If you’re looking for an architect in the Birmingham and West Midlands area, we are here to help.
Birmingham has a host of architecture firms, and we can show you how to work out which one is the best fit for your project.
There are lots of things to think about when choosing an architect to work with. Choosing the wrong one can add significant issues to your project and cost you both time and money.
That is why we strongly recommend meeting with more than one architect to discuss your scheme and see if their skills fit your vision.
Keep reading to learn more about architects in Birmingham and take a look at some of the amazing projects by architects in the area that are sure to inspire you.
Birmingham, the UK’s second largest city with a population of over 2.5 million, expanded rapidly from the 16th and 17th centuries, benefiting from being close to sources of iron ore, coal, timber and streams to power watermills.
Its unique industrial history is partly due to its 35 miles of canals, built in the 1700s and 1800s, which carried vast quantities of coal and iron during the Industrial Revolution. While the canals fell into disrepair as rail and road transport took over, many have been restored to create a feature in parts of the city.
Targeted as a manufacturing centre, Birmingham was badly bombed in the war, but by the 20th century, it was a hub for the UK’s manufacturing and car industries.
Today, it’s a commercial centre and home to the largest financial services and creative sectors outside London. Architecturally, there is a mix of Georgian buildings and innovative architectural developments across the city.
The Birmingham Development Plan aims to deliver over 51,100 new homes by 2031. Priorities include sustainable growth in the right areas to ensure a strong economy, improving air quality, regenerating previously developed land affected by contamination or instability and protecting trees and woodland.
The council also wants to see a mix of housing to cater for people with specific needs. More accommodation of all sizes is required, especially three and four-bedroom houses, and self and custom-build projects will be supported.
How an architect in Birmingham can help
An architect’s training and technical experience in building construction can add value at all levels of a project.
They can bring invaluable expertise to a scheme and often devise creative solutions, for instance by calculating the most efficient way to use space, enabling savings through attention to detail.
An architect can help you get the most from your project from the start – they can carry out master planning of the whole process, or just be involved for the initial stages.
The right architect can be helpful in bringing fresh ideas to a scheme and can even advise on interior design to create the perfect finished product.
As well as designing a project, an architect can guide you through the planning permission process and the actual build, carrying out project management duties to ensure build quality is maintained and monitor costs.
It is important to find the right Birmingham architect with the experience to work successfully on your project.
They can advise on all the approvals needed by the local authority including pre-application, deal with building regulations, recommend the type of building contract and prepare technical drawings for builders to quote on.
An architectural firm will also have local knowledge which can provide an overview of the city-wide vision, for example, its environmental aims. Architects will also be aware of the new emphasis on designing through nature-based solutions, reusing old buildings and best ecological practices to promote health and wellbeing.
Architectural services can also ensure that a project includes the necessary amount of biodiversity net gain (BNG) to satisfy planning requirements, perhaps by incorporating eco-habitats or installing bat and bird boxes.
All British architects must be registered with the Architects’ Registration Board and most take up Royal Institute of British Architects RIBA membership.
Beautiful architecture projects in Birmingham
Here are some of our favourite architects working in Birmingham and the West Midlands. The great ideas behind these schemes should inspire you and indicate the type of architect that you need to make your own vision a reality.
The General Architecture Company Ltd
With over 200 projects in their portfolio, The General Architecture Company Ltd in Bournville, Birmingham, is experienced in house extensions, renovations, listed property, barn and loft conversions and has lots of excellent reviews.
This two-man team puts the emphasis on clearly understanding a client’s aims before applying their creative skills to the project. They say:
“We love open plan spaces where we can eat, work and play together, and we like cosy, intimate spaces where we can feel connected.”
Here are two examples of beautiful projects that they have recently completed: an extension to a 19th century farmworker’s cottage in Staffordshire and a garden room extension.
If you want to create an eco-home, Associated Architects are specialists in Passivhaus design, retrofitting and regeneration work.
This award-winning Birmingham-based firm’s Eco Vicarages are the first UK homes to be awarded zero carbon (level 6) under the UK Code for Sustainable Homes and Passivhaus accreditation.
The client, the Diocese of Worcester, instructed the project in line with the Church of England’s commitment to reduce its carbon footprint by 80% over the next 30 years.
Payback on the construction cost is predicted in eight years due to the reduced energy usage. The design includes triple glazing, airtight construction, two types of solar panelling and a ground to air heat exchanger.
These design measures have seen annual energy demand drop from 26,000kWhr to 8,000kWhr and reduced annual energy costs from £3,000 to less than £100.
Here is an example of one of these amazing sustainable homes.
Design Ai Ltd
This Solihull firm specialises in architectural design, garage conversions, bathrooms, building conservation, extensions and loft conversions.
Design Ai’s high levels of customer service have gained them great reviews.
This completed project shows one of their fantastic kitchen extension schemes.
This is an award-winning, young boutique studio with bases in Birmingham and London.
It has great reviews and is praised for listening carefully to its clients’ requirements and giving excellent service.
Here’s an example of one of their stylish kitchen extensions at a terraced house in Birmingham.
The architectural design involved removing internal walls and the floor to create an open plan kitchen diner, enlarging existing windows to create full height aluminium framed doors to maximise the light entering and covering non-original brickwork in charred timber.
Private residential architecture is the speciality at Lapworth Architects of Birmingham.
The nine-strong team’s range of work includes refurbishments, extensions and single new builds and they are experienced in getting planning consent on tricky Green Belt plots, listed and period property.
The firm has won over 40 awards for design quality and has excellent testimonials.
Lapworth Architects were chosen to work on the handsome project below (top right) in the Warwickshire countryside on a Green Belt infill plot with a brief for a high quality, low density residential development. This house is part of a seven-home development, in a traditional style to match the surrounding houses.
This gorgeous new-build residence in Solihull (bottom row of pictures) replaced a dated house which no longer served the family’s needs.
Hopefully, you’ve got some inspiration from these great Birmingham architects and we have shown what can be achieved when the right team gets on board.
Birmingham and the West Midlands are home to many great architectural firms who specialise in work ranging from conversions and house extensions to larger scale projects, and many will take on the planning permission process as part of the scheme.
Before contacting an architect, jot down a list of questions to ask them. It may be helpful to read our article 10 things to ask your architect when thinking about what questions to ask.