Heritage

PCPT, originally formed in West Bromwich in 1959 by partners John Phillips, Derek Cutler, Michael Phillips and Peter Troy. Like many young practices they begun with a series of private houses and enjoyed enlightned patronage that allowed them to create some quite extraordinary buildings.

Commercial success came in the 1960s, continued through the 70s and into the 80s with major civic buildings and housing estates across the West Midlands achieving numerous awards. The practice expanded and formed offices in Manchester, Edinburgh, Swindon and Wolverhampton introducing new multi disciplinary teams to include Landscaping and Planning

.A golden age in many ways, but times change, global economies falter and procurement changes made it harder to maintain the relationships that were fostered and the teams that were synchronised.

Few design businesses go to a second generation, let alone a third; the spark seems to get lost - but for PCPT each decade has seen a steady influx of awards and rewards for excellence. Indeed, we show many similarities to a family firm in having the tenacity, client dedication, a sense of longevity and continuity that gives the daily grind a sense of purpose. That’s us.

The trivial timeline may have us being established in the same week as the Barbie doll, but in fact late 50’s Birmingham was a very different place to do business than it is today. Our first clients were mainly the heavy metal businesses – spring and brass works - and included a new ‘lavatory block’ for the then mighty Triplex Foundries. Architects earned a ‘full and fitting fee’ allowing them to travel first class BEA for a weekend to Stockholm to see Asplund’s Library long before Ryanair. The world was not complicated by talent or merit but was a simple place of who you knew rather that what you know reinforced by backhanders and expense accounts. Hey ho Concepts such as reverse bidding, planning gain and sustainability did not trouble the world of tee squares, drawing smocks and luncheon vouchers.