Our Story

We are a design-led practice, established in 2006 with a strong reputation for providing the highest standards of design and professional architectural service.

We truly believe in the incredible power of architecture to shape your life and the world around you. Our approach isn't just about taking a project brief and running away with it; instead, we carefully listen to your needs, immerse ourselves in your desires, and then inspire you to dream beyond what you thought was possible.

We work on a wide range of projects differing in scale, budget and complexity, and take pride in building close working relationships with our clients to realise a project that surpasses expectations. Our vibrant studio is based in a converted coach house in the market town of Shipston on Stour, on the edge of the Cotswolds.

Every design we create is a one-of-a-kind. We strive for uniqueness. Our designs shine because we pay meticulous attention to the little details, like how materials come together in a seamless and controlled way, how light flows into a space, or how nature becomes a part of the design, and the emotions it stirs – whether it's providing a sense of tranquillity, order, or inspiration for both work and play we stay close to you throughout this transformative journey.

We are fiercely passionate about detail and sustainability and how through well-considered, context driven design, our work enhances quality of life for clients and building users and positively impacts on the built environment.

simon hayward

Founding Director + Architect

nic robinson

Associate Architect

Rob Statham v2

Associate Architect

dan marcus



Architectural Draftsman


Part 1 Architectural Assistant


Accounts and Office Administration

Simon Hayward BA (Hons) DipArch RIBA ARB

Founding Director + Architect

Simon formed Hayward Smart with co-founder Martin Smart, having first cut his teeth with Aldington Craig and Collinge and as a director of Acanthus Clews Architects working on high-quality and complex schemes for commercial and private clients. Previous projects include the reordering of the Great Hall at Lincoln's Inn, community buildings and large adaptations and new build domestic projects.
Simon has established a practice-wide approach to understanding a client’s brief and responding with considered solutions crafted through an understanding of context, detail, and materiality. Simon enjoys the building process and developing good working relationships with the project team. He has built a reputation for innovative and striking buildings through attention to detail.
Simon spends his free time with family, friends and his Bedlington Terrier, Wendy. He is the guitarist for blues/country/Americana band The Blue Cats and enjoys film and live music. Simon is a keen motorcyclist and has toured Europe, parts of the US and most recently ridden the Silk Road in Central Asia.

Nic Robinson BA (Hons) DipArch RIBA ARB

Associate Architect

Nic re-joined Hayward Smart for a second tenure in 2016, having previously spent 5 years working with Simon and previous director, Martin Smart from early 2008. In between times, Nic worked for Theis + Khan Architects in Kent where he was involved in several high-end residential projects, competition winning community schemes as well as being project architect for the refurbishment of an existing office building for use by the RIBA. 

Since returning to Warwickshire, Nic has been involved with numerous residential schemes from small extensions to one-off new build homes, as well commercial work for the Heart of England Forest. Nic was project architect for the Warwickshire Farm and Orchard View projects, both of which were shortlisted for RIBA Regional Awards. 

Outside of work, Nic is a keen cyclist across multiple disciplines, so you are just as likely to find him on the roads of Warwickshire as you are its bridleways. With an interest in photography, Nic has taken some of the project photos for Hayward Smart, but also inundates his social media feeds with artistic images or snaps of his family and their adventures. 

Rob Statham BA (Hons) MArch RIBA ARB

Associate Architect

Before joining Hayward Smart in 2016, Rob worked for award-winning Birmingham based practice Glenn Howells Architects. Here he was involved on projects across all sectors, including a lead role on a masterplan project for the UK’s largest self-build development. Situated on a disused Ministry of Defence site outside Bicester, the development has recently featured on its own Grand Designs series, ‘The Streets’. Previously, Rob worked at another Cotswold practice specialising in the private residential sector and was heavily involved in securing planning permission for two ‘Paragraph 80’ (formerly Para’s 79 and 55) new-build house projects in open countryside. His work also included in the detailed design for one of the UK’s first certified Passivhaus projects.
During his time at Hayward Smart, Rob has delivered a number of new-build house projects, a development for a high-end residential development of 15 houses on a sloping coastal plot in mid-Wales and several high-end extensions to listed properties. Rob’s meticulous attention to detail is evident at all stages of a project and he also has responsibility for our computer and drawing protocols. 
Beyond Hayward Smart, Rob enjoys playing golf and exploring the Cotswolds countryside with his young family. Whether on two feet or two wheels, a stop for coffee & cake or a pub lunch is often a feature of a trip out.

Dan Marcus BA (Hons) MArch RIBA ARB


After graduating from Northumbria University in the summer of 2020 during the height of Covid, Dan found himself working as a labourer for a local contractor. This invaluable experience allowed him to hone some of his technical ability with a hands-on approach to construction. It was in January 2021 that Dan joined Hayward Smart in the midst of an early 2021 Covid lockdown, where it was almost 4 months before he met the full team face to face. 

At university, Dan worked on a collection of versatile projects with particular interest towards brownfield sites, historical industry and linking communities through architectural design, taking influences from the surrounding context. Dan has previous experience working on hi-end residential projects for MRT Architects and has attained a clear knowledge of conservation and heritage projects within the wider area. Since joining Hayward Smart, Dan has been involved with multiple projects at all different stages whilst working to obtain his Part III qualification, which was successfully completed in November 2022. 

Dan has always been a keen sportsman across a multitude of sports. You are just as likely to find him on the golf course, skiing on snow or water, or playing team sports. He is also an avid traveller when opportunities arise and enjoys gaining fresh influences that can be used in design from differing cultures.

Fernando De Dios

Architectural Draftsman

Fernando was reunited with Simon and Nic at Hayward Smart in October 2021, having first worked with them in the early 2000s when he spent 5 years at Acanthus Clews in Banbury. Here he was involved in a range of projects for modern, traditional and listed buildings, producing highly detailed construction drawings.

He then spent 14 years working with Robert Franklin at his practice in Oxfordshire, principally on the restoration and refurbishment of residential listed buildings, working from sketches and producing planning, working and detail drawings.
Fernando qualified as an architectural draftsman in Valladolid, Spain, and transitioning from drawing board to CAD, he spent the first years of his working life in various architect and engineering practices as well as in the city and provincial planning departments of Valladolid. 

He spends his free time keeping up with friends and family, keeping on top of the allotment and going for long walks, preferably ending with a good pub lunch.

Seb Lloyd-Thomas BA (Hons)

Part 1 Architectural Assistant

Seb joined Hayward Smart in September 2023, having completed the undergraduate degree in Architecture from the University of Liverpool earlier in the summer.  His final year project involved a theoretical renovation of the ‘Chadwick Tower’ on the Liverpool University campus into a sustainable factory facility, exploring the use of recycled plastics.  The remodelling of the building emphasised the concrete structural elements of the original building (by Basil Spence), whilst adding a semi-transparent façade to the elevations.  

Being part of an architectural family has allowed Seb to develop an understanding for the industry and an eye for design and detailing. He plans to continue his academic studies, undertaking a masters course in London.
Other interests include art and creative hobbies such as painting and drawing.  Additionally, Seb can often be found enjoying live music at the weekends, appreciating the talent of various artists, both acoustic and electronic.

Michaela Davis BSc (Hons) Business & European Cultural & Social Studies

Accounts and Office Administration

After 25 years of teaching A Level and GCSE business and finance in colleges and secondary schools, Michaela took early retirement and moved back to Warwickshire where she started her own business. Before returning to university Michaela had been a manager in a retail environment.

Michaela started with Hayward Smart in July 2021, overseeing the administration and accounts for the practice.

Outside Hayward Smart, Michaela is a trustee and treasurer for Shipston on Stour & District Local Historical Society and is an online trainer in speed awareness.

Each project is unique, but we take the same approach to whatever lies in front of use. To do this we live by the following values. 

Client-Centric Approach: We are deeply committed to our clients. We prioritise listening to client needs, desires, and aspirations, and maintain close collaboration throughout the entire project journey. 

Creativity and Innovation: We strive to push the boundaries of conventional architecture, encouraging unique, imaginative and context driven design solutions. 

Attention to Detail: We pay meticulous attention to detail. We understand that the small details can significantly impact the overall quality of a design, and we take great care to ensure every aspect of our work is of the highest quality. 

Uniqueness and Individuality: We celebrate individuality and uniqueness in design. We believe that every project should be distinctive and tailored to the specific needs and desires of each client. 

Transformative and Inspirational Design: We aim to create designs that are not only functional but also transformative and inspirational. We seek to evoke emotions and create spaces that improve day-to-day living, creating calm, order and interest for work and play. 

We have a diverse portfolio of projects that are a testament to the pride and care we take in each commission, nurturing relationships and collaborating with client’s, consultants, and contractors to achieve the most successful of outcomes. 


The initial Preparation stage includes an appraisal of the project and working closely with our client to establish a design brief. This is one of the most important stages of the process as it influences all future decision-making. A thorough brief borne out of conversation and observation of the existing conditions and opportunities is key to a successful project. 

At this stage we will require digital surveys of any existing buildings and/or the site before we can undertake any design work. This is outside our normal scope of work but we can provide a quotation for this service by others.

1. Photo of Existing Site


Once the brief has been agreed we will move onto the Design stage with the preparation of initial feasibility schemes and concept drawings. Quite often we may also produce alternative solutions that our client’s may not have considered. Use of space, proportion and treatment of natural light are key considerations at this stage. 

We always recommend the client engaging a Quantity Surveyor to prepare a Cost Plan at an early stage to ensure budgets and aspirations are aligned.

2. Concept Diagram


Further developing the design, we look to define layouts and introduce ideas on materiality. Both drawn and written information is then compiled for necessary Planning Applications. In some instances, where there is a degree of complexity to a project, we may approach the Local Authority for Pre-Application Advice. It should be noted that for some projects, in particular small domestic extensions, planning permission is not required.

At this stage it may be necessary for our client to engage other consultants to fulfil the requirements of the planning authority. Additional information may include:

  • Heritage Statement
  • Ecology Report
  • Transport Statement
  • Structural Report
  • Flood Assessment
  • Sustainability Report
  • Noise Assessment
  • Lighting Assessment
3. Planning ele


Once Planning Approval is confirmed the Pre-Construction stage commences with production of technical information. At this stage, drawings at a larger scale will identify the construction and detail build up and will be accompanied by specification notes. This enables the submission of the Building Regulations Application. 

At this stage, depending on the complexity of the project our client may have to engage specialist consultants such as:

  • Structural Engineer
  • Mechanical and Electrical Engineer
  • Lighting Specialist
  • Audio Visual Specialist
4. 1.50 Sections jpeg

A further part to Pre-Construction includes the preparation of detailed working drawings and tender documentation to obtain quotations for the works. It is important to define the specification in as much detail as possible to obtain a fixed price and limit the possibility of cost variations. We are able to assist in the choice of a suitable builder and offer pre-tender advice on the choice of builders and contract procurement. 

Cost Plans should be updated and verified by the Quantity Surveyor at all stages prior to tender.


The Construction phase commences with the analysis of tenders and the appointment of a contractor. We are able to offer post-tender advise on the choice of builder once quotations have been received. On most projects we will oftenthen be involved in administering the building contract. This involves regularly monitoring the progress and quality of the works on site, and undertaking further contractual duties such as the issue of contract certificates. 

5. Large Scale Detail Option 1

In Use

The completion of the Construction phase marks the point at which the project is handed over to our Client. We work with the contractors to ensure that the highest quality of finish is achieved and to ensure a smooth hand over. There will be some post construction administration for an agreed period to cover any possible building defects, normally 6 or 12 months. We are always keen to improve the service we offer and will often use this period to gain feedback from our client’s on all aspects of the project.

6. Site Progress

For further detail on the above and for information relating to fees and appointment please do not hesitate to get in touch. Our standard Conditions of Engagement can be downloaded here.