BUILD - Architecture Awards 2017

50 Build 2017 Architecture Awards stablished in 1984 with a rented office in Covent Garden, followed by offices in Chelsea, Thames Wharf and Hammersmith, Alice Poole Architects later moved to Bedford Park in 1995, which is a conservation area with 356 listed buildings. The firm is a small practice which enables founder Alice Poole to give a personal service to clients. The practice typically employs 4-6 staff with a secretary, architects and cad technicians and usually a Part II student. Alice herself has worked on listed and period buildings for over 30 years, and agrees that Listed Buildings and properties in Conservation Areas are rightly subject to stringent planning rules and restrictions. Although Alice strongly believes that the buildings should be preserved for future generations, she also feels that listed houses are dwellings, not museums, and consequently they need to be able to be adapted to suit the needs of modern families, which can usually be achieved without compromising the original architecture of the house. When Alice Poole Architects was founded, England was coming out of the depressed period of the late seventies and people were spending money on their homes again. As the price differential was not so great as it is now, additional space was acquired by buying a larger house. Consequently, any extensions built were small and for ancillary facilities such as cloakrooms and utility rooms. House layouts were replanned but kitchens tended still to be separate from living areas although dining rooms were often incorporated into them. Ensuite bathrooms were a new requirement and most had a bidet in, and swags and tails abounded in Living Rooms. In the interim years, there have been several recessions which Alice has weathered and she believes this is due to working mostly in the domestic market and carrying out interior design as well as architecture. There also seems to be trends with projects and there are years when clients want loft conversions, years when kitchen extensions are favourite and then, in boom times, whole house refurbishments. As there is now such a price differential in property, clients are now staying put and looking at ways to increase the size of their homes. First it was kitchen extensions, then loft conversions and now it is basements if they are permitted by the planners. Although light is brought into properties wherever possible, via roof lights, lantern lights and walls of sliding folding glass doors, clients also wish to make their houses as environmentally friendly as possible. Houses are insulated throughout with walls being drylined, roofs and floors being insulated, windows are double or triple glazed and even secondary glazed. Eco-friendly renewable energy sources are used on projects although this can be difficult in London and on Listed Buildings. New materials are constantly being developed to improve the thermal efficiency of the properties and these are investigated and incorporated into Alice Poole Architects projects where possible. Technology is another area that the firm has now moved into. In 1984 very few architectural practices used CAD (computer aided drawings) as it was prohibitively expensive (Alice had a quote of £28,000.00 for the software in the late 1980’s) and therefore all projects were drawn on the drawing board. Today, Alice’s practice now uses CAD and the transfer of information between all parties involved in a building project is very quick. However, Alice says she still prefers seeing a whole drawing on a drawing board rather than a small piece of a drawing on a screen. Ultimately, over the years, much has changed at the practice, but Alice’s design ethos has always remained the same, combining architecture and interior design to achieve a fully integrated scheme. She believes in the principles of the Arts and Crafts movement, and also of the Bauhaus where architecture and interior design were also combined to give a unified scheme with great attention to detail. In line with this design ethos, fixtures, fittings, furniture and finishes are often designed by Alice and produced by craftsmen and, in most projects, there are stained glass and fitted furniture that are purpose designed. The Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts periods have always been personal favourites of Alice with the designs of Charles Rennie Best Listed Building & Conservation Architecture Firm - South England Alice Poole Architects Alice Poole Architects offer a personal design service creating unique, imaginative and high quality environments for both domestic and commercial clients. We profile the firm to learn more. Company: Alice Poole Architects Contact: Alice Poole Contact Email: [email protected] Address: 6 Woodstock Road, Bedford Park, London, W4 1UE, UK Phone: 020 8742 8800 AR170053 E