'Am I mad, in a coma or back in time?'


A challenge: name somewhere in England where an architect can go back 35 years and meet some of the original residents of his first scheme gorging themselves in the sun all as if the years had never passed?  Life on Mars?


No it’s Portmadog 2010 and even the absence of Ford Cortinas cannot hold back thoughts of the three day week and drawing boards, pounce, rubber fights and smocks.  What is now the gentrified South Snowdon Wharf was the slate harbour when in the 1970’s Francois Sperry and Sir Bertram Clough Williams Ellis both eulogised our brave designs; gradually public affection followed this brutalist scheme from ‘New York’ to chocolate box.  The residents love it - all very different from when PCPT built it when our office PABX was jammed by nationalists and odd packages were arriving in the post!  Nowadays some of the greys and sepia render colours are getting close to Tobermory – Suffolk Pink, Coventry Blue - but apart from the odd plastic door and window, it remains for me 1975 and the year of my wedding in Portmadog.   


One of the privileges for PCPT is our longevity and the delight in revisiting vintage schemes like this masterpiece.  It reminds us of how a design ethos can be maintained or, like the football manager’s selection mantra, ‘form is temporary - class permanent’!  So it was an especial delight when Susan and Richard asked us to extend their beloved holiday home in the harbour.  A lot of time went into the form, profile and ways of incorporating something contemporary into something so new but irony of irony it is not the design that has challenged us but, because the development is now so precious, everyone wants a say.  I hope we do not have our iPhones blocked or email tampered with!  



Insider Property Award for Fargosford Street

PCPT are delighted to announce that they were part of last weeks winning team, the Fargo Partnership, as Fargosford Street, Coventry won the Regeneration Award at the Insider Property Awards 2010, which were held at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole hotel at the NEC.

The plan is to turn a run down edge of Coventry city centre into a thriving area of creative businesses and alternative retail and leisure. The plan is extremely complex and the judges were impresses by the level and depth of cooperation shown by the partnership members.

A wide initiative of refurbishment along the street from a variety of funding sources including private, AWM, English Heritage and THI routes and a programme of new build to establish a learning environment adjacent to the university in a dynamic contextual way involving the best of all ages of building along the length of the street renovated or new complimentary infill. The area is named ‘Fargo’ with real time web access, an art village in the derelict industrial sheds and a science park environment of new buildings in courtyards accessed off the street via arches and ginnels.

As architects and masterplanners PCPT are working with the rest of the Partnership to secure a future for the street in a holistic way.  PCPT have had an involvement in the original scoping of the street, the early submission for Lottery Funding (Townscape Heritage Initiative 2006) and the masterplan and specific building projects.



New project win for PCPT - Bridgewater Potteries, Stoke

PCPT have beaten strong competition to win the RENEW North Staffordshire commission for development of design options for the (re)development of the existing Bridgewater Potteries site to determine a solution which best fits with the aspirations for the area but also with the aspirations of Bridgewater Potteries.


Bridgewater Potteries is currently operating from an existing building within the Canal Quarter which is within the ownership of the public sector. Overall the existing premises are an inefficient location for the current and future needs of the pottery company. This commission relates to the options appraisal of the Bridgewater Potteries site, and adjacent environment, in order to produce the most feasible and effective method of retaining the business interests of the pottery firm whilst capitalizing on the overall regeneration potential of the emerging Canal Quarter development.


The new Canal Quarter, located at the southerly edge of Hanley, Stoke, will demonstrate how high quality domestic dwellings can co-exist and integrate with a mix of other uses to create an ambitious, exemplar development. The overall aim of the development is to create a place where people can live, have access to local facilities and be able to access theCity Centre on foot, with its higher predominance of shops and facilities. In addition to new homes, the original scheme for the Canal Quarter also promoted the relocation of Bridgewater Potteries into a new purpose built unit to be incorporated as a working attraction in the area.



Refurbishing can be more sustainable than replacement

PCPT assist in identifying refurbishment as the more sustainable option. We assist developers and their advisers recognise the incentives and opportunities to building refurbishment over demolition and new build.

Rising energy costs are making refurbishment projects an increasingly attractive option. Refurbishment is traditionally viewed as more risky and costly than new build, though the benefits of heritage
conservation, community retention and higher resale values are acknowledged.

Whichever approach proves most beneficial for a particular area, the over-riding objective, for both public and private sectors, must be to achieve healthy, active and thriving communities which are sustainable in the long term.



PCPT supporting the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign

PCPT are pleased to be supporting the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign. We are providing pro bono architectural design services to help establish a new Neuro Muscular Centre for the Midlands at the Lakeside Centre, Kings Norton, Birmingham.

The NeuroMuscular Centre, has been designed to work to support people affected by musuclar dystrophy, creating an environment where full potential and optimal well being can be achieved, through employment, training and physiotherapy.

The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign launches the Kite appeal on Friday 17th September at the Lakeside Centre in Birmingham.

The campaign leads the fight against muscle disease.Their work has four main focuses: to fund world-class research to find effective treatments and cures, provide free practical and emotional support, campaign to raise awareness and bring about change, award grants towards the cost of specialist equipment, such as powered wheelchairs. They rely almost entirely on voluntary and donations to legacies to fund their work.





National contracts awarded by national Bank

PCPT continue their long history of working for financial institutions across the UK and Europe.

The practice were appointed earlier in 2010 to undertake the Lloyds TSB ‘Your Branch Design’ retail & commercial refurbishment and remodeling roll-out programme across the UK.

This rapid programme will meet the Bank’s desire to be customer relationship focused and to respect the diminishing need for traditional bank cash transactions, as the global trend towards reduced cash and cheques becomes a UK reality.

The branch designs are helping re-establish Lloyds TSB as a leading iconic British brand, inspiring and engaging its customers. We are delighted to have won these contracts and look forward continuing to lead in retail banking design.

PCPT Architects also continue their work for NatWest & Royal Bank of Scotland which has spanned more than 40 years commencing with National Provincial Bank, working through to National  Westminster Bank and then NatWest and finally with Royal Bank of Scotland.

Kewford Eagles - The Grass Roots Project

Acting as Lead Designers, PCPT are very excited to announce that we have secured full  Planning Approval with both Dudley MBC and South Staffordshire Council for a new   development with local football team Kewford Eagles called “The   Grass Roots project”. Plans for the 30 acre site in Wall Heath, include 11 pitches of varying sizes, a premier pitch, 100 car parking spaces plus coach parking and overspill parking.


The project is aimed at providing the community with better, much-needed facilities to play and enjoy football, by developing a plot of land acquired via leasehold. The long-term aim is to ensure that people, men and women, girls and boys, are afforded guaranteed, quality facilities to enjoy playing and watching grass roots football for years to come.

The pitches will be used by the 550 male and female players in 40 squads at the club, ranging from under-sixes all the way through to senior football. They are the first phase in a long term development plan which will lead to applications to build a permanent clubhouse and changing rooms, followed by a floodlit all weather pitch. 

PCPT has supported and guided the Club throughout the project’s gradual development from its earliest stages over 8 years ago, a relationship forged through PCPT’s keen involvement in the Business in the Community initiative.



Ecobuild 2010

PCPT is happy to announce that we will be exhibiting at Ecobuild 2010 this year, the biggest event in the world for sustainable design, construction and the built environment which takes place at London’s Earls Court on Tuesday 02 – Thursday 04 March 2010. This year we will be sharing our stand space with a number of partner companies from the sector who we have worked with in the past and have valuable contributions to make to the industry. Encraft, Eco2Solar, Wattbox, MHL Support and ETP will all be exhibiting on the Encraft stand and we look forward to working together representing the growing sector and highlighting the exciting opportunities that the future holds.

  • As well as all the latest initiatives and news from PCPT and partners you’ll be able to:
  • see the biggest showcase of sustainable construction products anywhere in the world – over 1,000 exhibitors
  • choose from over 100 free conference and seminar sessions
  • experience dozens of interactive attractions and special events

We look forward to seeing you on stand 470 at Ecobuild!