‘Designing a house is a real skill. It isn’t simply about determining the size and number of rooms you require, it’s about understanding how to create a home that fits your needs, both now and in the future. It’s also about understanding how to ensure the building benefits from and enhances the environment in which it is set.
When we decided to build our ‘forever’ home on the Welsh coast, Hayward Smart spent time ensuring they understood our lifestyle needs and then designed a home which not only met those needs perfectly, but which also sat sympathetically within its surroundings.
Like all good design, the end results looks beautifully simple. But in the simplicity lies the cleverness of Hayward Smart’s work. The house works perfectly, with the living space maximising the benefit of beautiful coastal views and providing a wonderfully comfortable environment in which to both work and play.
We cannot recommend Hayward Smart highly enough. They both designed and project managed our house build. We hadn’t done anything of this magnitude before and it was comforting to know that we had their professional help and guidance throughout the whole housebuild process. They were excellent at knowing not only when to push our comfort zone but also knowing when to pull us back from the brink, when our ideas threatened to compromise the integrity of the design!
And importantly, they were a pleasure to deal with. We had a lot of fun – building a new house should be an enjoyable process.
It’s easy when selecting an architect to think that all that matters is negotiating the cheapest fee. Don’t fall into that trap. Choose your architect carefully because they are the most important part of any housebuild project. Sure, their fee needs to be competitive, but it will pale into insignificance if they do their job correctly.
Every penny we spent with Hayward Smart was money well spent. The end results speak for themselves – we have a fantastic home that’s a joy to live in’.
Mr & Mrs Cooper, Aberdovey
‘Hayward Smart Architects have recently helped us successfully submit a planning application for a new training hall on our headquarters site at Dogs for the Disabled.
HS Architects navigated their way smoothly through the planning process, as they usually do. However, I think of the firm as being more than simply planning advisers and building designers. They are strategic partners who are able to help us consider the long-term issue associated with developing an established site and make best use of the available space.
One of HS Architects great strengths is their ability to listen and really understand what I want. They’ve not just been able to help me think through the issues, but have also been willing to challenge my thinking, so that I have ended up with the best possible result.
I’ve worked with HS Architects over many years and will continue to do so, because I know they are able to bring a mix of expertise, strategic thinking, creativity and practical implementation to the table.’
Peter Gorbing, CEO, Dogs for the Disabled
‘Yew Tree Cottage is a grade 2 listed former farmhouse which sits in the historical village of Tysoe in Warwickshire.
We wanted to extend the building to include a much-needed utility space and also convert a coaching arch into a garden room.
HS Architects understood both our needs and our design vision and Martin Smart was able to develop a solution which was both sympathetic to the existing building and its environment and which fully met our brief for a practical and yet imaginative design.
Martin’s detailed knowledge of listed buildings was invaluable when dealing with the local conservation officer and his skill at managing the tender process and the activities of the main contractor were essential in helping the project run smoothly.
Inevitably, when working with any old buildings, there are times when the project doesn’t run according to plan. Martin was excellent at making us aware of potential problems and then resolving them when they did manifest themselves.
We’re delighted with the end result – and so are the residents of Tysoe, who have praised both the design and choice of materials.’
James Thomson – Yew Tree Cottage, Tysoe
‘When I purchased a property in the pretty Cotswolds village of Broadwell, it was always my ambition to move out of London and live there permanently one day. However, the property was, in its existing form, too small and was therefore used as a holiday home.
The opportunity arose to buy the house next door and I saw the potential to combine the two dwellings into a single family home. However, the project was challenging because the existing house had been largely rebuilt as the result of a fire in the recent past and the house I had just purchased was approximately 300 years old!
Hayward Smart Architects were recommended to me by a neighbour in the village. When Simon Hayward came to speak to me about my ideas for redeveloping the two houses he listened carefully to what I had to say and was able to combine my wishes with ideas of his own to create a truly stunning new home.
The design for the house managed to successfully integrate not just old and new, but also a contemporary extension which was added to the rear of the property as part of the project. The work was carried out to a very high standard under Hayward Smart’s supervision and Simon was excellent at not only managing the activities of builders and sub-contractors, but also keeping me regularly informed of progress. I always felt as if the project was in safe hands and when I needed to discuss issues such as budgets with builders, Simon was always willing to become involved.
I’m delighted with the house that Hayward Smart have designed and developed for me. What’s more, given the number of enquiries I’ve had from people who would like to buy it, I’m not the only one who feels it’s a truly special place!’
Helen McNeill – The Martins, Broadwell
‘Hayward Smart Architects have worked on a number of projects on my behalf over the past few years and on each occasion I’ve been impressed with their design vision and ability to manage the projects through to fruition.
The first project was a house in Enstone requiring a new kitchen and dining area and an extension to the rear of the property. The solution created by HS Architects was a stunning design that was contemporary in nature and yet sympathetic to the character of the village in which the property was located.
More recently, Simon Hayward has worked on the development of a four-storey town house located in the North Oxford conservation area. The brief was to design a studio which required Simon to undertake considerable research to understand the requirements of the building and the specialist materials he was working with. The brief also involved hard landscaping in the garden in which the studio is located.
Again, HS Architects came up with a design which was visually exciting and which sat comfortably within the environment in which it’s located. Simon is excellent at listening to his clients’ requirements, translating them into practical ideas and then implementing those ideas. He not only has an eye for detail but also for quality and he constantly strived to ensure the build was to the highest possible standard.
The third project involved both Simon and Martin working on the interior redevelopment of a traditional farmhouse in the French Alps. The project needed them to understand and work with a very different type of design aesthetic to that found in British properties but, yet again, they rose to the challenge and produced a design proposal that precisely met the brief.
Why have I chosen to work on all three projects with HS Architects rather than shop around? Because they’re not only first-class designers which, to be quite frank, I would expect any architectural practice to be, but they are also great listeners, communicators, project managers and they’re fun people to work with.
Any architectural practice should be capable of developing a decent design. What separates HS Architects from the rest of the pack is their ability to get under the skin of your brief, understand what’s really important to you and then develop a design solution which gives you pleasure not only on the day it’s completed but for many years thereafter.’
Paul Quarterman – Enstone, Oxford and France
‘Hayward Smart Architects were recommended by a friend but what really made us sit up and take note was the recommendation of their builder, who pointed out that Hayward Smart’s very detailed drawings helped ensure everything went according to plan.
When we met Simon and Martin we were impressed with their approach and philosophy towards design. They were very good at pushing our comfort zone and getting us to consider new ideas, but If we said ‘no’ they didn’t become precious about their ideas. In fact, the process of creating a new house design was thoroughly enjoyable from our perspective and it’s interesting, looking back, to note that the finished house has remained remarkably true to their very first concepts.
We were also impressed with the way in which HS Architects were keen to work with a palette of materials from traditional brick and stone to timber and modern window finishes. Their level of attention to detail, their ability to carefully manage the project from start to final conclusion and their willingness to work co-operatively with other designers such as landscape gardeners, all contributed to a trouble-free and enjoyable build programme.
We’re delighted with our new home and cannot recommend HS Architects highly enough.’
Bill Adamson – Ombu, Henley on Thames
‘I first came across HS Architects five years ago when they helped me obtain planning permission to further develop a barn conversion near Leamington Spa.
Having experienced their ability in dealing with planning issues, I had no hesitation in returning to HS Architects when my wife and I purchased a house on a 3-acre site just outside Henley in Arden.
The property was a complete ‘mongrel’; a mix of many different phases of development since it was first built in 1920. However, there was a fantastic property in there just waiting to be revealed and HS Architects were up for the challenge of maximising its potential. To say the project was challenging was an understatement; there were plenty of head-scratching moments and the more we did the more we discovered that needed to be done.
However, HS Architects demonstrated why they are so good at what they do. Not only was their design and planning support truly excellent, but their ability to manage builders and sub-contractors and keep the project on-track when it threatened to veer off-course, was also very impressive.
HS Architects were able to ensure everyone involved worked together as a team. They have a great skill at solving problems, dealing with issues and developing practical solutions.
If you’re contemplating taking on a challenging project, then I thoroughly recommend you have a chat to HS Architects.’
Geoff Norman – Badgers, Henley in Arden