Leading architects in East Anglia providing architectural services across the UK
We are Whitworth, a leading RIBA chartered architectural firm. Our offices are based in Suffolk, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire, and our services cover the entire UK. Our knowledgeable and experienced team of architects provides comprehensive architectural services. The team’s day-to-day work ranges from minor church re-ordering and feasibility studies, to barn conversions, restoration and adaption of listed buildings, new builds and large-scale projects over a variety of different sectors. See below for a list of our specialities:
Our team is committed to providing you with high level technical expertise and advice, a creative approach, and peace of mind that your project is in capable hands. Our clients come from all backgrounds, from those who have never worked with an architect before, to seasoned developers. Whatever the context, we have a proven track record of building a positive rapport with our clients and delivering excellent design work.
We can help you balance the details of your brief with budget, time, planning and location restraints to produce the most practical outcome. This is all while incorporating the creative and sustainable elements that we have become known for in our work. We have many years’ experience working with local authorities to secure planning permission. In addition, we have close connections with professionals in the construction industries as part of our project management services.
Working with us: What’s the process?
If this is your first time approaching an architectural firm, you might be wondering what the process entails. While each client and project is different, we have outlined a step-by-step run-through below, from preparation to aftercare. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Starting a project
At the very early stages of a project it is important to define your scope of works and for us to understand what you wish to achieve, to create a project brief. Some people know their exact requirements, from which a design and project will be based upon; others are less defined at this stage we are able to assist in accurately determining what the make up of you project is to be. This may include a feasibility study to explore a wider range of possibilities for your project. We will also advise on the specific requirements a project may have and the individuals that may be required, to assist in seeing your project through to completion.
The Initial Design
Using our understanding of the project and your brief we will prepare concept design proposals. This may be a single clear individual scheme, or a number of options that can be reviewed and revised to arrive at a preferred option. This will be done in conjunction with you and will involve an open dialogue, including meetings, to ensure that we arrive at a scheme that truly reflects your requirements and meets the project brief. In some instances a pre-planning enquiry to the local authority or an outline planning application may be required, this is the stage at which we would undertake this. This may also include other statutory bodies and interest groups, for an early opinion.
The Design and Planning
The development stage takes forward your preferred design and develops into a final proposal. As before this is done in conjunction with you. If planning approval is required we will submit an application to your local authority at this stage. This may need to include statements and input from other consultants and we will advise on these. We will liaise with the planning authority during the planning process and keep you up-to-date with any information. Outline proposals for structures and services within the building can also be considered at this stage.
With a final scheme and planning approval in place the next step is to develop the technical and detailed design. This ranges from the actual construction details down to the specification and selection of specific fixtures and fittings. We are able to produce details for all of these, with as much or as little input form you as you wish. If required a final structural and services scheme will also be developed, to produce a coordinated set of construction documents, We will also produce written specifications and schedules of work. These can be given to builders to price. We are able to advise on suitable builders and administer a tender (pricing) procedure, which will provide you with a number of comparable, competitive prices from which to choose.
The actual building work! At this stage we can manage a project for you, making regular site inspections to ensure the work is proceeding, as it should be. We will also be available to answer questions from you or the builder during the works. Builders will usually submit monthly requests for payment and we will assess these against the work on site and certify them before you make any payments. We will also be able to advise on the best building contract under which the works should be undertaken.
Completion and In Use
Following the completion of project, we will continue to be available throughout a set period of time, for which your builder will also be available. During this period any defects or issue that arise will be dealt with promptly to ensure the continued smooth running of your property.
Alongside our architectural team works an experienced team of chartered building surveyors. Find out more about our building surveying work.