Haysom Ward Miller Architects is a Cambridge based RIBA Award winning practice. Our work includes a wide range of projects from private one-off houses, to housing developments, educational, ecclesiastic and other building types.
HWM do not promote a singular architectural style or brand. Instead we seek to develop an architectural language which is strongly rooted in the surrounding context. We aim to design buildings and spaces which are responsive, dynamic and integrated. Our concern is not principally with the designed object as much as how that object informs and influences the surrounding environment. The design process is one of translation and interpretation, which begins with a mapping and reading of the surrounding context and ends with a built form which we hope will enhance and reinforce pre-existing positive aspects of its surroundings whilst healing the negatives.
Our buildings are inspired by the way in which they will be used and inhabited and the pleasure they will bring. Carefully designed, well thought out, contextually appropriate buildings can offer great value by working efficiently and bringing pleasure to those who use them.
The character of successful buildings, buildings which come to be loved, is largely given to them by the experiences of those that use them. “. . . the life and soul of a place, all of our experiences there, depend not simply on the physical environment, but on the patterns of events which we experience there.” (As Christopher Alexander wrote in his book The Timeless Way of Building: ) These incidents are framed by the places we inhabit. For example; the way the sun warms us through the glass on a bright February day, or the experience of a summer breeze blowing in through open doors from a garden, these experiences determine the way in which we feel about a building and a place.
We feel that the best way to achieve these results is when the user is actively engaged in the design process. This is particularly important when considering the wider context; when development is taking place on a larger scale it is crucial that those who will use the building, and where appropriate the local community, play an active role in the development of the scheme to help define the priorities of the design and the way in which it relates to its surroundings. Often local people will know how these relationships should work; the role of the designer is to draw out this local knowledge and these opinions and translate them into a viable design that answers the brief.
Haysom Ward Miller have an excellent track record on sustainability issues and long experience of low energy design, healthy buildings, traditional and innovative new technologies.
Sustainable design goes beyond just specialist materials and technologies. Into all our projects we try to achieve buildings that work well and are valued in the long term. Materials are selected and details developed to weather in, develop a patina and improve with age - this contrasts with schemes which are designed to stand out, rather than fit in, and tend to age poorly and soon look shabby and dated. Layouts are designed to offer scope for adaptation and change over time, so that buildings can go on being useful as needs alter - a principle formalised in the Lifetime Homes initiative.