Celebrating 60 years is a momentous achievement for us at Space Group, starting out in 1957 as the Waring and Netts Partnership, which at the time was a very traditional architect practice, however 60 years on and Space Group is anything but ‘traditional’ now!
Throughout this year we’ve been reflecting upon past successes that have enabled us to get to where we are now, a synthesis of design and technology, made up of a bunch of clever people with some amazing (and sometimes crazy) ideas.
Here’s a look at 6 things you probably didn’t know about Space Group:
1. We designed the Newcastle landmark building Montague Court in 1969
The 16-story Montagu Court is on the edge of Gosforth by the Newcastle town moor, it stands in contrast to the expanse of the moor and its terraced surroundings. It has two main elements, the Y-shaped tower and a lower, seven-storey wing.
There are 80 private flats and at the time, Montagu Court offered Newcastle its first luxurious enclosed apartments development.
2. Space Architects bought their first copy of Revit in 2000!
Autodesk Revit is a BIM software which allows users to design a building and its component parts in a 3D format. It allows the user to plan and track various stages of the building's lifecycle, from concept to construction and later maintenance and/or demolition
And in 2005, Washington School was Space Architect’s first project to be designed only in Revit!
3. Space Group designed and built two zero-bills houses in 2014
Spacehus is a network within Space Group which designs, manufactures and assembles spacious, modern and economical homes that meet the aspirations of people today. Spacehus is inspired by the Swedish model of high quality, low energy living, with components manufactured in Sweden ready to be efficiently assembled on site in the UK. That means it can take as little as 10 weeks from order to completion!
Our first Spacehus homes were built in Blyth, Northumberland back in 2014.
4. BIM.Technologies was first BIM consultant in the UK.
In the late 90s the Space Group’s current Chief Executive Rob Charlton, started to investigate and research parametric software. After coming across Revit in 2000 and purchasing his first licence, by 2005 the practice had delivered its first building using the software.
Space Group’s investment in Revit was vindicated when the software developer Autodesk acquired the software, and the term BIM was adopted across the industry. It was against this backdrop that we started to identify market opportunities and in 2011 BIM.Technologies was established as a specialist consultancy division within the business and the first BIM consultancy within the UK.
5. bimstore was the first UK BIM library
In operating BIM.Technologies, it became clear that there was a need for manufacturer-specific models and information during the design stage. Models and families were available online already, but it was widely felt that their quality was inconsistent.
A small internal team started to develop a prototype and business model for a BIM object library. The team worked day and night to build content for the site, early products included iPads and Velux roof lights and on April 1st 2011, bimstore.co.uk went live!
6. Space Architects designed Close House Club House, which was host to the 2017 British Masters
A golfers’ paradise, Close House in Heddon-on-the-Wall in Northumberland, has one of the most challenging courses in the country. Refurbishment work started back in 2007, which saw this stunning country mansion and grounds restored to their former magnificence with the help of Space Architects.
We worked on the project for two years, creating a new 1,000m², purpose built, luxury golf clubhouse and the Lee Westwood Filley 6,540 yard championship 18 hole golf course, which was opened by then world number one golfer Lee Westwood himself! And in 2017 Close House was home to the British Masters.