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Design day showcases architects’ expertise
Published 04/02/13

THINKING of how to create your ideal home? You can see the kinds of work that local architects do and talk to them about your ideas for a building project at Henley Design Day, a special event that will be held at the town hall on Saturday, March 9.

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) regional office has organised Henley Design Day to showcase the work of around 15 architectural practices in the area who specialise in building conservation, sustainable projects, new build, self-build and small domestic extensions and conversions. Entrance to Henley Design Day is free to the public and runs in the main hall from 10am until 2.30pm.

“The architects are looking forward to meeting people face to face,” says Mark Shipton, chairman of RIBA Oxfordshire branch which represents more than 800 architects in the county.

He suggests that to get the most out of Henley Design Day, it would be a good idea to bring some photos of your home and any ideas that you have. “Architects are trained to explore your building needs and desires and to find inventive, practical ways of achieving them,” he said. “The best buildings are the result of a chemistry between the client and their architect. At Henley Design Day, each participating practice will show their work and have plenty of space to sit down with people and chat. So it is going to be a really great way for potential clients to find the best architect for them.”

Regional director, James Robinson, said: “The RIBA regional office set up Henley Design Day to show people exactly what an architect does and how good design adds real value to building projects of any scale.

“Also, architects can take a lot of the hassle out of building projects by selecting, negotiating and managing all the contractors on a job as well as running the design side. We really want to give the people of Henley the opportunity to see the full range of architect’s skills and take advantage of the fantastic design talent on their doorstep.”

One couple who benefitted from the services of a local architects practice are Angela and Trevor Bayley who were keen to build a changing room, gym and leisure facility next to their outdoor swimming pool at their home near Cookham Dean.

Mrs Bayley said: “We thought that what we wanted would be almost impossible— a light-filled pavilion that would be a focal point when we were using it, and just in the background for the rest of the time. We also wanted to keep the on-site construction time as short as possible.”

CSK Architects designed the building using a light steel frame, supported on concrete pads — minimising ground disruption and any effect on nearby trees. The pavilion is simply clad in cedar boarding and features an overhanging roof that provides shade. The architects also refurbished the pool and landscaped the area to provide a comfortable space for sitting and playing that reflected the simplicity of the pavilion.

“We employed CSK Architects because we liked the style and range of architecture we saw on their website,” said Mrs Bayley. “It was an enjoyable, collaborative relationship and the attention to detail is what makes the building.”

Published 04/02/13

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