponsoring and organising the Lancaster Rewind Festival together with Lancaster BID, which was a huge success. Celebrating the last 50 years of the city, HPA held a photographic exhibition showcasing images from past and present. Our long-standing work within the local community was acknowledged this year at the Love Lancaster Business Awards. HPA Director, Richard Wooldridge gained the Lancaster BID Ambassador Award and HPA were also shortlisted for Professional Service of the Year.
We’re in the 5th year of supporting and securing Planning Permission for Lancaster on Ice, an event that has contributed to an overwhelming increase in the tourist sector of Lancaster, with over 90,000 visitors last year.
We’ve continued to promote individualised solutions for unique architectural challenges, as proven with our approach to the recent restoration and façade repairs to The Grand Theatre Lancaster. The building stands as the third oldest, continually operating, theatre outside of London, and is Grade II Listed. The intention was to enhance the theatre’s local and historical significance whilst enhancing its heritage and cultural importance to Lancaster.
Embracing Architectural Challenges
Our unique and innovative approach has allowed us to embrace architectural challenges within a broad range of sectors, whilst designing thoughtful, balanced, and imaginative spaces. Developing projects ranging from contemporary commercial and educational projects, through to bespoke residential design and the careful restoration of historic buildings, creating safe, social, accommodating facilities for all.
With 3 hotels featuring in the top 50 boutique hotels in the last year, HPA’s reputation within the hospitality industry continues to expand. The amazing ‘Outside’ Collection created for Another Place Hotel was completed this year to much critical acclaim – which features on The Times ‘100 Best Places to Stay in Britain for 2023’. Designed to take advantage of the sublime natural environment, with sustainability at its core. The HPA designed treehouse is concrete-free and doesn’t cause damage to the mature trees surrounding it, running on 100% renewable electricity and heating from the biomass boiler.
Passionate about creating places people care about, we’ve recently completed the campus redevelopment of Blackburn-based independent Westholme School. Our design for a single campus has created a renewed sense of community.
HPA have recently become active members of Learning Disability England and our work with local youth charity, Escape2Make continues to gather momentum with their first Green Festival which took place in August. Alongside volunteers, HPA led the Architecture Youth Group which provided inclusive, interactive activities for people of all ages. We’ve also organised two youth architecture days in conjunction with the Museum of Architecture in London.
With a long-standing history of mentoring architecture students across a variety of placements, this year saw several RIBA Future Architects students enter our mentorship programme, facilitated by RIBA. We’ve also employed two new Apprentices over the last year. HPA will continue our relationships with local universities and to offer mentoring programmes within the office. We aim to make architecture approachable, affordable and benefit all.
Having acted as both Architect and Planning Consultants for the Warton Grange Close development, HPA were Regional Winners for the LABC Building Excellence Awards 2022, for our planning and developed design work.
The practice was nominated for the Construction Business of The Year award at the Be Inspired Business Awards (BIBA). We were honoured to be considered in the same category as some of the leading names in construction in the Northwest.
HPA were also delighted to be shortlisted at the prestigious Northern Design Awards for the ‘Outside’ Collection created for Another Place Hotel.
Where’s next for 2023?
Over the next 18 months, we have several new, large projects lined up, to work on major contracts with some of the biggest food manufacturers in the country. As part of these new ventures, we aim to change the face of food manufacture in the Northwest of England
We’re delighted to have been approached to complete a feasibility study for the renovation of Unique Kidz’s Youth and Community Centre based in Morecambe. We look forward to future opportunities designing accessible, inclusive spaces and working with the centre, which offers disabled children access to high quality play activities and childcare.
Alongside HPA, Woohoo will undertake research in relation to post occupancy evaluation to gain a comprehensive understanding in the true performance of the buildings we have designed and constructed. This information will help continually improve wider industry and benefit our clients. The team are engaged with the Lancashire Innovation Drone Zone (LIDZ) to understand the potential benefits of using drones with thermal cameras to better analyse the historic built environment.
HPA is dedicated to creating remarkable built environments that have a profound effect on people’s lives and make a positive, lasting difference for 2023 and beyond.
We’ve exceeded expectations for the size of our practice, we think local but work nationally. Aspiring to use our varied work to champion the importance of creating a positive legacy, whilst supporting local communities. Working with charities and young people across the county, this year we have had a profound impact on our corner of Lancashire.
‘It is people like you who make Lancaster such a wonderful place to live and work’ Cat Smith MP