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About kreativarchitectsblog

ARB Registered Architect RIBA Chartered Architect

That's an easy one. I was always drawing maps and houses as a small child apparently and aged about 8 or 9 we were on holiday in North Wales and 'pester power' got a visit to Portmeirion. The hotel and resort village was designed by an architect born in Northamptonshire who had been influenced by some of the same buildings as me, such as Triangular Lodge and Kirby Hall.

The thinking went something like this, if that is architecture I want to be a part. From then on despite diversions into satellite tracking at school I took the traditional 'A' levels of Art, Maths and Physics, all very important subjects in Architecture and got to study at Bath University. Bath proved to be one of the best places to study as it was a joint course with Structural and Services engineering (and therefore twice the work).

My 'favourite' tutor was Patrick Hodgkinson who is largely forgotten now but famous for designing (and restoring) The Brunswick Centre in London.

As the visiting tutors included Neave Brown, Jane Drew, Ted Cullinan and the ever-present 'visiting professors' the Smithsons "the power of architecture to transform lives and to build to the highest standards" was instilled in me from the start.

Following my RIBA Part 3 at Nottingham University and a further qualification in architectural conservation at De Montfort University I am very interested in sustainable, energy conscious architecture that re-uses and restores existing buildings as much as possible. I was also involved in the design of resort villages of modular homes for Watermark Leisure as 'No.2' to Roger Pollard (a founding partner of PTEa in London) who was the design director of the company. It is therefore another area of the profession I am interested in. As much of my professional life has been designing homes and hospitals using the latest tools (the last 20 have been using BIM), experimenting with AR whenever I can, I am still keen to broaden my professional experiences with interesting local projects to help my home town of Kettering regain it's ambitions and aspirations through improving the standard of the built environment for it's citizens. For some reason, that I have been unable to discern, architects are rarely commissioned to design buildings in the town and local architects even more rarely.

The following text, very slightly edited, if from the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada:

“A person or entity registered to use the title "architect" and to practice architecture in the U.K..

The most basic definition of an architect is a professional who is qualified to design and provide advice - both aesthetic and technical - on built objects in our public and private landscapes. But this definition barely scratches the surface of an architect's role. Architects serve as trusted advisors, their role is holistic, blending diverse requirements and disciplines in a creative process, while serving the public interest and addressing health and safety matters.

Perhaps, it would be best to describe architects as conductors who orchestrate and take the lead in reconciling all the goals for a building or other structure. Architects do this by providing solutions through the use of:

artistic imagination and creative vision to design spaces where their ideas and techniques-represented through form, light, textures, materials, and colours-combine to fulfill our aesthetic, spiritual, and cultural needs;

practical and technical knowledge to create spaces that are safe, efficient, sustainable, and meet economic needs; and

interpersonal skills, psychological understanding and ethical practice to craft spaces that fulfill the complex, and sometimes conflicting, needs of clients, users, and the community.”

#architecture #architects #design #buildings #spaces #aesthetics #sustainability #economics


Architects give great advice ALL THE TIME that if acted on can will put significant money into your pockets. I've been in practice for over 30 years and KNOW my value.
So, why should architects make other people rich without getting paid well for it? I don't know. A building designed by an architect can be worth over 10% more than one designed by a non-architect. That means that an architect will have costed less than a non architect at the completion of any project 🙂
So, why are we expected to back down on fees to clients who are getting rich on the back of our design skills? I see no reason to, for the reason given above.
A non-architect will always be cheaper because they are not qualified as or even allowed to call themselves an architect. That is why their job title begins with the word 'architectural', as a way to get around the law 🙂 They have very little training, if any, in architecture.
I design to meet your needs, a solution for a different client won't necessarily suit your needs. I already know, and have plenty of documentary proof, that I give great, valuable advice. I charge a fair fee (I have to as a professional under two codes of professional conduct), am accredited by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) & the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and have the correct public liability insurance for your project.
No non-architect has that level of consumer protection for their clients because they are not architects. They might be well qualified in their own profession but that profession is not as an architect.
As a profession we are trained in the Art, Science and Technology of Architecture over a period of a minimum of seven years of University-backed training including a degree, a masters degree and three professional examinations.


One of the advantages of using the latest software is that as KR.eativ: Architects I am more productive that I was when working on a drawing board or using 2D CAD on computer. I can also handle larger projects, up to £25 million, without needing 'architectural' staff and can go the practice solely using architects and those training to be architects. This the way automation and AI is affecting my profession, we can do more with fewer more qualified staff.

Which of course raises another issue, there isn't a school of architecture in the whole of the SEMLEP area, severely restricting where I could source staff from if I needed them.

By using a full 3D model of each project I can offer clients 3D PDFs that can be explored and even 'walked through' using the latest free off-the-shelf Adobe Acrobat Reader software that is available for ALL computer operating systems Apple or Microsoft etc.

The reason I use the 'white card' graphic form is that they are quicker to 'render' whilst showing accurate lighting whether natural or artificial:

The other advantage is that textures and colour can easily distract at early stages of a project and can lead to false conclusions about material and finishes so that they can be agreed, confirmed and incorporated into the model later saving a lot of time. Even very expensive 'CGI' images from 'specialists' can look very wrong and unlike reality and the 'white card' model is a 'working' model for discussion.

By using the BIM capabilities of the software we can prepare construction ready documents with much, if not all, of the specification information embedded within it in a construction and Facilities Management friendly IFC file format along with accurate COBie spreadsheets, thermal modelling and even AR and VR.

If you or any of your friends, family or business associates have a need for an architect who lives in the C21 rather than the C20 like many non-architects please do contact us through the website, by email at or even the telephone 0153522586 (pre-booking is available through the website).

I will also be on the RIBA "Ask an Architect" stand at Grand Designs Show at the NEC on the 13th October 2018.


Following on from the first instalment of my comments on Vitruvius, the following demonstrates just one aspect of the importance of learning. At school over 40 years ago the beginnings of computing were interesting us as sixth formers and Maths lessons included learning BASIC. Some teachers were very 'anti' but most understood that times were changing. On getting to University to study Architecture computers were banned and all designs were done with pencil and paper, pen and ink, on drawing boards. During the 6 year course the engineering department moved from one computer fro 5 Universities to each department in each University having a room full of Commodore PET computers for student use, except the School of Architecture. One Architecture student even chose to write a simple CAD programme for his final project but was failed because of it 🙁

Upon entering the World of work, within a couple of years I was using AutoCad R2 but most practices were still drawing board based. By the early 1990s I was implementing 3D CAD to the practice I was working for, but practices were still using 2D CAD and drawing boards. I have now been using full BIM as it develops for a decade using Vectorworks but still happen across practices using 2D CAD and even drawing boards. The following illustration is VERY appropriate 🙂


There is nothing wrong with using 3D CAD, 2D CAD, or drawing boards except the lack of productivity: simple tools, draughting machines, 2D CAD, SketchUp, 3D CAD, early proprietary BIM (Revit and early ArchiCAD), OpenBIM (ArchiCAD and Vectorworks). Whilst a £10 million project is within my capabilities as a team of one using Vectorworks that would be impossible using 2D CAD or a drawing board.


I have been fascinated by the writings of the Roman Vitruvius (well the translations) for 40 years and they appear to be becoming more and more relevant:


In lay terms he is saying that an architect must be a thinker and a doer, the thinking informs the doing and vice versa.


Here, centuries before the invention of technicians and technologists, Vitruvius is pointing out that the danger of knowing how to construct without the scholarship of architecture is as bad as the danger of being an artist without the knowledge of construction. The architect is only ever an architect when he/she is a scholar who knows how to build. Which is as true today as in the Roman era.


Now it gets a bit more specific. An architect needs to be an all-round polymath educated in the Arts and Sciences. In modern terms always learning too. The purpose of professional CPD.

If there is interest I will work my way through the 319 pages of the "Ten Books on Architecture". In fact, as it is interesting to me, I might just do it anyway 🙂



"I don't know much about X, but I know what I like" is a phrase much used by the general public in discussing everything from clothes to music including architecture, unfortunately. But the elements of 'fashion' and 'style' have nothing to do with whether the subject of the vitriol is well designed or not. It is that issue that people have difficulty with. The bus station in Northampton was demolished because it's style was out of fashion not because it was badly designed. All it needed was a clean and the lights turning on and updated to 'daylight' LEDs! Victorian buildings, as a style, were much derided in the 1960s for much the same reason, whist now even poor examples are retained because fashion has changed back (as it does, in cycles).

Buildings today are considered appealing if designed in a 'Victorian' or a 'Classical' style but they are often badly designed and dysfunctional. Prince Charle's Poundbury 'works' as a well designed place but not for the reason he thinks it does, the 'classical' styling. It 'works' because it is laid out for humans not vehicles and is therefore a pleasure to walk through. Recently a house designed by a non-architect was much praised and exhibited for it's 'classical' styling yet was a bad design for many practical reasons: Every toilet was mounted on an internal wall leading to unpleasant sound transmission and the bathroom window (for stylistically reasons, presumably) was a large clear glazed window facing the street etc. Why? there are countless similarly silly errors in non-architect designed homes around the Country. Why?

Many Planning Committees are also unable to distinguish between good design (a planning matter) and mere style (NOT a planning matter). Why?

I am of an age that my tutors and lecturers were heros of Brutalist Architecture which we, sort of, fought back against. But with the benefit of hindsight I can now see that whilst 'out of fashion' in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, many examples were actually well designed. Robin Hood Gardens and Alexander Road in London for example. in fact they were very well designed just neglected, under maintained and vandalised. Patrick Hodgkinson's (my tutor) Brunswick Terrace, after he was allowed to finish and complete it as intended recently before he died, is now a wonderful piece of Architecture, the fact that it was well designed from the start proves that.

A building has to be designed well for a life that may last centuries, fashion and style are irrelevant in the long run. Demolishing a building just because it is not liked is unsustainable. Demolishing a building because it is badly designed, as long as it is being replaced by a well designed one, is on the other hand sustainable.



One of the recurring themes with projects is the "Justa" project. Client phones up with "I'd like some plans drawn for a project, It is just a small extension". It happens on bigger projects too. They want an extension, and it follows this chain of events:

  1. phone a builder (not FMB or CIOB or NHBC registered.
  2. who phones up an 'architect' they know (nearly always nothing of the sort but cheap) to draw something up they can build.
  3. they give you the client a price.
  4. they submit for planning and it gets refused.
  5. they redraw and resubmit, eventually it gets approved once they've worn the planning officer down.
  6. the cost to you goes up.
  7. they draw up the construction information, submit for a Building Notice and start work.
  8. the building officer is unhappy with some of the work.
  9. they rebuilt to the BCO's advice.
  10. the cost to you goes up again.
  11. you visit site and are not building what you wanted.
  12. they rebuild to what you wanted.
  13. the cost to you goes up again.
  14. the building is completed and you discover although it is what you said you wanted it turns out not to be what you need.
  15. errors in the building appear but you had no fair building contract and there is no building warranty.
  16. the cost of repairs has to be paid for by you as the insurers are unhappy with the fact they were not consulted.

It might not all happen but that might sound familiar and I have simplified the process in the diagram below:KReativ-JustaDiagram.jpg

However, if you appoint an architect (the ONLY full list of them is at such as KR.eativ: Architects Ltd. (the earlier the better, and way before even thinking about a builder) we will assess your 'needs' from your 'wants' and design a building that meets your budget (on a cost per sq.m basis). We then submit only sufficient information that the planners and building regulations inspector need to make a decision. Once we have the approvals we will draw up all the information that the contractor needs to price and construct the building with the schedules and specifications they need. We then draw up a FAIR Building Contract (RIBA or JCT) between you and the builder where we are the contract administrator and certify progress, payment, and completion etc checking that the building is progressing in accordance with the drawings. ALL communication between you and the builder regarding the project is through us as CA and architect to ensure nothing changes that has a serious 'knock on' effect or pushes the scheme over the agreed budget without your approval.

By adding information sequentially, using BIM the prototype we are building in 'cyberspace', it can be used to test lighting, energy performance, etc as the design develops minimising wasting time. It does not make sense to decide to early that the kitchen has to be an x,y,z as a generic layout is a much as you need for the local authority approvals. and you can change you mind whether it is going to be x,y,z or a,b,c until we go out to tender saving potential wasted time and effort. But you do need to tell the contractor at tender stage where all the power sockets are, their height, material and colour etc. The earlier you can decide any energy saving devices you require (generically) the better the thermal performance will be. Likewise it is useful to know that you will need a charging point for an electric vehicle early on, but the fact that it will be a Tesla Model 12345 can be decided later.

I have been designing buildings and working on existing and listed ones for 40 years now, and as KR.eativ: Architects Ltd I've been using the latest 'BIM' software for a decade as it is the most efficient and accurate way of working.


There has been much talk and media concern about the number of jobs that will be lost in the coming years through the AI revolution. The good news is that architects are way down the list at only a 2% likelihoodRobotArchitect-01

However, technical staff are not going to be as lucky. A situation I have forecast for many years:RobotTechnician

There is a problem though. Because the research was conducted in the the USA, where architects require a similar level of knowledge, skills, education and experience as here in the UK, the idiots (for the BBC) who translated that research into English failed to realise/understand that Chartered Architectural Technologists (there are not, and no need for, any in the USA) are NOT architects, or as qualified, and therefore out of ignorance included them in the chart as architects at No.338 as less than 2% likely to be automated:RobotArchitect-03

Any Chartered Architectural Technologist would, currently, need to re-qualifiy from the beginning if they wanted to be an architect. They should therefore obviously be listed a lot nearer technicians with whom they share educational qualifications, knowledge and skills:RobotTechnician-05

My advice to anybody who has just received their "A" results, or about to start on "A" levels, who wants a career 'in architecture' that the only career 'in architecture' with a future is that of architect. If you don't fancy University or are not 'academically' minded there are both part-time and apprenticeship course routes into the profession.


It is newsletter time again:


There are also lots of free PDFs accessible through the website and if you book a free 20 minute 'Ask and Expert' call to get you started in the right direction.

As the practice has a window of opportunity, for using the services of my RIBA Chartered Practice, opening up we are especially looking for town centre commercial projects to get it regenerated as the retail sector recedes: offices, residential, galleries, and workshops etc. Co-working spaces are very popular for small start-up businesses. As can be seen below I have had a varied experience that includes listed buildings.