Corporate Architecture Limited is an award-winning architectural practice based in Market Harborough offering an extensive range of architectural services on projects around the globe.
From humble beginnings – one man, a drawing board and a back bedroom – the practice now employs 20 staff using cutting edge technology in a purpose-built office in a thriving business hub of the East Midlands.
The ambition of the practice, however, has remained constant and the team at CAL have always been quick to respond to opportunities that have enabled them to learn and grow. This valuable experience has enabled them to continue to offer a full architectural service – intelligent, innovative and cost-effective solutions – for clients in a range of sectors.
With no prior experience of luxury hotels, CAL were appointed to a full design and delivery brief to the hugely popular critically acclaimed Kilworth House Hotel. The knowledge and skills gained on this prestigious project held the practice in good stead when appointed to provide the same service at the award-winning St Martin’s House Hotel and recently to provide the strategic overview and development of Barnsdale Hall Country Hall and Spa, soon to be re-launched as Rutland Country Hotel and Spa.
Over the years the practice has expanded its portfolio to include luxury hotels, care homes and supported living, country estates management, a range of commercial and industrial projects and is consultant to top brand retail outlets both in the UK and in a number of locations world-wide. It also works with homeowners and developers to create individual and multiple homes.
CAL has also enjoyed a number of unusual project such as the open-air theatre at Kilworth House and erecting a log cabin in the grounds of the hotel; providing pro bono design and architecture service for the Get Busy Living centre for the rehabilitation of individuals incurring serious injury through sport; a volunteer training centre for the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust; the Community House for the Tree of Life – a centre for prayer and contemplation for the Diocese of Leicester.
This appetite for challenge has brought significant benefits. Firstly, the variety of high-quality services that can be made available to clients using the latest technology, processes and materials.
Secondly, excellent relationships with a network of trusted professionals who can provide expert advice and support on projects where needed. Positive collaborative practice is a cornerstone of CAL’s approach to any project and has resulted in excellent long-standing partnerships. Corporate Architecture Limited has been retained by Prime Life Limited, for example, for over well over twenty years, designing, project and contract manging the construction of 32 care homes and villages around the UK.
This variety of scope and challenge is also an important ingredient in attracting and developing the talent of the future for the industry. CAL has a long-standing commitment to supporting young people as they begin their career in construction. They have a strong relationship with both Leicester College and the Apprenticeship programme which includes a member of staff contributing to the delivery of the Level 3 Built Environment programme. CAL has also supported several young people through their degree programmes at De Montfort University.
This combination of taught content and lived experience is critical to opening up the exciting possibilities in construction for young people. There are currently three Apprentices at various stages working at the practice. One former Apprentice and DMU graduate who has worked his way up in the practice, is now taking a leading role in managing projects for a global luxury retail brand.
Former Apprentice, Jack Geary is now Principal Project Designer and Senior Architectural Technologist within the practice and a valued and respected member of the management team.
Jack said; “Working as part of the CAL team since 2012 has provided me with an invaluable pathway into the construction industry facilitated by practical project experience and 7 years’ worth of sponsored academic training. To be given this opportunity at such a young age has allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of the industry at a rate much faster than I ever expected.”
It’s hardly surprising that the team at CAL continue to forge ahead and seek new goals. Malcolm Foulkes-Arnold, Managing Director, remains as enthusiastic about the industry and its opportunities as he was over 35 years ago when he decided to set up in business by himself and CAL was born. “ It’s a great thing, to use your skills and experience to make something happen for someone. Even after so many years in the game, I still enjoy the challenge of a tricky bit of design or finding a way to use new materials. It’s hard work and you need to put in the hours but, without wanting to sound corny, it is a massive thrill when someone loves what you’ve done.”
All business owners will agree that hard work is key to success, but Malcolm also attributes much of CAL’s success to teamwork. No surprise given his sporting background, but the former Leicester Tigers’ lock is adamant.
“ For 25 years I have had the unstinting support of Richard Coppock, now a Director of the company. We are very different people but respect each other enormously and have developed an excellent working relationship based upon honesty and trust.
I am very proud of the team at CAL. We encourage our staff to consider the relationships that they build on any project as critical and to remember that, above all, we are providing a service. We need everyone on the job to be pulling in the same direction and it is our responsibility to make that happen.”
As we carry on into an already difficult 2021 the team at CAL remain future focussed. There are exciting new projects already taking shape here in the UK such as the development of luxury apartments in four buildings in Port Erin on the Isle of Man, the creation of a major equestrian centre of excellence in Keysoe and several new and ongoing retail projects in various locations around the globe.
The CAL staff team is expanding to accommodate these exciting developments and a fresh round of Apprentice recruitment will soon take place to enable other young people to take their first steps in construction with CAL.
The future for Corporate Architecture looks very much UnLimited.