How would you describe your overall experience of working with Granit?
Working with Tom and the team at Granit was great. We wanted something different, something that pushed the boundaries of residential design; that’s precisely what we got.
How did you find the process of working with Granit?
Granit followed a fairly structured and clear process, outlining all of the project milestones at the very beginning. They broke down the different stages from the initial brief until they saw me through to the build, which I managed myself with the builder. It was a flexible process, but having the overall structure helped me to have confidence in what they were going to deliver and when. It was great because I knew where I stood all the way along the line. It felt very collaborative.
How would you summarise the design phase of the project?
I’d done a lot of research, so I already knew the style and standard of finish I wanted. I had lots of examples of other properties I liked too. The Granit team was able to interpret and consolidate my ideas into a solid design brief that showed we all had the same vision for the project. This whole front-end process paid dividends further down the line in terms of them understanding my vision and equally with me feeling their design ticked all the boxes.
I look back now at the initial mood boards, and I can see all the elements in the house from the initial brief. They pieced together all my ideas and unlocked how to deliver this architecturally, which came out in the initial sketch drawings and all the way through to the visualisations. I would say they listened well and really got it.
In the design, I think Granit was very sympathetic to the existing property. They paid careful attention to what was going to work from a practical and aesthetic point of view, considering things like where the sunlight comes into the house at different times of the day and how to work with the limitations of the property. I thought they did an excellent job of giving us multiple design options to work through, each time explaining why they’d chosen specific layouts. They also explained the impact of decisions we made on the overall aesthetic making sure they never lost sight of the brief.
The high-level design thinking and sketching, with rough layouts of the living spaces, before we got too bogged down in the finer detail was excellent. We’ve got a small property, so making the space work hard was part of the challenge.
I guess I’d expected Granit to be very knowledgeable about buildings, but it was practical knowledge rooted in creativity, which meant we were not limited in the creative design. I love the fact this gave us the ability to explore creative outputs, without going beyond what was practical. Tom and the team are very knowledgeable too, right down to the tiniest details and finishes.
What would you say to someone thinking of appointing Granit?
When we were looking around, we wanted to find a practice that went beyond the standard white box and Velux windows you so often see in extensions to Victorian properties. We wanted something more creative and crazier. We wanted to maximise the space and to create a house that reflects who we are as people and how we appreciate good design. We knew we needed an Architects’ practice that was able to push the creativity to get something different. That’s what we found that with Granit.
If you work with Granit, you’ll get something different. It won’t be the usual build. It will have personality, character, and will be a reflection of how far you can take residential architecture. That’s what I think Granit does. I think they do something a bit different.