As we tentatively emerge from the grips of lock-down InBath speaks to Architect Mark Lord, founding director of the vibrant Bath based studio Lord Architecture about reimagining your home, engaging with the design process and

the road ahead for residential architecture in the city.

As we emerge from a three-month hiatus many of us have now had the chance to reconnect with relative normality, our family and friends outside the home and for some, our colleagues beyond a digital screen.

With our studio ‘re-opening’ and client meetings recommencing on site and in person

(albeit from a safe distance), we have found a reflective client base and a tide of shifting focus; where biophilic design had been an architectural aspiration or a client folly in March, it is now a crucial element of the design brief. Where home offices had previously been consigned to niches in bespoke joinery or garden pods, we are now seeing clients place equal emphasis on sleep, live and work space provision within 

the home.

Like many others in Bath with a young family we spent the last week of March and most of April working through a very long list of DIY. The Garden is now a landscaped, flowering, adventure playground for two young girls and our Georgian home a suitable live, work setting. Having spent two years extending, remodelling, and renovating our slice of Bath, like many others across the country we are now looking to re-extend in order to adapt our home to an emerging post pandemic reality.

Luckily, the UNESCO World Heritage City of Bath in which we reside, possesses a wealth of Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian homes with a long and substantial history of reimagining. As trends rise and fall and the use of internal and external spaces evolve, our buildings adapt to meet the needs of the current generation.

Where previously a hectic work, life, love and health schedule had installed a general apathy towards the home as a place for intermittent rest and weekend hosting, the pandemic has forced us all to take a long hard look at the spaces we occupy. Three months is a substantial period of time to reflect on the state of your current abode and for those who decide to remodel, extend and enhance rather than to sell up and move

on, the first crucial step will be to engage with an Architect.

When deciding who to appoint it is important to first review the potential candidate’s body of work, make sure it inspires you and fits with the vision for your project. To achieve the most from an Architect and thus your project, the key is to remain open-minded and allow the initial brief to naturally evolve through open dialogue. Design is not an insular activity and the client’s individuality will often be a key inspiration.

A common misconception we have experienced is that a challenging site can be restrictive in terms of design, we have often found that the most innovative design is born of constraint. For example, a listed building, a commercial conversion or a tight residential plot can drive the Architect and the client to work together imaginatively within the parameters of the brief, the budget and the planning system to produce a high-quality scheme.

We believe the road to recovery is intrinsically linked with our renewed appreciation for green spaces and the ability to engage with nature, not only physically but also technologically and ecologically through responsible, innovative design.

At Lord Architecture we approach every new project with the aim of realising its inherent potential, involving the client throughout the process and working to create inspirational spaces and beautifully crafted architecture.

As many reflect on what makes a great home, for me; it is the cohesion of form and function, the creation of a language between the architecture, the interior, and the external spaces. Where possible our projects aim to provide a glimpse of the garden upon

arrival, creating a sense of intrigue and drawing you from the street, through a series of arranged spaces to the sanctuary of the garden beyond.