John Bridge’s story
My story is one that I hope will inspire a new mindset, showcase that there is beauty everywhere we look; from urban regeneration to a new built development. I hope by sharing my tale that I can encourage others to take a similar path, to show them that they can achieve so much more than they realise.
“I have such a huge love and passion for architecture and Lancashire that I simply can’t imagine myself being anywhere else.” JB
I have lived in Preston for my entire life and have always had a dream of developing my home city into something incredible that people look upon in awe. My entire purpose as an RIBA Chartered Architect has been to open people’s eyes to the gorgeous city that I can see. My story began back in 1999 when I was hired as an apprentice at Croft Goode in Kirkham under the guidance of Mick Goode Architect. For fifteen years I went through an amazing journey learning the craft of architecture creating fascinating projects such as affordable housing, children’s centres and extra care homes. This expansive experience across a wide-range of sectors prompted me to take a new role at FWP. While working here I first got a major opportunity to alter people’s perceptions of Preston when a fantastic opportunity arose to regenerate a major part of the city. I helped FWP to win a competitive bid for the commission of Preston’s New Market Facilities, something the city has needed for a long time. With a lot of hard work and determination March 2018 saw the beginning of the realisation of my dream, the new market opened its doors for the first time and became a new focal point of Preston. A place for small businesses to grow and thrive, a wonderful addition to our ever-expanding city. Completing this project gave me the confidence I needed to run a city regeneration project on my own and so I finally decided to take a leap of faith and set up my own practice, a place where my dreams of moulding Preston into an architectural masterpiece could start to thrive. Wash Studio, a fantastic creative design team, helped provide a base alongside them in the Artistry House where my practice could begin to develop and grow. From humble beginnings I was able to form my own incredible team within the same year I went solo, and have been amazed at how quickly we have grown and how we are already working on some extremely exciting projects.
Currently I am working with some fantastic clients, both private and commercial, that focus on the ideologies that are at the centre of my business. Kingsway Gardens is an eco-commune within Preston that aims to make life for residents as eco-friendly as possible. With the addition of solar panels, electric car charging points and renewable materials being used within the build, these homes truly reflect the core values at the heart of our studio.
“The future we intend to build will be as beautiful as it will be sustainable enabling growth and success.” JB
Another crucial aspect of the studio is my love for urban regeneration and the passion I have for watching old buildings gain a new lease on life and begin to thrive. One project I am extremely excited for is the Uptown Pony Club, while still in the early stages of planning I am incredibly glad to be working on a project that has the potential to sprinkle some life back into my home city. Working within the Artistry House I feel as though I have a strong team of creative individuals surrounding me which helps to inspire me each day. The beauty of this collaborative approach to my office life has enabled me to successfully rebrand, empowering my business to take on the future.
The future of Studio John Bridge looks bright, with my continual love for Lancashire I plan to work on regenerating the untapped beauty that surrounds us and help inspire the next generation. Due to the way we live and the strain homes have on the environment I also plan to continue to make sustainable living simpler and more accessible. The world we are living in is so beautiful that it would be a crime to neglect to take part in protecting it. I always use sustainable materials and encompass eco-living into all of our projects in any way that is available to me. When I look at designing a new place to live my mind automatically jumps to the future, a building has to withstand the test of time. Within our current climate the importance of longevity appears to only be apparent if we look after our world and all do our part to live sustainably. Understandably we all lead busy lives and it can sometimes be a struggle to consider our impact on the environment with each small action we take within our homes. That is why I find it so important to help alter our ways and why I think it’s so important to take on projects that help push a sustainable lifestyle and a sustainable future. I also plan to continue to be innovative and use the ingenuity of my team to create amazing designs, I want to look back when I’m old and smile in pride with all that my practice achieved within my career. I am continually inspired by the world around me and am always excited to get my teeth stuck into new projects. Each project we work on is special and we really care about the quality of design and the client experience we provide.
“The future of Studio John Bridge is one of love, care, happiness and innovation.” JB