Building Dream Homes stars Laurence Bowen and Paul Robinson share their top tips on creating the perfect home

PUBLISHED: 11:09 13 August 2014 | UPDATED: 11:09 13 August 2014

Architects Paul Robinson and Laurence Bowen

Architects Paul Robinson and Laurence Bowen


Two architects in Canford Cliffs have found themselves the stars of a primetime television series about their profession and the nation’s obsessions with property

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With house prices increasing by 9% over the last year, building a new home or staying and extending are becoming viable and cheaper options for many home owners. In fact, British homeowners spend a staggering £10 billion a year remodelling their homes according to Home Building and Renovation Magazine, and a further £3.2 billion self-building new homes. With the added bonus of new builds being VAT free, Britons are taking advantage of creating the perfect home on a budget.

Essential viewing for those contemplating a new build or renovation has been the BBC Two series, Building Dream Homes, starring two architects from Dorset and featuring some of their projects.

Seen from the perspective of the architect, the series charts the highs - and lows - of the process of building, renovating or extending a home.

Laurence Bowen and Paul Robinson, directors of rbstudio in Canford Cliffs, demonstrate in the series how they juggle the often-conflicting needs of the client and the planners and builders.

The company has five contemporary new-build projects in Dorset due for completion by the end of this summer.

Being based near to the Sandbanks peninsula, rbstudio is strategically set among some of the most exclusive properties in the country, where space is at a premium and stunning architectural design is highly coveted.

Despite working in one of the wealthiest areas in the UK, Laurence and Paul believe that good design should be accessible to all, whether in a multi-million pound home overlooking Poole Harbour or a small extension to a family home.

Paul said: “We are proud to be the only practice in Dorset chosen to feature in Building Dream Homes and for our architecture to be gaining national profile.

“In 2007 Laurence and I decided the time was right to found rbstudio architects. We both strongly believe that architecture and design plays a fundamental role in all our lives. Well designed spaces and environments have a positive impact on our lifestyle and sense of being.”


Building a Dream Home - five top tips:

1. Location, Location, Location - For most people it is a once in a lifetime opportunity to have a house designed and built specifically for them. Carefully

consider the site and the location. Is it the right place for your dream home? Speak to an architect for a second opinion who will quickly be able to advise you on the opportunities and constraints of a site.

2. Be realistic about costs - Have a clear understanding of your budget and likely costs from the onset of the project.

3. Take time to select the right architect for you - You will need to develop a good understanding and working relationship with your architect.

4. Be involved with the design process - The more conversations you have with your architect and the more involved you are with the development of the design

will ultimately result in a better design that suits your needs and aspirations.

5. More haste, less speed - Don’t rush the design stage. Make sure the design is right for you. It is always easier to make alterations on paper than on site.


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