Contemporary Architectural Design Project in Portsmouth – The Brief:
In November 2021, we began working on a contemporary architectural design project in Portsmouth. This project was for a residential client who purchased an existing property. The property comprised a large kitchen and family room, lounge, utility, WC and bedroom downstairs. There were three bedrooms, one ensuite and one bathroom on the upper floor. While the existing property was spacious and newly refurbished, the client wanted a better internal layout to maximise the space. The client was also keen to improve the property’s overall look as they were unhappy with the aesthetics of the existing chalet-style house.
We took the project on board, suggesting a total redesign of the property within the existing footprint, achieving a more contemporary look and providing the additional space the client required.
Our design team explored multiple options to address the brief and understand the client’s design preferences. It became clear as a very early stage of the project that the direction of the proposal would be a black and white contemporary design, with an increased footprint on the first floor to accommodate an extra bedroom and ensuite, as well as providing a spacious main bedroom with a walk-in wardrobe.
We took a 360-degree approach to this contemporary architectural design project in Portsmouth, taking the interior design and architectural services on board.
This way, we could design every detail of the house to meet the client’s specifications and add all the wow factor that a home of such specification would need.
One example of that wow factor was including a ‘secret room’ off the entrance lobby, where the grownups could have a quiet space to read and watch tv in a child-free zone. We achieved the secrecy of the room by incorporating a built-in bookcase on the doors leading to the room. By adding the bookcases, the doors became almost invisible to any visitor.
The clients also wanted a grand entrance with a feature staircase. We were able to redesign the entrance lobby to increase the size of the stairs. We placed a significant glazing feature opposite the staircase. The steps were cantilevered timber treads with built-in LED strip lighting to highlight the gap between each step. The cherry on the cake was a prominent contemporary chandelier trickling down the open void stairwell from a lantern feature on the roof, lighting up large bespoke pieces of art decorating the white interiors.
The design was based on natural and artificial light elements on a plain background with splashes of colour, creating a sense of space and attention to detail.
We were able to nail the design at an early stage with ideas and products that flared up the interest and excitement of the client, who was looking forward to receiving planning permission for all our ideas.
The Finer Details:
Any architectural project must sit comfortably within its space. So, creating a sense of harmony and flow between the inside and outside is essential.
In this case, the client had a patio area off the living area, with a swimming pool and outbuildings. So, inside, we used similar floor finishes to the patio area to create the illusion of continuity between outdoor and indoor spaces. We also set about submitting new plans for the outbuildings inspired by the main house’s unique design.
Sustainability is also an essential consideration in any project. But it takes a highly qualified team to navigate the complexities of balancing the initial costs of materials and components against running and lifetime costs and against the environmental costs and benefits.
We designed this contemporary architectural design project in Portsmouth to include solar panels and an air source heat pump. We also incorporated some materials with high recycled content, such as wall panelling and flooring.
Like all our projects, we had to carefully balance this contemporary
architectural design project in Portsmouth, taking budget, functionality and
aesthetics into consideration.
It was essential to create suitable size rooms to maximise the property’s value if the client ever sold. Similarly, we recommended that the top floor have sufficient bathrooms and bedrooms to maximise their investment returns in the future.
Budget is usually a critical part of any design. And all the items we specified were designed to create a wow factor while controlling costs. For example, we suggested that an electrician build the chandelier above the staircase with individual pendant lights instead of purchasing an off-the-shelf chandelier of a similar size. This step alone saved around £20,000.
Having completed extensive research and multiple discussions with various manufacturers, we were able to issue the client with a budget figure for all the interior works.
We will utilise a similar process to specify build materials, and the project will require input from a professional Quantity Surveyor to price up all items we specify.
Challenges, Progression and Next Steps:
Understanding our client’s tastes and desired aesthetics is part of our role. We must then contribute to a client’s vision with ideas and solutions within their budget. Our team has decades of experience to draw upon, and because we work collaboratively, we usually navigate this situation easily. This project was no exception, and the client was very receptive to all the inspiration we put forward at the design stage. Therefore, the collaboration in finalising the design was a smooth process.
The only real challenge we encountered on this project was the response speed of the Planning Office. However, after eight months of countless calls and emails, the planning permission came through!
The client has currently paused the project as they have just welcomed a new baby into their lives. We look forward to resuming the design work shortly.
If you are looking for help with a contemporary architectural design project in Portsmouth or beyond, we can help. Discover more about the sectors we work within HERE.