Please phone or email us to discuss your future plans and to arrange for a free, no obligation meeting. Alternatively fill in the adjacent information request form and we will contact you within two working days.
Shortlisted for RICS Awards 2017
32 Chaddesley Glen, Poole
Fantastic news, Nautilus & Moonfleet, the two contemporary properties at Chaddesley Glen, Poole have been shortlisted for the RICS Awards 2017 South West in the residential category. A jury will be visiting the houses later this month with a decision being announced in May.
Cob Maintenance Day
Continued Professional Development
Yesterday Western Design Architects ventured out to the Dorset Centre for Rural Skills to learn about Cob Maintenance. The day started off with a talk about cob, its history and how it is used and repaired. After a spot of lunch the learning continued outside with practical activities allowing us to get involved in making cob and forming cob bricks and blocks from it. The day finished with a talk on lime mortar and a demonstration on how to make lime render. Big thank you to DCRS for a very enjoyable and informative day. We have all come away having learnt something new about cob, even those of us who thought we knew it all.
Old Coach House, Hampshire
Approval for 8 New Flats
Planning approval has just be granted from New Forest District Council for a block of 8 new flats in Milford On Sea, Hampshire.
The proposal comprises of a modern vernacular development that maximises the benefits of the site and views. The scale, form and material selection help settle the proposal in its location whilst maintaining a clean, contemporary feel. The apartments are ideal for open plan modern living. Ground floor apartments benefit from private gardens, whilst the remaining apartments have access to communal gardens.
House in AONB Approved
Planning permission was granted by the Planning Inspectorate for a new two storey traditional house within the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Despite being sited within an area of proposed Local Green Space within the emerging Neighbourhood Plan, the Inspector concluded that the proposed dwelling would maintain the spacious appearance of the area within the tree lined boundaries and would have an acceptable effect on the character and appearance of the area. The approval also confirmed there would be no conflict with the local strategy of protecting local distinctiveness.
Sandley Lodge Complete!
Today saw the opening and official completion of Sandley Lodge, Gillingham. A few of the team who worked on the design and conservation of this Grade II Listed building went along for a tour of the finished product. We particularly like the handmade, clay roof tiles which were made just down the road in Salisbury!
A beautifully appointed and detailed build that was snapped up and the new owners who are now looking forward to making it their own.
HRH the Princess Royal
Holton Lee Spinal Injury Centre Official Opening
HRH The Princess Royal formally opened the new spinal injury centre at Holton Lee, by Western Design Architects. Set in 350 acres of SSSI, this new facility will provide specialist rehabilitation services in a home from home environment. Photograph courtesy of Livability.
Quarry Cottage, Bridport
The clients of Quarry Cottage held an event for the completion of their new home earlier this week and invited us along to celebrate.
This new dwelling is single storey above ground with an extensive sunken terrace and basement area and has been sympathetically designed to be 'in keeping' with its setting.
Materials have been carefully considered throughout the design of this home to allow it to be striking in design yet respectful of its rural surroundings. The strong, linear design is enhanced through the Purbeck stone walls, Cedral cladding which both provide an appropriate vernacular material to the area. The house also incorporates rainwater harvesting, solar panels and whole house mechanical ventilation and heat recovering to form a truly sustainable home.
Last night we attended the annual opening of the Music Architecture Poole (MAP) exhibition held at The Lighthouse, Poole.
MAP is an exhibition arranged by third year architecture students at the Arts University Bournemouth (AUB) and showcases a mixture of their work throughout their whole degree. Music and architecture is combined in this exhibition from the student's second year project, a music school, designed within the site adjacent to The Lighthouse. This exhibition also allows the students to collaborate with a professional body and gain experience working on a live project for a real client.
The students work was presented in both 2D and 3D displays and was overall a well curated and enjoyable evening.
New Architecture Appointment
Four New Houses in Lyme Regis, Dorset
WDA have been appointed to design four new detached houses on an elevated, sloping site in the coastal town of Lyme Regis, Dorset. Located on the unique Jurassic Coast, the site is within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty AONB and on the edge of the Lyme Regis Conservation Area. The project will involve a plot severance from one house to four for a local property developer so the proposals will require a good knowledge of local planning policies and cost-effective design ideas.
The designs will reflect the traditional character to the street frontage and incorporate contemporary designs to the rear. The site layout will maximise distant sea views towards the West Dorset coastline but sensitively consider the amenity of neighbouring properties and the important coastal landscape.
We now look forward to working closely with our client and West Dorset District Council to produce an exciting design proposal that is economical to build whilst providing an innovative and energyefficient design for the future homeowners.”
On Site at The Square, Basingstoke
Approved last summer, the refurbishment works to Arena Business Centre, Basingstoke are nearing completion. A new iconic entrance is taking shape with a new insulated white rendered façade. All windows have been replaced with new grey powder coated aluminium glazing and a number of project box windows formed at ground floor. All works are scheduled for completion by March 2017.
New Promotion for Kelly
Huge congratulations to Kelly who has just become an Associate here at Western Design Architects. Kelly is a proactive and driven member of the team and the position is well deserved.
Kelly will join the other Associates to help grow the practice, raise the profile of WDA, and help develop BIM, all this alongside her day to day role as an Architect.
Christmas Jumper Day
Today we wore our festive Christmas jumpers to raise some money for charity in support of Save the Children UK.
MSc Conservation of Historic Buildings
Two years of hard work has paid off for Associate Nickie Yeates who has recently graduated with a Masters Degree in the Conservation of Historic Buildings from Bath University. Together with Phil, Nickie is our 'go to' person to discuss works to Listed Buildings. Well done Nickie, Well deserved.
Can I convert my barns under ClassQ?
Architects Jess Wells explains...
Mr Clifford from Wimborne asks…
"Can I convert my redundant barn into houses?"
Jessamy Wells resident Architect explains...
Generally new houses are not granted permission in open countryside. Occasionally redundant buildings can be converted into…
Jess' Podcast Debut
Successful Women with Gill Donnell MBE
Jess Wells takes on interviewer Gill Donnell MBE for a one off podcast on women in Architecture. Jess speaks about her career to date, her experiences in entering a traditionally male dominated profession and advice to those who may be thinking in taking the plunge themselves.
WDA are proud to announce that one of the pair of houses at 32 Chaddesley Glen, Poole has been Highly Commended in the UK Property Awards. This house now known as Nautilus was recognised in the the 'Architecture Single Residence' category, South West Region.
A few team members visited the newly completed Wood Close in the Purbecks, Dorset, last week to undertake the final snagging. Snagging is the process of inspection necessary to compile a list of minor defects or omissions in building works for the contractor to rectify.
The clients will be moving in within the next two weeks, and we will look forward to seeing some internal shots when the new contemporary home is furnished.
Saturday 1st October saw the joining of the lovely Jessamy to her helicopter flying, Navy Lieutenant husband Antony... The weather held out with a rainbow even making a guest appearence.
We wish Mr & Mrs Wells a long and happy lifetime together. May they find that pot of gold!
On Site at The Lake House
This exciting project on the coast of Wales is progressing well. This modern holiday let is largely completed with both the cedar cladding and slate roof having been installed. The house has fantastic lake, sea and beach views through a large double height gable window.
RIBA Summer BBQ
Architectural Association's Woodland Site
Last night the RIBA held their Dorset Late Summer Social at Hooke Park. Students and practices were able to explore the various buildings around the Arrchitectural Association's (AA) woodland site along with a talk from the Director Martin Self who we would like to thank for showing us around.
Thank you also to Marshalls Plc for sponsoring the event and to Hungry Mule Catering Catering for providing the amazing food!
How can I develop my plot of land?
Rosie Baron explains...
Mrs Smith from Highcliffe asks…
“I’ve recently purchased a house on a large plot of land, what are my options for development?”
Architect Rosemary Baron from Dorset’s Western Design…
Commercial Planning Approval
The Square, Basingstoke
Planning permission was granted by Basingstoke & Deane District Council for a major facelift to 'The Square' in Basingstoke. The permission includes
New insulated white rendered façade at ground level incorporating new glazed feature entrance.
Replacement dark grey powder coated aluminum glazing to comply with updated energy efficiency standards.
Existing red brick stair tower to be covered with insulated grey render.
Existing red brick parking structure to be painted white, and clad with perforated metal, white mesh façade.
Approved at Committee
Woodland Burial Ground
Planning permission was granted by Purbeck District Council planning committee this week for the proposed Woodland Burial Chapel at Randall’s Hill, which will now be equipped with two cremators.
It has been a lengthy planning process, partly due to the location of the site, which is in Green Belt to the north of Upton, Poole with fantastic, tranquil views across to Swanage & the Purbecks.
Glossbrook Builders have already made good progress on site on the approved building and we look forward to seeing this one of a kind design come together. Watch this space for pictures as the build progresses.
Our Hovercraft Champion
Well Done Hannah!
Hannah took to the land and lake this bank holiday weekend as she took part in the Hovercraft National Championships in Southampton.
Emblazoned with the WDA logo, she did brilliantly well, coming 5th overall out of 19 teams, and making the podium with second place for one of her races.
We're in the News
Local Blandford Paper, Forum Focus, has written a great article on the success of Western Design Architects as we celebrate our 30th Year. Journalist Nicci came along to our party to meet the team and gather us for the obligitory group shot.
On Site at Quarry Cottage
Approved early last year, this project near Bridport is really starting to take shape. The application was to split the existing domestic curtilage and on the site of two large poultry shed, creating a new contemporary dwelling.
The proposal was traditional in form, with a pitched…
Today our students made the most of the sunshine with a visit to the Stubhampton Manor Farm Site. The project involves the re-modelling of an existing bungalow and a new detached home. Both builds are running alongside each other and the progress is impressive.
Denis is joining us for a four week work experience placement from France. He is currently studying at Strasbourg School of Architecture and we are putting him to good use in the office (and as crew for the weekly sail), making the most of his artistic flare and skills in Photoshop.
We are looking forward to seeing what new skills he will bring to the table and what we can learn from him!
Enjoy the Sunshine
Today was the last day for our long serving Secretary Anita Edwards. She has been with us for the past 6 years, having previously worked with us back in the ‘Barnwheel’ days, working closely with Phil and the team.
After a sunny BBQ and trip to the pub, we say goodbye and good luck to Anita (enjoy the sunshine!) and a big WDA welcome to Donna who will be taking her place in the office.
Wood Close, Langton Matravers
Jess, the project Architect at Wood Close visited site yesterday and got some great images of the project coming together.
The external stone-work is a fabulous example of the material and craft, plus we are really starting to get a feel for the volume and scale the internal spaces.
We look forward to the final stages of the build and will keep the news updated as this project reaches completion.
Tangle Wood, Winterbourne Stickland
New Planning Approval
We are really pleased with our most recent planning approval from North Dorset District Council for a site in Winterbourne Stickland. The approval is for a glass extension to a cottage.
New Forest & Hampshire County Show
Our First Show of the Summer
Last week we ventured deep into the heart of the New Forest to take part in the annual New Forest & Hampshire County Show for the first time.
With a stand in prime position, we met many new faces, particularly those who were interested in the Part Q Permitted Development rights allowing the conversion of agricultural holdings into residential dwellings.
The three day event meant all hands on deck, and while there were a few showers, the weather held out and the show was a great success.
We are looking forward to the Gillingham and Shaftesbury Show on the 17th August. Hopefully, see you there!
takes pride of place
Following our success at the LABC Building Excellence Awards last month, we were all excited to receive our certificate and trophy!
An extra congratulations to Nickie and Steve who headed up the team for the successful Three Little Pigs project that came out on top in the ‘ Best Extension or Alteration to an Existing Home’ category.
Thanks to Stuart Lucas form North Dorset building Control for our special delivery.
After a long and intellectually gruelling planning process, we are over the moon to announce that we have gained planning for a new 1950’s inspired property in the conservation area of Moor Park, Herts.
After a few concept designs and multiple conversations with planners and consultants, we came about the final design that gained the approval by approaching the architectural design as though we were architects of the time. Looking at what would have influenced the designers in the previous 20 years and particularly the birth of modernist architecture, we created a fresh looking take on 1950’s architecture rather than mimicking an existing example.
Both we and our clients are extremely happy with this planning success story!
30 Years Party
Thank you for Celebrating with us!
To mark the passing of 30 years of WDA, we celebrated in style with a gathering of WDA friends and colleagues. With live music, food, drink and great conversation, the event had a fabulous atmosphere and we want to thank everyone who came to see us to mark this special occasion.
Here’s to another 30!
Planning Permission Granted for 10 New Houses
WDA have successfully been granted planning permission for 10 new individual large family homes on a green field site in Nottington, Weymouth. Traditional in design, the houses are all detached with seperate garages and use a palette of local stone, red brick and plain tiles so that they relate to the surrounding village developmenets and nearby Nottington Village Conservation Area.
30 Years Sailing
Poole to Lymington
Our 30th Anniversary Sailing event went well earlier this month. Three yachts, skippered and crewed by the WDA team set sail from Poole Yacht Club and made their way down to Lymington for a team lunch. A few of the crew suffered with sea-sickness, but overall it was a huge success – hopefully to become an annual event.
Take a look at our ‘About Us’ menu for more information of the event, or follow the link below!
We are very happy to announce that Three Little Pigs, Milton Abbas was the WINNER of the LABC South West Building Excellence Award last Friday in the 'Best Extension or Alteration to an Existing Home' category. The recently completed project is already proving to be one of our most popular, with many highly complementary comments from clients and the public; and we are over the moon with this latest recognition!
32 Chaddesley Glen, Poole also picked up a ‘Highly Commended’ for the Best Small New Housing Development category.
Follow the link for more information as well as some of the other categories and winners!
We are over the moon with our most recently completed commercial project for Arena Business Centre, Farnborough. As with our previous collaborations with Arena Business Centres, the existing brutalist office was in need of TLC and modernisation. Our design used panels of coloured glass to transform the facade, reflecting on an ecclesiatical theme. The building was originally maintained by Benedictine Monks from nearby St. Michael's Abbey. The entrance and lobby areas have been converted with glazing and zinc facades and now offer a bright and fresh work environment.
Following an involved design and pre-app process, we are very happy to have gained planning approval for a replacement dwelling in Bryanston, Dorset.
This application looks to demolish the existing dilapidated cottage; which is one of three quaint matching properties in a row, full of character but over time, this one in particular has become so neglected that restoring the property is unrealistic. Because of this, our application looks to create an exact replica of the cottage externally, maintaining the character of the area, but creating open and modern living accommodation internally. The proposal also includes a two storey extension to the rear, providing much needed additional accommodation for our clients, while making the most of the beautiful views surrounding the property.
Hill Farm House
This week we have gained a planning approval for a replacement barn and new manege in the New Forest National Park. The proposal was in two parts, firstly to replace the existing barn, providing a new garage and garden store on the footprint of the existing and secondly providing a private manege facility for our client.
Most expensive UK Seaside Towns
Sandbanks Named No.1
Yesterday, the BBC published that the South-West is home to 8 of the top 10 most expensive Seaside towns in the UK... and with the average house price reaching £664,655, our very own Sandbanks is at the very top of the pile.
Take a look at the link to the full BBC article for more information;
Dorset Art Weeks 2016
In anticipation of the 2016 Dorset Art Weeks, Phil made a visit to one of our past projects in Monkton Wyld in which our client was looking to transform a dilapidated house with incredible views into an inspiring art studio.
10 years on, the property has gone from shell, to studio and for the up-coming Arts Festival, a temporary art gallery – packed to the rafters with paintings and sculptures by artists Jane Hedges, Ian Middleton and Duff Pearce.
Exciting news in the WDA camp today! We have been shortlisted for two LABC South West Building Excellence Awards;
Our two contemporary houses at 32 Chaddesley Glen, Poole have been shortlisted in conjunction with Stour Developments Ltd for Best Small New Housing Development 2016. Also, Three Little Pigs in Milton Abbas, Dorset has been shortlisted for Best Extension or Alteration to an Existing Home.
High Court Ruling
A Court of Appeal decision has today overturned a previous High Court ruling brought by Reading Borough Council and West Berkshire District Council that removed a national planning policy requirement intended to exempt small sites from providing affordable housing. Today’s judgement upheld all four grounds of appeal, but there remains the possibility the Councils may appeal in the Supreme Court. We are awaiting further detail on the 13,000 word judgement.
Talbot Heath School
We are very happy to announce that we have been appointed to design the new Creative Arts Building for Talbot Heath School. Last month, the whole team pulled together to get our competition entry ready and we were recently informed that we were successful! We now look forward to developing the design with our client to achieve a building that will benefit the school and students for years to come.
Royal Mail House, Southampton
WDA were recently appointed to convert the Old Royal Mail House and Queens Terrace into 40 flats with commercial units at ground floor. The Grade II Listed buildings are located in Southampton and our involvement will include the refurbishment of the existing buildings as well as the addition of an area of infill to allow for further town centre accommodation.
Attention Digital Marketing Summit
Yesterday, Kathryn and Rachel spent the day at Adidos Attention; Digital Marketing Summit at Southampton Football Club. The day was packed full with lectures, seminars and guest speakers exploring some of the newest approaches to online advertising and marketing.
As well as more specific seminars targeting our social media approach to marketing and branding, key speakers addressed subjects such as neurology and tech-development in terms of advertising. Studies have shown that tapping into people’s emotion and encouraging interaction are far more effective ways of creating lasting memory and affiliation to a brand. Turns out, nostalgia is a big seller!
There were also talks by Barclays Eagles and UBER amongst others, who have attributed their recent success to combining a simple idea with connecting people through new and exciting technologies. It was a great event, well run and full of useful and inspiring ideas.
We look forward to using some of these new ideas within the office and our new website!
New Promotion for Jess
WDA are happy to announce that Jessamy has just become our newest Associate! Having joined us in 2011, Jess has completed her RIBA Part II and become a qualified Architect whilst with the Practice. The promotion is a reflection of her years of hard work and loyalty to WDA – well deserved and a huge Congratulations from the whole team!
Arena Business Centres
WDA have been appointed for two new ‘facelifts’ by Arena Business Centres, located in Totton and Basingstoke!
First Race of the Season
Poole Yacht Club
Last night saw our lucky crews back on the water for their first race of the season at Poole Yacht Club. Not a lot of wind but the views aren’t half bad… looking forward to getting back on the water in preparation for part of our planned 30 Year Celebrations!
PD Rights to Become Permanent
Offices to Residential
Got an office you dream of converting?
Due to the success of the temporary scheme in May 2013, the Government has announced that permitted development rights allowing the conversion of offices to residential are to be made permanent from April 6th 2016.
A new three year temporary right will also be allowed to change buildings in light industrial use to housing, up to a maximum of 500sqm.
Please call us if you would like to discuss your requirements further on 01258 830675.
Ceramics and Bathroom Trade fair
On 22nd January Turkish Ceramics and the Anatolian Exporters Union very kindly invited me to visit UNICERA in Istanbul.
OAiB staff showed me wonderful hospitality and escorted me around the Turkish Ceramics exhibition. I knew nothing about Turkish Ceramics but I soon learnt a great deal.
Ceramics have been produced in Turkey for over 8,000 years so they have a great tradition of producing the finest quality products. As part of my trip to Istanbul, I visited the Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque and other smaller mosques in which I saw the beautiful workmanship of the historic tiles. I learnt that the work ‘turquoise’ is derived from the French ‘turque’ and ‘quartz’. The material used to give the turquoise tiles their particular lustre.
Contemporary Turkish ceramics have since come a very long way. There are amazing products which I have never seen before.
Ceramic tiles in huge sizes up to 3 x 1m.
Flexible ceramic panels which can be bent to clad curved facades. Tiles have been created to imitate other materials such as wood, planks, boards, marbles, concrete, cement and polished stone. There are tiles that look like pebbles. The effects are so realistic you have to touch them to see they are not real. The realism is achieved by the digital printing and by texturing the finish of the tile. 3D tiles have a finish so realistic that you have to go right up to them and you are still not sure how this is achieved.
Why are these products so good? They compare in quality with anything I have seen so far elsewhere, but due to Turkey’s low production costs, they are much more affordable. They make a very practical alternative to natural stone and timber floor finishes as they are harder wearing than the real thing, need no maintenance and are perfect for underfloor heating at a price considerably less than the real thing.
In addition to all the interesting products I saw, I was treated with the greatest kindness and hospitality by the people I met. I am still glowing from their warmth.
Class Q Prior Approval
Barn Conversion in East Hampshire
Prior Approval has been granted for the change of use of an agricultural building to dwelling house and for all associated operational developments in East Hampshire. This single store barn will be converted into a four bedroom house with vaulted ceilings over the large open plan living, dining and kitchen areas. Ridge roof lights will provide natural daylight deep into the floor plan reducing reliance on artificial lighting.
Woodland Burial Taking Shape
The secant pile wall at Woodland Burial Ground in Poole is slowly taking shape, with all piling expected to be complete by the end of February. Following this the ground between the piles will be excavated and the basement slab poured.
WDA have just gained approval for this conversion and contemporary extension in a conservation area. The new layout will mean opening up the ground floor of the property to create an open plan, contemporary living space that makes the most of the countryside views.
Milldown Stud, Blandford
WDA have just gained planning for this contemporary vernacular dwelling in an AONB. The barn-like form uses contemporary detailing to achieve the clean, modern look that convinced the planners. We look forward to seeing this project progress from here.
We are pleased to have gained approval for the renovation and rear extension of this listed building in Gillingham. The alterations will create an open, modern ground floor living space, with additional bedrooms at first floor, all of wich make full use of the surrounding countryside views with mimimal impact to the listed building.
WDA are happy to see Laurel Farm on site and underway, we look forward to the oak frame arriving in the New Year.
Curtis Fields, Weymouth
A few members of the WDA team were on site at Curtis Fields this morning, as the first stages of Phase one are beginning to take shape! It was a bit of a grey day and rather windy from the top of the new convenience store, but that didn’t stop us from scaling the heights of the curved slate roof, getting the full impact of the amazing views.
WDA have just gained another approval, this time at Minster House, Shaftesbury. This conversion of a Victorian outhouse has not been our easiest approval, but we are happy to finally be able to get this dwelling off the ground.
The Crown at Tisbury
WDA are very happy to have gained planning permission to convert the old Crown Inn, at Tisbury into five quirky and characterful dwellings. Our proposal sailed through planning and we look forward to seeing this beautiful building getting a new lease of life.
Thursday 10th December 2015 is the opening of this year’s MAP Exhibition at the Lighthouse Poole. The exhibition is curated by a handful of Architecture students as part of their third year studies and exhibits the work from their degree so far. The three projects exhibited vary in size, from a small 60m2 Curiosity Shop to a Future Scenario of Poole Town. Last year’s MAP exhibition involved a series of interactive, architectural installations and we can’t wait to see what this year has in store for us.
A huge congratulations to Rosie Baron, who has just been named as WDA’s newest Associate! A pretty great way to end a fantastic year. Well done and best of luck in your new role… very well deserved.
Jess and Phil visited Bonfields Quarry in the Purbecks to choose stone for the external and internal walls for the new house being built just across the road at Wood Close with Matrod Frampton.
This is a real cottage industry operated by Stan Bonfield.Bonfields have been quarrying in this part of Purbeck since the 15th century and the current Bonfields quarry business has been passed down from Father to Son since the 17th century.
There are several different beds with a variety of stones to delight Architects and clients alike. Some of them will take a polish to make hearths etc.
"I liken stone quarrying to fishing, it’s the last building material that you actually hunt." PE.
WDA made an appearance last week, at the Talbot Heath 2015 Careers Convention. There was a great turn out with students from three schools, as well as speakers from a range of industries and Universities.
Who knows; maybe we inspired a few budding, young architects!
Three New Architects!
Western Design are very proud to announce that three of our students, Rosemary Baron, Jessamy Knowles and Peter Robinson have passed their professional practice exams and subject to ARB Registration are fully qualified Architects.
Many congratulations to them for all their hard work.
We are also very pleased to hear that Scott Lewis, one of our former students has also qualified at the same time. We wish him luck.
Ruddlemoor Class Q Prior Approval
Agricultural Barn Conversion
WDA are very happy to have gained Prior Approval for this agricultural to residential barn conversion in Dorset.
RIBA South West Late Summer Social
Holton Lee, Dorset
Western Design had a great turn out at this years RIBA late summer social. On the 30th September, Tony Fretton spoke about the creation of the buildings at Faith House, Holton Lee to nearly 40 RIBA Dorset members and visitors from AUB; a few of us even made it onto the RIBA SW Newsletter. The evening was rounded off with a BBQ and drinks, thanks to Jess for helping to arrange the event.
Dorset Coppice Group
Bonsley Wood CPD
Director Phil Easton recently attended a CPD at Bonsley Wood, learning the art of Coppice making;
"I spent a fascinating day with the Dorset Coppicing Group at the Living Classroom in Bonsley Wood not far from our offices.
There were approximately 50 people attending the day.
We split up in to 8 groups and each of us was able to participate in four activities for an hour and a half each.
I started with coppicing which is fascinating. We learned how to choose which boughs to cut and which to leave and what different sizes of wood would have been used for. If they were not straight they would go for firewood. Thicker straight pieces can be used for furniture making, thin pieces become walking sticks or used in hurdle making. Long thin pieces can be bent down to the ground with the bark scratched off and pegged into fresh soil to root and make new boles.
Although these are ancient practices, they are still relevant today.
Then it was on to hurdle making. This is a real art form and very labour intensive, it takes at least two and a half hours to make one hurdle. You have to select and then split each Hazel stem. You use a sharp bill hook but as you are splitting the Hazel, you have to keep the direction of the split down the middle of the branch. This is easy to do with practice but it is slow and painstaking work.
After a break for a BBQ lunch, it was on to rustic furniture making. In conjunction with a couple of enthusiastic young ladies, we worked on a garden bench just using Hazel branches. Although the end product looked a little rickety, it was certainly very comfortable.
We finished the afternoon with hedge laying. We were laying Hazel but it is possible to lay other hedge plants. This is a slow process which is why hedge layers charge about £12 per metre. Every branch and stem has to be carefully assessed and because they are inevitably of different sizes, they are treated in different ways.
The day rushed by and I learnt so much. This is a marvellous experience I would recommend to anyone with an interest in the countryside."
Success at Weymouth
Detailed permission has been granted at planning committee for 97 new houses in Weymouth, Dorset. Following extensive negotiation with Weymouth, Portland & West Dorset Council, the approved development includes a wide range of properties from single storey bungalows through to three storey houses. With 30% affordable housing provision, the development will provide a significant boost to local housing provision.
Michael Grubb Studio were selected to provide a lighting installation at Durdle Door along the Jurassic Coast for the Night of Heritage Lighting. Similar displays took place at world heritage sites around the country. This particular display was created using a variety of coloured lights shining on the face of the rock from the shore whilst a hidden boat lit it from behind, illuminating the archway.
On Site at Spring Cottage
Once a historic chapel, this property was developed into a residence in 2011. Western Design Architects were then appointed in 2014 to extend the converted chapel residence with a two storey timber extension and a glass link.
Spring Cottage is one of Western Design Architects’ most memorable projects owing to the prolonged negotiations endured with the local planning authority as well as several structural impediments that were unearthed during the building regulations application and construction processes.
Saturday 19th September saw the joining of two of Dorset’s most respected design practices thanks to the fairy tale romance and wedding of long term sweethearts, Western Design’s stunning Rosie Sidwell and David James Architect ruggedly handsome James Barron.
It was like something from Shakespears Romeo and Juliet where two great houses were united in their good wishes for the happy couple.
We wish them a long and happy life together.
The Great Western Bake-Off
Back to School
Ross and Hannah are leaving us to start their RIBA Part II. We wish them both the best of luck and thanks for all their hard work... and cake!
We have been involved in a number of permitted development rights applications which through a process of prior approval, have allowed offices and also agricultural buildings to be converted into new homes. However, this planning relaxation is due to expire and such works will need to have begun on or before 30th May 2016. After this date, full planning permission will be required.
If you have any projects that might be suitable, please contact us to discuss your requirements.
Featured in Home Square, Poland
A contemporary house designed by Western Design Architects has been showcased in Poland on the Home Square website. Cherry Orchard is a large 5 bedroom house incorporating a gym and swimming pool located in a secluded garden setting in Poole, Dorset.
See what they have to say about Cherry Orchard at:
Western Design have just gained a new approval for Chippets in Marnhull. This quaint, contemporary dwelling was granted on the basis of preserving and enhancing the character or appearance of the local area.
Last of the Summer Sailing
Poole Yacht Club
Steve Lawrence and Phil Easton skippered in the final race of the summer at Poole Yacht Club. We were very lucky with the weather on our final outing, not a great deal of wind but a beautiful sunset!
Thanks to captains and crew for a brilliant summer of sailing.
Western Design Architects have recently gained approval for a partially sunken dwelling in the heart of Dorset. Using a palette of natural materials, including local stone, timber and a grass roof this dwelling benefits from the far-reaching views, with minimal impact on its neighbours.
Western Design Architects are now close to completion on this single storey extension at Milton Abbas. With natural slate roof and traditional lime render, this is a sympathetic addition to the listed property.
"I started road cycling in November 2014 and immediately fell in love with the sport. I try to get out on my bike once a week. This summer I went to the French Alps for a 6-day cycling holiday. With very little training I was a mixture of nerves and excitement. The aim was to try make it to the top of at least one mountain. In the end I managed 4, the most iconic being Alpe d’Huez. It was a very hot but beautiful day. My overall time was 1:43:23. I loved every second of the climb and look forward to returning next year to try beat my time."
Well done Carmen!
New Part 1 Student
Western Design are pleased to welcome Rianna to the team. She recently graduated from the Arts University Bournemouth where she took part in various projects including a live project outside of her degree with the National Trust building a 1:1 prototype of a Future Proof Beach Hut.
Blackberry Farm has recently been granted planning permission and will soon be starting on site, creating a rear extension and separate garage to this Grade II listed house. The extension extends out from just beneath the existing thatch of the 1960’s extension. It will be subservient to the original dwelling in its scale, and contrasting roofing materials will make clear the divide between old and new.
Gillingham & Shaftesbury Show
Our stand at this years Gillingham and Shaftesbury Agricultural show was a great success once again. Despite the forecast rain, there was excellent attendance and a great day was had by all!
New Part 1 Student
We are pleased to have a new Part 1 Student joining us for the year ahead. Lizzie Cross graduated from the University of Kent and she looks forward to being involved with real life design problems.
Staff in the "Chicken Run"
London fun run
On Saturday 15 August 2015, 5 of our team took part in the Architects Benevolent Society 'Chicken Run'. This is an annual 5km charity run from Tate Modern to Pollard Thomas Edwards' offices in Islington. The run was a huge success and great fun was had by all.
Construction of Wellwood Farm is almost finished. This traditional style manor house is located in Beaminster and is a beautiful site with far reaching views. It has come a long way form the initial sketches and we are very pleased to see it finally taking shape.
These two new contemporary houses are currently under construction and due to be finished very soon. Their striking form sits proudly on this road, which provides great views of Poole Harbour and further afield.
Congratulations to Jonathan Turvey, who has been made a Director of Western Design Architects. His prior experience of practice management, as well as the 4 years he has spent with us as a Senior Architect, will prove invaluble going forward.
11 Brownsea View Avenue
We have recently gained approval for this contemporary garden room, which comprises of a gym, fitness pool and gym, with external decking area and views of the garden. We are looking forward to staring on site in the near future.
New Traditional Family Home
Recently completed on site, this traditional style family home designed by Western Design incorporates several sustainable technologies including a photo voltaic array and air source heat pump.
Approval for office refurbishment
Planning has been granted for the refurbishment of an existing six storey office building in Farnborough, Surrey. Internal works include modifications to the layout and provision of a new main reception whilst externally the building is being reclad to give the building a new modern appearance.
It's about time we introduce you to our newest employees.
Jacques Steventon is our new IT guru and will be covering Kathryn whilst she is away on maternity leave for the next 10 months. He will also be assisting with the marketing and keeping our social media profiles up to date.
Gemma Campbell- Smith has replaced Louise Aspden as our office manager. She has previously worked at another Architects office and more recently worked as a prison officer - so she should manage to keep us all in line!!
We wish them both the best of luck in their new positions.
Maraleen, Margaret's Marsh
The proposed three bed house is vernacular in form but incorporates subtle contemporary details. It was designed to reflect a simple farm courtyard, suited to the surrounding open countryside. The orientation of the new house maintains the north - south axis with a similar footprint to that of the existing bungalow.
The external elevations face the road to the north. The lane to the east was kept simple with minimal fenestration to maintain occupier privacy and prevent heat loss through north-facing glazing. The principal elevation faces south west and includes a large façade of glazing to benefit from the panoramic views across the surrounding fields and maximise the opportunity for solar gain.
The principal living accommodation was moved to first floor level to make the most of these views. Kitchen and dining spaces are located at ground floor level to give good access to the external private amenity spaces.
Permission for 500 houses in Weymouth
Western Design Architects are pleased to announce planning permission has been granted for up to a further 500 houses at Curtis Fields in Weymouth. This is in addition to the 180 already granted permission last year on a different area of the site.
Our Client Betterment Properties (Weymouth) Ltd are delighted with the outcome. With 30% affordable housing provision, this will provide a significant boost to local housing provision. The development also includes contributions to the local school, sports facilities and will include a neighbourhood area of play and large area of public open space.
Great result at North Dorset District Council LABC awards on friday night as we received:
A Highly Commended accolade for 'Best New Housing Development' for Damer Close, Milton Abbas also known as Catherines Well.
Winner of 'Best Sustainable Delevopment' for Tarrant Hinton Village Hall in collaboration with Rob Hescroff and the Tarrant Hinton village hall commitee.
A nomination for Mospe for 'Best Individual New Home
Class Q Permitted Development
Agricultural to Dwelling House
Prior approval has been granted for the Change of Use of two Agricultural Building into dwellings. The Lower Stable and The Coach House will be converted into two new dwellings with dramatic views across open fields near Bentley in East Hampshire.
Follow the 'Broadchurch' Path
Why not visit the locations and setting for hit series Broadchurch, taking in sites such as Western Design's Folly or 'Broadchurch Police Station' as it's better known. WDA designed this building as part of a larger residential and mixed use development call Quay West in West Bay. For more information check out: http://www.hideaways.co.uk/news/somerset-and-dorset-s-broadchurch-path
A smart new farm office had gained Full Planning consent located in open countryside in Verwood, Dorset Verwood
Approval for 10 new apartments
We are please to announce that we have gained planning approval for 10 new flats/ apartments at a gateway site to Amesbury in Wiltshire.
New Approval in Bridport
WDA have obtained full planning approval for a new modern venacular dwelling outside the village envelope in Bridport.
RIBA Awards 2015
Western Design Architects are really pleased to announce that Bury Road in Poole has been shortlisted for a Regional RIBA Award. The building has been wittled down from 48 projects down to just 16 great buildings.
It's one thing throwing yourself into your work, it's another to become it.
We think our Principal Architect has an uncanny resemblance to the New SketchUp man.
Homebuilding and Renovating Awards
Maypool Boathouse has received a highly commended accolade in the Homebuilding and Renovating Awards 2014. We are really pleased to gain recognition for this fantastic waterside project located on the River Dart.
This family house responds to the features of the sloping site and respects the wider context of the conservation area whilst proposing an ecologically sustainable design that exceeds expectations of the modern family.
The concept was developed with the idea of making the Poplar beyond a focal point in the background. To do this, the building mass was split to enable views through the dwelling. This fractured mass also helps to diminish the appearance of mass and bulk, thus making the new dwelling appear smaller.
Nickie goes back to school
Continuing Professional Development
Associate Nickie Yeates has just embarked on a 2 year Part Time Master’s degree in the Conservation of Historic Buildings at Bath University.
At Western Design, Nickie is predominately responsible for overseeing, designing and submitting planning applications for the majority of the traditional builds in the office including conversions and extensions to existing historical buildings.
She has always had a keen interest in building conservation and has worked on a number or Listed Buildings throughout her career.
Nickie is excited to be extending her knowledge with further study and has come back from her first day very enthusiastic.
Photo: Nickie in front of one of her design projects - the conversion of a derelict barn into a wine shop.
This proposed new contemporary 4 bedroom house is orientated by views of West Dorset and the topography of the land. It is set snugly within its backdrop of aged large trees.
A great day was had by all at the Great Boat Race.
Members of the Arts University Bournemouth (AUB) and RIBA Dorset, including Western Design Architects, took part in a public event to race boats made from recycled materials down the river in Bournemouth Gardens.
The event was part of the Bournemouth Arts Festival 2014 and was part of a number of interactive features happening across the centre of Bournemouth.
Each local practice had to make a prototype using the recycled materials. By using plastic milk bottles and card we created a sea-worthy milk-float that we believed had a strong concept due to its simplicity and scope for flare and embellishment. We were right. The designs the children produced were beyond our expectations.
The variation in colours, shapes, materials and sparkles were ingenious.
Woodland Burial Ground, Upton
Initially conceived as a floating island, the non-denominational chapel is surrounded by a moat. In reference to the River Styx, the moat widens to become a reflecting pool at the southern end of the site. Inspired by the form of ancient burial mounds common to the area, the complex nestles within a curving landscaped berm, giving the impression that the sunken spaces have been carved into the landscape.
Homebuilding & Renovating show in Somerset. Our principal Architect Phil will be appearing at the Homebuilding & Renovating show in Somerset on the 22-23 November.
Phil is an RIBA Chartered Architect, and will be on hand in the 'Ask an Architect' area of the show to answer any questions you might have about design, the planning process or just simply to give you peace of mind.
So why not pop along to get FREE advice and support in a 15 minute consultation.
Take a look at our facebook page to get FREE tickets
The Daily Telegraph Home Building & Renovating
We are pleased to announce that Western Design's recently completed boathouse in Devon has been shortlisted for The Daily Telegraph's Home Building and Renovating Award.
Maypool is located on the banks of the River Dart and is a great example of quality work by local craftsmen.
This was a conversion of a bungalow into contemporary house situated in North East London. An extra floor on the house as well as a single storey indoor space within the regenerated garden enhances views out to sea and provides a higher quality living environment respectively.