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Covid-19 Update

March 2020

In light of the current, and evolving, Covid-19 Crisis we are proactively supporting our employees to follow the latest government advice and work from home.  The health of our employees and their families is of the highest priority and this measure will assist in the wider national effort to achieve the social distancing required to help slow the spread of the disease.

Of course our commitment to clients and ongoing projects remains absolute, we continue to deliver against deadlines and are proactive in supporting modern methods of collaboration and communication, which have always been at the heart of SMR.

Our contact details remain unaffected. Our office number (+44 (0)1423 707757) remains active and all our employees are working their typical hours each day.

The Directors are available direct on their mobiles or via the main office number.

We will continue to monitor the situation and meanwhile thank you all for your support. Be safe.

Did somebody mention Christmas is coming?

September 2019



Launching in September are two new Logistics delivery stations in key strategic locations to pick up the peak demand and help manage sustained growth beyond. On both sites SMR have been working closely with the logistics provider and the main contractor at all work stages; from feasibility and site selection right through to completion of construction, to ensure the projects were delivered with a successful outcome.

Littlehampton is an upgrade to an existing facility, co-located with the headquarters of a second high street operator. A new canopy building infilling the yard and fit out to an adjacent warehouse will double their delivery capacity, alongside which the welfare and office spaces are being upgraded to the latest standards to deliver a safe and enjoyable working environment for the delivery staff and drivers.

Wembley is a short term delivery station situated just down the road from the iconic stadium, repurposing an existing vacant warehouse into a compact and efficient installation. A ‘light touch’ fit-out to the building will give some much needed extra delivery capacity to a rapidly growing area of London.

‘Self-Build’ Logistics Facility at Central Park, Bristol

September 2019


SMR Architects are pleased to announce the recent completion of a 1,500,000 sq/ft ‘self-build’ logistics facility at Central Park, Severn Beach in Bristol, working with ISG retail. Prior to novation, SMR worked closely with the end user client to realise the site potential, as well as developing the elevational treatment to produce a strong colour palette.

Central Park has the benefit of planning consents, which enabled immediate distribution development, together with main road site access and utilities already in place. This unique position allowed for immediate delivery of the building.

The facility sits on a 34 acres site offering good links to key motorways close by and the wider road network. The site provides good parking provisions, as well as bus public transport drop of areas and motorcycle/bicycle parking areas.

The facility is accessed via a main office hub area providing various departmental activities and is the core management hub to the building. This leads into 3 levels of automated warehouse floor, including a ground floor and 2 levels of mezzanine, which is the focal point of the operation. The project responds to the end user specification requirements and design standards and this was developed and captured for the site team through well-structured design team and client meetings.

BIM processes were critical to the success of this project, with ISG setting up sharing and collaboration principles from the outset, which SMR proved to be a key part of. A model-based approach for coordinating and documenting proved to be a game changer, given the complex M&E and automated systems that had to be detailed. In addition to this, having a model available at meetings brought clarity to the process and this gave confidence when it came to design sign off.

Furthermore, the development and capture of non-graphical data associated to the geometry, allowed for complex schedules to be extracted from the model to be used by the client post completion.

A successful and well received project and we are pleased to announce the collaborative partnership between ISG and SMR continues to grow.

A Quartet of Newbies

July 2019

                          Eunice, Paul, Ben & Alex

We are pleased to welcome four more new recruits to Team SMR.   As part of our ongoing support of the Leeds Beckett University Architectural Technology degree, we are delighted to welcome Eunice, Ben and Alex who have all completed the first two years of their degrees and are now taking a year out placement prior to undertaking their final year. They’re a giddy bunch and we look forward to seeing them all flourish within our workplace. We would like to congratulate Eunice who received the Yorkshire : Women in Property – Student Award and wish her good luck at the national Awards in September.

Paul brings a wealth of experience from a career spanning 35 years, Paul’s role is to assist the full team in all aspects of architecture, as well as mentoring younger members of the team.

Finally, a big congratulations to Linda, who recently graduated in her Postgraduate course MArch Architecture.

Exciting new Logistic & Warehouse office elevations

July 2019

SMR are delighted to have their design chosen as the next generation of office for a major UK Logistics developer. As part of a competition run by the developer, we were pitted against several other practices including their ‘incumbent’ architects. As the office space of distribution warehousing becomes more akin to head office space the task was to develop the ‘look and feel’ of the external appearance, along with the internal space and arrangement.

We explored a series of options which maintained the clear corporate identity of the client, whilst providing a more modern look. We studied the inclusion of green walls, promoting the sustainability ethos of the client, we looked at the fenestration and lighting within the building elevation. Key however was a striking entrance arrangement. Introduction of increased glazing, angled cladding and lighting created a standout design which met the brief and we’re pleased to say will be adopted in the next generation of office design.

Externally, features we promoted included improved green spaces, allotments and herb gardens, greater inclusion of natural species and recycled products. The internal space was also reworked, including timber elements which ran through from a new look reception to the welfare and Cat A elements. Floating ceilings that allowed flexibility of office arrangements, and alterations to the current base build materials palette.

We look forward to working with the client to deliver this on their next generation of projects.



Student Work Experience 2019

July 2019













As part of our ongoing efforts to positively impact upon our local community and to encourage youngsters to enter the world of Architecture, we welcomed two more work experience students this summer.

During July, Sam Howes Year 12 from Thirsk Sixth Form College and Jonah Wild Year 12 from Harrogate Grammar School joined us for Work Experience. Over the course of a week, these students were given the brief to design a ‘Dream House’ with a challenging, steep site which required them to create solutions making full use of the coastal views.  They were introduced to the skills and basic knowledge necessary to be an architect or architectural technologist.

Initially encouraged to think creatively about the brief, then to sketch layouts, followed by training to detail their scheme utilising Autodesk Revit software. The final presentations are a range of plans, elevations and 3D visualisations, all incorporating some spectacular designs, helped by having a brief where money is no object!


Bingley Lidl












June 2019

On the site of the former, iconic ‘brutalist style’ Bradford & Bingley headquarters, SMR are pleased to announce the completion of the new Lidl Store in Bingley Town Centre.

The opening of the new supermarket marks a new lease of life for the land following years of uncertainty about its future. SMR and the full design team had to over come numerous challenging design requirements; adjacent conservation areas, listed buildings and an emblematic park have been fundamental aspects in forming our design. The development was also a great opportunity to work with Stainforth Construction.

Instrumental to this process, was our constant communication with and support from the Local Authority and the Heritage Body, who have guided us towards the best solution for what is rightly regarded as a prominent and key location within Bingley.

The scheme provides a new 2,115 sqm Class A1 retail development presenting a unique design including the use of natural stone, extensive glazed areas, its own customer car park with a dedicated delivery area and cycle parking. The overall appearance is to be perceived as crisp, with clear lines and allows an active frontage on Main Street.

Mathew Smalley commented  “We’re grateful to have been involved in the acquisition of this challenging Planning case and furthermore supporting the delivery of this project on site, in conjunction with Stainforth Construction. The collaboration between; SMR, Lichfields, the Local Authority and Lidl GB has again proven to be prolific.”

Lidl Relationship Grows


February 2018

SMR Architects is delighted to confirm the ongoing progression of our professional relationship with the pan-European Supermarket chain Lidl GmbH. Following on from numerous recent Planning Approvals and development of associated Tender information; SMR welcomes the opportunity to support the construction phase for numerous Lidl Stores.

In conjunction with the main contractor Gelder Group, SMR has successfully completed their first ‘Backnishe’ Extension and Refurbishment of the existing Lidl Supermarket; in Darnall, Sheffield. The relatively modest extension, provided a degree of complexity during the build; particularly, as the existing Supermarket continued to trade throughout the majority of the works.

Following the success at Darnall, SMR Architects has teamed up again with Gelder Group, to construct their first Type 1100 Lidl Supermarket, in Shire Brook. The project is scheduled to start on site in February and is set for completion Autumn 2018 – tbc.

Further to the Unanimous Approval for a replacement Lidl Supermarket in Knaresborough (click link for news item); SMR is assisting the main contractor Castlehouse Construction with the on-site phase, for a new Type 1300 Lidl Supermarket. Castlehouse, commenced works prior to Christmas 2017, with a planned 34 Week Construction programme, the Lidl Supermarket is due for opening in Summer 2018.

In all instances; alongside our Architectural Design services; SMR has been engaged to provide the Principal Designer role.

Mathew Smalley, SMR Director said, “Recent project developments have been particularly satisfying; it’s great to see schemes come to fruition. We very much look forward to developing our professional relationships with both of these Framework Contractors; whilst supporting the development of many new Lidl Stores, in the future.”





Pannal’s Progressing






November 2017

SMR Architects has recently assisted in gaining a unanimous decision for Reserved Matters approval for the proposals at the former Dunlopillo Factory site in Pannal.

The site is a former latex factory in the heart of Pannal village which has seen little use for over a decade.  The Masterplan for a new mixed-use village centre won outline planning approval in 2013.  Created on behalf of Forward Investments LLP, the plans for the 12-acre site included up to 120 new dwellings, a new 5-acre business park, a new pedestrian link and additional car parking for Pannal Station.  The application also provided a new roundabout off the A61 to give main access into the site and a provision for 2 sports pitches to be accessed via a green corridor linking with Pannal Station.

Recent work on the masterplan has centred around the inclusion of a Specialist Care Facility and creation of the new roundabout,  providing a new valuable link into the village to ease congestion.

This new approval was a joint application with Bellway Homes and Forward Investments.  SMR were responsible for the commercial site plan and integration of the Bellway layout into the full masterplan and village centre.  The scheme won approval for 128 houses and a series of stone clad modern office buildings creating over 98,000 sqft of B1 space and retail facilities to serve the village centre.  Set within a series of public outdoors spaces, the campus of buildings will form new areas of public realm for the village centre and valuable links through the site and to Pannal station.

The plans were positively received by the Council and will bring much needed investment to Pannal village creating a new sustainable mixed-use hub in the heart of the village and promoting Pannal’s future.