Tag: architects

Advice Center

Everything to know about Area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB)

What is an area of outstanding natural beauty?

An AONB is an area of countryside in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, that has been designated for conservation due to its significant landscape value. It is also protected by the countryside and rights of way act 2000 (CROW Act).

How are AONBs made?

Natural England can make orders to designate areas of outstanding natural beauty or vary the boundaries of existing ones. Before natural England proposes an area to become an AONB, it must meet the natural beauty criterion. This could be multiple different factors, such as:

Landscape quality.

Scenic quality.

Relative wildness, such as distance from housing or having few roads.

Natural heritage features, such as distinct species and habitat.

Relative tranquillity, where all you can hear is natural sounds.

Cultural heritage.

History –

The idea that would eventually become the AONB designation was first put forward by John Dower in 1945. Dower was a civil servant and architect, who was a secretary of the standing committee on national parks. Dower suggested there was a need for the protection of certain naturally beautiful landscapes that were unsuitable as national parks. They were usually unsuitable because of their small size and lack of wildness.

Can you build or renovate an area of outstanding natural beauty?

Before developing your property, it is important for you to know what rights you have as a property owner in an AONB. Because of the area, your permitted development rights may be reduced, and planning permission grants may become more uncommon.

Permitted development is a development that you can carry out without needing to apply for full planning permission. You may still need approval under other legislations.

You might be able to extend a house in an AONB under permitted development if you follow the rules, are some examples:

It must not go more than 4m beyond the rear wall of the property if it’s a detached house or 3m for any other dwelling.

Must not be more than 4m high.

Contact us

Architecture & Building, Loft Conversion

The ultimate guide to loft conversion stairs

Loft conversion stairs are tricky to get right, and they can make or break your project. Here’s what you need to know about ensuring that the stairs comply with regulations.  

Where should the stairs be located?  

The most ideal situation would be that you place the new stairs above the existing stairs for the most space-efficient solution. By doing that, it helps the new stairs feel like they were part of the original home.  

Make sure you have enough head height for your stairs –  

Making sure that there is enough head height is probably the most important thing because it may be impossible to get permission to build. This is why it is important to get a good architect and make sure that problems on the drawings are spotted early. If you don’t realise this mistake it can lead to major problems and an angry homeowner.  

To follow building regulation rules, you must have a minimum 2m head height to get permission for this type of project. This is to follow the health and safety rules of the building regs. You need to make sure that there is no room for risk of falling and injury.  

What to do if you don’t have enough head height?  

Finding a new place to put a staircase can be very tricky. It may be necessary to locate the stairs to a more central location under the roof’s highest point. However, you may have issues with this because there might be a bedroom or a landing in the way.  

Experienced architects will know some type of solution to not having enough headroom. You can create extra headroom by:  

  • Extending the roof with a dormer window  
  • Installing a roof window that adds extra head room 
  • You can also change the roof shape although it is a process 

Regulations for a loft conversion staircase –  

To be able to create a loft conversion you must comply with building regulations. The regulations for a loft staircase are:  

  • The staircase must be in place to provide safe access to and from the loft.  
  • The minimum head room height is 1.9m  
  • Hand rails must be provided  
  • Must have a maximum steepness pitch of 42 degrees 
  • All risers must be equal  

How much will it cost to put stairs in the loft?  

The total average price for a loft staircase is around £2,000 – £9000. However, if you would like custom-built stairs, you’ll be looking at around £5,000 – £10,000.  

Contact us

Design and Inspiration

The In-Detail Description Of Urban Design And Why It’s Important

What is urban design? 

Firstly, urban design is the art of creating and shaping cities and towns. It involves the arrangement and design of buildings, public spaces, transport systems, services, and amenities. In addition, the urban design blends architecture, landscape architecture, and city planning together to make urban areas functional.  

Who are urban designers?  

For instance, urban designers are typically architects, town planners, or landscape architects. Their skill is to bring together ideas from developers, local communities, architects, planners, traffic engineers, and many others. Involving all of these skills and people will resolve problems and conflicts in order to create better places for everyone.  

What do they do?  

Urban planners decide how spaces will be used, considering the impact of development on an entire area. They evaluate long-term factors, such as demographics and economic trends, and make recommendations for the level of development in an area. They decide what types of buildings go where and what elements are needed to support growth.  

The difference between urban planning and urban design –  

Urban planning is the act of planning the structures of a city, including its policies, infrastructure, neighbourhoods, building codes, and regulations. In fact, the focus is more technical and political and is on the strategy, structure, and policy level.  

Whereas, urban design is the creation of city features based on plans. It is focused on design and user experience and operates at the features and systems level.  

Both careers involve the use of similar software programs, such as GIS and AutoCAD. Urban designers largely focus on the look and feel of the space, while urban planners are more focused on making sure everything meets local standards and regulations.  

The key job responsibilities for an urban designer include:  

  • Creating a detailed estimate of costs along with a timeline for completion which they then present to their client’s.  
  • Researching areas to create design pans that fit with existing spaces.  
  • Regularly visiting worksites to ensure the project is moving in the right direction and matches up with the blue prints.  
  • Meeting with locals and getting to know what they want and need to get the most out of their city.  

Good urban design focuses on public places where people like to be and will feel safe. Consequently, if the streets are empty, spaces feel isolated, uncared for, and potentially risky or dangerous.  

Finally, there is strong evidence that good design of public places offers many benefits, including:  

  • Improves physical and mental health  
  • Encourages physical activity 
  • Less car use  
  • Supporting the development of children by encouraging play 
  •  Improved sense of wellbeing and happiness  
  • Improved air and stormwater quality  

Contact us

Advice Center

Top 10 Greatest Architect Of All Time

1. Frank Gehry architect (28/02/1929) – 

Firstly Gehry was a Canadian-born American architect and designer. A number of his buildings have become world-renowned attractions. So, in 2010 vanity fair labelled him as “the most important architect of our age”. Furthermore, some of his most famous works include the Guggenheim Museum in Spain, the museum of pop culture in Seattle. The dancing house in Prague, the Walt Disney concert hall in Los Angeles, and many more amazing and popular buildings. And he has been assessed as someone who “produced buildings that are fun, sculpturally exciting and a good experience”.  

Frank Gehry and his design

2. Frank Lloyd Wright architect  (08/06/1867 – 09/04/1959) – 

Secondly, Wright was an American architect, designer, writer, and educator. In fact, he has designed more than 1000 structures over a period of 70 years. Wright believed in designing in harmony with humanity and the environment. As a result the philosophy he called organic architecture. This philosophy was exemplified in Fallingwater (1935). Which has been called “the best all-time work of American architecture”. Some of his most famous work includes the imperial hotel in Tokyo, Fallingwater in Pennsylvania, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Robie House in Chicago. In addition, he was known as one of the pioneers of modernist architecture.  

Frank Lloyd Wright

3.Leoh Ming Pei (26/04/ 1917 – 16/05/2019) – 

Thirdly, Pei was a Chinese-American architect who was raised in Shanghai and moved to America in 1935. After he graduated from university in Pennsylvania, then he enrolled in the Harvard Graduate school of design. His major recognition came with the Mesa Laboratory in Colorado and became chief architect for the John F Kennedy Library in Massachusetts. Then he also designed one of the most popular landmarks to this day, the Louvre in Paris. in Addition, Pei found the pyramid shape best suited for stable transparency. Therefore considered it “most compatible with the architecture of the Louvre, especially with the faceted planes of its roofs” 

Leoh Ming Pei and the louvre

4. Zaha Hadid (31/10/1950 – 31/03/2016) – 

Fourthly, Hadid was a British Iraqi architect, artist, and designer. However, she was the first woman to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize. And in 2010 and 2011 she won the UK’s most prestigious architectural award. Some of her main works include the London Aquatics Centre for the 2012 Olympics, the broad art museum, Rome’s MAXXI Museum and the Guangzhou Opera House.  As a result, she was made dame by Queen Elizabeth ll for services to architecture. 

10 Zaha Hadid Buildings You Need to Know if You're an Architecture Lover
Zhah Hadid

5. Philip Johnson (08/07/1906 – 25/01/2005) –  

Johnson was an American architect. Was best known for his works of modern and postmodern architecture. In 1978 he was awarded an American Institute of architect gold medal. And in 1979 he won the first Pritzker architecture prize. Some of his most well-known designs are his glasshouse in Connecticut and the postmodern 550 Madison Avenue in New York. Also, the one Detroit centre in New York. In 1993 Johnson came out as gay. And nonetheless, was known as “the best-known openly gay architect in America”. 

Philip Johnson, the Man Who Made Architecture Amoral | The New Yorker
Philip Johnson infront of his Glasshouse

6. Tom Wright (18/07/1957) –

Wright qualified as an architect the same year he was accepted as a member of the Royal Institute of British architects. Wright then became a design director in Dubai and wanted to create an icon for the city. Much like the Eiffel tower in Paris. Wright created the Burj Al Arab, and it has become one of the tallest hotels in the world.  

Tom wright with the Burj

7. Ludwig Meis Van Der Rohe (27/03/1886 – 17/08/1969) – 

Meis was a German-American architect. In addition, he was known as a pioneer of modernist architecture. Furthermore, after Nazism’s rise to power, with its opposition to modernism, Mies emigrated to the US. Meis strove toward architecture with minimal framework and freedom of unobstructed free-flowing open space. Some of his well-known work includes Crown Hall in Chicago, the Seagram building in New York, and the Barcelona pavilion.  

Mies van der Rohe with a model of Crown Hall (photographer: Arthur... |  Download Scientific Diagram
Ludwig Meis Van Der Rohe

8. Renzo Piano (14/09/1937) – 

Piano is an Italian architect. In fact, his notable buildings include the shard in London, the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. And the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre in Athens. Piano also won the Pritzker Architectural Prize in 1998. The jury citation compared Piano to Michelangelo and Da Vinci and credited him with “redefining modern and postmodern architecture”. 

Renzo Piano: Ecological Innovator - Organized Architectural Case studies!
Renzo Piano

9. Jean Nouvel (12/08/1945) –

Nouvel is a French architect. Therefore, he has obtained a number of prestigious awards over the course of his career. Including the Ago Khan award for architecture, the wolf prize in arts, and the Pritzker Prize. Some of his notable works include the Arab world Institute in France, the Torre Agbar in Spain, and the Doha Tower in Qatar. And also, the Louvre Abu Dhabi.  

Jean Nouvel

10. Moshe Safdie (14/07/1938) –

Finally, Safdie is an Israeli, Canadian and American architect. And, his projects include cultural, educational, and civic institutions. Also, Safdie has had projects in North and south America, the Middle East, and Asia. As a result, he is most identified with designing Marina Bay sands, Jewel Chani Airport. And as well as his debut project Habitat 67. He was awarded a Gold Medal from the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. Also the American Institute of Architects, and the Wolf Prize in Architecture. 

Moshe Safdie | Architectuul
Moshe Safdie

Contact us