History

2015

In 2015 Luke Hughes continued its focus on special architectural projects, academic institutions, and religious buildings. Major commissions included the completion of the re-ordering of Leicester Cathedral for the reinterment of King Richard III and the Song School at Westminster Abbey.

Major projects for long-established academic clients included those for Yale University, University College London, the University of Winchester, University of Birmingham, and the Dyson Research Laboratory for Cambridge University’s Department of Engineering. In September, we celebrated our 25th anniversary of designing for Oxford colleges at Lincoln College. Work also continued for the new livery hall of the Worshipful Company of Leathersellers (working with Eric Parry Architects) and the refurbishment of Mercers’ Hall.

In the USA, major projects included those for St John’s Cathedral, San Francisco, Duke University, and the Congregation Beit Simchat Torah Synagogue in New York. 2015 also saw the signing of a world-wide license with the Gordon Russell Trust for the reintroduction of the Coventry chair and the delivery of more than 1500 as part of the first order, for Valparaiso University, Indiana.

In the spa sector, Monaco’s famed Hotel Métropole commissioned Luke Hughes® to design a range of relaxation beds. The hotel was awarded ‘Monaco’s Best Spa’ and ‘Monaco’s Leading Hotel’ at the World Spa Awards in 2015.

2014

2014 saw activity not just in our principal market sectors (being signature architectural projects, academic institutions, and religious buildings) but also in a rebranding exercise, designed to reinforce the principal speciality of Luke Hughes - namely designing furniture in architecture. Major school projects include those for St Paul’s School, St Paul’s Girls School, Shrewsbury and Cranleigh.

In higher education, there was continued focus not just in Oxford and Cambridge (including new projects for Lincoln College (Oxford), Trinity Hall and Kings College (Cambridge)), as well as other British universities (including University College, London and University College, Birmingham) but also in the USA. Yale University commissioned readers' tables for the magnificently restored Sterling Library in New Haven, and their joint venture with the National University of Singapore resulted in an order for 1500 dining chairs for the new university campus in that city; Valparaiso University (Indiana) continued to commission our design services.

Ecclesiastical projects included the completion of the new seating for the nave of Sheffield Cathedral, the liturgical furniture to accompany the reordering on Leicester Cathedral (to accommodate the burial of Richard III) and the Chapel Royal of St Peter ad Vincula in the Tower of London (rededicated by HM The Queen in October). Design work progresses for the Congregation Beit Simchat Torah Synagogue and Park Avenue Synagogue in New York, and St John’s Presbyterian Church (San Francisco). Following the success of the new song schools at Bristol and Exeter Cathedrals, commissions have been received for Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral. There was an increase in activity in social media as well as the production of a series of short films about recent projects (e.g. Tower of London, St George’s Bloomsbury, St Mary’s March).

2013

2013 saw a recovery in all market sectors and the development of many more projects abroad, principally in the USA and Far East. Colleges in Oxford and Cambridge remained important, with new clients in the form of Kings and Westminster (in Cambridge), Mansfield and Lincoln (in Oxford) as well as the original university library in St Mary the Virgin (the University Church in Oxford) and the return of Cambridge University Library for additional works. The Sainsbury Botanic Institute (designed by Stanton Williams and for which all the furniture was designed by Luke Hughes and Company) won the RIBA Stirling Prize for Architecture. School projects included those for Harrow, Highgate, Stowe, Uppingham and St Johns Leatherhead. Hotel projects included those for the Four Seasons and Peninsula Groups, the Ritz-Carlton Bangalore, Aquadom Moscow, Gleneagles and the Langham Hotel in Chicago. 2013 also saw the rapid extension of the role as design consultants, notably for the Worshipful Company of Mercers, Bath Abbey, Congregation Beth Simchat Torah in New York City, Valparaiso University (Indiana), the UK Supreme Court and Leicester Cathedral (helping their plans to rebury the body of King Richard III). Luke Hughes made more lecturing trips to Singapore as well as to New York and Connecticut. The year ended with a major public-area seating project for Foster Architects' new School of Management at Yale University, delivered just before Christmas.

2012

Major ecclesiastical projects continue at Westminster Abbey, St Albans Cathedral, Exeter Cathedral. Luke Hughes designs win the main category in the Church of England Church Seating competition. Academic work includes Cambridge University Library, Jesus, Churchill, Brasenose. Spa projects for the major hotel groups include those for Four Seasons, Mandarin and Peninsula. Luke Hughes makes two trips to lecture in Singapore as a guest of the Singapore Architects Association; appointment of Luke Hughes to Design Committee of the Singapore Furniture Industry Council. First US projects include those in Manhattan, Valparaiso, Miami and the first order from Harvard University.

2011

30th anniversary of Luke Hughes opening their first workshop in Covent Garden, where we have been in continuous occupation of one of our current buildings. Major school projects including Eton College, Harrow, Marlborough, Charterhouse, and Oundle School (where the completion of the newly refurbished Cripps Library is described as 'now one of the most striking school libraries, anywhere'). Other work for Historic Royal Palaces include furniture for historic interpretation and public access at Kew Palace and Hampton Court. Major ecclesiastical projects include the dramatic new nave altar (in 10 tonnes of Carara marble) in St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh and other work at Winchester Cathedral. College projects include those for Trinity, St Edmund's Hall, St John's, and Merton. Work at the Sainsbury Botanic Institute is opened by the Queen in April. Luke Hughes continues to lecture on sustainability and architectural details in India, United Arab Emirates, the Far East and Rotterdam.

2010

Continuation of works for British Museum and Leighton House (reopened by the Prince of Wales). New furniture used in Westminster Abbey for Papal visit, and in the Middlesex Regiment Chapel of St Paul's Cathedral; new marble altar installed in St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh. Design consultancy for the refurbishment of the library at Oundle School. Other major projects include all the new furniture of the HQ of the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts (with Ian Ritchie Architects) and the completion of the Botanic Institute with Stanton Williams (value £700K). Additional Oxbridge colleges include Brasenose College and St Edmund's Hall, Oxford and Jesus College, Cambridge. Shortlisted for the Walpole Awards for Excellence for outstanding achievement in design, craftsmanship, business and culture. Past winners include Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, Dunhill, Paul Smith, Goodwood, Links of London, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Aston Martin and Marc Jacobs. The launch of our new website; appointment of Nigel Shepherd as Director of Operations.

2009

New designs for international luxury spa market launched; new corporate table range (MOKI) first developed and installed. Other major design projects include Sainsbury Botanic Institute (Cambridge), St Albans Cathedral, St Giles Cathedral (Edinburgh). UK Supreme Court opened by HM the Queen. Luke Hughes continues lecture tours in Middle East and Australia.

2008

Luke Hughes begins lecture tours on Sustainability in Design in the Far East and Australia. Major projects include Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds and Chichester Cathedral. RBS total spend with LHCL exceeds £6M; credit crunch begins.

2007

Largest corporate project for Unilever (£800K); average annual turnover £3.5M; appointment as designers for UK Supreme Court.

2006

First client for whom collective orders exceed £2M (RBS); 50th Oxbridge college (Gonville & Caius, Cambridge); 25th-anniversary celebration held at St George’s, Bloomsbury.

2005

Purchase of freehold of office building.

2004

First client for whom collective orders total more than £1M (BP).

2003

First commission of £750K (Supreme Court LIbrary, Edinburgh).

2002

Increasing use of glass, stone, resins and other materials.

2001

Millennium altar, Bristol Cathedral; extension of corporate work into multi-media.

2000

First venture making spa furniture for luxury international hotels (Mandarin Oriental); Start of exclusive production and marketing of Wales & Wales street furniture; website launched.

1999

Relationships established with wider furniture constituency including Bisley, Wilkhan and Vitra; offices extended to accommodate growing business.

1997

Major public commission of furniture for new British Embassy in Moscow.

1998

First commission over £500K (St Hugh’s College, Oxford).

1996 - 99

First standard ranges of meeting room tables and chairs developed.

1994

Closure of Tisbury workshop in favour of strategic partnerships with other specialist workshops.

1993

Development of relationships with blue chip corporations, merchant banks and legal firms; first corporate order over £350k (CSC).

1996

The company achieves ISO 9001 registration for its quality management.

1993 - 96

Projects evenly distributed between corporate and institutional market.

1992

Growing sales to Oxbridge colleges; first commission for Foreign Office (British Embassy in Buenos Aires); first order over £250k (Merton College).

1991

First Oxbridge commission (Corpus Christi College, Cambridge); first exploitation of computer aided design.

1990

Second BES share issue; establishment of workshop in Tisbury, Wiltshire.

1988 - 89

Development of ranges for retail sector.

1987

Frostbite whilst on Tibet mountaineering expedition forces change of emphasis in favour of producing own designs by other chosen craftsmen.

1986

First share capital raised under Business Expansion Scheme.

1985

Formation of Luke Hughes & Co Ltd.
First commercial designs for retail sector; clients include John Lewis Partnership, Liberty’s, Heals, and General Trading Company.

1982 - 84

One-off commissions for private clients.

1981

Luke Hughes moves one-man workshop, making one-off commissions for private clients, from Bloomsbury; purchases freehold in Covent Garden.

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