After an initial assessment to understand what is and isn’t possible on your project, we usually move on to the design stage where creative design meets the requirements of planning conditions and restrictions. Throughout this process, we will continuously check back to your design brief, and assess, adapt and refine it into a feasible project.
As an architecture practice with unmatched success rates, we use a proven planning permission preparation system that incorporates safeguards for many of the pitfalls and failings of typical planning application submissions. Our rigorously tested 6-step proven planning system allows us to specialise in crafting creative planning application strategies for residential developments with sensitive planning conditions and restrictions.
Even if your site is in a significantly constrained urban setting, a conservation area, a listed building or a Green Belt, we will help you get your planning permission approved. Over the years, we have secured planning permission for unprecedented and quite exceptional projects, and seen amazing results in the projects of dozens of national house builders, seasoned property developers, first-time investors and homeowners.
Depending on the complexity of your project, we may recommend erring on the side of caution and arranging a comprehensive feasibility assessment or pre-application prior to submitting your planning application.
When your planning application has been approved, we will move onto the technical design stage where your vision will be transformed into something that's ready to build. We will help you design simple, feasible and cost-effective structural solutions, with highly accurate building regulations drawings, structural calculations and specifications for your Building Regulations application.
In this step, we will also put all of the pieces together from your full set of tender and construction drawings, your full specifications detailing all materials, finishes, fixtures and fittings through to your kitchen design and your bathroom design. At the end of this process, we will invite builders to tender.
We will send a 3D computer model of your project for you to explore on your phone, tablet or computer that will give you a vivid idea of how the space will look and feel, so that you can be sure that’s what’s been designed is exactly what you want. If you want to go from frustrated, confused and uncertain to satisfied, confident and clear, then our service is for you.
Please note: Regardless of whether we were your architects for Stage 1, we are happy to guide your project through Stages 2 and/or 3. Do get in touch to find out more.
Once we have the tender quotes from builders, we will move onto contract administration. We will assess all of the builders, double-checking they have the right skills, that their previous work is excellent, that their health and safety record is spotless, their insurance is up-to-date and that they are the right fit for your project. We then shortlist two or three. We will then invite the builders and you to our office to go over their quotes together in an interview. From here, we will select one builder to award the contract.
During the construction, we will carry out periodic site visits and continuously monitor and evaluate your construction to make sure that the building works meet your needs and aspirations. Think how reassuring it will be to know that your architect is guaranteeing effective management and health and safety coordination, solving building work challenges and approving milestone payments for you.
Construction work can feel chaotic and uncertain, but we are here to change that and give you the remarkable project you want and deserve. Based on years of practical experience with builders, the proven steps we've set up and the hands-on construction inspection approach we've developed, we will help you avoid any possible issues that may arise onsite. That way, you can build with a minimum of stress, complete your project on time and avoid budget blowouts.
This will detail pros and cons, development potential and specific recommendations for your project and will help you make an informed decision and save time, money and effort.
Most of our clients use our comprehensive feasibility services prior to purchasing a property or land. Whether you are the landlord or the prospective owner, we always begin with a thorough site appraisal to evaluate all aspects of the project site in terms of planning restrictions, development opportunities and design criteria.
By doing this, we will make the most of the opportunities that your site presents, and maximise potential with sustainability and longevity while minimising your risks.
If your project is contentious, seeking pre-application advice will help speed up the statutory decision-making process for your case and increase your chances of success.
Through using our broad skillset, rich experience and 6-step proven planning system, we will work cooperatively with your planning officers to justify your proposal in a structured way and negotiate a positive outcome. We will also find the chance to make amendments and improvements to your proposal prior to submitting your formal planning application.
By doing this, your officers will be more supportive of your proposal than they might otherwise have been.
Is there a difference between “architect design services” and “architectural design services”? Well, both are perfectly accurate descriptions of the services that we provide – we are architects and the work we do is architectural.
But beware: “architectural design services” is sometimes a description used by draughtspeople who are not qualified architects but are offering to do architectural drawings for you. Under English law, anyone can perform architectural design services, but you need to be fully qualified – which usually takes seven years – to call yourself an architect. Which is why you should check your architect is listed at arb.org.uk – if not, the person you are working with may not be fully qualified, regulated and insured.Our architect services go from feasibility studies to contract administration – from the start to the finish of a project. Of course, not all clients hire us to look after their projects from those first discussions before there is even a rough sketch to completion of the finished structure. Sometimes we only work on a project as far as planning permission – and at other times, we come on board after planning permission has been granted.
That’s all covered by the training and expertise of an experienced architect: making sure that a construction contractor is building what was designed is every bit as much a part of an architect’s skills as coming up with an initial concept or doing technical drawings. We enjoy being part of a successful project, no matter whether our contribution is at the beginning, middle or end or all the way through.
Something else you are probably wondering is: what kind of projects do we provide architectural services for? Our work is mostly for residential architect services but we also take up projects for offices, clinics, shops, recreation/leisure premises and places of worship. In residential architectural design terms, we handle everything from renovations and extensions to new-build houses and larger developments.
We take a flexible and open-minded approach to every design venture we undertake. We always begin in the same way: we listen to our clients, we want to hear what you have to say, we want to understand what you want to achieve. All of our architect services are individually tailored and responsive; we work in collaboration with our clients and do not make any decisions without unanimous agreement.
In order to accomplish your vision, our designs are also site-targeted, and budget specified. We extensively analyse and evaluate each context so that we can utilise it to the best of our ability within the scope of the budget. Once we have a detailed brief that takes into account the client’s needs, the site’s environment and the budgetary requirements, we will begin feasibility studies. We will present you with a range of possible solutions, play around with different ideas, think laterally, and let the design emerge naturally.
We endeavour to design intelligently and responsively, and answer to unique problems with ideas that are functional and aesthetic, socially oriented, and give a robust sense of place. When the design is finalised we use the latest design technology, photorealistic visuals and 3D models to give an accurate presentation of the proposal. By making meticulous visualisations across a number of different platforms, we can begin to bring your project to life and make any necessary alterations or revisions.
As a hands-on and dedicated practice, Urbanist Architecture can guide you through every step of the way should you so wish. This means that we will draw up detailed construction drawings, plans and elevations, and other technical drawings so that your contractors will know exactly what to do. In addition to this, we will make sure that all your paperwork is handled with care and efficiency so that your build can progress as smoothly as possible. We will conduct building surveys, liaise with planning officers and prepare planning applications, and compile the right documents for building regulation approval.
That’s the brief tour of architect design services: please get in touch if you would like us to make your dream of a new or better home, or a profitable development, come true.
Urbanist Architecture is a London-based RIBA chartered architecture and planning practice with offices in Greenwich and Belgravia. We are on a mission to unlock the hidden potential of your site and deliver you a successful transformational change.