Architect Design | Ashleigh Clarke Architects
Ashleigh Clarke Architects

Architect Design

Architect Design

Ambitious in our Architecture. Practical in our ApproachOur story as Cotswold architect designers

With over 10 years’ experience in the area we are trusted, recommended Cotswold architects and Ashleigh Clarke is a RIBA Chartered architectural practice. Many of our projects are inspired by the beautiful Cotswold landscape: its colours, contours and light. As many of our clients live in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), we have built up extensive experience in obtaining planning permissions for Listed Buildings and properties situated within both the AONB and conservation areas.

We have a thorough understanding of the planning application process and the specialist permissions required and we can guide you confidently through each stage.

We work with heritage consultants who specialise in planning and development within the historic environment.

We work on a variety of projects from extensions to both contemporary and traditional/historical buildings to barn conversions which combine the unique features of a traditional oak beamed building with contemporary floor to ceiling glazing and metal framework. The morning light falling on a carefully positioned wall, or a large, glazed picture window that reveals the changing seasons throughout the year is something to take quiet pleasure in, every single day.

One of the most important things to us is that each of our bespoke architect-designed homes is not simply fit-for-purpose but designed for living.

“It’s incredibly satisfying to design spaces that inspire people and bring calm.”

Ashleigh Clarke, Founder and Architect

What ambitious architecture design means to me

Words by: Ashleigh Clarke, Founder and Lead Architect

“Growing up, I was constantly drawing, painting or modelling. Taking inspiration from the world I saw around me, outside my window or in a book and recreating it in a different medium. I’d be watching Tom and Jerry and sketching Tom at the same time. Sketching or sculpting. Sometimes I’d sit outside with my paintbox and sketchpad. People would stop and comment, once or twice they even asked if they could buy a painting!

Looking back, I think I was always fascinated by how we turn the ideas in our head into 3-dimensional reality.  I was always intensely practical. I need to know how something will work in reality. Back when I was studying architecture, I would occasionally clash with my tutors because I couldn’t see the point of suggesting a hanging waterfall or a suspended glass walkway to a client that wasn’t going to be fully achievable, functional and fit-for-purpose, not just stunning to look at.

I’ve been creating architectural design for clients for nearly a decade now. I’ve always found that better solutions come from the challenges of the real world – the slope of the land, a height restriction, practical access or available light.

When I design, I continually test my idea against two key questions – why am I building this and how will it work? Otherwise, how can I honestly answer a client’s question when they say – can we remove that beam? Can that window be floor to ceiling?

That means that, when I show you the initial concept drawings and plans, I’m as inspired by them as I hope you are. Because I know we can make them happen and they will be the best.”

Should I use an Architect?

Are you building a new house of any size or extending or renovating an existing structure so as to alter its structure or exterior? Or planning a barn or garage conversion, a basement or loft conversion, an extension to your house or home office? Whether your project is based on traditional or contemporary architectural design, an architect ensures that you do so legally and safely. They may suggest ideas you haven’t previously considered, or spot potential obstacles or permissions required for your project that you are unaware of.

Architects are highly trained professionals who translate your ideas and aspirations into 3D. They can imagine your current space with different layouts or lighting and turn that visualisation into actual designs and plans that are structurally sound and beautiful to live in. A good architect can also translate the complexities of building regulations into plain English to explain the necessary safety compliances.

Architects also know how to run and manage building contracts on site. They are used to project-managing large scale construction, contracting surveyors and coordinating suppliers and builders. A weight off your mind.

Do I need Planning Permission?

Are you considering making changes to an existing traditional architectural structure? You’ll need Planning Permission if you want to build something new, make a major structural change such as an extension, a renovation, or change the use of your building – from residential to retail, or from barn to residential. Obtaining the correct Planning Permissions, and other permissions you may need if your building is Listed or in a Conservation Area, is part of our process and we are experts in this field, especially with Heritage properties.

We cannot guarantee that Planning Permission will always be granted, but we can reassure all our clients that we will provide the best reports, drawings, plans and guidance to accompany the permissions procedure’.

I’m planning to renovate my kitchen and bathroom. Do I need an architect or a designer?

For some smaller, interior renovation projects such as installing new cupboards in a kitchen or a fitted wardrobe in a bedroom, you can use a builder or carpenter whose vision and expertise you trust. Anyone can call themselves a designer, but only a fully qualified RIBA architect can call themselves an architect.

You are not legally obliged to use an architect, but it is a very good idea to use a trained architectural technician just in case your planned work will interfere with the structural integrity of the existing building. If your building is listed, you should always engage an architect. If you overlook a neighbouring property, or if you’re rethinking best use of space in a planned renovation or refurbishment, an architect will be worth the money.