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10/10/10 - ONGOING 10/10/10 - ONGOING

My First Built Project, MFC

MATTHEW BELL BSc Architectural Studies


I am lucky enough to have been asked to design a Cart Lodge for a detached house deep in the Suffolk Countryside. I have been asked to produce:       

Site Analysis Conceptual Design Design Documentation for Planning Approval Documentation for Building Regulations Documentation for construction And to oversee construction in Summer 2011-01-09

I am relishing the opportunity to do all this myself and not with a practice, as I’ll have to experience the whole process from start to finish and therefore understand the full extent of the build process. Although the building is relatively simple and needs to be economical in its cost and construction method, it is still the size of a small house. The main points I am looking forward to are the Planning Process and Building Regulations, as I have no experience whatsoever in these fields. I’m going to approach this in a similar way to most of my education; the best way to understand something is to teach it to yourself! The building needs to facilitate:     

Traditional Green Oak Cart Lodge Space for 2 cars under cover Facilities for a medium sized workshop A second floor for storage space Possible future conversion into a flat


Site Analysis and Conceptual design Although in university I did often try to take a realistic view to the feasibility of my designs, there is nothing quite like actually designing a building that is going to be built in 9 months time. I’ve noticed that it has been possible in the past to sweep slight design defects under the carpet if certain elements don’t fit or dazzle the critics with an overworked presentation. However, these elements would become distinctly obvious if the building were to be made. So now, even at the analysis and conceptual stage, I find myself thinking technically and sketching out possible details to back up an idea. I’ve also realised the importance of a comprehensive site analysis and its impact on good design.


Communication with Client I have found that the client will provide a sketchy outline of what they think they may like, based on what they have seen other people do. As I started to discuss these matters and develop the ideas so they resemble less what may have been seen befor, the client would become less convinced.

O then took a different approach; collecting the specification and site analysis and then coming up with a few quick viuals to perswade the client that what I was saying would be the best design for them.

This worked a lot better. You forget that, unless someone has has some kind of architectural training or experience, they are unlikely to be able to fully comprehend what you describe in words. However give them a picture or show them a precident and suddenly they are putty in your hands (provided they like your designs).

From the initial ideas that I showed the client, I then went through a process of minor alterations and tweaking with their input. This soon came to a conceptual scheme which I could draw up design drawings from.

At this stage I am drawing up the project with both the planning permision and Building regs in mind. Mainly focusing on how it will look externally to get it through planning but also making sure that it works structualy and functions well internally.


My First Built Project  

10/10/10 - ONGOING 10/10/10 - ONGOING MATTHEW BELL BSc Architectural Studies

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