Time for an extension? Remember design

Some people feel too broke at the start of the year but for others this is a time to start on new projects. So I was not surprised to see a post on Streetlife, my local website, from somebody looking for recommendations for someone to create an extension.

Some people feel too broke at the start of the year but for others this is a time to start on new projects. So I was not surprised to see a post on Streetlife, my local website, from somebody looking for recommendations for someone to create an extension.

What is depressing is that the recommendations have almost nothing to do with design. Not design in the fancy, let’s make it frilly sense. But with design in the sense of thinking spatially and, which is the crux of good architectural thinking, creating something that the client wouldn’t have thought of themselves. Instead there is a lot of talk of costs, of getting builders to run the job. And even where an architect is mentioned it seems to be in terms of cost and efficiency rather than their design ability.

Of course personal recommendation is the strongest way to find something that will please you. But these responders seem to be answering the wrong question. Perhaps the questioner should take a wander round the neighbourhood and knock on a few doors. There are some good extension, and some that have won awards. Interesting architects, such as Studio Octopi, are currently working around the corner from me. Or they could wait until Open House in September and visit a few local projects.

Rather than committing what seems to be the classic British mistake these days – acknowledging the importance of delivery and then, erroneously, deciding it is everything.

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