The firm credits a more buoyant construction market for its increase in workload, combined with the scope of ongoing projects expanding.
Joint managing director at Fletcher Rae, Andrew Rae, explains: “The scale and complexities of projects is increasing, bringing in new and larger commissions for the firm. For example the ink has only just dried on the paper, for two residential schemes in Salford and Liverpool worth around £140million.
"In addition, large projects that take time to go live are coming to fruition; for example, an energy contract in Gloucester, worth £200 million, has just gone live after 5 years of planning. This significant development is one of many for the business in this highly specialised sector.”
To manage the expanding workload, staff numbers at Fletcher Rae have doubled, taking the firm to over 30 employees and putting the organisation in the top 20 biggest architectural companies in the North West. As the team has grown, amendments to the employment hierarchy have been made to recognise individual efforts.
Joint managing director, Bob Fletcher, adds: “Management structure has been flattened, to facilitate greater opportunities within the workplace, and allow both design and technical employees to be promoted at the same rate. This is a different set-up to most other architectural agencies who work with a traditional associate structure that recognises time at the company, rather than talent."
The firm continues to embrace and invest in the latest technology and is now actively developing its own in-house ‘Virtual Reality’ design capability. Coupled with high quality rendering and visual software, 3D printing the VR experience is just one of a number of key initiatives that will see the practice expand its offer to clients.
Fletcher Rae began laying the foundations to achieve this level of growth as soon as the company was founded over six years ago in the midst of the UK recession. At the time, Rae and Fletcher recognised that a diverse skillset was key to distinguishing the organisation in the crowded marketplace. And according to Rae, this is the competitive edge that has delivered top results:
“It’s the way we approach technical detailing; a lot of our competitors don’t want to build much, they just want to do the front end design [i.e. pure concept designers]. We’re an architectural business that delivers projects, operating in a traditional manner, with attention to every single detail on the project, from initial concept and design to actual construction of the buildings.”
Over the next two years, Fletcher Rae’s focus is on securing higher profile work to fully consolidate their position as a national organisation while continuing to expand their staff base.