WIA - the story
Willmore Iles Architects Ltd was founded in 1999 by Paula Willmore and Andrew Iles. The practice started with the opportunity to work with a newly formed client in a new market sector, the private provision of student accommodation.
The outcome was the successful delivery of the first Design, Build, Finance and Operate (DBFO) student halls in the UK at the University of Plymouth, and the successful delivery of Reading Student Village, a new Halls of Residence at the University of Reading.
This was the first of several projects at both universities over the next decade and culminated in our client entering a groundbreaking 125 year partnership for the running of the entire University of Reading residential estate; a total investment of almost a quarter of a billion pounds and a transaction that still stands as the largest single estate transfer of a university residential estate to date.
Fifteen years on, with projects completed at Oxford Brookes, the University of Exeter, London Borough of Greenwich, Willmore Iles Architects still works with this client, a major provider in the sector. They choose to work with us because we develop design solutions that provide outstanding end user experience and satisfy their institutional clients. This in turn ensures that they meet their shareholder funding targets and reach their goal to become the best student accommodation provider in a global market.
Fifteen years on, our client base has expanded. For example, we are currently working on schemes that include the beneficial re-use of buildings for another student accommodation provider in cities such as London, Portsmouth and Leicester, and have recently received a Civic Society award for the Shoe and Boot factory, a student accommodation scheme in Leicester.
And fifteen years on, we have an experienced and expert team who help all our clients win competitive tenders and deliver complex projects to time and on budget.
We are proud that we retain our clients, with 85% of our workload last year coming from repeat business. With all our clients, our designs focus on delivering the best possible experience for the building users within the constraints of the project.