Design practice Lungfish will look to expand beyond its current education focus

Scape Group has relaunched its design arm as an architecture practice, named Lungfish.

The practice remains a subsidiary of procurement organisation Scape but will now bid for external work, rather than simply servicing clients through Scape’s public sector frameworks.

Lungfish is run by head of design Simon Reid. Reid told Building Scape is still the “mother ship” and therefore Lungfish has to “demonstrate that we can stand up from a commercial point of view to be part of the Scape umbrella, but also we’ve now got the freedom to go out there and win our own work”.

Lungfish is currently nine-strong, but has plans to expand its headcount to 15 within the next three years. It is also looking to expand outside its primary sector of education into other areas including housing.

The Nottingham-based practise recently won its largest job to date - designing the £18m Wixams primary and secondary academies for Bedford Borough Council.

Richard Daw, lead architect at Lungfish, is leading on the project, which went in for planning last month having achieved funding and full approval from the Education Funding Agency. The secondary school is being delivered for a total construction value of £10m

The school once completed will take 420 primary school and nursery pupils and 840 secondary school pupils at its technical academy, specialising in science and robotics.

It is expected that Willmott Dixon – current sole provider of Scape’s £1bn-plus major works framework - will begin on site in July with completion due in autumn 2017, while consultant Pick Everard is project managing the scheme.

The academies in Wixams are “purely bespoke design” Daw said, but the practise also provides pre-designed solutions, which Reid said is the firm’s “bread and butter” and can provide clients with a cost effective, fast track route, or the firm can provide a hybrid of bespoke and pre-designed.

Lungfish also has two schemes underway with Scotland’s fire and rescue service, including a new fire and rescue station in Stornoway, which is being delivered by transport ferry this year.