The addition of just two architects in the UK, taking its total to 113, has been enough to propel Stride Treglown two places up the AJ100 into 11th position.
The headcount had been expected to rise more, with the practice initially anticipating growth in Birmingham, Manchester, London and Winchester. But a difficult economy and uncertain political future has kept those plans in check.
‘We have concentrated on trying to work smarter rather than increasing numbers,’ says chairman David Hunter.
Indeed, total architectural fees in the UK and overseas rose from £16.9 million to £20.7 million during 2018. Hunter says the practice’s figures for the year to 31 December 2018, announced this summer, are expected to show the practice’s highest ever gross turnover as well as a rise in fee income. This follows a fall in turnover the previous year.
Strong areas for the practice in 2018 included education, health, technology and innovation, and transport, as well as niche sectors such as crematoria. ‘When it comes to being resilient, having your finger in as many pies as you reasonably can does help,’ says Hunter.
Stride Treglown is working with Adjaye Associates on a 10,000m² maths and computing building at Cardiff University. In November, the practice secured planning permission for more than 1,000 student residences at the University of Exeter.
Five years after it became employee owned, Hunter says Stride Treglown has settled into a steady working practice. ‘The last year has been a period of getting ourselves sorted out after a lot of churn and upheaval. Maybe that is why turnover improved. We concentrated on the day job.’