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Architects in Islington

Located directly North of the City of London, The London Borough of Islington stretches from Charterhouse Square and Clerkenwell Green in the South and up to Highgate Hill and Whitehorse Park in the North. Over 50% of the borough is made up of conservation areas (a total of 41).

The neighbourhood known as Islington was largely developed over the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries in Canonbury and Barnsbury, both now designated conservation areas. A good stock of fine architecture from that period, attractive streets weaving together beautiful urban squares with plenty of open space and greenery and a thriving high street and service sector make Islington one of London’s most desirable neighbourhoods.

Based 5 miles away in Westbourne Green, MATA Architects help homeowners transform their homes with creative design alongside careful risk management, avoiding the common pitfalls of construction to deliver life-enhancing architecture.

Established in 2015, we’re an RIBA chartered architecture practice working in and around the city. We have good experience working on sensitive sites in Islington conservation areas, including listed properties.

Every project is built around you for the way you live. Our process is logical and transparent, involving you at every stage to help shape your space into a true reflection of your lifestyle and values and an expression of our unique process of collaboration with you.

If you’re looking for an Islington architect, book a call to discuss your home extension project and we’ll guide you on what’s possible.

Planning Applications in Islington

Leave the details to us as we manage your project from start to finish; monitoring the budget, handling planning permission and liaising with contractors.

How to get planning permission in a conservation area in Islington

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.

Islingtons’ Conservation Area audits and planning guides are available here. These guides are a material consideration at planning stage and provide some direction on what is and isn’t possible in terms of design alterations.

There are 41 designated conservation areas in the London borough of Islington that cover around 50% of the local authority area. Islington conservation areas include Barnsbury, Canonbury, Clerkenwell Green and Newington Green.

Check if your property is located within conservation area on the local authority interactive map.

How to get listed building consent in Islington

Applying for listed building consent requires yet more detailed supporting information than an equivalent application for a building that isn’t listed. To increase the chances of a successful application, rigorous research and documentation of the property’s historical significance is 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 around 4,500 listed buildings in Islington. Search the Historic England listed register to find listed buildings near you.

Learn more about our listed building consent services here.

Where can I see examples of similar planning applications in Islington?

To search for planning applications submitted in your area, visit Islingtons’s planning register here.

We begin every project with a ‘Project Discovery’ stage, researching planning history and precedent in the local area coupled with relevant local planning policy and design guides to identify constraints and opportunities.

Our Services

Planning Permission

With a proven track record and a 100% success rate at planning, let MATA Architects navigate the planning process for you.

Home Extensions

We are experienced in designing home extensions in all forms and sizes including single storey, two storey, roof and basement.

Interior Design

Let us take you on a visual journey through your future home. We offer an optional full interior design service or bespoke kitchen/joinery.

Home Improvement and Renovation

Sometimes the way to improve our home isn’t creating more space, just better space.

Feasibility Studies

Get an informed opinion on your ideas and gain clarity on design direction and budget.

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Book a free consultation

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We’ll listen to your ideas and give you our informed opinion

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We’ll tailor a strategy and scope of service to suit your needs

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You’ll receive an initial project brief and a clear mapping out of the next steps, together with our fee proposal

Get in touch to start a conversation

Find out if we are the right architecture practice for your project.

Grade II Listed Town House Islington

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.

    More on sticking to budget here.

    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.

    Download a residential project timeline here.

    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.

    Read more detail here.

     

    ‘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.

    Book your initial complimentary meeting here!

    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.

    Read more on how to calculate your project budget here.

    Have another question you'd like to ask?

    Feel free to get in touch via our contact form or give us a call on 02037948128

    Relevant Projects

    Zig-Zag House

    A full width rear extension to a London terraced house in the Queens Park Conservation Area.

    Black Box

    Black Box is a small first floor rear extension to a mid terrace Victorian era house in Islington.

    Gallery House

    A two storey rear extension to a Grade II listed London terrace house in Islington.

    Client Testimonials

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