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: 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.

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!



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.