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Bringing an empathetic approach to clients’ budgets and needs, as well as a passion for sustainable architecture, Jon and Emily run Nest Design, an architect’s practice based in Modbury. Together, they aim to help clients improve their lives through architecture, offering a flexible service from design to contract administration. Here Jon explains what they do and how they do it…
I started Nest Design in 2010 in the wake of the economic recession, and I had always wanted to have my own design studio, so it seemed like a good opportunity to set up the practice. Emily joined me in 2014 following the birth of our second daughter.
We both enjoy focusing on residential architecture, creating contemporary homes and extensions for our clients to enjoy. It is also important for us to direct design towards being more sustainable as well, and to really make that a feature of our projects.
We both worked for larger architectural practices working on a mixture of residential and commercial architecture, everything from housing developments and individual residential properties to football facilities, visitor centres and museums. We have always enjoyed the work that we do, but having our own practice has meant that we have been able to bring the elements that we value most to projects and work with people in a way that we believe helps them to achieve what they want.
We specialise in residential architecture. We don’t have a particular design style because we always want to work with clients to bring their project to life. We always want to make a project the best it can be within the client’s budget, and we understand that peoples’ tastes can be quite different. So rather than imposing our own aesthetic on a project, we aim to come up with designs that reflect the client’s brief, whilst enhancing the project with our own knowledge and ideas.
We always try to make the design process collaborative, working with the client to help achieve their brief, whilst being mindful of the neighbours, the site and the surrounding environment, and the impact a project will have on them.
We aim to come up with a few ideas to start the process and enable discussion, and then as the project develops with the client, we get to an agreed design where all parties are excited to move forward. We try to be as flexible as possible to fit in with the client’s needs. We can offer a full architectural service from initial concept design to helping administer the contract on site with the contractors. However, if the client’s budget doesn’t allow for that, or perhaps they want to project manage themselves, then we aim to tailor the service to fit.
I think clients always underestimate how long the process can take. After the design itself, planning can take time, followed by negotiating with contractors and then ensuring contracts between the clients and contractors are in place. Then there’s the organisation to try to make sure the project stays on budget.
We are based in Modbury and we have both worked in the surrounding area as well as Plymouth. I am from the South East originally but came to Plymouth to study at university and never left. Emily is originally from Modbury and having met at university we decided to stay in the South Hams.
We have a number of exciting projects coming up. We’re currently working on facilities for a local camp site, as well as some individual houses in and around Modbury and up to Dartmoor and Plymouth. We are also currently constructing our new office, which we hope to be complete in the spring.
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