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/2023 winter newsletter

/team_we welcome a new team member

Is it too late to wish you all a happy and healthy 2023? We are well and truly back in the swing of things and have lots of new, old and exciting news to share with you all. First up, towards the end of last year, we welcomed another new member to the team. Pete Dangerfield joins us with a wealth of knowledge, detail and general unwavering optimism for the most complex of projects and as soon as we have dug him out from under a mountain of technical drawings we will gather a few words from him for our next newsletter instalment.

The growth of the business has also meant that we have outgrown our most humble of offices and it was time for us to say goodbye to the /Holly tin we are now located at the wonderfully creative and inspiring Potager garden. We look forward to hosting many of you around our table for meetings in the near future.


/projects_in the spotlight

We start the year by pointing our spotlight to a 'hidden-rural' project based on the Roseland. The vision for this new dwelling is inspired by the agricultural buildings which form its setting and are designed to ensure there are uninterrupted views of the rugged coastline inside it. This project has already evolved in many ways and whilst we are still working through the final design iterations, you can find us stomping across the coast path on the Roseland as we delve deeper into how this building can settle into its new surroundings.

This project has followed the guidance from the Architects' declare handbook which sets out a methodology for reviewing, adapting, exploring and analysing projects to make sure they achieve beyond sustainable design and onto regenerative design. This lead us to undertake a demolition audit to see if the replacement was right - reuse to reduce. This has given both us, the client and the future contractor a breakdown of items to reduce, reuse, recycle and recover where possible. It also set out metrics for how we kick off our life cycle calculations when looking at the replacement dwelling. We are always striving to 'do better' with intelligent design, sustainable practices, and environmentally beneficial products and this project is pushing us and our ethos to strive for 'better'.


/scope_studio gather in the community

Working in the community is just as important to us as working on the community and we have been heavily involved for the last few months in working alongside the local Parish Council of Constantine. As part of this, we have designed and presented a way of re-purposing the former local village hall. Our hope is for the asset to continue offering a multi-use space for our rural community for many years to come and future-proof our communities resilience in the face of a climate emergency. We were also kindly invited to attend the local community day and with over 150 people in attendance it was an opportunity for us to help people understand how they can make their homes more energy efficient. From simple solutions such as additional insulation to more information on more intensive retrofits. As part of this presentation, we were delighted to share the case study of our team member Pete's PassivHause retrofit.

It was such a fantastic way to open up the conversation around energy use, and sustainable practices and products. We can't help but wonder if more people would benefit from a little ‘Ask the Architect’ pop-up in your local community. please do get in touch, we would love to help.


/sustain_a deep retrofit story on the north coast

Our project on the North coast is well underway and consists of a deep retrofit & renovation. Dan has been spearheading the project along with Samuel Winn Design & Build and Martin Perry Associates. The cement render has been painstakingly hacked off with a new lime render replacing it. Rotten floors have been dug out and a new insulated slab poured in its place. The small rooms have been opened up and connected to create more space and light and the exposed steel structure is certainly taking centre stage. Internal cork insulation has been sprayed on, triple glazed windows replacing leaky UPVC and timber along with inset PV on the roof, MVHR and air source installed.

Dan has specialised training under the AECB retrofit programme giving him more than just a book read knowledge on this subject. He has certainly been put to practice with what has turned out to be a very complicated retrofit; three different wall types, two different wall types, party wall issues, build-over agreements, highly crafted finish aspirations and a humble budget. The existing building has not made it easy, but it feels like we are now on the home straight.


/create_why model making is for you

We all know the benefits of digital design, 3D realities, renders, and montages but as a studio that prides itself on creativity, we find both ourselves and our clients glean a lot from physical models. As such, this year we will be putting more time aside to just /create. The process is not only therapeutic but also gives us an idea of how a home sits in its current and proposed environment, how the light will move around, the unique spaces inside and outside feel and how it will be viewed by the many that will pass it for years to come. Model-making sparks imagination which opens up a realm of collaborative creativity which some other mediums we use fall short. It’s a fantastic design tool for our clients to get a hands-on approach and they can quickly see the before and after of the proposal.


/close_the lone surfer

‘The lone surfer.

One finds many parallels between being a sustainable architect and paddling out into the sea where mountains of water move. For one, you have to have a certain drive and confidence that what you believe in will happen. Secondly, although there might be some falls, some setbacks, and some cold starts, the energising feeling when all the hard work pays off is second to none.

As a practice, one could see this surfer as a metaphor for a sustainability agenda. You don’t need to be riding every big wave, but if you are still getting in, suiting up and training for the day you make it out back, that is good enough.

A goal and or vision for the future.'

Julian J Mills.

Founding Director


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