Architectural Studios world over; aspire to break paradigms and create newer ones, especially during their inception. Their growth trajectory can allude to the multiplication of a single-celled organism, starting with very few people, sometimes only one of them, and growing over time. Slowly, they spread their influence from one city to another and thereby increase their outreach & ability to take on a host of design projects. With an increasing number of projects, the number of people increases, a direct proportionality theorem in a way. The approach may change, but the aim remains to keep the core objectives and ideologies intact as they set the foundation for their future growth.

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The Thistle Foundation Centre of Wellbeing- 3dReid Architects_© 3dReid Architects
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Apex House, London- 3dReid Architects; One of their more recent works_© 3dReid Architects

The practice in the discussion is 3DReid, a firm with a strong base in the United Kingdom, with offices in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, and Edinburgh. Established in 1979, the firm currently employees over 130 people across its five studios. Their core architectural services range from master planning to interior design and in the sectors of Aviation, Education, Hotels, Offices, Residential & PRS, Retail, Student Residences.

3DReid came to be the product of a merger between REID architecture and 3D Architects in the summer of 2007. The resultant combination of both successful organizations developed into a practice capable of providing a high level of expertise and service to its clients across a wide range of sectors.

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London Firm Office under works_© 3dReid Architects Instagram Page

3D Architects was established in 1989 and was an Architects Journal Top 100 practice. The practice consisted of more than 180 architects and staff, located in Manchester, London, Glasgow, and Edinburgh. The firm operated in a range of private and public sector infrastructural development, inclusive of office, retail, residential, hospitality, industrial, distribution, health, and education at all levels: from complex urban regeneration to stand-alone developments.

REID architecture: established in 1979, had offices in London, Birmingham, and Glasgow. The firm contributed to the design development for a variety of projects in the residential, retail, office, recreational, industrial & distribution, airport, and urban design sectors. Its philosophy emphasized a high research-focused practice, employing a unique “Knowledge Design” approach.

3DReid is ranked as the 7th largest architectural practice in the UK. The Farnborough Air terminal project: one of the oldest notable works done by the merged 3dReid Architects, won a string of awards culminating in the RIBA Award.

Firm Office Design,

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International Office of 3dReid Architects_© 3dReid Architects Instagram Page

With offices located in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, and Glasgow, 3dReid has studios deeply rooted in the English and Scottish parts of the United Kingdom. The designs for the firm office are not very subdivided to facilitate an open collaboration between all the members of the practice. While certain conference rooms and semi-private spaces are distinguished, open plan and long-span areas in the offices facilitate continuous long-range connection with other employees.

Core Values, 

The firm’s core values treat Architecture as a work of passion first, and then a profession, carrying great responsibility for their past and future legacies – across economies, societies, and shared environments. 3DReid Architects with the knowledge and resources they have; aspire to create unique buildings that inspire, integrate with their environment, and have a unique personality.

The practice strongly believes in employing the best and most creative thinkers in the industry, reflective of their clear and dynamic thinking. Their primary investment is in the collection of; knowledge, research, and expertise across all sectors, along with explorations, use of new material technologies, and environmental strategies in the design process; thereby, consistently testing the boundaries of convention, responding to society ethically and sustainably.

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3dReid Architects, Edinburgh Employees undergoing discussion_© 3dReid Architects Instagram Page

Sharing and Retaining knowledge, expertise, and experience is fundamental to the firm approach. Foundations in trust and learning give the practice a strong sense of belief towards collaborating with their clients, communities, and consultants to achieve better solutions through this process.

First Work, 

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Farnborough Airport Hangar_© 3dReid Architects

3DReid’s oldest and first official work was the Farnborough Airport Terminal and Hangar.  Collaborating with the Client TAG Farnborough and Engineering consultants Buro Happold, the project was completed in 2000. The project is a recipient of the 2006 RIBA Awards – Southern Region (Winner), 2006 Building Awards – Project of the Year (Winner), and 2003 Structural Steel Design Awards – Major Scheme (Winner). The project was supervised by the London Studio Director + Head of Airport Design: Mr. Paul Green.

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Farnborough Airport Terminal Interiors_©3dReid Architects

Project description

An international design competition aimed at creating- Europe’s premier Business Aviation facility for TAG Aviation was won by 3dReid Architects. The client emphasized high-quality design for the new facility, consisting of programs for a terminal, associated operational, and maintenance buildings, along with their headquarters building, having a reputation for high-quality design and performance.

Given the futuristic ideology of TAG Aviation, the challenge was to develop an architecture that captured: romance, technology, and the excitement of flight. The design concept finalized was termed ‘a theatre of aviation’ wherein the aircraft were the actors. Therefore, with careful planning, innovative building, engineering techniques, and the use of a family of materials, the firm managed to produce a coherent, well-integrated airport from three functionally diverse buildings of vastly different scales.

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Farnborough Airport Hangar interiors_©3dReid Architects

Innovations & added value

The maintenance and hangar facilities were long spans and column-free, utilizing an innovative design. By adopting a tied arch below ground level, the interior spaces were unencumbered by structure, maximizing usable space to accommodate growth in aircraft to be stored and serviced.

The elevation is cohesive with the bunds in the landscape and the Hampshire hills in its surroundings, given its low-lying location and rolling roofline elevation form. 

In 2012, another set of hangars were added to the setting, 12 years after the start of the project.

Latest Work

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New Fountainbridge, Edinburgh Phase 1_©3dReid Architects

Among the projects currently undergoing at the firm, the one close to completion is the New Fountainbridge, Edinburgh. In collaboration with the client Vastint Hospitality B.V., Phase 1 of the project was completed in February 2021, while Phase 2 has planning approval. The Principal Design Team of the Project consists of Mr. Neil de Prez, Mr. Euan McLaren, Mr. Darren Park, Ms. Ruta Turcinaviciute, and Ms. Claire Hawkins.

Project Description

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Overall Planning of the New Fountainbridge, Edinburgh Phase 1_©3dReid Architects

Vastint Hospitality’s New Fountainbridge is in the heart of the Fountainbridge area in Edinburgh. The project plan is a mixed-use development of 253 residential units, a 262 bedroom Moxy hotel, and 5,500m2 of Grade A commercial office spaces, alongside various uses on the ground floor and the public realm.

The Moxy is a playful hotel located centrally on Freer Gait. With spaces for business and leisure travelers alike, it consists of a rooftop bar, which provides picturesque views of Edinburgh Castle. In addition to contemporary bedrooms, the hotel has two high-tech meeting rooms and a 24-hour fitness center. Staying faithful to its historic brewery site, the hotel uses a beer and hops concept throughout the fashionable communal areas.

No.2 Freer St, to the East of the location, compliments the adjacent Moxy Hotel. A two-story Colonnade defines the doorway to the building while the highest story steps back from Fountainbridge, giving the occupants a roof terrace with excellent views. Office accommodation is arranged around the three perimeter sides to maximize daylight and ensure maximum flexibility. Spaces are often left to at least one tenant or subdivided into smaller units with an outsized, shared, open plan reception at the bottom.

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Façade Details of the New Fountainbridge, Edinburgh Phase 1_© 3dReid Architects

Innovations & added value

3DReid’s design inculcates diversity in the existing cityscape by utilizing materials and massing. A distinction between the hotel and office elements is created- via a common cast stone plinth and clay facing bricks for both buildings and colors varying between office and hotel; the façade elements on upper levels relate to the neighboring historic buildings.

Prefabrication is present throughout the building, from the CLT structure of the hotel to GRC facade components. The use of prefabricated components and modern methods of Construction provides better construction quality, less waste, improved efficiency, and more work is undertaken in a safe, clean, comfortable working environment and reduced site program.

The project reflects the regeneration of an important city center: the Brownfield Site, empty for the past ten years. 3DReid took an existing masterplan, adapted it, and changed the building configurations to increase the active front areas, improving the connectivity of the public realm and enhancing the spaces. Connections were improved, with the scheme extending to the office exchange district and energizing the canal towpath to create a lively and new mixed-use neighborhood.

Design Process

The firm has a strong belief; that the best architecture is responsive to the needs of its users, its context, and is mindful of its legacy, thereby not having an in-house style. When needing bold solutions, many of the firm’s completed projects have emerged as landmarks.

The firm aspires to bring value to all of its projects through genuine analysis and well-executed design. The approach towards each project is with equal focus and ambition, and every building designed is aimed to be aesthetically adept.

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Firm Employees of 3dReid Architects, Edinburgh undergoing presentation and discussion_© 3dReid Architects Instagram Page

The Buildings shall positively affect their users and the wider public. The design implemented shall be with consideration for the environment; and sensitive to the possible needs of future generations. The tenets of adaptation and re-use of existing spaces; are attempted by converting and repositioning buildings or designing new buildings that can be altered over time to meet changing demands.

The Studio has a powerful belief in the culture of open collaboration and discussion with clients, colleagues, and consultants; believing that the best buildings and places come from a collective effort. The frequent design workshops facilitate ideas and provide a reliable, progressive, and quick route for a good design.

To understand and adopt the newest and best techniques in building modeling. The firm and its designers proficiently use BIM and are actively promoting it to their clientele.

Conclusion

One Angel Square, Manchester- 3dReid Architects, one of their most renowned work_© 3dReid Architects

An emerging practice, 3DReid is spreading its footprint worldwide, with roots in cities across the United Kingdom. Having no rigid hierarchy and functionality existing out of interactive collaborations with designers and leaders from other branches, the firm can develop designs that facilitate simple aesthetics and functionality, a reason why 3DReid is one of the topmost architectural design studios in the world. With their reach and influence into most of the building sectors that exist, the firm is bound to leave a huge positive mark on this world.

References

3d Reid Architects Official Website (2015). 3d Reid Architects. [online]. (Last updated 2021). Available at: https://www.3dreid.com/ [Accessed 6 July 2021].

3d Reid Architects Official Website (2015). Practice. [online]. (Last updated 2021). Available at: https://www.3dreid.com/practice/ [Accessed 6 July 2021].

3d Reid Architects Official Website (2015). Approach. [online]. (Last updated 2021). Available at: https://www.3dreid.com/approach/ [Accessed 6 July 2021].

3d Reid Architects Official Website (2015). Projects/ Farnborough Airport Terminal. [online]. (Last updated 2021). Available at: https://www.3dreid.com/project/farnborough-airport-terminal/ [Accessed 7 July 2021].

3d Reid Architects Official Website (2015). Projects/ Farnborough Airport Hangars. [online]. (Last updated 2021). Available at: https://www.3dreid.com/project/farnborough-airport-hangars/ [Accessed 7 July 2021].

3d Reid Architects Official Website (2015). Projects/ New Fountainbridge Phase 1, Edinburgh. [online]. (Last updated 2021). Available at: https://www.3dreid.com/project/new-fountainbridge-phase-1/ [Accessed 7 July 2021].

Architonic (2015). ABOUT 3DREID. [online]. (Last updated 2021). Available at: https://www.architonic.com/en/microsite/3dreid/5205410 [Accessed 8 July 2021].

Author

A final year architecture student, currently studying in SVKM-NMIMS Balwant Sheth School of Architecture, Mumbai, he has allied interests towards architectural photography and writing. Having a penchant for films and philosophy as well, he is of the belief that architecture and design have the ability to capture the most pivotal moments in life itself.

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