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.


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: info@annabelletugbyarchitects.co.uk

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.

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!



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.