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Bauman Lyons Architects announce major leadership change

Bauman Lyons Architects are embarking on an exciting new era as they announce Irena Bauman and Maurice Lyons are standing down from the Leeds practice they founded almost 30 years ago.

Living up to the company’s principles of collaboration, the practice has successfully been transferred over to the existing long-term team via an Employee Benefit Trust agreement which sees two thirds ownership now in the hands of the employees. Director Guy Smith, who has been with Bauman Lyons for 17 years, will be joined by newly-promoted Tom Vigar who also becomes a Director.

Guy Smith commented: “These are exciting times for the team who are really engaged and ready to take the business forward as we continue to challenge and broaden our horizons. We will still collaborate closely with Irena and Maurice on future projects and we will continue to build upon the principles and ethos that have made the practice what it is today. It is a very special place to work and those values will remain the touchstones in the next chapter of the business.”

He continued: “The employee ownership model was an important part of the transition for Bauman Lyons and it means the team now has full ownership of its future direction and ambitions. There is a lot of energy and passion in the business and that is being channelled into the new generation of architects that are coming through the practice. We have two architects that qualified during lockdown so even the present situation hasn’t dampened our enthusiasm or stopped progression in any way.”

Irena added: “We have been planning succession for the firm for over ten years when we first set up the EBT. The Bauman Lyons team is strong with a good portfolio of work so now is a good time to entrust the leadership of the practice to remaining directors and for Maurice and I to focus on developing our two new companies Bauman Lyons Developments and MassBespoke in close collaboration with Bauman Lyons Architects.”

Bauman Lyons earned its reputation for its work with local communities, collaborations with artists, public realm projects, creative repurposing of listed buildings and sensitively designed new builds. Amongst other projects, the practice is currently in the latter stages of delivering a highly collaborative £16m refurbishment and extension project for the Museum of Making at Derby Silk Mill, where the team and client have embraced an innovative new procurement method known as Integrated Project Insurance*.

The team is continuously motivated to make a difference and seeks to work on community-based projects, alongside civic activists, social enterprises, artists and academics. Over the years, Bauman Lyons has partnered with many inspiring collaborators across public, private, civic and academic sectors on projects including housing, individual homes, workplaces, public realm, schools, museums, urban design and regeneration frameworks. Bauman Lyons continues to maintain links and collaborate on live research projects with regional academic institutions.

Tom Vigar, Director, added: “As we move into the next chapter of the practice we hope to continue working with many of the fantastic clients and collaborators that we have worked with to date, as well as starting new conversations and fresh relationships.”

Current live Bauman Lyons’ projects include: the £16 million redevelopment of Derby Silk Mill into The Museum of Making; the refurbishment of the community arts project South Square Centre in Thornton; the third phase of the reordering of Hull Minster, the refurbishment of the Grade II Listed Stephenson Memorial Hall in Chesterfield; affordable housing for Calder Valley Community Land Trust, and an affordable housing development in Doncaster built with Bauman Lyons’ MassBespoke system.

The practice was founded in 1992 on social value and sustainability principles with the team continuously engaged in a collaborative approach with its clients and the communities they work within.

A long-held principle of the practice is to have a deep understanding of the context and culture of the places they work, choosing to work within a two-hour drive of the office. The Chapeltown-based practice has always looked for innovative ways of working and in 2012 introduced a 5-in-4 working week as a commitment to employee well-being and live-work balance.

 *The Integrated Project Insurance is Government backed new method of building procurement that unlocks the potential of integrated collaborative working by:

Aligning the interests of all team members with the functional needs of the client.

Assuring solutions are achievable, affordable and delivered in a culture of full collaboration.

Insuring the outcomes including cost overrun and establishing a pre-determined maximum  financial exposure for all parties.

Central to the IPI model is the Integrated Project Insurance product from which it gets its name. Whilst the insurance provisions are novel the model is founded on the proven methods of key exemplar projects, and is only available to integrated teams which are genuinely collaborative.

An Alliance Contract empowers the ‘flat’ inclusive team to create and deliver solutions fit for the purpose set out in a strategic brief in a “no blame/no claim” environment, supporting innovation and incentivising successful outcomes. The proposition is that IPI will cost no more than traditional project insurances, but the real benefits are from collaborating as a “virtual company” to eliminate process and procedural waste and deliver improved project performance and efficiency savings which achieve the expectations of Government Strategies.

IPI brings game-changing innovations and benefits to all who adopt it.