Shropshire Star

Architects practice JDP has ‘Grand Designs’ on growth after record-breaking year

Ambitious residential designs, healthcare projects, community buildings and a Grand Design that featured on a TV show hosted by Tinie Tempah have helped a Bridgnorth architects practice post its best-ever year.

JDP team

Johnson Design Partnership (JDP) has seen appointments rise significantly by 30 per cent over the last 12 months and currently has more than 130 live contracts under management as clients explore inventive design and a more personal service.

Architects at the Station Lane firm have also identified its ability to deliver complex work that peers often turn away and its recent Paragraph 70 approval that was granted without the need for appeal – one of the first in the UK to get through.

JDP, which has also been behind the redevelopment of Bishop Percy’s House in Bridgnorth, has taken on three new staff to cope with demand, including an experienced architect and two senior technicians who bring with them significant expertise in key markets.

Vic Johnson, founder of JDP, said: “We’ve always tried to be different to your large, city centre practices, preferring to listen to what the client wants rather than forcing the latest design trend on them.

“This has really paid off, whether it is working for a couple who are transforming their property, a refurbishment of a school or creating a new multi-use space at one of the UK’s largest hospitals. It’s about understanding their brief and using our design skills and knowledge of new materials and technology to create something that excites and is fit for purpose.

“Covid-19 was really busy as I think a lot of people focused on making improvements to their home, mainly because they spent so much time in them. Then, as soon as lockdown eased, a lot of stalled projects came back online with a vengeance. At the last look, we’re managing 130 jobs.”

JDP hit the headlines last year when it was chosen by production company Avalon to be featured in its Extraordinary Extensions series on Channel 4.

The programme, which was hosted by rapper Tinie Tempah, charted the progress of Evenhay Farm near Ludlow, a stunning £250,000 ‘angular’ conversion of a three-bed Grade II listed cottage and barn, featuring a new glass fronted annexe and glazed walkway.

Alan Harris and Lynda Hall decided to move back to the area from Nottingham and had the vision to work with Alan Harris senior to turn the family home into a place which they could all live in and enjoy the stunning views.

They turned to JDP for expert advice on initial designs, feasibility studies and securing planning, with the architect working with Hayward Construction to turn the dream into a reality.

Matt Spinks, director, added: “Our Grand Designs and work with the Paragraph 70 house was already provoking a lot of conversation, but the Channel 4 show really catapulted us into the limelight.

“It was arguably the most successful project featured on the programme and proved how you can use new design techniques and materials to open a truly stunning location with unique views. The phone and inbox haven’t stopped since and we’re looking to make the next 12 months even more successful.”

JDP, which now employs nine people at its Bridgnorth office, offers a complete project management service from feasibility work and planning to detailed design, project monitoring and contract administration.

It has recently invested in the latest 3D design software and management systems, as well as embarking on a social media campaign to showcase its vast array of successful projects.

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