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My Fathers Heart Stuns Judges at Regional Design Awards

My Fathers Heart stuns judges at regional design awards

My Fathers Heart’s state-of-the-art showroom and workshop clinched second place and has been ‘highly commended’ at the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) 2017 awards (Yorkshire and Humber region) this month. Designed and built in 2015, it was the only one in Sheffield and among just five new buildings shortlisted from across the region in the RICS commercial category. My Fathers Heart owner Jonathan Coulthard reflects on this prestigious achievement.

It’s a thrilling recognition from RICS, and to have been selected from across such a huge region – we are all absolutely delighted. But I didn’t set out to win awards so this is a wonderful but unintended consequence of a vision realised.

My vision was to create something spectacular for our customers which would also be a centre of design excellence in Sheffield.

Although I had a clear picture of how it would look and was determined to project manage the build myself, I knew my ideas were quite bold and unusual, so finding someone with intuitive architectural understanding and interpretation was vital. I needed architecture that reflected our brand and the standard of our work - that is, beautiful, innovative design, stunning use of materials, functional brilliance and exclusivity.

Thanks and credit goes to Sheffield architect Tim Justice of AAd Design –who took the brief, dared to be different and has helped us transform the final plot of unused ground at the Broadfield Court site.

It’s unusual in this industry to find the craftsmen at work next to the showroom where their work is displayed but that was really important to me. I didn’t want our teams of designers and cabinet makers off site or out of sight. We encourage our customers to see for themselves the authentic, intricate skills involved in our truly handmade, bespoke furniture and kitchens. So there’s a seamless walkthrough from the showroom into every cabinet maker’s dream workshop.

Deviating from the traditional retail strategy, the design philosophy adopts a contrasting approach, tempting visitors on an exploratory journey into and through the building.

The whole place is flooded with natural light from the vast expanses of glass, and the intuitive use of perspective, fabric and space combines to create an elegant oasis of tranquillity. It’s a lovely place to be. Everyday.

It boasts environmentally-friendly features such as our sedum roof and our biomass boilers. And we’ve used a high quality palette of low maintenance materials such as Dekton rainscreen cladding, making it the first of its kind in the UK.

The judge congratulated us for introducing inspiration, colour, environmental benefit and vibrancy to the local community. And that final point is also important to me.

Since opening our doors at the end of 2015, we’ve hosted several charity events, celebrated and exhibited emerging local design and catering talent and held many exclusive demonstration events for our customers.

The award is a fantastic acknowledgement of what we’re all about and what we’ve been doing do every day for more than 20 years – designing and building beautiful furniture, kitchens and living spaces which transform our customers’ homes.

An unintended, welcome consequence which further underlines our drive to celebrate design excellence, vision and talent in Sheffield.

By Jonathan Coulthard19/05/2017
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