2016 will go down in history as a year of unexpected events, but despite the air of unpredictability, all of us at Symmetrys will look back on 2016 with great memories and much to be proud of as the business has enjoyed a fantastic year.
We have been delighted to receive recognition for our projects at an array of prestigious award ceremonies in 2016. Our Winkley Workshop residential project with Kirkwood McCarthy scooped Best Overall Project and Best Conversion at The Real Homes Magazine Transformation Awards. While our Pages Lane project, again with Kirkwood McCarthy, was shortlisted at the renowned Don’t Move, Improve New London Architecture Awards. Two more projects were also shortlisted at the Best Home in Haringey Awards, with our Corner House project being highly commended by the judges.
We are pleased this recognition is feeding through to the marketplace and is helping to get our work noticed. In 2016 we saw a record number of requests for fee proposals, and a 38% increase on last year. This has filled us with pride and confidence that we are delivering the best possible solutions and options for our clients. We have also won larger, higher value projects such as the Gurdwara Temple in Barking that are quickly taking the business to exciting new heights. Many other large residential projects have received planning or commenced on site this year, so we look forward to seeing them completed in the coming months, many of which we believe will certainly be recognised in future awards.
Our Eglon House project is introduced to the public in 2016, causing much excitement. It’s an amazing building, a striking four storey modern property for developer Fairfax Partners, inspired by Pierre Chareau’s iconic Art Deco Parisian architectural masterpiece 'Maison de Verre', Eglon House is a new live/work residence constructed, detailed and designed to the highest standards, and a great example of "top down construction."
We enjoyed shaking off of the year’s political uncertainty by keeping on track with our planned expansion to support this growth. Our staff numbers have increased by a significant 33% and we are planning to welcome more new members to our team in 2017. Naturally the size of our workspace needed to grow too, and in June, on the day of the EU Referendum we expanded into 1,400 sq ft of new space adjoining our existing office. It is excellent to see it already bustling with busy new engineers, along with a large new meeting space that has fast become an excellent host for our client meetings and CPDs.
Many of you will have seen us out and about in 2016 too. We thoroughly enjoyed meeting lots of new colleagues in the built environment at industry conferences including MIPIM, MIPIM UK and various New London Architecture networking events. We will be attending them again in 2017 and look forward to catching up with you all, or to meeting you for the first time.
The Symmetrys passion for cycling continued to be embraced in 2016. Our managing director Chris Atkins took part in the Cycle to MIPIM for the fourth time – see some of what that entailed by watching the video here: https://vimeo.com/164257486. We also became a proud sponsor of Velocity Magazine, an exciting new publication for cycling enthusiasts in the built environment. It will be a great read for anybody in property and construction who enjoys cycling.
Many of our staff have achieved great things in 2016. Russell Thomas, our Associate Director, was invited to join the Sustainability Panel at IStructE, the renowned engineering industry organisation, for his sustainability expertise. We continued our involvement with the STEM Club at the local secondary school, Fortismere, with two of our engineers, Camille and Bilal, leading the team to success at the national awards for their “My School As An Island” competition. Congratulations to all of them.
2017 will present its own challenges with fluctuating material costs, particularly steel, which will influence our design decisions. After a tremendous 2016, all of us at Symmetrys are looking forward to an exceptional 2017. We wish all our clients and contacts a very Happy New Year, and know we will share in much more success with you all over the next 12 months.