Good design is not an afterthought

THE MAJORITY OF OUR COMMISSIONS are from individual private Clients looking to bring an overlooked gem back to life, extend and enhance their existing home or add some additional facilities - in the Town or Country anywhere in the UK.

With over 30 years in the business and a combined architectural experience of over 250 years, we know a thing or two about what makes for exciting buildings. 

In that time we've turned down at heel properties into palaces, fields in homes, awkward spaces into interesting ones and difficult buildings into gems.

At Johnston Cave Associates we've built a vast experience in working with old or listed buildings - restoring them to their former glory - but also taking advantage of the latest technology and techniques to make them fit for the 21st Century. When it comes to old buildings, we know what works, what to watch out for and what to aim for - from design to planning, specifying to detailing, contractor supervision to finished building.

Interestingly and increasingly we are asked to start from scratch - to build a house that fully dovetails with our Client's needs, ambitions and lifestyle and retains traditional qualities of form, materials and details essential to establishing a sense of place.

We never forget a house is a home

Over the last 30 years, we have designed and supervised the updating and construction of not just houses, new wings, lodges and extensions to fit in with our Client's needs, but have created indoor swimming pools, outdoor pools, ballrooms, billiard rooms, work rooms, flower rooms, gun rooms, games rooms, garden rooms, sitting rooms, dining rooms, media rooms, music rooms, laundry rooms, guest wings and staff facilities. Not to mention libraries, wine cellars, workshops, hen houses, helipads, private bowling alleys, cricket pavilions, garage complexes and equestrian facilities. After all, people want a house that works for them and fits with their lifestyles - somewhere they call home.

A home is not just a collection of rooms

It's about flow; the practical siting and connection of spaces which requires thought and inspiration rather than pedestrian planning. How does the kitchen connect to the dining room? Are the guest bathrooms convenient for the guests? Will the Client get some privacy from the kids and can the kids get some privacy from their parents? Why can't a corridor be more than a passage - an art gallery or drinks stopover? Is the swimming pool a traipse though the whole house or a delightful destination? If we alter the roofline here, we can add a shower there. If we make space for a staircase, suddenly we can make these rooms work with those. The list of considerations is endless; from the practical, where does the hoover live, to the sublime, where do I get the best views?

Landscape image for What we do

Good design is not an afterthought

As with everything, if something is thoughtfully and well-designed from the outset, the attention to detail means it 'just works'. The space and its function becomes a source of pleasure - rather than a compromised afterthought. Take built-in furniture and fittings. At Johnston Cave Associates we've always seen these items as essential considerations demanding our intimate and detailed attention to ensure that they harmonise with the overall vision as well as meeting the client's practical requirements.

We've designed practical and luxury bathrooms, created walk-in wardrobes with 'wow' factor and kitchens to inspire any cook. Whether it's furniture for a bespoke boot room, larder, drinks cabinet, oversize TV or fully equipped office, you'll find us an architectural practice that is practically inspired and driven by good design.

Professional services from a professional firm

Whatever the project, we are able to provide a full range of Architect's professional services; from design work, planning schemes and feasibility studies; through working drawings, construction information and specifications; to tender negotiations, cost control and certification, contract management and project administration to cover the whole project to the time you move in.

Historic buildings require careful handling

We have particular expertise and empathy with historic buildings to give them renewed use , relevance and delight for now and future generations. These building need to be handled with sensitivity and care to satisfy not least the concerns of the overseeing bodies such as English Heritage and local planners, but also to bring their infrastructure into the 21st Century. These demands draw on our expertise in conservation, repair and restoration as well as wide-ranging experience in the successful integration of new designs and modern services into existing historic fabric.

As a measure of our success in balancing these demands Johnston Cave Associates have a succession of national design and conservation awards as well as awards from Local Authorities in the Home Counties.