After travelling and working around the world I returned home to Wales in 2001 and founded Hughes Architects. Having worked and been educated on both sides of the globe has taught me to design sustainable buildings that don’t just look good and feel great, they actually work as well.
Early on in my career I designed social housing which then evolved into designing one off bespoke houses for private clients. Given such differing types of project made me realize very quickly that there is no such thing as standard. Each project has its own unique brief with its own unique appropriate solution driven by a unique site and more importantly, a unique client.
As our practice grew I applied the same principles to all sorts of projects from community centres to hospitals. This carries on to this day. We are lucky at Hughes Architects that we enjoy a huge variety of projects that provide a stimulus for the imagination and challenge for our architects on a day by day basis. Behind the work however is the same attention to customer care- we talk, we listen and we offer clear advice to ensure that all of our buildings are unique with the main aim being high quality sustainable architecture with reduced running costs while getting the most out of the budget. I work from our offices at Newtown, Welshpool and Aberysywth, as well as working with clients throughout Wales, Shropshire, Herefordshire and beyond.
I firmly believe in reinvestment in my community. That’s why I am a Welsh Government Big Ideas Wales Entrepreneurship Role Model, which is an initiative to encourage young people to become entrepreneurs. I am instigator of a local action group leading a team that has designed a vision for our area which has recently been used as best practice by the RIBA as to how architects can positively engage with their community. To add to this I am a school governor, Honorary Secretary of the Royal Society of Architects in Wales (RSAW), business champion on Powys County Council’s Stronger Communities Board and architect advisor to Wood Knowledge Wales (WKW).
My spare time is rather limited but that which I have is enjoyed shouting at the TV, or preferably at the Principality Stadium, watching my beloved Wales beat all those before them. I have also been successful in corrupting my 5 children in the ways of the national sport and we go and see the mighty Ospreys whenever we can. Having written that though I do appreciate that the kids seem to enjoy the burgers and chips more than the happenings on the pitch at the Liberty Stadium. Apart from the rugby I am a keen gym monkey, enjoy skiing and have recently rediscovered the art of sketching, which is a great way to switch off, and also to earn extra money from passersby who often mistake me as a street entertainer. I draw the line at drawing caricatures though.