Exceptional architecture in our everyday lives

PSP_Exceptional Architecture

Lindsay Cruddas, our Architectural Director and RIBA accredited Specialist Conservation Architect, discusses the breadth of architecture we undertake here at Planning & Design Practice, and looks at the ways in which architecture can make exceptional impacts in our everyday lives.

Whilst we have had a design team offering architectural services within the offices of planning & Design Practice for a number of years, and RIBA Chartered architects working here, we obtained RIBA Chartered Practice Status earlier this year. The RIBA badge demonstrates the level and quality of the design service that we can provide.

We are currently working on a wide variety of projects at present including small scale residential developments of 10-15 houses with developers to one off bespoke dwellings for private clients, small scale industrial units through to expanding small commercial premises.

Personally, I am working on a new house in the grounds of a listed building, ensuring that its impact upon the heritage asset is minimised. I am also working on an extension to a C17th dwelling in the conservation area.

My passion for built heritage drives my career and I have extensive experience working in residential design. I have always been fond of old traditional stone barns, particularly those found in Staffordshire Moorlands constructed from Hollington stone. Using my experience in heritage and residential design I have being able to create new uses for them such as homes, office spaces and farm shops, helping to create 21st century uses for these heritage assets.

Maintaining and repurposing our built heritage does not mean that we need to be pastiche with our design, but we need to respect it and complement it. I believe the best extension is one that is honest and designed of a building of today. A conservation officer once told me, as a new part II architectural assistant, to use honest materials and that has stood true and is a philosophy I still use today.

One of my favourite architects is American architect Richard Meier. I was fortunate enough to be in Rome on a study trip in 2006 when one of his buildings was being constructed for the new setting for the Ara Pacis, a sacrificial altar dating back to 9 B.C. His design showed how a building of today’s time, can complement, and enhance the historical fabric and remain legible for generations to come.

This project could have been a warehouse accommodating the altar; however the client saw the benefit of hiring an architect and making the building a beautiful space to be in, with consideration paid to a person’s arrival and journey through the building; the building itself became a destination.

Architecture can really improve our quality of life. It starts with a site location and the client’s brief and requirements. This does not just mean the bespoke house for the individual client, but it can be a community land trust, a house builder, the local authority or a housing association.

Architecture can also create real value; a well designed home in a well-designed neighbourhood can make us feel good about our lives, it can affirm that we are providing for those who depend on us, and it can make us happy. Good design makes the best use of space and it makes the most of natural light, it links the inside environment with the outside. It functions; not just for the young and the able bodied but for everyone. It accommodates the needs of the young and the elderly with the challenges of climate change. Architecture must also use resources prudently to minimize CO² emissions but create a robust home that is resilient and increasingly a home that generate its own power.

In our ever-increasing digital age, Architecture also means strong appeal on Instagram and other social media platforms, with striking and unique images generating debate and acting as a showcase for new work and new practitioners. With an estimated one billion people using Instagram every month, content is king and architecture is accessible to the general public as never before, creating trends and influencing how we perceive and experience our built environment.

Lindsay Cruddas, Director & Specialist Conservation Architect, Planning & Design Practice Ltd.

We believe that good design is a crucial part of the planning process. Getting the design of a project right is critical to gaining a successful planning consent and avoiding unnecessary delay and costs.

Our team of RIBA Chartered Architects and Architectural Assistants have a wealth of experience working with homeowners, developers and the public sector.

For more information on our work and our team, or for a no obligation consultation to discuss how we could help you, please get in touch on 01332 347371 or email enquiries@planningdesign.co.uk.

Main Image: Courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners Architects, Roland Halbe, Arch Daily

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