Living in living space

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We are excited to announce that we have a new development at Living Space Architects. Our talented work force has increased by another member who will bring something extra to the team…you guessed it – interiors!

After 15 successful years of running LSA, our directors have decided to include interior design within the package we offer our wonderful clients. We have always had a passion for interiors, so employing a specialist and expanding into this world seemed like a natural step forward.

We hope to finish off our bespoke architecture with a bespoke interior, working with our clients to give them a space that truly suits their aspirations.

OUR INTERIORS  •      

Despite only recently appointing a designated interior designer, we have dabbled in interior design in the past, and we like to think we have done a pretty good job. Below are some details and inspiration from our recently-completed Southernhay extension project.

Location: Southernhay, Exeter

Building:  Grade II listed terrace townhouse

Proposal: A new first floor rear extension for domestic use

Interior Brief: The interior specifications asked for a urban, contemporary, soft, sleek space which would compliment the new extension. The space had to be homely as it would occupy 3 bedrooms, an open kitchen, a living room space and a few more exciting spaces.

Key Features: New aluminium-framed windows in existing extension | New single glazed timber sash windows | New roof terrace | New bin enclosure & cycle racks | New & adapted internal openings & partitions

INPSIRATION  •

URBAN | CONTEMPORARY | WOOD | SOFT | SCANDINAVIAN | SLEEK | CITY | RUSTIC | GEOMETRIC

THE FINISHED PRODUCT • 

Our photographs show snippets of Southernhay’s interior space. The inspiration images provided a good starting point for the design style, but it needed developing to ensure harmony within the building. The main staircase, which is primarily wooden, set the tone. From that, we decided to add more colour into the design – complimenting the wooden features but still showcasing the sleek, contemporary look.

GET THE LOOK •

Like this style? Below are our final key design components. The products are sourced from a range of suppliers, showcasing local independent shops and online brands.

• Sofa – Made.com £599

• Radio – Marley Speakers £179.99

• Bookcase – Cult Furniture £629

• Plant – BloomBox £18

• Leather Chair – Capital Dining Chairs £97

• Wooden Basket – Nkuku £59.95

• Champagne Glasses – Anthropologie £14

• Paint –  Farringdonball

• Throw – Zara £50

• Cushion – Lorna Ruby £39.95

• Lamp – The Forest & Co £93.60

• Print – Desinio

• Black Pendant – John Lewis £120

• Floor Lamp – Made.com £129 Cheaper Option Dunelm £75

How to upgrade windows in historic buildings

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Windows are often considered to be “The eyes of the building” and this phrase is even more true in the case of historical buildings. They create the character of the building and changing these when attempting to modernise historical buildings should be approached with care.

Historic windows

  • Throughout the early medieval period, the great majority of windows were unglazed.
  • In timber- framed buildings they were simple openings in the structural frame. Vertical wood or iron bars were inserted to keep out intruders.
  • Glass was extremely expensive and rare and was not considered a fixture.
  • Timber shutters were widely used for security, privacy and to reduce draughts. In England, they were often internal and either hinged or slid in runners.

Much of the plain glass and most, if not all, of the coloured glass used in England during the medieval period was imported from the continent and therefore prohibitively expensive for widespread domestic use. By the late medieval period and into the 17th century, windows became more sophisticated with wooden tracery, moulded mullions and deep projecting cills. As glass was no longer quite as expensive it started to be used for ordinary domestic buildings.

In historic buildings, windows, and the depths of their frames, give the elevation of the building it’s character.

Often windows in historical buildings are single glazed and a common way to retain heat in a historic building is to change the glazing of the building to double glazing. However, this often means changing the depth and width of the frame and thus impacting the charm of the building.

What are the alternatives to double glazing?

There are several manufacturers who provide alternatives to thick double glazing.

Pilkington Spacia consists of an outer pane of low-emissivity glass and an inner pane of clear float, with a vacuum rather than air or another gas in between. The result is better thermal performance from a unit only fractionally as thick as a standard one.

Slimlite units are constructed with a clear outer self cleaning pane with a selected cavity of 3mm to 10mm, the wider cavity increases the insulation, with selected cavity insulating inert gas, which only performs in smaller cavities, an inner pane of 3mm or 4mm Low Emissivity glass.The emissivity coating is on the inside face into the cavity and reflects the long wave radiation or heat back into the room. The warm edge technology perimeter spacer incorporated, ensures insignificant differential insulation value between edge and centre glass.

 

Designing your house to keep cool this summer

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Summer is just around the corner! If this summer is anything like last year, we’re guaranteed some hot weather and sunshine. There’s nothing worse than sitting in a boiling hot house when the weather is so great outside. Therefore, here are some design tips to consider when looking at designs for your new build to keep your house cool in the summer.

  1. The use of living walls and roofs – Living walls not only shield buildings from direct sunlight, but evapotranspiration by plants also helps cool walls
Example of a green roof

2. The thermal mass of your building will also contribute to the heating and cooling of the building. During summer it absorbs heat during the day and releases it by night to cooling breezes or clear night skies, keeping the house comfortable. In winter the same thermal mass can store the heat from the sun or heaters to release it at night, helping the home stay warm.

3. Utilise cross-ventilation in your home. Cross ventilation is a natural or planned process where cold air displaces warmer air, therefore creating a light breeze. This can be achieved by opening windows at opposite ends of the house and using a fan to direct the flow of air.

4. Consider the use of porches to shade south-facing windows

5. Geo-thermal heating and cooling is another excellent way to regulate temperatures in your home with out installing air conditioning

Taken from Chinook website

How will Brexit impact my build?

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Unfortunately, the time has come for us to write an article about Brexit… The lingering shadow over the UK and the EU that seems to be taking longer than watching paint dry.

Brexit is at the forefront of many people’s minds and there is a lot of uncertainty about what will happen in the future. Uncertainty has lead to a decline in the housing market in the UK, with many buyers and sellers holding off doing anything with their properties until there is a little more security around the future of the UK. Whatever the outcome, Brexit (or no Brexit) will have a huge impact on the industry.

Construction contributes around 10% of world GDP, employs 7% of the global workforce, and consumes around 20% of the world’s energy. The construction industry is so important, it is widely seen as the best indicator of a national economy’s health.

What will the impacts be on the industry if we leave the EU?

  • The EU delivers up to 62% of our building materials and components – equalling approximately £5.7 billion in supplies
  • In Q4 2017’s, 67% of contractors said they struggled to find bricklayers, and 50% were unable to hire joiners and carpenters.
  • Office of National Statistics figures show that one-third of workers on construction sites in London were from overseas, with 28% coming from the EU
  • On a more positive note – Brexit could mean far less red tape in the construction industry, speeding up processes on site

In Summary…

If we leave the EU, the biggest impact will be on the availability of a workforce for construction, as such a large proportion of construction workers come from the EU. It has the potential to lead to a skills shortage catastrophe and means the government needs to look into new ways of improving skills amongst the UK population, for example, through apprenticeships funding. It will also mean we will need to find materials from elsewhere around the world or strike a significant trade deal with the EU. On the other hand, it also has the potential to decrease the amount of red tape that impacts the building of new homes in the UK.

The latest from Living Space Architects – 29/3/19

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The team have had a great couple of weeks. They have been kept very busy with lot’s of work in the pipeline!

Contemporary Barn Conversion in West Hill

We have been working on creating some fantastic images for a contemporary barn conversion in West Hill. In the image you can see we are trying to create a more open plan space, experimenting with different ways we can allow natural light into the space.

Kirsty applies for her Conservation Architect Status through RIBA!

Kirsty has been working extremely hard to apply for her official Conservation Architect status through RIBA.

Receiving “Conservation Architect” status means that RIBA accredits her to have an in- depth knowledge and experience of working with historic buildings.

Within this application Kirsty is submitting 4 papers reflecting the range of work areas a conservation architect undertakes, in which, she has used examples of some of her incredible work.

One of the projects Kirsty has written about is the extensive refurbishment and alteration project of what was originally a medieval hall longhouse in Dartmoor. The refurbishment and extension of the property won the Conservation Award in 2017 from The Devon Historic Buildings Trust!

3D scanning at a site visit in Langport

Although thy had a chilly start to the morning, Freya and Stuart came back with some awesome 3D scans from a site visit in Langport.

The inside of the property
Caught on the scanner!
And again!

Our Community Projects

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Latest news from Living Space Architects 01/03/2019

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We are extremely excited to announce that we will be working on a new project with the Salvation Army in Exeter!

A brief history of the building and the Salvation Army

The Salvation army was set up in 1865 by William Booth. William Booth was an evangelist who wanted to offer practical help to the poor as well as preaching the gospel to them. Mr Ernest Stear was a local Methodist preacher who ran the Temperance Chapel in Friars Walk, he offered the church to the Salvation Army for their use. The branch was a huge success and in October 1881 William Booth visited the City expressing his pleasure with the activities to date. He announced from the platform that they would buy the Temperance Chapel and convert it so that 2,000 people could be accommodated, and it would now be known as Exeter Temple.

The Temperance Chapel was extended to its present form, providing seating for 2000, and ancillary rooms. The front of the building in Friars Gate was built as a “citadel” with its tessellated features.

The image below (taken from Google Maps) shows the current building from the outside 

Whilst we are still in discussion with the community, we have been thinking about potentially adding a cafe and charity shop to the site whilst also making additional repairs and improvements.

Planning permission granted for a unique location in Haldon Forest

We have been able to secure planning permission for a beautiful location in Haldon Forest, using the Class Q barn conversion legislation. The property will be converted from a disused barn into 2 stunning properties. Keep an eye out for our next blog post, which goes into more detail about Class Q barn conversions!

Below are some amazing images of what the project will look like upon completion

Planning permission won for property in St Leonard’s

To find out more about the details of this property and how we managed to obtain planning permission, have a look at our recent blog post.

Planning Permission Won for House Extension and Alterations, North Devon

This project entails the re-positioning of this property’s kitchen to the new extension, opening out onto the garden. The design presents an exciting opportunity to design an extension which will have a strong aesthetic connection to the original house, re-using materials from the site.

Why we use BIM and why it’s great news for you!

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What is BIM?

BIM stands for Building Information Modelling. It is a broad term that describes creating and managing digital information about a building. Essentially, it’s the way in which architects now design buildings.

It’s purpose is to have all the information about a project in one place, in order to allow better decisions to be made throughout the design process.

The benefits of using BIM

1. This technology takes about half the time that hand drawn designs used to take, but allows us to delve into much more detail on the plans

2. Communicating the design can be made very creative and exciting. Using Virtual Realty technology you can virtually step inside your future home!

3. Facilitating collaboration has never been easier, several individuals can edit the design and input their ideas during meetings

 

4. Human error, although inevitable, can be reduced significantly as the design can be checked and corrected much quicker than with hand drawn designs

5. It makes changes to designs much easier. For example changing the size of windows can be altered at the click of a button and the roof height altered accordingly

6. Having all of the information in one place also means that it is much easier to facilitate RFI’s when needed

7. It considers the design as a whole, for example; aesthetics, material selection, access, maintenance and construction.

8. Provides spacial awareness and retains the feel of the original design

 

Our Design Process

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If you want to find out more detail about our design process, take a look at the PDF below.

LSA Brochure (new)