Pauses + Thoughts | London residential architecture
How we work | About us
The GOAStudio architectural team aims to provide a friendly and professional service. Our approach is based on fully considering the particular aspects of each project, while at the same time looking for a creative way to allow our clients to instil their own unique stamp on what we do and how we do it.
People + Spaces – What we do
We deal with people. We design spaces. And this is what we do. Our focus is the people who get in touch and their particular circumstances, lifestyles and requirements at the time. This is what informs our decision making and this is the first thing we try to understand, appreciate and even creatively challenge before we start thinking about spaces, aesthetics, programmes and solutions. Ultimately what we get to design is spaces. And living experiences. And ways people can unlock the potential of awkward spaces in their homes and add space and light for their daily lives and make visual connections to the garden areas.
Sometimes we are asked to design a new house and sometimes we are asked to design a new kitchen extension around the exact location of a serving tray. We have been asked to design an extension for the needs of Tom, the tortoise, and his running track. After working on more than 200 residential projects we have discovered that it always comes down to people, their ideas and spatial needs and this experience has formed the way we think and how we do things.
Spaces + Ideas – How we think
There is nothing more satisfying than entering a newly completed home, after months of hard work, and knowing this is more than our client had hoped when we were invited to help with their project. We know because they tell us so. And this is the measure we use to establish if a project has succeeded or failed. We are passionate about simple and legible design solutions as it requires hard work and lots of experience to refine complex construction details, deal with planning regulations, and bring together conflicting ideas into something that appear obvious and effortless and appropriate and right. It also requires lots of empathy and a deep contextual understanding especially when we work on a Listed Building, in a Conservation area or with an impossibly tight site.
We aim to provide a friendly and professional service that responds to the needs and aspirations of our clients. We like long sightlines through spaces for creating an expanded sense of space; we call it the Alice in Wonderland effect. We like playing with the contrast of natural light and using light as a medium to bring the outside in; we call it the Theatre Experience where the garden is the stage. We like to allow flexibility and responsiveness to our design because people needs change over time. We like to design from the inside out. We like challenges and creating unexpected experiences through a sequence of spaces though the mediums of colour, materials, views and light.
Ideas + Approach – How we work
It takes particular skill and experience to keep a firm eye on an entire architectural project, while at the same time translating specific ideas to a program that delivers on time, within budget, and confidently beyond expectations. No two projects are ever the same, and it is our job to break things down into manageable stages, assess your priorities, and lead a project to successful completion.
This is how we manage your project:
- We will assess your initial needs and arrange a meeting with you for a coffee and chat.
- We will discuss ideas, project requirements, and what might be possible.
- We will prepare a fee proposal for the services you will require. If this is acceptable you will appoint us as your architects.
- We will visit again to carry out a measured survey for the preparation of a set of drawings as existing.
- We will have another coffee and chat with you about design ideas, timescales and detailed requirements.
- We will prepare initial design proposals and develop them with you.
- We will then ask for a Quantity Surveyor to prepare initial cost estimates.
- We will fine-tune the proposals and prepare the planning submission if necessary.
- We will then ask you to appoint a structural engineer and we will start with the preparation of the technical and structural information necessary for the Building Regulations submission.
- We will advise you on any relevant Party Wall, Freeholder and Build Over Agreements necessary, and you may need to appoint specialist consultants to assist at this point.
- We will then prepare schedules of work, specifications and interior design details as necessary, and ask for builders to tender for the building works.
- We will help you assess the tenders and appoint the builder(s) you have selected.
- We will monitor the progress on site and help with project management duties until the project is completed.
- We hope you invite us back when it is all done and recommend us to everyone you know so we can assess their needs and meet them for another chat and coffee!
Approach + Location – Where we work
London is home to a wide variety of architectural housing types, and any particular house or flat has the potential to be transformed in many different ways. At GOAStudio we see ourselves as creative problem solvers who deal with any construction, planning, design and budgeting issues that might be relevant to your project.
We have developed working relationships with local planners, consultants, and contractors across Central and Greater London, which enables us to offer you a service specific to the requirements of your project.
Our record of dealing with most of London’s Local Authorities means that we have been able to obtain planning and buildings regulations approvals for demanding projects in conservation areas and for listed buildings. We have extensive experience of local planning processes and understanding of the varied characters of London’s neighbourhoods.
We have carried out work across north, south, east, west and central London with most of our projects in the Boroughs of Barnet, Brent, Bromley, Camden, Chelsea and Kensington, Hammersmith and Fulham, Haringey, Hounslow, Islington, Lambeth, Lewisham and Richmond.
Location + People – Who we work with
We have teamed up with other consultants in order to offer an extended service to our clients depending on where their project is located. Once we have discussed the project requirements and identified what is required, we will advise on any other professionals that may need to join the project team. The appointment of other professionals is typically made directly by the client, and we will liaise with them as necessary on this.
Our extended team includes structural engineers, planning consultants, kitchen designers and suppliers, landscape and garden designers, and cost consultants. We have also developed working relationships with a number of builders, whose work we trust, and who we are happy to recommend to our clients. Successful projects happen when people work in harmony, and this is what we will aim to achieve if you decide to appoint us.
We see ourselves as creative problem solvers who will deal with any construction, planning, and design matters relevant to your project.
Website | Blackledge & Sandall
Creative Director | Umi Ishimoto