Like many companies our Bristol studio team of architects, engineers, designers and urbanists had to adapt fast when the government measures were announced in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Sophisticated software was required to carry out design and modelling work and a way had to be found to power the studio computers remotely.
Architect director Nick Fairham explains: “The key to this has been the use of a piece of software called Splashtop, which enables remote access to workstations in the office – meaning even though we have all decamped to our homes, there’s plenty going on if you look at the in-studio screens.
Our experiences in Shanghai and Singapore, where our studios shut at the beginning of the year, gave us the chance to consider options, troubleshoot early issues and test systems. So, amidst the coronavirus crisis, within just 48 hours, we were able to ensure all 1,350 people globally within the practice were working remotely, including our 70 staff in Bristol.”
He adds: “It’s encouraging to see how everyone has pulled together to support one another in these challenging times. And there’s no doubt we’ll see changes to people’s working practices as countries emerge from the coronavirus pandemic, with more emphasis on flexibility and choice in where, when and how to work.”
Working with contractor Kier, Bristol studio provided the design and engineering expertise to convert the UWE centre into a temporary hospital as part of the UK’s effort to tackle the coronavirus emergency, drawing on its previous experience of designing large-scale healthcare facilities such as the Brunel Building at Southmead Hospital.