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Stairway to Heaven
Posted on March 13th 2017
One of our proudest achievements recently has been the completion of a one-off house we have delivered in St. George’s Hill, Surrey, for Werner Capital.
At the very heart of this, literally and figuratively, is the grand helical staircase that elegantly descends through the central atrium. Acting as a focal point to all of the principal spaces of the house, the impossibly slender stair – which is constructed of solid stone – defies gravity.
Let’s take a closer look at this world-first for Lees Associates: (more…)
Camp End Manor – “The finest house on the Hill”
Posted on March 6th 2017
Lees Associates are immensely proud of what we have achieved at our recently completed project in St George’s Hill. Camp End Manor is named after the iron age fort that once occupied the site, and it is no coincidence that it commands the best views for miles around.
From the earliest sketches, the design was a direct response to the house’s unique location. The house, which is in an authentic Regency style with strong Palladian influences, respects its historic setting while taking maximum advantage of the stunning views south over the forests, fields and villages of The Surrey Downs.
The layout of the house follows a disciplined classical approach and one gets an immediate sense of the strong axial arrangement of the plan, with an elliptical stair hall at its core, visible from every principal room. Flooded with natural light from above, and with a glimpse of the spectacular view beyond, the hall frames the centrepiece of the house: the unique helical solid stone floating stair, which winds down from the first floor gallery, through the ground floor hall to the basement wine bar. (more…)
80 year old Eltham Palace features contemporary elements used by Lees Associates today!
Posted on January 17th 2017
All photos credited to English Heritage.
Eltham Palace was the home of Steven and Virginia Courtauld, designed by Architects Seely and Paget and built between 1933 and 1936. Constructed on the site of a former medieval royal palace, the Courtauld’s purchased the land which included one remaining medieval structure – the Great Hall built for Edward IV as a grand entertainment space, which at the time was being used as a lowly barn.
Seely and Paget designed an ultra-contemporary home for the Courtauld’s which featured all mod-cons. The butterfly plan incorporated the great hall on one wing and the…
Our 36th year in practice has started with a bang! In the last five days, we have been appointed on several new and exciting projects across the UK, from initial planning and designs for a Georgian townhouse refurbishment, to full design and project management of a large penthouse. We have also been commissioned on several high-profile commercial and retail projects. It is without doubt the best start to a year we have ever had. Long may it continue!
An outstanding result is not an accident; it’s by design.
New pool, old building
Posted on November 11th 2016
70,000 cubic metres of smoke has been delivered into the ceiling void of the former ballroom of a 1920s listed property into which Lees Associates are currently installing a luxury swimming pool and spa.
The smoke test was carried out to determine the interconnectivity and integrity of the existing ceiling void, which will form part of an important strategy to maintain safe conditions for the existing building fabric when the warm, humid and potentially corrosive atmosphere of the new pool is soon introduced.
Lees Associates are excited to see the new pool take shape and look forward to sharing more photographs soon.
The presentation showcased the concept of a passive and active systems hybrid; an impressive shallow cantilever able to support people. This concept opens the way for a new and exciting design philosophy where (re)active technologies can be employed to support leaner and less energy-intensive structures that can achieve spans and loads that have not been previously possible.
If you came to our 35th anniversary party on 16 June see if you can spot yourself in the timelapse movie we’ve put together below. The event was a great success as we welcomed the great and the good from the London luxury property market. Sadly the movie only captures the first two hours up until the GoPro’s battery ran out, although maybe it’s no bad thing that some of what happened later wasn’t captured!! Only kidding. If you weren’t able to join us, check out the gallery here.
35th Anniversary Party
Posted on June 20th 2016
Lees Associates celebrated our 35th anniversary on 16th June. We managed to arrange favourable weather and an England football win – neither of which seemed very likely at one point – and, with the office bedecked in 500 balloons for the occasion, it was a very enjoyable and successful evening.
As usual our table football competition was tremendously popular. After a series of hard fought early rounds. Lees old boy Gary Wait, now at Wainbridge, and Westgreen’s Chris Grace emerged triumphant, earning them bragging rights until our next party at least!
As well as the usual plentiful food and drink, all sourced locally at Borough Market and cooked on our barbecue, guests also received a custom goodie bag with contents including our newly-launched brochure, balloons and one of our special anniversary cakes.
We were grateful for the generous compliments from our guests during the event and have been humbled by the volume of congratulatory emails and notes received since. Thank you to everybody who came and made the event so successful!
For those who missed out this time, look out for an invitation to our next party later in the summer.
Our office trip to The Homewood: Achieving quality in the modern world
Posted on May 24th 2016
At the edges of Esher Common in Surrey there is a country villa designed by the architect Patrick Gwynne in 1938, The Homewood. Patrick was just 24 years old when his parents entrusted their family funds to his design hand; the brief was a replacement for their family’s aging Victorian home and his solution was a functional rectilinear white villa in the modernist style of the era. Inspired by modernist examples Gwynne had seen on his travels across Europe (more…)
We’ve seen the future. And it’s not garlic bread.
Posted on May 11th 2016
In today’s fast-moving world it is occasionally worth taking a step back and appreciating the incredible rate at which technological advancements continue to be developed. It is all too easy these days to take new technologies for granted, forgetting that just a few years ago they would have seemed impossibly ambitious or futuristic.
This week has seen the launch of Google’s new Tilt Brush and we have watched in awe at the potential it, and products like it, could have.
Lees Associates’ director, Andrew Paulson, has been saying for a while now that it won’t be long before our office is full of people wearing VR headsets and “drawing” in 3D space. Tilt Brush is the first product we have seen that starts to realise this potential. Although designed as a tool for 3D art, its potential for designing buildings and spaces is obvious. We will be able to sketch a building in 3D and then send it to our client on the other side of the world for them to experience in VR for themselves.