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Director Digest

"I truly believe great Architects have the extraordinary ability to design the 'obvious' solution before it was obvious to anyone else."

Zac Chapman, Chapman Partnership Director, talks about the benefits of engaging an Architect, CP's unique qualities and touches on his personal journey with architecture.


+ Why do I need an Architect?

That's a good question and the simple answer is that in the UK you don’t! Unlike many other countries across the globe, in the UK you don’t need an Architect to submit a planning application or sign off construction. This means a-number-of industry professionals can assist with your project, but on the flip side it also means several non-professionals can too. In a similar way to Lawyers and Doctors, fully qualified and ARB registered Architects are required to achieve a certain standard, uphold a code of conduct and practice responsibly.

The more exciting answer to this question is that a good Architect can interpret a client’s individual brief, aspirations and constraints into a design which not only achieves their minimum requirements but elevates the scheme to a new level. This could be through ingenious spatial arrangements to unlock latent potential, the perfect window location to frame a particular view or by combining material and structure to bring a specific tactility or dynamism.


+ What makes Chapman Partnership unique?

We are selective. We take on projects that intrigue, enthuse, and energise us. That doesn’t mean we only take on similar projects, quite the contrary. We look at leads, discuss them as an entire team and find the aspect that gets us excited. Once we understand what that is we can demonstrate the value we will bring.

In a commercial sense we have a specialism routed in the automotive, events and entertainment sectors. This permeates from our direct experience as competitors, event professionals and fans. We know this sector nearly as well as our clients which allows us to truly understand their needs and deal with these requirements in pragmatic terms whilst adding our architectural expertise.

On the residential side we have a significant history delivering projects across a wide range of sites, styles and budgets. Having restructured the practice we now focus on the next generation of homes, whether that is an upgrade to a listed building or a scheme from scratch. I’m confident the people we have are perfectly placed to lead a delicate, nuanced and thoughtful approach to designing sustainable solutions for the modern era.


+ What is Chapman Partnership's added value?

We know each of our clients will have a-number-of stakeholders to please, so we work in a very visual way by incorporating 3D models into our design process from the outset. This helps our clients fully understand the proposals from day one rather than relying on the interpretation of orthogonal drawings. It streamlines the process and means our design reviews focus on an architectural concept based in reality.

Another key aspect is that at CP we are as proud of the relationships we have established as we are excited by the ones yet to be built. We have a wide range of influences and partners which allow us to exist as a specific and agile practice with the capability of a larger one. We can often punch above our weight because we can call the right person at the right time. Knowing where your expertise runs to and having the confidence to call on specialist advice when needed is paramount.


+ What does architecture mean to you?

Architecture is a passion. I have been surrounded by Architects my whole life from my grandfather to my father. It sits there next to the other great loves in my life such as motorsport, and sometimes it’s just as testing! The way people interact with space is fascinating, whether it’s moving through it by foot, riding a bike or sweeping through curves in a racing car. In some ways architecture is the way space interacts with people. One of my favourite things to do is to go back to a building, sometime after its opening, filter into the background and observe. You learn a lot watching people use the space, but also can’t help but notice something different each time.


+ Finally, what is the number one question clients ask?

That is easy…What will this cost?

Have a specific question you want to ask? Give CP a call to speak with Zac directly.


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