Nick Willson Architects is a young, London-based architectural practice, established by Nick Willson in January 2010.
For us, architecture is storytelling, as we evolve a first sketch into a finished building – the client is central to this process and we build the narrative together. This way our projects can be rich, individual and soulful and every building can be imbued with its own warmth and unique character.
Our philosophy allows us to create something special for each client, whether this means a framed view, the scent of herbs through an open window or the shadows cast across a surface.
The story begins with the client’s needs – from the basic facts of a brief to their hopes for the project, which can be harder to define. We get to know our clients, we spend time understanding what they like and dislike, their passions and interests, and from this we develop a concept. We often find it useful to provide a graphic diagram of the brief to illustrate the ideas visually.
Once we have the outline of the narrative, we use sketches to explore the concept and develop the story into a more tangible piece of architecture. At this stage we also integrate the wider influences from our detailed site analysis, such as context, solar path, wind, views, cost, programme and statutory requirements.
Following an intense period of sketching, we consolidate our ideas into a few options, which are drawn and modelled, both physically and digitally. We present progress to the client at each stage and test any revisions to the original plans, before construction and completion of the final building.
The principles of Bio-climatic Architecture, sustainability and craft are integral to our approach. Architecture should be enriching, beautiful and purposeful. Equally, it must be sustainable and well-crafted – the design of buildings must consider the long-term impact, both on the landscape and for users.
Rosa Aragon is an Associate in the practice and is responsible for all of the sustainability aspects of the practice along with being a passive house certified designer. Rosa also leads our in house research projects on Bio-climatic Architecture.