Working with an architect is most often a collaborative project, combining their design expertise with your vision of what you’d like your extension or project to look like. Sometimes clients prefer an architect to be the creative mind behind the project, working within set parameters but otherwise given free reign to make something new. In either case, it all begins with a moment (or moments) or inspiration. But where should that inspiration come from?
Your project may require a steady hand and some traditional thinking. This is often the case for those building extensions to listed buildings or in otherwise protected areas. Your architect will need to draw inspiration from the existing building, as well as the properties in the region. It needn’t be an exact copy of what’s already standing, but it should be in keeping with the general aesthetic.
For older, so-called ‘classic’ buildings, there’s plenty of inspiration to be found across the country, thanks to the eclectic and varied building fashions the UK has experienced. If a home is the only Georgian house in its given neighbourhood, architects simply have to travel a little further afield to find a similar example.
If your home is of a more common style, like those built in the 1960s, it’s entirely possible that there are already many examples of extensions you might be able to draw inspiration from. You could use estate agency search engines to find properties similar to yours that already have extensions. This is also helpful when determining what kind of planning permission you’ll need to get, as well as convincing your neighbours.
Developing a new idea isn’t as simple as sketching on the back of a napkin. And because it is new, the idea might come from sources of inspiration outside of construction. It can be that the source of inspiration becomes almost as interesting as the building itself. The Sydney Opera House, for instance, is famous for being based on the sails of a ship – fitting, since it is located on the water. Architect Frank Lloyd Wright once said “study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you”. The world around us is brimming with potential ideas for your new project. It is a matter of recognising how your planned building will fit in with its surroundings. Other nature-inspired examples include Beijing’s National Stadium, modelled after a bird’s nest, or the Lotus Temple in New Delhi built to look like the flower.
It raises the question: are you intending to make something that’s a part of the world, or making a statement upon it?
When you sit down with an architect at a firm like ours, it starts the ball rolling on a creative process that ends with a building you can truly call your own. Inspiration can come from anywhere, but the most memorable buildings are those that combined imagination and utility into something special and new. If you are interested in learning more about innovative design and extending your home, get in touch with us today or take a look around our site.