Architects in Hammersmith
MATA Architects is a RIBA chartered practice based in Westbourne Green, just a few miles northeast of Hammersmith. As architects, we are passionate about contributing to the architectural heritage of this vibrant area and beyond. Hammersmith is a unique district that seamlessly blends cosmopolitan city life with a peaceful atmosphere. This fusion of bustling urban streets, serene parks, charming enclaves, and notable period architecture makes Hammersmith a diverse and appealing location. As the area experiences a surge in property development, it has become an increasingly desirable neighbourhood for those looking to live just outside the city centre.
Our team of experienced architects would be delighted to help bring your vision to life, whether it be for a residential, commercial, or interior design project or restoration work on listed properties and schemes within conservation areas. We thrive on collaborating alongside our clients to design innovative architecture that elevates your way of living. Our approach blends logical and creative flair into every project – avoiding the common pitfalls of construction.
If you wish to speak to an architect who knows Hammersmith, book your initial no-obligation consultation with us to discuss your home extension project and we’ll help answer any of your questions.
Planning Applications in Hammersmith
We can help you understand more about how planning permissions are processed and what to do after submitting your planning application. Further advice on planning permissions in the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham is available here.
How to Make a Planning Application in Hammersmith
It is your responsibility to decide whether or not planning permission is required and submitting an application where relevant.
Information on online planning applications, the documents you will need, validation checklists and fees for the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham are available here.
Need expert advice on planning permission? With a proven track record and a 100% success rate at planning, let us navigate the planning process for you.
As experts in the field, we know how to manage risk and identify opportunities that pave the way to a successful planning application. Find out more.
How to Get Planning Permission in a Conservation Area in Hammersmith
Planning permission is formal permission from a local authority for the alteration or erection of buildings. It can be granted, based on certain conditions being met, or refused.
Conservation areas exist to protect the special architectural and historic interests of an area. Planning applications are considered in regard to conservation policies as local authorities must take into account the need to preserve or enhance the area when deciding whether to grant planning permission.
Applying for planning permission in a Conservation Area (CA) requires more detailed supporting information than an equivalent application outside of a CA.
A robust and carefully considered proposal that demonstrates an awareness and response to local policy and design guidance will stand a much greater chance of success.
The Hammersmith & Fulham Conservation Area audits and planning guides are available here. These guides are a material consideration at the planning stage and provide some direction on what is and isn’t possible in terms of design alterations.
There are 44 designated conservation areas in the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham that cover half of the local authority area (there are a further two conservation areas in the north of the borough within the Old Oak Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) area which is a new local planning authority established by the Mayor of London).
Conservation areas include Hurlingham, Walham Grove, Shepherds Bush, Hammersmith Broadway, Barons Court, Melrose, Hammersmith Town Hall, Queen’s Club Gardens & Sands End, etc.
Check if your property is located within a conservation area on the local authority interactive map.
How long does a planning decision take?
Applications usually take between six to eight weeks, but this could be longer depending on the complexity of the proposed project.
Read our more in-depth guide on how long it takes to be granted planning permission.
What can I do if my planning application is refused?
If your planning application is rejected or you are not satisfied with the conditions of your planning permission, you have the right to appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.
The appeal will be considered by a planning inspector appointed by the Secretary of State. While most appeals are handled in writing, some are decided by a hearing and some after a public inquiry.
You can search for appeals in the RBKC appeal search.
Do I need planning permission for an extension?
It is important to distinguish between an extension that necessitates a detailed planning application and one that falls under Permitted Development (PD).
If your planned works fall under the former category you do not need explicit permission from the local authority and a planning application will not be necessary.
In this case, though, we would recommend that a Certificate of Lawfulness of Proposed Use or Development (CLOPUD) is sought from the local authority in order to create a formal record of the works and their legitimacy.
Read our guide on further planning & regulations and Article 4 directions.
Are there fees for submitting planning applications in Hammersmith?
The local authority fee for a Householder planning application is £206.
Fees are determined by local authorities on the assessment of a planning application and the scale and nature of your proposed development.
You’ll also need to allow for the fees of an architect, other consultants and specialist surveys. Read more about the costs involved here.
How to get listed building consent in Hammersmith
A listed building is a building that has been placed on the Statutory List of Special Architectural or Historic Interest.
Buildings on this list may not be demolished, extended or altered without listed building consent.
Applying for listed building consent requires yet more detailed supporting information than an equivalent application for a non-listed building.
To increase the chances of a successful application, rigorous research and documentation of the property’s historical significance are required from the outset and this would form a Heritage Statement in support of the application.
In developing our design proposals for a listed building, we will identify and catalogue every aspect of the scheme that impacts on the building. Some aspects will have a positive impact on the historic nature of the property (such as reinstating lost or damaged historic features) whilst others will be deemed to have a negative impact (such as erosion of the original cellular plan form by opening up spaces).
This catalogue of positive and negative impacts forms the backbone of a Heritage Impact Assessment that will also support the application for planning & listed building consent.
Ultimately, this is a fine-tuned balancing act and the aim of the game is to demonstrate that, whilst there may be some negative impacts, these are outweighed by more positive ones so that on balance the scheme can be viewed as positive.
We will often work with specialist heritage consultants to identify opportunities and constraints and develop proposals that balance and respond to these.
There are almost 500 listed buildings in the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham. Search the Historic England listed register to find listed buildings near you.
Learn more about our listed building consent services here.
Our Architectural Services in Hammersmith
Book a free consultation
We’ll listen to your ideas and give you our informed opinion
We’ll tailor a strategy and scope of service to suit your needs
You’ll receive an initial project brief and a clear mapping out of the next steps, together with our fee proposal
Frequently Asked Questions
To get started, here are some of the more frequent questions clients’ have at the initial exploratory stages
Can I meet with you initially at no cost?
You can book a free 45-minute consultation in our studio or via zoom. We’ll discuss your project and answer your questions face to face. Make a booking here.
Following this conversation, if you like the idea of working with us and feel we’d be a good fit for your project, we are happy to offer a follow up meeting at your home at no cost.
I don’t exactly know what I want to build yet? How or where do we begin?
It begins with a conversation. During our initial phone consultation, we’ll ask probing questions of your brief to help assess it’s viability.
The next step involves a diagnostic stage we call ‘Project Discovery’ (RIBA Work Stages 0-1 / Feasibility). We'll address your brief through the exploration of a number of alternative sketch proposals and assess the implications of each (time / cost / risk etc).
Beyond this we can tailor our scope of architectural services to suit your specific requirements and budget.
Whether you engage us for a full service from feasibility to completion or, at first, just for the ‘Project Discovery’ (more on that soon), you are only ever committed to the current work stage. So, you can (and we’d encourage you to) start small with a discrete piece of work to help figure out the extent of the project and then add to the scope of service as suits your needs and budget.
This initial piece of work can also be a good way to dip your toe into the architectural process and gauge what it’s like to work with us before committing to a longer-term working relationship.
How will you ensure we stick to my budget?
Sticking to budget is critical. One of the common pitfalls of a construction project is losing control of the budget (or not having one in the first place).
To keep a handle on costs from the outset, our process involves a cycle of designing, communicating and costing. We do this by:
- We will talk about costs early and often. ‘Cost’ is not a dirty word.
- We’ll be upfront with you and make you aware of choices that are likely to increase the budget, and provide cost effective alternatives to these.
- Early involvement of a Quantity Surveyor (QS) to assist with cost control. This involvement could range from a full service to a discrete piece of work in the form of an Initial Cost Model (at the end of Concept Design Stage) to help forecast cost and interrogate in detail where the money is being spent, which in turn helps identify opportunities for savings.
- Strict vetting of contractors to ensure quality, reliability and value for money.
How long does a typical residential project take?
A range of factors impact timeframes. This includes project complexity, speed of client feedback and decisions and local authority approvals. To give you a broad idea allow for a:-
- Simple project: 4-6 months for design and 4-6 months on site.
- Complex renovation or build: 6-9 months for design and 9-12 months on site.
- Planning approval: if your project requires planning approval add 2 months to the above timescales.
Can you tell me how you structure your fees and what they are?
Like all professional services, architectural fees are not cheap (but neither is getting the design wrong, by the way). However, it might help to view them as an investment.
That said, we are cost conscious at every step of the way. Once the project scope is defined at the start of the journey, we’ll fix our fees and prepare a schedule of invoicing so that you know exactly what you are paying and when. Everything is transparent and clear.
In addition to our design process, working with us also provides access to our years of accumulated knowledge and experience. You will benefit from our network of specialist consultants, industry suppliers and our team’s ability to guide you through the process, avoiding the common pitfalls of construction to deliver life-enhancing architecture.
We offer multiple service tiers to accommodate different budgets and goals:
‘Project Discovery’ / (RIBA Stages 0-1) (from £1,500 +VAT)
Get an informed opinion on your ideas and gain clarity on design direction and budget.
We approach this early-stage work as a ‘diagnostic’ stage. We’ll ask probing questions of your brief and budget and of your underlying assumptions. We’ll analyse your property and/ or site in detail to reveal constraints and opportunities. Once these have been identified we can begin to prescribe solutions. This includes:
- Review relevant local design guides, planning policy and comparable planning applications in order to build up a picture of precedent.
- Carry out detailed analysis of the site and immediate environment to assess opportunities and constraints.
- Floor plans and sketches illustrating options.
- A 1 hour meeting in your home to discuss the project.
- A 2 hour workshop in our studio or via zoom (you choose).
- A written brief outlining the opportunities, risk, budget and project timeframe.
- Guidance on next steps, additional consultants and approvals required.
‘Project Planning’ / (RIBA Stages 0-3) (from £7,500 +VAT)
We’ll take you up to and including submission of a detailed planning application, including liaising with the local authority during the running of the application and up to it’s determination.
Building on the work and our conclusions from the Project Discovery we’ll develop proposals with you, communicating the evolving design clearly through 3D visuals and 2D drawings so that you’re empowered to make the best decisions. In working toward the application for planning approval, we’ll hold a series of fortnightly workshops with you (via zoom or in our studio) to review the design collaboratively and make decisions together, taking into account key aspects such as cost, program and risk in addition to functionality and aesthetic considerations.
This tier of service will suit those who want help in achieving the best possible outcome at planning but are happy to go it alone from there.
You always have the option of retaining us for the later stages of your project.
Full Service / (RIBA Stages 0-6)
Typically, our clients choose this service tier when they want our support from inception to the day they move in. We provide a full design service, alongside project management and an optional interior design service.
Good design takes time to mature. It doesn’t happen in a single eureka moment! Rather a series of steps, much like evolution, each one refining and improving on the last.
You’ll benefit from us on board as project managers throughout, contract administrators on site and maximum design time and thinking from our team.
This service is best suited to renovations, extensions or new builds where you want to invest time in the design to get it just right and create the perfect outcome borne out of obsessive attention given to every little detail. Just how we like it. Chat to us to discuss costs.
For all of our tiered services, take advantage of the complimentary free consultation to get a clear and simple fee guide for your project.
Do you have a minimum construction budget you will work with for a full service?
Due to the bespoke nature of our process, we typically work with homeowners with a minimum Project Budget of £250,00 at their disposal.
Project Planning(RIBA Stages 0-3)
Everything in the Project Discovery and:
+ Developed proposals through 3D visuals and 2D drawings.
+ Fornightly design development workshops in our studio or via Zoom (you choose).
+ Drawing pack and information for a planning application.
+ Submit and manage the planning application including liasing with the planners up to determination of the application.
Full Service(RIBA Stages 0-6)
- Typically, our clients choose this service tier when they want our support from inception to the day they move in.
- This service is best suited to homeowners that want to invest time in the design, retain full control over all of the details and get it just right. A life enhancing home you’ll never want to leave.
- We provide a full design service, alongside project management and an optional interior design service.
- Get in touch.
Why We Love Architecture In Hammersmith
Hammersmith’s convenient riverside location and landmark bridge meant it was an ideal place for industry and property to boom towards the end of the nineteenth century. This in turn saw a revival of elaborate architectural styles that are still present in Hammersmith today.
Some of Hammersmith’s architecturally significant buildings include:
Hammersmith Bridge is one of the world’s oldest suspension bridges. The Grade II listed structure is a national landmark and a true embodiment of Victorian-era engineering. It was built in 1887 to the designs of Sir Joseph Bazalgette, who intended to replace a former suspension bridge that dated back to 1827. It was constructed with wood and wrought iron, with the suspension held in place by cast iron pedestals. It crosses the River Thames in West London and links the southern part of Hammersmith on the north side of the river, to Barnes in the south.
Also known as the Lyric Hammersmith, this theatre is one of London’s leading art and entertainment venues. It was designed by the Victorian theatrical architect Frank Matcham, and originally opened in 1895.
The original building was scheduled for demolition. A campaign to save it led to the Lyric being pulled down on the condition that the developers preserved and recreated Matcham’s plasterwork. The plasterwork was reconstructed in a new Victorian-style 590-seat auditorium, with a modern black-box studio added to the building at the same time. Externally, the building has been re-rendered and features a neon sculpture designed by the artist David Batchelor, which is based on plasterwork detail from the Victorian auditorium. The relocated theatre officially opened in 1979.
The Dove is a Grade II listed public house, dating from as early as the seventeenth century. It is claimed that the structure of the building is eighteenth-century in style. The pub is listed in the Guinness World Book of Records as the smallest public bar in the United Kingdom. A number of historical figures have been associated with the pub, including Dylan Thomas, Ernest Hemingway and William Morris.
Hammersmith Town Hall
Hammersmith Town Hall is a municipal building which acts as the headquarters of the Hammersmith & Fulham London Borough Council. The Grade II listed building was commissioned to replace an earlier town hall in Hammersmith Broadway which had been designed by J. Henry Richardson in the Italianate style in 1897. After the old town hall was found to be inadequate for the council’s needs, the architect Ernest Berry Webber designed the current town hall in the Neo-Georgian fashion, which was completed in 1939.
In 1975, a six-storey extension added to the north part of the main building was designed by Dennis Browne in the brutalist style.
The Ark, London
The Ark is one of the most recognisable and visually striking landmarks on the London skyline. Named in reference to its bulging, copper-clad hull-like appearance, the office building was designed by Ralph Erskine. Building commenced in 1989 and was completed in 1992. Erskine collaborated on the project with Vernon Grace, Rock Townsend and Lennart Bergstrӧm. It was originally designed for Swedish developers Ake Larson and Pronator.
22 St Peter’s Square
A site of English heritage, 22 St Peter’s Square was originally a laundry that has now been transformed into an architect’s workshop and office complex. The building was built in 1827. In the basement of the rear of the building is the former studio of Island Records, known as The Fallout Shelter. It has served as the studio for many musicians who began their careers or recorded here.
“We have been more than happy at each step of the process, with Dan being able to articulate our intentions into the most beautiful design. Thus elevating our original thoughts and expectations”
- Kharmel Cochrane
“Dan achieved the right balance, always on hand, resolving any issues constructively, ensuring the experience was efficient and enjoyable on a challenging project”
- Neil Prosser
“While the construction phase was bumpy at times, MATA remained professional throughout and a genuine ally. We now have a beautiful and highly functional, if rather unconventional, first-floor extension”
- Marc Franks
“The planning permission stage could not have been smoother: it was approved on first review without a single revision to the ambitious design – a testament to the thorough preparation and thought that MATA put into the application.”
- Katherine & Shaun
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