Gin CPD Tour 2017!

We followed up the success of last year’s away day with another CPD Trip on Friday 3rd November.

This year the simple instruction was to make sure we left our car at home!

After rendezvousing nice and early, Claire, Loretta, Mike and Nick, set off in the fog from Southampton Parkway just before 9.00am and headed to the new Children’s Centre at Tadley by the architects, Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt. A modest building on a tight site to a very restricted budget this shows you what can be done with dedication, determination and creativity. An admirable scheme which has been very well received by the community it serves.



From Tadley we headed south to Kings Worthy, home to the latest site led by the HAB company, founded by Kevin McCloud. For those that don’t know –

HAB stands for Happiness Architecture Beauty

“These are the values we hold dear. We were set up by Kevin McCloud in 2007 to challenge the way identikit volume housing was built in the UK. The houses and places we build respect the local context and biodiversity; are strongly rooted in history, landscape and the community; and are sustainable, beautiful and a pleasure to live in”
Click here for more information.


The architect is Jon Pardey and the completed buildings, garden and external spaces were looking very good in the autumn sunshine. The quality, compared to many other standard ‘issue’ housing schemes was very impressive! Whatever you might you think of Grand Designs this development is certainly trying to improve the standard of everyday housing.


Lunch was held at the River Cottage Restaurant in Winchester courtesy of Hugh! – another high recommendation in great surroundings

For the last stop of the day we travelled north to Laverstoke Mill, the home of the Bombay Sapphire Distillery – Thomas Heatherwick was responsible for the masterplan and regeneration of the mill including the amazing greenhouses. It was only polite to indulge in the Gin cocktail Masterclass!



The ‘Laverstoke’ was a firm favourite amongst the cocktails – if you haven’t visited you should try and get along to see it and sample the experience!

Special thanks to our Director, Mike, for organizing a brilliant day out filled with 3 interesting projects and delicious gin!! All within 45 or so miles from the office, nice!



A303 CPD Tour!

We enjoyed a great staff day out of the office on Thursday. It was CPD, honest!

After much discussion in the office about an away day, our lovely Director Mike, set up a top secret tour of three mystery locations. The team were only told to be ready by 8:30 and to wear sensible shoes!

Rendezvousing bright and early, Claire, Loretta, Mike and Nick, set off from Salisbury just before 9.00am and headed to the new Denton Corker Marshall, Visitor Centre at Stonehenge. Arriving before the crowds it was good to see the building and overall masterplan coping with the hordes of tourists who began descending on the site. The trip out to the stones was enjoyed by all, and as we had 3 out of 4 first-timers, it led to a lot of interesting discussion and speculation.


We all hoped that the plans for tunnelling part of the adjacent A303 will go ahead. (Click here to find out more)

From Stonehenge we headed west to Durslade Farm, home of Hauser and Wirth. For those that don’t know –

“Hauser & Wirth Somerset is a pioneering world-class gallery and multi-purpose arts centre, which acts as a destination for experiencing art, architecture and the remarkable Somerset landscape through new and innovative exhibitions of contemporary art. A landscaped garden, designed for the gallery by internationally renowned landscape architect Piet Oudolf, includes a 1.5 acre perennial meadow, which sits behind the gallery buildings”

The buildings, garden and exhibits were a revelation and were much admired by all. It also provides a really nice lunch!!


For the last stop of the day we came back to Salisbury and made our way along to Roche Court to admire the work of Stephen Marshall Architects at the NewArtCentre. The range of projects, attention to detail and accessibility are admirable. Great to see a long-lasting relationship between architect and client. The obvious trust and understanding between the parties was plain to see.

The Artist’s House was a firm favourite – if you haven’t visited you should try and get along to see it.

A great day out with a chance to see 3 world class projects within a 45 or so miles of the office. Nice.

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IMG_4243Our Director Mike, always full of bright ideas!

Please see the links for further information on all of the locations we visited yesterday!

Hauser and Wirth

Roche Court