Architecture + Design
Headed up by RIBA Architects Stephen Blowers and Robert Starnes, Designcubed is an architecture and design studio based in South East London. We take a pragmatic approach to design: first and foremost it must work, it should be appropriate, bring joy and comfort, and be affordable yet of high quality. We have no set solutions, design is a process of discovery which we explore alongside our clients and we understand that an emphasis on the clear communication of ideas is a fundamental key to success.
Since our founding in 2011, we have delivered a wide range of exciting projects including: extensions to and remodelling of private homes; residential developments; schools and colleges; facilities for vineyards (including wineries); public and commercial buildings; and, soon to complete, an animal husbandry centre with an integrated tropical biome!
Homes + Living
The first project we completed as Designcubed was “Courtyard House“, which is where Stephen now lives. There really was nothing like designing and building a house for ourselves to fully appreciate what really matters in making a home. To experience first hand the personal stresses of a self-build and the difficult choices to be made, set aside from design, when you are funding a project for yourself. Questions such as “How much does it cost?”, “How long will it take?”, “What are the risks?” become the fundamentals alongside the aspirations of “How do you want to live?” and “How does it look?”.
A close working relationship with our clients is paramount when designing such a deeply personal place as a home. We not only provide ideas and solutions but act as a sounding board to your vision and to your concept of what a home should be. We work with you to hone ideas whilst weighing them against practicality and the available budget.
We provide accurate three dimensional visualisations from the beginning of each project to aid communication and demystify the design process. Our clients appreciate the clarity this provides as it enables greater engagement with emerging designs, improves decision making, and helps ensure that what is built matches the vision and expectations.
Education + Learning
Education projects require a distinct skill set from an architect for a successful project to be delivered. The basics for larger scale projects such as these demand: the ability to lead a full design team; negotiation of complex client bodies and interest groups requirements; experience of working with main contractors under various forms of procurement; and a flexible can-do approach to value engineering where budgets are tight.
A strong client working relationship is again our most critical element for success. The ability to communicate our ideas whilst understanding and addressing the real issues that educators, students, and other user groups have to consider with their built environment is fundamental. We therefore work hard to involve members of the client team (and appropriate other interest groups) in the design process. This builds a feeling of ownership in the project, improves design decision making and leads to a better, more thought through building at completion.
We design all projects from inception to completion using BIM (Building Information Modelling) and will coordinate Structural and M&E (Mechanical & Electrical) information in three dimensions. High quality visualisations and walk-throughs are provided at all stages and we will often test ideas or potential design changes in the computer model during meetings to facilitate decision making.
Vineyards + Wineries
Our experience designing and delivering vineyard facilities leads us to offer a partnership with Vinescapes to provide a ‘One Stop Shop’ for land-owners and clients interested in setting up or expanding a vineyard.
Vinescapes work with prospective, new and established English wine producers to achieve outstanding wine quality and successful business ventures. Our staff and partners are trusted experts with international acclaim and years of experience delivering the highest quality grape growing and winemaking in England. As project managers, consultants, viticulturalists, wine makers, researchers and contractors we combine to bring our knowledge, expertise and passion to English wine businesses. We provide business planning, vineyard establishment, winery design & construction, operational management, and training. Aware of the opportunities and risks in English wine production we bring a considered but enthusiastic approach to our work and provide a friendly, high-quality service.
Visit Vinescapes website for further details.