Welcome to MÄRRAUM

Here is where your story of space begins – with a different kind of architects in Cornwall.

From the glimmer of an idea to the stroke of a pencil, the first turn of a door handle to the flickering of a smile across a face, at Märraum we bring more to your space – and take your story beyond its walls.

And we begin with you. Because at the heart of each architecture project – studio spaces, private loft conversions, commercial builds or building that dream home – are the people who use it.

They’re the yawns that stretch to eye-widening views in the morning. They’re the feet feeling cool concrete underfoot. They’re the eyes looking for inspiration at their desks. And the shoulders that hunker down in the evening. These are the people whose surroundings bring more to each and every experience.

With years of architecture and design experience in both Cornwall and Germany, and accreditation from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) – paired with aesthetic drive, strong ethics and constant curiosity – we know how to make space work harder for you.

 

So from beginning, middle and end – discover how you can bring your own story of space to life.

The story of space

Designing a house or workspace is about building on the best aspects of space and linking them together. And because this talent runs through our veins, the same had to be true of our name – weaving playfully together sounds and meaning to create something entirely new.

It starts with the Märchen, German folktales traded from one village to the next, kept alive and thriving by word of mouth. These living stories reflect how we as architects put your story together. Through each step in this process, we’re adding another chapter to your tale, to give you a deeper level of experience. So wherever we build, whoever we build for, your space becomes part of a greater story. A story where location, surroundings and landscape become key characters within it – setting the stage for your own Märchen to play out.

Raum in German means ‘space’ – but for us, the name goes further than that. A building is much more than the walls around you, or the roof over your head. Space plays a vital part in the fabric of your day-to-day, and even the environment beyond it. We’re bridging these together, drawing out the best of space to create builds that mean more to you and the landscape around them.

As coincidence would have it, Mär also sounds like the German for sea, from which we gain inspiration everyday with our office right on the waterfront. And because it also echoes the German word for ‘more’, you can be sure that we’re elevating your experience at every turn.

Our vision

Seeing more than what’s put before us. Giving space the respect it deserves. Making the very best of what we’ve got to work with. Our vision is always centered around how we can give more to the people that matter – our clients – while being conscious of the world around us.

From drawing to designing, engineering to enhancing all of the possibilities that a space opens up, at Märraum we’re building our business from layers of knowledge and an appetite for always being better. It’s what gets us out of bed in the morning, and drives our clients’ projects – so that the outcome is always more than they were expecting.

With an eye on the detail, and a reputation for integrity grown through years of thoughtful and expansive projects, we're pushing a different way of working – where our clients are valued as much as their spaces. Where creative flair is measured with a realistic approach that drives the best of both.

Sharing our thinking and working with you so we can be as effective as possible. This is what makes working with Märraum architects distinctive; it’s what ensures every project has the opportunity to push its potential further. So you see the value in your space and the benefit of working with a flexible, energetic team that understands what a ‘living space’ really means.

Marrying landscape with culture & innovation

We’re always pushing the boundaries of contemporary architecture, with an energy that's seen us take our creativity international.

Cornwall
Contemporary architecture

With a waterfront office nestled in the sustainable development of Jubilee Wharf, Penryn, inspiration is always close at hand.

As architects in Cornwall, we’re passionate about complimenting the best that our environment has to offer by bringing it into each and every build. From light-flooded attic spaces to balconies that break into the outdoors, work spaces floating on the water to an Atlantic wind-blasted outdoor art installation on the Isles of Scilly, you’ll see how we like to blur the lines between inside and out.

Marrying landscapes with culture and innovation, we’re always pushing the boundaries of contemporary architecture, with an energy that's seen us take our creativity international.

By combining elements of land, sea and sky, and using the best local craftspeople and materials we can lay our hands on, we’re making Cornwall the perfect place to awaken the possibilities of your space.

Who we are

Michael Hormann – Director Dipl. Ing Architect ARB registered

“When you work in different environments, you learn a lot about the role space plays. So when, like me, you’ve found yourself working in hospitals, care homes, offices, exhibitions and factories as part of my Civil Service in Germany, you start seeing more in the atmospheres around you. It affirms how some spaces work, and how some spaces really don’t.

Space should be something that works in harmony with people. It should function, live, look good and, above all, be comfortable and easy to simply ‘be’ in.

I moved to Cornwall to set up Märraum from Coesfeld in Germany in 2006 – where I’d pursued my love of space for over 15 years in everything from technical draughtsmanship in civil engineering, mobile architecture, building tree houses, tennis coaching (where space and skill are intertwined) and aerial cartography to urban and leisure planning.

These experiences have allowed me to see the role architecture plays in our lives; how it should always be defined by the user (and not the architect’s ego!). This has pushed me towards the concept that most of the time (but not always) architecture should follow the Vitruvian rules of being ‘solid, useful and beautiful’. Something we work towards at Märraum.

From old churches to monuments, cities like Regensburg and Venice to the modern buildings of Le Corbusier and Bauhaus – my influences are broad. I even draw inspiration from the treehouses built by tribes in the Amazon. But at the heart of it, I believe that creating a good building is like telling a good story of spaces and people.” 

Michael Hormann

Adam Laskey – Director FdSc Sustainable Construction, Architectural Designer and Technician

“You know the kid who went the extra mile with Design & Technology projects at school? Well, that was me. Making things, designing them from start to finish, that’s what made me tick.

And it’s been the same ever since, from designing customised mountain bikes and cruise riders at college to mastering CAD programmes in my own free time over ten years ago – all the way up to earning my architectural credentials.

Since then, I’ve travelled the world, camping in the Amazon, rehabilitating endangered gibbons, and experiencing the slums of Mumbai and Rio – where I learnt to appreciate the social side of architecture.

I’m deeply influenced by great design. Design that's not only aesthetically pleasing, but also considers the way a building is used. I really respect architects who think how people move through a building – combining logic and reason. Where not an inch of space is wasted. That's far better than fitting a house to the rafters with technology. Finding a better use of space and the value it can bring? Now that’s sustainable architecture.”

Adam Laskey

Daisy Sawle – Office Manager BA Hons Fine Art, Trainee Architectural Designer & Office Manager

“It all started with a felt tip pen and a cardboard box, which became a tortoise shell, which became a space rocket and then became a house with a kitchen. Even at this early age, it seemed my future was set out in brushstrokes and imagination carefully placed onto paper.

Designing, creating and making has always been my passion. So my busy hands and active mind led me to move to London as soon as I could to study Fine Art. I never dreamed that the lines on the page would one day draw real-life buildings on a grand scale.

I take learnings from artists who have got something to say – like Victor Grippo and Gustav Metzger – who make a clever point of defining it through their work. In fact I find the worlds of art and architecture constantly overlap.

Because I’m such a good list-maker and all-round organiser, I’m really putting all of my skills to work at Märraum. Making sure that we can be as efficient as possible, improving our systems, managing our client relationships, researching projects and lending my hands to each part of the design process. Part of my job is to keep everyone on track timing-wise, but no matter what Michael says, I’m not bossy. Honestly!”

Daisy Sawle

Ed Piotrowski – Trainee Architectural Technician

I have had various and wide ranging job roles, most recently is time spent as a support worker for persons with learning disabilities. This has given me the opportunity to view situations from different perspectives and appreciate the needs of individuals no matter how small a detail to make life that little more enjoyable.

From a young age I have had an interest in construction, albeit using Lego, (other building blocks are also available on the market). I also recall school visits to large engineering feats such as the Second Severn Crossing standing in awe of the structure before me and wanting to create and build.


My journey into the ‘Construction Industry’ is a more recent event, having completed an FDSc Sustainable Construction, this has enabled me to work towards a BSc Building Surveying and the Environment degree.


The birth of my first child has placed my current degree on hold.

Ed Piotrowski