Gatwick Airport, The Ministry of Works, Post Offices, shops and offices along the South Coast, formed the basis of the practice from its 1946 beginnings.
Post War Building Licenses, a handshake, and long standing repeat Clients were the norm.
Don Read began as a sole principal, and was joined in 1958 by Don Loveless following his time working in the Architects Department at Bournemouth Borough Council, and for one of the best known and most respected local Architects of the time, Magnus Austin, known for the Art Deco Poole Municipal Building and many other excellent local buildings.
Don L worked with Flight Refuelling (later bought by Cobham), FJB Hotels / Arnewood Estates, Keith Spicer, Hendy Ford and many other key local businesses and was the architect responsible for the infrastructure of Ferndown Industrial Estate and many of its early buildings. His keen commercial awareness was key to the many successful projects.
Through family friends he became involved on the National Management Board of what is now Scope, and provided Architects services on a number of innovative projects locally, to give specialised independent living, residential facilities, education and training, and administrative facilities.
When Colin Morrell joined in 1972 the practice became known as Read Loveless & Morrell from which the present name RLM Architects derives.
Colin developed links with Ryvita [now Jordans] constructing its large facilities at Parkstone, Texaco, The T.A. Reservists, Calotel Hotels, the Roman Catholic Diocese, and Dorset County Council, where he worked closely with Social Services on a number of projects.
After completing his training at Liverpool University, Don’s son Keith spent the first formative years of his career in Liverpool working on a mix of commercial and community projects, a number of church and community schemes, converting discussed cinemas in the North West into squash courts for David Whelan of JJB Sports fame, and a Palace in Abu Dhabi (!).
In 1982 he returned to Dorset with his family initially working for North Dorset District Council on the large housing estate at Blandford St Mary and two sheltered housing schemes before joining his father in the practice in 1985. The 1985 step into partnership in the practice saw him working on his first Primary Health Care project – a new Doctors surgery, Madeira Medical. Work for Wessex Water on a range of projects followed and still continues 25 years on. A project for a new BBC Radio station, and numerous bespoke and specialist projects followed, providing Architects services to developers, other consultants, local and national organisations and companies such as McCarthy & Stone.
Keith’s interest in church and community architecture (which began in Liverpool) took time to develop in Dorset, but is now well established with a number of successful major projects for churches, as well as the continuing care of Listed and Historic buildings. This has developed into other Listed Building and Conservation work, including working on Ancient Monuments with English Heritage and for The National Trust, local Wildlife Trusts and private companies and individuals. He now specialises in this area of work in particular.
Other areas of his work and interest have included numerous Hospital projects at Salisbury District Hospital, and most recently a complex major refurbishment and fire improvement project for a large Listed RMBI Care Home in Bournemouth.
During 1998 Don retired, remaining as a consultant until recently. At the same time the award winning practice of Sansom Williams was incorporated within RLM Architects with Keith running the practice as a sole principal until 2008 when RLM Architects Ltd was formed with Paul Hougham and Roy Brammer joining as Financial Director and Technical Director respectively.
Paul had worked with Keith on numerous projects as a consultant Quantity Surveyor and latterly as principal of Light & Partners. He now brings a new professional discipline to the practice providing project cost advice, quantity surveying and project management services. His broad experience on a wide range of projects, and practical approach, bring great benefits to both early stages of design projects and feasibility work, and to the cost management of ongoing projects.
Roy had worked with Paul previously on projects at other local Dorset Architects practices, and as an Architectural Technologist brings his practical design expertise and CAD skills to the company.
His wealth of experience with the commercial, healthcare and education sectors strengthens the expertise, contacts and network of RLM Architects.
RLM Architects has developed its business on the simple, but sometimes rare, basis of being a client focused one, placing great emphasis on the need to provide a high quality service. The “Can Do” attitude and Team’s skills enable RLM to give a good range of architectural and related services in house, involving other professionals with whom they have close working partnerships when required to supplement their own skills.
The company is committed to embracing new technologies and training and is keen to address the best in thinking on sustainability, green technologies. materials and environmental issues.
This is demonstrated through the accreditation as an RIBA Chartered Practice, to provide excellence in design and service.
The RIBA has been recognised as a Business Superbrand for the fourth year running, as having the finest reputation in its field, and judged on quality, reliability and distinction.