News 22.12.2020

Season’s Greetings from Gillespies: A look back at 2020

Although this year has been particularly challenging for everyone across the world, we have still had a number of reasons to celebrate. Here are some of our key milestones this year.

We began the year by joining 13 other like-minded landscape practices and professionals as a founding signatory on the Landscape Architects Declare campaign, a call-to-arms on the twin crises of climate breakdown and biodiversity. We are working together with our clients and partners to lead the way in responsible design and drive positive change at a national and international level.

We also welcomed 20 new members of staff across a range of levels, made 10 promotions across the practice, and successfully shifted our 135-strong team to remote working.

We were appointed on a number of exciting new schemes across the world, including a competition to reimagine St Helier’s Waterfront in Jersey, an enhanced public realm and landscape for the Grade-II listed Rochdale Town Hall, a new holiday village in West Wicklow, Ireland, North Manchester General Hospital, Shenzhen Science and Technology Museum, Brent Cross Town, 38 Leninskiy Prospek, and a competition for a new eco-friendly landscape for Presnensky Val 27 in Moscow.

A number of projects secured planning permission, including Bankside Yards, 4 Glass Wharf in Bristol, National Grid's Snowdonia Visual Impact Provision (VIP) Project, North Shropshire Reinforcement Project, King’s Boulevard in King’s Cross, Colney Hatch, Oxford Science Quarter, Convoy Wharf Plots 08 and 22, Marian Place Gasworks, Queen Street Preston, and Alton Green.

The Newcastle Innovation Quarter, M7 Offices in Stratford, NEBO in Moscow, Warrington Bridge Street Quarter, Plot B and Maribor Park at Royal Arsenal Riverside, and Carnegie Teaching and Research Building (CTAR) at Leeds Beckett University all reached practical completion.

In award news, Centre Building for the London School of Economics was named regional finalist at the Civic Trust and RIBA Awards and was been named the ‘Best on Show’ building in the West London regional category of the RIBA Journal’s public vote. Hammersmith and Fulham Civic Campus picked up the New London Architecture ‘People’s Choice Award’, and M7 Offices in Stratford City was awarded a BALI National Landscape Award for Best Commercial Roof Garden and then beat off competition to take the Principal category award.

Associate Partner Adam Greatrix and Graphic Designer Hilary Barber won the Landscape Institute’s Transforming the urban landscape competition, an international ideas competition showcasing a vision for post-COVID-19 streets and spaces, and the team in Leeds were ‘highly commended’ in the forward-thinking Leeds Liveable City competition, a contest launched by Leeds Civic Trust to encourage new and imaginative ways to make Leeds a friendlier, safer and greener city for pedestrians and cyclists.

Gillespies secured its place on all 11 regions of the Procure Partnerships Framework, was successful in joining L&Q’s framework for ‘Landscape Design’, and had two senior members of staff appointed as Task Force ‘Experts’ to help transform UK high streets.

We are thrilled to end the year with the launch of our new Insights page, a platform for conversations about the big issues affecting our industry and planet. We look forward to sharing our insights into how we can redefine our urban spaces and cities, and broadcasting the wonderful and relevant work we are undertaking with a number of pioneering clients and partners.

Wishing you and your loved ones a relaxing festive break after what has been a very challenging year. Thank you to all our clients and co-consultants for all your continued support throughout the year, and let's hope for a healthier and more prosperous 2021.

We look forward to working with you all next year as we continue to redefine the landscapes of our time.

Artwork by landscape architect Katie Rivers.