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!

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.



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



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.

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!



conservation area consents…

Two lovely schemes were approved by Trafford this week!

Hale & Bowdon are notoriously difficult to obtain approval for contemporary designs especially when they are located in Conservation Areas as both of these were…. but we’re very pleased to obtain approval for these high quality designs.

Annabelle Tugby Architects is well known for high quality conversions in Conservation Areas.

happy days…

This time last year plans were afoot for our new studio opening party….. much hail (yes in April) was making team prep of the new driveway much harder than it should have been!

Adam, Anna, Annabelle & a little collaboration with Simon // Layer Landscape Architecture

sorry copper…

Corten and coloured zincs are ideal for external applications… as proposed here in Salford’s Former Police Station (sorry for the pun!). Metals are continuing to feature strongly in our work and they are so rewarding when we see a new stair, handle or elevational treatment that has been beautifully crafted by the metal workers that we work with.

Copper has gone though… sorry! Bronze and gold continue to feature strongly and best of all is the use of several metals used loosely together for an honest feel that is less styled and more created. Oh and of course our favourite is black hardware currently for bathrooms & kitchens.

P.s. Thank you to the kind skip in Knutsford for the timber soap tray in our studio bathroom!



When a scheme looks great the tone, texture and intensity of materials are balanced. We love working with natural materials for all these qualities.

Here Anna (the collector of all samples in the studio!) has selected  an even surface with a fine textured finish for the roof which plays the largest part in a current scheme we’re working on. The many clay tiles wrap down over the uppermost storey creating the impression of a generous roof volume resting upon a brick volume. This is played out in a brick with a great deal of texture with a wide range of colour variation taken from the palette and to complement the even toned roof. The overall tone of the brick has been selected to be much lighter in an elegant way. All openings will support black bronze coloured aluminium windows to finish off the composition.


  • Red clay roof tile// Goxhill p5/Autumn Brown  by Wienerberger
  • Red brick// Birtley Olde English Buff by Ibstock
  • Zinc roll ridge & recessed gutters// Rainbow rojo/red by elZinc
  • Aluminium windows// Ral8080
  • Timber fins// sandblasted scaffold planks

We select internal materials in a different way.. we’ll keep you posted when we have chosen them!

thank you!

As ever I’m reminded how lucky I am to work with such a great team… I’ve just received the most gorgeous teapot set for the studio as a Thank you from Adam for supporting him during his hugely important Chartering exams… Good luck today Adam & Tom in the final stage of their Part 3 exams in the interviews at Chester!!

Adam bought this lovely Tea pot from Object in Chorlton


We use models on all our schemes to really test their form. Clients, consultants etc. are all able to review a scheme on its merits and appreciate its form, shape and scale… in an instant!

This is really great for being able to display  the scheme’s merits, being really honest about any shortfalls and ironing out any kinks (as issues cannot be hidden like they can in CGI’s!). It also allows us to handle the form and design in a very tactile and adaptable way getting the most out of our design skills every time.