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why fuse? A hands-on approach with Director involvement from start to finish of every project The world has changed since the global financial crisis of 2007/8 and Clients are looking for consultants whose principals are genuinely hands-on. They need designers to be able to react quickly and want their design fees to pay for high quality service, not huge overheads. Fuse was established in 2010 to meet those needs: with studios in Manchester and Leeds providing a balanced skill set of Interior Design and Architecture expertise. Led by four Directors, with a combined experience of over 70 years in the industry, they previously managed teams within one of the UK’s largest design consultancies. As such, the Directors have proven experience delivering across most market sectors: from small, beautifully-crafted restaurant projects, to new corporate headquarters or the designing of large regenerative masterplans. At Fuse we are committed to providing exemplary Client service and one of our Directors Simon Clarke, Mike Harris, David Matthews and Scott Ryalls is involved on every project, from concept to completion. Working with Clients in multiple time zones over many years has taught us that always being available is one of the most valuable services we can provide to a Client.

In construction, delays cost money and when we claim to be “an agile and responsive team,” we mean to be just that. We strongly believe in working collaboratively and positively with our Clients and we know how to successfully manage design teams to deliver within cost and time parameters. We also take our commitment to the environment seriously. Our team has been working on BREEAM Excellent rated buildings since the 1990’s and our interiors projects have won praise for their practical application of sustainability principles. Fuse holds joint accreditation under ISO:9001 and ISO:14001, Quality Assurance and Environmental Management systems respectively.

who we are A small design studio providing huge experience with enthusiasm and genuine expertise Fuse has the skills and experience to look after any part of your project. Whether it is the refurbishment of existing office space or the roll-out of an established restaurant brand, the team has all the necessary experience to ensure success. We work for global players Hard Rock International and SMG Europe, for UK developers such as ASK Developments and Commercial Estates Group and for institutions like the University of Leeds. We provide the experience of designing and delivering projects in the UK, Middle East, USA and across Continental Europe.

Green indicates countries where projects have been designed by one of the Fuse directors

why now? A fresh approach: getting the very best out of the buildings we already have As the World’s financial downturn rumbles on and development finance is hard to come by, all businesses continue to look for measures to reduce costs and minimise their liabilities. As a result, the demand for new buildings remains low and in the UK few outside of London are developing speculatively. The market has shifted and increasingly building occupiers, owners and developers are taking a more sustainable approach by looking to make best use of what they have, through the refurbishment and conversion of the existing building stock. This concentration on re-use is not just prevalent in the workplace sector but is happening across most markets; including education, residential, retail and leisure projects. At Fuse, our completely balanced combination of architecture and interior design skills enables us to provide a holistic, one-stop shop for our Clients when they are looking to maximise the redevelopment potential of an existing building. The sought-after design flair of our interior designers can often unlock a scheme, where others have produced more standard solutions. This design flair, when aligned with the excellent technical knowledge and proven planning skills of our architects, frequently delivers highly innovative and cost-effective refurbishment projects.

Since Fuse’s formation we have completed office fit-out projects across the UK, including the creation of a new corporate headquarters for Jet 2 in Leeds. Within the leisure sector we oversaw the refurbishment of the York Barbican for SMG Europe and for the same Client we designed the refurbishment of the corporate suites with the MEN Arena in Manchester. Outside of the UK we have delivered a number of high-profile refurbishment and conversion projects for Hard Rock International: creating a series of exciting cafe destinations that are helping to re-position the brand across Europe. To date we have successfully completed projects in Florence, Brussels, Paris, Barcelona and Nice, with more on the way. Many of our refurbishment projects are in significant historic structures, Conservation Areas or here in the UK, listed buildings. Again the Fuse team have the requisite skills and experience when negotiating the reuse of these sensitive buildings.

what we do

Create sustainable design solutions which are visually stunning and commercially viable Profile We offer genuine, industry-leading expertise. Our experience encompasses best practice in the refurbishment of existing buildings, so that the most efficient and economic design solutions can be delivered: be it our interior designers developing imaginative solutions that complement an existing building’s internal spaces or our architects successfully negotiating change with local Planning and Conservation Officers.


We are familiar with working with the BREEAM, LEED and SKA building energy assessment systems and we know how best to work with an existing building fabric to help it meet modern occupancy standards.

Our designers breathe new life into tired and out dated buildings: we can help you completely reposition a property within the market.

We strive for excellence in design in all projects but not at the expense of our Clients’ pockets. We take a pragmatic approach into all that we do; combining our design flair with commercial nous.

Conversion Conversion instead of re-building is generally a more sustainable, cost effective approach. We help our Clients identify new opportunities for re-use and redevelopment.

Whether it is a total building refurbishment or a very modest intervention, Fuse brings experience and enthusiasm to all projects, regardless of size.

Listed buildings The Fuse team has a wealth of experience in the successful refurbishment of Listed Buildings.


Working in a live environment Fuse offer the experience and knowledge required to provide a design solution that responds to the design brief and saves time and costs when delivered on site.

Sustainability The Fuse team is familiar with and committed to the many small steps which combine to make a big difference.

© Copyright The Castle Howard Estate

Providing a new lease of life for a building by giving it a completely new use requires insight, imagination and expertise. The Fuse team has decades of experience in the transformation of existing buildings, including the re-use of internationally significant historical buildings.

Whether from industrial to residential, institutional to hotel or cinema to restaurant, our team of architects and interior designers has the skills and specialist knowledge to maximise the commercial potential of an existing structure whilst retaining its historical character.


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“Saved from demolition and winner of the Portsmouth Society's Best Restoration/ Re-use of an Existing Building Award, this Grade II Listed ex-army drill hall is now the home of the multiple award winning Liquid & Envy night club”. Designed by David Matthews whilst at careyjones

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From small, bespoke reception areas which create a more inviting entrance, through transformations that express the end-user’s brand, to the complete renovations of old buildings to create modern working environments, Fuse has the expertise to breathe new life into existing environments.

All four Fuse principals have a wealth of refurbishment experience in the workplace, leisure, hospitality, education and residential sectors.


I “Congratulations, wanted to let you know that the design of Hard Rock Cafe matches up to the Gambrinus building and to the prestigious square.


Dario Nardella Deputy Mayor of Florence

Listedbuildings The Fuse team has successfully converted and refurbished many Listed Buildings in the past. To name but a few:

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15th Century: Fuse recently completed a small retail project at the foot of the world famous Rialto Bridge in Venice Italy 16th Century: Grade II listed building was the location for the multiple award-winning refurbishment to form the Sarah Coggles store in York by Scott Ryalls whilst at careyjones 17th Century: The Fuse-designed Hard Rock Café in Brussels lies within the UNESCO World Heritage site, Grande Place. The café opened in October 2012 18th Century: The Pyramid Gatehouse at Castle Howard designed by Sir John Vanburgh: a feasibility study for conversion to a boutique hotel and restaurant by David Matthews whilst at careyjones 19th Century: Hard Rock Café in the world famous Piazza della Repubblica in Florence, completed in 2011 20th Century: The Grade II* Listed Rogers Stevens Building at the University of Leeds refurbished by the Fuse team in 2012

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“One of the very best examples of the integration of modern design into the historic fabric of the city” York City Council on the design of the Sarah Coggles Store York: designed by Scott Ryalls whilst at careyjones.

In a tough rental market, standing out from the crowd and attracting tenants is key. Landlords are having to work hard financially to put deals to occupiers, who in turn are demanding more for their money.

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Tired and out-dated space does not provide building owners with the competitive edge they require. Re-positioning buildings through thoughtful intervention can transform market perception and if done correctly; can be delivered quickly and economically to assist securing new tenants and retain existing occupiers.


Unused and unloved‌ The Barbican Centre in York was something of a white elephant locally until Fuse was employed by SMG Europe as part of the design team to oversee its successful rebirth as the York Barbican.

Whether it is a trading restaurant, working office or teaching facility; Fuse will from the very outset, help define the project deliverables and the constraints imposed by working in a live environment.

Fuse has the experience to provide design solutions that respond not only to the design brief but minimize the impact on existing services. Our scheme designs save time and site costs, which are all too often wasted on projects with challenging timescales.

live environments

sustainability It makes sense to re-use our existing buildings rather than using huge amounts of energy and resources to replace them. However, it does not end there.

Although many energy assessment systems like BREEAM focus on new construction, there remain all manner of ways in which conversion and refurbishment projects can make a real contribution to reducing our carbon footprint. The Fuse team is familiar with and committed to the many small steps which combine to make a big difference. As well as introducing the more obvious energy and water conservation measures, there are numerous other commonsense ways to improve the sustainability of an existing building, including the specification of recyclable materials from accredited suppliers, re-using materials and furniture reclaimed from the building, specifying locally sourced materials and clever space-planning to reduce overall space requirements. We also look out for more unusual opportunities to reduce ongoing energy consumption. For instance, at the Hard Rock CafĂŠ in Florence, we were able to use ground water from an ancient well on the site instead of air cooled chiller, saving 80% on the cooling energy consumption. As a further example, we are currently undertaking a cost-benefit analysis for a major Client to examine the benefits of replacing all the light fittings in its properties with LED fittings.

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“A headquarters building that is as far from the conventional office as it is possible to imagine” Building Sustainable Design Magazine, September 2009 Issue 08

the principals David Matthews Director mob +44(0)7791760814 Throughout his career, David has concentrated on the hospitality, leisure and retail sectors: delivering award-winning health spas, hotels, fitness clubs, restaurants, nightclubs and large casino resort developments. He also has extensive experience of working on historic buildings and is presently working on listed building projects in the UK and further afield in Spain, Belgium, Holland and Austria.

Scott Ryalls

Simon Clarke

Director mob +44(0)7771666032

Director mob +44(0)7791751490

Director mob +44(0)7881508516

Mike studied architecture in Leeds and after spells of working in London, Vancouver and Leeds, he qualified as an architect in 1995. Mike has been responsible for the successful delivery of many refurbishment projects across all sectors during his career. These schemes include several listed building conversions that required his imaginative, sensitive and pragmatic approach to design.

Scott has worked across most market sectors but has developed a particular expertise in the field of corporate office interiors. In addition to the design and delivery of celebrated workplace schemes such as the multi-award winning headquarters for cult hair beauty brand ghd, Scott has also developed industry leading skills in the repositioning of existing buildings to express he occupier’s brand personality.

Simon has established himself within the industry as a very strong designer with excellent project running skills and he is a champion of sustainable design. He is currently leading a number of refurbishment projects in the North-West including an office repositioning and the re-use of a listed centre bank. Simon is also overseeing the conversion of a number of former office buildings to student residential use.

Mike Harris

Fuse Studios Limited: Calls Wharf, 2 The Calls, Leeds, LS2 7JU and Barton Arcade, Deansgate, Manchester, M3 2BH.

Fuse Sector Focus - Refurbishment  

A look at our work and experience in the refurbishment and re-positioning of existing buildings. The brochure can be downloaded from the do...

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