My special interests.

These are things I am very keen on: -

Low energy design.

Although the market is awash with manufactured goods and widgets, I regret dependancy on electrical systems. Ideally a house should work in its own right providing somewhere to live from the moment you close the front door, and a minimal introduction of fuels should be enough for comfort. I am not saying that one should necessarily be "off the grid" but should the grid be temporarily withdrawn, it is a comfort if one's house continues to function to a bearable degree.

I am in favour of respectable looking passive solar design rather than photovoltaic cells. The direct benefit is tangible and independant of "deals"

Respect for traditions.

Many of the solutions proposed by advocates for meeting the needs of passive low energy design appear to wear their hearts on their sleeves. I see no reason why an up to date building should not look like a building rather than a pile of tyres and sand.

Revisiting "lost" materials.

Many old practices in construction have passed out of use through pressure exerted by manufacturing industry. Products such as lime are now becoming rediscovered by architects and apart from their use in mortar and concrete, there is much scope for lime renders with their inherent flexibility. Lime render was once more widely used in the UK often on those older buildings which appear to us in  a state of "nakedness". Society associates them with their present condition, and fails to appreciate the functional rôle of the lime render, now absent, in both the structural contribution and the environmental. Lime is, of course a low-carbon material.

Really interesting kitchens.

Although the kitchen design agencies to be found in many high streets around the land are able to provide, through their design service, spectacular solutions to easy challenges, they may come a bit unstuck with "interesting" projects. I have heard some of them say that most important thing in a kitchen is how it looks, with little or no thought for  function.

I feel that you have a kitchen to cook in and although it needs to look attractive, I do not think that kitchens exist solely for the preparation of breakfast or for the plating up of take-aways. I can provide a kitchen design service based on how you cook and on what you feel most comfortable with.

Larders and Cool Dry Cupboards.

How often have you peered into the deepest recess of your food cupboard and complimented yourself on how closely it mimics the cool, dry, dark, well ventilated cupboard recommended on the food label? Because our approach to design for such things is function generated, I want to give you cool, dry, dark, well ventilated cupboard spaces that takes the pressure off your refrigerator/freezer. I can also build you a Larder.

Woodburning Fireplaces.

Despite the widespread popularity of the woodburning stove, it is my humble opinion that the needs of modern users can better be met by the installation of  open fires properly designed and installed to burn wood. You get home from work, light a fire in a properly designed and sized fireplace with dry firewood and immediately you are feeling the benefit.

A properly designed fireplace, from my offices, will provide with rapid response, an elegant and reassuring  input to the modern home or restaurant and will not, as is so often claimed by detractors, send "all the hot air up the flue" but will radiate into the room and warm its occupants. It will also use less wood than the usual "pub" fireplace.

Wood, as a fuel, is pleasant, sustainable, carbon neutral and, if burned rapidly and properly, is non-polluting.
© Copyright 2020 Michael Whyte-Venables Chartered ArchitectWeb Design By Toolkit Websites