‘Business as usual’ for ADP

May 1, 2020

As homeworking becomes the norm for many of us, international architectural practice ADP – which has an office in Newcastle – has been able to tap into an already well-established remote working set-up and ethos

Homeworking, distancing teams and staff; the concept of connectivity has taken on a new level of significance in these unsettling times. We’re more connected than ever – electronically – but less so physically, working remotely from home offices to carry on our business as best as we can. For the team at ADP, it’s made us very grateful indeed.

As a business, ADP staff are distributed across the UK, and internationally, with studios in Delhi and Cyprus as well as London, Oxford, Sherborne, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and Newcastle.

This growing network encouraged the practice down the route of centralised IT systems some five years ago, testing virtual desktop technology to the limit, by delivering BIM Level 2 capabilities from any ADP machine, anywhere and anytime.

For a small business, this virtual connectivity has created fantastic opportunities to collaborate.

For the past year, ADP associate Natalie Stylianou has been leading design team meetings and BIM coordination workshops for a London independent schools project from Cyprus. Meetings are held via Skype and using screen sharing, which has proven to be a very powerful tool. She’s also on hand to undertake regular site visits at the University of Cyprus in Nicosia, helping develop project briefs emerging from ADP’s new masterplan.

Natalie reflects: “Our virtual desktop interface made working remotely easier than I ever thought it would be. I dare say that online meetings and workshops can sometimes be more efficient than face-to-face ones. Communication, collaboration and engagement make everything possible.”

More recently, three UK studios are collaborating on the delivery of multiple, batched Priority Schools projects in the West Midlands. Each project has a dedicated associate director who is based in either London, Birmingham and Manchester.

Sharing the work across multiple studios has ensured the right skills and resources are available to each team, while being overseen centrally by a project director.

Meanwhile, the Edinburgh and Newcastle studios have been working together on an opportunity for a luxury hotel in Kiev. Now formally appointed, the Newcastle team will be working with Ukrainian architectural practice ARS-Longa on the detailed design and delivery. It’s an exciting and challenging opportunity for the team, converting plans for a residential development into a five-star hotel for an international brand.

Newcastle director Amrit Naru says: “Working internationally has given us a great opportunity to build on our hotel expertise. This is a truly international collaboration, both in terms of our client and the consultant team. It’s allowed us to blend our expertise with local insight to give the scheme real cultural depth.”

Commissions have been coming in closer to home too, with a recent appointment at Durham University signifying a commitment to an ongoing programme of refurbishment work, focused on the historic site of the peninsula.

The university’s objective is to ‘deliver sustainable investment in their non-residential accommodation, creating an attractive, world- class environment for students, academics and researchers’.

The investment will remedy maintenance issues and be delivered in the spirit of the North Eastern Universities Purchasing Consortium (NEUPC) Framework.

This means collaborative working with all parties involved throughout the process. Designers, contractors, sub-contractors, suppliers and manufacturers, will be working alongside the universities’ own teams to deliver a flexible programme of activity that is flexible, which can react to the changing needs of the organisation and estate.

The view from the window might be slightly different, but the teamwork and ethos remain the same.


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