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Marraum Architects Cornwall
Adam Laskey14-Jan-2019 22:08:578 min read


Picking the right architect for your project is an important undertaking. After all, you want to know your investment will be worthwhile and the final design meets your needs and vision for your space.

While many professional architects out there are excellent designers and planners, not all may be suited to delivering what’s best for your personal requirements, so it’s important to choose an architect who is able to fit in with your project and circumstances.

Are you wondering how to choose an architect? In this blog, we’ll explore how to find an architect and the key considerations to keep in mind when choosing the best architect for your needs.


Finding an architect

If you’re looking for an architect, there are a few different ways to find one. At Marraum, the most common ways clients find us tend to be:

  1. Internet search
  2. Word of mouth
  3. Architects Registration Board

Whichever method you choose and whoever you decide to work with, it's important to do your research. Here's some advice for optimising the process of searching and selecting which architect is the best fit for you and your project.

 Marraum Architects St Mawes

Internet search

We have all heard of Google, the search engine giant that's designed to help answer your questions and give you the best user experience.  There are other search engines too - and whichever one you use, they'll help sift through the estimated 3.5 million architects worldwide and get you closer to finding the right one for you.


Search engines have made significant changes in the last few years due to the increasing popularity of voice searching using mobiles and devices such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. More people are looking for answers to complex questions rather than just typing in a single keyword. By knowing where you are in the world, search engines can help point you in the direction of local architects and practices. This is a great way to refine your search.


Once you’ve found a practice you'll probably want to have a good look around their website. This should showcase who they are, what they do, and how they do it. Hopefully, you'll get a sense of the ethos of the architect and practice and if they seem like the right fit for you.


There are also review websites such as Three best rated, Houzz and Google itself. And not forgetting social media, which can often have more up-to-date information about a practice like current projects and social activities. All these avenues will help you to get a rounded sense of each architect's practice, and be the starting point on your journey to finding the best one for you.


Word of mouth

Many people will either know of someone who has had some form of building work done or knows someone within the construction industry. 


It's a principle we use all the time in life. If your neighbour has a car and always complains about fuel consumption, you may well cross that type off the list when you look at changing your car. If someone at work comments on the amazing gin and tonic served at the new bar just down the road, then next time you are lucky enough to have a night off and you want to let your hair down, you might end up popping in to judge for yourself.


The same applies to architects. Does your friend love a finished project an architect has worked on? What was their experience like? Was the architect professional, friendly, reliable, knowledgeable? And did they make the process a pleasure rather than a trial?


Get talking and find out what other people have experienced. Whatever the feedback, it's a priceless insight and will help you in your search.

Architecture Cornwall


Architects Registration Board

If it's an architect you're looking for in particular then the Architect Registration Board (ARB) is the place to find them. The ARB is the only register of architects in the UK and their list can be found on the ARB website. All Architects listed here have gone through vigorous training, practical experience and follow the ARB code of conduct.


The website itself is split into two areas, for the professional and for the public. This makes it easy to navigate - and find the information you are looking for. The 2017 end-of-year report released by the ARB states there were 39,987 registered architects in the UK.


There are three main ways to search the database:

  1. Name - If you know the name of an architect you can search for them directly. The register will give you their full name, registration number, the company they are working with, and location.  
  1. Address - If you do not know who to look for but you would like to find an architect in your area, you can also search by location. This will give you a good indication of who to look for, however, it is based on their registered location, so they may not always be working in the location you search. For example, if you search ‘Penryn’ where Marraum is based, there are currently 8 registered architects, some of whom practice from London and may not be best suited for your project. Similarly, there may be architects practicing in Penryn but registered in a different location. This search will help guide you but you may require a little more research to find the right match for your project.
  1. Company - Maybe you have heard about a practice by seeing a site board, or by a word-of-mouth recommendation. You can discover if there are any registered architects working with that company by searching by ‘Company Name’.


 Marraum architects contact


How to choose the right architect


Choose an architect you get along with

Given that your experience with your architect involves investing time and money, it’s vital that you see eye-to-eye on certain details. The best architect for you is one who strives to understand your vision and adopts a process that’s transparent from day one. Put simply, it’s a more efficient and engaging experience if you get along with your architect.

After finding an architect (or several) that you’re considering, don’t settle for anything less than one willing to work alongside you in crafting your design. Clarity between both parties is essential. The relationship between an architect and their client is a creative partnership.

Find out more about getting the most from your architect in our blog.


Do they embrace a modern design process?

The process behind modern architecture is constantly evolving. The latest evolution of architectural design involves plans rendered in 3D, which gives clients a more detailed and easy-to-digest format for understanding what their finished project will look like.

Seeing your design in 3D can make giving feedback to your architect easier, resulting in designs that more accurately express your vision. At Marraum, we take it a step further with Virtual Reality. After rendering designs in 3D, our clients can walk around them in VR, enabling them to see the future space in its fullness before it’s even built. 

Virtual reality has transformed our architecture at Marraum, revolutionising the way we design buildings. It gives our clients an unrivalled level of detail in the design phase and allows us to mitigate unforeseen hiccups that may otherwise become costly later on.

Find out all about VR at Marraum for more information.


What services should you look for in an architect? 

The type of service you’re hoping to get from your architect will also play a role in choosing the right practice to partner with. Designing your space is only one piece of the puzzle; there are also the planning and construction phases to consider, both of which the right architect may be able to make recommendations on based on your needs.

Once you’ve come up with a shortlist of possible practices you’d like to work with, do some research on their architectural process to understand what’s involved at each phase. At this stage, you may choose to get in touch with them directly to discuss how they can apply their expertise to your project.


Find an architect near you

It may be tempting to enlist an architect outside of your county based on their reputation alone, but if you want to go the distance with your architect and enjoy as smooth a planning process as possible, consider the architects available to you in the same county as your prospective building site.

Architects in the right area will better understand the history and heritage surrounding your site and, in some cases, recommend materials that are better suited to the environment. This will enable them to bring your project to life sensitively and sustainably.

They should also have more experience working with the local planning authorities, giving you indispensable insight into what will and won’t work in your case. This can, in turn, help you turn building restrictions into opportunities.


Trying to find and choose an architect in Cornwall? 

Carrying out research to find an architect will ultimately give you a shortlist of companies that you think are a good fit. Many architect practices then offer a free consultation, either on-site or in an office. Take advantage of this to see if you can see yourself working with them for the next twelve months. They may give you ideas you've not previously considered and can explain the whole process, filling in the gaps in your research before you make your final decision.

If you’re in the process of choosing an architect in Cornwall, we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch to arrange a consultation with our helpful team and begin to bring your space’s story to life.


You can also meet our team to find out about the experienced specialists that together form our talented collective.




Adam Laskey

Adam Laskey - Blogs