Understated, Contemporary Architecture and Interior Design
AN INTRODUCTION TO ROOM
oom is the result of a collaboration of designers from two disciplines coming together to share their extensive experience and creative ideas. Architect Ross Duggleby and interior designer Nina Cooley have strong backgrounds in the design industry and share a common vision of delivering understated, contemporary design to their clients.
We share a passion for natural, honest materials, simplicity of design and quality of spaces and this is evident in every Room project that we deliver. Our primary approach to any project is to create something unexpected, to reinterpret client needs to provide a solution that not only fulfils the brief but exceeds it.
At Room we take great pride in our originality and creativity, but we realise that functionality and feasibility are paramount for clients who are limited by budgets and site conditions. We seek first to define the practical route to realising the project and then look at how we can work within the natural constraints of site, budgets, planning limitations and building regulations to create something special.
Our track record in planning applications is excellent, with success in many challenging situations including Listed Buildings, Conservation Areas and Green Belt. We have a pragmatic approach to negotiating the often challenging passage through planning requirements and though our knowledge is significant, we know when to seek the input of other industry professionals such as planning consultants and heritage advisers.
We offer a comprehensive architecture service with spans all RIBA defined stages, from concept through to completion and handover. We have proven track records managing complex, high-value construction projects on-site and dealing with a host of sub-consultants and sub-contractors. We love projects of all types and sizes, be they barn conversions, house extensions, small-scale or full refurbishments, new-build homes or purpose built apartment developments.
We are based in Bath, Somerset, but cover all areas from London to Devon, Gloucestershire to the Home Counties. We offer a free site visit and face-to-face meeting with potential clients for projects to which we feel we can bring something special. We’re keen to hear about your project so contact us now for an initial phone consultation.
Here are just some of the reasons to choose our studio for your project:
Experience. You only get experienced director input. At Room we are a duo – two experienced designers in complementary fields. Your project will be developed, through all stages, by us and us only ensuring that our experience feeds in to every aspect of the project from its detail to its management.
Quality over quantity. Our working methods mean we take on a smaller amount of projects and each one gets the full focus it deserves. A good result means much more to us than getting projects through the door.
We work around you. Our modern, flexible working methods prioritise client convenience and our focus on good work/life balance keeps us energised and enthusiastic about your project.
Innovative. We thrive on delivering the unexpected. A standard solution is not the Room way and, though we always ensure that we fulfil a brief, we aim to do so in a way which exceeds client expectations.
Budgeting. We’re careful with your money. We centralise your budget from an early stage, reviewing costs as we progress. Many architects don’t and projects can become affected by over-ambitious designs which don’t sit within client budget limitations, costing you time and money.
Competitive fees. We have thought about our business model and concluded that, by keeping our overheads as low as possible, we can pass savings on to our clients through competitive fee levels. But whilst well priced, you will still be getting the best in quality.
We’re green. Obsessively so. We hate waste, be it energy or rubbish. We have strong opinions on plastic waste and reducing the footprint of our lives. We bring this into our work approach, minimising our impact at every opportunity.
Us. We’re good, honest people who love what we do and put our all into delivering the best for our clients.
MEET THE TEAM
Architect (ARB, RIBA)
Co-founder and Chartered Architect Ross Duggleby was educated at some of the UK’s best architectural institutions (Sheffield University and UCL’s Bartlett School of Architecture) and has built up over twelve years of experience both in the UK and abroad.
He has spent much of the last fours years working in London’s luxury residential sector, leading teams on projects for both private clients and developers alike. Key projects include design and construction management for a significant private house refurbishment and a multi-unit apartment project in Putney, both of which are nearing completion.
Ross relishes any design challenge and is equally excited by both small and larger projects. Every project offers the opportunity for a unique solution and Ross approaches each challenge from his own non-conventional angle to try to deliver something which exceeds the brief in an unexpected way.
Interior designer Nina Cooley studied at the Bath School of Art & Design and Chelsea College of Art, London. She co-founded Room to bring the extensive experience gathered in the London residential sector to her own studio environment in the South-West.
After leading a number of bespoke projects for renowned London practices, she has worked closely with architects, suppliers, contractors and consultants in the full project cycle from concept to completion. In doing so, she has built up a deep understanding of the process of design and delivery of finished projects to a high-specification and quality.
Nina is involved in projects across the region and of various scales. Through her work, she has developed a broad knowledge of materials, methods and products to inform her own considered brand of understated, contemporary design.
WHAT WE OFFER
oom offer architectural services covering all RIBA stages as well as full interior design services including design, product specification, sourcing and soft furnishing.
We believe in flexibility and offer our services to the level required by our clients, be it a full combined architecture and interior design service or a partial service from one discipline only.
We are guided by you, the client, to establish what extent of service is suitable for your project. Click the various options below to read more.
ARCHITECTURE AND INTERIOR DESIGN
As a dual discpline studio, we believe the best result for any project is to develop it through a holistic process which simultaneously looks at both the outside and the inside. We believe the architecture should be informed by the interiors and vice versa.
From our experience, too many architects do not offer interior design, or engage properly with interior design professionals. As a result, many great architectural projects are often let down by badly considered interiors.
At Room, we feel that the collaboration of the two disciplines should be undertaken from start to finish, to ensure that both detail designs and installations are fully coordinated. Similarly, budgets should allow for interiors from the start, rather than realising the costs involved too late in the day.
This said, at Room we are happy to offer our services individually and are entirely guided by you. We can provide either full holistic service, totally individual service, or a balance, with one discipline offering lighter touch consultancy alongside the other. The service is for you, therefore you define what you want – its our job to deliver it.
For more information on our architectural services, see below. The interior design side of our site is still in development and will be live soon. In the meantime, feel free to contact us to discuss your project or request examples of our work.
1 BRIEF DEVELOPMENT
Whether a domestic or commercial client, your vision for your building is paramount to the entire project. Through a robust brief development process we discuss the details of the project with you and in doing so build up a strong understanding of what it is you hope to see realised.
Throughout this process we will touch on relevant limitations, be they regulatory, technical or budgetary concerns which could impact the project, and suggest ways to work within these to achieve what you desire.
At the end of the the brief development process we will have a solid vision with which to work to deliver a project that blends the best of what you expect with our own creative take on your vision.
Note on other professionals: At this stage we typically work with chartered surveyors to document your site as accurately as possible to ensure we are developing our designs with the best possible information.
2 CONCEPT DESIGN
Building on a solid brief, we begin to develop a concept for the project. A period of research will help further refine what is possible to deliver within the establish limits. We then progress into sketching out ideas.
Typically we work initial ideas up spatially, in plan, to help establish a functional layout for the building. But every Room Studio architecture project is developed in 3D model form to help you best visualise our ideas for the proposals. Throughout the design process we will use the 3D model and engage with you in live modelling sessions to refine the proposals to suit your expectations.
As the end of Concept Design stage, clients will have a refined brief, a set of agreed plans, a 3D model with indicative materials and a developed strategy to progress into Planning Application stages.
3 PLANNING APPLICATIONS
Room Studio have extensive experience in successfully negotiating the Planning Application process. Through both our own knowledge and our network of specialist professionals, we set every project up in best possible way for an approval.
We have an excellent track record of dealing with listed buildings, conservation areas, green belt, deconversions, change of use and permitted development applications. We always strive to establish the best possbile route to enhance the chances of application being granted and then carefully execute that strategy through the planning process.
Note on other professionals: During this stage, we may, depending on the site conditions, need to work with planning consultants, ecology consultants, aboriculturalists, landscape designers, heritage consultants and other professionals who need to prepare reports for the planning application. The need for the inclusion of these will be outlined to you at the very start of the project.
4 TECHNICAL DESIGN
Despite always delivering creative solutions, the realistic ability to deliver projects in built form, within established budgets and timescales is paramount. Throughout the early stages of the design process we work with technical considerations in mind.
Upon receipt of a planning approval, we can begin to develop technical detail in order to advance the pack towards being able to put out to tender. We do this through a series of technical reviews with other relevant professionals, be they structural engineers or mechancial and electrical consutlants, to develop the pack to a level where we provide cost professionals with sufficient information to accurately price the project to ensure it is within budget.
Note on other professionals: During this stage, we will always require the input of a qualified structural engineer and may require technical input from other consultants, such as a Quantity Surveyor depending on the complexity of the project.
5 CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT
With extensive experience on managing builds of all sizes, Room offer clients support on an on-going basis as the project advances on to site. We can take on formal Contract Administration roles acting as mediator between client and contractor to ensure quality and regulatory standards are maintained and that the design vision is fully implemented.
Our role at this stage is manifold:
> Ensure quality
> Manage budget and try to save our clients money
> Manage time and ensure contractors meet deadlines
> Negotiate with contractors on variations to reduce additional costs
> Issuing necessary building certificates
> Liasing with other consultants to coordinate information
> Management of Health and Safety related issues
Our experience in this stage of the works ranges from small scale extensions, interior refurbishments and multi-million pound full house renovations managing complex teams of subconsultants and subcontractors.
Q: Do I have to work with you for both Architecture and Interior Design?
A: No, you can choose to work with us for one or both at your discretion.
Q: Do I have to sign up for all architectural services?
A: No, you can pick and choose the services you require, we will tailor our fees to suit your needs.
Q: Will Room always make a digital 3D model as part of the service?
A: Yes. Most architects don’t offer a model as standard, but in architectural concept design stages at ROOM we develop a 3D model as a key design and communication tool. We will engage with you in live modelling sessions and provide image exports from this model for your own reference.
Q: How do you charge?
A: We believe in being transparent with our clients regarding our fee structuring. For all architects, working out fees is a matter of weighing up the risk involved with a certain project. By ‘risk’ here, we mean ensuring we earn enough to cover the time and expenses we put in to a project. Our fees are worked out based on an estimation of the time required to cover the required tasks. We then offer you a fixed fee on this basis as, from experience, most clients prefer the certainty of a fixed fee over open-ended hourly rate charges.
Q: Do you design with our budget in mind?
A: We believe this is only way to do it. Why design something you can’t afford. It is important for us to have a good understanding of how much you can afford at the outset, so we can design with this in mind. We work with cost professionals from an early stage to ensure that what we propose is as close as it can be to being within your budget.
Q: Do you have contractors you work with?
A: Every contractor is only as good as his or her last project. Although we may have builders we have worked with before, by recommending them to you we are promising that they deliver, something we can never be certain of. We guide clients through the process of identifying a good contractor and undertaking suitable due diligence on them prior to signing a contract. It could be one of the biggest decisions you make, it is important you are confident in yourselves that you have made the right choice.