Civic architecture is inherently about people and places – hence ours is a process to follow rather than a pre-determined solution to apply.
We recognise our social responsibility when designing civic (public) buildings is to craft well considered, high quality spaces and solutions that are valued, where value is a measurement of joy and satisfaction as much as longevity, functionality and economy. Every civic building we develop is a unique response to a set of individual circumstances where we are frequently intrigued and excited by the strategic possibilities which emerge from the fusion of historical or local precedents, community engagement, a pragmatic responses to a site’s specific characteristics and a creative architectural design response.
Successful civic architecture is often characterised by landmark status within a community. Whilst this may be achieved through an architectural statement, a more telling and satisfying recognition of status is community love and approval. This is best achieved where the many overlapping and interwoven layers come together to create a space or building that resonates at the heart, whilst also integrating with the social and cultural patterns and idioms of the local community.
In all Holmes Miller c projects, we strongly advocate and encourage open discussion with users, stakeholders and active community groups to bring insight and perspective. Critically this involves listening and understanding the issues, often underlying, associated with what can often be very emotional and stressful discussions. Sometimes people simply do not like change, but often the snippets of information gleaned, that are developed over years of local knowledge, can prove fundamental in making a building that works for, and to the benefit of all.
Utilising this approach, our portfolio of civic buildings includes many award winning projects designed for health boards and local authority clients, as well as community groups who have passionately campaigned and fund raised to improve their local communities.