Historical Research

ADAM Architecture has an established reputation in the renovation and extension of major historic buildings. We believe strongly that new work should be carried out in a traditional form to complement the original design. Our alterations, adaptations and extensions keep historic buildings alive and in active use, allowing them to be enjoyed for generations to come. They are characterised by an attention to fine detail in craftsmanship and construction and as a result, many of our projects have won awards from key heritage bodies and civic trusts across the UK. We have an experienced in-house historical researcher – Dr Helen Lawrence-Beaton, and an historic buildings team – including Darren Price, Robin Stannard and Wayne Derrick – all with extensive heritage knowledge. The Directors at ADAM Architecture are actively involved in the running of several heritage bodies and committees, and regularly comment on emerging local and national heritage policy.

Historical Research
Historical Research

The design process at ADAM Architecture begins with detailed historic research into each property, involving documentary archival research and standing building analysis. This provides invaluable evidence of a building’s past and allows us to create detailed building phasing plans that clearly explain the evolution of a property over time. This process can be crucial in the planning process and in unlocking the potential of a site or building. Unravelling a building’s history in this way allows us to understand the age and significance of the structure and its individual parts. This enables us to create informed and appropriate proposals, satisfying the wishes of our clients, heritage bodies and Conservation Officers alike.

Our Historic Building Surveyor and our experienced team of Architects, undertake detailed condition surveys and schedules of works, providing a framework for an informed design process. These form the basis of written and illustrated reports to accompany planning and listed building consent applications. The level of detail and breadth of each report is specially tailored to each project and helps our designs achieve high levels of success in the planning system.

Historical Research

We liaise directly with conservation officers and Historic England during all stages of the application process. ADAM Architecture has built a reputation for creating strong working relationships with local authorities and heritage bodies during complex heritage applications. We are also experienced in sourcing appropriate materials, specialist consultants and contractors to undertake heritage sensitive projects.

We also work closely with landed estates to create pattern books to help guide repair and renovation of their historic buildings. This helps to maintain the architectural integrity and quality of structures so that they can be enjoyed by future generations. This includes practical examples of acceptable and unacceptable aesthetic details that may help to guide householders and illustrate specific points.

Our research also covers investigations into vernacular building typologies in various regions of the UK, ranging from unique farmhouse and farmstead layouts, to manor house types that are unique to specific counties. These documents consider factors such as form, scale, detailing and materials and how these elements have given such properties their distinctive character. This detailed understanding of historic building types helps to provide clear and logical guidance on any design for new buildings, ensuring that proposals are a literate continuation of the established local character and building traditions. This approach helps to inspire confidence in local authorities, often resulting in a smooth transition through the planning process.

Historical Research

We also have in-house expertise in sustainability in historic buildings, ensuring that we are at the forefront of this field. ADAM Architecture is committed to improving sustainability and have significant experience of implementing such measures. Our approach centres upon the careful and sensitive implementation of improvements to the fabric and services of historic buildings to improve their energy performance. Improvements are based on an holistic approach that incorporates an understanding of the building, its context, significance and all of the factors affecting energy-use. While modern buildings rely on impermeable barriers to control the movement of moisture and air through building fabric, traditional buildings take up and release moisture to the environment.

Consequently, measures to improve fabric are always undertaken with a view to allowing the building to ‘breathe’ with the correct specification of appropriate materials, and in so doing avoiding problems due to moisture accumulation, overheating and fabric damage. Replacement components, such as windows, are sensitively detailed to improve energy performance, while retaining the correct historic proportions. Building services installations are carefully integrated as part of the design strategy, in order to bring building facilities up to contemporary standards of comfort and energy-efficiency without harming historic fabric. Our approach ensures that improvement measures are robust, properly integrated and sustainable, and most importantly, preserve and enhance the building fabric for future generations.

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