FORGIVE US, DAVE HUGHES
by Jez Bond
For the benefit of those unfamiliar with the term – and just a few months ago I would have put myself into that category – the words ‘scheme freeze’ refer to the time in a design when the plans are set and no further changes can be made. In reality the smaller details can continue to be tweaked but the key areas – for example anything which affects the fire, access or acoustic strategies or which redefines the scale of any extension – remain fixed.
It is, therefore, with the combined cheekiness and nervousness of a schoolboy that I have proceeded, in the past 24 hours, to suggest a change to the project. The problem of course is that one could carry on ad infinitum and never reach submission for planning (we are currently poised for entry to either the September or October committee). Whilst I understand this – and want to proceed as hastily as possible – I, ever Geminian, am at the mercy of my beautifully tormeting twin who insists on pushing this through.
Without entering into too much detail here (a newsletter will be published shortly when we have truly confirmed the true scheme freeze) extra financial support has made it possible to realise – or at least to research the possibility of – some additional floor area which was originally thought impossible. What troubles me most, however, is that the design team are all working extremely hard in this project for heavily reduced fees and I neither want to take advantage nor fall out of favour. We all greatly appreciate the work and hope they understand our predicament.
Our architects have often said how fantastic it is to be working with a creative team who will occupy the building rather than the usual developers. We care deeply about exactly what we are building and how it will operate. Of course it seems that can be a downside too. Forgive us, Dave Hughes!