The Walled Garden wins at the Manchester Society of Architects Awards 2024!

“There is just one path up to the summit of the Nab, an ancient hill within the Peak District. If you make the winding journey to its highest point, you are rewarded with an abundant vista: the tumbling hills of the national park, wooded valleys, and the distant skyline of Manchester. This landscape is a patchwork of textures, accented by the white specks of sheep and stitched with seams of lichen-clad stone walls.”

The Walled Garden, MSA 2024

On June 19th, we attended the Manchester Society of Architects (MSA) Awards at The Archive in the Mayfield Depot in the centre of town.

It was great to see the wide range of projects in the Manchester and Cheshire area and catch up with the local architecture community, with small practices like ourselves equally represented as the larger city-based firms!

There was also some excellent work exhibited by students at the Manchester School of Architecture, and it was great to speak to some of the students about their ideas and experiences from the studio!

Our category forunbuilt private housewas extremely competitive, and the Walled Garden was up against some lovely projects. Therefore, we were over the moon that the walled garden won thePrivate House Unbuilt 2024’. This is our 4th MSA award over the years, and we would like to thank the judging committee, including the talented London-based architect Mary Duggan!

You can read more about the project here, and discover more about the event on the Manchester Society of Architects Instagram!

january | light & shadow

Long shadows of dappled light have danced into our new home under the rooflights, as storms Isha and Jocelyn have shaken the branches surrounding the Barn. The cobbled track up to our rural Cheshire studio has been covered in ice, glazed in snow and thawed in low sunlight throughout the short days of January, making the studio quite the setting to speculate on our direction for 2024.

With the New Year, we’ve had new ideas for finishing our 18th-century barn, adding contemporary touches, finalising our stairs and designing our new meeting space. We look forward to welcoming you all into where we have been working for the last six months this spring.

We have been working on some exciting new projects, including a timber-framed home with a medieval twist for my family here on our farm in Nether Alderley, as well as a sustainable eco-home that we are submitting for planning in the Cheshire countryside near Bollington that we can’t wait to talk about.

There is also a lot going on at our first architect developer project Little Stanneylands. Three homes are finished and three new buildings are to be completed this year. It is lovely to see the new homeowners bringing life to the courtyard around the Golden Yew tree and we are looking forward to sharing some of our stories from Stanneylands. Hopefully, a few of the new builds will be open to come and view by the autumn.

Just like the light, good news has bounced around the studio. Waterbank has received the Whathouse? Award for Best Luxury House, the Limes in Didsbury won Boutique Development of the Year at the Insider Awards, and Hill House has obtained planning permission for a new courtyard home in the Chester countryside.

Hopefully, this continues as the year rolls on!

Happy Christmas from Annabelle & Co.

What a year! 2023 was the year we made the move and fully embraced full-time life on our farm in Cheshire! We have loved every minute and are now happily moved into our rustic new studio upstairs in our converted barn! We look forward to welcoming you here in the new year.

This year we are super proud to have also finished four more houses as part of our own development, Little Stanneylands. Restoring a historic thatched farmstead in East Cheshire with a sprinkling of our contemporary design ethos. Phase two begins on site in 2024 with three more houses planned in the old pool house. Keep it up Ricky!

Finally, a big thank you to those we have worked with throughout the year! From the clients who share our vision, to the consultants we enjoy collaborating with and the construction teams who help bring our ideas to fruition. We couldn’t do it without you and we want to say thank you for your support throughout such a successful year.

From everybody here at Annabelle & Co, we wish you an enjoyable festive season and a very happy new year!

“Architect of the Month” – Enki Magazine











We are thrilled to share that we have been selected as Architect of the Month by Enki Magazine! If you haven’t heard of Enki before, they’re a wonderful magazine which showcases architecture and interiors with an emphasis on modern and sustainable design. The beautiful article showcases some of our recent projects as well as an insightful interview about our practice.

This gave us an opportunity to reflect on some past projects that we haven’t shared with you until this point. We have been working on three exciting projects that are in three different stages of development.

Oxford Farmhouse, a landscape driven design, is in the concept stage!

  • This large collection of grade 2 listed Cotswold’s farm buildings was once a large run country estate which looked like it had been honourably preserved, but it wore a mask.
  • Our vision was to create – Not recreate the original farm. To take the physical elements of the site, invest time and research alongside the very best Heritage expertise, to truly learn what was original.
  • This re-nourished the farmstead and its landscapes for a further 100 years. The uses may not be farming uses anymore but they are the most perfect opportunity that the site could have wished for. New modern day types of work and art and leisure will take place here for the days and years to comes.

Hill House, a beautiful one-off home, has been submitted for planning!

  • The dwelling is located within a rural setting; the materials seek to reference agricultural barns, often found within the countryside. The walls are clad in a black timber, to give the façade shadow and depth.
  • The built form creates a series of outdoor spaces that take advantage of the orientation of the site, shelter from the wind and capture long views out.
  • The building is arranged in a courtyard shape, to reduce the overall site footprint and break down the building massing.

Waterbank, five new build houses, has now begun on site!

  • The houses are designed to sit naturally in the landscape with green space drawn right up to the edges of the houses on all sides which soften the impact of the buildings, acting as a visual foreground for the houses.
  • The form of each building is strongly influenced by the surrounding tree canopies as the cranked plan has naturally created asymmetric roofs which sit well between the trees.
  • The houses have been detailed to celebrate the junctions between the materials at the human scale. Balconies, covered walkways and generous windows have all been designed to connect the homeowner with the beautiful landscaped setting of the site.

“A softness and feminity radiates confidently in their work, branded by an interplay of natural materials, textures and an intangible ability to elicit joy in those who are lucky enough to step inside.” – Enki Magazine

When asked what was next for the studio, we were reminded of the quote “The only constant in life is change” (Heraclitus). Our biggest goal is to continue remaining true to our ideals as we head through our next exciting period of growth.

the modern house story

What a fantastic start to the week! Two great articles/interviews with Annabelle have just been published by our friends over at the modern house. We have been on their directory of Architects for a couple of months now but it’s great to see all of the lovely photos taken by their photographer Elliot Sheppard published for everyone to see.

The article focuses on Annabelle’s own rustic home in the Cheshire countryside as well as featuring a little on our team and The Workshop. The articles can be found by following this link.

All of the photos in this blog by The Modern House.

be inspired

Have you been thinking about different ways to enjoy your time at home recently? How about a little inspiration and trying something new. We have all been embracing new video formats ranging from Zoom to Houseparty – but how about YouTube? I’ve tried it this week and have a short piece recorded as an alternative to attending an awards ceremony.

They all offer an excellent, effective and friendly way of keeping in touch with all our friends, family and clients and it seems film clips are here to stay on WhatsApp so perhaps they will be really useful in all our work too.

Alternatively – staying the other side of the screen how about trying a little Pinterest? This precedent image of a stunning garden seating area has inspired me to create a covered space across a terrace at home. My local plant nursery is continuing to deliver so I can adorn it with climbers and perhaps even consider an outdoor heater to extend our evenings in the garden…. much easier than talking on film!


Enjoy these bits of inspiration…!

  • Like our video. I have created a piece telling the story behind the design and construction of the new Workshop Studio we love so much… AT Interview
    • For something a little longer I love this film The Biggest Little Farm. I watched it again last night on Netflix… a beautiful tale of tenacity amidst natures challenges as a family endeavour to create a sustainable farm that looks nothing short of an amazing never-ending garden.
  • Keep everything crossed! We have been shortlisted for a national award and we’d be so proud to win. The Architects Journal Awards is really important to us and judging will be complete in a week!
  • If you’ve never tried Pinterest now’s the time! Download the app and start saving amazing images – it’s so inspiring. We have pages full of our completed projects and also lots of ideas for projects of all sizes;

Architectural features including lovely elements such as summer houses, stairskitchenslightingfireplaces, and the most gorgeous landscapes. Enjoy!


Our inspiring images…

The bootroom images is a lovely view of a project Anna and I painstakingly managed on site – laying out the Mandarin Stone porcelain tile in a chevron arrangement has not been forgotten! All alongside bespoke joinery of boot room furniture for a busy family of five.

The inside/outside patio image is new home, now built in Didsbury – this was a visual the client commissioned from Our Studio which was super for their reference even through to purchasing furniture – the completed property looks exactly like the images and how we hoped – a credit to the contractor and visualisers!

Our bespoke stair is within a 7,000sqft split level home in Wilmslow. Lots of wonderful features such as Crittal doors, a beautiful Bulthaup kitchen from Kitchen Architecture and the most lovely wide planked timber floor linking all the rooms internally that we fully designed from bedrooms to bathrooms and everything in between.

Finally, a ‘bucolic’ impression of a development we have designed, creating a beautiful farmyard which has been landscaped to compliment a very special existing dairy barn in a very special rural setting. We can’t wait to get construction underway!

annabelle’s home

I didn’t buy a house when I bought Norcliffe, I bought a story. The previous owners had shared forty happy and homely years here and the feeling of ever-lasting happiness hit you as you walked through the door.

Yes, it required extensive building work – it had a yellow bath suite and collections of spiders between the glass and the extra layer of Perspex that had been fitted to every window and really smelt of damp. It needed a whole new roof, underpinning, a full re-wire and a new central heating system plus an extension. But it had a soul.

I made it my task to renovate the property in line with what I could immediately envisage would work really well, but also in a way that would protect this story – in doing so creating something even more special which exudes permenance, character and comfort.


How did I do it and what did I learn?

  • I learnt exactly what it was I was buying. I checked the properties orientation as a South or West facing rear garden are the only aspects worth buying – having the sun shine in the larger areas of glazing to the rooms on the rear of the house and having the sunny-spot outside the kitchen an easy skip from the house is essential in the UK. I also visited the Planning Portal and checked the property’s planning history on the Local Authority’s website, considered the applications I would require and worked out if they were feasible. Lastly, I talked to the vendors often, having originally approached them directly this was easy – I had the chance to drink tea and eat crumpets with them many times learning so much, as after all I wanted to ensure a good project lay ahead.
  • I respected all the moments the house had created. The sun rose over the kitchen terrace at the perfect time for breakfast in the garden whilst Maggie & Marshall’s favourite spot at 6pm was having a bath with a G&T together after a hard days gardening – here the large window seat they had created was perfect for the last of the day’s sun rays. So I recreated every space that they had loved using with the very same uses – and I love them too – for they had found the very best spots for me already! Almost everything you see in the photos had to be re-built but with this method the house added much to the design. There are so many more really successful intermediate spaces, which bring additional layers of joy – nothing has been forgotten – the house is so easy to enjoy.
  • I cherished the garden.  Mature planting and a real setting to a property are worth so much. My overgrown wonderland provided me with lots of garden to choose carefully from to reveal, retain or re-work. I didn’t have to start from scratch and if I had been ruthless in the early days I would still have been waiting for it to mature in 5-10 years’ time. It had been designed very well too. It has a selection of ‘outdoor rooms’. I have inherited vines, shrubs, ponds, benches, sculptures, beautiful Cheshire railings around it all and a magnificent 50ft climbing rose. All wonderful except the bramble hedge blocking the view of the fields and parkland to the rear which for me just had to go! The one other thing I added straight after the building work? A large delivery of turf which instantly turned a building site back into a home. Invaluable.


If you would like us to fully renovate a property for you with extraordinary care and thought, we can be reached by phone on 01625 528925, email at or via Facetime.


business as usual

Dear Friends,

We hope you are all keeping safe. We are reaching out to let you know it is ‘Business as Usual’ with us during lockdown.  One member of our team will be in the studio each week building our models whilst the rest of us are working remotely and I am picking up all calls to our office number!

This is a challenging time for all businesses alike but with the closing of building sites at a time when many of our projects would have been starting on site, we would like to ask for your support during what would usually be a busy time of the year for us.

What can you do?
  • Share our stories, updates & posts on social media. We promise to keep them inspiring and beautiful!
  • Commission a piece of Architecture Seize this time, discuss it at home and assess your family’s desires (you could even use Pinterest to create a board about your project). Then get in touch with us so we can advise you of everything that is possible and bring your ideas to life!
  • Arrange a Consultation! We can visit your property and have a ‘garden meeting’ observing social distancing guidelines and Government Advice. We are producing drawing packs and liaising with all the Planning Authorities as usual during this time to obtain Planning Approval – so your building project is ready by the end of Lockdown!


If you have any questions, we can be reached by phone on 01625 528925, email at or via Facetime.

Thank you for your support,
Annabelle & team

heathfield house wins 50% extension in the greenbelt

Heathfield House has just won planning for the change of use and extension of an outbuilding to form a single dwelling in the greenbelt. This was a great win for us as we managed to increase the existing floor area by 50% rather than the usual 30% limit under very special circumstances on the application.

The use of thoughtful design creates a subservient addition to the dwelling which maximises the gained floor area. The proposal is well screened to the neighbouring properties and considers the local materials and forms of the surrounding ribbon development with aspects of contemporary consideration.

We look forward to progressing the project with Emery planning and our fantastic client!

Tutoring at Liverpool

I recently had the opportunity to return to my alma mater for a day of studio ‘crits’ at the University of Liverpool.

The students’ project ‘Space for a Storyteller’ aims to provide a temporary structure on the edge of Thirlmere Reservoir in the Lake District.

We saw a selection of different approaches to the brief and some really well developed projects. They have two weeks left to complete all their drawings and models and hopefully fully resolve their schemes. Good luck to them!


Friday photoshoot // Claire Bingham

We have had a fantastic day with the published Interiors Journalist, Writer and Photographer Claire Bingham on Friday.

With no less than 9 beautiful books available on Amazon, she is a local interiors hero of ours and we were incredibly lucky to have her in our studio and home, shooting for upcoming publications.

We are incredibly excited to see her work and more than look forward to working with her in the future.

shortlisted in Surface Awards 2020!!!

We have just heard we have been Shortlisted!… In a hugely competitive category for Best Commercial Building in the Surface Awards 2020.

We are very proud indeed to have been shortlisted alongside entries from Giles Miller Studio, China and Eric Corbett, USA. We wish them all the luck and look forward to meeting them in  Islington, London at the awards event on 13th February.



Climate Strike

On Friday 20th September, Annabelle Tugby Architects joined over 6 million people around the world in an inspiring day of climate action. We met at Manchester Central Library just 3 days before the UN emergency climate summit to deliver a clear message for climate justice.

We bought a tree from the nursery  in Styal and took it on the train to plant in the city centre next to the Property Alliance Group bronze sculpture of a forerunner of a much earlier political movement, Emmeline Pankhurst. The Bramley apple tree is thriving and will bear fruit for years to come.

For the past year, we have been really excited by young people around the world who have been leading the climate strikes and as architects clearly see we have an important role to play in attempting to tackle this emergency. It should be our duty as a society to fight for change in order to protect our climate for future generations. Let’s mobilise together!

Didsbury _ 15 apts + 4 townhouses – approved!

The Limes is an exciting large development of apartments and townhouses which has just been granted planning permission in the heart of Didsbury Village.

Formerly a care home, The Limes is large derelict Victorian property which after 15 years of invasive alterations and extensions by the care user has now been left standing empty for over 5 years.

As the site is within St James Conservation Area, Didsbury it was potentially a difficult to site to redevelop. However  Property Alliance Group and ATA worked closely with Manchester City Council, Heritage advisors (Turley’s) and Highways consultants (How Planning) to create a scheme which The Didsbury Residents Association and neighbours of the site were happy to support.

The scheme will see the full renovation and restoration of the building’s attractive original features and will ensure the removal of unsympathetic extensions alteratitions and make all necessary repairs and upgrades. Timber windows, slate roofs and brick are all proposed with greater emphasis on landscaping and the standard of the setting including new railings to Wilmslow Road.

ATA attended several pre-application meetings with Manchester City Council, a public consultation (which you can read about here) and presented to Manchester Conservation Area and Historic Buildings Panel as part of the pre-application process.

We are all really delighted with the result.


growing team!

We have two fantastic additions to the team.

Karishma and Susie – our new graduates from Newcastle University and Liverpool University respectively – are 2 brilliant new members of staff.

Susie has joined the team working on a very large new site in Wilmslow whilst Karishma is competently assisting with site with the build of large property due for completion this Christmas!

We have really enjoying welcoming you.


wilmslow new home – approved

Planning approval has just been secured successfully within ten weeks.

Annabelle Tugby Architects was commissioned to create a new design for a site on Styal Road, Wilmslow following recent approval of a traditional design by another architectural practice.

The ATA proposal is a contemporary design with much greater efficiency of form (various small volumes were omitted to reduce costs such as dormers and single storey extensions) whilst internal layouts were re-worked to increase the flow and use of space – meaning less footprint was required. This saving allowed us to prioritise more energy on much enjoyed front elevational treatments which would increase the property’s final value.

Particular attention was paid to how the house will sit within its context, ensuring a good fit of design as you drive past once built. It is so key to relate to the materials on the street but also the forms, roof pitches, ridge heights, window design and intricate details of the lintels, rainwater products, porch and landscaping.  The new design therefore relates to the adjacent properties now through high quality design and individuality with character rather than pastiche, which will all be built from high quality materials to last.

The floor plans were re-worked to have greater storage and overall more practicality for a family. Orientation checks of the property resulted in the re-positioinng of windows and internal spaces to ensure the incoming sunlight was maximised year round in the  key spaces such as master suite, kitchen and early morning spaces like the breakfast table and the evening spots such as the formal living room and outdoor sitting spaces.


The white card model below is the application by the other designer whilst the coloured card models are the new ATA design which has successfully gained planning.


demolition is under way!

Meadow End, an exciting new project for Annabelle Tugby Architects, is on its way to transitioning into two contemporary new build family houses in Styal.

Preparation of the acre site has started with the removal of a longstanding derelict property that went to auction last year.

Timber framed construction is proposed, much like Terracotta House, which will speed up the build and create two highly engineered, enviornmentally efficient new homes in 2020.

design buy build

We are really happy to see that our project Terracotta House has been featured on Design Buy Build.

“The gabled front elevation reveals a cut away to its corner; a rationale that responds to maximise volumes whilst adapting to building lines across the site. There is a richness captured in the building’s colour and texture and how the materials respond to light and shadow; the irregularities of the rough, gritty, hand-made terracotta tiles mimic the leaves of the surrounding trees and reinforce the connections with its very natural setting.”

See the full article here.

MSA awards

Another great year for us at the Manchester Society of Architects Awards

This year the awards were judged by the amazing Lord Norman Foster!


Terracotta House came runner up in its category whilst Heybridge was nominated for the President’s Choice – Unbuilt


Presidents Choice – Unbuilt // One off house – Built


terracotta house completed

The ATA team are happy to announce terracotta house is now complete!


We particularly love the texture and irregularities created by the rough, gritty, hand-made terracotta tiles. It is amazing to compare the final build to the VR and CGI images created during the final design stages.


The Clients were lovely enough to host a BBQ to celebrate the completion of the build. It was such a nice gesture and a great opportunity for us to have to have a tour through the house.


More photographs to follow.

Follow this link to see the project information and imagery

we are hiring!

We are looking for an architectural technician or technologist to join our team!



– Excellent communication and technical detailing skills

– Full driving licence and car for meetings and site visits

– Interest in contemporary architecture and details

– Experience using Microstation preferred


Please send details about yourself and samples of your work (5MB limit), by email to:

on site at the workshop

The Workshop is well under way on site.

Due to be complete this summer, we are very excited to see the finished building.

We love the mix of contrasting black stained timber cladding with the buff colours on the existing workshop!


To read more  about this project follow this link.

selling a piece of architecture?

Like selling a specialist car, selling an architect designed house might just require an agent that really understands the product. Step up the modern house 


“A sumptuously packaged estate agency for some of the UK’s most remarkable homes”… Vogue Magazine


If you have an interest in investing in architecture or want to sell a piece of architecture this will interest you. From selling just modernism when they set-out, 14 years on ‘the modern house’ now  sells mid-century homes, contemporary homes, newbuilds, eco homes and urban spaces.

The secret of their success… a team that really loves modern architecture, understand it, can value it and sell it… and perhaps for a better price as they’ve found the right buyer.

The market they reach is not defined by postcode search either… as they are connected with a wider audience it opens up the market that they reach from someone looking for a home in a specific area, to looking a client hunting for a specific level of quality of and design.

The modern house invest heavily in their audience too which includes much more than website listings. They publish an average of 40 articles a month, reach an enormous online audience through their webiste (15 million hits a year), have an award winning blog and 135k followers on instagram.

We’re delighted we have a project which has passed their design review panel process and look forward to working with Albert Hill, Matt Gibberd and their team soon.



“An estate agency like no other, The Modern House sells the most incredible design-led homes in urban and rural locations in the UK” — Evening Standard



Renzo at the Royal Academy

It was the closing weekend of the exhibition by Renzo Piano entitled ‘Renzo Piano – The Art of Making Buildings’ this weekend.

I made the trip to London to see it and we queued down the staircase as news it was the last few days of it being on show had clearly got out! Three rooms of characteristically beautiful drawings and models of sixteen of his most important and well known projects were laid out in the newly converted Burlington Gardens building at the Royal Academy.

The centre piece was undoubtedly the giant masterplan model of over a hundred of the practice’s buildings together with a video interview given for the exhibition. Variously he candidly discussed his approach to architecture, life within the studio in Genoa and trying to never lose sight of how buildings go together ‘piece-by-piece’.

A well worthwhile visit with the added bonus of viewing the recently completed David Chipperfield extension/conversion of Burlington Gardens was the icing on the cake!

guerrilla tactics

This year all of us in the ATA office made the trip down to Portland Place for Guerrilla Tactics 2018.

The theme was ‘Expanding Practice: Navigating the architecture of planning, procurement and property’ and featured many great speakers including Sadie Morgan (DRMM), Dan Hill (ARUP) and finished with a short speech from RIBA President Ben Derbyshire.

We found the section on planning to be most valuable and relevant to our current projects.

It was really useful, in particular, to see the role play of a planning committee with ‘behind the scenes’ commentary. They explained each role and the reasoning behind their comments. It provided a great explanation and insight into a process which not all of us have witnessed before.

Last year we posted about Annabelle’s visit to the RIBA to deliver a PechaKucha as part of the 2017 Guerrilla Tactics which you can read about here.

old hall

Our latest extraordinary find on site at Old Hall has been the “taper marks” revealed as the Oak has been cleaned.

On this window frame, the front door frame, one cross beam, and in the stairwell the timber has been intentionally burned by a candle flame.

In medieval times it was believed to ward off evil spirits, and protect the building from witches. People often did it during thunderstorms or when a family member was ill. Fascinating stuff!

the limes

This week we held a public consultation in collaboration with Property Alliance Group and How Planning for our latest exciting project; The Limes in Didsbury, a former care home left empty for several years.

We have been working with Property Alliance Group to design a scheme to provide both apartments and townhouses, restore the building’s attractive original features and remove unsympathetic extensions to make a positive contribution to the neighbourhood and Conservation Area.

Demolition of the unsympathetic 1980’s nursing home modifications and extensions would allow for the original building to be sensitively restored and extended. New contemporary townhouses would replace the rear buildings whilst a remodelled landscape and replacement boundary features would create a site more in keeping with St James’ Conservation Area.

It was great to talk to the neighbours and the local community about our proposals. We had a lot of positive feedback including from the neighbouring properties who had seen the site deteriorate over previous years.

We created presentation boards and took along models in a variety of scales to demonstrate the scheme.


Final tweaks to be made then in for planning!



VR update

We previously did a blog post about our experience using VR as part of the design process on terracotta house. Since then the design has been finalised, construction drawings produced and builders are on site.


ATA have been working closely with Manchester-based architectural visualisation company Our Studio.  The development of a VR model was integrated with the key design stages and used as a visual aid alongside our models.

A fully rendered 3D model was produced using our final drawings and interiors specification. We were able to work closely with Our Studio by viewing the progress on an online 360 pano tour. The finished model was then exported as a VR tour for the client.

With a completed set of drawings Our Studio could then render a series of high-end marketing CGI. The clients specified the furniture whilst we provided detailed drawings of bespoke items such as the kitchen and stairs.

The VR model undoubtedly helped to speed up the design process as the clients felt more confident about their decisions.

More information on the project and a selection of the CGI images can be viewed on our project page. The VR is available as an app from the Google Play Store as ‘terracotta house’ or can be viewed on the Our Studio website.

On site!

Our project Old Hall Farm is now on site!

As part of the restoration of the Grade II listed hall, Restoration Projects have been required to carefully remove areas of the walls to investigate the condition and the build-ups under the watch of the Archaeological Contractor.

Last week, an original timber window frame was revealed hidden inside the wall of the front elevation, covered by cement render and a brick inner leaf. We are all excited to see this historic building restored to its former glory after falling into such a state of disrepair.


Who knows what they will find next week!


As part of her M.Arch studies Anna went to London and took part in the Central Saint Martins Megacrit hosted in collaboration with The Architecture Foundation.

The day-long event ‘The Way We Learn’ brought together students from different schools with shared interests in order to challenge institutional boundaries.

The students presented their current projects/research and took part in a series of round table discussions. The six key themes included Experimental Practice, Urban Economies, Self-generated Projects, Architecture as Civic Action, Embedding Heritage and Diversity, and Making is Connecting.

Anna’s project focuses on Šnipiškės, Lithuania and challenges the current policies surrounding heritage conservation as part of the Making is Connecting theme.

The power of small

Guerrilla Tactics 2017: The Power of Small RIBA

In November Annabelle was invited to deliver a PechaKucha at Portland Place, London as part of the RIBA’s professional event for small to medium sized businesses. The day focused on how small practitioners can positively manage change and adopt new beneficial ways of working.

The event featured many great speakers including Sarah Castle of IF_DO, Indy Johar (Architecture 00) and Arthur Mamou-Mani (Mamou-Mani Architects).

As part of the ‘Top 10 Tactics” session, Annabelle was among 9 other speakers to deliver a PechaKucha. The PechaKucha was a presentation of 10 slides which were each shown for 20 seconds on their chosen tactic to benefit a small practice.


Annabelle’s chosen tactic of ‘having a happy team’ included the following 10 slides:

1  Beginnings

2  Nurturing Talent

3  Problems

4  The Plan

5  Pulling Together

6  Benefits

7  Fine tuning

8  Payday

9  The French

10  Nuts and bolts


We plan to write up the contents of the presentation and post a fuller edition – an inspiring day and an amazing event to be a part of!


virtual reality

We recently had the exciting opportunity to experience another of our projects in virtual reality!

Our private client used Manchester-based architectural visualisation company Our Studio to create a VR model of terracotta house. With a VR headset we were able to view both the exterior and interiors of the building in virtual reality and move through 20 locations in the site and building.

The VR model proved to be a very useful tool within the design process as the clients were able to make final design decisions after being able to experience the space. We found the level of detail in a white card format was just right for this stage of the design and the next phase for the model will be adding of the colours & texture.

This is definitely something we would really like to give clients the option to incorporate into the design process in future projects.






a positive result for terracotta house …

The ATA team are really pleased to announce that this month we gained planning approval for our proposal near Marie Louise Gardens in Didsbury, Manchester.

Our aim was to minimise the impact of the design on Marie Louise Gardens whilst complementing the existing building. We are particularly excited about the resulting design; a contemporary house built with high quality traditional materials.


Click here to view the project page


#under construction

Our project on Knutsford Road in Wilmslow is officially under construction!

We are big fans of these tumbled buff bricks from Wienerberger.

The quick photos below from our recent site visit show the exposed brick on the interiors of the extension. It was great to see the opening for the roof light and how effective it will be!





Annabelle was invited to speak at Manchester Town Hall at the FoundHER event, arranged by Albright to celebrate female founders of businesses.

High profile speakers such as the amazing Joanne Roney, Manchester City Council CEO, Marilyn Stowe, Stowe Family Law & Renee Elliott of Planet Organic all took part.

The morning started with Annabelle, Kate Orr, (Love Laura) and Tarryn Gorre (Kafoodle) discussing the ‘Lightbulb Moment’ – the moment when they each founded their businesses and what motivated them to set-up. Rachel Haugh of Simpson Haugh progressed the discussions on the second day as a panelist of a feature around the longer story of success and avoiding possible pitfalls in business.

A fascinating two day event – Thank you Albright

⚡️ FoundHER Festival | MCR Live⚡️

AllBright's FoundHER Festival came to Manchester Town Hall for an extremely inspiring event focusing on female entrepreneurs. With an awesome array of talented women we went down to see what it was all about!

Posted by MCR Live on Thursday, July 6, 2017


maggie’s love!

A great visit with everyone from ATA to the Maggie’s Centre in Withington, Manchester this morning. Designed by Foster + Partners, it is the first of Lord Norman Foster’s projects in his home town and a beautiful place to spend time.

As drop-in centre for patients and their families suffering the effects of cancer we could only guess how much hope and comfort this building and it’s amazing staff must bring.

On the doorstep of Christie’s Hospital we found the front door firmly propped open. There is a breather space in the entrance which is welcoming and leads to the heart of the building -the generous & fresh kitchen and dining area. The island is where most initial conversations with a visitor begin much as in a home and the analogy to an over-sized home continues with large sitting rooms all with open fires for the winter and bright yet comfortable spaces for relaxing, sleeping or conversation all year round. All of the five staff have desks at first floor level along a long narrow mezzanine which shares a physical connection with each open space and a visual connection through high level windows with each therapy room. A 360 garden wraps the building and all of it’s many transition spaces that sit half way between inside and outside with green, voluminous planting the best part of which is the vegetable garden and the greenhouse at the building’s nose.

It was a fascinating experience to be able to visit the facility and yet another reason to be grateful that we live in this great city.  Thanks to Manchester Architects for co-ordinating.


MA Awards…

A fantastic year for us at Manchester Architects Annual Awards with three projects resulting in 5 Runner Up awards – as we were added to the categories for President’s Choice and Small Project of the Year

All in all a wonderful evening with the esteemed Richard Murphy, an architectural hero, who was the sole judge for the awards.

Will be visiting him soon for that cup of tea in his fantastic new home.

Presidents Choice – Unbuilt //  Small Project of the Year // Commercial – Built // One off house – Built // One off House – Unbuilt

…Another great Manchester Architects event!



Sketching an urban streetscene with Georgian frontages for a new opportunity to replace a large section of the streetscape which has previously been built in the 80’s in a mock brick style.

Fingers crossed the job gets the go ahead

AT // RIBA advisor

Annabelle has been approached by the RIBA to attend Portland Place, London each quarter to assist the RIBA and to represent small practices in the North.

In addition to extending Annabelle’s  network to London this is great news for developers and private clients as our practice gets the best promotion, support and opportunities from the very prestigious architectural body RIBA.

“Small practices make up 75% of practices in the UK… they are not static, they are the future of both small and large practices… our cherished emerging talent.”

RIBA is working hard to become more ‘relevant’ – to support both practices and individuals in the best way they can to achieve and excel. Topics since joining include Client Briefing documentation, Brexit, Pensions & Contractual updates.

Future posts will relay topics on an ongoing basis – if any support is required please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

RIBA Small Practice Group









new kind of studio!

On Friday we had a great afternoon out of the office hosted by seven_limes for an afternoon on individual potters wheels throwing pots.

Hopefully when we get our lovely creations back from the kiln we will have around 10 new unique sake cups for our studio… in all shapes and sizes!

…Genuinely can’t recommend it enough for a work treat – we loved it!

salford HQ in ‘MEN’

 ” swanky flats” & “plush houses”

Great quotes form the Manchester Evening News!

Salford HQ – the revival for the former Salford Police Headquarters development is featured in the Manchester Evening News – take a peek here MEN article!