Archive for June 2012

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A bespoke kitchen nearing completion

29 June 2012

We went to site to check on the fitting of the bespoke modern kitchen for our apartment refurbishment in Kensington.

Our client intends to sell his refurbished 3 bedroom property for around £2.4 million, so you would think the kitchen would be a sizeable chunk of the budget.  Not so, excluding appliances the kitchen accounts for only 10% of the refurbishment cost.  We have provided a bespoke, fully integrated kitchen to compliment the bespoke bathrooms and wardrobes elsewhere.  It’s this attention to detail that will account for much of the increase in property value.  As ever, even in expensive postcodes, it’s about achieving the right balance between quality and economy.

RIBA Elections

12 June 2012

Our Charter body, the Royal Institute of British Architects holds elections for national seats.  I’ve decided to stand as I think that the institute can do a lot more to foster an understanding of the value (and benefit) of good design at grassroots level.  My statement is as follows:

Election Statement

As a sole practitioner I’m fortunate to have a growing business. Given the state of the economy, the RIBA should support architects in establishing new enterprises since it is new businesses that will help take us out of recession.  The RIBA has been thinking about the challenges we face but their report on The Future for Architects was preoccupied with the views of London architects. It hardly
helps practices in the regions when the RIBA describes the clients of these practices as having ‘little interest in design for its own sake’. And thus propagates the myth that good design is a bolt on and that architects aren’t uniquely qualified to be at the centre of, and add value to, a wide range of construction projects.

The RIBA should be focussing on the role of architects in shaping the course of the next economic cycle. Will we have the skills to lead and influence the developers and contracting companies that are increasingly commissioners of architects’ services? Will we develop networks to enable talented emerging practices to compete with ‘big architecture’?

As an ordinary member in sole practice I believe the RIBA should do more to support small practice and members in employment. There has been a whole generation of architects whose career progression has been interrupted by this recession and might not fully recover. By thinking small we can unleash talent and experience that might otherwise go to waste and bring about wider benefits for the economy and society.