Blog • 

Projects On An Industrial Scale: Making Sure Big Really Is Beautiful  

Here at Martin Walsh Architecture, we have several decades worth of experience, along with industry-leading talent, in managing industrial-scale projects.

The approach taken for a commercial or industrial building is very different from a residential property or small build projects. Geographical considerations, multiple partners and stakeholders, sector-specific health and safety obligations and community relations are all factors that often need to be taken into consideration.

Funding partners and stakeholders

With industrial-scale buildings, there are often several partners involved. These could be funding bodies, local councils, investors, or other stakeholders. As architects, we need to make sure that the plans and designs that we produce are shared with those that matter.

Having access to the right personnel so that we can nurture relationships is fundamental to the success of these big build initiatives.

We also need to consider the wider community. Public consultations are common practice; here, we share these buildings’ benefits to the local area and support the client in proactive and reactive engagement.

Good community consultation and relations can make or break planning applications and are essential if a business wants to get on with its neighbours once the building is topped out and complete.

Fit for purpose

Each building that we design is fit for purpose. We spend a lot of time with our customers finding out precisely what they need and what the objective is – now and in the future. Our goal is always to create a building that works harder!

There is no point in designing a building for today when we know that the company’s plans are for growth and expansion. All of these factors are taken into account. We also look at where we can make recommendations that will add the greatest value.

As a practice that gets excited by large scale projects, there is nothing more satisfying than knowing the building has been designed with a purpose in mind and that our recommendations have taken a good idea and made it great.

Building to scale  

Although industrial buildings are rarely considered beautiful, we like to challenge this theory. There is no reason why a property of any scale cannot be architecturally impressive, given the size, scale and budget that we have to work with.

On some projects we have managed, it has been part of our brief to make sure we take influence from or are sympathetic to the surrounding towns and cities’ heritage. This gives us the scope to create buildings that have a real impact while also meeting the needs of town planning.

Whatever our clients’ requirements, we have the experience to design big sheds, head offices, chemical plants and manufacturing facilities or look at more intricate alterations, extensions or redesigns of existing industrial buildings.

Live environments

Although working on a brownfield site makes life easier, that is rarely the case. As an architect, practice with these builds’ first-hand experience, we need to be mindful and sensitive to live environments. The last thing we want to do is to impact on our customers day to day business. What we want to do is to deliver added value, not a headache.

This is why we work closely with all teams, external to our clients and onsite, to carefully plan every step of the process, taking into account timescales, budgets, and the impact that the build will have.

For more information about industrial developments, extensions and alterations we have completed, please visit the industrial sector page of our website.


Although industrial buildings are rarely considered beautiful, we like to challenge this theory.

Matthew Robinson