May 2018 - Our 1st anniversary - A year in review

Formed in May 2017, Prosper fused two businesses from different disciplines and locations - an architectural practice in Milton Keynes with a design studio in Harpenden. The aim was to combine the creative retail expertise of Studio Tait with the practical delivery skills of 3d Architects, providing an end-to-end service under one roof. 

Stepping out

2017’s Retail Expo was a poignant moment as the new Prosper team stepped out into the design world for the first time, officially launching the studio’s brand and creative solutions for the retail sector. We were met with curiosity, enthusiasm and positivity from consumers and traders alike.

Shared strengths, shared space

With the merging of expertise, it made sense to invest in a shared workspace that would allow everyone at Prosper to contribute their ideas and strengths to projects. And so began the office renovation and extension.

With building work going on around employees, the team had to overcome the complex planning issues that often confront architectural projects involving historic buildings.

By September, staff finally moved in to Water End Barns marking the occasion with a summer BBQ in the newly renovated courtyard. The result is an inspiring and collaborative new studio that has been shaped by employees, and which facilitates the sharing of skills, creative processes and rationale between teams. 

A future blueprint

September also marked the completion of The Lexicon Shopping Centre in Bracknell, a project that Prosper’s retail delivery team had been working on since October 2016. A £240m development, the Lexicon has revitalised over 60% of the town centre, making way for 70 new shops and restaurants. An exemplar scheme, it will prove significant in inspiring future ideas on revitalising other town centres in a desolate state.

Prosperous moments

October brought with it a double celebration. The news that our Architectural Assistant Ben Mason had successfully graduated to a fully chartered architect, a qualification that isn’t handed out lightly. His achievement reaffirmed Prosper’s principle to invest in the talent that will drive the future of the company. 

This was shortly followed by Prosper obtaining its first accolade at the Restaurant and Bar Design Awards, winning the Best Casual Dining category for Nelson’s Diner, an American drive-thru themed restaurant. The awards are recognised as the foremost competition dedicated to the design of food and beverage spaces and is attended by over 7600 of the UK and world’s best designers.

A great moment for the team, this brought the Autumn to a close along with the completed architectural works for fast-fashion client Primark and premium French opticians Acuitis at their stores within the newly opened Oxford Newgate Shopping Centre.

Prosperous projects

Fast forward to January/February 2018 and Prosper once again attended the Retail Summit, meeting businesses in the retail, hospitality and sports sectors. The team also helped project management and construction firm Lendlease on the International Quarter (IQL) project in Stratford, a new destination to live, work learn and play. The team completed the design and installation of the visitor centre within IQL’s ‘Pavilion’, the main public hub for the development, comprising a café, retail units, pop-up food and drink units and a roof garden.

This led to a busy March working for international client Maisons du Monde, implementing their shop-in-shop concept in Debenhams’ three flagship UK stores. A big project to be delivered within a short time frame, but all achieved within three months.

A helping hand

At the same time, the team entered an 8-week charity competition raising valuable funds for Willen Hospice in Milton Keynes. The studio was taken over by flower arranging, car washing and pizza eating, all of which raised over £3900 for the charity.

April soon arrived and the team worked on its latest project for fast-fashion brand Quiz, implementing their store in Bluewater Shopping Centre in Kent, another flagship for the brand. 

Happy birthday 

As we approach our first birthday we have much to reflect on and look forward to, continuing to build our relationships, grow and evolve – but remembering always to keep our creations relevant, brave and unexpected.   

Jodene Barron-Alcock

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