Concept Design: How We Work

What can you expect from Studio Arkell’s design process?

Designing your Home: Concepts and ideas

When you appoint Studio Arkell to create your designs, we consider many various influential elements.

Before putting pen to paper - or even mouse to screen – we sit down with you for an initial consultation. We listen to your aims and your vision and your wants and your needs.

We then find creative and interesting ways to include all these in your design within the context of the setting and environment of your home.

As part of this design process, we look at and consider:Concept Design Chart

  • Scale
  • Proportion
  • Aesthetic
  • Flow
  • Functionality
  • Flexibility
  • Future Proofing

By including all of these elements in our creative process, you can be assured that all the designs that we present to you are:

  • Considered
  • Well thought out
  • Practical
  • Pleasing

In addition to the creative side of the design process, Studio Arkell ensures each design meets the criteria set out in the National Design Guide and the National Planning Policy Framework for good design.

Following the framework

According to the National Planning Policy Framework, good designs should meet and incorporate the following elements:

  • Will function well and add to the overall quality of the area, not just for the short term but over the lifetime of the development;
  • Are visually attractive as a result of good architecture, layout and appropriate and effective landscaping;
  • Are sympathetic to local character and history, including the surrounding built environment and landscape setting, while not preventing or discouraging appropriate innovation or change (such as increased densities);
  • Establish or maintain a strong sense of place, using the arrangement of streets, spaces, building types and materials to create attractive, welcoming and distinctive places to live, work and visit;
  • Optimise the potential of the site to accommodate and sustain an appropriate amount and mix of development (including green and other public space) and support local facilities and transport networks; and
  • Create places that are safe, inclusive and accessible and which promote health and well-being, with a high standard of amenity for existing and future users; and where crime and disorder, and the fear of crime, do not undermine the quality of life or community cohesion and resilience.

Following the National Design Guide

The National Design Guide also states that well designed places have ten characteristics that compliment and work to enhance the place’s Character, Community and Climate. The 10 characteristics of good design are:

  1. Context – enhances the surroundings
  2. Identity – attractive and distinctive
  3. Built form – a coherent pattern of development
  4. Movement – accessible and easy to move around
  5. Nature – enhanced and optimised
  6. Public spaces – safe, social and inclusive
  7. Uses – mixed and integrated
  8. Homes and buildings – functional, healthy and sustainable
  9. Resources – efficient and resilient
  10. Lifespan – made to last

Design review

Once we’ve prepared your bespoke designs, we will schedule a design review meeting. During the meeting, we’ll walk you through our proposed designs – usually both in plan and elevation – and then together decide on a design that we can take through to final draft and the next stage of planning.

By incorporating a good and considered design alongside your individual preferences, your final design from Studio Arkell Architects is more likely to be met with positivity at planning stage, in addition to being a great space to live in.




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