About

About Us

Established in 1978, Neil Pike Architects is a family-owned business.  Progressively growing in status, our diverse client base now engages us in exciting, challenging and inspirational projects.  We are proud of our highly respected design skills and the many rewarding and appreciative responses from clients, Local Authorities and the media.

Approachable, respectful and adaptable to the changing cultures and demands in society – technology, taste, style, fashion – we are innovative, progressive and flexible with regards to our availability and consultancy. Our expertise includes Architecture, Master-planning, Planning Consultancy, Structural Engineering and Lead Consultancy.

Although the scale and range of our projects has significantly increased, we never forget our roots.  Wherever you are, if you have a project that you would like us to look at please call us, tell us about it and we will do everything we can to help.

Michigan

Lake Michigan is a typical source of our inspiration and the stimulation of our senses in experiencing and evaluating light, space, contrast, texture, time and scale.

The simple acknowledgement of the importance of sunlight to living spaces is fundamental to any plan form and the enhancement of the space at particular times of the day. In observation, looking is important however seeing is our purpose and focus.

Michigan

Lake Michigan is a typical source of our inspiration and the stimulation of our senses in experiencing and evaluating light, space, contrast, texture, time and scale.

The simple acknowledgement of the importance of sunlight to living spaces is fundamental to any plan form and the enhancement of the space at particular times of the day. In observation, looking is important however seeing is our purpose and focus.

Detroit

We never underestimate the challenge of corporate responsibility and the rigid disciplines that safeguard a client’s investment. The economics of design and a grasp of cost effectiveness, properties of materials and running costs instil confidence in our clients and facilitate their decision making.

Venice

Learning from history and appreciating classical values enable us to appraise the progression, form and scale of a design and the reasoning and creativity of the architect.

Stonehenge

Traditional Values are at the core of our purpose. Integrity, discourse and dedication to the needs of our client are the underlying principles that sustain our commitment and professional ethos.

These principles form the narrative of our practice and ideology as we continue to define our heritage and progression.

Sustainability

We place great significance on introducing appropriate sustainable measures and practices to all projects. In addition to financial and practical sustainability, our initial client consultation references key sustainable innovations such as economies of scale, design in quality of materials, life span of the buildings, environmental efficiency and value for money.

Narrative

Bicentennial Park, Lansing, Michigan

This was our first significant commission and the springboard from which the practice was established. We were invited to work with Detroit based Architects, Rossetti Associates, assisting them with the Masterplanning and Urban Design of the Michigan Bicentennial Park. This was to be a major design led investment rivalling many of the world’s expositions. The significance of the project was to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of The United States’ Declaration of Independence. 

The designated location for the site was a riverside setting in Lansing, capital city of the State of Michigan. The proposal for the 176 acre site was to create a world stage destination with a variety of buildings celebrating the growth, advancement and prosperity of the Nation. These were to be in the form of Exhibition and Convention Halls supported by the introduction of Auditoriums and State of the Art facilities and infrastructure such as Hotels, Retail and Leisure complexes.

A sophisticated design solution was considered essential to the success of the project and this was achieved by inspirational composition of buildings, space and scale.

Our contribution to this internationally acclaimed design proposal elevated us to a status of recognition and appreciation for our Masterplanning and Urban Design skills. It was a challenging exercise in successfully bringing together the key elements and natural resources of the park. 

Windmill Business Park, Denton, Manchester

This was our first major commercial instruction, to design a business park comprised of 24 buildings for Research, Technology, Business and Distribution facilities.

The Developer, Lucas and Hughes Ltd, were advocates of innovation and progressive architectural design. This allowed us to introduce creativity and flair in what would normally be, fundamentally, a basic commercial development. This was principally achieved by the introduction of colour, kinetic artwork and sustainable technology.

The basis of our design was also to introduce flexibility and adaptability into the development. Therefore the buildings were designed to be attractive to a variety of business uses in that expansion or contraction of required floor area could be accommodated to reflect the occupier’s needs.

Our early introduction of sustainable architecture on this site was welcomed by the client and the Local Planning Authority. Our commitment to harnessing solar energy and rainwater harvesting was rewarded with laudable responses from all involved resulting in referrals and further instructions within this sector of work.

Chorley Town Centre, Lancashire

Winning the Chorley Triangle Town Centre Development competition was a landmark success for us.

Our proposals formed the basis of the development submission by our Developer client, North of England Development Associates (NEDA) and comprised of a 25,000 sq ft supermarket and an avenue of retail units forming a processional way leading to the re-instated Big Clock (a previous historic Chorley landmark) that we planned to re-introduce to establish distinctiveness and civic pride. 

This would become the focal point of the public area, in which it was anticipated that restaurants and cafes would form the backdrop for street theatre and artists, enhancing the experience and success of the space, thus consolidating the development as a destination.

This was warmly and nostalgically received by senior members of the Council who were receptive to our initiative for a distinct architectural solution contributing to the fabric of the Town Centre by focusing on indigenous scale, townscape and an innovative and practical solution to the social and economic problems that were prevalent in the town at the time.

Hotels & Telecommunication Stations, Libya

Leading on from Hotel design work in Libya, a recommendation led us to being approached by The Harris Corporation of Pennsylvania to work with them in the design of fifty Telecommunication Stations positioned strategically throughout the country. 

The brief was to design three prototype facilities of different sizes and capabilities based upon the Harris Corporation specification and Government directives. Each of the three prototypes followed a specific brief and this extended to Staff Accommodation, Leisure, Administration and Security facilities. These were to complement the technological installation of the Harris Corporation equipment.

Frequent site visits were necessary involving meeting with officials from the Ministry of Communications and Informatics. The Libyan Government preferred delivery of fully serviced facilities which necessitated an understanding of their culture and business practices. The comprehensive package of design work was nearing completion and many relationships and working practices consolidated when, in 1985, President Regan declared that all American involvement with Libya must be immediately terminated in anticipation of further escalation of hostilities. 

Upon reflection it was a good lesson in learning to understand how politics can shift attitudes and thwart progress. It taught us never to underestimate a conclusion to a project and grasp the opportunity to build relationships that can have on going potential fulfilment.

Bolton MBC City Challenge, Tonge Valley, Bolton

The Tonge Valley was the designated location for Bolton’s first regeneration initiative. The River Tonge flowed through the valley between neglected parcels of land, vandalised buildings and sites that were totally inaccessible. It was decided that the problems associated with the valley would become an opportunity for the town to demonstrate a laudable and highly credible regeneration enterprise. Our involvement was a responsibility to generate stimulus, confidence and inspiration to the designated area. 

Consequently we were responsible for the design and presentation work for all the major buildings described in the proposed Tonge Valley Masterplan which was the fulcrum of Bolton Council’s City Challenge Bid in 1992. Our successful proposals included design for both Commercial and Leisure developments as part of the submission, which included a Business Park, a Multi- Screen Cinema and other major Leisure facilities. We were extremely proud of our contribution to the Town’s submission.

We were rewarded by the fact that our contribution proved to be a significant part of the Town’s successful City Challenge Bid. The Central Government Assessors made special mention in their report, stating that our design proposals were a key factor in awarding the Town £37,500,000.00 as part of the Government’s Countrywide City Challenge Regeneration initiative.

Regeneration Proposals, Eagley Mills, Bolton

Eagley Mills was at one time the largest Cotton Spinning site in the town. It comprised of four large mill structures of different architectural character and quality set within a river valley. The site flanked both sides of the Eagley Brook providing ideal natural resources that were the hallmark of the Industrial Revolution. The inevitable decline in the Cotton Industry in East Lancashire resulted in the demise of this magnificent site. It was said that everyone in the town knew someone or had a relative that had worked at Eagley Mills. It was the heartbeat of Bolton’s once mighty industrial presence.

For many years the mills stood vacant, resoundingly illustrating the state of the economy and the Country’s post war industrial decline. As a practice we were always aware of the enormous potential of the site, particularly due to this riverside location and rural setting. We were therefore pleased to be appointed by the owners to undertake a design review and appraisal for the redevelopment of the site, which was constrained by greenbelt issues, limited access and significant social and economic problems.

The appointment was initially a Masterplanning exercise exploiting the untapped potential of the River Valley culminating in the design work for the conversion of the buildings into residential and commercial use and the introduction of new riverside housing, studios and workshops.

The success of the development proposals was the design approach in that we designed the new build dwellings to look as though they were simple conversions. This successfully reinforced the character of the setting through compatibility of design and sensitive detailing. The application was well received by the Local Authority and Planning Permission was readily forthcoming, particularly because they recognised the proposals as an opportunity for consolidating the Historic context with the regeneration initiatives we proposed to introduce. 

Bradshaw Hall, Bolton

All that remains of Bradshaw Hall is the articulate stone entrance porch. The Hall, standing adjacent to the woodland setting was in a prominent location alongside the entrance to Bradshaw Bleachworks, which was an expansive grouping of old mills and ancillary buildings.

The Hall was demolished by the Bleachworks Association in 1949. It had been the family home of the Hardcastle family who were previous owners of the site. Subsequently the property fell within the ownership of the Whitecroft Group plc through their purchase of the Bleachworks Association. Their long established subsidiary company George Longden Estates were instructed to ascertain the level of support from Bolton Council that a redevelopment would attract. By this time the site formed part of the Jumbles Country Park which reinforced its status within the Greenbelt.

We had established an excellent working relationship with the Whitecroft Group, previously undertaking redevelopment design proposals for Kendal Town Centre and completing several rural and semi-rural residential conversion developments such as the award winning Dunscar Fold Development in Bolton.

The concept of retention and conversion of several buildings into residential use enabled the Planning Authority to support our proposals for additional infill development in the form of new housing within this Greenbelt location. This was a large development over a substantial area of contaminated land and the site clearance and remediation was a lengthy and expensive process. 

Our sensitive design philosophy was to be consistent with the simplicity of each individual dwelling on the basis that the completed development would consequently have a pleasing harmony, rhythm and human scale. This proved to be a successful decision, resulting in the development winning Five National Housing Awards and a Civic Trust Award. The Bradshaw Hall development opened doors for us as a practice with invites from neighbouring Local Authorities to participate in similar Regeneration proposals and initiatives.

This development has become iconic through the introduction of stimulating townscape techniques and use of local materials creating a sense of distinctiveness with strong identity and sequence of space.

Biddulph Grange, Staffordshire

Biddulph Grange, Staffordshire, a former Victorian Country Residence and now a National Trust Property with acclaimed gardens, provided the opportunity for George Longden Ltd to exploit the potential of conversion of the main house into Apartments and introduce various forms of Residential Development within the extensive private grounds.

In a courtyard setting to the rear of the house, the stables and carriage buildings were converted to a variety of residential uses whilst the grounds adjacent to the main House provided the setting for further development of mews style residences. 

In addition to this our client’s instruction to explore the possibilities of placing housing within the confinement of the walled garden tested our design and creative skills. The solution of creating a small Arts and Crafts style residential scheme involved the manipulation and juxtapositioning of space and buildings in a challenging and sensitive environment. With the National Trust ‘looking over our shoulder’ we successfully overcame complicated and uncompromising planning issues, particularly in respect of space and interface distances resulting in a close knit, unique design solution.

The success of this project led to further instructions on other sites of a similar nature. Notably, Country Estates such as Oakmere Hall in Cheshire, Turton Tower in Bolton and Bodlondeb Castle, Llandudno.

Golf & Leisure Developments, Turkey

In 2012 we were invited by the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism to participate in the preparation of a series of Schematic Proposals for Golf Course and Leisure Developments on designated sites throughout the Country. Working in conjunction with the renowned Dave Thomas Partnership we prepared leisure schemes which involved groupings of dwellings in and around the proposed Golf Courses with Golf Village Centres consisting of Hotels, Restaurants, Bars, Boutiques and Recreational facilities.

The Government specified sites were predominantly in coastal locations but each site had distinct characteristics which inevitably influenced our design and from which we gained inspiration and an indulgent creative appetite. The Government were focused on exploiting their enormous potential for tourism, sport and leisure and were extremely supportive of introducing additional facilities such as themed shopping developments in certain resorts together with Hotels and Conference facilities, which in some cases necessitated additional infrastructure such as road networks and local airport design.

Cleveland Quarries, Ohio, U.S.A.

We were appointed by Trans European Securities plc. to prepare a development Masterplan for a leisure and residential development on a 520 acre site of redundant stone quarries owned by The American Stone Corporation in Elyria, to the west of Cleveland. Our proposals, including world-class Golf and Hotel facilities were well received by the Local Authority.

We found it refreshing to experience the American culture of ‘finding reasons to do things’ as opposed to the traditional British culture of finding reasons ‘not to do things’. The City Council demonstrated their enthusiasm and support for the project by their provision of dedicated officer participation in assisting us to overcome Planning, Legal and Environmental issues.

However, the Council’s steadfast support was intensified as a result of the recent closure of the nearby Ford Motor Company’s Levan Assembly Plant, resulting in the loss of 1,740 jobs.  As a consequence of this we were persuaded to amend the proposals for the site to include business and commercial facilities which were to be underpinned by the Council’s Business Incentive Programme. In addition to agreeing a sequence of proposals for the site and demonstrating our implementation procedures we were requested to present our proposals to the general public at several gatherings in school halls, gymnasiums and civic rooms in the three Townships affected by the proposed development.

Such was the scale of the development, that there was significant National and Local interest resulting in radio and television coverage and reports, with the project even reaching the pages of the Wall Street Journal. The Elyria City Council were actively involved in support of the development proposals and successfully applied for Tax Incremental Funding (T.I.F) of $400 million from the Federal Government. 

This significantly enhanced the commercial credibility of the project. Unfortunately this became un-implementable due to several factors generated by the world recession of 2008. Trans European Securities were unable to extend their option due to the prevailing circumstances and the T.I.F funding was withdrawn.

Clearwater, Ohio, U.S.A

Following on from the Cleveland Quarries project, two years later we were approached by a North West Ohio based Real Estate Agency, acting on behalf of Miller Brothers Construction who owned a 770 acre, former gravel quarry located on the shore of Sandusky Bay in North West Ohio. 

The site, exhausted of gravel and now water filled, was nevertheless highly scenic and well located with immediate access to the interstate network and in close proximity to the Port Clinton International Airport. We were instructed by the owners to create a Masterplan for the redevelopment of the site as a mixed use destination, followed by detailed design work for each component of the site. The purpose of this was to obtain planning consent, enhance the value and stimulate developer interest. 

The proposals included international-standard sporting arenas, within a world class spectator environment, supported by themed hotels, convention centres and exhibition halls. These facilities were considered essential to the commercial success of the project and aspirational in architectural design standards in order to establish a development of notable landmark status.

The residential areas, located in the heart of the development, were designed in high density neighbourhoods, each in a strategy defined Italianate style that was atmospheric and would generate cohesion and sense of pride in the fabric of the buildings.

In consideration of the sites natural resources and the Great Lakes location, it was decided that the proposal should exploit and enhance the site’s abundance of water, through the creation of interlinking canals to connect different parts of the site to the central tourist facilities. Townscape was a major consideration in the design and the interplay between modern and traditional architecture in this waterside setting was a challenging but rewarding task.

Strikingly avant-garde architecture, positioned alongside the simple amphitheatre for performing arts, was typical of the spirit of the development and this was notably demonstrated by the introduction of a bridge with apartments, shops and street theatre linking two parts of the site. It was considered that this ‘Bridge of Serenity’ would become symbolic of the spirit of Clearwater.

The Local Authority were welcoming, providing assistance by approving the re-zoning of the site for planning purposes and providing key personnel to assist in the marketing and tourism aspects of the project. Local and regional politicians became actively involved in order to promote the development on the national stage.

In addition to creating a national landmark destination it was considered important to create lifestyle facilities where people could live and work on the site thus consolidating the vitality and viability of the development.