We believe the best buildings are created from a close partnership between client and architect. We like to think of our role as being your critical friend; we’re at your side to support and guide, but we’re also there to question. When choosing an architect, what you are really buying, therefore, is not a product (any half-decent architect can deliver a completed building), nor even a service, but a relationship; and when we’re choosing whether to work with a client, we’re looking for a degree of engagement.
What’s In A Name?
If you scratch the surface you will usually find an architect to be one of two types: either a frustrated artist yearning to create beauty but with little control of cost (and never mind if the building leaks), or a process person who has lost whatever creativity they may have had, and who can deliver a leak-free building to time and budget but which lacks any interest or humanity. Most practices basically offer just one of these. By contrast, Archangel believes that you as the client have a right to expect the good side to both of these. Hence the way we write our name, breaking it into two halves – the ‘arch’ represents the solid and responsible bit, and the ‘angel’ represents the creative and life-affirming bit. And like the colon that separates the words, the point of our practice is to hold the two parts together.
Nuts And Bolts
So the boring bits are still important! Archangel is a RIBA registered chartered practice based in Cambridge (UK), working both with new buildings and the sensitive adaptation of existing ones, and across a range of sectors including Commercial, Education, Church, Residential and Domestic. Our Projects Gallery shows examples of all of these. Alongside the full range of architectural services we also offer a project management service; please contact us if this is of relevance. We also maintain www.churchbuild.co.uk, a separate site which provides resources, discussion documents, opinion and further case studies specifically related to church buildings. Do check this out if you are a church or other community organisation.
Archangel is also a member of The Green Register, a group of like-minded building professionals wishing to pursue the sustainability agenda. We can therefore provide advice on green building issues appropriate to your project vision, reducing both long term costs and environmental impact.
What Are We Like To Work With?
We love what we do! There may be easier ways of making a living, but there are few that are as rewarding; for us there is nothing to beat seeing satisfied clients who are delighted with the end result. We pride ourselves on our responsiveness to programme and budget constraints, and (within reason) we welcome those constraints as a spur to creativity. We’re also good at listening (it helps that Nigel has worked for many years as a counsellor) and this is particularly helpful in trying to draw out consensus, whether within a client body or between the client and other stakeholders, such as neighbours or planners. And we try to pay as much attention to the little things as to the big picture – a beautiful building usually shows an attention to detail at all levels, from how it sits in relation to its landscape and neighbours all the way down to the choice of materials, the window detail or the signage.
Embarking on a building project can seem like setting out on a daunting journey; clients often wonder where on earth they should start. The good news is that with the right equipment and the right guide it is not only achievable, but can be one of the most significant things you ever do. If you like the feel of this site, then please contact us – we would love to discuss whether we are the right people to accompany you on your journey.