Much of our work is focused on unlocking the potential of existing buildings. Alterations to an existing building will vary according to budget, the capacity of the existing structure to meet the needs of the brief and the desire to preserve the existing fabric.

Evaluation of the existing building, including the physical condition and life expectancy of the structure, building envelope, finishes, fittings and building services, will establish what elements can be repaired and what needs to be renewed. The ability of the structure to be changed or receive additional loading will be significant. The process of building will need to be considered at an early stage, particularly if the building is to be occupied during construction.

A client’s brief will often call for additional space. This can be achieved either through extending the building or by reorganizing the internal layout to increase the amount of usable space within the existing envelope. The latter can provide significant improvements, by connecting spaces and reconfiguring them to provide for multiple and overlapping uses. Strategies can be combined: connecting, extending, infilling and wrapping existing structures, and inserting new elements within them.

Our design approach is to make a clear distinction between new construction and the existing fabric, and to develop a meaningful relationship between them. The spatial and tangible qualities of the existing building can be strengthened, whilst new elements may either develop similar or contrasting themes.

We advise clients regards the regulatory approvals required for projects that involve change of use, both in terms of Planning and Building Control.