Architects North London

Architects North London

Architects North London

Robert Rhodes Architecture + Interiors are based in North London and believe in the emotional power and cultural relevance of old buildings. Our office is situated between Clerkenwell and Islington, so we are well versed in this part of London. We care about the buildings we inhabit and believe that North London can adapt and evolve to a new meaning whilst retaining integrity and history.

We are in a unique position to advise our clients how to design a building which respects the local area and adheres to the guidelines and restrictions of North London planning departments, whether that is listed building status or within a conservation area.

We take a pragmatic approach to advising you, often making recommendations which preserve the integrity of the building but create a design that evolves the building for a future generation. Our work has been included in the Architects; Journal ‘Retrofit Awards’ and the New London Architecture’s ‘Don’t Move, Improve Awards’ for creating schemes which respect the existing building yet create an exceptional design for the homeowner.

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Architects North London

Architects North London
About our practice

We love old buildings. We believe in their emotional power and cultural relevance.

We believe in conservation. We believe it is the essence of sustainability.

We believe in cities. We are committed to London as our home. We are excited by the possibilities that lie ahead and what we can do to make London better.

We believe in regeneration, and the value that comes from collective aspiration, effort and investment.

We believe in people. People regenerate cities.

We do it to make the world better, to make our lives better.

We do it for financial security, for a sound investment, for a legacy, and for fun. What better prize is there than a beautiful home, a beautiful office, a beautiful street, a great café, a great neighbourhood, a beautiful city.

We believe in the transformative power of our actions. We believe that if we do it right, it will benefit everyone, forever.

Through careful action we create sustainable assets that build cultural capital and financial reward. Making the city better, one building at a time.

Architects North London
Tips on renovations

If you’re considering a heritage or conservation project, we can help, whether it’s a renovation, extension or self-build. Most new London architecture projects require planning permission from the local council, and we’ve built a successful record securing planning permission for our clients thanks to the successful projects completed across London.

Taking on any kind of renovation project, regardless of the size, can be quite a daunting prospect due to the amount of time and money investment it takes. However, it can be extremely rewarding and in this article, we’ve put together some tips that will help you lead a successful renovation project.

1. Before you start, get a building report. Always commission a building report to get a general idea of how the property is doing.

2. Save money on surveys. Ask your lender whether there’s a surveyor that is on their panel for valuation reports to save money.

3. Prepare a letter to the owner of the house. Obtaining a property for renovation is competitive and a letter to the owner explaining why you’re a better choice can be a great help.

4. Create and stick to a schedule. A schedule will keep you organised so that there’s less chance of overlapping contractors.

5. Check for existing utilities. Radiators, electronics, water and gas are a huge concern and should be kept in mind when renovating because it could greatly impact the cost of the renovation.

6. Be aware of subsidence. Subsidence is the bane of many renovation projects, but it is possible to work with it as long as you check with the seller and their insurers.

7. Examine structural damage. Whether it’s cracks in the walls, damp or rotting timber, make sure you check for structural damage before doing anything.

8. Identify if the property is habitable. If the property isn’t habitable then you may have difficulties getting a mortgage.

9. Keep ground floor bathrooms. It’s far too expensive to replace a ground floor bathroom and it also means you give up a bedroom, so keep them in place and just refurbish them.

10. Examine the exterior. Check the roof, backyard and other exterior areas to see what needs replacing or fixing.

11. Ensure measurements are accurate. Utilise a measured survey to ensure your plans are accurate.

12. If you’re buying at auction, prepare to compete with others. Auctions are cutthroat and you need to be fully aware of the competition involved in renovation projects.

13. Plan somewhere to live. Make sure you have a place to stay during your renovation project.

14. Don’t overestimate your ability or patience. Renovations can take a long time and require a lot of patience so keep a cool head at all times and understand that things like delays and dust are inevitable.

15. Understand the financial implications of a renovation. There are many financial implications during a renovation project so keep things like VAT and insurance in mind.

16. Keep windows intact. Windows are too expensive to replace and should be repaired when possible.

17. Invest in a structural engineer. If your renovation involves many structural changes then a structural engineer is vital.

18. Consider a warranty. Warranties aren’t always essential but will cover the home against design flaws and poor build quality before you invest in it.

19. Keep an eye on hidden costs. Be it reconnecting utilities, cleaning a septic tank or valuation fees, make sure you keep hidden costs in mind.

20. Do you need planning permission? Make sure you check if your project actually needs planning permission or not.

Architects North London
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    Architects North London

    Architects North London
    About Robert

    Originally from Pennsylvania, Robert studied architecture in Ohio, New York City and Florence, Italy. He moved to London in 2003, working with John Simpson & Partners, Liam O’Connor Architects and Planning Consultants, and Lees Associates Architecture and Design. He left Lees Associates in late 2009 to start what eventually became RRA+I.

    Robert trained in the Bauhaus tradition, and as an urbanist in the lineage of Colin Rowe. He also trained in and practiced contemporary classicism, learning the leaders of that movement. He secretly holds onto more of their tenets than he’d care to admit, putting that knowledge, reverence and earnestness to good use – working primarily in sensitive contexts and with listed buildings.

    Robert believes that ornament is not crime. He also believes that less is more. He is, at his core, a rationalist, a conservationist and a classicist. Robert is a leader within The American Institute of Architects, serving both in the UK and internationally.

    Our curiosity was unbounded, we wanted to know everything about everything. How did anything we focused on become what it was? Process. We would think, talk, and draw for hours on end. We still do.
    – Michael Rotondi, founding partner of Morphosis and RoTo Architects

    …the unreasoned joy of the simple correspondence of appearance and reality… the evident rightness of things as they are, seen clearly. 
    – Michael Benedikt, author of For an Architecture of Reality.

    Architects North London
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    Architects North London, Hampstead Heath, via Wikipedia

    Architects North London
    Open Spaces in North London

    The capital sees millions of tourists every year, who are there to soak in the culture and rich history. The main attractions are usually the buildings that are visible all over the city, from Big Ben to The Shard. However, there is much more to architecture in London than skyscrapers and landmarks; the vast open spaces in North London that hold thousands of years of garden and landscape architecture history.

    There are acres of quality green spaces across London, which are free to visit and connect with nature, undertake exercise or learn something new about their unique history. They serve as a unique escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and they can also give an awe-inspiring insight into London’s heritage.


    The Regent’s Park

    One of London’s eight Royal Parks and also known as the ‘Jewel in the Crown,’ Regent’s Park covers 395 acres of land. The combination of vast open spaces, tree lines pathways, stunning gardens and children’s play areas make it a multi-purpose park in the heart of London.

    This vast rounded park, as we know it today, was designed by John Nash for King George IV. Regent’s Park is truly a masterpiece of landscape design and town planning, but it used to be a hunting chase and isolated farmland. With thick woods heading up the slopes towards Primrose Hill and open woods on the lower ground, the park was an idyllic spot for deer.

    Now you can spend hours wandering through delicate flower bed and admiring thousands of roses in Queen Mary’s Gardens. The open-air theatre is a prominent feature of Regent’s Park with performances running every year from May to September. Regent’s Park is also a welcoming spot for wildlife with a breeding population of hedgehogs and a huge wetland area which homes hundreds of bird species.

    The air of elegance that existed 150 years ago is certainly remains prominent in the present day.


    Hampstead Heath

    With over fifty historical features, monuments and archaeological sites covering 320 hectares the Heath is London’s largest ancient park. Just a stone’s throw away from the hectic city, Hampstead Heath feels like a safe haven nestled in rambling hills, rich wildlife and calm surroundings. It is also the perfect place to catch a glimpse of London’s skyline, fly a kite, enjoy some bird watching or go for a run.

    The three open air swimming ponds are open all year round, even though locals might not be tempted during the chillier winter months. It is certainly a popular hotspot when you’re looking for a long walk along the wide-open spaces, shady paths or exquisite woodlands.

    As one of the principle green spaces in London, Hampstead Heath is certainly a nationally renowned landscape.


    Finsbury Park

    Located adjacent to Finsbury Park Station, this is one of the busiest transport interchanges outside of the city centre. In 2005 the Park underwent a £5 million Heritage Lottery Funded restoration and improvement programme and is the largest park managed by the council.

    Finsbury Park now boasts a rich variety of landscapes and facilities which now cater for everybody’s needs in the modern day. Its design reflects many of the parks original features including the re-landscaping of the American Gardens and the historical flower gardens of Alexander MacKenzie.

    The relatively symmetrical composition, formal entrance gates and curving paths, the horticultural features and recreational features are divided clearly into zones. With a dog-free play area, formal gardens, picnic areas, a boating lake and an outdoor gym, Finsbury Park offers a multitude of leisure activities to tourists and locals.

    From Regent’s Park to Finsbury Park, there is certainly a lot to learn when it comes to the vivid architectural history of these green open spaces in North London.