Our London To Do List!

We love a trip to London and a couple of things that are on our ‘to do’ list for our very next visit are The Sky Garden at 20 Fenchurch Street in the city and The Barbican and Barbican Estate.

During a trip to the city, we find it hard not to be in awe of the design and architecture of both buildings and public space. We prefer long days of strolling through the streets to shopping and more usual sight seeing!

The Sky Garden has grabbed our attention, it’s a public space, over 3 floors and offers 360 degree city views from way up high! The planting is based on drought resistant, terraces which offers colour all year, it was designed by landscape architects Gillespies!

The Barbican Estate is a residential estate built in the brutalist style of architecture in the 1960’s and 80’s. It also has the Barbican Arts Centre, Museum of London, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and the Barbican Public Library all right at hand. Our nearest Brutalist form of architecture here in Norfolk is the University of East Anglia.

As soon as we have ticked these of the list, we’ll be posting some photos, so do come back to see them!

In the meantime, we are hard at work here in the Fakenham office. Some of our smaller projects currently involve drawing plans for an aviary at a listed property in Norfolk and a double cart-shed near Dereham. On the building regulations front, we are preparing drawings for clients near Diss whose planning application has been passed.

Do get in touch if you have any questions regarding a future self build, a renovation project or extension to your home here in North, West or South Norfolk, Broadland, Breckland or Norwich City. We work with homeowners and local building contractors and developers, are happy to chat and can send out an estimate of our fees.

Norfolk Home designed by us.

Design Matters.

During half term, my daughter and I took the train to London for a last minute overnight break. She studies A level photography and we both love exploring, on foot and love buildings and differing architectural designs.

In day to day life it’s easy to ‘miss’ or under appreciate the value of ‘good design’ or indeed to ‘ignore’ the impact of a total lack of well considered building design.

When experiencing a new environment, for us at least, the impact of all design and architecture is immediate, visually.

From the moment we disembarked at King’s Cross Station, it hits you in the face, the stunning vaulted, white steel, industrial station ceiling structure and lighting.                                                      

The historic Grade 1 Listed, brick St Pancras Chambers formerly The Midland Grand Hotel designed by the late architect Sir Gilbert Scott, and the tiled interior of the underground system, it’s all about design and architecture!

We walked for 2 days, snapping photos and taking in the differing architectural styles, the juxtaposition of so many of London’s older, historical buildings, built from stone and brick, dwarfed by and right next to huge, multi storey, glass and steel structures, and it works!

The National Planning Policy Framework from The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, updated in July 2018 states that:

‘Planning Policies and decisions should ensure that development:

  • Will function well and add to the overall quality of the area, not just for the short term but over the lifetime of the development;
  • Are visually attractive as a result of good architecture, layout and appropriate and effective landscaping;
  • Are sympathetic to local character and history, including the surrounding built environment and landscape setting, while not preventing or discouraging appropriate innovation or change (such as increased densities).
  • Establish or maintain a strong sense of place, using the arrangement of streets, spaces, building types and materials to create attractive, welcoming and distinctive places to live, work and visit;
  • Optimise the potential of the site to accommodate and sustain an appropriate amount and mix of development (including green and other public space) and support local facilities and transport networks;
  • Create places that are safe, inclusive and accessible and which promote health and well-being, with a high standard of amenity for existing and future users and where crime and disorder, and the fear of crime, do not undermine the quality of life or community cohesion and resilience…’

This is as important in Norfolk as anywhere else, it’s vital in hamlets, villages, towns and cities, to preserve our historic buildings and set up dwellings and settlements, schools, offices and environments for a sustainable future for generations to come.

Design matters, on extensions, conversions, new builds and in alterations to property. That’s the reason for the planning process.

Contact us, to discuss your plans and to chat about how we can help ease you through the procedure.