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History lessons

Highly skilled and global in reach, restoration architecture is more than tweaking, says Mark Goldspink

A few months ago, I received a clandestine approach from an anonymous headhunter. All very exciting, I thought. Although I am happy in my role here at Purcell Miller Tritton, it never does the ego any harm to be courted by a rival suitor. I soon discovered that an international practice had decided to enter the world of heritage architecture.

This is not surprising. Our clientele has understood that with deflation in the price of labour and some materials, now is the right time to be investing in its assets – historic buildings. Some are undoubtedly seeing an opportunity to refurbish, renovate and rebuild at a time when contractors’ order books are less full than they were 18 months ago. Heritage work cannot be undertaken by all and sundry: it takes established expertise and a proven track record to get commissions.

We are fortunate to have a client portfolio that ranges from rock stars to princes, from ministers of the crown to archbishops. Our commercial clients include The Crown Estate, with whom we have just secured work to 2013, as well as spearheading a leading mixed-use project in Manchester. We are not complacent: it has taken many decades to develop the recognition and the team that is trusted with buildings many regard as works of art rather than public spaces.

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