It has been a busy start to 2014. Rachel joined full time at the beginning of January and has been building up our website to add some more of our previous projects, such as the Renishaw Foundation Unit that we worked on together at our previous practice, Evans Vettori Architects, and some more current projects, such as the new porch and extension at Megdale.
We have had a number of new enquiries over the last couple of months for a range of projects, but adding porches to homes seems to be a recurring theme. Maybe it is the recent wet and windy weather, maybe the desire to reduce heating bills, but the addition of a porch to a house can transform its appearance, provide a valuable storage space for coats, boots and buggies as well as acting as an air lock to prevent direct heat loss from the home.
A few clients have also contacted us to ask generally about the process of taking on a project and where to start. To help with this we have set up a page of useful links, which includes a variety of websites to answers some of the common queries on projects, such as what budget should you allow, how to find an architect and what to expect when you find one.
As a lot of our recent projects are with self-builders. To reflect this, we have recently joined ASBA – The Association of Self Build Architects who have a network of architects throughout the country who can link self-builders with their local self-build specialist architects. Later this month we will be attending the National Homebuilding and Renovating Show at the NEC in Birmingham with ASBA. The show runs from 27th – 30th March, you can find us and the other ASBA Architects at stand F198 – let us know if you would like to meet us there!
Alongside projects and business, Andy has been continuing to tutor second and third year students at Nottingham University and recently went with them to visit Copenhagen. For an architect Denmark, and particularly Copenhagen, is a wonderland. Assisted greatly by higher income and much higher tax levels the standard of buildings, urban spaces, public services and overall design is far ahead of us in the UK. The architecture of the everyday is handsome and well-presented without being expensive or pretentious. Whereas in the UK there seems to be a general acceptance that what has been done before is fine and we shouldn’t push forward with design innovation, Danish designers are constantly asking questions and testing ideas and ensuring that even the mundane is done well. The standard of design demanded by the local government for even their tram stops (electric fully automated driverless trams that were always on time!) demonstrate a level of care and consideration to the general public which means that they treat it with respect and are proud of it.
Highlights of the visit were Gruntvigs Kirche and the Centre of Cancer and Health. The Kirche is an example of rare 1920’s expressionist church architecture with stunning brick exterior and interior. The Centre of Cancer and Health is a recent building designed to sit comfortably in its residential surroundings, creating a home for seriously sick people, while giving them the comfort, privacy and protection they need.
It would be great to have our first international project in Denmark, as long as we can get a lot of site visits!