What is a home in the UK? It is a place that give shelter, it is warm and dry in winter and cool in summer. It is a refuge, a place to return to, and a place where we can feel safe. It is also a place where we can feel happy, a place we can be proud of and a place that reflects our values and says something about who we are. It is also a place that functions well. It must have the capacity to accommodate our family, friends, we must be able to cook, eat meals, clean ourselves, and increasingly a place we can communicate from. The area around the home must be pleasant, where we have neighbours and where we have easy access to facilities and amenities.
Many of the houses and flats built today barely function. The homes are bland, they are often smaller than we would want; the attention to detail is poor, outside space is limited. The outside environment is often dominated by the car; limiting social intervention with our neighbours and limiting the opportunities for children to play outside.
Good architecture can really improve our quality of life. It starts with a site and a location and the wishes and requirements of the client. This does not just mean the bespoke house for the individual client but it can be the community land trust, the house builder, the local authority or the housing association.
Good architecture can 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. 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. Good 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, good 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.
At Planning & Design we really believe in good architecture. Our team comprises of RIBA Chartered Architects and Architectural Assistants who have a wealth of experience working with homeowners, developers and the public sector. These skilled professionals have vision but also the practical experience to deliver buildings.
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. We can help you to establish your brief and work through your design ideas, whilst bringing solutions to make your building a successful place to live or work in.
For more information, or to discuss a specific project please get in touch.
Jonathan Jenkin, Managing Director, Planning & Design Practice Ltd