EPR Architects has once again scooped the AJ100 Client’s Choice award. The practice has now won the gong 3 times in the last 4 years, reclaiming the top spot from last year’s winner HTA Design.
EPR emerged as the runaway winner after the AJ polled construction clients and asked them to name both a practice with whom they would like to work again, and one they had not yet worked with but would like to.
The architect beat 6 other shortlisted practices, which included 3D Reid, Allies and Morrison and Assael Architecture. EPR is ranked 16th in the AJ100.
Earlier this year I photographed the new London offices of a leading US Investment firm for them.
EPR’s design has successfully reimagined and reinvigorated the office space, creating a high quality, open plan modern working environment with ample features for their staff and visitors.
The reception area has been redefined as a welcoming area that is more akin to being an art gallery than the reception of an investment firm. One wall is clad in cherry wood panels and the others in subdued fabric panels to compliment the incredible Anthony Gormley sculpture and Rebecca Gouldson wall art.
The front of house guest area also includes various meeting options including the boardroom, housing a custom made Ceasarstone table along with Wilkhahn Solo leather conference chairs.
Between the client meeting area and the back of house working environment is a communal kitchen, dining, and informal meeting space. A bespoke oak bench emerges from the timber floor and continues up the wall before forming a ceiling feature as a contrast to the character of the work environment. Above the table is an Ultra 8 by Le Deun feature pendant light.
The open plan working environment offers staff a variety of spaces where they can work effectively, including dedicated desks to meeting rooms of different sizes and comfortable breakout spaces. This is furnished with Knoll Tone Sit Stand workstations throughout with Herman Miller Aeron task chairs.
Attention to detail was central to the design which replaced the heavily repetitive panel ceiling system for a bespoke ceiling solution to each cellular office, integrating a black framed ventilation grill to clearly define the two open plan offices. Within the front of house areas, the ventilation grill is replaced with a black aluminium channel and lighting which connects the spaces and directs guests to the refurbished meeting rooms. This lighting by Kreon highlights key features such as the flamed textured granite wall in the lift lobby, the cherry wood wall in the reception gallery, and the artwork.
Like photography, design is about beauty and content or form and function. All too often photographers and designers seem to be working hard to produce material that is baying for your attention. Sometimes all that is required is a passion for quality, and a high standard of finish showcasing what you are about. EPR Architects have balanced this perfectly.
I have been photographing with InterGen for 13 years, providing them with commercial photography for their annual reports, website, & marketing material.
Originally, I photographed all 3 UK sites going on to capture 2 power stations in the Netherlands plus 5 sites in Mexico which they no longer own. I have also photographed their corporate portraits & various events along the way.
InterGen is a world class developer, owner & operator of power generation facilities in the UK & Australia, with over 25 years’ experience in energy markets.
Earlier this year InterGen asked me to return to the UK sites to produce a new set of pictures for a rebrand which required fresh content for their new website.
This time Photobanks Ltd. in collaboration with VisMedia supplied photography, film, drone photography & 360 degree content for online tours.
We spent a day at Spalding Power Station in March & then went into lockdown immediately after. The website was launched shortly after
We have recently covered the two other UK sites which I will showcase in the future.
Not every assignment has me photographing a research project that is developing a revolutionary approach to an ever-increasing requirement with a sustainably responsible solution. Not every assignment is on the coast in a beautiful part of the world. Not every assignment has me working alongside extremely talented and creative individuals (and teams), that are appreciative of myself.
Microsoft Project Natick was all the above and more. We were working out at sea, on the dock side and in an energy park, on the Orkney Islands and mainland Scotland.
Microsoft assigned Photobanks to capture the retrieval of the underwater datacentre and data analysis with stills photography, drone, and film. Do not get me wrong this was not all plain sailing. Logistically we were at the mercy of the weather, there were major travelling and working challenges to overcome with the current pandemic, and technically this was extremely difficult to capture; flying a drone from a boat out at sea, photographing inside the vessel with a portable flash system and filming interviews on the key side in between ferry horns, seagulls and fishermen.
However, despite all these niggles, I returned to the Airbnb every evening throughout the shoot thinking … I love my job.
To read about the project and see the photos, film and drone pictures –
Two years ago, Microsoft approached me for an assignment in Orkney Scotland, to photograph the deployment of Project Natick, an underwater datacenter. Frustratingly I had to decline because I was due to have a minor operation a couple of weeks before.
In June I was contacted with the news that Microsoft would be retrieving the vessel shortly and would I be able to capture it? They had me at “Orkney”!
Project Natick is Microsoft’s research into the feasibility of an underwater datacenter – it’s a pretty far out concept to begin with, but the more you learn about it the more you begin to see the genius behind it.
A sealed vessel on the ocean floor does not have any of the issues that the equivalent land datacenter does, with corrosion from oxygen and humidity, temperature fluctuations, and bumps plus jostles from technicians who monitor and replace broken components.
Project Natick also supports Microsoft’s sustainability goals with the vessel in Orkney consuming no water for cooling and being powered by renewable energy sources.
I worked with Spencer Fowers and Mike Shepperd, alongside the Natick team and Microsoft News, with Photobanks supplying all the photography, film and drone photography.
To read more about Project Natick check out