Clear Architects has recently launched a new architectural studio in the New Forest, in the south-west. With headquarters situated in Epping Forest, Essex, the fast-growing practice specialises in the creation of stunning modern architecture designs across residential and commercial sectors.
Protected Area Planning Specialists
The practice is renowned for its bespoke high-end architectural designs and impressive planning success rates – particularly in protected spaces, such as Essex’s Green Belt and Hampshire’s New Forest National Park.
As a boutique practice that solely offers bespoke architectural designs, Clear Architects is unusual in appointing its own Planning Director. Arron Breedon is a Chartered Town Planner (RTPI) who works with the design team to pre-empt planning-related issues and contributes to their planning successes at first-time applications and with planning appeals. This provides considerable benefit to Clear Architect’s clients both in terms of insight, consultancy and efficient use of project resources.
Melanie Clear, founder and managing director of the practice, says: “The potential for fantastic design often arises from the context you’re working in, particularly in restricted planning environments such as Green Belt or Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. In some cases, working within a tighter set of parameters opens up tremendous opportunities, as the limitations challenge you to think outside the box, stretching your creativity.”
She continues: “When a sensitive approach is taken to the design process, modern harmonious architecture has a place in these scenic, protected zones. High-quality design and materials are everything in these environments, and we are proud to be guided by our membership to the Association for Environment Conscious Building.”
Arron Breedon, Planning Director at Clear Architects, is based at the New Forest studio. He says: “Over the years, I have forged strong relationships with the local planning departments across the New Forest and the South West. I have developed a deep understanding of the intricacies of their unique planning policies, which makes me well-placed to co-ordinate design proposals for schemes in the area.”
Sustainability Built In
Sustainability is an important part of the design ethos at Clear Architects, and the practice explores various ways in which green strategies and recycled materials can be incorporated into projects. The Coffee Cup House scheme is one such an example.
This innovative idea for a low-cost starter home utilises shredded used coffee cups as the insulation for timber frame structures. The idea received praise from Grand Designs presenter, Kevin McCloud. He said: “This was a radical design which might form the basis of a home that could utilise other materials, for example, by using old car tyres to form the foundations,” while The Metro newspaper said the design was “the most innovative”.
Project Design Variety
Architect Melanie Clear founded the practice based on the principle of developing buildings with a purpose, that also enhance their natural surroundings and situation. Clear Architects is a RIBA Chartered practice that works across residential and commercial projects. It works on a vast array of design-led schemes, with budgets that span from £350,000 up to £20 million.
The practice takes on an eclectic range of architectural projects. Many of its residential schemes have been recognised by some of the UK’s leading consumer magazines, including Grand Designs and Real Homes. Clear Architects also enjoys working on multi-partner commercial projects involving grand heritage houses, hotels and even an Art Deco cinema. The practice has been commended for its design panache by industry leading institutions, including the Sunday Times British Home Awards.
Clear Architects accepts commissions predominantly from across London and the South East (particularly Essex and Hertfordshire) and the New Forest/South West (especially Hampshire and Wiltshire).