How to choose an architect - Grand Designs Magazine

Imaginative architects for beautiful, functional homes

Planning a self-build or renovation? The first step is to find an architect you can trust

Promotional Feature By Jennifer Turner |

When choosing the right architect for your project, it’s worth considering a practice with a long track record. From finding unique ways to use space, to sourcing the best materials or designing a spectacular interior, it’s important to enlist an imaginative and professional architect.

Interior of a timber and glass extension featuring curved beams by Waterhouse Architects

Photo: Waterhouse Architects

Check the architect’s portfolio

One way to do this is to check out an architect practice’s portfolio to find out if the team has worked on similar projects to the one you have in mind. With over 100 years’ experience Waterhouse Architects has a long history of creating beautiful buildings of uncompromised quality. Having established his practice in 1854 Alfred Waterhouse went on to become one of the most revered architects of the Victorian era designing some of the most iconic public and commercial buildings across the United Kingdom.

Whether designing Manchester Town Hall, the Natural History Museum or the Prudential Assurance Building in London, Alfred Waterhouse’s work always included artists and craftsmen – and the practice won the RIBA gold medal in 1878. Today, Waterhouse Architects remains true to these founding principles and is dedicated to building beautiful, functional environmentally sustainable buildings for caring and discerning clients.

Open plan living area within a converted mill house featuring white walls timber beams exposed brick and a water wheel by Waterhouse Architects

Photo: Waterhouse Architects

Do they have experience with period and heritage buildings?

Waterhouse Architects believes great design can change people’s lives and the and the practice works closely with the client to solve problems and realise their ambitions. With an emphasis on producing thoughtful buildings the team has a proven track record of restoring and adapting heritage or challenging period buildings.

One such project was the exciting Hammer Mills development at Perran Foundry in Cornwall. The work involved converting a historical industrial building on a world heritage site into characterful properties fit for the 21st century.

Similar projects have involved creating a sensitive interior for a historic converted warehouse near Tower Bridge, London, and designing a clean and contemporary interior for a Victorian mansion in Maida Vale, London.

Exterior view of Hammer Mills converted industrial buildings and water wheel by Waterhouse Architects

Photo: Waterhouse Architects

Nail your dream design

When it comes to self-building Waterhouse Architects has the enthusiasm and experience to design great buildings that respect their settings.  This was the case when the team was asked to design a timeless new home on the site of an old linen factory in Northern Ireland. The collapsed walls of the former construction were re-used externally to create a beautiful home that nodded to its heritage.

Exterior of new rustic style home in stone with period style timber windows and a slate roof by Waterhouse Architects

Photo: Waterhouse Architects

In addition, when asked to create a collection of new homes on a spectacular Georgian Mill Estate in a village north of Sevenoaks, the team designed a collection of characterful modern properties to blend in seamlessly with the existing 18th century buildings.

Whether you are  building from scratch or breathing life into a heritage property, the friendly team at Waterhouse Architects will work with you to create a beautiful, functional home.

Exterior view of new homes with white weatherboarding by Waterhouse Architects

Photo: Waterhouse Architects

For more information about Waterhouse Architects, see

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