We’re delighted to be featured in Good Homes magazine this month.
The March 2023 edition, features the beautiful home of one of our clients based in West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire. Nye and Emma bought a four-bedroom, 1920s detached house that needed extending and modernising for their growing young family.
We designed a rear extension to the property in a contemporary style that complemented the heritage of the building. We reconfigured the space to allow more natural light into the home and created a fluid airy flow throughout. Black stained timber was used on the exterior to create a striking contrast with the original brickwork.
As with all of our projects at Design Haus, we used virtual reality throughout the design process so that Nye and Emma could contribute to the design in real-time. They were able to move elements of the design around as they wished.
At Design Haus, we love seeing our architectural designs featured in prestigious home design magazines such as Good Homes. Thank you to our clients for sharing their beautiful home and to Beautiful Homes in the North for their fantastic work on this feature.
We are thrilled that for the second year running Design Haus Architecture has been awarded, 'Best Residential & Small Commercial Designer' at the LABC Building Excellence Awards for the East Midlands.
These awards celebrate outstanding projects and individual contributions in the construction industry, within each of the 12 regions in the UK. There are various categories to these awards, across residential, non-residential, public and community buildings.
"The awards focus on the very best in technical innovation and construction quality, helping to raise the level of construction quality across England and Wales."
LABC Building Excellence Awards
As a regional winner, we are delighted to have been also shortlisted as a finalist in the LABC National Grand Finals. This event will showcase the winners across all regions and then award a national winner on the night. The National Grand Finals will be held at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge, in January 2023
A swimming pool can be a wonderful addition to any home, adding relaxation and luxury while increasing the value of your property. But do you need planning permission to build a residential swimming pool?
Whether or not you need planning permission for your swimming pool will factor into the cost, design and lead time of the project, so it’s important to find this out before you get started on the process. This will help you to make sure that the pool of your dreams is viable, and highlight any issues that you may need to avoid.
In this article, we’ll take a look at a few different types of private swimming pools and the planning application requirements of each, giving you a better idea of what to expect for your own project.
Do indoor swimming pools need planning permission?
Planning permission for indoor pools is usually not necessary in the UK. However, as with all construction projects, there’s no black-and-white answer, and each case must be reviewed individually.
Here are some different types of indoor swimming pools and their planning permission requirements.
Pools in external buildings
Swimming pools housed in an external building, often known as a pool hall, are classed as an outbuilding. This is a Class E permitted development for householders and usually doesn’t require planning permission as long as the building adheres to certain restrictions.
Some of these building restrictions include:
The building must be a single storey
The building must not include verandas, balconies or raised platforms
The building must not cover more than half the area of land around your house
You can read the full guidance on the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government website.
Building an underground pool is a great way to expand and improve your home if you don’t have much available space. While some basement extension projects are classed as permitted developments, others are not. Your local authority will have the final say on planning permission for subterranean pools, so it’s best to check with them directly.
Pools within listed buildings
As with any major development within a listed building, any type of indoor pool in a listed building will require planning permission before the project can commence. This includes basement pools, which, although they may not be visible from outside, could still drastically change the design, structure and purpose of the building.
Do outdoor swimming pools need planning permission?
For the most part, properties in the UK don’t require planning permission for an outdoor swimming pool, as this is classed as a garden project and therefore a permitted development. An outdoor pool must be uncovered and not surrounded by heated air, which would otherwise classify them as an indoor pool.
Let’s look at a couple of different types of outside swimming pools and their planning permission requirements.
Pools on the site of a listed building
You will almost certainly need planning permission to build an outdoor pool on the site of a listed building. However, this doesn’t mean that you won’t be allowed to build one at all; you may simply have to change the design, size or location of the pool to meet your local authority’s requirements.
Pools within conservation areas
If your property lies within one of the following, there’s a good chance that you will require planning permission to build an outdoor swimming pool:
Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)
Green belt land
Natural swimming pools
Natural swimming pools are a great option for those looking to embrace the biodiversity of their garden and avoid the maintenance and chemicals associated with standard swimming pools. As with outdoor pools, planning permission is usually not required, unless your property lies within a conservation area. However, it may be easier to get permission for a natural swimming pool than a traditional pool in an AONB, as it will blend in better with the surroundings.
Need help getting planning permission for your swimming pool?
If you’re not sure whether your residential swimming pool project requires planning permission, take a look at the Planning Portal for the national online planning application process.
However, your best option is to partner with an experienced architect who understands the ins and outs of planning permission requirements, and is able to handle the application on your behalf. At Design Haus Architecture, we’ll support you throughout every step of the design and planning process, including working with your local authority to get your plans approved.
We are highly experienced in large residential projects and were recently nominated for Young Architect of the Year at the Building Design Architect of the Year Awards 2022. Take a look at our Newton House project as an example of one of our contemporary designs. We designed this new dwelling in rural Derbyshire to work around the natural path of the sun, with a bespoke swimming pool at the heart of the design.
Alongside luxury swimming pools, we can also assist with designing private spas and gyms, as well as any other bespoke architectural projects. If you’d like to discuss how Design Haus can support the design, planning permission and build of your new swimming pool, we’d love to hear from you. Please get in touch online, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 0115 678 8917.
We were delighted and honoured to win best 'Residential Project' in the East Midlands at the RICS Awards 2022 this week. These awards held by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors recognise the most inspirational initiatives and developments in land, real estate, construction and infrastructure.
We are thrilled that our 'Feel Good Project' won in the 'Residential Project' category for the East Midlands. The RICS judges described the project as one which,
" Embraces 21st century materials, design principles and sustainability. This significantly new home in the Nottingham countryside provides a first class family home for this and future generations."
We are now looking forward to competing in the RICS Awards 2022 Grand National Finals in October in London.
Priory House is a conversion of a bungalow into a two-storey stunning spacious family home in West Bridgford, a residential area in Nottinghamshire.
We were appointed to design a spacious home with five generous bedrooms and a large open-plan living space with easy access onto the gardens. This was alongside an office, a cinema room, reading spaces and entertaining areas.
Although the existing plot suited the clients’ requirements, the single story layout did not meet their family’s needs.
The bungalow occupied a commanding corner on one of the most prestigious roads in the area. Earlier applications to demolish the building and create multiple dwellings had been refused due to the prominent location and the style of the designs proposed.
We worked closely with the clients and the planning department to design a striking, contemporary family home which wouldn’t overwhelm adjacent structures. The new property sits harmoniously in the street, retaining a synergy with the adjacent arts-and-crafts style buildings.
The local planning authority were highly conscious of the key location of this corner plot, so any development had to be scaled appropriately. We anticipated initial resistance to a two-storey development, so we engaged with planners and liaised with neighbours at the earliest opportunity. This ensured that our proposals were accepted as being in proportion and in keeping with the site.
We had to carefully plan our structural strategy due to the additional loads being applied to the existing building. We were able to avoid the need for underpinning, using instead a timber-framed design on the upper floor. This was alongside using individual pad foundations and a steel structure. This also meant we avoided tonnes of concrete being poured into the ground, making this a more sustainable solution.
A New Identity
The strong design features and structure of the existing bungalow had to be carefully unpicked in order to successfully invest the property with its new identity.
The project had two key elevations to consider, each facing a different road. We worked with a neutral palette of charred black timber, white render and glass. This kept the main elevation simple while emphasising other elements to create character and focus.
The proportions of the first floor gables were designed to reference those of the surrounding buildings. The steel-framed glazing and monochrome colour scheme further complemented the existing property.
The internal spaces retain much of the bungalow’s original layout, with new zones carved into the original footprint. The upper floor is accessed by a central feature staircase, and we used the existing spine walls to create a central corridor giving access to each bedroom. We retained the original doorway and created a striking new entrance hall.
Within the open plan kitchen and living space we created discreet activity zones. We included a reading corner and a dedicated relaxing space in the mezzanine above the sitting area.
The result is a contemporary, striking yet harmonious home perfectly designed for a family with growing children.
Newton House is a contemporary new home with carefully designed outdoor living and entertaining spaces set in a stunning rural location in Derbyshire.
Our clients wanted a dwelling they could retreat to when visiting the UK. We were charged with creating a very large property with multiple guest accommodations that reflected a sense of the clients’ personalities while also respecting the peace of its bucolic location.
As friends and family would also be staying regularly at the property, five self-contained guest suites were required. In addition, our clients required a summer house which could be used for entertaining separately, as well as housing an annexe where another family group could stay.
Outdoor living was important to the client, so an outdoor kitchen, fire pits, hot tub and swimming pool, along with a gymnasium, completed the brief.
The local planning authority has strict parameters regarding the permissible styles of architecture in this environment, as well as the building’s height and visibility from key views in the wider landscape.
The extensive rural site housed an existing property which first had to be demolished to make way for the new house.
This project had few limitations other than the need to blend in with the countryside, which can be difficult when designing a property of this size and scale. Because of the unspoilt nature of the surrounding landscape and its concomitant planning restrictions, we took particular care with height considerations, ensuring that the roof and eaves did not obstruct the views of the horizon, and used local materials such as stone and slate.
What we did
This design was produced in response to the client's desire to make the most of the changing skies and far-reaching views of its rural Derbyshire location.
An exciting driver of this project was the orientation of the property. We designed the house to be South-facing so as to take advantage of the sun throughout the day, and the layout was governed by the positioning of the sun and each room's importance to the couple's daily processes and movements.
We arranged the internal spaces around the sun’s movement, creating a breakfast balcony which would be hit by the morning sun on the east side, and sleeping quarters incorporating a large roll top bath on the West side, to take advantage of the beautiful sunsets at the end of the day.
Our client was keen to create bespoke spaces, such as a dining room seating 40 people and a cinema room. The sleeping area also had specific requirements: an en-suite rainwater shower, extensive shoe and handbag storage, and separate access to the external spaces.
Our clients wanted the house to be a place of peace and sequestration. However, socialising and entertaining were also on the clients’ agenda, and guests would be staying for several weeks at a time. It was therefore important for users of the home to be able to move and live independently of each other, so we created food preparation and relaxation zones in each of the five guest suites.
The rear south-facing upper floor houses the client’s sleeping quarters but also provides significant space for food preparation, eating, bathing, and resting. Having the glazing set back ensures limited glare from the sun and creates spacious balconies for elevated views over the stunning surrounding landscape.
The lower floor provides accommodation reflecting the client's favourite pastimes. We created bespoke spaces dedicated to swimming, exercising, cooking and entertaining, positioning each area within the house to engage with the changing light and views around the property.
The first time the client saw the proposed building was through virtual reality technology. No drawings were produced as part of the initial presentation, which allowed the clients to visualise and explore their future home in absolute clarity.
Whilst the budget for the project was significant, we had to be mindful not to over-elaborate the functional zones of the building, aiming instead for efficiency in design. We were able to be more expressive in our design of areas such as the indoor pool with frameless corner glass, the grand entrance hall with twin stairs leading to the upper suites, and the stunning outdoor living spaces.
The intricacy of the design and the subtle yet striking elements of the build have a huge impact on the way the property works. Practicality and sustainability are always paramount, therefore the property features ground source heat pumps, solar panels and enhanced cavity wall sizes for added thermal insulation.
The result is a supremely comfortable and practical statement home that works with the changing light throughout the day and blends in with the natural beauty of its surroundings.
We are delighted that one of our architectural projects is featured in the award-winning publication ‘Grand Designs’ this month. Grand Designs magazine supports the Bafta winning programme broadcast on Channel 4, presented by Kevin McCloud.
Our clients, Emma and Nye, had a 1920s family home that they wanted to modernise and extend. Using virtual reality we were able to show them our ideas on expanding their home and collaborate in real time on how the new space would work for them as a family.
The build transformed their home and family life, and Emma and Nye were thrilled with the results, “We’re so incredibly happy with how this project has turned out, it’s probably better than we had ever imagined and it isn’t just about the extra space, it’s about how we use the space as a family. We all have our individual areas that are our go-to and we talk about it quite often - what it’s brought to our quality of life as a family, and it really felt like home from the moment that it was finished”.
We are pleased that Grand Designs magazine chose to showcase this project and thanks go to Karen Wilson and Katie Lee from Beautiful Homes in the North who wrote and photographed the project for the magazine.
If you would like to discuss your architectural project with us, please get in touch at email@example.com
If you’re planning a new-build architectural project or extension to an existing building within a conservation area, you will find that you are subject to certain restrictions.
Let’s take a look at conservation areas and their restrictions.
What is a conservation area?
A conservation area is one that has been deemed to be of significant historic or architectural importance, and is therefore subject to certain restrictions to protect the integrity of the area.
Around 10,000 conservation areas have been designated in England since the initiative was first put in place in 1967. They are usually designated by the local planning authority and aim to preserve the distinctive character of a city, town, village or country estate.
Conservation areas are outlined in Part II of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, and should protect areas of “special architectural or historic interest the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance”.
As with any large-scale building or extension project, homeowners must submit a planning application to the local authority. Along with the standard restrictions, the proposal will also be subject to additional scrutiny regarding its suitability for the protected area.
As well as governing the style or architecture of the buildings themselves, the protection offered by conservation areas also extends to the layout of streets and roads, and the impact on trees and views. This means that homeowners and architects will have to consider many more aspects than in a non-protected area.
Architectural restrictions in conservation areas
As the aim of a conservation area is to ensure that new developments preserve or enhance the individuality of the location, there are certain restrictions that must be adhered to.
Minor developments that might otherwise not require planning permission, such as an extension, dormer loft conversion or recladding of the building exterior, may not be permitted.
Even small changes such as the addition of a satellite dish or the colour of the front door could be controlled by the local authority in a conservation area. As the aim is to protect the unique character of an area, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to what is and isn’t allowed.
It’s a criminal offence to demolish a building without proper planning permission in a conservation area. You must get permission beforehand if your project requires removing some or all of the existing structure.
It’s not outside the realm of possibility for local councils to permit demolition in a conservation area, but they will usually try to keep the existing buildings as much as possible.
If you’re planning to cut down, lop or trim any trees in the area as part of your project, you must give the local council six weeks’ notice before undertaking any work.
During this time, the council’s planning department will take into account the impact of the trees on the local area, and whether they are an integral part of its character. Should any tree be deemed deserving of protection, the council can create a tree preservation order (TPO) to prevent cutting down or modification.
As Section 69 of the 1990 Planning Act specifies that developments must “preserve or enhance” the area, this doesn’t necessarily mean that contemporary designs are a no-no.
Where a more modern approach could be seen to enhance the area, you’ve got a good case for approval. However, areas with a strong architectural identity are much less likely to accept an application that is not in keeping with the existing buildings.
For the best chance of obtaining planning permission, it’s worth speaking to the local authority and using their input to inform your design decisions. You might even be able to combine both modern and traditional architectural elements to achieve the best of both worlds.
Work with an experienced architect
Working with an architect who is experienced in working to the restrictions of conservation areas is a great way to improve the chances of having your application approved.
James Brindley, Head Architect at Design Haus, has worked on many planning applications and architectural projects in conservation areas, giving you the confidence that each design decision will be made with the success of the application in mind.
To discuss a project in a conservation area, please get in touch and James will be happy to help.
If you’ve ever considered building your own house, you might wonder whether you can save some money by skipping the architect and doing as much of it as possible on your own.
We may be biased, but we truly believe that collaborating with an architect is the best way to turn your dream home into reality. Here’s why.
Realising your vision
Nobody knows your dream home better than you. Discussing your ideas and drawing up a shopping list of features is one of the first steps in collaborating with an architect to build a house. This gives us the perfect starting point for the project.
However, you can’t just build anything anywhere; having an architect on hand throughout the project is absolutely essential to make sure the home you create is safe, usable and permitted within local legislation. It’s our job to take your concepts and turn them into workable architectural designs that not only look great but are structurally sound.
Even if you know exactly what you’d like the final build to look like, you might not know how to get there.
By working with an architect, you can be sure that any designs adhere to industry standards and can be interpreted by the rest of the project team. We’ll even take care of all the complicated bits like applying for planning permission that can get pretty tedious when you’re not sure what you’re doing.
Having an architect on board also gives you access to a wide network of talented and dedicated people who can turn your dream home into a reality. From interior designers and suppliers of building materials to fully qualified electrical installers, We can bring the right people on board to get the job done right.
We always find that it’s crucial to the success of a project and the ongoing relationship to make sure the client is involved from the very beginning. As the person who will be living in the house once it’s complete, it’s only natural that you’d want to have a certain amount of control over the decisions.
Ultimately, it’s our job as Lead Architect to sign off on ideas and explain what is and isn’t feasible in terms of budget, planning permission and the structural integrity of a design. When we work together, everything is a joint decision, and we will consult with you at every step of the process to make sure we find the right balance.
A great relationship
We can’t say that building a house is all fun and games, but the process is much more enjoyable and straightforward when you actually enjoy working together.
We pride ourselves on creating relationships with our clients based on trust and a mutual love of the project at hand. When you’re excited about the design, we are excited, too. There’s something truly special about helping people to create their dream home.
It’s also good to have someone in your corner when things get tough, and they will. At some point, your home build will hit a snag, and having someone who knows the ropes and can guide you through the issues is something you’ll definitely be grateful for when the time comes! I’m here to find solutions and put out fires so you don’t have to worry.
Collaborate with Design Haus
Let’s work together to create your dream home. Whether you know exactly what you want or you’re just mulling over a few ideas, I’d love to chat about your dream home.
If you’re looking to make changes to your existing home, you may be wondering whether you need an architect.
While many people believe that architects are only necessary for large projects such as designing buildings from scratch, they’re extremely useful for smaller home improvements, too.
How do I know if I need an architect?
Strictly speaking, there’s no legal requirement to hire an architect for a project. However, an architect is able to create designs, optimise space, handle project admin, manage your budget and ensure that the final build meets all necessary regulations.
There are four main types of project that especially benefit from the input of an architect:
1. Ideas and big-picture thinking
If you’re not sure what you want, or you have ideas but don’t know how to implement them, working with an architect is invaluable.
Not only will an architect be able to give you some insight into how much your project should cost and how long it will take, they can provide practical, creative and unique solutions.
Tell your architect what you’re looking to achieve and they’ll give you options on how to do it. Whether that’s bringing more light into your home, creating more space or incorporating a particular material, an architect has the expertise to turn your vision into reality.
2. Extensions and conversions
As these are significant additions to your home, discussing an extension or conversion with an architect will help to ensure the best outcome.
Not only can an architect help you to design the new addition, they can advise where best to locate it to ensure the maximum amount of light or to provide the most natural flow from room to room.
In particular, if your addition offers challenges such as tight spaces, unusual shapes or changes in floor level, it’s best to bring an architect on board.
3. Changing layouts and removing walls
If you’re thinking about moving or removing interior walls to open up a space, or adding or moving doors and windows, you’ll want to work with an architect.
Changing the layout of your home isn’t as simple as knocking down walls and rebuilding them elsewhere; there are a lot of technical considerations to protect the structural integrity of the building.
As well as advising you which changes are safe and practical, an architect can help you to create a space that works. How doors and windows interact with a room, and how the space is utilised can make or break its function and enjoyability.
4. Obtaining planning permission
Architects know which projects require planning permission, and how to apply for it. This can be a complicated and time-consuming process to do by yourself, so handing it over to an expert will allow you to relax.
Your architect can fill out all the paperwork and liaise with the council on your behalf, handling any necessary changes quickly and efficiently. This will help you to complete your build project on time and minimise the chance of rejection.
when to hire an architect
Here are some common household remodelling projects that would benefit from the input of an architect: