About Stephen Sedwell - Architect Design and Conservation
The practice is small and focussed very much on the individual. With such close attention and with a full understanding of a client’s brief the solutions I devise will be entirely bespoke. No two buildings replicate, particularly if they have some age and the design and specification process needs to be purpose made to suit. The drafting of a brief, your instructions to me, is not in itself an easy task but I can help you define your scope of works and refine your building’s need. Clear instructions will always yield a more satisfactory conclusion. The practice is lead closely by me, Steve Sedwell. To augment my input I will appoint architectural technicians to produce sketches, construction drawings and three dimensional representations, but always under my close scrutiny. The continuation of clear instruction will ensure accurate interpretation of your brief and will be enhanced by an imaginative design input. We can operate by using hand-drawn images, which in many ways give more personality to a scheme, or use computer aided design as the need arises. We can survey your building using computer based software and produce very accurate, scalable and high definition photographic images upon which further graphics can be added. This always helps in conveying our requirements to a contractor and is a clear way of illustrating our intentions with non-technical people. Everything is in true colour.
The aspects of cost must be closely observed. I ensure that the final bottom line figure has appropriate contingencies and the final figure paid will be within this budget sum. Careful specification writing and the inclusion of realistic provisional sums where works are as yet not fully defined will ensure that the figure quoted is true and realistic. There will inevitably be some variation to the brief. When this happens it will not be actioned until the cost implications have been confirmed and agreed with you. If we do not spend the contingencies then the final sum will therefore be lower.
In conservation we deal with very tactile and natural products. These materials invite you to touch and feel their personality. I have studied practical stonemasonry near Portland and have gained professional qualifications in architectural stonemasonry carving and lettercutting. Stone has richness and the craftsmanship needed to work it tells its own story. Adding this to my skills as an architect has proved a valuable endorsement. Plaster has always given refinement and endless imagery. Timber is real and organic in all ways. Lime is a pure and friendly material which allows your building to breathe and live, but it needs respect, time and patience. I deal with stained glass, leadwork, traditional paints, natural roof slates and shingles and other sustainable materials which go naturally with the philosophy of conservation. I combine with this the constraints, as some would see them, of the
Building Regulations, Planning and Listed Building requirements and the apparent contradiction these issues can present, especially when we have other priorities to consider in retaining historic authenticity but making a building work in the modern world. This we can do.
I have also studied Building Conservation to MSc. Level and am listed on the AABC Register (Architects Accredited in Building Conservation). I can also act as the CDM (Construction, Design and Management) Co-ordinator, which is the current means of overseeing Health and Safety issues on site.