Fraher have recently expanded project work into the commercial sector, involving the design, fabrication and fit-out of various creative projects. Fraher’s co-director and founder, Lizzie Webster, highlights the importance of engaging with the commercial sector and why it has become a key focus for the practice.
“Fraher have been working in the residential sector for over 8 years now which has been so rewarding, however Joe and I sought to look at alternative avenues of projects to diversify our portfolio. We believed we could apply what we have learnt over the past eight years, to commercial clients and projects alike.
How has a small practice like Fraher adapted to these new projects and new ways of working?
“We have learnt how to adapt our team to fulfil the short time scales present in many commercial projects. We have been conscious to allocate resources effectively to enable our team of designers and architects to collaborate on the interior packages, bridging the void between internal layout and furniture. This has been facilitated by our partner company, Shape London, who specialise in bespoke joinery. This partnership has enabled Fraher to offer a fully inclusive service, which has allowed clients to explore opportunities and designs which might not be viable through traditional procurement routes. In addition, the close working relationship has enabled the team to streamline the design process, working on the smallest of details from the start of the project with the Client.”
What has been the biggest challenge for the practice?
“We have learnt that handover dates are rarely delayed! Large rental costs and demanding return on investments, mean that there is rarely any scope for extending the project timescales, even if the Contractors and Subcontractors have caused the delay. We have to ensure projects do not loose momentum, and our project management and joinery delivery adheres to the programme. Whilst it has very stressful, it brings the office together as a team which has been invaluable in strengthening our working culture.”
What have you learnt from being more involved with the commercial sector?
“The biggest difference for the practice was the working relationship with the Client, who is often an established company rather than an individual. Understandably, our residential Clients do not often have considerable building experience. In comparison, working with an experienced business who have a strong design ethos and strict deliverable’s meant that we needed to present and conceptualise designs from a different angle. We also wanted to ensure the process was still engaging and fun for all involved. It has been paramount to be fluid as an office. We have been conscious to consider what we have learnt from this process, which we have introduced into our residential work. Ultimately, both clients benefit from this shared learning approach.”
Fraher are excited to reveal our latest commercial projects at the end of the month. We have enjoyed the heightened pace and creative design possibilities working on new commercial projects, along side our residential Clients.