Finding Architecture Firms and Architects in London
The choice of great architecture firms in and around London can make it difficult to find the right one for your project.
After all, London is a hub for development and home to many amazing projects of all types. It’s no wonder that there are so many architecture firms and architects in London.
Picking an architect may sound daunting, but don’t worry. We are here to help you choose the perfect one to bring your final design to life.
If you need a professional architect in the London area, we can help you narrow down the bigger picture to find the best fit for your project.
Here are some key points to consider when you are looking for architects in London –
Criteria for Architects in London
- Investigate several architecture firms with experience with projects like yours
- Examine their past projects
- Look at their reviews
- Find out about their reputation locally
Following the Great Fire of London in 1666 which destroyed most of the buildings, the city was rebuilt. Christopher Wren was one of the main architects involved and during this time he designed Kensington Palace and St Paul’s Cathedral, one of the finest examples of British Baroque architecture.
Later, the Georgians built the iconic red brick, terraced buildings seen in central London today, such as Grosvenor Square. In the Regency period that followed, buildings were designed with the white stucco facades that we see in Belgravia. John Nash was a leading architect and was responsible for Regent’s Street and Regent’s Park.
The Victorian era, following the Industrial Revolution, saw the revival of elaborate architecture, typified by St Pancras Station and the Houses of Parliament. The country’s new prosperity was reflected in the growth of homes for the expanding middle class, as well as homes for the growing numbers of factory workers.
The Edwardians continued to build homes in London – these were often larger than their Victorian forerunners and many were in a terraced style. Art Deco houses followed in the 1920 and 30s, including many apartment blocks and Southgate Underground Station. In World War II, London was badly bombed and there was a need for rapid rebuilding which resulted in the construction of many high-rise flats.
In the 21st century, the city is a melting pot of architecture. Contemporary developments include high-rise luxury apartment blocks, and the skyline boasts new London architecture such as The Gherkin and The Shard.
Development of London
The London Plan 2021, the master planning strategy for the next 20-25 years, prioritises the need for house building.
The population is expected to grow by 70,000 each year to reach 10.8 million in 2041, underlining the urgency for building huge numbers of homes along with creating employment space. Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, wants to see tens of thousands of new homes built every year.
The London Plan aims to rebalance development in a particular order to see more affordable housing to both buy and rent, and a greener, safer city. Each London borough has housing targets with sustainable growth a guiding principle.
The Plan also wants to create well-paid jobs and improve transport links, with walking and cycling to become mainstream options in a city with cleaner air due to low emission zones. The Plan identifies space for over 52,000 new homes per year and a target for 50% to be genuinely affordable.
Schemes that deliver 35% affordable housing are to be fast-tracked and new buildings must be built to low carbon standards.
Why Hire an Architect?
The best architecture firms hold an extensive knowledge that can add value to all stages of a scheme. As a result of this, hiring architects in London from one of the many architecture firms with a proven track record may well save you money in the long term.
An architect is trained in building design and construction, enabling them to calculate the best use of space or suggest the most energy-efficient way to heat a house. Their knowledge of maintenance and running costs is also helpful.
An architecture practice can be useful for just the initial stages of your scheme, for instance preparing drawings and obtaining planning permission, or they can be involved for its entirety, master planning project management duties.
Total involvement can include creating technical drawings for builders to quote on, selecting the builder to use and dealing with contracts, monitoring the build, and keeping tabs on costs. Paying attention to detail is their stock in trade!
Architects will be used to dealing with the relevant local planning authority and will be aware of its environmental aims and policies on reuse of old or historic buildings and low carbon materials.
If you need an ecological survey on your site, our article ecology surveys – what you need to know explains the process.
The best London architects can ensure that your scheme satisfies the local authority’s requirements for enhancing the development area through biodiversity net gain (BGN), which may involve installing bird or bat boxes or incorporating special habitats into the scheme.
All architects in the United Kingdom must be registered with the Architects’ Registration Board, and most are members of the Royal Institute of British Architects.
London Architecture Firms and Projects
These exquisite schemes have been carried out by what we judge as five of the best architects in London.
Hopefully, they will be inspiring and help you decide on the type of architectural firm needed to bring your final design to life.
This award-winning London and Devon architects firm is based in East Sheen, London. They focus on creating sustainable buildings and get great reviews. Their website says:
“We create intelligent architecture and interior design to find solutions to critical questions facing us today: such as how to make a low carbon home, how to bring the outside in, how to design for wellbeing and joy.”
This superb scheme involved extending and refurbishing a semi-detached home in Richmond-upon-Thames. L+ Architects took a contemporary approach and blended it with the existing environment.
Works included removing a conservatory, creating outdoor space, unifying ground floor roofs and upgrading the performance of the house, using sustainable materials and green sedum roofs.
Trevor Brown Architects
Trevor Brown Architects is an architects and interior design studio in north London, specialising in residential architecture including managing the construction process. They have great reviews and say:
As a team of architects and interior designers, we take a holistic approach to each commission. Our work is informed by the existing builds, client’s taste and desire, with the coordination of everyday objects and beautiful things.
This sophisticated interior remodelling and contemporary extension to a northwest London semi-detached property created a functional family home. A large roof light over the side return enables light to fill the kitchen and crittal doors open to the garden.
The kitchen includes a walk-in larder and the scheme also involved refurbishment to reception rooms and bedrooms, along with a loft extension and renovations to the front of the house.
HOKO/The Homeowners Architect
HOKO get five-star reviews and take care of projects from start to finish. This architects’ practice works on new builds, extensions and refurbishments and they say:
“To change how homeowners experience architecture, we have developed logical and repeatable processes, augmented by the highest specification software and hardware and delivered by a passionate, experienced team of architects using virtual reality technology.”
This appealing project involves a contemporary extension to a historic farmstead.
Model Projects Ltd
Model Projects of Brixton are specialists in the conversion of offices and agricultural buildings to stunning residential dwellings. Following a full site survey, they create 3D models which allow exploration of different options to achieve the optimum layout.
They have great reviews and can deal with planning applications and permitted development, which allows the conversion of agricultural buildings to residential. This firm also works on new build projects, renovations and conversions.
These spectacular residential units have been created from existing buildings within an old foundry in Suffolk. The scheme maintained some original features and combined them with new elements to provide high quality buildings with modern, open plan spaces.
Patrick + Rosie
This boutique architecture and construction company is a residential specialist with almost two decades of experience. A small team, they aim to deliver beautiful homes on time and on budget. Their model is to have two live construction projects at a time, enabling them to stay in total control. They focus on effective cost management and quality construction and have many satisfied customers.
These are beautiful examples of this architecture firm’s imaginative conversion work.
Now that you have seen these brilliant schemes from some of the best London architects, you will be closer to deciding on the sort of architect’s firm you need.
London’s top architecture firms range from those which deal with straightforward extensions and loft conversions, to others who take on more complex and bespoke projects. Most London architects will offer a full architectural service which includes obtaining planning permission and project management.
It is a good idea to speak to several London architects and more than one design practice to discuss your project before making a decision. Prepare a list of questions to ask – you might find our article 10 things to ask your architect useful.